38 votes

What niche/specialized version of an everyday thing is worth the time/money if you know what you're looking for?

You know what, I like this idea I had in this other topic, so let's do this.

I really adore depth and nuance when it comes to otherwise mundane aspects of life. When people explore a niche deeply, they gain this ability to become a tour guide through (what feels like) entirely new worlds. Being able to pick out the tidbits of wisdom from the barrage of available information on a subject is so, so valuable. Trying to learn what's worthwhile and what isn't on our own can be daunting, overwhelming, and all-together unproductive. I figure as humans we only have the time to develop a handful of these specialties. But, when we come together, collectively we can all benefit and grow.

If/when I have the time/money some day, I'm going to spend it exploring these little niche corners and trying all of the wonderful things that you can only discover through years and years of searching. Whether that's food, or books, or electronics, or hobbies, or activities, or whatever! It's why I'm not a fan of surface-level things. I just know there are magical enthusiast/hobbiest versions of everything hiding in tucked-away corners of the world, and I don't want to have to settle for the basics.

So, what's your niche discovery that you think is worth sharing?

89 comments

  1. [12]
    Nmg
    (edited )
    Link
    I think that from an optimization point of view, the bicycle is the most superior form of daily transportation for many people (physically able, suburban-to-urban residence). Perhaps my analysis...

    I think that from an optimization point of view, the bicycle is the most superior form of daily transportation for many people (physically able, suburban-to-urban residence). Perhaps my analysis doesn't fit here, but I am going to go out on a limb here and think that most people don't think about their transportation choices, so much that they feel forced into one specific type. "Oh, I need a car to go grocery shopping," or "Oh, I need to take the L-train to go downtown."


    Issue A: I need a fast and reliable way to get from point A to point B. Other forms of transportation might be faster or slower, depending on the distance, but I think the common bicycle can pull its own weight when it comes to most daily transportation needs, such as going to work or getting groceries. True, a bicycle is unlikely to go 60mph, but average speed of city driving is not that much higher than city cycling in most cases.

    Issue B: I need to exercise every day. My health is important to me. A cycling is a low impact form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that I have practiced since I was very young and will be able to practice until I am very old.

    Issue C: I am on a budget. To overhaul my bicycle every year to keep it in tip-top shape is a few hundred dollars. This is cheaper than every other form of transportation that is capable of going more than a few miles a day.

    Issue D: I care deeply about the environment. The bicycle might just be the most environmentally friendly form of human-powered transportation because it is more energy efficient than walking (the energy you spend is the food you eat, in this case).

    Issue E: I don't want to kill anyone, or perpetuate a culture where daily "accidents" are okay. Automobile accidents kill 1.25 million people every year, globally. More than homocides. More than terrorism. More than plane crashes. More than a lot of things that people typically care deeply about. It's the number one killer for my age group. Yet it isn't treated that way. The last thing I want is someone else's blood on my hands. And in general, the fact that we tolerate 15 year olds, half-blind geriatrics, sleepy people, and legal or illegal drug users operating heavy machinery at 60 mph is absolutely ridiculous. Driving a car doesn't just make your life more unsafe. It significantly endangers everyone around you, too.


    Note that cycling itself likely does not win on its own for any of these issues individually. Walking is cheaper, cars become faster as distance increases, swimming is probably a more effective low impact exercise, A bus is the safest ground transport, and an e-scooter might just be better for the environment (admittedly, I have no idea. But it wouldn't surprise me).

    I think it is at the intersection of determining a way to address these issues where the common bicycle shines.

    25 votes
    1. [9]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      The challenge I have with bike commuting is that my apartment building is literally on top of the steepest hill in the city. It’s an elevation gain of a couple hundred feet over the span of about...

      The challenge I have with bike commuting is that my apartment building is literally on top of the steepest hill in the city. It’s an elevation gain of a couple hundred feet over the span of about 2 city blocks. I see people pulling it off and I have no idea how. I’m gasping and wheezing and sweat drenched every time.

      I’ve considered the electric assist bikes, but it makes me feel so lazy.

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        Octofox
        Link Parent
        I was in your position. In 2017 I considered cycling because my work place was only 6km away but I live in a very hilly area. I got a cheap road bike and was really struggling, just a lap around...

        I was in your position. In 2017 I considered cycling because my work place was only 6km away but I live in a very hilly area. I got a cheap road bike and was really struggling, just a lap around the block left me with extreme jelly legs so I gave up. At the start of 2018 I got an ebike and started riding that to work. It was so fun I started riding it just randomly around the place for fun. After a few months I was the most fit I had ever been in my life and I purchased a nice road bike and was easily able to ride around the hills using the fitness I built up on the ebike.

        Now in 2019 that decision to buy an ebike has totally changed my life. I am so much healthier and fitter than I have ever been in my life. I can keep up with the enthusiasts on carbon bikes and I ride about 40km per day and all uphill on the way home from my new place of work. I have saved so much money on bus tickets and car stuff and I have convinced some people at work to take the same path.

        Just think of it this way, no matter how easy an ebike makes it for you its still so much heather than sitting in a car or on public transport. For me it totally transformed my health and lifestyle.

        9 votes
        1. Parliament
          Link Parent
          I have an e-bike as well, bought it in February 2017. Elevation changes, unbearable heat where I live, and not wanting to show up to work drenched in sweat were the reasons for buying one over a...

          I have an e-bike as well, bought it in February 2017. Elevation changes, unbearable heat where I live, and not wanting to show up to work drenched in sweat were the reasons for buying one over a typical road bike. Not sure about you, but I use minimal or no electric assist when riding on flat streets. This is great for conserving the bike's battery and doesn't make you feel as lazy.

          4 votes
        2. Nmg
          Link Parent
          I think increased e-bike use is great. Indeed, an e-bike addresses many of the same issues that a bicycle can address (particularly e-assist bikes). If a regular bike wouldn't work for you as well...

          I think increased e-bike use is great.

          Indeed, an e-bike addresses many of the same issues that a bicycle can address (particularly e-assist bikes). If a regular bike wouldn't work for you as well as an e-bike could, by all means, get an e-bike.

          1 vote
      2. monarda
        Link Parent
        I live in a hilly place too and struggled with feeling lazy (or being judged lazy) by riding an electric assist bike. After a couple of years of hating public transport, I finally made the...

        I live in a hilly place too and struggled with feeling lazy (or being judged lazy) by riding an electric assist bike. After a couple of years of hating public transport, I finally made the purchase, and it was the best decision I had made in a long time. It changed my entire outlook on life!

        5 votes
      3. [4]
        Nmg
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I can sympathize, my apartment building is somewhat on the top of a hill as well. My recommendation is take your time, if necessary. Edit: some replies have discussed that the following may not be...

        I can sympathize, my apartment building is somewhat on the top of a hill as well.

        My recommendation is take your time, if necessary.


        Edit: some replies have discussed that the following may not be the best course of action for everyone, and depending on your level of experience, may not be right for you.


        When going up steep hills, road cyclists often lift off their seat and lean forward, rocking their bicycle left to right. This makes it feel more like using an elliptical machine, in my experience, and relaxes muscles in other parts of your leg that likely ache.

        4 votes
        1. Octofox
          Link Parent
          Standing up puts you in a position where you can apply a lot more power but you will quickly burn out. For a beginner it may be best to get off and walk the hill or get a bike with a very low gear...

          Standing up puts you in a position where you can apply a lot more power but you will quickly burn out. For a beginner it may be best to get off and walk the hill or get a bike with a very low gear like what mountain bikes have.

          3 votes
        2. [2]
          nsz
          Link Parent
          But beware, it's hard on the chain and gears. I've broken two chains like this and it's seriously uncomfortable. All that body weight suddenly unsupported -- smashed my nuts both times.

          But beware, it's hard on the chain and gears. I've broken two chains like this and it's seriously uncomfortable. All that body weight suddenly unsupported -- smashed my nuts both times.

          1. Nmg
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            That doesn't surprise me, but admittedly I have never considered that. A chain measurement tool might help ensure that doesn't happen in the future.

            That doesn't surprise me, but admittedly I have never considered that.

            A chain measurement tool might help ensure that doesn't happen in the future.

            1 vote
    2. Archimedes
      Link Parent
      I used to bike to work every day, heck I didn't own a car for about 5 years at one point in my adult life, but now I'm 30 miles from work and that's not feasible. So I take the train and walk for...

      I used to bike to work every day, heck I didn't own a car for about 5 years at one point in my adult life, but now I'm 30 miles from work and that's not feasible. So I take the train and walk for that and drive places maybe once a week.

      The biggest downsides are

      Issue A: Weather. When it's hot/cold/rainy/windy/snowy/etc it can be seriously uncomfortable. If you're going further than a mile or two in the summer, you'll get super sweaty and need a change of clothes. Cold and wet are also pretty miserable conditions.

      Issue B: Safety. Many areas are dangerous to bike in and don't have adequate (if any) bike lanes or paths to ride on. If you're in a car, you've got a shell of armor but if you get hit on a bike, there's very little protection and you are considerably less visible.

      Issue C: Carrying capacity. I did years of grocery shopping with a bike and backpack, but this becomes difficult if you need to do heavier shopping for more than one person or transport anything that is large or unwieldy.

      Issue D: Ride sharing. Related to carrying capacity, I can't transport other people, nor can others transport me with my bike unless they have a pickup or bike rack or similar capacity.

      Issue E: Distance. I don't live in a small town anymore. Friends and family and work and shopping can easily be more than 10 miles away. This represents a large time and energy commitment and a great deal of fortitude when conditions are poor for riding.

      2 votes
    3. Grand0rbiter
      Link Parent
      I my previous place of work i would arrive in 7 minutes by bike versus 12 to 15 minutes by car. And i had to park the car far away.

      I my previous place of work i would arrive in 7 minutes by bike versus 12 to 15 minutes by car.

      And i had to park the car far away.

      1 vote
  2. [14]
    gpl
    Link
    So this isn't as niche as perhaps it once was, but buying a mechanical keyboard was one of the better purchases I have made recently and I have zero regrets even though at the time I felt silly...

    So this isn't as niche as perhaps it once was, but buying a mechanical keyboard was one of the better purchases I have made recently and I have zero regrets even though at the time I felt silly paying ~$100 for a keyboard. It is such a joy to type on, and has made using the computer honestly just more enjoyable to an unexpected degree.

    On the more niche side, buying the right meat thermometer can improve your cooking so much, but its often not high on the list of kitchen items people think about when upgrading. Getting a quick read on a fast cooking piece of meat is the difference between overcooked and just perfect.

    32 votes
    1. JoylessAubergine
      Link Parent
      As a bit of a hypochondriac who was brought up on well done steak and bone dry chicken breast a meat thermometer has completely changed how comfortable i am eating meat that still has juice in it,...

      On the more niche side, buying the right meat thermometer can improve your cooking so much, but its often not high on the list of kitchen items people think about when upgrading. Getting a quick read on a fast cooking piece of meat is the difference between overcooked and just perfect.

      As a bit of a hypochondriac who was brought up on well done steak and bone dry chicken breast a meat thermometer has completely changed how comfortable i am eating meat that still has juice in it, chicken especially. As long as the thermometer shows ~80°C i can eat enjoy it without stressing about catching salmonella.

      18 votes
    2. CALICO
      Link Parent
      Along the lines of cooking: whole nutmegs and block Parmigiano-Reggiano. If you're using preground nutmeg and that powdered shit parmesan covered in cellulose, you're not only wasting money but...

      Along the lines of cooking: whole nutmegs and block Parmigiano-Reggiano.

      If you're using preground nutmeg and that powdered shit parmesan covered in cellulose, you're not only wasting money but missing out on a whole lot of flavor. Get a microplane, save yourself money in the long run, and enjoy home cooked food you thought you had to go to a restaurant to enjoy.

      10 votes
    3. Bullmaestro
      Link Parent
      If anything esports has made mechanical keyboards a lot more popular. Last decade most if not all gaming keyboards used membrane keys but now mechanical switches seem to be the gold standard.

      If anything esports has made mechanical keyboards a lot more popular. Last decade most if not all gaming keyboards used membrane keys but now mechanical switches seem to be the gold standard.

      8 votes
    4. smoontjes
      Link Parent
      My cousin commented on my keyboard this weekend when he was over. He (rightfully) complained how noisy it is, but then I said it's worth it because of how comfortable it is - and when he tried...

      My cousin commented on my keyboard this weekend when he was over. He (rightfully) complained how noisy it is, but then I said it's worth it because of how comfortable it is - and when he tried typing on it, he just went "oh my god this is amazing" lol

      6 votes
    5. rmgr
      Link Parent
      I debated forking out for an Ergodox EZ split ergo mechanical keyboard for about a year and finally pulled the trigger for a Christmas present. Six months later I ordered one for work because it...

      I debated forking out for an Ergodox EZ split ergo mechanical keyboard for about a year and finally pulled the trigger for a Christmas present. Six months later I ordered one for work because it was so much better than a membrane board.

      5 votes
    6. [5]
      Autoxidation
      Link Parent
      Interesting. What kind of meat thermometer would you recommend?

      Interesting. What kind of meat thermometer would you recommend?

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        gpl
        Link Parent
        For instant read thermometers for fast cooking meat (pan seared, fried, etc), one of the best you can get is the Thermapen Mk4. If you watch any cooking Youtube channels you'll probably see this...

        For instant read thermometers for fast cooking meat (pan seared, fried, etc), one of the best you can get is the Thermapen Mk4. If you watch any cooking Youtube channels you'll probably see this thermometer be used. It also comes recommended by Kenji Lopez-Alt of The Food Lab, which I personally consider to be one of the better cooking sites out there. In any case, I have no regrets about shelling out for it.

        5 votes
        1. Greg
          Link Parent
          I just wanted to second this - very much in the spirit of the thread, there is definite best option in the niche world of instant read thermometers and the Thermapen is it.

          I just wanted to second this - very much in the spirit of the thread, there is definite best option in the niche world of instant read thermometers and the Thermapen is it.

          4 votes
        2. Archimedes
          Link Parent
          I've got a set of 4 thermometers that are hooked up to the WiFi and have an app that alerts you exactly when you need to remove the meat from the heat based on what kind it is. Sounds crazy, but...

          I've got a set of 4 thermometers that are hooked up to the WiFi and have an app that alerts you exactly when you need to remove the meat from the heat based on what kind it is. Sounds crazy, but it makes it so much easier to cook things just right.

      2. evrim
        Link Parent
        I have been using the Lavatools Javelin, and I couldn't have been happier. Very easy to use and reliable. I also received my SteakChamp a few days ago, but I haven't had the chance to use it yet....

        I have been using the Lavatools Javelin, and I couldn't have been happier. Very easy to use and reliable.

        I also received my SteakChamp a few days ago, but I haven't had the chance to use it yet. You don't actually need it if you have a thermometer like the Javelin, but it's supposed to make things even simpler.

        4 votes
    7. [2]
      hamstergeddon
      Link Parent
      If someone reads this and is interested in trying out mechanical keyboards, but don't want to shell out $100 for one quite yet, check out Redragon's stuff. I paid $35 for an 87key (no numpad)...

      If someone reads this and is interested in trying out mechanical keyboards, but don't want to shell out $100 for one quite yet, check out Redragon's stuff. I paid $35 for an 87key (no numpad) keyboard a little over a year ago and it's still my daily driver. You can also buy CherryMX switch test boards which come with each of the switch types so you can get a feel for which one is right for you. What it comes down to is finding which switch balances tactile feel and sound. Me, I like 'em clicky and clackity, but I also work from home so I don't have to worry about pissing off officemates :)

      3 votes
      1. userexec
        Link Parent
        Seconded on Redragon. I build keyboards to the point where I have my own casting shop in the basement to mold my own keycaps, so you could say I'm maybe a little too into this. Redragon is...

        Seconded on Redragon. I build keyboards to the point where I have my own casting shop in the basement to mold my own keycaps, so you could say I'm maybe a little too into this. Redragon is inexpensive, but it's not cheap. I often use their replacement key sets as masters because the quality of their casting is top notch. Their clear top, black inner double shot keys make a mockery of Corsair's in terms of dimensions and finish. It's not a difference any user would practically notice, and in use it makes literally no difference, but just from a crafting perspective I'm a big fan of Redragon's work.

        2 votes
    8. sqew
      Link Parent
      Absolutely agree on the keyboard thing. I'd used a cheap Dell generic membrane keyboard for years until I bought a Ducky One 2 last year (Cherry MX Brown switches), and I can honestly say that I...

      Absolutely agree on the keyboard thing. I'd used a cheap Dell generic membrane keyboard for years until I bought a Ducky One 2 last year (Cherry MX Brown switches), and I can honestly say that I love typing on my PC so much more now. Best $99 I've spent in a long time!

  3. [22]
    krg
    Link
    Great topic. I find that I'm always looking for excellence in many places (especially cheap excellence), even if I have no current use for items at which I'm looking. I have a whole lotta Amazon...

    Great topic. I find that I'm always looking for excellence in many places (especially cheap excellence), even if I have no current use for items at which I'm looking. I have a whole lotta Amazon wishlists for various categories of things that I add to sporadically.

    • A good chef's knife. Victorinox and Wüsthof make good quality, affordable chef's knives (I have the Wüsthof). That's just the beginning of the rabbit-hole.

    • Pots and pans. Tramontina seems to make some pretty good stuff on that front.

    • Tools. Screwdriver set, Pliers, cutter and stripper. Here's a wrench.

    • Military surplus clothing can be pretty good quality for a pretty reasonable price. I like their beanies. Most beanies in that price range are acrylic, not wool. Shirts are really damn comfortable and good quality, too. Socks, too.

    • Computer monitors. This monitor caught my eye as being relatively affordable while maintaining color accuracy and pretty good contrast for an IPS panel.

    • Audio monitors. Well, any pro-audio monitors are going to be leagues better than most people's standard computer speaker setup. Probably a lot better than most home theater setups, too. I'd reccomend these because they're pretty cheap but sound really good.

    • Turntable. I don't have one, yet, but have been eyeing this turntable for the day I'm ready.

    • Coffee stuff. This looks to be a good grinder. This looks to be a good kettle. This looks to be a good decanter.

    • Rechargeable batteries. These are supposedly better than Sanyo Eneloop batteries.

    • Office/computer
      chairs. I'm lucky enough to work with an Aeron chair. But, I really need to upgrade my desk chair at home...

    19 votes
    1. [8]
      DanBC
      Link Parent
      How many of these are things you've actually used? How many of these are thing you'd use as part of your work? I'm interested in your list of pots and pans. Those don't look like anything special....

      How many of these are things you've actually used? How many of these are thing you'd use as part of your work?

      I'm interested in your list of pots and pans. Those don't look like anything special. What makes those better?

      8 votes
      1. [4]
        Hidegger
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        As an electrician I wouldn't buy those strippers mentioned. Strippers These Have a wider range of wire gauge, cut machine threaded screws, crimp, cut, and have a pliers grip on the end. Klein also...

        As an electrician I wouldn't buy those strippers mentioned.
        Strippers
        These Have a wider range of wire gauge, cut machine threaded screws, crimp, cut, and have a pliers grip on the end. Klein also has lifetime warranties, so if they rust or get damaged in normal use you can trade them in for a new pair. Couple it with a decent side-cutter and lineman's pliers and you can do almost any electrical wiring job a non-professional would encounter.
        Side Cutters
        Lineman's

        13 votes
        1. [2]
          krg
          Link Parent
          Another Klein schill! Just kidding. You're the expert, so I concede. For the cutters, though, I was looking for something that'd be good for guitar string.

          Another Klein schill!

          Just kidding. You're the expert, so I concede. For the cutters, though, I was looking for something that'd be good for guitar string.

          1 vote
          1. Hidegger
            Link Parent
            I have used Green Lee, Ideal, Klein and off brand side cutters and lineman's and only the off brand ones were shitty. Klein and Ideal come with decent warranties and Klein is widespread enough...

            I have used Green Lee, Ideal, Klein and off brand side cutters and lineman's and only the off brand ones were shitty. Klein and Ideal come with decent warranties and Klein is widespread enough that any local hardware, Home Depot, Menards and Fleet Supply places carry them and honor the lifetime warranties so it's convenient enough for most people to exchange them. I'd use the side cutters for guitar strings also and only use the strippers on copper and aluminum.

            Aside from those strippers I haven't found a better pair out of 20 other kinds I've tried. I know some other electricians buy the cheaper $5 klein but that's because they burn through so many pairs cutting live wires. My current pair have lasted me almost 2 years and that's with heavy use almost daily and my last 2 pairs lasted about 1 year each before they both got nicked cutting live wires.

            3 votes
        2. apoctr
          Link Parent
          Psst, you need to remove the space between the square brackets and brackets to get the link to format correctly.

          Psst, you need to remove the space between the square brackets and brackets to get the link to format correctly.

          6 votes
      2. [3]
        krg
        Link Parent
        I use the knife, the clothing I mentioned, the audio monitors, and the Aeron chair. The pans don't look anything special, I agree. But, they're made for professional use and I usually figure...

        I use the knife, the clothing I mentioned, the audio monitors, and the Aeron chair.

        The pans don't look anything special, I agree. But, they're made for professional use and I usually figure anything made for professional use will hold up. This is the actual pan I use along with this saucepan. Got a good deal on them at Ross and I've no problem with them.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          cptcobalt
          Link Parent
          These suggestions give me pause: these pans seem to be made more for the home than for professional use. Restaurant kitchens tend to use different materials which require more regular use and...

          These suggestions give me pause: these pans seem to be made more for the home than for professional use. Restaurant kitchens tend to use different materials which require more regular use and maintenance, like carbon steel pans.

          Politely, I don't get the sense that your suggestions necessarily elevate the experience/etc of an everyday thing that are "niche" or "specialized" discoveries—they just seem to be things you either already have by happenstance or otherwise wish to acquire, but without necessarily doing hours and hours of obsessive research on these goods.

          12 votes
          1. krg
            Link Parent
            Hey, I'm no sage! These products I've come across (after doing my bit of research) seemed to be at least above-average and pretty good for the money. The things I have haven't been acquired by...

            Hey, I'm no sage! These products I've come across (after doing my bit of research) seemed to be at least above-average and pretty good for the money. The things I have haven't been acquired by happenstance, but acquired after a lot of comparison shopping/research. That said, if anything I listed isn't really up to snuff then I'm at least glad I've at least spurred some discussion and would love to be shown better alternatives like those you and @Hidegger suggested!

            Also, I'm a bit against the idea of elevation without reason. Particularly in the audio landscape, where fools and their money are quickly parted on cryogenically treated cables and the like that add nothing to the listening experience. Most pro-audio gear will do the trick in accurate audio reproduction.

    2. [7]
      gpl
      Link Parent
      So, how is the Aeron really? I've never sat in one and its hard to tell what is hype and what is real. Do you think it's worth the ~$1200 price tag?

      So, how is the Aeron really? I've never sat in one and its hard to tell what is hype and what is real. Do you think it's worth the ~$1200 price tag?

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        cwagner
        Link Parent
        I don't have the Aeron but the Leap Steelcase (in many roundups see as the main Competitor for the Aeron), which IIRC has a normal price of $800 (I got mine used for 300€), and it's an insane...

        I don't have the Aeron but the Leap Steelcase (in many roundups see as the main Competitor for the Aeron), which IIRC has a normal price of $800 (I got mine used for 300€), and it's an insane difference to normal chairs. If you spend a lot of time sitting, I'd really recommend getting one of those. I think the Aeron chairs have a bit of a markup because they are mainly bought by businesses and agencies, the FBI uses them a lot for example.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          vivaria
          Link Parent
          Seconding the used/refurbished recommendation. I haven't gone down that path myself yet, but I've heard good things about business liquidation sales, etc. There seem to be plenty of B2B businesses...

          Seconding the used/refurbished recommendation. I haven't gone down that path myself yet, but I've heard good things about business liquidation sales, etc. There seem to be plenty of B2B businesses that specialize in taking furniture off the hands of businesses that are re-organizing, downsizing, relocating, etc.

          Also, while we're here, I came across this absurdly detailed guide to purchasing a fancy office chair]. Looks to be a good read if you want to know more about chair ergonomics.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Cosmos
            Link Parent
            I'm in the market for an office chair, and have been looking at steelcase. I keep hearing people recommending to get the leap used. But when I looked on Craigslist and facebook, I couldn't find...

            I'm in the market for an office chair, and have been looking at steelcase. I keep hearing people recommending to get the leap used. But when I looked on Craigslist and facebook, I couldn't find any in my area (Philadelphia). There are online retailers selling them, like Madison Seating. But I am really hesitant to get something used without seeing it first. I'm feeling like there is no option anymore other than to get it new.

            And the price seems to have gone up to over $1000.

            3 votes
            1. Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              Leap retails for $1k just like the aeron. They are a direct competitor and both are extremely common in large office settings. I would suggest looking on google maps for office furniture and used...

              Leap retails for $1k just like the aeron. They are a direct competitor and both are extremely common in large office settings.

              I would suggest looking on google maps for office furniture and used furniture supply stores.

              I happen to live in the bay area so they are all over the place and frequently getting large shipments as companies go out of business and have been able to snag them as cheap as $200 but you should expect to pay roughly $400 for an aeron or leap (v2).

      2. CALICO
        Link Parent
        I've had both an Aeron and a Humanscale Freedom Headrest as a work chair in the past. I'm not a chair aficionado, but I've spent 9hr/day in the Aeron and up to 18hr/day in a Humanscale, and never...

        I've had both an Aeron and a Humanscale Freedom Headrest as a work chair in the past. I'm not a chair aficionado, but I've spent 9hr/day in the Aeron and up to 18hr/day in a Humanscale, and never once was I ever uncomfortable in either of them. Spine support was great on both. If I'm ever crazy enough to spend four-figures on a chair for myself, I'd go with the Humanscale one. Headrests are nice, especially if you have a multi-monitor setup in which you've got at least one on top of another.

        5 votes
      3. krg
        Link Parent
        It's a pretty damn good chair. Hard for me to say whether or not I think it's worth the price tag, as I didn't purchase it! I do think it's worth investing in a good chair if you do a lot of...

        It's a pretty damn good chair. Hard for me to say whether or not I think it's worth the price tag, as I didn't purchase it! I do think it's worth investing in a good chair if you do a lot of sitting, though.

    3. Staross
      Link Parent
      I've been using the Victorinox for like 5 years and it still cuts very well. I love the handling too, definitively made cooking more enjoyable.

      I've been using the Victorinox for like 5 years and it still cuts very well. I love the handling too, definitively made cooking more enjoyable.

      2 votes
    4. [3]
      blake
      Link Parent
      I have strong opinions on the screwdrivers and pliers haha. If you spend a lot of time screwing/plying things, I'd recommend dedicated screw drivers. I've started recommending JIS screwdrivers...

      I have strong opinions on the screwdrivers and pliers haha.

      If you spend a lot of time screwing/plying things, I'd recommend dedicated screw drivers. I've started recommending JIS screwdrivers recently, specifically Vessel brand. I've been using them for years, and they are the best screwdriver I've ever used.

      For pliers, if you plan on using them often, get Knipex stuff. The Cobra 6 and 10 inch are what I use most often. They grip anything/everything.

      My favorite wrench is my Bahco 6 inch thin-jaw big-mouth. Super comfy, gets anywhere, grips everything, and the adjustment is super smooth and precise.

      Only spend the money on the fancier stuff if you plan on using it regularly. I have old motorcycles (hence the JIS screwdrivers) and car projects.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        krg
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the recommendations! Not that you had anything to say about this, but I wanted to mention that I posted the particular cutters that I did because they were rated to cut piano wire and I...

        Thanks for the recommendations!

        Not that you had anything to say about this, but I wanted to mention that I posted the particular cutters that I did because they were rated to cut piano wire and I was interested in something that would do well with guitar string. Most cutters are rated for softer copper.

        1. blake
          Link Parent
          Those do look like very nice cutters! I actually had a similar issue recently, I had a project where I had to cut stainless steel aircraft wire. Most cutters are not rated for steel (like...

          Those do look like very nice cutters! I actually had a similar issue recently, I had a project where I had to cut stainless steel aircraft wire. Most cutters are not rated for steel (like piano/guitar wire), and I ended up needing to get a nice pair of Knipex cutters sort of like the ones you posted. https://www.amazon.com/KNIPEX-95-61-190-US/dp/B000X4KPSA - If you need to do a lot of cutting of wire rope and things like that (some people use it a lot for piano wire), these are awesome. Lots of torque in a small package.

          I'm actually probably going to purchase that same cutter you posted, that is exactly what I need to upgrade to from my cheaper cutter. I use my side cutters for wire and rubber hoses and what not.

          1 vote
    5. PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      My dad not long ago completed a very cool turntable project. My great-grandmother, who had recently died, left behind a ton of 1950's era furniture in her house, and one of the things she left was...

      Turntable. I don't have one, yet, but have been eyeing this turntable for the day I'm ready.

      My dad not long ago completed a very cool turntable project. My great-grandmother, who had recently died, left behind a ton of 1950's era furniture in her house, and one of the things she left was a vintage TV cabinet with a turntable, speakers, and a radio along with a black and white TV set. My dad striped out the TV (it had some toxic chemicals in the circuit board, and didn't work) replaced the broken turntable, and wired up the old speakers (that suprisingly still worked) to everything. He even replaced the radio with an aux cord, so he could plugin his phone or an old iPod to play music. The speakers sound great, and he can keep his old records on a shelf were the TV used to fit in. It turned out great. I can show some pctures when I get home. Little bit off-topic, but I thought it was a fun thing to share and it's related to turntables.

      2 votes
    6. tunneljumper
      Link Parent
      If you're going to invest in audio monitors, make sure you're also doing research into room treatment. Even the high-end monitors will sound bad if you're not properly deadening echoes and such.

      If you're going to invest in audio monitors, make sure you're also doing research into room treatment. Even the high-end monitors will sound bad if you're not properly deadening echoes and such.

      1 vote
  4. [3]
    Akir
    Link
    Someone already mentioned knives, but everything involving blades actually falls under this category. You should have different scissors for every purpose; kitchen shears for food, fabric scissors...

    Someone already mentioned knives, but everything involving blades actually falls under this category. You should have different scissors for every purpose; kitchen shears for food, fabric scissors for fabrics, hair scissors for hair, and craft scissors for paper.

    Some of them have special features - garden shears, for instance, are designed to click when you close them so you can work more efficiently. But mostly you want to avoid using scissors on materials that may bend the blades out of shape or dull them.

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      imperialismus
      Link Parent
      Oh man, you just reminded me of my childhood. I had the scissors thing hammered (shorn?) into my head from a young age. My mom used to be a professional hairdresser, and although she'd switched...

      Oh man, you just reminded me of my childhood. I had the scissors thing hammered (shorn?) into my head from a young age. My mom used to be a professional hairdresser, and although she'd switched careers by the time I was born, she's saved my family a lot of money over the years on haircuts and kept a set of professional haircutting scissors (I don't know which brand, but here's a random example of the general look). And lord have mercy on the person who tried to use her specialty scissors on anything but hair! It helped that she's the only left-handed person in the family, so the scissors were really awkward to use for anyone else. She also does arts and crafts and had a separate set for cutting fabrics.

      I can't say I've entirely taken this wisdom to heart, but then again I don't do much that requires specialty equipment. Of course I don't use the same scissors to open cardboard boxes as I use to trim nails or facial hair, but that's just common sense - try doing anything requiring precision using a broad blade, or opening a box without breaking your tiny hair trimmer. Come to think of it, I should probably be using a knife to open boxes.

      6 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        Positive memories, I hope. My grandmother told me this when I was a child and I had thought it was some crazy old wives tale. It wasn't until I became an adult and seen it happen firsthand that I...

        Positive memories, I hope.

        My grandmother told me this when I was a child and I had thought it was some crazy old wives tale. It wasn't until I became an adult and seen it happen firsthand that I realized she was telling the truth.

        1 vote
  5. [3]
    asep
    Link
    Maybe a bit different to what you mean but I think it's in somewhat of a similar spirit. My father works in the garments industry and once he pointed out that there's a zipper company called YKK...

    Maybe a bit different to what you mean but I think it's in somewhat of a similar spirit. My father works in the garments industry and once he pointed out that there's a zipper company called YKK which essentially has a monopoly on the zipper market. He wouldn't use anything other then YKK zippers on his products since the other options had far worse value for money and producing your own high quality zips wasn't really viable. So if you ever have to buy anything with zips on it, unless it's a big brand like Nike who produces their own zips make sure the zippers are YKK.

    14 votes
    1. nsz
      Link Parent
      Coincidently, just a few days ago I had noticed how a couple of the zippers from different brands all had that YKK cast into them. Though it was wired this one company had a monopoly on such a...

      Coincidently, just a few days ago I had noticed how a couple of the zippers from different brands all had that YKK cast into them. Though it was wired this one company had a monopoly on such a popular/common thing -- guess it makes sense really, if they do it well.

      Just checked and sure enough the one Nike hoody I've got has their own swoosh on the zipper.

      5 votes
    2. blake
      Link Parent
      That's awesome, I'm not alone! I only buy things with YKK zippers too! They really are better than pretty much everything out there. I'm sure there is some smaller company that makes something...

      That's awesome, I'm not alone! I only buy things with YKK zippers too! They really are better than pretty much everything out there. I'm sure there is some smaller company that makes something awesome, but I'm not aware of them.

      1 vote
  6. [3]
    evrim
    (edited )
    Link
    One of the purchases I made last year that I'm happiest with is the Bose QC 35 II. These are wireless headphones with noise-cancellation. The noise-cancellation is amazing, I can't imagine being...

    One of the purchases I made last year that I'm happiest with is the Bose QC 35 II. These are wireless headphones with noise-cancellation. The noise-cancellation is amazing, I can't imagine being on an airplane without them now, and they are super comfortable. Another good feature is you can connect them to two different devices at the same time, so they are always connected to my computer and my phone simultaneously.

    I also recently ordered a Breville Barista Express espresso machine to up my espresso game. Haven't received it yet, but it is supposed to be the best in its price category. Now, the only thing I need is to find better quality, medium-roast coffee beans where I live.

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      cptcobalt
      Link Parent
      I have the very same Breville Barista Express, and I love it. It brews quite well, and I make 2 double shot drinks per day with it. If you're new to espresso, figuring out how to dial in a good...

      I have the very same Breville Barista Express, and I love it. It brews quite well, and I make 2 double shot drinks per day with it.

      If you're new to espresso, figuring out how to dial in a good shot is absolutely worth your time. Start off by getting a cheap bag of starbucks/etc beans, because you'll start off with enough bad shots just by figuring out the nuance of adjusting dosage volume, grind size, etc. Only once you learn the machine, switch to the good freshly-roasted beans.

      The grinder is decent, but is the weakest part of the machine. One click can be enough of a difference between under extraction and over extraction of your espresso—depending on the quality of your coffee and the size of the beans, you might have success with half clicks (the dial is analog, despite it having pre-set detents). I find the pressure needle is actually pretty trustworthy for when the actual shot is being pulled, but don't worry about it moving too much/too little during the pre-infusion stage.

      Another trick that is probably more superstition than skill: I use my finger to lightly rotate and press the grounds into place after grinding, so it doesn't spill over. Then, after my first tamp, I use the tamper to lightly tap the side of the portafilter to get the grinds that are pressed along the walls of the portafilter to drop down to tamped grounds, and then tamp and twist once more. I think that gets me more consistent shots and easier clean up.

      4 votes
      1. evrim
        Link Parent
        Wow, I really appreciate all the info, thanks a lot! I was using a Delonghi Dedica before the Barista Express, so I've had some experience with adjusting different parameters to pull a good shot,...

        Wow, I really appreciate all the info, thanks a lot!

        I was using a Delonghi Dedica before the Barista Express, so I've had some experience with adjusting different parameters to pull a good shot, but I'm in no way an expert. So, your tips are super helpful.

        I'm really looking forward to getting better at this to the point that I can consistently pull a great shot of espresso at home.

        2 votes
  7. [2]
    skullkid2424
    Link
    This concept is what I wanted out of /r/BuyItForLife (but usually didn't find). One of the more interesting things I found was when someone went down the rabbit hole of nail clippers to find the...

    This concept is what I wanted out of /r/BuyItForLife (but usually didn't find).

    One of the more interesting things I found was when someone went down the rabbit hole of nail clippers to find the best ones. Something that probably doesn't need that depth - but still interesting and I have a much higher quality pair now.

    https://old.reddit.com/r/BuyItForLife/comments/4rkxf0/we_tested_over_60_different_nail_clippers_to_find/

    I ended up with a Mehaz 660, which is the same as the Kai 003. Way better than my usual cheap clippers.

    10 votes
    1. krg
      Link Parent
      Nail clippers! Definitely worth finding good ones. Personally, I enjoy this style of nail clipper the most. They seem to create more clipping force than traditional nail clippers.

      Nail clippers! Definitely worth finding good ones. Personally, I enjoy this style of nail clipper the most. They seem to create more clipping force than traditional nail clippers.

      1 vote
  8. DanBC
    Link
    Lindstrom Cutters: https://www.bahco.com/en/p/diagonal-cutter-rx-series/05-13-ed-2b-d7-88-9a-1c-7f-24-65-46-95-58-6f-7e/ They have a few different versions - you'll have to chose which one you...

    Lindstrom Cutters: https://www.bahco.com/en/p/diagonal-cutter-rx-series/05-13-ed-2b-d7-88-9a-1c-7f-24-65-46-95-58-6f-7e/

    They have a few different versions - you'll have to chose which one you need. If you spend 8 hours a day building PCBs you want excellent cutters, and lindstrom are excellent. The handles are comfortable, the springs are replaceable, the box pivot is rock solid and lasts for thousands of hours of cutting, the blades are hard and maintain an edge for years.

    Bahco also do screwdrivers. Again, they've been designed carefully. https://www.bahco.com/en/s/ergo-screwdrivers/55-9c-e5-ca-76-1f-84-df-b5-61-12-78-26-e9-07-98/

    I don't know if the cost of these make sense unless you're working in production and need to use them for many hours a day. For screwdrivers the important thing is to use the right size and type for the screw, and you can do that with the cheapest set of bits and a handle.

    8 votes
  9. [11]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Headphones are definitely one of the areas where diving in a bit can get you a much better product. Most people are used to using the earbuds that come with their phones, or the $15 pair they...

    Headphones are definitely one of the areas where diving in a bit can get you a much better product. Most people are used to using the earbuds that come with their phones, or the $15 pair they picked up at a department store, and while there's nothing inherently wrong with these, you can do much, much better. Springing for a nice pair of headphones from a respected company (e.g. Sennheiser, Grado, etc.) is worth the money if you listen to a lot of music, and especially if you listen to music while focusing on the music rather than as the background to something else.

    Now, with this said, there are some caveats.

    First and foremost is that, if you go into the audio quality rabbit hole, things can get very complicated and very expensive quickly. Soon you'll be buying an amplifier and expensive shielded cables and learning how to rip your music to high-fidelity lossless files and using different pairs of headphones for different genres/types of music, and it can get overwhelming fast. I think a nice (but not complete top-of-the-line) pair of headphones is the simplest switch that gives people the most bang for their buck.

    Second caveat: audio quality matters. With the advent of digital media, especially in its early years, and then again with YouTube, we got used to badly compressed audio. The best headphones in the world won't matter if the source is a low-quality hissfest. Thankfully, we're past the days of 96 kbps CBR MP3s being traded on Napster, and we're mostly past the days of the YouTube video having a crap audio stream (though this is still present in some older ones). Most streaming services also offer their audio in decent quality, but just know that nice headphones will make compression artifacts on badly compressed music stand out a lot more. This doesn't mean all compression is bad, and people often overstate the impact it has1, but it's still worth noting that there's enough poor-quality digital audio out there that you'll likely still run into some.

    Third caveat: audio mastering matters. I never understood what people were talking about with this whole Loudness War thing until I got nice headphones. There were some albums that were genuinely fatiguing to my ears because they were at a 10 the entire time. For some reason it didn't seem to bother me as much on lower-end headphones, possibly because I wore those when I was working or doing some other task in addition to listening to the music. But when I sat down to focus my attention on the album and the album alone, the impenetrable wall of sound was awful. It was the aural equivalent of staring at a bright, white screen for 45 minutes. Thankfully, this was a trend that seemed to peak a while ago and is less prevalent now, but it's still something to be aware of.


    110ish years ago I ran some personal ABX tests on myself and couldn't tell 192 kbps VBR MP3s apart from lossless files on my best pair of headphones, so the people that tell you FLAC or bust either have amazing ears or are making a bigger deal out of lossy compression than they really should.

    7 votes
    1. [5]
      krg
      Link Parent
      A while ago when I was really curious about lossless vs. lossy audio I took a few tracks of music each with various forms of compression and one lossless file and I'd put the lossless and one...

      A while ago when I was really curious about lossless vs. lossy audio I took a few tracks of music each with various forms of compression and one lossless file and I'd put the lossless and one compressed track into Audacity at which point I inverted one of the tracks, lined them up properly, and rendered them together. The resulting file would show the difference between them. Not so surprisingly, it's mostly the very high end of the frequency spectrum (i.e. cymbal "presence") that's missing. There is also some added noise that compression adds. Kind of an underwater, warbling sound. But, it's mostly inaudible in actual music. In fact, it seems that a lot of this audiophile stuff is marketed towards those that enjoy classical music, but I found that that area of music suffers the least from lossless compression! I found it a useful exercise and even though the differences were negligible, I still like the idea of having my music collection stored losslessly. Though, these days I've given myself over to streaming and whatever quality that stuff comes through as.

      7 votes
      1. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        Unless it's an album that I can see myself listening to for a long time, I usually go for MP3 V0 over FLAC.

        Unless it's an album that I can see myself listening to for a long time, I usually go for MP3 V0 over FLAC.

        2 votes
      2. [3]
        asoftbird
        Link Parent
        Personally, l feel the lower inaudible sounds still add to the feeling of listening music; not because you can hear them but because they still make the air vibrate noticeably, as well as vibrate...

        Personally, l feel the lower inaudible sounds still add to the feeling of listening music; not because you can hear them but because they still make the air vibrate noticeably, as well as vibrate your furniture through contact noise. It's usually subtle but it adds a whole new dimension to listening music.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          krg
          Link Parent
          That's assuming your speakers can reproduce those frequencies. Not many get down to 20hz, which is in fact audible by (most) humans. But, yeah, if you have speakers that can handle them, those low...

          That's assuming your speakers can reproduce those frequencies. Not many get down to 20hz, which is in fact audible by (most) humans. But, yeah, if you have speakers that can handle them, those low frequencies definitely add a felt "thump."

          2 votes
          1. asoftbird
            Link Parent
            10hz to somewhere up in the 40k range l think. No idea about higher frequencies and their effect on vibrations, but l know low frequencies can be felt.

            10hz to somewhere up in the 40k range l think. No idea about higher frequencies and their effect on vibrations, but l know low frequencies can be felt.

            1 vote
    2. [5]
      Keegan
      Link Parent
      A decent place to get nice headphones is drop.com (formerly massdrop). They make deals with companies to get lower prices in exchange for the high number of sales that go along with the low...

      A decent place to get nice headphones is drop.com (formerly massdrop). They make deals with companies to get lower prices in exchange for the high number of sales that go along with the low prices. Everybody wins there. The producing company makes more money, drop gets their share, and you get a good deal.

      (Not shilling)

      1. tunneljumper
        Link Parent
        Careful with (mass)drop -- from what I understand in the MK and ultralight communities, they can be really hit and miss.

        Careful with (mass)drop -- from what I understand in the MK and ultralight communities, they can be really hit and miss.

        4 votes
      2. [3]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Interesting. It sounds like Groupon's original model. I tried looking at the site but everything's behind a login. Could you explain a bit more about how it works and what types of products they...

        Interesting. It sounds like Groupon's original model.

        I tried looking at the site but everything's behind a login. Could you explain a bit more about how it works and what types of products they have available?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          vivaria
          Link Parent
          They offer many of the kinds of products that have been mentioned in this topic. Fancy enthusiast things for masculine-ish hobbies. Basically geared towards techie upper-middle class dudes with...

          They offer many of the kinds of products that have been mentioned in this topic. Fancy enthusiast things for masculine-ish hobbies. Basically geared towards techie upper-middle class dudes with money to burn.

          With the name change comes a change in business model. Apparently they're moving away from the group-buy business model and focusing more on their own branded products. See here and here.

          2 votes
          1. Keegan
            Link Parent
            Looks like the quality has really gone down there. I haven't bought from them in a while, since way before the name change when I got some headphones and keycaps from them. Lots of comments hating...

            Looks like the quality has really gone down there. I haven't bought from them in a while, since way before the name change when I got some headphones and keycaps from them. Lots of comments hating on the change and how things take forever to ship. I hope they pull it together, since I had a really pleasant experience with them before.

            "Their own branded products" were just the same models that other companies make, but just produced by Massdrop with a logo saying "Massdrop x (company name)". I'm not sure if that's how it still works with Drop though.

            2 votes
  10. [7]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    For coffee, the AeroPress is life-changing. I've used one as my primary coffeemaker at home for almost 10 years (just looked up my order history on Amazon and I ordered my first one in 2010)....

    For coffee, the AeroPress is life-changing. I've used one as my primary coffeemaker at home for almost 10 years (just looked up my order history on Amazon and I ordered my first one in 2010).

    People get really into it, to the point that there's World Aeropress Championships (here's the winning recipe for 2018, for example). But you can make excellent coffee just by following the basic Aeropress instructions and not bothering with metal vs. paper filters, the inverted method, and so on.

    If you go down the coffee snob route, the other things you'll want are a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder, and a variable temperature kettle.

    7 votes
    1. [5]
      Weldawadyathink
      Link Parent
      I love my aeropress. I don't understand why it isn't more common. It's cheaper than nearly any other coffee maker, it's easier to use than many, and it's one of the easiest coffee makers to clean...

      I love my aeropress. I don't understand why it isn't more common. It's cheaper than nearly any other coffee maker, it's easier to use than many, and it's one of the easiest coffee makers to clean up. That lack of a mess is really what sold me on the aeropress. I have even had coffee a few times from a clover machine (from Starbucks, so cheap beans) and the same stuff out of an aeropress is way better.

      3 votes
      1. simpleisideal
        Link Parent
        I only avoided the Aeropress because it's plastic. It makes me nervous to expose hot food/liquid to plastic on a regular basis. I realize some plastics are supposedly safer than others, but a near...

        I only avoided the Aeropress because it's plastic. It makes me nervous to expose hot food/liquid to plastic on a regular basis. I realize some plastics are supposedly safer than others, but a near zero tolerance policy reassures me since the dangers always seem to surface years later with that stuff, and I drink a lot of coffee.

        1 vote
      2. [3]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        In my oppinion, the pourover method produces better coffee. Not only that, but it is easier to do, gives you more consistent results, and is even easier to clean since there is usually just one part.

        In my oppinion, the pourover method produces better coffee. Not only that, but it is easier to do, gives you more consistent results, and is even easier to clean since there is usually just one part.

        1. [2]
          Weldawadyathink
          Link Parent
          Fair enough. Ultimately coffee is about finding something you enjoy. For me, pourover always turns out bitter and acidic. I don't like those in my coffee. My go to aeropress recipe even uses water...

          Fair enough. Ultimately coffee is about finding something you enjoy. For me, pourover always turns out bitter and acidic. I don't like those in my coffee. My go to aeropress recipe even uses water at 88°C to reduce acidity. That way I can taste all the other flavors in the beans.

          1. Akir
            Link Parent
            I've only had that issue when using very dark roast coffee, which I detest. But since Starbucks has made burnt coffee the standard I guess that makes me the odd man out. Pourover is probably the...

            I've only had that issue when using very dark roast coffee, which I detest. But since Starbucks has made burnt coffee the standard I guess that makes me the odd man out.

            Pourover is probably the most fashionable ways to make coffee amongst coffee snobs today; they're all over fancy coffee shops across the nation now. That being said, I make my coffee with a $1 plastic dripper that fits on top of my coffee mug with grinds I buy from the supermarket.

    2. simpleisideal
      Link Parent
      I do not regret the money spent on my Orphan Espresso burr grinder. Very solid and well designed unit with a consistent grind. Spent around $200 for the LIDO 2 model years ago and do not regret...

      I do not regret the money spent on my Orphan Espresso burr grinder. Very solid and well designed unit with a consistent grind. Spent around $200 for the LIDO 2 model years ago and do not regret it. Hopefully it will outlast me. This is paired with my $10 IKEA coffee press.

      Their latest equivalent: Orphan Espresso LIDO 3 Hand Grinder

      2 votes
  11. [3]
    povey
    Link
    I'm definitely not far down the EDC path, but I paid more than one would expect for Magnus HangKey and some clips. However, I love them and would absolutely spend the money over if I ever lost them.

    I'm definitely not far down the EDC path, but I paid more than one would expect for Magnus HangKey and some clips. However, I love them and would absolutely spend the money over if I ever lost them.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      tannercollin
      Link Parent
      Hope you're right, I just ordered three of those clips!

      Hope you're right, I just ordered three of those clips!

      2 votes
      1. povey
        Link Parent
        I thought I had lost a clip a few months ago (due to my own misplacement), and I had a little sticker shock when I looked up the price of one clip but I was more sad that I knew I was gonna pay...

        I thought I had lost a clip a few months ago (due to my own misplacement), and I had a little sticker shock when I looked up the price of one clip but I was more sad that I knew I was gonna pay that price anyway haha the HangKey itself is great too!

  12. [2]
    psi
    Link
    I'm repeating a few suggestions posted elsewhere in this thread, but as someone who works primarily from home, here are my recommendations on items to invest in: 1. A chair Personally, I use a...

    I'm repeating a few suggestions posted elsewhere in this thread, but as someone who works primarily from home, here are my recommendations on items to invest in:

    1. A chair

    Personally, I use a Steelcase Gesture, but other people like the Steelcase Leap, the Herman Miller Aeron, the Herman Miller Embody, etc. I mention these alternatives because there isn't a single gold standard: the most important rule when buying an office chair is to try it before you buy it, preferably in your workspace. For instance, the Aeron is perhaps the most recommended office chair, but I honestly can't stand it -- sometimes I like to sit cross-legged in my chair, but after testing one out, I learned the hard lips on the Aeron make sitting in that position uncomfortable.

    Yes, a quality office chair might be 5x (or more) what you'd normally pay for an office chair, but it'll also likely last 5x longer (and often will come with a 10 year warranty to boot). My previous chair cost around $150, but after about a year of use all the padding had migrated to the edges, making it no better than sitting on cardboard. In the long run, replacing that chair every year would've been the more expensive option.

    Alternatively, you can buy these chairs at a significant discount at liquidation (but probably without a warranty); just check Craigslist and the likes.

    2. A 4k TV (in place of a monitor)

    You know what's better than a quadruple monitor setup? A bezel-less quadruple monitor setup, which is essentially what a 4k TV is. There are plenty of stipulations here: (1) color accuracy is likely worse, (2) input latency is greater, (3) refresh rate is lower, etc. But productivity-wise, it's hard to imagine going back to a traditional monitor -- there's just so much room for documents, browser windows, editors, etc.

    That said, don't dismiss the idea of using a 4k TV just because you like to game too -- most console gamers, in my experience, don't even think to switch their TVs to game mode yet manage just fine. Sure, you can probably notice 50 ms lag from a TV vs 3 ms lag from a traditional monitor if you concentrate on it, but most games aren't that twitchy.

    I use the 40" Samsung KU6300, but better options have probably been released since when I bought my TV a few years ago.

    3. A keyboard

    A quality keyboard, in this context, pretty much just means a mechanical keyboard. I like the Anne pro 2, which allows one to customize keybindings at the firmware level (eg, caps lock + q = home key, caps lock + wasd = arrow keys ). It's also compact, so I can easily move it aside to take notes.

    4. A mouse

    In a similar vein, getting a mouse with a few extra buttons can noticeably improve your workflow (eg, quickly sort through browser tabs/editor tabs with mouse 4 -> ctrl-tab, mouse 5-> ctrl-shift-tab). I like my logitech g900.

    5. Headphones

    If you're going to be wearing headphones all day long, get something comfortable. Cheap headphones will hurt after an hour of use; with quality headphones, you can easily forget you're wearing them. I use the Sony WH-1000XM3, which are wireless, just for the additional convenience. Of course, if you choose to go wireless you'll likely be sacrificing quality to some extent, but imo those concerns are overstated.

    3 votes
    1. Arshan
      Link Parent
      Just as a warning for using a TV for a monitor, it's fine, honestly great, for many things, but not everything. As soon as color matters, a TV is death; accurate color spaces aren't a thing on...

      Just as a warning for using a TV for a monitor, it's fine, honestly great, for many things, but not everything. As soon as color matters, a TV is death; accurate color spaces aren't a thing on TVs. So, it there is any chance you will work with video or images on any serious level, I would recommend the size hit of a decent monitor over a TV any day. If you are just going to general computing and some light gaming, a TV is awesome.

      5 votes
  13. alexandria
    Link
    Shoes. I live in a really wet area of wales, and most pairs of boots either leak water or wear down after a couple of years. A few years back I bought a pair of doc martens with their "for life"...

    Shoes. I live in a really wet area of wales, and most pairs of boots either leak water or wear down after a couple of years. A few years back I bought a pair of doc martens with their "for life" guarantee. Basically, I take care of the boot every three months, if the boot gets damaged through natural wear and tear, they fix / replace it. Forever. They're a really nice pair of boots, the only problem I've had in the last three years was I had to replace the laces, but I think that's because of the specific method I use to tighten them (otherwise it's difficult to get uniform tightness in boots, tbh).

    Other people have mentioned keyboards, chairs, etc. But a really good pen will make writing so much more enjoyable. I tend to buy the Kuretake "Disposable Pocket Brush Pen" (Google for 'PK2-10'). they're ridiculously cheap (about $2 / 1.50GBP), but very good quality. The 'extra fine' lasted me two or three years of regular use, and at the end of it the only problem with it wasn't that it was out of ink, but that I had accidentally exerted too much pressure on the nib!

    I bought the 'fine' (PK2-10S) and 'extra fine' (PK1-10S), and also picked up a "Mangaka Flexible fine" that I haven't used very much. They're just really nice pens, the ink flows well, and they're really easy to write with.

    3 votes
  14. [3]
    mrbig
    Link
    If you work on the computer, a really good chair. Also a bread maker. They’re really cheap and will help you make great bread and pizza dough.

    If you work on the computer, a really good chair.

    Also a bread maker. They’re really cheap and will help you make great bread and pizza dough.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      vivaria
      Link Parent
      Oh goodness. I once dated someone who worked at a bakery, and she would bring home fresh dough for us to make pizzas together with. It was so, so heavenly. I wish I had written down a recipe...

      Oh goodness. I once dated someone who worked at a bakery, and she would bring home fresh dough for us to make pizzas together with. It was so, so heavenly. I wish I had written down a recipe before we broke up.

      (Then again, it could have been love that made them taste so good. Brains do funky things, y'know.)

      3 votes
      1. mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        IDK good dough is not hard to make. And if I dated a baker I’d be a happy whale!

        IDK good dough is not hard to make.

        And if I dated a baker I’d be a happy whale!

        4 votes
  15. mat
    Link
    You mentioned pens but I'd extend that to all stationary, especially paper. I don't do a lot of stuff on paper but I do like to sketch out ideas and designs for physical things that way. I use...

    You mentioned pens but I'd extend that to all stationary, especially paper. I don't do a lot of stuff on paper but I do like to sketch out ideas and designs for physical things that way.

    I use Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks in various sizes for various things. I used to think paper was just paper but Mnemosyne's paper is something else. It's so smooth, so nice to write on. Midori's MD paper is even better, but yikes you pay for it.

    I like a Tombow Mono pencil which are a bit extravagant but y'know, sometimes you need to treat yourself. Tombow make excellent brush pens as well, but the Kuretakes are great as well. My go-to pen is a Uniball Jetstream because I am left-handed and most ink pens tend to be a bit smudgy, but I can't smudge these even if I try.

    Three things I'll generally buy Japanese if I can: cameras, stationary and knives.

    2 votes
  16. NoblePath
    Link
    Late to this party, but i’ll add fashion. It’s a never-ending game. I just added shirt tail garters to my accessory stable. The real fun comes in blending texture, color, era, material, and...

    Late to this party, but i’ll add fashion. It’s a never-ending game. I just added shirt tail garters to my accessory stable.

    The real fun comes in blending texture, color, era, material, and message to create a real individual look that’s tasteful and portable.