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Cool Tools

Inspired by the Cool Tools website! This is my list of uncommon and uncommonly good tools. I own all of the products linked here and wholeheartedly recommend…
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 3y
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This porcelain dish is a great way to visibly germinate large seeds like avocado pits or flower bulbs in a glass of water. The roots grow directly into the water while being fed by the nutrients in the bulb or pit. Looks great and keeps the plants watered more reliably than planting them in soil.
This leather keyholder is quite obviously a clone of the far more expensive Orbitkey organizer. But it's surprisingly well made, at a much lower price point, and fits my Yubikey security key. Do make sure you use the spacers so there is no wiggle room for your keys, as that tends to unscrew the organizer. Use a drop of Loctite to keep things tight if you're worried.
This beautifully-designed box is intended for female jewelry such as rings and bracelets but works equally well for male accessories such as watches and glasses too. I keep my favorite watches in the drawer so I can swap them out easily, without having to do dig into the big watch box.

Home

4 Pins
These Ambiance smart LED lights can't change colors throughout the spectrum, but you can dim them and change the warmth of their tone from cold blue-white to warm orange-white. With that trade-off you get the reliability and support of the Philips Hue brand, but at half the cost of their color-changing brethren. Compared to cheaper lights, I prefer having the Hue ecosystem backing me up while losing a feature (color-changing) I did not use anyway.
The Sipik is one of many forms of cheap LED flashlights you can get from Chinese websites. Whereas some people like to spend money on the brightest LED flashlight, I find it more useful to buy a LOT of cheap ones and spread them throughout your house. Because chances are when the lights go out, you won't be anywhere near that perfect $100 light. So I have these $4 Sipiks that take a normal AA battery and give off enough light stashed everywhere.
These Yubico security keys can provide an additional layer of security for the most vulnerable websites. No hacker can log into your Facebook, Twitter or any other accounts that support the FIDO2 protocol - unless they have this physical security key that you'll always have on you. The NFC version can be used wirelessly with your smartphone, while you would just plug it into an USB-A port on your desktop or laptop computer.

Electronics

11 Pins
Okay, not really a car accessory, but I figured this was still a 'cool tool' for a mode of travel. Getting your bike stolen suuuuuucks. Many chainlocks look sturdy, but turn out to be easily broken by thieves. This Abus Iven chainlock is not one of them. Thieves have repeatedly tried to steal my bike, and the lock has the scars to prove it, but they haven't gotten past it yet.
These tire valve caps mark the position of each wheel (back/front left/right) so you can swap your summer and winter wheels into the right position, each time. Sure, you can use stickers or use a grease pen, but you never know if those markings will last. These caps will.
If you're going on vacation driving through France, Spain, Italy or Portugal, consider getting one of these automated toll badges. You'll get to use the separate lanes for these badges, which means you don't have to wait in line to pay at the machine. This easily saves you 10 minutes at every toll stop.

Car

9 Pins
I'm biased, as I used to work for Ultimaker. But the Ultimaker 2+ is still an absolute workhorse that I would recommend for any shop. Sure, the newer Ultimaker models have dual extrusion, and there's cheaper printers like the Prusa that get much praise. But the sturdy box frame and reliable kinematics of this machine will churn out 3D-prints non-stop without fail.
The people behind Tested, the side project of Adam Savage from Mythbusters, swear by these scissors in their workshop. Japanese brand Engineer is specialized in making quality cutting implements, and the PH-51 are the kind of heavy-duty scissors that can cut through kevlar. It's the best pair of scissors I've ever bought.
If you don't have digital calipers in your workshop yet, you need to get these. It's amazing how much difference digital calipers will make versus using rulers or measuring tape. Knowing without a doubt, down to a few decimals, what the size of something is makes so many jobs much easier. Now, this one won't be as fully-featured as a $150 Mitutoyo model, but in all my years of owning this $6 no-name tool from China it has perfectly measured things to my required degree of accuracy.

Workshop

5 Pins
This trashcan from Simplehuman has a flat back which lets you shove it against a wall, and a sensor so it opens automatically when you hold your hand over it. It sounds excessive but is vastly superior to regular trashcans which you either can't open without having one empty hand, or have an unwieldy kick-mechanism that unbalances the lid.
The aptly named Cut&Carve boards have a tilted surface, so one end collects all the juices while it's easy to scoop your food off the other end into a pan. Furthermore, one side has plastic spikes that help hold your food in place while you carve it.

Kitchen

30 Pins
I did not expect to ever use an app like this, but it's been an unexpected pleasure. Based on machine learning data this app has been able to identify - or at least give me a good guess as to family - of any plants and flowers I've tried it on. This is especially helpful when you buy plants at big box stores that have a generic "Green plant, medium" as the only identification on the pot and you really want to know how to take care of them.
There's one easy thing you can do right now to increase your security: use a password manager and create unique random passwords for every site you log in to. The password manager will remember each of these passwords for you, so you only have to remember 1 master password to log into every site safely. 1Password has been my favorite password manager for almost a decade.
Easily the best camera app currently available for iOS. Many great power features are built into the app but the most important one is simple: Shoot all of your photo's in RAW mode to give yourself the most leeway during post-processing in an app like Lightroom afterward. This app has upgraded my phone photography immensely.

Software

7 Pins
Okay, not really a car accessory, but I figured this was still a 'cool tool' for a mode of travel. Getting your bike stolen suuuuuucks. Many chainlocks look sturdy, but turn out to be easily broken by thieves. This Abus Iven chainlock is not one of them. Thieves have repeatedly tried to steal my bike, and the lock has the scars to prove it, but they haven't gotten past it yet. Bicycle Lock, Rat Bike, Bicycle Parts, V Rod, Accessories Store, Parts And Accessories, Harley Davidson Modelle, Bike Safety, Real Simple
Chain Locks for Bikes | Tough Security | ABUS
Okay, not really a car accessory, but I figured this was still a 'cool tool' for a mode of travel. Getting your bike stolen suuuuuucks. Many chainlocks look sturdy, but turn out to be easily broken by thieves. This Abus Iven chainlock is not one of them. Thieves have repeatedly tried to steal my bike, and the lock has the scars to prove it, but they haven't gotten past it yet.
I'm biased, as I used to work for Ultimaker. But the Ultimaker 2+ is still an absolute workhorse that I would recommend for any shop. Sure, the newer Ultimaker models have dual extrusion, and there's cheaper printers like the Prusa that get much praise. But the sturdy box frame and reliable kinematics of this machine will churn out 3D-prints non-stop without fail. Rapid Prototyping, Tool Website, Cheapest Printer, Desktop 3d Printer, Carbon Fiber Composite, Models Needed, Diy Cnc, 3d Prints, Extrusion
UltiMaker 2+ Connect
I'm biased, as I used to work for Ultimaker. But the Ultimaker 2+ is still an absolute workhorse that I would recommend for any shop. Sure, the newer Ultimaker models have dual extrusion, and there's cheaper printers like the Prusa that get much praise. But the sturdy box frame and reliable kinematics of this machine will churn out 3D-prints non-stop without fail.
These tire valve caps mark the position of each wheel (back/front left/right) so you can swap your summer and winter wheels into the right position, each time. Sure, you can use stickers or use a grease pen, but you never know if those markings will last. These caps will. Valve Cap, Cool Tools, Grease, Swap, Tire, Pen, Stickers, Summer, Summer Time
Auto ventieldopjes set bandenmarkering voor winterbanden | bol.com
These tire valve caps mark the position of each wheel (back/front left/right) so you can swap your summer and winter wheels into the right position, each time. Sure, you can use stickers or use a grease pen, but you never know if those markings will last. These caps will.
This trashcan from Simplehuman has a flat back which lets you shove it against a wall, and a sensor so it opens automatically when you hold your hand over it. It sounds excessive but is vastly superior to regular trashcans which you either can't open without having one empty hand, or have an unwieldy kick-mechanism that unbalances the lid. Simplehuman, Empty, Sensor, Superior, Regular, Plastic, Flat, Open
Simplehuman Plastic Semi-Round sensor-afvalbak op prullenbak-expert.nl
This trashcan from Simplehuman has a flat back which lets you shove it against a wall, and a sensor so it opens automatically when you hold your hand over it. It sounds excessive but is vastly superior to regular trashcans which you either can't open without having one empty hand, or have an unwieldy kick-mechanism that unbalances the lid.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, Cast Iron Grill Pan, Steak, Bbq, Seasoning Cast Iron, Cast Iron Cookware, Roast Chicken, Slow Cooker Recipes, It Cast
Classic Cast Iron Skillet | Shop All Sizes Online | Lodge Cast Iron
If you're going on vacation driving through France, Spain, Italy or Portugal, consider getting one of these automated toll badges. You'll get to use the separate lanes for these badges, which means you don't have to wait in line to pay at the machine. This easily saves you 10 minutes at every toll stop. Waiting In Line, Portugal, Driving, Vacation, Badges, Separate, Minutes, Easily
Tolbadge: automatisch betalen bij de tolpoorten
If you're going on vacation driving through France, Spain, Italy or Portugal, consider getting one of these automated toll badges. You'll get to use the separate lanes for these badges, which means you don't have to wait in line to pay at the machine. This easily saves you 10 minutes at every toll stop.
This porcelain dish is a great way to visibly germinate large seeds like avocado pits or flower bulbs in a glass of water. The roots grow directly into the water while being fed by the nutrients in the bulb or pit. Looks great and keeps the plants watered more reliably than planting them in soil. Bulb Flowers, Water Plants, Houseplants, Roots, Seeds, Dishes, Planting, Bulbs
Botanopia kiemschotel maat L voor avocadopitten, bloembollen en cactussen | bol.com
This porcelain dish is a great way to visibly germinate large seeds like avocado pits or flower bulbs in a glass of water. The roots grow directly into the water while being fed by the nutrients in the bulb or pit. Looks great and keeps the plants watered more reliably than planting them in soil.
The people behind Tested, the side project of Adam Savage from Mythbusters, swear by these scissors in their workshop. Japanese brand Engineer is specialized in making quality cutting implements, and the PH-51 are the kind of heavy-duty scissors that can cut through kevlar. It's the best pair of scissors I've ever bought. Scissors Hand, Heavy Duty Scissors, Best Scissors, Japanese Scissors, Small Saw, Precision Tools, Plastic Animals, Bar
Engineer PH-51 Combination Scissors
The people behind Tested, the side project of Adam Savage from Mythbusters, swear by these scissors in their workshop. Japanese brand Engineer is specialized in making quality cutting implements, and the PH-51 are the kind of heavy-duty scissors that can cut through kevlar. It's the best pair of scissors I've ever bought.
These Ambiance smart LED lights can't change colors throughout the spectrum, but you can dim them and change the warmth of their tone from cold blue-white to warm orange-white. With that trade-off you get the reliability and support of the Philips Hue brand, but at half the cost of their color-changing brethren. Compared to cheaper lights, I prefer having the Hue ecosystem backing me up while losing a feature (color-changing) I did not use anyway. Philips Hue Go, Philips Hue Lampe, Philips Hue Bridge, Philips Led, Diy Light Bulb, Ambience Lighting, Home Lighting Design, Lights, Vintage Decor
Hue White ambiance 2-pack E27 | Philips Hue
These Ambiance smart LED lights can't change colors throughout the spectrum, but you can dim them and change the warmth of their tone from cold blue-white to warm orange-white. With that trade-off you get the reliability and support of the Philips Hue brand, but at half the cost of their color-changing brethren. Compared to cheaper lights, I prefer having the Hue ecosystem backing me up while losing a feature (color-changing) I did not use anyway.
I did not expect to ever use an app like this, but it's been an unexpected pleasure. Based on machine learning data this app has been able to identify - or at least give me a good guess as to family - of any plants and flowers I've tried it on. This is especially helpful when you buy plants at big box stores that have a generic "Green plant, medium" as the only identification on the pot and you really want to know how to take care of them. Buy Plants, Green Plants, Garden Podcast, Ocean Food, Cactus, Concrete Retaining Walls, Flower Identification, Identify Plant, Bee Keeping
PlantSnap - Plant Identifier App, #1 Mobile App for Plant Identification
I did not expect to ever use an app like this, but it's been an unexpected pleasure. Based on machine learning data this app has been able to identify - or at least give me a good guess as to family - of any plants and flowers I've tried it on. This is especially helpful when you buy plants at big box stores that have a generic "Green plant, medium" as the only identification on the pot and you really want to know how to take care of them.
If you don't have digital calipers in your workshop yet, you need to get these. It's amazing how much difference digital calipers will make versus using rulers or measuring tape. Knowing without a doubt, down to a few decimals, what the size of something is makes so many jobs much easier. Now, this one won't be as fully-featured as a $150 Mitutoyo model, but in all my years of owning this $6 no-name tool from China it has perfectly measured things to my required degree of accuracy. Motorcycle Lights, Hobby Tools, Digital Calipers, Phone Service, Arduino, School Supplies, Carbon Fiber
1.6" LCD 150mm Carbon Fiber Digital Caliper - Black + Silver Grey
If you don't have digital calipers in your workshop yet, you need to get these. It's amazing how much difference digital calipers will make versus using rulers or measuring tape. Knowing without a doubt, down to a few decimals, what the size of something is makes so many jobs much easier. Now, this one won't be as fully-featured as a $150 Mitutoyo model, but in all my years of owning this $6 no-name tool from China it has perfectly measured things to my required degree of accuracy.
The Sipik is one of many forms of cheap LED flashlights you can get from Chinese websites. Whereas some people like to spend money on the brightest LED flashlight, I find it more useful to buy a LOT of cheap ones and spread them throughout your house. Because chances are when the lights go out, you won't be anywhere near that perfect $100 light. So I have these $4 Sipiks that take a normal AA battery and give off enough light stashed everywhere. Bright Led Flashlight, Mini Flashlights, Pocket Light, Laser Lights, Led Strip Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Light Accessories
SIPIK SK68 120lm Convex Lens Zooming Flashlight, 1-Mode Mini LED Torch Lamp, Q3 LED Flashlight Lantern
The Sipik is one of many forms of cheap LED flashlights you can get from Chinese websites. Whereas some people like to spend money on the brightest LED flashlight, I find it more useful to buy a LOT of cheap ones and spread them throughout your house. Because chances are when the lights go out, you won't be anywhere near that perfect $100 light. So I have these $4 Sipiks that take a normal AA battery and give off enough light stashed everywhere.
The Opinel is one of the most iconic knives in the world. This is officially their 'garden knife' variety but I use it for generic around-the-house duties such as cutting open cardboard boxes. Opinel, Garden Knife, Folding Knives, Pocket Knife, Cardboard Boxes, Generic, Cutting
Opinel No8 Garden Knife
The Opinel is one of the most iconic knives in the world. This is officially their 'garden knife' variety but I use it for generic around-the-house duties such as cutting open cardboard boxes.
Everyone uses WD-40 as a general lubricant for everything in their house that's stuck and isn't supposed to be. Everyone also loses the separate straw that comes with each can. Here's the solution: the Smart Straw cans have an integrated straw nozzle you can just flip up. And of course, just as a general PSA: WD-40 isn't an actual lubricant and should NOT be used on anything delicate that requires specific oils or greases to function. But for most stuff in our lives, this will do just fine. Diy Tools, Wd 40, Home Workshop, Straw, 40th, Multi, Cleaning
WD-40 Multi-Use
Everyone uses WD-40 as a general lubricant for everything in their house that's stuck and isn't supposed to be. Everyone also loses the separate straw that comes with each can. Here's the solution: the Smart Straw cans have an integrated straw nozzle you can just flip up. And of course, just as a general PSA: WD-40 isn't an actual lubricant and should NOT be used on anything delicate that requires specific oils or greases to function. But for most stuff in our lives, this will do just fine.
This leather keyholder is quite obviously a clone of the far more expensive Orbitkey organizer. But it's surprisingly well made, at a much lower price point, and fits my Yubikey security key. Do make sure you use the spacers so there is no wiggle room for your keys, as that tends to unscrew the organizer. Use a drop of Loctite to keep things tight if you're worried. Key Organizer, Compact, Clone, Key Holder, Expensive, Organization, Price Point
Sinwind Schlüssel Organizer mit Edler Leder Key Organizer Herren Schlüssel Organizer mit - inklusive edler Verpackung (Schwarz)
This leather keyholder is quite obviously a clone of the far more expensive Orbitkey organizer. But it's surprisingly well made, at a much lower price point, and fits my Yubikey security key. Do make sure you use the spacers so there is no wiggle room for your keys, as that tends to unscrew the organizer. Use a drop of Loctite to keep things tight if you're worried.