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since 27/02/2011


Bosch Sanding Disc 30/03/2017

Bosch Sanding Discs

Bosch Sanding Disc First impressions When you are looking to buy a large item like an orbital sander the initial cost may be a shock to you. You might opt to start off with some cheap sanding discs, which is understandable if you don’t want to spend too much. The problem is that you may get used to these, and you may think that these are very poor wearing items and not wish to spend more money on them. If you do decide to go for one of the better quality brands such as Bosch, you may be pleasantly surprised. The Bosch brand is well-known when it comes to DIY and especially tools. I think their power tools are some of the best out there, and they always come with generous warranties attached. Something like a sanding disc doesn’t quite have the same guarantees, but the quality still appears high, so how do they perform? My experience Although the orbital sander could be seen as a specialist piece of kit, I imagine most people that enjoy DIY will either own one or have had the use of one at some point. Sanding by hand can be time consuming, but it can also be very labour intensive. There are obvious advantages to sanding by hand, giving you much more control over your work, as you are able to feel as you go. With the orbital sander you are somewhat detached from this element of the process, but the clear advantage is that if you are sanding a piece of wood or getting rid of sharp corners etc. then the orbital sander can put you at a distinct advantage, at least as far as time and elbow ...

Giro Hex HelMet 30/03/2017

Giro Hex Helmet

Giro Hex HelMet First impressions Over the past few years I have owned a number of different cycling helmets. Finding the right one for your needs can be difficult, with looks, cost, comfort and safety all to consider. Accessories are often changed with the purchase of a new bike, and if new clothing is bought then you naturally look to buy accessories to match. Lots of people fancy trying a new helmet from time to time, and I fancied a change when I bought the Giro Hex hemlet. The Giro Hex helmet is quite similar to many other helmets in the Giro range, and that is that we have a skeletal design, perfect for warm days. Although warm days are infrequent in the UK, I am sure I am not the only one to get hot under the collar from a long ride. The beauty of the Giro helmet range is that each of the designs come in a wide range of colours. I often take a fancy to the brighter designs, but on this occasion I opted for a rather plain black helmet. In terms of looks, the Giro brand has a reputation for bold design. They have a great attitude towards styling and also safety, and this combination is a winner as far as their sales figures are concerned. Each model in their range is slightly different, but they are all tough and offer a similar level of protection against any impact. My experience These intricate designs may not suit everyone, but I love them. They are great for summer riding as they allow air to run through your hair, though in the winter you might not appreciate this. ...

Silverline Rubber Sanding Block 29/03/2017

Silverline Rubber Sanding Block

Silverline Rubber Sanding Block First impressions If you find yourself sanding rough edges from wood or on paintwork then you might suffer from the occasional battle scar. Using sandpaper on the palm of your hand can be a rather dangerous game to play. Sharp edges can reveal themselves suddenly, and you could end up with a rather nasty injury to the soft skin on your hands. The solution? The Silverline Rubber Sanding Block. The Silverline Rubber Sanding Block is an extremely simple invention, but it has ensured that professional workmen can achieve a consistent finish, and this is very important when it comes to flatting off car paintwork before repairing a scratch. I will discuss the benefits of the product shortly, but first will describe what we have here. The Silverline Rubber Sanding Block is basically a curved block or rubber, but there are generous slots at either side that you feed the ends of the sandpaper into. These grip the sandpaper and hold it in place using sharp metal spikes, which can look quite vicious if you are not prepared for them. My experience Once you have cut your sandpaper to size and fitted it to the sanding block you can get to work. The idea behind this product is to make the whole experience of sanding much more comfortable and efficient. Firstly, the rubber block is easy enough to grip. It is of a good size for holding in the palm of your hand, and it holds a standard size of sandpaper from a roll, or you can always cut a sheet to size if required. The dimensions ...

Nerf Elite Mega ThunderBow 29/03/2017

Nerf Elite ThunderBow

Nerf Elite Mega ThunderBow First impressions The Nerf brand is very well-known when it comes to foam dart guns. These ‘air soft’ style projectiles are safe for use by children, and the Nerf range is vast. There is literally something for everyone, and you have a choice from shotguns to small pistols, to crossbows, machine guns and the ThunderBow that we have here. This particular model is rather unique, though I will discuss this model shortly. The Nerf brand is definitely the one to look out for if you do decide to buy this type of outdoor toy for a child, with the quality of other brands either unknown or varying quite a bit. If I were told to avoid the Nerf brand I wouldn’t know what to look out for, and this is a brand I can trust, so we always stick to it for these kinds of toys. My experience As far as I am aware, each of the Nerf guns in the range is designed for children between the ages of 8 and 16, though they are safe enough to use around younger children under supervision. I wouldn’t let a child younger than the age of 8 use the Nerf guns, but they can still enjoy watching them being shot. The gun we have here is not really a gun at all. The Nerf Elite ThunderBow is designed a bit like a bow and arrow, and this is completely different again to the other Nerf guns we own. The beauty of the Nerf range is that each model is very different, but again this is a bit of a handful, and I wouldn’t want to give it to someone that has never fired the Nerf guns in the past. The colour ...

Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire 28/03/2017

Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire

Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire First impressions Spring has sprung, and I am sure a lot of us will be counting down until the summer arrives. You might already be scouring the Argos catalogue for inspiration for the summer, and outdoor toys are sure to be a hit with children in the warmer weather. Water guns are popular, but you don’t always want to be getting wet. The Nerf gun we have here is ideal for outdoor use, but some of the guns in their range are designed for use over shorter distances, and the Nerf range has such a variety of weapons to choose from for this summer. Nerf is popular with children, and once they have bought their first foam dart gun they will want to explore other models in the range. What we have here is the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire, and this is a model designed for children from the age of 8 right up to 16, though it is large enough to be handled by adults if they wish! The Nerf guns are often brightly coloured, and this model is no different. We have a blue and orange colour scheme going on, with a bit of grey to add to the mix. My experience This gun is rather powerful, and with a range of 75 feet it will ensure your child has a smile on their face, as they are able to reach targets a fair distance away. Control can be an issue with this gun, and although we have a gun-like trigger and barrel, the ammunition wheel means that you are going to be holding the gun under-arm. The handle on the top of the gun allows you to easily do this, but smaller children may ...

Tepe Easypick 28/03/2017

TePe Easypick

Tepe Easypick First impressions When it comes to oral health I would have to say that I have neglected my teeth over the years. I were taking drugs for a medical condition that I had which was said to soften the enamel of my teeth. I am not sure how true this is, but it certainly led to yellowing of my teeth, and I have had to work hard to improve the situation since stopping using the drugs. I found that cleaning between my teeth was a problem, and this is often where cavities will develop. I have used the TePe interdental brushes from a recommendation by my dentist, but I found that they were expensive. The tiny metal wired brushes also don’t look very good. I didn’t think that the metal of the brush would do my teeth any good, and the metal was constantly rubbing against my teeth, so I decided to look for something both more affordable and user friendly. I found that TePe also make these interdental picks, and from my knowledge they are quite a new addition to their range, but I could be very wrong! The rubber picks are used the same as the brushes, so how do they compare? My experience I have both sizes of these tooth picks or flossing brushes. I suppose the term ‘interdental pick’ covers what the product actually is. They come in an XS/S size and a M/L size, so there are just 2 sizes covering the whole range. When you take a look at the other model of TePe interdental brushes, you will find that they come in at least 8 different sizes, but there isn’t the need for such a huge ...

Nerf Doomlands Lawbringer 27/03/2017

Nerf Doomlands

Nerf Doomlands Lawbringer First impressions With the summer months coming up you might be wondering what kind of fun toys you can buy for the garden. Water guns etc. are probably going to be popular with kids, but why wait until the summer for all that outdoor fun? With the Nerf brand you can have Nerf wars with the safety of foam darts, and unless you have some fragile lighting or ornaments, you shouldn’t do any harm. You could always play outside, and this wouldn’t be a bad idea, but in the colder weather it is a much better option to water! The Nerf brand is very popular when it comes to the foam dart type guns, and I am not surprised that this brand has gone from strength to strength. Their range is forever growing, but as you are able to buy replacement cartridges/darts etc. from the company you will never have to worry about getting replacements when you inevitably start to lose the odd ammunition. The bright colours and fierce looking weapons will appeal to children, though it is advised that this toy is to be played with by children from the age of 8. If you have very young children I would be careful with the foam darts, but they can’t do much harm. My experience The safety aspect of this product is obviously very important. Any adult will want to see the product before committing to buy, but once you have bought one gun from Nerf you will trust them and return to the brand. The darts we have here are fairly long, and they are made from bright orange foam, so they are easy enough ...

Lego City 4437 Police Pursuit 26/03/2017

Lego City - Police Pursuit

Lego City 4437 Police Pursuit First impressions Although the Lego brand is probably well-known for the larger sets, there are a number of ‘pocket moneys sets’ that they produce, and this one is part of the Lego City range. ‘Police Pursuit’ is a set designed to allow your child to recreate a scene with a police officer chasing a thief, and the set consists of two vehicles, two minifigures and a few select accessories to complete the scene. This is a small set, but it does require some construction. I do like these smaller sets because they can be bought cheaply, and if you find a child easily loses the odd piece or easily gets bored, then buying these small sets on a regular basis could be an idea. My experience The set contains 129 pieces, so although it looks very basic it does involve some building, and this will give a child a bit of a challenge. An instruction manual is included, but these can also be downloaded from the internet, just in case you happen to misplace yours. With two minifigures I think that this set is compact, but a child can play with it with their friend, and they can take it in turns with the vehicle they use. The thief has an off-road vehicle, and he is dead set on escaping. He has a beanie hat on and scruffy clothing, but with a crowbar in his hand the Police Officer is not going to be arresting him just for his crimes against fashion. With the set we have a gold bar, a pile of cash and a crowbar. These accessories complete the set, and without them this could just ...

Lego City 7902 Doctor's Car 26/03/2017

Lego City - Doctor's' Car

Lego City 7902 Doctor's Car First impressions The Lego brand is known mainly for the larger sets. I have reviewed a number of more substantial sets, such as the Modular range, and the Architecture range with its array of buildings to choose from. Here we have what could only be described as a ‘pocket money set’, and there is nothing wrong with that. A child doesn’t have to have a birthday or come to Christmas asking for Lego. They want to be able to be bought the product all year round! The few pounds spent on Lego sets could be spent less wisely on other toys, and as Lego can be built, enjoyed, collected, or sold on for no loss, their range is very popular. A child reflects the educational appeal for parents in an enjoyment for the toy. A step up from Duplo, Lego is a little trickier, with more pieces in a lot of the sets, making building more challenging. The finished product is often a more detailed and worthwhile vehicle or building. My experience These smaller Lego sets obviously contain small pieces of Lego, and the 5-12 year age guide is broad but sensible. A 5 year old child would be able to complete this build, but a 12 year old would find it far too easy, and the mere 66 piece set will take just a matter of minutes to construct. An instruction manual will aid this process, and the colourful and glossy pages are going to encourage a child to follow what they are being told. Unless a child has a good grasp of what the vehicle is meant to look like, and how Lego like to design their ...

The North Face Jester 25/03/2017

The North Face Jester

The North Face Jester First impressions One brand that is classed as ‘designer’ at the moment is ‘The North Face’, and here we have a backpack from them. The Jester is a 27 litre backpack, and I suppose you could see this as a standard size – or even basic. This is the size of bag I remember having when I used to go to high school. It isn’t going to be sufficient if you are going camping for a weekend, but it will suffice on a long walk on a day out, and this is used by us on a day out, and we share carrying duties. The North Face is a very popular brand, and the slightly higher price tag of this brand than some other similar brands of backpack still does not deter people. I suppose the branding is what appeals to some people, but for me it is about the practicalities and quality of the product, both of which I will discuss. My experience The Jester backpack is available in a wide range of colours. We opted for the dark blue, but if you want something even more neutral you could go for the black. I have seen vibrant colours in this product, and red and pink are popular with the ladies. Colour will obviously affect your opinion of the looks of the backpack, but the practical side of this type of product is always important. In terms of capacity this is just a day bag, and 27 litres can soon be filled with items such as a lightweight jacket, a map and your lunch. Drinks can be carried in the side pockets, which this bag has 2 of. The mesh pockets are often seen on these backpacks, and ...

Lego Vehicles: Airport 5595 25/03/2017

Duplo Airport

Lego Vehicles: Airport 5595 First impressions If you have a very young child that needs stimulation and entertainment then the chances are you will already have dozens of toys for them to play with. The Lego brand is very popular, and getting them started with Duplo from the age of 3 can be beneficial to their hand-eye co-ordination. Construction and building may not be something they are huge fans of, but the end result with this particular set is a rather interesting airport runway, and this is quite a substantial set. As with all of the sets in the Duplo range, this one is rather colourful. We have an aeroplane with its very own pilot. We have a baggage handler that deals with the baggage, transporting it from the baggage carousel to the trailer to the plane. The passengers look rather excited for their journey, but the ride is sure to be a bumpy one with your child at the controls! My experience This is a set designed for children from the age of 3 through to 6, and I think this is a fair assessment of the suitability of this set for a young child. I am not sure if some sets vary slightly, but I wouldn’t have thought so. We have an additional vehicle with our set, but this was probably acquired over time. The baggage vehicle can double up and tow the plane to the runway, though you will have to create one of these as it isn’t part of the set. The baggage carousel is where the journey is likely to begin. Your passengers can check in, and then they can begin to board as the fuel cart is ...

Pelican Protector Case 1500 Carrying case 24/03/2017

A Pelicase for every occasion

Pelican Protector Case 1500 Carrying case First impressions I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people reading this review have never seen or heard of a Pelicase before. The company was founded back in 1976 and is an American firm. They manufacture protective luggage cases, and they are also known for their lighting solutions. The Pelicase is a strong, protective case that is designed to withstand anything that is thrown at it. Pelicase have obviously latched onto a very lucrative market here, and very few other brands stand in their way. Their wide range of models just goes to show that there is a serious demand for their products, though they are not cheap cases to buy. You do not have to opt for the boring, plain black cases if you do not wish to, and we have khaki green, bright orange and bright yellow to choose from, if one of those takes your fancy. Size is obviously something you will have to consider, and selecting the right case for you could be the hardest decision you make. My experience Although I cannot recall if I have or have not reviewed any of my other Pelicases in the past, it wouldn’t surprise me if I had. I am quite sure that any Pelicase review I have written or plan to write in the future will give a glowing report of the quality of the cases in this range. This is the ‘1500’ model, and there are at least a couple of dozen models in the current Pelicase range. Some are waterproof, some are brightly coloured and highly visible. We have Pelicases for camera equipment, and some are ...

Lego Creator 10246 Expert Detective's Office 24/03/2017

Lego Modular - Expert Detective's Office

Lego Creator 10246 Expert Detective's Office First impressions By the time I was a teenager I had played with more than my fair share of Lego. The sets were not all that impressive, but it was a time when computer games were beginning to draw the kids in, and I am sure Lego saw a fall in their sales, especially for the sets designed for teenagers. When you get a little older you can afford the larger Lego sets, but they were never something I got my hands on often as a child, and so it is nice to see these Lego sets. The Lego Modular sets we have here are certainly not going to be bought by young children with their pocket money. I suppose it depends how much they are getting, but they would need to be earning a wage in order to do so! As far as a Lego collection is concerned, these Modular sets would make a great start for someone looking into doing it, and as they become harder to find in mint condition their value rises. The Lego Architecture range impressed me to some extent, but they just didn’t contain enough pieces, and the level of detail just wasn’t quite there. With these Modular buildings I think you will find that they are impressive, and both internally and externally they will shock and surprise you with the level of detail. The Lego Modular range contains buildings that you should expect to find in a high street/ town, and following on from my other Modular sets we have this Detective’s Office set, which also has a Barbers’ shop attached to it. There are facilities to play darts and pool in a games ...

Bahco Bevel Edge Chisel 23/03/2017

Bahco Bevel Edge Chisel

Bahco Bevel Edge Chisel First impressions If you are a carpenter by trade then the chances are you will already have a full set of chisels. If not then you wouldn’t be interested in buying the odd tool, and the set would be a more sensible purchase as prices are more reasonable for sets. If you just want a simple chisel then a lot of brands sell them individually, and on this occasion we have a single bevel edge chisel from the Bahco brand. I have always trusted Bahco, and the quality of their DIY tools is second to none in my view. I didn’t always use Bahco, but when I tried them out I were impressed, and I have used them ever since. Chisels come in all shapes and sizes, but with the bevel edge chisel you will find that the design is quite uniform between the brands. The differences are going to be the length of the chisel, the finish of the head and also the handle. My experience The Bahco brand is often known for its black and orange colour scheme. We are not disappointed here, and the two-tone handle is a compromise between good control and comfort. The rubberised finish, combined with the harder material protects against blisters from prolonged use, but the high level of control is still present. The precision ground polished blade has durable and sharp edges, and its rust resistant finish ensures that if the tool is left laying around in the garage for a period of time the polished finish will not dull. The blade has remained sharp for quite some time, and it seldom requires ...

Adidas La Trainer Men 22/03/2017

Adidas LA Trainers Men

Adidas La Trainer Men First impressions The Adidas brand is known for its good quality designer sportswear, though originally it was simply a sportswear brand. It is seen as fashionable to wear the latest sportswear, but I just like the comfort and practicalities of the clothing and footwear, and I am not going to spend a fortune on sportswear to ‘keep up with the trends’. Here we have the LA Trainers from Adidas, and this is a vintage model that they have recreated in these modern versions. The style or materials have not changed, though I would like to think that the modern manufacturing techniques that are used will produce a more robust product. The LA Trainers are available in a number of colours, with the main things to watch out for the three individual Adidas logos which are different colours and are like little colourful dots on the side of the heel of the trainers. Depending on the colours you usually wear, you will select trainers to match, and you can pick form a wide range of colours in most modern designs these days. My experience Along with the Adidas design we are reassured by the quality. I have always found Adidas to offer good quality products, and this modern take on a timeless classic design is typical of this brand. They have not changed anything that I immediately noticed, and you would literally think these are the original products from the release of the LA Trainers a few years ago. As you can see, I have opted for this fairly plain looking colour ...
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