Under-rated appliances that have changed your life

Do you have an all-time favourite appliance or gadget that you find extremely handy and you can’t remember ever living without it? Something that you’ve discovered and you can’t understand why everyone doesn’t have one?

A personal blender or portable garment steamer perhaps? An electric spice grinder or de-linter. A steam mop. We’re compiling a list and would love to hear your favourite gadgets and discoveries.


A dirt-cheap no-names plastic salad spinner. It does exactly what it is supposed to do efficiently at low cost and it will probably last for decades. If I didn’t have one I would have to rub veges in a dry tea towel or similar, or horror, have wet salad dilute my dressing.


Our el cheapo Kitchen Chef air fryer that I bought online some years ago.

It cooks pies, sausage rolls, chips, roast potatoes and lots of other items in a fraction of the time that our wall oven takes.

For my wife, it would also be her Nutri Bullet Magic Bullet which she uses to make her smoothies, and it hasn’t missed a beat in over 10 years.


I read quite frequently and can’t live without my book light. I use it when I travel and even when I can’t be bothered turning on my room light!


My partner purchased a bread maker which I believed to be redundant - I’ve grown to love it. I work from home, so throwing all the ingredients into the machine in the morning before work means I can enjoy fresh bread for lunch every couple of days. The bread is great and brings a little bit of joy to my day.


My favourite at the moment is my little handheld vacuum cleaner: an amazing cleaning aid, fast and easy on any surface in the house, especially handy to pick up dust particles in hard to reach places, and also in the car.


I need one of these Jillian! But mostly because I’m pretty much blind and the light in my bedroom is so dim :slight_smile:


I love this Jim. I wish I could be one of those people who made their own bread. Sadly I think it will never be so :slight_smile:


It is super simple with a breadmaker.

The only downside is that it smells and tastes so good, it is hard to resist eating more bread, especially when just baked.

Like the hot bread bakery craze in the 1970’s when there was a proliferation of such outlets and consumers used to buy it hot at lunch time.

Or when a cousin in Silkwood would go to the local bakery in the 1960’s prior to the bread being ready at Saturday lunchtime and then race home with the hot loaves.


Just don’t tell Jenny Craig.



I have a similar answer to this. When my family bought a handheld Dyson I thought it was really unnecessary given we had a full size vacuum and a stick couldn’t do our whole house. Oh how wrong I was. The amount of times I see my floor is a little dirty and think ‘oh let me just grab the stick and clean that’

Oh also an air blower I bought from a PC retailer for cleaning my PC. It’s rarely needed, but when there’s something complex that needs dusting I don’t know what else could do it (such as the collections of Lego on the top of some shelves)


A bread maker isn’t too expensive and if vision impaired enough have a friend make some custom measures for the oil, sugar, yeast, salt, flour and the water, however if you can see enough to see the measurements or markings on your measuring devices, bread making is simple. Or get a friend to create prepared bundles that all you need to add to it is oil and water. I’ll be happy to send you a simple recipe I use if you would like, just let me know and I will PM it to you.

For your lighting needs in your room/rooms have you thought about getting cool white LED globes rather the normal warm white lights most people use. Sorry if this is something you already know and tried. This pushes the emitted light higher into the blue regions than the typical warm which are more yellow in tones. The “brightest” ones are termed daylight and they are quite sharp in their lighting profile. Daylight and Cool Whites will make things have more contrast and so stand out more.

So for warm white the colour temperature will be expressed as 3,000K, Cool White is around 4,000K, Daylight versions range in rating from 5,600K to 6,000K (you may also find some around 5,000K called full spectrum). I would try to choose Cool White first but you might like to experiment with a Daylight one to see if it improves the experience for you.


Underrated coffee maker. Cost me $25 from ebay, its for a single mug or two short blacks (it came with 2 teeny ceramic short black mugs which I have never used). I also have a gigantic Breville which makes up to 12 cups (or maybe 6 mugs) but since now I drink one a day (or less) I have no need of it.

Underrated gadgets… boiled egg slicer, green bean slicer (longways and it strips off the strings as well), mint roller has multiple circular blades (I dont know exactly what its called, but I use it to demolish fresh mint and other herbs as required). Ask if you need photos.


OT, but anyone needing a custom device to assist with a visual or physical handicap can contact tad.org.au to see if they can assist in NSW, or solve.org.au in VIC - the two similar organisations are merging.


This recipe is unbeatable for those with no bread maker: World’s Easiest Yeast Bread recipe – Artisan, NO KNEAD crusty bread on https://www.recipetineats.com/easy-yeast-bread-recipe-no-knead/

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One small gadget i’ve used for many years is a Jarkey.

It allows easy opening of any glass jar with no effort at all. I recall struggling with some lids prior to getting hold of one.


Not sure if they’re under-rated, but we bought a bidet toilet seat after having one while on holiday in Tokyo in those distant times when people could leave their country/state/house. You can’t go back to just toilet paper once you’ve used them!


I have a pastry blender which I brought with me from the US when I came here in 1992. It’s a bit hard to describe, but you use it to cut butter into flour when making scones, pie crust, etc. It’s a utensil rather than an appliance. Whenever I bring it out with friends or family present, they marvel. You can get the same result more slowly by using two knives. I’ve never liked rubbing butter into flour with my fingers…


Thanks for reminding me about the Jarkey. A friend has one and I have been meaning to get one for a year, I still struggle with lids and am sick of having to push a knife up under to release the seal. Ordered from ebay


I followed suit and just bought 2 from eBay.



Walkie Talkie phone. Gone are the days I had to stay in the house waiting for a call on the landline, or racing down the paddock to get the other half to come up and talk to a caller.

Now we have a base station and two handsets on our landline (no mobile coverage here & satellite NBN recommend keeping the landline) which means I can be outside doing something, and it will ring and we can talk. The second handset sits on the base charging and will power the phones when the power goes off (like it did for 6 hours 2 days ago).