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JJJJ

JJJJ
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Member since: 04.08.2008

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      02.07.2012 19:26
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      • "Performs well with some feel"

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      Great choice of ball for the mid-handicapper

      If you're into the sport of golf (I know many of you aren't... "a good walk spoiled..." and all that!), you'll realise that there are loads of different varieties of golf ball to choose from. Many of the pros use Titleist, Nike, and Bridgestone - but that doesn't mean that balls produced by the other manufacturers aren't any good. I frequently use Srixon in the form of their 'soft feel' ball - of which, the dozen pack can be purchased for around ten pounds online.

      Performance Test

      The product in question is of a two-piece construction, and travels respectable distances from the driver - in fact, it seems to out-hit Titleist's semi-budget 'Solo' ball which I also often use. The ball's flight is generally high, and with a cleanly struck wedge from a tight lie it's possible to achieve a fair amount of spin. The 'soft feel' in the product's title refers to the outer shell which has been manufactured with a degree of softness - sometimes when you putt with cheaper balls it feels like you've just struck a rock, however, the Srixon is good to pitch and chip with even though it seems to have more roll and less check than the more expensive balls.

      Final Word

      For the price I would certainly recommend Srixon Soft Feel Golf balls, which are perfect for mid to high handicap golfers who require *some* distance combined with *some* feel when on the green. No it's not the softest or farthest-reaching ball out there, but for just over a tenner for a dozen, you wouldn't expect it to be. Regarding their longevity, the ball doesn't scuff as quickly as one might expect from a soft-feel product, and i've often gone through five or six rounds before noticing that the ball is looking a little worse for wear.

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      21.06.2012 22:54
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      Really good value staple gun

      Part of my job during the summer months involves building raised beds in people's gardens - the work includes attaching a plastic lining to the inside of the wood to extend its lifespan and prevent the preservatives entering the soil. The plastic lining is attached to the raised bed via a heavy duty stapler - and the model I use is the Stanley 0-TR250. The staple gun costs £13.54 from Amazon, but has a recommended retail price of £26.70.

      Design & Appearance
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      The first thing that's noticeable about the Stanley is its rugged construction - with an all-metal build it feels like a quality item. Not only does it feel well made, but I can vouch for the fact that it will take all manner of knocks and bumps - i've dropped the stapler onto concrete surfaces on a number of occasions, and it has survived to tell the tale. The handle and the inside of the grip section are rubberised, which makes the stapler comfortable to hold. Regarding its weight, the 0-TR250 is fairly heavy, but I carry it around all day and it's really no burden. The other thing that's important to note is the fact that i've used the product in all types of weather (it's been soaked on a number of occasions) - and i've seen no signs of rust or corrosion.

      Specifications & Use
      - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      The stapler uses 6-14mm staples - but it can also work with the mini-nail variety that are readily available in hardware stores. Loading the staples is easy, you simply need to flip back the plastic latch on the stapler's underside, and pull the staple tray toward you. Now slide in the staples and firmly clip the tray back into place. When stapling, you do need to apply a fair bit of force to push the lever down, but then that's usually the case with this type of stapler, and it's no more strenuous than other models i've used.

      Final Word
      - - - - - - -
      For the price, Stanley's 0-TR250 staple gun is a responsive and hard-wearing piece of kit which I would certainly recommend.

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      19.06.2012 18:58
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      Another squash ball option apart from Dunlop

      In the (not especially exciting) world of squash ball manufacture, Dunlop are the brand that most people have come to accept as the market leader, producing balls which are used throughout the professional and amateur game. That said, there are other brands of squash ball available, for example Karakal and Wilson Staff - the latter is the subject of today's review.

      I purchased twelve of the Wilson Staff balls for just over a pound each - a price which I feel is very reasonable when compared to the pricier Dunlop alternative.

      The Squash Ball Dot System
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      If you're unfamiliar with the sport of squash, squash balls have a bounce and speed rating in the form of a small yellow dot. The standard 'Competition' ball has a single yellow spot and is aimed at the intermediate player, wheras the 'Pro' ball has a double yellow spot and is less bouncy. I usually use the double spot offering (not because i'm a pro... far from it...), but because I find it produces a faster-paced and more exciting game.

      The Wilson Staff Squash Ball in Play
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      After using Wilson Staff squash balls for a couple of months, i've found them to be much better than expected. They're quick to warm up, achieving the correct temperature to begin play within around five minutes, and during the game they have a consistent bounce and speed. Regarding longevity I have no complaints either - the balls i've used haven't split or degraded - the logo does wear off after a while, but then that's to be expected.

      Final Word
      - - - - - - -
      Overall I would certainly recommend the Wilson Staff double yellow spot squash ball as a high performing and reliable sporting product. To be honest, there's very little to choose between this and the Dunlop alternative, so i'll certainly be buying these again.

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        07.06.2012 20:14
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        • Reliability

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        Excellent e-reader

        If you're considering buying an eReader, there's one brand which stands out above the rest - Amazon's Kindle. The Kindle has become incredibly popular over the last few years due to its ease of use and general reliability. There are a few different versions of the Kindle available, but today i'm taking a look at the 'Touch' variety. The standard Touch with WiFi costs £109, whereas the one featuring 3G functionality costs £169. To explain the difference between the two, the 3G version allows you to download books from the Kindle store at any time, rather than having to wait until you've got a WiFi connection.

        Design & Appearance
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        I had wanted a Kindle for a long time - and whilst I think that the demise of 'real' books is sad, there's something about a device which can hold an entire library that appeals to me. In the hand, the Kindle Touch feels comfortable to hold and well made - the e-ink display is incredibly clear with a low level of reflectivity, and outdoor reading in sunny conditions is easier than you would perhaps expect. When you receive your Kindle it's recommended that you give it a full charge - simply plug it in to one of the USB ports on your computer (a USB cable is provided), and in a couple of hours the battery will be full. Regarding battery life, the Kindle Touch is very impressive - I find that I can get at least a month's worth of reading from each charge - and I read for around an hour every night.

        Buying Books
        - - - - - - - - -
        If you've got an Amazon account, downloading books to your Kindle is simplicity in itself - simply click on the shopping basket icon at the top of the Kindle's home screen, and you'll be taken to the Kindle Store. From here you can browse or search for books and subsequently purchase them with a single click. A great feature is the preview option which allows you to sample a couple of chapters before you make your purchase - in effect it's a system of 'try before you buy'. The books you've downloaded can be accessed at any time by pressing the only physical button on the front of the Kindle (below the screen), and they'll be displayed as a list on the home screen.

        Navigation through the Kindle's menus is very intuitive - simply push the options you want in the same way you would if you were using a tablet device such as an iPad. Turning the pages of a book is similarly easy - either tap the screen to go forward, or (for those of you who want a more authentic reading experience) swipe your finger to the left to progress, or flick it to the right to move backward. iPhone-esque Pinch-to-zoom controls are also present - so if you want to increase or decrease the text size, you need only to perform a two-fingered squeezing motion on the display.

        Additional Features
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        In terms of extras, the Kindle Touch has a web browser and an Mp3 player - both of which are hidden away under an 'experimental' features header in the menu. To be honest, the browser is a tad slow to use and difficult to see on a monochrome screen - still, it's nice to have the option of web browsing from the device should you need it. When you want to enter text, a virtual keyboard pops up at the bottom of the screen - it's actually really effective, and the letters are spaced out so that those with larger fingers shouldn't struggle. Like the browser, the Mp3 player is basic - but the Kindle's stereo speakers sound better than expected for their size and there's also a headphone jack on the bottom of the device should you prefer to listen to your music alone. One function which many will find useful is the text-to-speech option, where a voice will read your book aloud for you - for me, the voice is too computerized and impersonal for my liking, although I imagine it's very handy for the visually impaired.

        Final Word
        - - - - - - -
        Overall i've been incredibly impressed with the Kindle Touch - it's simple to use, feels well made, and has provided me with me a fresh enthusiasm for reading. The battery life ensures that I don't need to be constantly charging, and the clear screen means that I won't get eye-strain. The only real downside? I don't trust myself to read with it in the bath!

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          16.05.2012 20:01
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          Nice looking but ultimately middle of the road darts flights

          There are a number of companies that manufacture darts flights, but two of the most respected are Unicorn and Harrows. Which of these two brands you favour is down to personal preference - but I generally opt for whichever is cheapest online or in the sports shop. Today i'm taking a look at the Harrows Hologram variety, which are available for 99p from Amazon for a pack of three.

          The flights are available in a few different designs including assorted animals, playing cards, and the dartboard variety shown in dooyoo's picture. Each design has a metallic sheen which provides a certain depth to the image, and the colours are well saturated and printed to a fairly high standard.

          Using the flights
          - - - - - - - - - - -
          In my experience, the flights attach onto the darts smoothly, and I find that they don't fall out too frequently (as is often the case with the really cheap flights on the market). Regarding their performance, aerodynamically the flights are very good - i've used them with both heavy brass darts and lighter steel ones, and they fly evenly and smoothly through the air.

          Where their performance isn't so good is on the longevity front - I've found that they quickly become damaged, especially at the back edge which can split sometimes after only a few days. I know all flights will eventually break over time, but these seem to degrade a little faster than most others I have used in the past. To be honest, it's a little strange because the other Harrows flights I have used (especially the ones from the 'Quadro' range) seem to have a very good lifespan.

          Final Word
          - - - - - - -
          As darts flights go, the Harrows Hologram variety sit right in the middle of the quality scale - on the one hand they look good and fly well; however, their overall longevity leaves a little to be desired. Luckily at under a pound, the flights are fairly cheap to replace - cautiously recommended.

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            13.05.2012 22:38
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            Budget capo which works well

            If you're not familiar with the exciting world of guitar accessories, you may well wonder what a 'capo' is. A capo is simply a device which allows you to change the pitch of the chords that you're playing. This is done for a number of reasons, but for beginners it's often so that a song can be transposed into an easier set of chords than the natural key.

            Capos usually take the form of clamp which closes across the strings of your guitar - the cheaper capos are often made of an elasticated material whilst the pricer ones are predominantly metal. Today i'm taking a look at the Gear SCPM-F, which is available from Amazon marketplace for under a pound (+ £1.50 postage & packaging). The Capo is a hybrid of the aforementioned cheap plastic style and the pricier metal style - but how good is it?

            Design and Specification
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            First off, it's important to note that the capo will fit all standard widths of guitar neck including acoustic and electric models. Fitting the capo is simple - well, it's simple after you've done it a couple of times! Make sure that the flat rubber bar is in contact with the strings, and then pull the fabric section around the guitar neck and onto one of the notches. In terms of its construction, the product feels *fairly* well made, although for the low price you can excuse the fact that it's only partly metal.

            The Capo in Use & Final Word
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            Regarding its performance, the capo works especially well - it's one of the better cheap capos that i've used (and i've used some terrible ones in the past!). In terms of the downsides, you will need to remove and re-stretch the product around the guitar's neck every fifteen minutes or so of use (otherwise it can slightly slacken, creating a jangly-type sound when you strum) - however, this isn't that much of an issue, as it only takes a couple of seconds to re-adjust. Overall, the Gear SCPM-F capo is an effective device which is available for a highly respectable price.

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              10.05.2012 21:21
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              Great performing protective filter

              My favourite camera filters are undoubtedly the ones belonging to Hoya's 'Pro1 Digital' range - not because they necessarily represent the ultimate in quality - but because they strike a great balance between value and performance. There *are* better filters out there - but the difference between the Pro1 Digital and the high-end (£50+) ones is so marginal that it's really not worth paying the extra cash. Speaking of cost, the Hoya is available from amazon for just over £21 - or a little cheaper if you buy from eBay and are prepared to wait for delivery from the Far East. This particular Hoya is the 67mm version, which, as its name suggests, will only ft onto lenses with a 67mm thread.

              The filter in Use
              - - - - - - - - - - -
              The filter is clear, and a designated 'protector' model - it's designed to provide the user with peace of mind that the front of their lens won't get scratched during use. The filter screws onto the front of my Nikon lens very easily, and feels tight and secure once in place. The photos taken with the filter on my lens are IDENTICAL to the ones taken without it - and that's a real mark of the Hoya's performance - it doesn't impart any reflections, vignetting or any other nasty distortions on my photos.

              Cleaning the filter is easy - just give it a rub with a soft, lint-free cloth and you're done - i've found that scratching the filter is more difficult than you'd expect, meaning that you'll certainly get a degree of longevity from this product.

              Final Word
              - - - - - - -
              Overall, the Hoya 67mm clear filter is a quality product - it feels well made and is difficult to damage. The only downside is the fact that if you're buying a protective filter you may as well buy a UV one rather than a clear one - in this way you'll not only protect your lens, but also reduce haze from your photos at the same time.

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              07.05.2012 20:03
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              Almost excellent drinks bottle

              I've owned more sports bottles over the years than I care to remember - probably because I buy whatever's cheap in the shops, and don't perform extensive research into which bottles are actually any good. In my collection are two Thermos 'Hydro' bottles - one of which I was given free, and the other cost me £4 on the high street. When I think of the brand Thermos, my mind turns to products which are designed to keep liquids warm - but the Hydro is designed to do the exact opposite. It features a plastic core which can be filled with liquid and then frozen - hence keeping the remainder of the fluids cool.

              Design & Performance
              - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
              Constructed from a sturdy plastic, the Thermos Hydro has a 500ml capacity and is dishwasher safe. The bottle can be filled via an easy-open screw top, but the actual drinking mechanism is a little different - it takes the form of a flap which lifts and closes with little effort. Said flap has a plastic seal which in theory should stop any leaking - but does it work?

              So let's take a look at the good and the bad in terms of the bottle's performance, starting with the positives. Firstly, the Thermos is comfortable to hold, and its shape is conducive to not slipping out of the hand. The second good point (and this one's really important in terms of a bottle's overall rating) is the fact that it doesn't absorb the aroma of the liquid which it previously held. The cheap ASDA bottle that I also sometimes use is terrible at this, and always smells of blackcurrant squash - even though I only filled it with blackcurrant squash once about a year ago! Regarding the Thermos's bad points - there's only one problem... leakage. 99% of the time the bottle is absolutely fine - but there have been a couple of occasions when the contents have leaked inside my sports bag, which is most annoying.

              Final Word
              - - - - - - -
              The majority of the time the Thermos Hydro Sports Bottle is an excellent drinks vessel which performs well - the Ice core running through its centre works especially well and is an ingenious solution for keeping your liquids cool. The leakage problem is certainly a downer on the product as a whole - and although it's only happened around twice in fifty uses (both times the lid *was* screwed on correctly), it's still an issue which needs addressing.

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              • Hama Mini Tripod / Tripod / 102 Readings / 99 Ratings
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                04.05.2012 20:16
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                Impressive mini tripod

                Although mini tripods can be purchased extremely cheaply, the majority are incredibly flimsy and can break with the merest persuasion. Today i'm looking the Hama Mini, which is one of the sturdier models on the market with a current retail price of just over £6 from Amazon.

                Design and Appearance
                - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                Constructed from aluminium, the mini tripod looks professional and feels well made. Regarding its size, the Hama will easily fit in to a pocket, and its light weight means that carrying it around really won't be an issue. Pre-leg extension, the tripod stands at around thirteen centimetres tall, and with the legs out said hight is elevated to just over twenty cms. The tripod will be compatible with the majority of digital cameras as it features the industry standard size screw thread.

                The tripod in use
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                The extendable legs pull downward in a smooth manner, and feature plastic feet to prevent slipping on most flat surfaces. It's important to note that the tripod won't be suitable for SLR cameras if you're using a heavy zoom lens - the weight will simply be too much for the Hama, and it will probably topple over - any digital compact should be fine though. On top of the tripod sits the ball head, which can be rotated through a range of angles, or simply locked in place. The movement of the ball is a little jerky however, so if you're planning to use the tripod for panning etc you may be disappointed. Regarding stability, i've found that the tripod is very impressive, and once locked in position is very stable.

                Final Word
                - - - - - - - -
                Overall, i'm very pleased with the performance of the Hama Mini, which turns out to be a versatile and pleasant looking tripod. There are cheaper tripods out there (many of which I own), but the Hama is certainly one of the better ones that I've used and therefore earns four out of five dooyoo stars.

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                  29.04.2012 00:04
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                  One of the better disposable BBQs

                  It's coming up to that time of year when the skies turn blue, and sunshine forces the flowers into full bloom. However... a glance out the window shows me nothing but slate grey tones and a strong wind rattling the many TV aerials which are precariously propped on the chimneys opposite - it's not exactly ideal conditions for a BBQ. That said, last year we had enough sunny days for me to have a number of barbecues on the beach - I used all sorts of makes and wasn't loyal to a particular brand. I did however, keep returning to the Sainsbury's variety, as I bought in bulk during a optimistic-for-a-summer-of-sunshine shopping trip.

                  Price & Description
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                  Costing only £2.99 for the standard (holds about six medium-sized burgers) size, I feel that the Sainsbury's barbecue is very reasonably priced. The larger version also offers decent value for money at £4.99. Like the majority of the disposable barbecues that i've used in the past, the product consists of a foil tray filled with coal, and topped with a metal grill which the food can be placed on.

                  Instructions & Performance
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                  Using the Sainsbury's Disposable Barbecue is simple - but I would recommend giving it a quick shake before use to ensure that the coals are spread evenly across the base. To light, you'll need to place a match under the piece of card below the metal grid, and watch as the flames 'activates' the coals below. It will take around fifteen to twenty minutes for the coals to get to a useable heat, by which time they should be a grey (rather than black) colour. In my experience i've found that the barbecue will be useable for around forty-five minutes to an hour; although obviously this won't be the case if it's being rained on!

                  Final Word
                  - - - - - - - -
                  As disposable barbecues go, the Sainsbury's variety is as good as the best that i've used, and better than most. The ultra cheap brands seem to be a bit stingy with the amount of coal that they use - but this isn't the case here. For under £3 I would certainly recommend stocking up with a few of these; fingers crossed you never know when you're going to need one.

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                    26.04.2012 20:37
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                    Effective yet dated clippers

                    Having recently reviewed my new hair trimmer, it's only fair to produce a write-up for the product it replaced - the Nicky Clarke 'NCMH-D'. I owned said trimmer for around ten years, and found it to be very reliable during that time. As it's a fairly old model, the NCMH-D is a little tricky to get hold of these days - however, I saw one sell recently on eBay for £12.99 in 'as new' condition.

                    Design & Appearance
                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                    Although it has a chrome finish, the NCMH-D is disappointingly made from plastic rather than metal - that said, it is a budget model, and therefore a cheaper build is to be expected. On a positive note, the clippers do feel comfortable to hold and are nice and chunky in the hand. There are ten plastic attachments ranging from 26mm all the way down to 1mm, each snapping on to the front of the device with little effort. As is usual when you buy a product of this nature, the set includes some scissors, a comb, and a couple of small hair-ridding brushes. The clippers and the attachments all pack away into a nice leather(ish) zippable pouch, which is a nice touch.

                    Performance
                    - - - - - - - - -
                    As new, I found the Nicky Clarke NCMH-D clippers to be moderately loud in use - and they became progressively louder as the years progressed. It's important to oil the blades after every few uses, and a small bottle of lubricant comes with the set - this will actually prevent the volume going through the roof when the mechanism begins to grind together. Performance-wise, the clippers were really good for the first four or five years - a clean cut without needing to go over the hair hundreds of times; however, towards the end of their life, the blades gradually blunted and hair cutting had to be done at a snail's pace. In fairness to the clippers, the actual 'motor' was incredibly reliable, and felt as powerful on day 3647 (roughly) as on day 1.

                    Final Word
                    - - - - - - - -
                    To be completely honest, Nicky Clarke isn't a brand I would normally consider buying a product from - but having owned and used the NCMH-D clippers for the best part of a decade, my opinion has changed - recommended, although you'll be hard-pushed to find a set these days.

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                    24.04.2012 20:05
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                    Ingenious device which all guitarists should own

                    Want to give those expired credit cards a fresh lease of life? Then purchase a Pickmaster Plectrum Punch and turn your unwanted plastic into a handy strumming device. I used to cut my own plectrums with scissors - but the size wasn't regular, and they ended up looking more circular in shape than the classic teardrop '351' design. The Pickmaster punches out plectrums which are roughly 3 x 2.5 centimetres in scale, which roughly equates to the industry approved size.

                    Price & Design
                    - - - - - - - - -
                    Costing £19.99 from play.com, the Plectrum Punch looks a little like a nutcracker, although it's flatter and embossed with the Pickmaster branding. Measuring 16 x 9cms, the device is fairly comfortable to hold but doesn't feel quite as sturdy as it looks. To use the punch, simply slide the piece of plastic you want to use into the 'jaws' (credit cards are an ideal thickness, although it will do a little thicker if required), and squeeze firmly. A fair bit of force is needed, but it's not something which requires a bodybuilder's physique.

                    Performance
                    - - - - - - - -
                    In my experience i've found that the Pickmaster works very well, yet leaves a fairly ragged edge on the plectrums it produces. To be honest, this is a little disappointing, but the edges can be smoothed with some sand paper or a file. I've found that as i've used the product more and more, producing plectrums is getting a little more difficult each time - I guess the punch teeth are becoming blunter, which leads me to ask how much longer the Pickmaster will be useable for.

                    Final Word
                    - - - - - - -
                    "Free plectrums for life" was one of the phrases using in the marketing of the Pickmaster - and in theory this could well be the case; it's very satisfying being able to take an unwanted piece of plastic and forge from it something which is useful to a guitarist. However, whilst my experiences with the Pickmaster have been satisfactory to date, i've read a number of reports from people which state that their one's have suddenly snapped in half! - watch this space for updates...

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                      22.04.2012 22:30
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                      Performance clippers at a low price

                      When my old clippers got to the stage where hair felt like it was being ripped out rather than cut, it was undoubtedly time to buy a new set! My criteria was simple, the clipper had to be cheap but also have a number of positive reviews online. My research led me to to the Babyliss 7436U which has a current retail price of just over £20 from amazon. When I bought the clippers, the price was a little lower - I paid in the region of £16 from Argos.

                      Design & Appearance
                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                      The clipper is mains operated, but has a 160cm cable which means you don't have to be crammed in next to the plug socket whilst you're using it. In terms of accessories, the trimmer comes with ten attachments ranging from 32mm, all the way down to a grade one equivalent. Said plastic attachments are easy to clip on and subsequently remove from the front of the device. Although it's primarily constructed from plastic, the Babylis feels solid in the hand and is comfortable to hold. As new the clippers come with some (cheap) scissors, two brushes (one for removing hair from the trimmer, and one for the back of your neck), a comb, and some oil for maintenance of the blades.

                      Performance
                      - - - - - - - - -
                      In operation the 7436cu is fairly loud - but then the majority of clippers are, and it's actually a little quieter than my previous model which was made by Nicky Clarke. In my experience i've found that hair is cut easily and without any tugging - as long as you move the device across your head at at a sensible pace. Although I go over the hair a number of times in different directions to ensure a thorough cut, there's really no need to as the Babylis seems to get most of the hair off first time. When the job is complete the clippers are easy to clean by giving the cutting blades a quick once over with the smaller of the two brushes provided.

                      Final Word
                      - - - - - - - -
                      Overall I would certainly recommend the Babylis 7436cu hair clippers which have exceeded my expectations for the price. To be honest, i'm not looking for the advanced features that some of the more expensive models provide - i.e cordless technology - the 7436 simply does the basics and does them well.

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                        19.04.2012 22:30
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                        The premium golf spike

                        Try playing golf whilst wearing flat shoes in damp conditions, and you'll find yourself sliding down hills and ending up on your backside in no time - don't get me wrong, it's great fun, just not particularly conducive to low scoring. And that why us golfers wear spiked shoes, keeping us in the upright position and skid-free whilst swinging.

                        Normally golf spikes come in two varieties - there's the metal single-pronged type, then there's what known as 'soft' spikes which have a array of mini plastic grippers. Champ Pro Stinger Spikes throw the rule book out the window with their hybrid design - but are they any good?

                        Price, Design, & Performance
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                        Costing £7.96 from Amazon (the pack also includes a 'key' for inserting them into your shoe), the spikes comprise a traditional metal prong in their centre combined with three individual plastic grips.

                        In my experience of using the spikes i've found that they provide an unrivaled grip whilst out on the course, and i've had no qualms whatsoever regarding their performance. They're great for both winter and summer conditions and last a long time before they need replacing. Because their thread is plastic rather than metal, there's no chance of them rusting into your shoe. The most noticeable downside to these particular golf spike is the fact that they're not compatible with all brands of golf shoe - to see which shoes the spikes will or will not fit into, you'll need to visit the Champ website.

                        Final Word
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                        Billed on the packaging as "the world's best spike", Champ Pro Stinger's are certainly high performing and well worth the investment. Compared to other brands of spike on the market, the Stingers are actually quite reasonably priced - just make sure they'll fit into your shoe before you buy some.

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                        17.04.2012 21:39
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                        Awesome Guitar Picks

                        Costing £3.69 for a pack of six from Amazon, Dunlop Jazz III Picks are perhaps the coolest plectrums on the market. These nylon strumming-aids have been used by a number of talented guitarists over the years including the riff-master himself Joe Bonamassa. The following review is for the standard Dunlop Jazz III pick, rather than the scaled up XL version which is also available.

                        These particular picks don't actually need to be shelved into a particular bracket of playing style - they're great for whatever genre music you play, whether it's jazz or something else. In fact, Jazz III picks are used by many metal bands including Metallica, Slipknot, and Trivium.

                        Design & Appearance
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                        Available in red and black, the first thing you'll notice when using a Dunlop Jazz III pick is the fact that it's smaller than Dunlop's regular plectrum. The size difference feels a little odd at first, especially if you've been using standard picks for a number of years - however, you'll soon adapt to the smaller scale and find that your accuracy is likely to improve. I guess that the pointed (rather than rounded) leading edge is also to improve accuracy when picking - and that it does very successfully in my experience. Surprisingly, the picks are easy to hold on to, and significantly less fiddly than you might imagine.

                        Longevity & Final Word
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                        In terms of their longevity, these plectrums last an especially long time before they begin to degrade in any way - the likelihood is that you'll lose your picks before it gets to a state where it needs replacing. Sound-wise, the Jazz III has a fairly unique sharp and clear tone - its 1.38mm gauge means that it's great for use with heavier acoustic strings as well as lighter electro ones. Overall, Dunlop Jazz III Guitar Picks are sturdy, easy to use, and very adaptable. Great for strumming, great for picking - you'll not go too far wrong here if you decide to purchase a few.

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