Quirky Gadgets For Your Bank Holiday BBQ

Is it just us, or does it feel that every weekend is a Bank Holiday weekend at the moment? Not that we’re complaining of course – we’ll save that for the weather, which is looking predictably unpredictable.

That said, we’re going to work on the naive assumption that the weekend will be basked in glorious sunshine and we’ll all be dusting off our BBQs. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of unusual gadgets to impress and, in some cases, confuse your friends with. So lets kick off with…

The Half Pint Glass


Want to pace yourself at the BBQ? Why not buy yourself one of these half pint glasses – from one angle it looks like a full pint, but then from the side it reveals itself as just a half slice. It has the bonus factor of confusing your drunk mates – although be prepared for some spilt beer as we can see them knocking this over in their excitement. It’s made from high quality glass and it’s dishwasher safe, although hand-washing is recommended. Take me to it!

Steel Ice Cubes


Hopefully the Bank Holiday is going to be a scorcher (we can dream!). If so, these unusual ice cubes could be handy. As well as looking cool (pun-time!) they also benefit from the fact they’ll freeze faster than normal ice cubes. Better still, they won’t water down your drink or leave it with that strange freezer taste! You get 6 in the pack and they’re suitable for ages 8+. Take me to them!

Flower Grenade


Is your garden looking a bit bare? Why not rope your BBQ friends in to helping with this Throw and Grow Flower Grenade. Made of clay it contains buttercup, poppy and ryegrass seeds and technically it’s made for ‘guerilla gardening’ – i.e. drop them in desolate places so the pot smashes and the seeds can grow and create life. That said, we thought it might be a fun way of seeding your own garden! As the ‘grenades’ are made of biodegradable clay, you don’t have to worry about the impact on the environment as they’ll dissolve when it rains. Don’t expect instant results, the buttercups and poppies will take at least 3 weeks to start growing and the ryegrass about 1 week. Sound like fun? Check them out here.

Twister Picnic Blanket


Who doesn’t love twister? Well us, actually – but don’t let that put you off! While you sweat away at the BBQ worrying if your chicken is cooked properly or not, your friends can entertain themselves on this large (140cm x 170cm) Twister picnic blanket. What better way to get to know your friends than to twist yourselves around them while trying not to fall over. Go on, you know you want to – you can find/buy it here.

Star Wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs


Geek up your BBQ with these Star Wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs. The tongs come with a heat-resistant plastic handle, metal tongs and a red storage case. You can really impress(!) your friends by sliding the button on the lightsaber for sound effects. May BBQ sauce be with you..! Sound strange/cool enough for you or a friend? Then go to this page.

That’s a wrap…

Enjoy your Bank Holiday and if you enjoyed this list then please be kind enough to share it with your friends. Also a quick thanks to Jun Seita for the header image we used.

Unboxing: Black+Decker ORA vacuum cleaner

It’s an upright vacuum with 12 cyclones, which claims to have no loss in suction, with 3 attachments and a charging stand. But wait – there’s more! It’s also a handheld vacuum cleaner that detaches from the main unit and becomes a compact (though heavy) smaller unit. The vacuum’s power is all stored in this smaller unit, so you won’t have any less power when using it. The vacuum held up well in tests, removing a great deal of dirt from places where this dirt is invisible, and losing no power throughout. Watch the video above to see us unboxing the Black+Decker ORA.

The Black+Decker ORA vacuum cleaner is available now. Visit Black+Decker to find out more.

Hands-on: Karcher’s WV2 Premium

Condensation in the home and office has to be one of the most difficult things to tackle in daily life. When you’re in an enclosed space that’s prone to condensation, you need a quick way to remove it before your windows look like they’ve been whitewashed. Karcher, a German company, aims to challenge this with its popular range of window vacuums – or ‘Window Vacs’ with its top-of-the-line release, the WV2 Premium.

The WV2 Premium and its family work like small handheld vacuum cleaners with a wide blade. It removes condensation with a swift and satisfying swipe – it is however prone to leaving streaky marks on the window, which can be frustrating. Nonetheless, it does as intended, and in our experience with the WV2 it has shown shown it is a far superior alternative to the familiar cloth method of water removal. Watch the video above to see us unboxing the WV2 premium.

The WV2 Premium is available now. Visit Karcher to find out more. If you’d like to see us comparing the new WV2 Premium to the older generation WV50, click here.

Breaking free from vacuum filters: the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball


It’s certainly got an attention-grabbing name – The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. But does Dyson’s latest vacuuming construction live up to its warrior-esque title?

Any newly-released vacuum by Dyson has to be worth taking note, especially when it claims to process dirt and dust into microscopic pieces without any clogging and by doing so eliminating the need for a filter.

So let’s have a look at what the tech press big guns have got to say about the new Dyson Cinetic Big Ball that has been dubbed as pushing vacuum technology forward.

GizMag got the chance to conduct an early review of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. Asides its annoying upright canister and base latch, which, if you don’t get right, causes the handle to keep falling back towards you, GizMag was impressed with quiet motor and “phenomenal” suction.

As well as sucking up “enough dog hair to make a third dog”, the Cinetic obliterated party mess with equal grit, as the bristle brushes swept up party streamers with ease.

In cleaning mode, the Cinetic proved its worth to the GizMag reviewer once more, getting rid of stains when spot cleaning was applied.

It’s maintenance-free

One of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball’s biggest pros, writes Tech Crunch, is the fact it is essentially maintenance free. You can kiss goodbye to the days of arduously removing, rinsing and then drying filters. This is thanks to the fact the vacuum relies on smaller cyclones working together which create an intense centrifugal force. This force is capable of separating even the tiniest pieces of dirt and dust –hence no removable debris builds up.

That said, Dyson Cinetic Big Ball users will still have to empty the dust and dirt chamber. As Tech Crunch rightly points out, if they managed to overcome this requisite of modern vacuuming, they would “probably break the laws of physics.”

Another major plus point of the new Dyson, according to Tech Crunch, is all the accessories that most household vacuumer’s will need.

In terms of performance, the Tech Crunch reviewer believed the Cinetic “consistently outperformed” their own Dyson DC25 upright.

Old frustrations

In a slightly less praising review of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball series, CNet claims Dyson’s latest vacuuming wares is stifled by old Dyson frustrations, namely that it’s a tad on the flimsy side.

Whilst, thanks to the ball it rests on, the Cinetic is pretty manoeuvrable, it feels flimsy and falls over, exclaim CNet.

Despite niggling concerns about robustness, what’s remarkable about Dyson’s Cinetic is that it’s filter-free. But does this really make a difference in terms of functionality?

Reviews.com seems to thinks so, claiming the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball is 54% better than the other vacuums they tested and giving it a score of 9.2.


So how much is the new wholly machine filtration vacuum? £459.99 – not cheap, but then what do you expect for a vacuum without filters.

The Dyson Big Ball Cinetic is available now. Visit Dyson to find out more.

CES 2015 Video: Kelvin, the wireless wine thermometer

The perfect wine, they say, must be served at the perfect temperature in order to capture its true taste. Kelvin aims to help those trying to gain this perfect temperature in the easiest way possible. It does this by wirelessly monitoring the temperature of the bottle, and sending notifications to your smartphone depending on the temperature. You’ll be notified when the temperature is too high or low, and when it’s at the perfect drinking temperature. This will keep avid connoisseurs happy at wine parties – the perfect wine is bound to impress. Watch the video above to see the Kelvin in action.

The Kelvin is available now for £39.99. Visit Kelvin to find out more.

CES 2015 Video: Rotimatic, quick and delicious rotis and more in one minute

Rotis, the bread-like snack that is a staple for many worldwide, just got much easier to make at home thanks to the new Rotimatic from Zimplistic. The machine makes use of a built-in robotic system and hotplates to create delicious bread treats with great efficiency – it is able to produce rotis, doughballs, wraps and pooris all with various options for thickness, oil use and softness. It is able to produce a full roti in one minute – quick, healthy food whenever you need it. The Rotimatic can hold up to 20 rotis worth of ingredients at once, so will be ready for use many times before needing refilling. It also features a design that allows for easy opening and cleaning when needed. Watch the video above to see the Rotimatic in action.

The Rotimatic’s pre-order stock has run out, but you can register interest and find out more at Zimplistic.

CES 2015 Video: 4mom’s mamaRoo Bluetooth baby bouncer

4mom’s mamaRoo, as showcased this year at CES, could be the newest boon for parents with young children that appreciate movement. It’s a high-tech baby bouncer, controllable on your smartphone or tablet, that is able to move ‘like you do’ i.e. in similar patterns that a young child might be used to – such as a car ride or sitting on a parent’s lap. It also offers built-in sound effects like the sound of rain to calm your child to sleep. The custom-built app and buttons on the unit allow the user to change between these modes and sounds on the fly. Watch the video above to see the mamaRoo in action.

The mamaRoo is available now at $239.99 without a plush seat, or $269.99 with the plush included. Visit 4moms to find out more.



Dremel Micro, the World’s smallest handyman


The latest in DIY gadgetry has surfaced in the form of the Dremel Micro – designed to be like a multi-purpose drill with an adaptable head to suit many tasks. With just 250gr it is packed with a Lithium-ion battery fitted with a charge level indicator to let you know how much battery you have left before charging it over a tea break.

The DC motor speeds along between 5000 to 25000 RPM so you will struggle to keep up. It is cordless and comes with a charging docking station that will keep it charged and ready to go on your workbench. It comes with 35 Dremel attachments and accessories including EZ SpeedClic that makes changing accessories hassle free.The Dremel Micro is equipped with an LED light to illuminate your working area. It handles very easily with a stream line shape and a good grip, intended to be held like a pencil. From inserting screws to polishing ornaments, this tool has you covered.

The Micro is incredibly compact and will afford you plenty of space saved in your work-shed. With this tool you can do almost anything within the realms of DIY – cutting, etching, carving, grinding, engraving (including glass) and if you run out of inspiration or do not know how to use it the Dremel website is packed with video tutorials and examples to keep you busy.


But what about the price? Dremel announced the Micro to start at retail at £110, and and that is perhaps the tool’s only drawback. However, this all-round tool will save you that much money the cost is essentially a trade-off. It will be available through Amazon.co.ukDremel-Direct.com and Tool-shop.co.uk as well as DIY stores from 1st September 2014.

For more information visit Dremel.