Many infomercial products aren't worth more than the time you spend watching the frantic pitches. But three that Consumer Reports tested combine good performance and real value: Lint Lizard, Ninja Master Prep Professional blender, and Ooma.
The Lint Lizard is almost like a magic wand. Attach the $10 device to your vacuum and suck lint out of the crevices in your dryer. Our reaching hands got 8 grams of lint and a vacuum sucked up 4 grams, but the Lint Lizard reaped 15 grams.
In another dryer, a vacuum got just 0.3 grams of lint while the Lint Lizard produced 52 grams. With an average of 6,100 dryer fires a year, it's a good idea to be diligent about removing lint from your machine.
Ninja Master Prep Professional blender
The Ninja Master Prep Professional blender can do a number of chores well, including chopping, blending, and grating, earning the $60 combination food chopper and processor the top score among the models we tested. This bargain buy's design differs from other blenders—the motor is on top in a separate housing.
Ooma is a standout among VoIP phone services (video). It's reliable with very good voice quality, and gives you free domestic calls and dirt-cheap international rates. Setup is easy.
The device costs $200 (Amazon.com and Costco price), which breaks down to less than $6 a month when amortized over a three-year period.
(See also: Best multi-purpose household cleaners)
Not all infomercial products are worth your money or your time and should have you changing the channel:
The Rhythm Rocker says you can get sexy abs and lose 7 pounds in 7 days, but you can probably skip this $99 device and just dance around your living room instead.
The Slap Chop promises to chop and mince all kinds of foods in seconds. It chopped unevenly, and harder foods needed about 20 slaps and tended to get trapped in the blades.
- Jay Glazer's Perfect Punch (video) makes some knockout claims, but we weren't so impressed.
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