Earlier this week, I was asked to be interviewed about getting started in making things, and the conversation turned towards the best tools for the money. The guy asked me what I think the best thing to invest in, and we naturally discussed how, once you have all the tools you need, you tend to think the things that support your workflow are more important that the cool-looking trappings of the woodworker. Like, how my favorite power tool is actually my two horsepower dust collector on its own circuit, because that's the machine I use on every single process. Or how I'd rather have an inexpensive Japanese dozuki saw and a really nice mechanical pencil and Starrett combination square vs. low grade measuring and marking tools and a fancy dovetail saw. (Though, to be fair, I do have both.)
But, it got me thinking about the truly best value in woodworking, the craft process, etc. Like what's something that's entirely inexpensive yet you use on every single project?
There are occassions to spend a little more on an investment bottle. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with looking for something to enjoy that cost less than an Andrew Jackson. None of these second-to-the-bottom shelf bottles are going to blow your mind and or cause you to use the word "revelation," but you know that already.
Though, seriously, if you're having fun and the evening is more about the conversation than what's in the glass, twelve servings of anything palatable for less than twenty bucks is money well spent.
A few weeks ago, I was looking through my spray paint arsenal, and I took stock of my collection. It occurred to me how much I really use those little rattle-cans in the shop. I picked up a few this weekend, and gave a few things around the house a quick upgrade. Take a look.
Do me a favor this St. Patrick's Day: skip the green beer. Please. But, while you're not drinking that silliness, do try some Irish Whiskey. Often overlook by bourbon and Scotch drinkers, the Irish whiskey tradition is as old as it is varied. In fact, they kinda invented it.
We believe in investing in long-lasting, high-quality kitchen gear; things worth saving up for, that you know will stand up to daily use. Opting for a legit forged steel chef's knife, say... one that can be sharpened and honed over and over and will last you the rest of your life, and then some.
But, investment pieces are just that: investments. Those things cost money, and they're well worth it. But thankfully, you can fill in the gaps with a selection of totally affordable and super useful kitchen tools, many of which cost less than a lunch at a local bistro. So with that in mind, here's our list of inexpensive, high-quality, and crazy versatile culinary tools with which you should be stocking your kitchen, all of which come in at less than twenty-five bucks.
Look, we love a solid cocktail bar. It's an awesome experience to meet up with some co-workers for happy hour, or connect with a friend or date over something shaken or stirred and served in a quality glass. But there's something to be said for sipping at home. Most importantly, it's much less expensive. Bar and restaurants try to keep their food and liquor costs to 20-25%, which means that $12 martini is actually made up of only $3.00 of ingredients. But we also can't argue with the value of staying home, whipping something up for your partner or friends on the fly in the warm, quite confines of your own living room. (Pajama pants optional).
And while we have no problem dropping some serious change on a truly elegant whiskey or craft spirit, the truth is: most mixed drinks don't actually require the highest end of spirits. So, if you're looking to experiment with crafting your own drinks, but don't want to invest mega bucks in a full fleet of top-shelf spirits, it's time to learn how to stock your home bar or bar cart on a budget.
Your New Favorite Sunglasses: An Under $10 Pair that Fits Every Man, Every Time (and How to Make Them Better)
There's definitely a case to be made for the investment pair of sunglasses. That classic, quality pair that works with everything from a tuxedo to swim trunks and sandals. That pair that you're a little hesitant to spend the money on at first because you're used to losing your gas station glasses all the time, but find, once you own them, that you actually seem to keep track and take care of them at all times
We love that pair of sunglasses. But we also know that summer brings a lot of real adventures. Like, if you're doing these long days and warm temps right, there are actually dozens of times where a high-end pair doesn't make sense. Like any time you're in the woods, a mountain, the desert, on a bicycle or other human-powered transportation, or any time you're moving about near, on, or in a large body of water.
If we were all millionaires, we'd all look stylish everyday. Not necessarily fancy, but we'd be able to afford whatever we needed to fit our particular body types and look our best, whatever that may be.
But, we're not. Well, I'm not. (If you are, feel free to email me at Chris @ manmadediy.com. I have lots of interesting ideas for you.) But in the days of the internet and online shopping, we've now access to all sorts of deals that we'd never be able to take advantage of years ago.
Most articles on the value of clamps will begin with the old adage, "You can never have too many clamps." This one, apparently, does too. (See what I did there?) Because the truth is: you really can't.
Here at ManMade, "value" is all about getting a product which has a quality you're comfortable with at a price that you're comfortable paying. For us, that means we're rarely recommending
The Black Friday arms race isn't good for humanity, but it can help the price-conscious consumer. Amazon is gearing up for an 8 day Black Friday sale and here are all of the deals you may want to check out from electronics to home renovation equipment to outdoor gear.
There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.
There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...
And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.
Now that it's officially summer, let's apply that search to a great bottle of gin. Gin is a particularly diverse spirit. Besides Scotch whisky, I can't think of one that has a broader spectrum of flavors. And different bottles will showcase the distiller's creativity and play better with certain ingredients. But there is one bottle that I recommend for almost any cocktail that calls for London Dry Gin; the thing I would take to a party or use in a punch or batch drink for a big group.
When it comes to getting the most from an everyone-has-a limited clothing budget, the two most helpful questions to think about are "what's the best men's style value in terms of long-lasting quality vs. price" and "on what should I save, and on what should I invest?"
There was a time when the professional man had but one look, and when he was dressed for work, things were clear. Along with the suit and topcoat, there was the standard briefcase - the hard, angular, leather box, with bright, shiny metallic accents.
Now, with the traditional office dissolving and the 9-5 work week being constantly reimagined, it's time for a new briefcase: one that will still look professional, just not like Gordon Gekko.
The ultimate at-home method for adding a couple weeks to the life of your latest cut.
There's nothing like a fresh trim to keep you looking bright and well-kempt, but maintaining regular every-three-week appointments can get expensive and be quite tough on your free time.
Though the quality and integrity of handmade selvedge jeans made of raw denim is apparent to anyone who actually owns a pair, their steep initial investment price can hold many of us back. Including...me. I've got my eyes on a few different styles from a variety of makers, but that initial $250-350 can be
These cold winter months, with their insane wind chills and 5:00 p.m. sunsets, are the season of curling up with a tumbler of, as Don Draper says, "something big and brown." No mixers, shakers, or bar tools required - just a heavy glass, and a quality whiskey that can stand up on its own for some serious sipping. And if you know what you're looking for, there's no reason you have to spend more than $40 a bottle. Single malts included.
Chances are, you've got a nice, solid stack of post-holiday gift cards sitting on your dresser or in your junk drawer. Yeah, you could save them up for something big, or add them to your account and slowly spend them on books or other goodies as you stumble across them.
Or, you can make a few wise investments in your wardrobe, and snag some of these stylish best buys, each under $100...and most much less expensive.