ACWOO Arthritis Compression Gloves

I have mild arthritis in both hands, although made worse in one following a fall. Since they are so inexpensive I decided to give these compression gloves designed for arthritis sufferers a chance, to see if they did any good. The theory behind them is that they stimulate the acupoints, blood circulation and generate heat therapy to relieve joint pain

The gloves arrived in a simple plastic bag with no documentation or accessories included, understandable for the current £5.09 price, but I would happily have paid more for a storage bag and some information on the science behind them and a guide to their best use.

The gloves are very lightweight with silicone grips to the fingers and palm areas. The material is elastic, as compression is needed to soothe and reduce the pain of the affected areas, so we are told. The gloves have stitched hems along the finger ends, which leave the thumb and fingertips exposed to facilitate typing or other activities.

The build quality is OK for the budget price but I noticed some hanging threads and poor stitching which does not make me think the gloves will last particularly well.

So how well do they work? Perhaps I am not best placed to judge them. My arthritis is mild and only one finger has restricted movement and although I have some pain in both hands it does not yet restrict my use of them. With that in mind I have to say after a few weeks of wearing the gloves whenever possible I have not noticed any difference in movement or pain.

Although these gloves have been of little use to me, they may well be of benefit to others and for the low price it may be worth your while to give them a try. There are many compression gloves similar to these available at a wide range of prices, which may or may not be better, so decide for yourself.

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VicTiv T80 Tripod Review

My old tripod broke and so it was time to replace it. I decided upon this one from VicTiv, a company new to me, because of the £49.99 price, the relatively sturdy build, the quick-release clips for the leg extensions, and the excellent head unit.

In the box, you receive the tripod itself, a phone/tablet clamp, two quick-release plates (one fitted) and a well written and easy to read user guide. Build quality seems fine for the low to midrange price with nothing looking likely to fail anytime soon.

The tripod is made from heavy duty plastic with aluminium alloy braced legs and mechanical parts. It extends from 23″ to 71″ in height with three leg extensions secured with quick lock clips – I much prefer clips to any other way of securing the legs as they are speedy in operation with the locked status easily confirmed from a distance. This tripod lacks a crank to elevate the head unit, a great pity, and the reason for this is that the head and centre column support which fits through the apex of the tripod can be quickly removed for use as a monopod, a very useful feature some users although not for me. The tripod seems good and stable even at full elevation but I was pleased to see a hanging hook to allow weights to be suspended below the tripod for added stability.

The head unit came as a very pleasant surprise as it exceeded my expectations in several respects. It comes with two mounting plates to which the camera is secured for quick release from the tripod. The quick-release mechanism is one of the best and easiest to use I have yet encountered and can be used with one hand, there is no need to hold a lever open when returning the camera to the tripod mount. In use, the head is fully adjustable through every plane with a well tempered mechanism and a large removable hand grip. The only criticisms I have are of the largely plastic construction of the head and locking nuts and the lack of a vertical plane spirit level, although there is one for the horizontal plane.

Tripods these days always come with adapters to allow a phone to be secured to the head and these are usually very similar. Not so here as the included adapter will allow a tablet of up to 10″ to be fitted, a nice bonus.

My last tripod failed when the plastic tripod body snapped where the legs enter the body. This tripod is also made from plastic at this point but here the plastic seems heavier duty and so I am optimistic it should last longer.

I would describe this tripod as being a mid range device. It is a distinct step up from the lightweight budget rivals but lacks the weight and metal construction needed for professional use.

Nevertheless, this is a well made and cleverly designed tripod/monopod that comes with some useful add-ons and I think is rather a good buy for the £49.99 price.

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Clheatky Heated Gloves

These are probably the heaviest and warmest gloves I have ever worn although perhaps not always the most practical. These are super heavy-duty gloves containing a rechargeable heating element in each glove and are designed for biking or outdoor sports in sub zero conditions.

In the reusable ziplock storage bag are the gloves themselves, a dual-tipped USB charging cable, two batteries, a soft carry bag, and a single sheet user guide. Build quality feels first rate, these gloves are very well made and clearly built to last.

Even without the internal heating element, they are super warm, being thick and well-padded with a soft and almost luxurious felt lining. They are not without fault, being bulky and unwieldy to wear, water-resistant rather than waterproof and at nearly $70 by no means inexpensive.

The gloves weigh 200g each with the battery fitted and feel almost bulletproof, these would be perfect for biking or outdoor wear in freezing conditions. The gloves come with touch pads on the fingers and thumbs to allow the use of a mobile phone, but that is about all you can do with them on as they are not very flexible or manoeuvrable and at times it feels like you are wearing boxing gloves.

Each glove has a large 4000mAh rechargeable battery that fits neatly into a zipped pocket and can give up to 8 and a half hours of effective heating across the back of the hand and fingers depending on the heating level they are set to. There are three heating levels – Red (55-60°C), White (45-55°C) and Blue (40°C) which can be selected from a large backlit button on the rear of each glove. Unlike well made with other heated gloves I have tried, these heat not only the palms but also the back of the hand and fingers too. They come with a heavy duty charging cable which connects to any standard USB port but with two non-standard plugs for the batteries. There are Status LEDs on the cable for each battery changing from red to green when charging is complete. Take care not to lose or damage the cable as finding a replacement may not be easy. It is a pity standard USB connections could not have been used for the batteries.

These gloves are well made, tough and robust and with or without the heating on will keep your hands warm in even the very coldest conditions. At $69 they are not inexpensive but I doubt there are better ones available for less.

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LIUZIZHPY Sleep Headphones

The LIUZIZHPY Bluetooth Music Headband is almost identical to many other headband sleep headsets I have tried before and is none the worse for that. The main selling point it has over the others is the low price – which was the cheapest I could find on Amazon with UK shipping.

In the bag are the headband itself along with a charging cable and User Guide. Build quality seems fine with nothing likely to fail, fall off or break anytime soon. It is a pity, however, that charging uses a micro-USB interface rather than the more up to date USB-C. The User Guide is well written in good English, nicely printed, and easy to read. I append a scan of it to my unboxing video.

The headband has two slimline speakers inside a pocket within the headband with a control pad between the two with buttons for calls, track selection, and audio volume. This is an advance on some rival units which have the control button incorporated into one of the speakers. The control pad incorporates a rather hard to find micro-USB port to charge the device accessed via a tiny slit in the headband lining material. There is also an access flap inside the headband through which the speakers and wire can be extracted before washing the band, take care when doing so as they are delicate and I would suggest doing so only when necessary.

I was very pleased to see that the latest Bluetooth 5 technology has been used here as this will greatly improve the sound quality, range, and connection. Pairing was quick and easy to my Android phone. Pairing the pod to the phone is a matter of just pressing a single button and following the voice prompts. Using the button with long, short or multiple presses allows calls to be made, received and rejected, to pause/play music and turn the device off. There are Up and Down buttons to regulate volume and navigate tracks. Bluetooth range is claimed to be up to 10m, which is about par for the course.

Once you have managed to gain access to the charging port and get connected a two hour charge should give around twelve hours of music time or 120 hours on standby. A single LED on the control pod shows the current device status when charging the 180mAh Li-Po battery.

The headband is nicely padded, comfortable, and easy to wear. However, those of us with large heads may find it rather tight at first and difficult to align the speakers over the ears, although it does loosen up and get easier over time. This close fit does have the advantage of improving the audio quality. I prefer to use this headset for listening to music when in bed as it allows me to comfortably rest my head on the pillow when laying on my side, not possible easily with normal headphones and is often uncomfortable with in-ear or bud models. It is soft and padded and the speakers do not press into the ears or feel intrusive in any way. It can be pulled over the eyes to aid sleep. I would feel it is a little restrictive to wear for sports use but others may disagree.

The control panel controls are pretty much standard and easy to use. Press and hold the middle button to power On/Off or reject a call, and short press to play/pause and answer/end a call. Long press the + or – buttons to change the audio volume, and short press for the last or next song. The control pad can activate Siri or other digital assistants and also houses the built-in microphone, but I have not needed to use it.

I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. Often headphones with unusual designs tend to sacrifice audio quality but not so here. The audio is good with plenty of bass, clear and non-muddy mid tones and high frequencies which are neither sibilant nor grating. The sound quality is more than adequate and better than many conventional headphones I have used costing much more.

This is an excellent device for sports or bedtime use with very decent sound quality but is well made and durable enough for sports use. The current Amazon price of £11.99 makes it particularly attractive.

The Good
Good Sound Quality
Great Price
Good Build Quality
Bluetooth 5
Washable
Built-in Microphone

The Bad
Tight fit for large heads
No Carry Bag

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Anyork Red Light Therapy Torch

Red Light therapy has been used in hospitals for years but it is only in the past few years with the growth of LED technology that it has become available at home. This torch allows 660 nm and 850 nm red and infrared light to be targeted at specific areas. The 660 nm red light wavelength is best for top layer skin regrowth and repair with the near-infrared 850nm light for deep tissue, joints and muscles.

In the plain and unbranded box were the torch itself, a semi-rigid carry case, protective dark glasses, a wrist lanyard, two 18650 rechargeable batteries, a battery charger, USB cable and a user guide. Build quality is excellent, the 210g 25 x 120 mm torch has a heavy duty stainless steel body and is clearly built to last. The torch features three LEDs, two for the red light 660nm range and one for the 850nm range. If you were to be foolish enough to look directly into the torch lens only the two red LEDs would appear lit as the 850 range is invisible to the eye. The carry case and protective glasses are somewhat lightweight and like the pointless USB cable feel like they have been bundled in with the torch rather than being designed for it, but they work well enough and get the job done. The user guide, although large and well printed, confines itself to describing the product and gives no meaningful instructions on how to use it.

The torch uses the popular and easily obtained 18650 rechargeable battery. The torch takes just one battery but two are included in the kit along with a one battery charger. Charging time takes several hours but so far after two weeks of three 5 minute sessions daily I am still using the first charge.

I suffer from mild arthritis in my hands and I wanted to try the torch to treat one finger which was swollen and made worse following a fall. The torch has a built-in 5 minute auto off feature and I have been treating the affected finger three times a day now for about two weeks. I usually keep the lens very close to target area as the effect is lessened the further away that it is. Most red light therapy devices do not include protective glasses such as the ones supplied here, which are almost as dark as welding goggles, but I always make a point of using them as the light output really is very powerful although opinions seem to vary about how damaging or otherwise the light can be to the eyes.

Is it working? Well, I have to say that my finger is less swollen than before and less susceptible to painful knocks and bangs, a big problem before. The joint capsule itself is still enlarged and sore and I still cannot fully flex the joint but in general, I would say it is markedly better than before. I should also add that I am also taking various vitamins and health products designed to aid arthritis, so I cannot for sure say that the improvement is due to the torch.

There are various rival products available but I am not regretting having purchased this one, although the price of £61 is by no means inexpensive.

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ZOMAKE 42 cm Metal Shoe Horn Set

There is not really too much to say here. What you get here are a pair of extra long, well made and ergonomically designed shoe horns designed to make getting your feet into over-tight or poorly designed footwear less of a task than it would be otherwise.

As you get older getting your shoes on is not quite the easy task it used to be and a shoehorn can make life much simpler. An extra long shoe horn like this means that slip-on shoes can easily be slipped on without needing to bend down. I am not at that stage yet, but time marches on for us all.

Packing and presentation are minimal, which is fine for me, and the two shoe horns were received simply packaged in a shaped plastic bag with protection for the handle grip. No paperwork or other items were included and none were needed.

Each shoe horn weighs 150g and is 42 cm in length with a hanging hook bend on one and a grip area which feels laminated to facilitate handling. The shoe horns are made of an unspecified metal which feels like a stainless steel alloy to me.

The shoe horns of robust, well made and designed for long term use. They are far longer than many rivals so they can be used when standing as well as when seated. I found them simple and easy to use and sit well in the hand. Storage is easy as they can be hung from a radiator or any handy projection and are large enough not to be easily mislaid.

This is a well made, cleverly designed pair of shoe horns, built to last that may well make your life just a little bit easier.

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Torchtree Magnetic Fly Screen

We have all used fly screens like this one with heavy duty mesh that lets in light and air but keeps insects out and is secured with double-sided tape to the door frame. It has a central opening with full length magnetic strips on either side to allow it to automatically close and reseal after use and has a balance weight along the bottom to ensure it hangs correctly. This new screen from Torchtree is no radical remake of this tried and trusted design but it does update it in a couple of rather significant ways.

In the bag came the flyscreen itself together with a generous reel of sticky-backed velcro tape, a set of brass mounting tacks and some well written and easy to follow fixing instructions. It all seems well made with well stitched seams and feels heavy duty and built to last.

This set is designed to work with doors or sliding doors up to 100 cm (38″) wide with a 210 cm (83″) drop. It should work with smaller doors if carefully positioned when mounting. If the door is very much shorter in height then this may prevent the magnetic seal from closing fully at the bottom but it is easy enough to tape up the lower end so it hangs correctly held taught by the weights at the bottom of the screen

Fixing it is simple enough. Wooden frame owners can use the brass tack set provided but those with plastic or resin doors should use the tape included in the kit. Stick the velcro fixing tape around the door frame after cleaning the frame first to ensure good adhesion. Then position the screen so that the built-in velcro around the screen sticks to the velcro tape on the frame. It is crucial to make sure the screen hangs square and true to allow the central strip magnets to align properly. Fixing is not difficult to do and one person can secure the mesh alone but it is a job more easily done with two. The screen can be carefully unpeeled from the frame for storage and reuse.

The selling point for this fly screen over the others is that it is made from fibreglass rather than the polyester used for most of the rivals and hopefully this should prevent the mesh from splitting over time.

Otherwise, this is a pretty standard door mesh, well made, easy to fit and hopefully made to last. For the budget price of £11.99 price, not a bad buy.

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TIUIHU Weatherproof Camera Gutter Mount

I have a Reolink Argus 3 Pro security camera and I needed a way to mount it securely on the guttering around my conservatory to give a good view of the garden and back gate. This mount seems to be suitable and should work with any small to medium sized camera or in fact any device that uses the standard tripod screw mount. The mount I bought was priced at £11.99 but identical or very similar mounts are available at a range of prices.

In the plain and simple box were just the mount and a small single sheet well printed colour user guide. The frame of the unit is made from metal with the mounting assembly made from plastic with a metal screw head. Build quality seems fine. The plastic mount assembly is less robust than I would like but the rest of the mount is decidedly heavy-duty.

The mount consists of a plastic ball and socket head mount assembly on a metal frame and allows the camera to swivel and rotate to almost any position. The mount assembly can be unscrewed and positioned on the other side of the metal frame if needed to suit a particular location. Two screws on the rear of the metal frame allow it to be clamped to any edged surface up to 0.67 inches thick

It worked perfectly for me although I did need to reverse the mount assembly so I could better angle the camera lens downwards but other users might not need to do this depending on the positioning of their camera. The metal screw clamps fit perfectly onto a standard household guttering but it should serve equally well on a fence or any edging rigid enough to support the weight of the camera and mount provided it is not too thick. Installation is nice and quick as is removal depending on the location you chose.

There are plenty of different versions of this type of mount available, so take your pick, but for less than £12 this one is not a bad buy.

The Good
Good Price
Easy Installation
Reversible Mount
Robust Metal Frame
Tilt and Swivel Mount

The Bad
Lightweight Mounting Head
Poor Presentation

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Comfier Cordless Heated Hand Massager Review

I have noticed early signs of arthritis in my hands and so I have been looking for a massager to help with the symptoms. Most hand massagers are basically the same – a clam-like body containing inflatable bags into which the hand is inserted to receive compression and heat massage. This one is slightly different because its got compression bags for the individual fingers.

In the box are the massager itself, a USB-C charging cable, an excellent user guide and, who knows why a pair of disposable gloves and a set of stickers. Build quality feels lightweight but good and nothing seems likely to fail anytime soon.

This massager feels lighter in weight and less robust than others I have tested but it is smaller, lighter and easier to use. It is battery powered but take note, it will not work when charging. I was pleased to see an up to date USB-C charging port has been used with charging taking about three hours to give around 90 minutes of use.

Using it is simple enough with three buttons to select the three massage modes, three levels of compression and three levels of heat. The buttons are all backlit and change colour to indicate the current selection. The heating pad works OK but is concentrated around the palm area rather than the fingers. The device is nice and quiet in use and cuts off after each 15 minute massage routine.

The massaging is much less intense than with others I have tried but the separate inflation bags for each finger works well. However, after a 15-minute session my hands feel less affected than with the last massager I tested – although that one featured rollers, was heavier duty and much more expensive. So this may not be for you if you want a particularly vigorous massage although it suited me well.

This one works well enough and if you need a medium to gentle massage, particularly for the fingers. At £79.99 before discounts, it is by no means cheap but if discounts are available (I got mine for £59) it is probably a decent buy.

The Good
Light Weight
Easy To Use
Individual Finger Massage
Gentle Massage
Colour Coded Display

The Bad
Will Not When Charging
Expensive
Massage Not Very Powerful

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YMWLKJ BR-6 Geiger Counter Dosimeter Review

This radiation detector, or Geiger Counter, is widely available under a range of different brand names and prices. This one cost me £48 but I have seen identical models priced from £43 to well over £100. Most of them are exactly the same but I have seen a few variants out there with built-in rechargeable batteries and kickstand.

For those that need to know, here are the key technical specifications for this device:

Specifications
Model BR-6 v3
Size: 135 x 70 x 40 mm
Weight: 169g
Material: ABS
Power x2 AA Batteries/ USB
Energy Range: 20kev-3.0Mev≤±30%(137Cs-)
Sensitivity: 80cpm / usv / (Co-60)
Test Accuracy: 0.01μsv / h
Time Range: 0-99.99µsv / h
Time Error: < 10%
Average Error: < 3%
Type of Detection: β γ and X Rays

Build quality is OK but being made from ABS plastic and not being waterproof will limit how you use it outdoors. One thing I do like about the design is that the casing grill takes in air from three sides hopefully allowing for a more accurate reading from the Geiger-Muller tube inside. The unit is powered by two AA batteries but it can be powered from a Micro-USB port on the side, although this does not charge the batteries inside, so unplug them when in USB mode. The manual claims the device can detect β γ and X Rays in an energy range of 20kev-3.0Mev≤±30%(137Cs- with a sensitivity of 80cpm / usv / (Co-60) – whatever that means!

The detector measures in microsieverts per hour and maxes out at 100. This is not a particularly high level but if you ever reach it then it is time to make yourself scarce. At my house in England I was getting an indoor reading of around 0.15 and rather less outdoors. It is generally supposed that any reading below 0.52 is perfectly safe and normal.

There are three display options: Real-time, polled about once per second, an average reading for the last 8 minutes, and a graph for the same period. You can also set it to alert you when a particular radiation level is reached. The counter can be set to make the classic clicking sound or to work silently but to sound an alarm when your trigger alert level is reached.

This is a nice little budget-priced entry-level geiger counter that allows you to monitor background radiation levels quickly and easily. Shop around to find the cheapest one and I do not think you will be disappointed with it.

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