As a wise man once said, having the right tools for the job is half the job itself. But in 2016, that means more than a few screwdrivers.
While a quality multi-tool will always be at the heart of a man’s DIY arsenal, today’s gadgets and tech market offers a mind-blowingly vast suite of electronics, apps and other assorted whatchamacallits designed to simplify your life.
But while other sites might try to convince you that a combined radio-toaster is a must-have, or a mask that straps TV remotes to your face (yup, seriously) is not to be missed, we’re shedding light on the gadgets worth the gravy.
1. A Swiss Army knife. (Mostly for the corkscrew, let’s not lie.)
2. A portable battery charger. Tech giants aren’t taking your pleas for longer battery life on board any time soon, so pick up a pocket-sized lifesaver. The RAVpower 20,100 mAh Pack stores enough juice to charge a smartphone almost seven times over.
3. Noise-cancelling headphones. Because babies on planes.
4. Plastc Card. The smart card that’s all your credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards in one. Which means no more stuffed wallets wrecking your trouser silhouette.
5. A toolkit.
6. A beard trimmer. Alternatives include bankrupting yourself at the barbers, or constantly getting mistaken for Rasputin.
7. A smartphone (it’s 2016, folks).
9. A bottle opener you’re not embarrassed to take out, and slim enough not to tear holes in your back pocket. Portland-based Grovemade’s trio – including black oxide, titanium and brass options – are strong, stylish and streamlined.
10. A lightweight laptop. Chunkier models might be cheaper, but the chiropractor bills won’t be.
11. Speaking of which, a laptop stand.
12. Nail clippers. Like these ones from Tweezerman, which not only look great, but conveniently catch clippings as you go too.
13. iRobot Roomba. Because doing your own vacuuming is a thing of the past.
14. A Stanley stein. Like a coffee flask, but for beer.
15. Amazon Echo. The Alexa voice assistant-powered Bluetooth speaker is coming to the UK. Turn the lights on, boil the kettle and order a pizza – all without getting up from the couch. Or using your phone.
16. A pen. Not a smart pen, not a biro, but a good, old-fashioned ballpoint pen that makes your chest pocket pop.
17. A camera. An iPhone might suffice for amateurs, but serious shutterbugs need something more substantial – like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80, which is compact, has WiFi and lets you shoot in glorious 4k.
18. Tile. Never lose your keys again with this Bluetooth tracker gadget which can be attached to keys, a wallet, a bag, other tech products and even your dog.
19. A drill. (Not for Patrick Bateman purposes.)
20. A wireless sound system. Because an iPhone in a glass is never acceptable. (We suggest Sonos.)
21. A Sonos Playbar.
22. A coffee machine that doesn’t require bank-busting pods you buy from ‘boutiques’. The bean-to-cup Gaggia Brera – a steel-finished, energy-efficient Italian beauty – gets our vote.
23. A screen-cleaning kit.
24. A Fitbit. Hauling ass is hard enough as it is. A fitness tracker like Fitbit’s latest, Charge 2, lets you count your steps, monitor your heart rate and check your cardio fitness level. Which is – despite its £129.99 price tag – cheaper than a PT.
25. A Thermomix. It stirs, blends, chops, weighs, grinds, kneads, whisks and cooks. Which means more wine-sipping time for you.
26. Nest 3rd-gen learning thermostat. Simply install, adjust the temperature manually for a week and then let Nest – which learns from your preferences – do the hard work for you. It can also control the temperature of your hot water, and display the room temperature, time and a summary of what the weather’s like outside.
27. Nest security cameras. Too far from home to threaten thieves with a baseball bat? Tell intruders exactly where to go with Nest’s indoor and outdoor security cameras (coming to the UK by the end of 2016), which let you communicate directly via an in-built mic.
28. Google Chromecast.
29. A smartwatch. Apple’s recently unveiled Apple Watch Series 2 blows the competition out of the water with a model that lets you receive texts, calls and other notifications via your watch, but also packs in GPS so you can track runs without your iPhone, as well as swim tracking in both pools and open water.
30. A TV that rivals your local cinema.
31. Noke Bluetooth padlock. No more meltdowns when you’ve got lost your key or forgotten your code. The Noke Bluetooth padlock – intended to update lock technology which hasn’t really progressed in, oh, about a century – syncs with your phone for a streamlined security experience.
32. Beddi. Not so much an alarm as a bedside concierge, Beddi plays soothing white noise to lull you to sleep (while also charging your smartphone and tablet), wakes you up gently with a light that simulates sunrise, plays music, receives weather and traffic reports and even talks to other tech in your house – from Nest to smart kettles.