As a wise man (probably) once said, having the right tools for the job is half the job itself. But these days, that means more than just a few screwdrivers and a rusty old hammer.
A quality multi-tool will always be at the heart of a man’s DIY arsenal, but today’s tech market offers a mind-blowingly vast suite of electronics, apps and other assorted whatchamacallits designed to simplify everyday 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 is not to be missed, we’re on hand to shed light on the gadgets actually worth the gravy.
It’s about time domestic life caught up with the kind of gadgets futuristic movies have been promising us for decades. We may have to wait a little longer for androids that can do the ironing or retina scanners to replace door handles, but there is still some must-have tech in existence that will level-up your home life.
A smart speaker is the centrepiece of any technologically advanced home. From Sonos One and Amazon Echo to Google Home and Apple HomePod, these small-but-mighty sound machines don’t just play tunes; they manage your diary, boil your kettle and order your pizza. Who needs other humans?
Smart Security Camera
Too far from home to threaten thieves with a baseball bat? Tell intruders exactly where to go with a smart security camera that keeps you updated on movement in any room via a smartphone app and lets you communicate directly through a built-in mic. Or just use it to ask someone to check how much milk is left in the fridge.
Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Or more accurately, a small, puck-like contraption that scoots around the place, eating up dust, dirt, pet hairs, crumbs and anything else in its wake. Fitted with intelligent sensors and designed to reach nooks and crannies you never knew existed, it’s now possible to clean under the sofa without even getting off it. The dream.
In Your Bag
The beauty of modern tech is that everything is so small, you can take it with you wherever you go. No 21st-century man’s bag is complete without a selection of gizmos to keep him in touch with the digital world and plugged into his favourite entertainment. Here are a few gadgets that you should never leave home without.
Tech giants aren’t taking your pleas for longer battery life on board any time soon, so pick up a pocket-sized lifesaver. Look for a portable charger that packs enough juice to charge your devices multiple times and you’ll never have to be that guy who asks to put his phone behind the bar.
There have been big, reassuringly quiet strides in the world of noise-cancelling headphones, but the merits of owning a pair remain the same – mainly that they drown out everything from chatty colleagues to screaming babies while keeping your love of Little Mix a secret.
Books are great, but lugging 15 of them around at any one time is a surefire way to slip a disc. If your mental to-read list is filled with more titles than a local library, a lightweight e-reader will let you feed your habit and doesn’t require planning permission for an extra wing in your house.
In The Bedroom
Bedroom-based gizmos don’t stop at that thing ‘hidden’ in your other half’s top drawer. With so much tech geared towards making life healthier and generally more comfortable, it makes sense that there are gadgets designed to help you get a better, more satisfying night’s kip, like these.
Too many men endure the early morning masochism that is being startled into reluctant, bleary-eyed consciousness by a phone alarm. Step forward the wake-up lamp, which slowly emits warm light, recreating the effect of a natural sunrise, which helps balance your mood and reduce tiredness.
Some of these live on your wrist like wearable fitness trackers (in fact, some double up as fitness trackers), while others slip under your mattress or bedsheet. But the goal is the same – to monitor your nighttime activity and give insights into how long and how well you’re sleeping.
Not just for the bedroom, of course, but getting a smart thermostat will mean a much better sleep routine. Managing your heating and hot water in advance with your smartphone means no more sweltering at night or waking up freezing cold because you’ve got one of those old, impossible-to-use wall dials.
In The Kitchen
The kitchen is where the two ages of men come together: the modern bloke who isn’t afraid to get familiar with a whisk; and the old-school geezer, who loves nothing more than dusting off his toolbox. These gadgets aren’t just for culinary kudos – they’ll make a man out of you.
Once dismissed as a seventies kitchen relic along with electric knives and fondue sets, slow cookers have retaken a rightful spot in every sensible person’s kitchen in recent years. There are three main reasons: 1) you don’t actually have to cook, just chuck in ingredients; 2) your food is ready when you come home from work; and 3) it’s almost always pulled pork.
What would the world be without seriously good (and seriously convenient) coffee? Absolutely knackered, that’s what. From pods to filters and bean-to-cup models, there’s a type of Joe for just about every, well, Joe.
Juice is as trendy right now as it’s possible for squashed fruit to be. Machines that do the messy work come in all shapes and sizes (and price, depending on how much you’re willing to spend). Some crush, some grind, some squeeze – but all get the fruity goodness fast and easily.
Anything to get you through the working day is likely a welcome addition to the gadget arsenal. Want to make your days in the office better organised and less stressful? These have got you, and your desk, covered.
Phone Charging Dock
Do you think Elon Musk spends his days endlessly searching through his bag for a cable, or getting tangled up in a mess of wires under his desk? No. Give your tech a deserving home with a handsome USB charging dock that does the business while you do yours.
While it might sound like one of those daft inventions that proves technology has gone too far, this is almost certainly the office stationery of the future. By using a pen that tracks each stroke, you can seamlessly transfer analogue notes into a digital format. Looks like the future is indeed paperless.
Every office worker knows the dull stabbing lumbar pain that comes from being hunched over a computer all day. A standing desk is a savvy alternative that elevates your workstation to a higher, non-back-destroying position, with the added benefit of a productivity boost, according to research.
In The Gym
Like somebody dedicated to getting in shape, the gym is where tech has gone from strength to strength. Designed to make us faster, fitter and more in tune with our bodies, these gadgets could be all that’s standing between you and your personal best.
Hauling ass is hard enough as it is. A fitness watch lets you count your steps, monitor your heart rate and check your cardio fitness level on the spot or by a connected app. Best of all, most come in cheaper than a PT.
Wireless In-Ear Headphones
Nothing says gym newb like getting your headphones tangled in the hack squat. Cut the cord and invest in a wireless pair that lets you go gains-chasing without the risk of wrenching them out of your ears every 10 minutes.
AKA transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Using pads that stick to your body, this machine delivers electrical currents that help increase blood flow, improve endurance and decrease muscle tension. They’re best used for strength training and can be programmed via an app for either warm up, workout or recovery settings.
In The Bathroom
Gadgets and grooming go hand-in-hand. So bin the disposable razor and get rid of those rusty nail scissors in favour of one of these pieces of kit, which will have you looking sharper and more handsome in much less time than usual.
A go-to grooming tool for anyone with more than a millimetre of growth on their mug. The best beard trimmers come with a range of settings and accessories to tackle different lengths and facial hair styles, plus an attachment for nostril hair. Alternatives include bankrupting yourself at the barbers or continually getting mistaken for Rasputin.
If your haircut of choice is an easy French crop, then all the technology you need is a towel and your fingers. For anything high-maintenance, like a pompadour, quiff or longer hairstyles, a powerful hair dryer is essential.
There’s more to cleaning your pearls than just sticking a brush in your gob. A smart electric toothbrush connects with an app to monitor your technique in real-time and give personalised feedback on how to make your teeth whiter and healthier.