Category: Reviews

The Best Foam Gun For A Garden Hose And Car Wash

The Best Foam Gun For A Garden Hose And Car Wash

Don’t have a high-pressure washer but still looking for the extra suds from a foam gun when washing your car? No need to worry, as long as your garden hose has decent water pressure Gilmour’s Foamaster II will give you most of the same benefits at a fraction of the price. In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of using a foam gun, how to use them, and why we think the Foammaster II is the best garden hose foam gun.

Foam Gun Benefits

As we have mentioned in some of our previous posts, washing a car is all about providing lubrication between the wash mitt and the paint. Foam guns provide a quick and easy way to coat the car with the sudsy foam lubrication from the car shampoo. Typically, foam guns are used with high-pressure wash systems which professional detailers use but we managed to find one that attaches to a garden hose and works surprisingly well. The foam gun is also great for covering hard to reach areas like the wheels and wheel wells. Even though you may not be able to scrub back there just applying the soap and rinsing helps remove some of the build-ups.

How To Use A Foam Gun

The Gilmour Foamaster II is very easy to use. The foam gun comes with a screw on attachment to your garden hose, the fluid reservoir, and the foam sprayer. The foam sprayer has a quick disconnect attachment to switch between water and foam quickly. To use this for a car wash, we fill the reservoir with car shampoo – we use enough to have 3/4 inch – 1 inch of the container filled. Next, twist on the foam sprayer top and connect the foam gun to your garden hose. The foam sprayer has a dial setting with 5 different levels, labeled “A” through “E”. The “A” setting is the lightest and “D” or “E” seems to give us the best foam production.

Foam Gun Car Washing Tips

  • Don’t mix the car soap/shampoo with water, just pour it into the container.
  • When foaming the car, spray the top first and work toward the bottom last.
  • Use enough soap, you don’t want to have to add more part way through.
  • Hold the container upright when spraying for maximum foam.
  • Spray the wheels and tires with soap.
  • Use the “D” or “E” setting on the foam sprayer.

If you’re looking to improve your wash without spending tons of cash on a high-pressure wash system, make sure to check out the Foamaster II on Amazon. Also, if you need help with finding the best car wash mitt checkout our recommendation.

Best Garden Hose For Everyday Use

Best Garden Hose For Everyday Use

Are you tired of dealing with a hose that is always kinked and looking for the best garden hose (with a reasonable budget)? Garden hoses are one of those products where spending slightly more can save you a lot of headache and money in the long run. We’ve found cheap hoses to kink and burst open more often than a high-quality rubber hose. The time savings alone from having fewer kinks makes the upgraded hose worth it!

In a hurry and just want our recommendation on the best garden hose? We like the Craftsman 50′ Rubber Garden Hose from Amazon.

What Makes The Best Garden Hose?

Let’s take a look at what we considered when looking for the best garden hose.

  1. Relatively affordable, we understand price and quality tend to be related but at a certain price point, it makes sense to pick a cheaper and replaceable option. Our budget was $1 per foot of hose length.
  2. Easily obtainable, we want our selection to be available regardless of location.
  3. Long lasting, we’ve all had hoses that last less than 2 years. We want a minimum of 5 years out of our garden hose.
  4. Kink resistant, the amount of kinking a hose has is often related to how easy it is coil when you’re done. The easier it is to coil, the more likely it is to kink. We think the rubber used in the Craftsman 50′ Rubber Garden Hose is the right balance.
  5. Warranty, the Craftsman hose comes up with a lifetime warranty. The details are included with the hose but Craftsman is known for having a fast and easy warranty process.

Why We Think The Craftsman Rubber Garden Hose Is The Best

We think the best garden hose is the Craftsman rubber garden hose. It hits on all of our all of our requirements.

  1. It’s relatively affordable the 50-foot rubber hose and the 100-foot rubber hose are both less than a dollar per foot.
  2. You don’t have to go to a specialty store or site to find this hose. It’s available at Amazon, Ace Hardware, Sears, and many other retailers.
  3. Rubber hoses are designed to be more durable and last longer than the typical garden hose. Your average garden hose is made of vinyl and reinforced with a radial cord – these are prone to kinking, cracking, and splitting.
  4. The Craftsman rubber garden hose is sturdier than a lightweight, flexible garden hose. It does take a little more force to maneuver but overall the durability and fewer kinks are worth it.
  5. As we mentioned above, Craftsman has a nice warranty program and this hose comes with the longest warranty period you can get – lifetime.

What’s The Best Hose Length

When it comes to hoses, bigger isn’t always better. However, we like to err on the side of slightly too large than too small. There is nothing worse than having to straighten your entire garden hose to reach all the areas of you’re working on. Our general rule is to look at the max distance you want to extend your hose to and add about 20% – 30% to it. For example, if you will typically be extending your hose to 25 – 30 feet, we’d recommend a 50-foot garden hose.

Get yours here Craftsman 50′ Rubber Garden Hose or the longer 100-foot Craftsman Rubber Hose (Amazon).

Should I Buy A Laser Printer For Home

Should I Buy A Laser Printer For Home

“Should I buy a laser printer for my home printing?” This was the question I asked myself about a year ago. For too long I delayed the purchase of a home laser printer. I knew laser printers were probably more cost-effective and faster but I wasn’t going to drop a ton of cash on a color laser jet and was hesitant to switch to a black and white laser printer.

After many, many monthly ink cartridge purchases, I gave in and purchased a Brother Compact Laser Printer from Amazon. I have not looked back to my old Epson since and wish I would have made this upgrade much earlier. Of course, this decision will be different for everyone based on their printing needs.

For my home printing (about 50 pages per week), the printer has already paid for itself within a year or so since purchasing. I also love the speed increase a home laser printer provides compared to an inkjet printer. Do I miss the all-in-one features of the Epson and color printing? Not really, most of what I use the printer for is printing articles and financial charts which both show up just fine in black and white.

Laser Printer Benefits vs Inkjet

  • Two-sided printing
  • Faster printing
  • Cheaper printing
  • Less frequent cartridge replacement
  • More reliable

Should You Switch To A Laser Printer

If you answer yes to these questions it might be time for you to get a laser printer. We recommend the Brother Compact Laser Printer.

  • Do you want to lower your printing costs?
  • Do you want faster printing?
  • Will you manage to survive without color?
  • Are you tired of changing ink cartridges?!
Smartest Credit Card For Everyday Use

Smartest Credit Card For Everyday Use

Travel hacking is a big deal these days and there are whole websites dedicated to maximizing credit card offers and spending. Instead of going down that rabbit hole we are going to briefly explain why we think the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the smartest credit card for those that want to use one primary credit card for everyday purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is considered a premium credit card and is targeted to compete with cards like the Amex Platinum charge card. It does have a $450 annual fee but also has $300 of extremely flexible travel credit (basically anything you charge to it travel related counts automatically ex. uber, hotel, airfare, car rental, etc). The effective annual fee, after the travel credit is $150, below we’ll show you why we think this is still a good deal.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Benefits

Main Benefits

  • Points are worth 1.5 cents each when used on travel
  • Earns 3x points on restaurants and travel
  • Complimentary airport lounge access (Priority Pass)
  • $100 statement credit every 4 years for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
  • No foreign transaction fees

Additional Benefits

  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, trips are reimbursed up to $10,000 (be sure to read the fine print)
  • Car rental damage coverage
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Baggage delay insurance, up to $100/person per day
  • Roadside assistance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement, up to $3,000 per person
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation
  • Emergency medical and dental benefit
  • Rental car upgraded status
  • Access to VIP events and experiences
  • One-to-one point transfers
  • The Luxury Resort & Hotel Collection

The card has an impressive list of benefits but the majority of users won’t get much value outside of the main card benefits we listed. Here’s a simple example to show you how much value we would calculate for an average card user (adjust to your spending). Let’s assume the following, which we find to be a somewhat conservative spending example:

Annual Card Spending Example

  • Annual fee: $450
  • Travel credit used: $300
  • TSA Precheck signup: $85
  • Annual travel spending: $5,000 = 15,000 points (5,000 * 3x points)
  • Annual restaurant spending: $8,000 = 24,000 points (8,000 * 3x points)
  • Additional annual card spending: $18,000 = 18,000 points

The above usage of the card would net the following expected value from points:

(15,000 + 24,000 + 18,000) points * 1.5 cents = $855 expected value – $450 annual fee + $300 travel credit + $85 TSA credit = $790 value

Based on our example above, it is easy to see even with a high annual fee and what we consider a fairly conservative budget for an everyday credit card, this card definitely generates a positive value without factoring the majority of the benefits. Keep in mind the $85 TSA credit is only useful every 4 years. Now, let’s take a look at the card value when including the signup bonus and assign some dollar value to the other benefits. The signup bonus varies between 50,000 points and 100,000 points, we’ll use 60,000 points in our example. The value that you get from the following benefits can vary widely from person to person, we are assigning some conservative values.

Benefit Value (in dollars)

  • 60,000 points * 1.5 cents = $900
  • Complimentary airport lounge access (Priority Pass) = $50
  • No foreign transaction fees = $25
  • Car rental damage coverage = $25
  • All other benefits combined = $50

Total card value (year one) = $790 + $900 + $50 + $25 + $25 + $50 = $1,840

Total card value annually = $790 – $85 (TSA pre) + $50 + $25 + $25 + $50 = $855

It is clear to see that The Chase Sapphire Reverse is one of the smartest credit cards as it conservatively has an expected value in year one of $1,840 and an expected annual benefit of $855. For someone that wants one primary card without having to think about optimizing every part of their spend, this is the smarest credit card for you!

Ultimate Charcoal Grill – Grilling Season Is Here

Ultimate Charcoal Grill – Grilling Season Is Here

Grilling season has arrived and this year you need to forget gas and upgrade to the ultimate charcoal grill, the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill. I took the plunge last season and looking back this is one of the best purchases I made all year. Grilling for me used to be a fairly mindless and often rushed process with my gas grill. Now it is a weekly, relaxing experience that I enjoy, often with an ice cold beer.
charcoal-grill

Why I Love Using A Charcoal Grill

I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly why I enjoy grilling with charcoal… Maybe it’s the smells from the coals lighting up or water soaked wood chips making sweet hickory smoke. My usual flow is to put a beer in the freezer or open a bottle of wine before heading outside and starting the coals in the chimney starter. A few minutes later I’ll have a glass in my hand and a pile of coals ready to heat the grill. What I do know, is there is something about the process of cooking with charcoal that I find relaxing and rewarding.

Why The Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

There are plenty of options out there for charcoal grills but here is why I think the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is the best.

  • Reasonably priced, usually can be found on Amazon for under $149
  • Built-in temperature gauge
  • Easy ash catcher
  • Super quick to assemble
  • Swing grill grates to easily add more charcoal for longer grilling sessions
  • Simple
  • High-quality materials/construction

Charcoal Grilling Tips

There can be a bit of a learning curve when first switching from a gas to a charcoal grill, here are a few tips to help make that transition smoother.

  • Invest in a chimney starter, save those matchlight coals for camping
  • Allow yourself enough time to not feel rushed
  • Start with the basics – hotdogs, hamburgers, kabobs
  • Don’t skimp on the amount of coal you use – generally, I fill my chimney starter to the top with charcoal
  • Protect your grill with a grill cover
  • As you get more advanced experiment with woodchips – I like hickory and mesquite
The Best Daypack For The Weekend Warrior

The Best Daypack For The Weekend Warrior

best-budget-daypack

A lightweight, high-quality daypack and hydration pack is a must-have for any hiker. Aside from keeping you hydrated, the perfect daypack should have enough storage, convenient access, comfort, and stand the test of time. Today we’ll show you why we think the TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpack does all that at a reasonable price.

This daypack comes with plenty of zipper compartments (three), easy access side pouches, and stash space. Its 1,100 cubic inches create the perfect size for day trips but could also be used for summer overnights. One of the things we love about this daypack is the included hydration bladder, which is an FDA-compliant food grade bladder with triple-heat sealed edges, a 2 inch opening for easy filling and cleaning, kink-free sip tube, and twist-lock cushioned bite valve.

Key Features

  • Ventilated shoulder straps
  • Cushioned back support
  • Adjustable athletic cut
  • Bungee strap system – this can be used to secure just about anything reasonably sized
  • Butterfly compartment – we use this for jackets and towels
  • Built-in reflectors

This is easily the best daypack under $50 – it even has a built-in whistle with the chest strap! Here’s a video from TETON to show you how it all works.

Oasis 1100 Hydration Daypack

 

The Best Car Wash Mitt & Pad

The Best Car Wash Mitt & Pad

 

To achieve the perfect car wash, a microfiber mitt that doesn’t create swirl marks or marring is a must have. The problems most people run into are either using a microfiber towel/cloth that doesn’t have enough fibers to hold lubricating shampoo or using some type of a sponge/wash mitt that is just too abrasive! With our obsessive attention to detail, we set out to find the best car wash mitt and pad.

We think the 2-pack Premium CYCLONE Korean Microfiber Wash Mitt and Huge 10″ x 10″ CYCLONE 10X Wash Pad made by THE RAG COMPANY are the best out there without breaking the bank. The thick microfiber wash pad has a nice foam cushion on the inside that keeps you from using too much pressure when washing.

The combo pack is a great value, we like using the pad for all the big, long stretches of the car and the mitt for harder to reach areas and angles. The only drawback is the pad seems a bit big at first and takes a few washes to adjust to the size. We think a 9″ x 9″ wash pad would be perfect (don’t worry, we’ll let you know once we find one)!

Wash Mitt Stats

  • 70% Polyester / 30% Polyamide
  • Weight: 12 ounces

Wash & Mitt Pro Tips

  • Always wash new microfiber products prior to first use.
  • Skip the fabric softener when washing, this can clog the microfibers leaving your mitt rougher than intended.
  • While washing your car use a separate rinse and wash bucket.
  • When using the mitt, we like to tuck the wrist portion of the mitt inside, causing only the microfiber portions to touch the car.

m3-washed-with-best-mitt

If you can’t tell we’ve put a lot of thought into creating the best wash experience, check out some of our other articles where we share our thoughts on shampoo, drying aids, towels, and car detailing accessories.