* What does it mean to travel well? Over the past two years, we’ve spent more than 200 hours researching and testing dozens of products, and we consulted one of the top experts in travel efficiency, to find the most dependable items to help you travel well.
* We conducted 20 hours of research and consulted three experts to find that the Earth Machine is the best composter for most people’s yards. It’s one of the cheaper composters you can buy, yet it’s easier to assemble than other brands. It’s secure against pests and ecologically friendly (making it a timely pick for Earth Day, which is today).
* After 150 hours of research and testing 20 different detergents with a chemist on 252 stain swatches and 136 pounds of laundry, our new favorite is Tide Plus Bleach Alternative HE Liquid. In our tests, it was the absolute best at removing a wide variety of stains in both cold and warm water. It’s particularly great at removing chocolate, grass, lipstick, oil, tomato, and red wine. At $0.36 per load, it’s also fairly affordable, falling about mid-range among the detergents we tested.
* After testing ten different vaporizers, we found the Crafty produced the freshest-tasting, best quality vapor when compared to the competition. It’s intuitive to use, and was also the easiest to maintain and clean of any model we tested. Plus, it packs some useful design features like vibration and LED alerts to signal when its ready to go.
* There's a new adjustable wrench from Channellock that looks like strong competition for our main pick. We're going to test it and see how it compares to our current pick, also made by Channellock. [Best Adjustable Wrench]
* We're hiring an Office Assistant based in New York City to maintain an efficient and enjoyable live/work space for our staff working in NYC on a daily basis, as well as visiting staffers from out of town.
* We spent an additional 50 hours investigating and testing six top-rated dutch ovens to find the best for most home kitchens. The $75 6-quart Lodge Color Enamel Dutch Oven has the best balance of design and features, and it even kept pace with ovens four times its price. It is great for braises, stews, and even no-knead bread.
* We spent 30 hours on research, talked to six food professionals, and tested a dozen trash cans. The $115 simplehuman Wide Step is the best for most kitchens, because it has best balance of size, durability, and cost out of any cans we tested. It also has a sturdy step, easily removed liner, and a stay-open switch — all features the competition lacks.
* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, how late night emails make for poor productivity, what you'd pay to get all your TV online, and why settling for good enough can be more satisfying than aiming for the best.
* We’ve tested 13 standing desks for hundreds of hours over the course of the last three years. The $700 Ergo Depot Jarvis is the best for most people. It’s as sturdy and reliable as a high-end desk, but sells for half the price and comes with a seven-year warranty — compared to the typical one-to-three years from competitors. Plus, it ships faster too.
* We spent more than 35 hours on research and tested five top-rated, expert-recommended casserole dishes to find that the $35 HIC Porcelain Lasagna Pan is best for most home kitchens. In our tests, it performed as well as dishes that cost three times as much, and it worked great for making gratin, lasagna, or even roasted vegetables or small cuts of meat.
* After 40 hours of research, surveying more than 550 Wirecutter readers, and spending a week testing beard trimmers with two professional barbers, we'd recommend the $40 Wahl Lithium Ion All-in-One Trimmer to most people. It has the sharpest blade, most reliable guides, longest runtime, and strongest stubble-cutting power of any cordless tool we tested.
* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, tips for discovering new music, reviving a stale loaf of bread in three easy steps, and taking a closer look at optical illusions.
* After a full 8 hours, coffee in the Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug was 20 degrees hotter than it was in the next-best-performing travel mug in our tests. It’s also lightweight, able to be opened and closed with one hand, and designed with a secondary locking mechanism to add extra security to the seals when you need it—a feature we found on only one other mug we tested.
* We've been testing Milwaukee's 25-foot General Contractor Tape Measure, which so far looks like a strong challenger to our step-up pick, the Stanley FatMax. We'll update our guide once we've had more time to compare the two. [Best Tape Measure]
* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, the importance of the lunch break, tips for getting through the work day on no sleep, and decluttering your home with a little help from Sugru.
* At the Wirecutter, we interviewed a man who made his living stealing discarded personal data and then tested paper shredders with a physicist. We recommend the $50 AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut for your paper-document, credit-card, or data-DVD-shredding needs. It was our pick last year, and we still couldn't find a shredder with comparable shredding capacity for the same low price.