The Sweethome and The Wirecutter are lists of the best gadgets and gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we earn affiliate commissions that support our work. Here is an explanation of exactly what we do, and how to support our work.

Lawn & Garden

The Best Watering Can (Outdoor and Indoor) Fiskars 2.6-Gallon Easy Pour
The Fiskars 2.6-Gallon Easy Pour is the best outdoor watering can we found after testing 10 cans daily in a community garden. The Bloem Living 56-Ounce Aqua Rite is the best indoor can we’ve used.   Read More >
The Best Reel Mower for Your (Small) Lawn Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
The Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower is the manual lawn mower we chose after spending 30 hours interviewing a turfgrass scientist and testing four models with a golf-course grounds crew.   Read More >
The Best String Trimmers Ego ST1502-S Power+ 15" String Trimmer
After testing seven string trimmers (aka weed whackers) on 12,598 square feet of field, the Ego ST1502-S Power+ 15" String Trimmer is our choice—a long-running cordless tool as powerful and affordable as a gas model but with less noise and hassle.   Read More >
The Best Hard Cooler Coleman 70 Qt. Xtreme Marine Cooler
After another five hours of research, we’ve tracked down a cheaper Marine version of our top pick for hard coolers, and we think it’s the best deal we’ve seen for a cooler this summer.   Read More >
The Best Picnic Basket Picnic at Ascot Collapsible Insulated Picnic Basket with Cutlery Set
It’s picnic time! We tried seven baskets and the Picnic at Ascot Collapsible Insulated Picnic Basket was the sturdiest, most attractive, and easiest to store.   Read More >
The Best Picnic Blanket Nemo Victory Blanket
After lounging on seven top-rated picnic blankets, we found the Nemo Victory Blanket offers the best combination of comfort, durability, and easy cleaning.   Read More >
The Best Lawn Mower Honda HRX217K5VKA
After 50 hours of research, the self-propelled, gas-powered Honda HRX217K5VKA is our best lawn mower pick for the third year running, thanks to unmatched reliability and performance that makes yard work easier.    Read More >
The Best Leaf Blower Black & Decker BV6600 High Performance Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher
After almost 80 hours of research and testing involving thirteen leading leaf blowers and three veteran landscapers, we found the Black & Decker BV6600 High Performance Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher is the best option for most people. It’s lighter and better balanced than competitors, and it’s among the most powerful electric blowers we tested. Plus, switching out the nozzle attachments is easier on the BV6000 than on the competition.   Read More >
The Best Charcoal for Grilling Royal Oak Ridge Briquets
After three years of testing and 115 hours of research, we’ve found that Royal Oak Ridge Briquets are the best charcoal for your grill. Because of the briquets’ consistent size, shape, and quality, this charcoal burns hotter, lasts longer, and produces less ash than nearly every other option in our test group. Plus, it costs only about 75 cents a pound, and it’s available year-round.   Read More >
The Best Leaf Rake Ames Jackson 1923700 Steel-Tine Leaf Rake
After investigating 42 different rake models and testing five with members of a seasoned volunteer landscaping crew, we found that Ames's Jackson 1923700 Steel-Tine Leaf Rake is the best option for most people. The Jackson rake is well-balanced, more durable than other models we researched, and can work like new for years.   Read More >
The Best Garden Trowel Wilcox 14” Garden Trowel
After spending more than 10 hours digging, cutting, and scooping dirt with 24 models, we found that the Wilcox 14” Garden Trowel is the best garden trowel for most gardeners. The single-piece, stainless steel Wilcox’s edge and shape penetrates the soil better than any other trowel, its wide blade scoops more soil than any soil knife, and it’s nearly indestructible.   Read More >
The Best Grill Tools
Pre-packaged grill kits usually include tools of substandard quality or poor design (although we found one exception this year). We think the smart money is on buying what you need piece by piece, which is why we’ve spent the past three years researching grill accessories, speaking with grilling experts, and testing 52 different tools to find the best equipment for hassle-free outdoor cooking.   Read More >
The Best Gardening Gloves Atlas Nitrile Garden Gloves
After testing garden gloves for sensitivity, grip, and protection by peeling grapes, picking up oiled marbles, and grabbing raspberry canes, we found the Atlas Nitrile Garden Gloves are the best option. They’re cheap (at $4 per pair in a six pack) and aren’t the best at any single task, but they’re better all around than gloves that cost four times as much. Plus, they stood up well in the wash, unlike most inexpensive cotton gloves.   Read More >
The Best Sprinkler Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Weighted Sled Base
After testing nine new sprinklers and comparing notes with our 25-sprinkler test in 2013, the Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler is the best sprinkler for most people. It’s durable, adjustable, and no other sprinkler we tested has its uniquely versatile spray patterns and even coverage over a wide range of spaces.   Read More >
The Best Gas Grill Weber Spirit E-210
The Weber Spirit E-210 is the best gas grill for most people. Better-built and more durable than cheaper grills, the Spirit E-210 features a pair of convenient fold-out tables that expand your workspace, and it comes with arguably the best warranty on any grill under $500.   Read More >
The Best Soft Cooler AO Coolers 24 Pack Soft Cooler
After more than 60 hours of research and a 24-hour ice-melt test with 15 coolers in the brutal California sunshine, we found the AO Canvas Series 24-Pack Soft Cooler is the best soft-sided cooler. With enough ice, its insulation keeps food and drinks cold for more than 24 hours, and it is as lightweight, sturdy, and easy to pack as coolers twice its price.   Read More >
The Best Hand Weeder Nejiri Gama Hoe
After spending more than 50 hours comparing and testing weeders on dandelions, garlic bulbs, and more, we found the Nejiri Gama Hoe is the best tool for most gardens. Sharp and compact, this tool digs into a much wider variety of plants than the competition. It's also the only model we tested that could handle weeds growing in pavement cracks.   Read More >
The Best Charcoal Grill 22" Weber Original Kettle Premium
We’ve considered at least 200 grills since we first published this guide, and after evaluating the 46 new products released this year, we recommend the 22ʺ Weber Original Kettle Premium. This grill is technically new for 2015, but it will feel familiar to anyone who has ever used (and loved) a model based on Weber’s decades-old kettle grill design. Weber recently updated its branding, and this grill is a nearly identical replacement for our previous pick, the 22.5ʺ Weber One-Touch Gold Charcoal Grill, which we’ve enjoyed testing over the two years since we first published this guide. This version isn’t expensive, complex, or even a top-of-the-line product, but it is built to last.   Read More >
The Best Garden Pruners Felco 2
After testing 39 pruners on a variety of both delicate and woody stems, we found that the Felco 2 Classic Manual is the best garden pruner for most people. The Felco 2 made cleaner, straighter cuts than almost every pruner we tested because its blades are sharper and its cutting action is smoother. Plus, it’s more durable and easier to maneuver than the competition.   Read More >
The Best Shovel Bully Tools 82515
After spending 21 hours researching shovels, interviewing landscapers, and digging through mulch, compost, and rock-filled wasteland, we found the Bully Tools 82515 is the best all-purpose shovel. Nearly every detail is done exactly right, it’s built tough, and it’s inexpensive. Unlike the competition, it has a full-blade-width step that makes it easy to plunge the shovel into soil, and a shock-absorbing, rot-proof wood-and-fiberglass handle.   Read More >
The Best Bird Feeders Droll Yankees Onyx
We spent 20 hours researching and browsing through hundreds of different bird feeders, consulted five experts, and found that the $40 Droll Yankees 18-Inch Onyx Sunflower Tube is the sturdiest and best-built bird feeder. It’s versatile enough to handle several different feed types, and it has a lifetime guarantee against squirrel damage. Plus, it has a removable base for easy cleaning.   Read More >
The Grow Lights We Like EnviroGro FLT24 2-Ft, 4-Tube Fixture, T5 Bulbs Included
If you're ready to get seedlings started indoors for the winter, we spent 50 hours on research and interviewed six experts (one of whom designed plant lighting for Antarctica and the moon) to find the best grow lights. The $91 Hydrofarm FLT24 is low-maintenance, runs cool in small spaces, and provides bright light for stout plants.   Read More >
The Best Hose Nozzle Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol Nozzle
After testing several top-rated models, the Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol is the one I’d get because it’s made well, easy-to-use, darn cheap, and it has a great spray pattern.   Read More >
The Best Garden Hose Craftsman Premium Rubber Hose
For folks looking to keep their garden lush, cars clean, and sprinklers sprinkling, the best choice is the Craftsman Premium Rubber Hose because of its great price, durability, build quality, lack of plasticizers, and lifetime warranty.   Read More >
The Best Composters for Kitchen Scraps Earth Machine
We spent 20 hours on research, consulted three experts, and tapped into our writer’s 20 years of experience to find the best composting units for most people. The Earth Machine is often available at Public Works departments for a substantial discount. It’s simple to aerate, has a large opening, and keeps rodents out – unlike the competition. We also have recommendations for larger and smaller needs.   Read More >
The Best Turkey Fryer Bayou Classic Aluminum Turkey Fryer Stockpot
We talked to three chefs and fried turkeys on a propane burner and in an electric fryer to find the Bayou Classic Aluminum Stockpot paired with the Bayou Classic Single Burner patio stove is the best turkey fryer for most people. The aluminum stockpot heats oil more quickly than stainless steel options, which helps keep temperature steady after adding a turkey, and the patio stove is solidly built and more stable than the stands packaged in kits.   Read More >