According to our Readers

15 Products That Will Change Your Life For Under $25


March 28, 2019 Buying Guides By

Last week we asked our readers a simple question; what is the best thing you’ve ever bought for under $25? We’ve been overwhelmed by the responses. Over 100 of you sent writeups about that one piece of gear or tool that puts a smile on your face.

You shared tools we’d never come across before, learned about a new use for lacrosse balls of all things, and were impressed by our reader’s taste in affordable watches (shout out to Casio) and top-tier writing utensils. Take a look below and see for yourself what you can get for less than a Jackson and a Lincoln.

Champion Sports Official Lacrosse Ball

“For a few bucks at your local sporting goods store, the ROI on a lacrosse ball is second to none. Perfect for hard-to-get trigger points and versatile for people on the go, I always have one in my bag — whether I’m on my way to the gym or at the office. Favorite uses: bottom of the feet, glutes (can be painful) and the infraspinatus (my favorite).” — Nate R. Evanston, Illinois

Pocket Casts App

“I spend an inordinate amount of time listening to podcasts. While driving, working out, cooking, and really anytime I have downtime. Spending a couple of bucks on the most seamless, intuitive, and well-composed podcast app was the best cheap investment I have ever made.” — Andrew P. Bethesda, MD

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“It was the book that introduced me to a world of imagination, learning, and absurdity. From there, I would go on to explore book after book, world after world, expanding my understanding of the universe and a deep love of learning.” — Jordan K. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Casio F91W-1

“It is water-resistant, accurately tells you what time it is, low profile looks great, has a hilarious light and is basically disposable at just over $10! I could buy two of them and they would be the two best products for a total still well under $25! You can’t beat it!” — William M. Denver, Colorado

TEC Accessories P-7 Keychain Suspension Clip

“Lightweight, durable, small and functional — no extra bells and whistles. It does its job simply and with no issues. I’ve had mine for years and it has never failed me. I’ve hooked my keys on the waistband of gym shorts and, in addition to not digging into my side, I hardly know it’s hooked up. Can be found for well under $25 ($12 on Amazon). Perfect in every way.” — Nike F. Novato, California

Opinel No. 8 Beechwood Handle Knife

“I have it with me wherever I go. I’ve used it and abused it 1000 times in different situations and still cuts just as it did on the first day. The blade is easy to resharpen but hard to maintain (it rusts easily). 11/10 would buy again.” — Emanuel S. Osijek, Croatia

Victorinox Classic SD

“I keep this in my desk at work and I’ve probably used it every day for the past 10 years. I’m either cutting open a box, cutting a loose thread off my clothes, or using the screwdriver head to tighten up a loose screw. I’m constantly reaching for this and it’s definitely worth the $16 USD.” — Danny L. Vancouver, British Columbia

Pentel Ener Gel 0.7 Metal Tip Pen

“Smoother, more consistent and more reliable than pens of a significantly higher price point. Easy to source and replace if given away, lost or ‘borrowed.’ My favorite gateway pen for convincing non-pen enthusiasts to start using better writing tools but most importantly to start paying attention to what they use and start making deliberate choices in order to get the most from what they spend their money on. We might as well use the best possible tools we can afford and get the most utility from.” — Eryk J. Vancouver, British Columbia

rOtring 600 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil


“Just a very well-made mechanical pencil. It is beautiful, consistent, comfortable to use, robust and it will probably outlive me.” — Kristján, S. Paris, France

Gyokucho Japanese Pull Saw

“A Japanese pull saw is incredibly versatile for the price. I’ve used this saw to precisely cut joinery and its what I take with me to quickly break down wood while dumpster diving. Because you cut on the pull, rather than the push I can make a quick clean cut even when I’m trespassing.” — Mitch K. Autin, Texas

Wealers Collapsible Kettle

“I like camping and coffee. Hot water is essential for both, especially when I want coffee when I’m camping. This thing does the trick.” — Steve S. Woodstock, Georgia

ThermaRest RidgeRest Classic

“With the multiple uses and small footprint, it’s a no brainer to have in the gear room. As a backup for an expensive inflatable pad, or a basecamp retreat for the dogs. You will find a ton of use out of this closed foam sleeping pad.” — Steve B. Denver, Colorado

Anker Powerline+ II 10ft Lightning Cable

“I’ve never gone from, ‘this seems excessive’, to ‘this is great’, to ‘oops I have one in every room(!)’ so quickly. Not only has this lasted longer than any Apple cable, but it’s also cheaper to boot.” — Maxim H. London, England

Benriner “Little Beni” Mandoline Slicer

“Ever wanted a whole sack of consistently sliced potatoes for breakfast or shaved brussel sprouts for dinner with a looming side of danger that you might lose your finger at any moment? If so, this item will be your huckleberry.” — Nick L. New York, New York

Evan Williams Single Barrel

“This single barrel punches way above its weight. Complex, integrated, and delicious. Cheap!” — Andrew P. Bethesda, Maryland

The Best Stuff Our Staff Has Bought For Under $25

We asked our staff the same question and got some pretty unique answers. Read the Story

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