1. Blender: Vitamix vs. Ninja
In this test, the Ninja and the Vitamix performed almost exactly the same making smoothies and milkshakes. The Vitamix was a little quieter and easier to clean, but for $320 less, the Ninja is a great alternative. Get one here.
2. Vacuum: Dyson vs. Shark
3. Dutch Oven: Le Creuset vs. Lodge
In this test, both brands performed exactly the same. The Le Creuset comes in slightly different volumes (3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 7.5 quarts) than the Lodge (3, 4.6, 6, and 7 quarts), but otherwise the $350 difference doesn’t get you anything different. Check out the Lodge here.
4. Juicer: Breville vs. Hamilton Beach
5. Stand Mixer: Kitchen Aid vs. Hamilton Beach
Or, if your heart is set on a Kitchen Aid brand mixer, they are frequently available used on Craigslist and Ebay. And you can replace the bowl for around $40.
6. Pet Brush: Furminator vs. Oster
7. Chef’s Knife: Shun vs. Victorinox
Although the Shun is a time-tested favorite, the Victorinox Chef’s Knife is a great alternative and the first choice of many professional chefs. And at $85 cheaper, you can even afford to get an extra paring knife to go with it. Get one here.
8. Espresso Machine: Rancilio Silvia vs. DeLonghi
Rancilio Silvia might be the “Mercedes of Espresso Machines,” but you could almost get a used car for the price. Enter the DeLonghi, a pump-driven machine at a steam-driven price. Even coffee snobs will appreciate the quality of this machine. Get one here.
9. Tablet: iPad vs. Nexus
It might not be a necessity but, if you’re going to splurge, the Google Nexus is the second-highest-rated tablet to the iPad with a much smaller price tag. Get one here.
10. Noise Canceling Headphones: Bose QuietComfort vs. Sony MDR-NC7
11. Cables: Monster vs. Monoprice
12. Battery iPhone Case: Mophie vs. Lenmar
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