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Thread: Gadgets for a buck

  1. #1
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    Gadgets for a buck


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    So since I can only spend so much time online without buying something, I've come up with a new method. cruising the popular auction site for stuff that costs a buck give or take. Cheap, three week shipping time makes it feel like a gift, and I get new stuff!

    Today's delivery was two packages, one was a large sized aluminum capsule. I've stuffed a few larger bits of char cloth in it, and it will live in my EDC/doom bag, tagged onto my slowly growing Izula/firesteel/AH1 kit thing. I'm quite happy with it. It has a reasonably sized oring, decent anodizing and a decent 1 inch split ring for attaching. I suspect that all of these are made by one or two OEM type Mfgs so they are probably all close to the same. worth looking into, and a decent bargain.

    The next package was a one dollar permanent match. and its crap. well, for a buck its a heck of a bargain, but its on par with a bic for the likely hood of becoming a family heirloom. It looks to be made of some kind of plastic, fiber reinforced polyprop or something. cheap steel panels for decoration. (if you are searching, I got the round one.) the o-ring is thick, so it looks like it should seal well. the flint thing throws a heck of a bunch of sparks, so you could light other tinder easily with it. the main downside is that the wick seems non-replaceable, but unless you let it run out of fuel, so the wick burns, it should be fine. (could be asbestos for all I know, it looks like cotton, but what do I know?)
    I ordered a nicer looking all steel one, so that one might be better, and Ive seen square zippo branded ones, but I have no idea how legit those are (and they are above the loose one dollar limit) Of course you can get them by the bucket full, so for a liquid fuel lighter, that is sealed and reasonably effective, I figure a guy could do worse.

    I've also gotten a 12v USB charger, no testing yet, but it looks similar to another I bought in a store for 12$ so it should work fine. (provided it doesn't just supply 12V to the charge cable)

    In the past Ive gotten good and bad USB cables from the bay, the good ones were standard USB micro and mini, and the bad were cheap Ipod cables. but for a buck, its worth the gamble.

    there are more things still on the way, so I'll review those as I get them. We've got a peanut lighter, mechanic keyring, battery safe, and a couple of firesteels.

    What cheap (sub 3$US) things have you found on the bay that were well worth the gamble?

  2. #2
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    P-38 and P-51 (John Wayne) can openers are pretty nifty and only a dollar or so.

  3. #3
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    Peanut lighter arrived! it looks really good, seems like it should hold up pretty well. I wouldn't mind if someone made one with a zippo style wind screen and with the o-ring on the lid somehow, but whatever. I got a 5 dollar one, and I've ordered another 5$ one of a slightly different style, as my wife decided she wanted one as soon as she saw it (yep, she's awesome) I've also seen some cheaper ones, I might be trying them out as well later along the line.

    Also got a stubby ipod cable, which looks good, and the mini 12V-USB charger seems to have worked without blowing up my phone.

  4. #4
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    I used to see a lot of those little button lights (like the Photons, but the generic) for a buck. You could buy 20 of them and they'd last pretty good. They would provide enough light to see to unlock a door, or to walk to your truck or to look at the breaker box. I think that's enough light for a minor emergency. Kind of like the flashlight version of the best gun to have in a gunfight is the one you have on you.

    That and a little keychain bottle opener. Amazing how many times that comes in handy.

  5. #5
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    Ive been wondering how good those are compared to a "real" photon. might have to try one to find out.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by whetrock View Post
    P-38 and P-51 (John Wayne) can openers are pretty nifty and only a dollar or so.
    if you are paying that then you are paying too much. when I have them in stock I was selling them 2 for a $1.00

  7. #7
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    Coin cell batteries are inexpensive on ebay, and its good to have a stash if you use Photon or similar keychain lights.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard thurman View Post
    if you are paying that then you are paying too much. when I have them in stock I was selling them 2 for a $1.00
    Yeah, I've found them as low as $.38 on obscure overstock sites. Can't see how they can make anything at that price though
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grease View Post
    Yeah, I've found them as low as $.38 on obscure overstock sites. Can't see how they can make anything at that price though
    I was buying them by the bag for a very low price. I think it came out to $0.05 a peace for them.

  10. #10
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    As of lately I've seen some not so reputable dealers various places really price gouge on the P-38s and especially the P-51s. If you buy a couple of hundred or more, they come out to 25 cents or so.

  11. #11
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    I was buying by the cases of knifes. he had them on a pallet and I ask him how much. I was buying a whole bunch of knives he gave me one heck of a deasl. I just passed it on to my customers that where buying off of me at the flemarket.

  12. #12
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    That said, I've gotten some p-38s that I've got were very soft, and the blades didn't stand up to more than a couple of cans. I have bought 100 packs of button cells for stuff that uses them quick. you get what you pay for, and quality doesn't come cheap.

  13. #13
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    I am sorry for that. this is the first I heard of that the P 38 where soft. I have never had a complaint about them from any of my customers.

  14. #14
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    Dunno where the guy I got them from, got his supply. No idea if they are a "real" p-38, or what that would even look like. Could be I just got them from a bad batch? Not like its a big deal. I always have another can opener anyway, so I don't carry on anymore. It was more of a "urban foraging" tool anyway!

  15. #15
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    I was in the army and boy did they come in handy.

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