Best Coffee Makers Under $100

Certain kitchen appliances are not glamorous.  People might consider their microwave, refrigerator and stove to be major kitchen appliances, but they will overlook things like the toaster and coffee maker, even though these devices get as much use as any other tool in the kitchen.  Coffee makers come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  For most people, the goal is to buy a coffee-maker that has a nice balance between reliability and style.  A good coffee marker can last for well over a decade.  Sure its style might fall out of date, but it will still be able to make great tasting coffee day after day.  A good coffee maker might be more expensive than a basic model, but the savings can add up over time.  Think of how much it would cost to go out and grab a coffee from Starbucks or some other coffee shop day after day.  Even if you stick to a basic brew of the day, you will end up spending at least $10 per week.  So a $100 pot will basically pay for itself in a little over two months, while its lifetime will be three or four times longer than a cheaply made pot that will only set you back $30 or so.

Want a great coffee pot that can turn out excellent coffee day after day?  Here are your best options.

Krups Programmable Coffee Maker

This coffee maker, from one of the biggest names in the industry, is a powerhouse that uses over 1,000 watts to heat water and brew hot, great tasting coffee.  At $79.99, it is a good value overall.  Its stainless steel appearance and sleek glass pot give it an appealing, timeless look that will fit in any kitchen.  The programming features make it possible to set your coffee up the night before and then have it brew a few minutes before you wake up in the morning.  You won’t have to turn it on manually and then wait until it brews, you can have a cup as soon as you put on your slippers and make it to the kitchen.  Most important of all, Krups has a reputation for making quality products, so you will be able to really get your money’s worth out of this coffee maker.

CuisinArt Automatic Berew and Serve

CuisinArt is known for its solid line of kitchen products.  The Automatic Brew and Serve fits in well with the manufacturer’s other products.  This $99 coffee maker has a sturdy stainless steel and plastic design and a three-year warranty, which is well above the industry standard of one year.  The carafe is stainless steel as well, and it has double insulation on its sides, which keeps the hot coffee from cooling even if the machine is turned off.  The lid has a ball-bearing-like opening that lets the coffee to drop into the pot without allowing the heat to escape.  If you care about the quality of your brew, this is a great coffee-maker and well worth its rather high price tag.  Like other coffee-makers in the over-$50 market, the CuisinArt has programmable timer so that you can set up your pot the night before.

Bunn BX-B Classic 10-Cup

Bunn has been making industrial strength coffee makers for restaurants and coffee shops for more than 40 years.  This coffee maker has many of the no-nonsense design elements that are used in Bunn’s restaurant models.  The Classic might be short on style and it might lack some of the automated controls that other coffee-makers in the $90 price range have, but it is certainly the sturdiest coffee-maker that you are likely to find for less than $100, and you can rely on it to make consistently good coffee time after time.  .


Cool Flashlight That Don’t Require Batteries

A flashlight can be an invaluable tool in an emergency or an unexpected power outage.  Finding your way in the dark, searching under beds or dressers for a lost item, or trying to see into the back of a clothing-filled closet can certainly make you appreciate the usefulness of these small portable lights.  The main problem with flashlights is that they have to rely on battery power.  If you get a light that has batteries that are almost out of their charge, then the light will be dim and unusable.  People who rarely use a flashlight might find that the batteries have become corroded and ruined the light altogether.  In short, flashlights are very useful, but their batteries can often create a big problem.

So what if you could rely on a flashlight that didn’t need a battery?  Do such devices exist?   They sure do.  Some flashlights can be recharged using small solar power panels.  Since these lights do not require much electricity to power, a few hours in the sunlight is usually enough to keep a light charged.  The other battery-less option is a hand-crank flashlight.  This kind of light can work consistently provided that you can crank it and generate enough battery power.  With hand-crank lights, you don’t have to worry about having your flashlight lose power in the middle of the night and then having to wait until morning to recharge it.

Do hand-crank and solar-powered flashlights interest you?  Here are some great models that can help you take batteries out of your flashlight operations forever.

The Mini Solar Powered LED Flashlight from Meritline has three small LED bulbs that can illuminate an impressive amount of space.  These lights are ideal for emergencies when you have to find something in a hurry such as a fuse box or candle and match.  The great thing about this light is that it is small, so it can fit in your pocket.  Since it has a key ring attached to it, it can also work as a keychain.  No, this is not the most powerful flashlight you can own, but if you are looking for something that can always be on hand when you need  a light in case of emergency, then this is the device for you.  It powers up using nothing but the sun, so all you really have to do is keep your keys on a table or ledge by the window and you will always be sure that you will have a powered-up light on hand.  Other popular options include traditional pen-lights that have solar chargers attached to their sides.  These are a little bulkier, but also have slightly more-powerful lighting abilities.  Meritline offers these small pen-lights with LED bulbs and a variety of different colors.

Don’t want to rely on the sunlight alone?  Some of the most reliable lights have both hand cranks and solar charging panels.  The solar panels mean that you will have a charge most of the time.  But if you run out at nighttime or when you are in a dark place, a hand crank can be invaluable and can be the difference between stumbling around in the dark and being able to see where you are going and what you are looking for.

Meritline’s hand-crank flashlights can usually offer better performance overall compared to solar-powered models.  These lights are larger and have LED bulbs that provide much wider beams and better fields of vision.    Hand-crank devices can resemble standard flashlights and can provide as much power as needed regardless of what the weather conditions are outside or what time it is.  Most hand-crank flashlights come with LED bulbs, so they are brighter than standard, non-LED battery-powered flashlights.