Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool

Technical Details

* Stainless Steel Handles with Carbon-fiber Handle Scale and Tungsten DLC Scratch-resistant Coating
* Outside-accessible blades mean, just like a pocket knife, it can be opened with one hand, quick-style.
* Bit driver technology makes it possible to customize the tool for any job
* At a mere five ounces, this is the lightest full-size multi-tool on the market.
* 25-YEAR WARRANTY Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.proudly stands behind our products.

Introducing the Brand New Skeletool CX from Leatherman
Get back to basics -- the very cool basics -- with Leatherman's Skeletool CX. Today’s outdoor enthusiasts want to keep weight and volume to a minimum without sacrificing quality and true functionality, and that's what the Skeletool is all about. Many multitools have multiple options, but they’re often heavier -- and they're loaded with more features than most people actually need on a regular basis. Conversely, pocket knives are light and streamlined, but they render themselves useless when the task calls for a more versatile tool. Enter the new Skeletool platform, offering minimal weight, compact size and endless capabilities.

Key User Features
The Skeletool CX has a large straight knife blade that can be accessed while the tool is closed; to open it, just place your thumb in the thumbhole at the base of the blade and rotate it out until it's fully extended -- which will engage the safety lock. This locking mechanism is noted with a padlock symbol on the tool. To unlock the blade, press the locking mechanism towards the handle until the blade slides past the lock.

Equipped with a universal bit driver, the Skeletool offers real utility options like no other multitool. To change the tool bits, simply unfold the tool and remove the bit from the bit driver -- and pop it out. And replacing bits is just as easy. Just press a new one into position and you're good to go. There's even a spare bit located in the handle side opposite the knife blade. This tool includes the following bits: Phillips #1 and #2, screwdriver 3/16-inch and 1/4-inch.

In the plier jaws you'll find a hard-wire cutter and a regular wire cutter. The regular wire cutter is great for softer grades of wire, but the hard-wire cutter is excellent for heavier jobs -- like cutting and bending fishhooks.

Multitool Capabilities:
The Skeletool keeps it simple -- and light, and compact, and easy to transport. Why waste time with pointless, heavy add-ons when all the basics are right at your fingertips? With its open hardware, skeletal design and hardy appearance, the Skeletool boasts a premium stainless steel blade, pliers, a universal bit driver, and a carabiner/bottle opener ... and that's it.

Key Tech Specs:

* Length: 4 inches/10 cm closed
* Weight: 5 ounces/142 grams
* Materials: Stainless steel, Tungsten DLC coating, 154CM, carbon fiber (handle scale)
* Included Bits: Phillips #1 and #2, Screwdriver 3/16-inch and 1/4-inch

Optional Accessories (not included)
Spice up your Skeletool with genuine Leatherman accessories. Options include a bit kit that offers 21 double-ended bits for real versatility. From new belt sheaths to t-shirts and caps, genuine Leatherman accessories are durable, fun and show that you're a part of Leatherman World. With such a wide variety available, it's easy to find just the add-on that's right for you.

All Leatherman products are covered by a 25-year limited warranty. If within 25 years from the purchase date of your genuine Leatherman tool you find any defect in material or workmanship, you can count on the manufacturer to make it right with fast warranty service. To obtain warranty service, return your tool to Leatherman Tool Group. Depending on the tool defect, they will decide whether to repair your tool or replace it with a product of equal or greater value. No variations, upgrades or refunds are offered.

The Leatherman Tool Group and its History of Quality
In 1975, Leatherman Tool Group founder Tim Leatherman was inspired by leaky pipes and a cranky car on a budget trip to Europe -- and thus the idea for his first pocket survival tool was conceived. Since then, Leatherman has become an internationally recognized company with hundreds of employees and a wide variety of durable, versatile, stylish products. Created with bold designs and truly rugged construction, Leatherman products are a perfect addition for tool kits, emergency sets, and glove compartments everywhere.

I think there is a lot of confusion about what advantages the CX has over the cheaper (-$20) stainless version. I hope this review will clear some of that up. Some reviewers are advising you buy the stainless version because the only difference is a slither of carbon fiber. That is simply not true. The CX has a lot more going on for it than that!

1) The metal used to make the blade in each model is different. The stainless version uses 420HC steel, which is a decent metal with good hardness and good edge retention. The CX version uses 154CM steel, which is considered by many as a "super steel" because of its good corrosion resistance and excellent toughness and edge retention. Imho, this is worth the $20 price difference alone.

2) The blade styles are different. The stainless version has a plain edge whereas the CX has a partially serrated blade. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The plain blade is much easier to sharpen because you dont have to deal with maintaining any serrations (if you dont know what you are doing, serrations tend to get ground away when you do any sharpening). The partially serrated blade, however, is much more versatile in terms of cutting. In a pinch, you can used the serrated part of the knife as a saw or just for more cutting power. Additionally, if you learn the proper technique, sharpening a serrated blade is not that much more difficult, albeit a bit more time consuming. Personally, I like the partially serrated blade.

3) The tungsten coating isnt just for looks. True, it makes this tool even sexier than it would otherwise be, but it also adds a layer of corrosion/oxidation protection. This is a big deal to those of us who intend to use the tool in humid or moist conditions. Natural oxidation isnt always that noticeable and protects the layer of aluminum underneath it. However, it is porous and is not as durable as a coating.

4) Some reviewers have stated that the carbon fiber portion of the scales adds cushioning to the handle, making it more comfortable to hold. I dont know if that is true or not because I have only held the CX. Still, it might be something worth considering.


*The 2009 model of the CX has a plain edge blade and the Stainless has a partially serrated blade* Thanks, Poiuyt Man, for the heads up.

After 1 year, I still love this tool. So far, it has held up to daily use and abuse very well. I sharpen it maybe 4-5 times a year and oil the joints once or twice a year. I also gave the pocket clip significantly more tension by removing it, bending it inward, and reattaching it. This keeps the tool firmly in place when I clip it in my pocket. Be careful not to strip the threads by cross-threading or over-torquing if you decide to do this. The pliers have developed a tiny bit of lateral play, but they still work great for anything I throw at them. The spare bit holder still has a lot of bite and holds the spare bit firmly in place. I still lost a bit, however, out of carelessness and had to order a replacement from Leatherman. Although the replacements are pricey, Leatherman got it out to me extremely quickly and customer service seemed very responsive and helpful. The tool's black anodizing has held up remarkably well despite being dropped countless times, used heavily, and tossed around in my pocket with keys.

Overall, I am very happy with this tool and it has been my trusty daily-carry almost every day since I got it. Much more versatile than a pocket knife alone and not much bulkier. You really cant appreciate something like this until you start to carry one and forget it at home one day. You will find yourself constantly reaching for it throughout the day, only to be greeted with an empty pocket and disappointment. I almost feel naked without mine.

Monday, May 24, 2010

SE-0303OR Power Button

Unique safety device designed for jogging
Bright, flashing lights can be seen more than 1 mile away
One-hit emergency alarm
Comfortable to wear with the adjustable elastic bands
Stylish, lightweight design, popular with sports people
Technical Details

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spy Gadget

iniature Spy Scope This compact spy scope is miniature but 'very' powerful With this gear you can zero in a vehicle license plate from two blocks away and able to clearly read all the letters The optics system is constructed of double optical prism which reduces its size significantly to fit in the palm of you hand The exterior frame is made of tough and feather-weight metallic alloy The minimum distance is 3 meters, perfect example for this, is the ability to read a bar code of a box on top of a tall warehouse shelf This spy scope utilizes advance optics system which increases brightness by 10 -20% when used at night This item can be used indoor or outdoor and easy to operate Approximate dimension: 3" x 1 3/4" x 1 1/2" Approximate weight: 1.76 oz Satisfaction Guarantee: 'If you're not impressed with this item, we'll buy it back!'

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Apple iPad MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi)

From the first announcement of this device, I was prepared to dislike the iPad, on paper it has way too many flaws. With one in hand and actually using the device, I can honestly say it is an excellent, gorgeous, piece of hardware. The biggest flaw, it weighs a ton. The weight doesn't sound like a bad thing, but after I held this device in both hands while laying down, my arms got sore. It's a small thing, but you should be aware that it is heavy.

Set up was super simple. Connect the unit to your computer, run iTunes, follow the wizard. About 5 minutes later the iPad is set up and activated. The wizard does call it an iPhone for some strange reason. If you have an iPhone already, the set up is a bit easier. It will inherit most of your settings.

Once activated, you have to unplug the unit and then go through the settings application to set up your wireless network and a variety of other settings. All pretty obvious, top to bottom, essentially all the same as the iPhone.

Do note that the charger is a 10W charger - much larger and different from the iPhone's 5W charger. So you'll have to use that charger. There is a big negative, you'll have to cart around that charger, most USB ports will not charge this device. My beast of a PC has plently of power on all the USB ports, and it will not charge my iPad. External battery packs will work with no trouble charging, or extending the use.

Battery life - I ran video, downloaded a ton of apps, and played with this thing for a solid 2 hours - 10% of the battery life was used. I would guess that reported battery life is right accurate.

Typing is easier than on an iPhone, but still not keyboard easy. There's a big problem with how to hold the device and type at the same time. I was a master at Blackberry typing with my thumbs. I can't seem to get it with the iPad. The other problem, the device has a rounded back, so if you place it on a table and try to type, the thing rocks back and forth annoyingly. I don't think I will spend a lot of time typing long emails on this device.

Apps that are built for or converted to the iPad format are simply gorgeous. They are full of detail and easy to read. Old iPhone apps that have not been upgraded are all blocky and not so great (useable but not great). You have the option to click the app back to native size if the jaggies bother you.

Safari works really well on this device. The browser is a real live browser that displays WebPages beautifully. Bookmarks snap up in an instant. Pages load at almost lightning speed, actually faster than on my desktop computer (quad core 3GHz, gigabit wired connection). There is almost no need to have multiple pages open, since load times are so fast and the favorites menu is so easy to access. There is just no comparison to the iPhone's horrible display of WebPages.

Email takes on a whole new look. Embedded pictures display beautifully. There is a pop up ribbon to select email from your inbox. Navigation is just a pleasure. Account switching is a little different from the iPhone, but still very intuitive. Apple seems to have figured out how to make the email experience more intuitive and remove the unnecessary from view.

Video is stunning. Netflix over high speed WiFi (my connection is 22Mbps) delivers full screen, highly detailed, smooth video with good sound. Any video created for the iPhone plays, but they are significantly pixilated or blocky, basically you've blown up a video designed for a three inch screen to three times that size. Those videos are viewable, but I will be reconverting my source video to the larger size.

Some of the free apps I've tried. ABC is simple and stunning for watching video, but lacks a lot of programs. Craigslist adds the ability to view pictures in the preview of a listing, something not available on any other computer - very handy feature. USA Today has done an awful job, the interface is horribly confusing and pretty well useless. Weatherbug is incredible, simple and to the point, but with a ton of forecast information (including webcams for different weatherbug stations). NASA is silly, an enlarged version of their iPhone app. Pandora works perfectly as expected.

The iPod / music side plays like I expected. Nothing really new there. The oddity though, iPod / music is on the home base menu, but video is a separate application. Everyone would expect that Apple got the music player right.

I've had an iPhone 3G for almost two years and have disliked almost every minute of use. I got it for work email and it sort of delivers on that promise. The iPad is what the iPhone should have been all along - fast, simple to use, and a gorgeous screen. I also own a netbook. The iPad is a much better device.

I love this device. Is it a revolution in computing? Only time will tell. For the moment, this is the best video, audio, email, web browsing device I've ever seen.

Go try it at a store. I think you will fall in love.

April 11 Update - Kindle versus iPad - I own them both. The Kindle is the better e-reader by a long long margin for avid readers. e-Ink is easy on the eyes, it looks just like a book. Where ever you can read a book, you can read a Kindle. The Kindle is light weight, about on par with a real book, maybe a bit lighter. And the plastic has a really fine satin feel. After about ten minutes reading on a Kindle, I don't think of the device anymore. The iPad - pages look gorgeous. Winnie the Pooh is absolutely stunning, with the color images, the perfect page layout, sharp beautiful type, fun page turning animation, and a kind of 3D look that mimics a book. But, it weighs a lot more than a book, more like a big old heavy text book. The hand feel - aluminum and glass - not as wonderful as the Kindle. I keep thinking, this is such a cool device that I don't lose myself in the reading.
Buying books with the Kindle is a super snap, under a minute and I've got my book. Buying them with the iPad? Sorry I'll never buy a book through iTunes, just like I've never bought a song at iTunes. Amazon has the review world covered and they know how to sell books.

But, and here's the big but, the majority of the public is going to love the iPad reader software. They will marvel at the color pages and love the book buying experience, just like they love buying music through iTunes. It will be a success. The avid reader will stick with paper or a Kindle, or a Sony reader, or a Nook. There just is no substitute for e-Ink. And, yes my eyes hurt reading the iPad screen; and no you can't read a book easily in the sun (especially not the beach).

And if you think I'm silly saying the device is heavy - there's three pretty savvy tech people that agree, Patrick Norton (a big strong guy) and Veronica Belmont of Tekzilla (an intense WOW gamer, so she has strong hands), and Molly Wood of CNet. Molly has returned her iPad because it is too heavy among other reasons.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cranky Desk Toy

Cranky wants to help you remember stuff by holding cards, pictures, notes, reminders, or whatever you can wedge in its little claws. This four-legged fidgety friend will dance like crazy to get your attention.

Add a kooky diversion to your work space with Cranky
Lots of gears and spokes give him a geeky, homemade look
Wind-up gadget moves like an insect
Made of stainless steel with rubber feet - Comes in Assorted colors
6.3" H x 3.2" W x 2.5" D

My review
These little gear box wind-up toys (you can watch all of the action as it takes place - the toy has an "open" build) are soooo much fun. My son and I found these toys by Kikkerland while on vacation, and I decided to purchase them from Amazon. "Cranky" isn't as active a toy as several of the others in this series, but he can hold note cards, business cards, photos, etc., which makes it fun for a desk. My only recommendation to the company would be to consider adding a timer to Cranky... how cool would it be to have Cranky go off, and the note he is "holding" is the reminder for your next call or meeting? I really wish the photo of Cranky showed better colors. For example, my Cranky has red rubber feet and a bright yellow windup key. Very snappy! All of the keys and feet differ between the individual toys, so you never know what you'll get.

I bought two of the more active toys for my 8 y.o. son (Awika and Cosmojetz), and they've been a big success! I only recommend the toys for responsible children who do not beat up or abuse their toys. These are not Mattel or Playskool toys, but cool and fun? Yep, way more unusual and cool than your average toy. Recommended!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ninja Remote Stealth Television Gadget

This small keychain remote can control up to 500 brands of televisions.
Use your stealth to control television at: bars, restaurants, the gym, schools, hospitals, and hotels anywhere.
Master power on/off, channel, volume, mute, and even audio video inputs!
Super easy to use, just point and click!
Great for pranks, makes a great gift. Battery included.

The Ninja Remote is a trademark of Swamiware LLC and is only sold through NinjaGizmos. Use the Ninja Remote™ to control television. This fun and small gizmo fits right on your keychain. Never be denied your favorite program. Control your own viewing destiny, with the Ninja Remote™. Real Ninjas love TV. Features a 16-bit microprocessor and powered by a 3-V battery

My Review
This little remote is amazing. Within about 10 seconds on average, we got it to sync with just about all the tv's we could find. I would say 1 out of 20 doesn't work well with this one.

Off topic: It's hilarious watching people's reaction when you turn the volume up all the way in a Wal-Mart or restaurant.

Its only real limitation is that you need to be about 10 to 15 feet at most to be able to use it.

Love the item, makes a great gift to anyone.

Great product!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor

1000-watt juicer with 2 speed controls, high (13,000 RPM) and low (6,500 RPM)
Die-cast steel housing; stainless-steel micromesh filter; titanium-plated cutting disk
Circular 3-inch feed tube accommodates whole fruits and vegetables
Pulp container, juicing pitcher, and manual/recipe book included; dishwasher-safe parts
Locking arm bolts move up to 1/4" in all directions to ensure a snug fit in the locking arm

ake great tasting, fresh fruit or vegetable drinks at home with this efficient juicer from Breville. The unit's Italian-made 1000-watt (1-1/3 horsepower) motor delivers ultimate power and durability, while its built-in electronic "smart chip" regulates power to the blades, depending on the juicing load. The juicer's patented, dual-action, diagonal knife blades are encased by a titanium-plated stainless-steel cutting disc, which features 115 individual knives to grind pulp into the tiniest particles. The machine's circular three-inch stainless feed tube easily processes whole fruits and vegetables without pre-cutting, slicing, or dicing. The patented design centers the feed tube directly over the cutter, providing the strength to process large quantities of fruit and vegetables instantly.
For harder fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, the juicer's high-speed delivers a crushing 13,000 RPM, approximately three times faster than most other machines. At such speeds, the pulp particles are "g-forced" against the stainless-steel micro-mesh filter with tremendous pressure to squeeze out as much juice as possible. An 8-ounce glass of juice from whole apples takes less than five seconds. Low-speed spins at a whisper-quiet 6500 RPMs, which delivers the best results when juicing leafy vegetables, or softer fruits such as watermelons or oranges. A 34-fluid-ounce (1 liter) juicing pitcher, a large 100-fluid-ounce pulp container, and a user manual with recipes are included, and dishwasher-safe parts make cleanup a snap. Housed in beautiful die-cast stainless steel, the juicer measures 8 by 9 by 19 inches and carries a one-year warranty.

Product Description
The Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite with 1000 watts is super efficient. This model has an Italian made electronic motor that increases power under yield to maintain filter revolutions. It has two speeds for soft and hard fruits and a three inch feed tube which minimizes preparation and feeding time. Beautifully designed stainless die cast steel housing and motor body makes it a work of art on the countertop. While juicing, you may notice juice escaping between the plastic juicer cover and the stainless steel filter bowl surround. Try pushing the Food Pusher down more slowly and using the low speed. When large quantities of fruits and vegetables, especially those with high water content such tomatoes and watermelon, are fed into the Feed Chute at a rapid rate, the stainless steel filter basket coverts these into juice so quickly that the force may cause leaking.

My Review
We just bought this juicer on Amazon, using the $25 discount and the free shipping. Made it the best price on the internet when we bought it first of December 2005. Before commenting on the juicer, let me tell you what we used before this juicer arrived.

We have a top of the line Green Power juicer. If you know juicers, you know this is one of the best. We've been juicing with it on a daily basis for 10 years and it is still going strong. It has a high juice yield (dry pulp), can juice grasses and greens efficiently (wheatgrass, parsley, spinach etc.), and low temperatures and rpm minimize oxidation so juice lasts a long time. Other advantages are claimed, but these are the biggest for us.

A well-known downside to twin-screw type juicers like the Green Power is that it takes quite a bit of force to push items like carrots into the juicer, because there is no cutting blade action, just the gripping/squeezing action of the twin screws. Frankly, after 10 years of pushing hard on this thing, we've gotten tired of it, even though it makes great juice. We also don't like the 1.5" square opening which requires us to cut up apples and large carrots before feeding them. Cleanup isn't too bad, but not great either. I decided to buy a juicer that would make good juice in reasonably high yields but with emphasis on speed and ease of use. My intent was that this juicer would complement but not replace the Green Power.

Well, after doing a lot of research and reading the reviews here and elsewhere, I decided to buy the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite. The most attractive claims for this juicer were the fast juicing speed, relatively easy cleanup, and the widemouth (3" round) opening. The stainless steel exterior was also a plus, as the Green Power's white plastic parts became stained long ago (vegetable juices can do that!).

The biggest concern with this juicer was the limited warranty period (1-3 years) compared to other juicers in its class (which go as high as 15 years). Phone discussion with a vendor indicated concerns about the lifetime of the motor, though his experience was not with the Elite, which has a new, more powerful motor. I also had some concerns about how efficiently it would extract juice compared to our Green Power, how it would work on spinach and other leafy vegetables, and whether the juice would stay fresh as long.

Though I'd have preferred a better warranty, I decided the features were attractive enough to try it. It is a lot of money to throw away if it fails just after the warranty. But if the ease of juicing was as good as claimed, it would almost be worth it!

The new juicer arrived a few days ago. It was simple to put together. The instructions were clearly written. After washing the parts in the dishwasher (yes, they are dishwasher proof), my wife and I proceeded to make one of our standards, carrot-apple-celery. Boy, were we blown away! This juicer met our expectations and more!

Our apples were large, so we had to quarter them despite the 3" opening. However, in the Green Power we have to cut them into 9 pieces, requiring 4 knife cuts instead of 2 for the Juice Fountain. The apples fed into the juicer easily and very rapidly. Apples feed into the Green Power without too much force, but can be hard to feed because of the pulp they generate (you make apple sauce in the screw feed area and it backs up the chute). We usually use Granny Smiths to minimize that problem on the Green Power, but the Juice Fountain had no problem at all, so I tried some Galas and they also fed in beautifully. In the Green Power, you have to alternate carrots with soft fruits to avoid stalling the screw conveying action; there was no such need with the Juice Fountain. For ease of feeding pulp-producing or juicy fruits and vegetables, I give the Juice Fountain an "A+" compared to the Green Power a "C".

We then fed in the celery. In the Green Power, celery strings wrap around the end of the screws and plug the end plug. The cutting/centrifugal juicing mechanism of the Juice Fountain eliminates such issues completely. The celery fed in very easily and produced plenty of juice. In the Green Power, celery that is small or somewhat old (limp) can be hard to feed into the chute since the stalks don't feed into the screw that easily and the plastic crammer tends to jam them in the chute rather than push them into the screws. In the Juice Fountain, celery of all sizes, including tips and leaves, fed in easily. For ease of handling fibrous vegetables or long, flexible vegetables, I give the Juice Fountain an A+ and the Green Power a B.

Already by this time I knew the Juice Fountain really does make juice fast! I couldn't wait to try the carrots. We put them in whole (minus the cut off tops) and for smaller ones, in bunches of 2 or 3. They just zipped into the juicer! The instruction manual says that juice yield is higher if you feed them slowly, so we didn't push the limits of feed speed, but suffice it to say, it was MUCH faster than the Green Power, on the order of just a few seconds. Furthermore, there was almost no force required to push the carrots in, a welcome change from the 2-handed, "lean your body weight into it" effort required on the Green Power. What a delight this was! For speed of juicing, we give the Juice Fountain an A+ and the Green Power a C. For ease of feeding, we give the Juice Fountain an A+ and the Green Power a D.

We were having so much fun we grabbed more carrots and shoved them in, and then disaster happened! With the juicer still outputting juice, the juice container (pitcher) overflowed and bright orange carrot juice poured out over the countertops and down the face of our painted white cabinets, staining them orange. We were having so much fun juicing, and it was happening so quickly compared to the Green Power, that we didn't realize how much juice we had made in so short a time! Had we been using the Green Power, we'd just be getting started. Oh well. We hit the well-marked red STOP button on the front of the juicer, then sponged up the mess, using 409 cleaner to get the orange stains off the cabinets. The stainless steel Juice Fountain Elite cleaned up easily.

We emptied the pitcher and then finished our juicing, making mental note to remember how rapidly this thing produces juice and to not exceed the pitcher's MAX level marking in the future.

What about noise during juicing? Many have suggested that the Juice Fountain is noisy. My wife and I didn't find it so at all. We have a flour mill that sounds like a jet plane! We have a Vitamix blender that makes a racket (on highest speed). By comparison, this juicer is quiet. Not as quiet as the Green Power, but not at all annoying. For noise, we'd give the Juice Fountain a B and the Green Power an A, with a Vitamix blender a D and our grain mill an F (requiring ear plugs).

Now for the taste test. The defrother on the pitcher seems to work OK. The juice was excellent, not oxidized tasting in comparison to juice from the Green Power. In fact, maybe it was my imagination, but I think it tasted fresher. The Green Power may use lower speed and incorporate less air, but because it takes so long to make the juice, by the time you are finished, the first part of the batch may be 20 minutes old. With the Juice Fountain, it may be just a couple minutes old. For taste, I give the Juice Fountain an A+, the Green Power an A.

We dislike pulp in our vegetable juices. With the Green Power, the amount of pulp in the juice is not bad, but we still have to strain it through a wire screen strainer to get pulp-free juice. With carrot-Granny Smith apple-celery, a quart of juice will leave at least 2-3 tablespoons of pulp in the strainer. By contrast, the Juice Fountain juice was virtually pulp-free. We didn't bother straining it, there was so little. This is great, since wire screens tend to plug and back-up, and are a pain to keep clean. Yet another time saver for both juice production and clean-up! For pulp-free juice, Juice Fountain merits an A+ and Green Power gets a B.

OK. What about juicing efficiency? I don't have any hard numbers on this, but the pulp felt about as dry as that from the Green Power. That suggests that the efficiency was similar. The Green Power is claimed to have one of the highest extraction efficiencies of any juicer on the market, short of the Walker or other press-type juicers. That seems to be a fair claim. However, actual practice may vary. The dryness of pulp in the Green Power is controlled by how far you screw in the end plug, which creates back pressure and controls the pulp flow rate. If you screw it all the way in, you get very dry pulp. However, the juicer feeds poorly, and if you have anything like apples you'll just backup the pulp into the chute and the screw won't be able to generate enough pumping pressure to overcome the backpressure of the plug. Thus, in practice, we kept the end plug of our Green Power screwed out about a half turn. This resulted in better screw feed action but somewhat wetter pulp. Some Green Power users will push the pulp through a second time to get higher yields, but we didn't bother. By comparison, the Juice Fountain seems to make pulp of similar dryness to what we were getting on the Green Power, but without having to mess with optimum end plug settings, screw backups, or feeding pulp through a second time. Thus, I give both Green Power and Juice Fountain an A for efficiency, but the Juice Fountain gets there more easily. Perhaps in the future I'll do a more quantitative comparison.

Cleanup was a breeze. I just rinsed all the top parts off and put them in a drying rack or the dishwasher. The wire mesh and cutting blades were easily cleaned with the supplied brush. I found cleanup easier and faster than with the Green Power. The Green Power has mostly plastic parts, and these are stained with vegetable juice stains which don't disappear with any of the manufacturer's recommended treatments. I anticipate no such problems from the Juice Fountain's stainless steel parts. The plastic on the Juice Fountain is not in places where stains are expected to build up (the pulp container or pitcher). The elimination of wire screen straining further eased cleanup. For ease and speed of cleanup, I give the Juice Fountain an "A" and the Green Power a "B".

A few comments on durability. One drawback of many product reviews on Amazon is the limited experience of reviewers with the equipment. Don't you just love those reviews that read, "I just bought Product XYZ and used it for a week and it is fabulous!!!"? I wish we had more reviews from longterm users. Thus, I wasn't going to write a review on this juicer until I'd used it at least for several months. However, I was so impressed by this juicer I just had to write now! I felt like I already had enough hard facts to compare with a top-of-the-line competitor that some of you would appreciate reading my comparisons.

Nevertheless, the big question on this machine is the limited warranty. I'm hoping that durability won't prove to be the Achille's heel of this machine. Discussions with vendors suggest that the motor is the critical part that may fail, so I'll be watching it, hoping that it outlasts the warranty, and that the new, more powerful motor in the Elite will prove durable. Warranties aren't everything, though. The Green Power had a 5 year warranty. The motor is robust and going strong after 10 years of almost daily use. However, the plastic parts on the Green Power seem inadequately designed for the high stresses placed on them in an extrusion device. We saw stress-cracking of the front piece within the first few years (which we eventually had to replace when the cracks propagated to the failure point). Stress-cracking is also visible in the main screw housing. Other plastic failures include partial separation of the feed crammer halves (so that pulp gets stuck inside the hollow crammer), chipping of the hopper tray so that it doesn't seat snugly, breakage of the plastic cross-piece on the base that the pitcher tray fits over, and stress-fracture leading to failure of one of the plastic knurled knobs used to tighten the chamber assembly.

By contrast, the Juice Fountain's stainless steel bowl assembly shouldn't fail unless I severely dent it. The wire screen/cutting assembly will probably need periodic replacement, I'm guessing. The housing lid and feed chute are plastic (looks like polycarbonate) and may eventually chip if dropped, but look stronger than the highly mineral filled plastic of the Green Power. The pitcher is plastic, which some people would not like as much as the glass of the Green Power, but at least it won't break as easily (we had to replace our Green Power pitcher once). If you prefer glass, you could use a glass container instead on the Juice Fountain without a problem except increase risk of splashing and no defoamer. Overall, I think the housing of the Juice Fountain will hold up very well compared to the Green Power. Thus, the only big question mark for me is the motor, and I am hoping that the short warranty is not a reflection of issues in that department. Stay tuned.

The other issue is the ability to juice grasses and leafy greens. I am planning to keep the Green Power because I don't expect this juicer to do a great job on those. We often don't include those in our juices, however, so it will be worth it to have this extra juicer for the many times when we don't need the other capabilities. I expect it to juice spinach OK, but probably not with as good an efficiency. However, I will withhold comments until I can do quantitative tests, which I may report later.

CONCLUSION-- I love this juicer. It is every bit as fast as the manufacturer claims. It is easy to use and clean up. It makes great tasting juice at high yields. It compares very favorably with a more expensive, top-of-the-line Green Power juicer. The biggest concern is the limited warranty, but I'm having so much fun with this juicer that I would probably buy another one even if it failed just after the warranty period.

The above comparisons are somewhat "apples vs. oranges". It might be more fair to compare this to other centrifugal juicers. Some of the advantages in ease-of-use would pertain to other centrifugal juicers when compared to the Green Power. But I think the 3" mouth, the high rpm, and the stainless steel housing are worth considering. I can't compare to other centrifugal juicers, but the Juice Fountain does compare very well with the top notch Green Power juicer.

This juicer saves so much time and effort, I will probably suffer any juicing inefficiencies that may arise with spinach and such rather than bother with the Green Power. I'll probably put the Green Power on a high shelf and pull it down only when doing grasses, which I rarely use.

Sorry about the length of this review, but hopefully you'll find the comparisons helpful.