Author Archives: John

Father’s Day Shopping Complete, Clickety-Split!

Father’s Day is only a few weeks away, and yet it isn’t always easy to find the right present for the “old man”. But our collection of The Best, The Only and The Unexpected unique gifts can help you choose the perfect item to suit his personality. Which of these suggestions sounds like your father?

Dear ol’ Dad tries, and generally succeeds, to be the best father he can be. For Father’s Day, he deserves a unique gift that’s also The Best. The Bose Soundlink portable Bluetooth speaker earned The Best rating by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produced the clearest sound and was the easiest to use. During evaluations, a panel of listeners raved about this speaker’s “perfect” amount of bass, “crisp” transmission of speech, and full tones in all musical genres.

Your dad is one of a kind. There’s not another like him anywhere. For him, these indoor/outdoor slippers are like no others, and they’re available only from Hammacher Schlemmer. They have over 1,000 air bubbles injected into the outsoles and insoles, allowing Dad’s feet to rest on a cushion of air. Following the recommendations of leading German podiatrists, the slippers have lightweight polyurethane soles and anatomically molded footbeds that cradle the feet, ensuring optimal support while lessening foot fatigue. The non-skid soles ensure stable footing inside or outside.

Your father is unpredictable and full of surprises. The size of his personality is surpassed only by the size of his heart.  The unexpected and unique gift this dad is certainly not anticipating is a bobblehead in his own likeness. Capturing the undeniable facial features of the subject, artisans sculpt a poly-resin model head from photographs you submit, recreating the subtle facial contours, eye, hair, skin, smile, and hair nuances that reflect his character. Choose one of hundreds of body types that show Dad the way you know him best.

If none of these items suit your father, check out our easy online Gift Guides. There, you can tailor the unique gift choices to match his interests, hobbies and personality. A few quick clicks and your shopping is done!

Don’t Skimp on Grilling…the Steaks Are Too High

Memorial Day is less than two weeks away and anticipation is building for grilling season.

You have only the few short, sweet months of summer to hone your reputation as the one with the most skill on the grill. So tune up your tongs, sharpen the steak knives, and consider these suggestions for the best cookouts ever.

Cooking for a crowd? This outdoor flat top gas grill brings the temperature consistency, flexibility, and cooking capacity of restaurant flat tops to your backyard. Four gas burners can be set to distribute heat evenly across the cooking surface or set to different temperatures for cooking those prime steaks exactly as requested. The flat top is preseasoned to create a naturally non-stick cooking surface that’s large enough to cook up to 15 hamburgers, buns, and toppings at once.

Here’s a unique gift to help any grill chef do it up right: this clever grilling tool incorporates five functions into one. Operating like blades in a pocketknife, a stainless-steel spatula, fork, silicone basting brush, cork screw, and bottle opener flip out from the sanded hardwood handle and lock in place for dutiful grilling service. The handle separates easily for cleaning—ideal for post-barbeque bash tidying up.

Are you ready for the ultimate backyard barbeque, 365 days a year? Made from Finnish pine, this authentic grill house replicates the all-season cooking huts found throughout Scandinavia. This traditional six-sided “grillikota” contains a central charcoal grill surrounded by dining space for up to ten adults, ensuring cookouts are not restricted to summertime. The grilling area is surrounded by folding tables for convenient serving and eating, while a hood and double flue expel smoke safely through the chimney.

Finally, we have one side tip to ensure cookout success: make sure you have plenty of ice. This little gadget turns out 1.8 lbs. of clear, well-formed cubes an hour. That should keep drinks cold and guests happy.

Discover Your Inner Artist…It’s Never Too Late

Some of this world’s most famous artists took up the craft later in life. Grandma Moses didn’t start painting till her late 70s, after retiring from a life of farming. Claude Monet dabbled in painting in his 30s, but it was only after his wife passed away more than a decade later that he got serious about it. Today, George W. Bush is spending his post-presidential life creating portraits honoring military veterans, exhibiting a talent hidden during his White House years.

Perhaps you are at a point in life where you’re ready to discover your own unique gifts of artistry. We have some suggestions to get you started, in a variety of media.

This 104-piece easel box contains everything a budding artist needs to explore a wide variety of painting and drawing techniques. The set’s premium-quality media include oil paints, acrylic paints, watercolor paints and pencils, charcoal pastels, and oil pastels. A selection of nylon brushes includes popular tips. All pieces fit into a beech storage box that organizes media and accessories in slide-out trays and doubles as a convenient easel. This set is a great unique gift for artists of any age and skill level.

Want to focus on an electronic medium? This digital canvas lets the artist in you achieve the same results as when working with paint and brush. The tablet provides a generous, precise expanse for drawing or doodling suitable for beginner or master alike. Providing far more precision than ordinary tablets, the wireless stylus simulates the broad strokes of an acrylic brush or the precise lines of a mechanical pencil. Included photo editing software makes it easy to touch up or add dazzling effects to your digital masterpieces.

Adult coloring books are on-trend, thanks to coloring’s ability to soothe and provide therapeutic relaxation. This coloring book contains 100 pages of intricate, hand-drawn black-and-white designs, ranging from a twisted trunk tree to a full-spread rhino. What really sets this book apart is personalization: the recipient’s name is integrated into the patterns on each pair of facing pages, making the book a truly unique gift.

Life brings changes…as we become empty-nesters, face retirement, or find ourselves less able to pursue athletic hobbies, tapping the inner artist is a fulfilling means of expression. Why not give it a try and meet the artist hiding inside of you.

Whittle Your Middle

As the years go by, most of us are getting a little softer around the mid-section.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that over the decade that ended in 2012, the average American waistline increased by more than an inch. Unfortunately, fat around the abdomen is a greater danger to good health than fat in other areas, and it’s worth trying to lose.

Fact is, you can’t reduce your waistline without some targeted efforts. These unique gifts will work your core, helping your middle measurements while also strengthening your back, improving posture and balance, increasing your energy level, and enhancing your appearance.

This core-toning twister board provides a low-impact workout on any surface. Its unique design lets you stand on each end to tone abs, along with quads and calves, by simply twisting. Unlike monotonous balance boards or other stationary equipment, this unit encourages active, dance-like movement without putting strain on the knees.

Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this compact trainer simulates cantering on a horse to strengthen and tone core muscles. Simply sit on the padded saddle, rest your feet on its rubberized bar, grasp the padded adjustable handlebar, and shift your weight backward to put the device’s drivewheel in motion. A 10-minute session can burn as many calories as 200 sit-ups or a one-hour walk.

As you whittle your middle, you’ll want to start sculpting your entire body to gain the unique gifts of being toned and fit overall. This foldable home resistance gym provides a 50-exercise workout, yet can be stored under a bed or in a closet. The gym uses six elastic cords that provide three levels of bi-directional resistance by simply adjusting integrated carabiner clips.

Once you’ve trimmed and strengthened your core, you will likely find everyday tasks—housecleaning, yard work, even just walking to and from a parking lot—become easier and more pleasurable. You may lose weight but what you’ll gain are the unique gifts that come from improving your health and feeling better overall.

What If Your Garden Could Tend Itself?

Among the best things about spring is planning and planting a beautiful, bountiful garden. Among the worst things about a garden is the burden of extra chores it adds to the day.

We say, why not let the gardening equipment do part of the work for you? Each of the unique gift ideas mentioned here handles some of the workload, giving you more time to relax and enjoy.

These self-watering stackable planters incorporate a concealed reservoir that conveys water to each bin like a Roman aqueduct. Simply click the modular planters into position, then pour water through one of the watering holes. The liquid flows to all five containers via a system of concealed pipes, ensuring flowers, vegetables, and herbs have access to water whenever needed, while sealing out debris and mosquitoes. Consider this set for a unique gift for Mother’s Day, too.

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute tested leading sprinklers. This lawn and garden sprinkler earned The Best rating because it watered the largest area, which means less time for you spent moving it around. It’s the easiest to connect, thanks to a specially designed adapter that attaches to a hose and simply plugs into the sprinkler, eliminating tedious twisting. This sprinkler also features a mechanical timer that automatically turns it off after five minutes to two hours of watering.

This battery-powered wheelbarrow provides effortless transport of up to 220 lbs. of soil, mulch, or firewood. It uses a Lithium battery-powered motor operated by a convenient handlebar throttle, with controls to select a speed and choose a direction. A two-hour charge of its battery provides up to 45 minutes of hauling power.

Spending time among the sights, sounds, and scents of a garden can reduce stress and promote relaxation. Add these unique gifts to your tool shed and get the most out of your green oasis…and your summer.

Hot or Iced, Let’s Have Some Tea!

Tea first became popular as a beverage more than 1300 years ago during the Tang Dynasty in China. Today, it’s the most-consumed manufactured drink in the world: annual consumption amounts to more than coffee, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages combined!

Tea is popular for good reasons. It’s versatile and can be served hot or cold, sweetened or plain. A strong breakfast tea can pick you up, while a caffeine-free herbal tisane can relax you. Tea delivers unique gifts in the form of health-giving antioxidants and may help with weight loss, boost the immune system, and aid heart health.

For the best-tasting tea, water should be brought to 175-212 degrees, depending on the type of tea being used. For brewing tea, tests by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute rated this electric tea kettle best because of its precise temperature controls, rapid heating ability, and overall ease of use. It retains heat efficiently, leaving you time for a second cup.

If you’re from the South, you may prefer your tea sweet and iced. This iced tea brewing machine makes up to two quarts of authentic Southern sweet tea that’s ready to drink in 10 minutes. As simple to use as a coffee maker, this automatic brewer lets you adjust the strength of the brewed tea with the turn of a dial and accommodates any kind of loose or bagged tea.

Want to take your tea to go? After comparison tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, we proved this to be The Best Commuter Cup for the fifth consecutive year because it’s easy to drink from and doesn’t leak, even when inverted. In tests, it allowed hot water to decrease in temperature by only 18 degrees after two hours, unlike lesser models that lost up to 71 degrees. It’s an ideal unique gift for tea and coffee lovers alike.

No matter what the season, it’s a great time to enjoy the unique gifts of tea. From black tea to green tea, jasmine to hibiscus to chamomile, there’s a tasty tea type that will delight just about anyone.

Unique Gifts Reflect the Truths of Motherhood

You might think you know your mother well…after all, you’ve know her your entire life. But do you really know everything about her?

Here are some truths about being a mother that she may have never told you, along with some suggestions for unique gifts for Mother’s Day to help fulfill what any mother needs.

She feels only as good as her feet feel. These soothing Australian sheepskin slippers offer exceptional comfort and warmth. The natural fleece lining is left intact during tanning and sewing to provide unsurpassed comfort and strength. The midsole is made with high-density foam topped by memory foam and the supple suede uppers will expand with wear to conform to the unique shape of her foot for the ultimate fit. Any mother will look forward to slipping these on at the end of a long day.

She wants to look put together, even when lounging around. Luxuriously soft yet practical for everyday wear, this lady’s lounge top and relaxed-style lounge pants are made entirely from washable cashmere, available only from Hammacher Schlemmer. Hand-combed from the downy undercoat of Cashmere goats, the fibers used in these garments have been exposed to a proprietary, non-toxic treatment to withstand repeated washing without shrinking. Your mom will appreciate that these garments retain their great looks wash after wash after wash.

She needs time for relaxing all to herself. There’s no better spot for that than this motorized reclining lounge chair with built-in electronic features all powered by the sun. A control pad on the left armrest provides push-button operation of a quiet hydraulic lift that reclines or raises the back, while fingertip-adjustable nozzles atop each armrest emit a refreshing mist. A USB port charges a cell phone, while integrated Bose speakers sync wirelessly with any Bluetooth-enabled device to play music or audio books. Mom can close out the chaos around her to get the relaxation she craves.

Still not sure what unique gifts for Mother’s Day suit your mom’s secret wishes? Take a look at our easy-to-use online Gift Guides for hundreds of suggestions in all price ranges.

Unique Gifts Of The Grape For Mom

Mother’s Day will be here May 14. If Mom’s a wine lover, you’re in luck—we have several ideas for unique gifts for her. These suggestions are perfect for moms who like to entertain, as well as for the mother who is happy she can finally drink wine with her kids instead of because of them.

This award-winning wine chiller keeps a bottle cool for up to four hours without ice. Its Finnish creators received more than 20 international honors praising the use of natural cooling ceramics. Ideal for a picnic or a sunny poolside afternoon, it eliminates the hassles of running back to the fridge for a refill. The unique outer surface lets you use chalk to write a Mother’s Day message on the exterior.

Not all cork pullers are easy to use, but this electric wine opener earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because of its perfect worm insertion and rapid, effortless cork removal. A wine industry expert lauded The Best model for requiring “no effort at all,” making it perfect for a mom who really needs a glass fast at the end of a long day, or one who experiences the discomfort of arthritis in her hands.

This wine lovers’ lazy Susan is beautifully made with wood and a repurposed wine barrel ring. The tray rests flat on a table and smoothly spins 360 degrees on steel ball bearings, enabling guests to pass cheeses, grapes, or other wine-pairing hors d’oeuvres without reaching across one another. It can even be personalized to make it a truly unique gift for the very special woman in your life.

When it comes to choosing a gift for your mother keep in mind she’s wise and knows money can’t buy happiness. But money can buy wine and that’s sort of the same thing.

Small Steps Protect Earth’s Unique Gifts

Saving the Earth seems daunting, like a 1000-mile journey on foot. Our Earth’s climate and its resources need our conservative habits, in the traditional definition of the word. To conserve: to hold back, to keep in reserve, and to not waste the resources of future generations.

This Saturday is Earth Day, with focus on being conservative with our use of water and fuel, and not using harmful chemicals on our lawns and gardens. In the true spirt of Earth Day, we have unique gifts to provide ideas for small but impactful steps for your own home.

Conserve water—This 55-gallon year-round rain barrel provides a ready supply of water for flower beds and gardens, yet resembles an earthenware urn, allowing it to blend seamlessly with a home’s exterior. A rust-proof screen with a secondary safety grid prevents debris and curious animals from entering the barrel. A brass spigot makes it easy to fill a watering can or you can connect your garden hose to a built-in fitting.

Reduce use of fuel—This cordless electric lawn mower delivers cutting performance comparable to a gas mower without the accompanying noise, air-fouling emissions, and frequent refills of gasoline. The variable-speed mower features a push-button start that eliminates the hassle of pull cords. In tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, it ran for up to 100 minutes and fully recharged in about an hour.

Cut down on chemicals—This lawn and garden steamer helps control common weeds with ordinary tap water, rather than harmful chemicals or backbreaking labor. A squeeze of the steamer’s trigger unleashes a weed-wilting blast of steam, shriveling unwanted vegetation with just a 5-10 second treatment.

The Earth has given us many unique gifts of its own…the time to act is now and the choice is yours to make. To paraphrase a line from Jimmy Buffet, do we want to treat the Earth like a temple or like a tent?

Happy 176th, Mr. Schlemmer!

The dictionary defines stalwart as reliable, loyal and hardworking. Those words could describe William Schlemmer, born in Germany on April 20, 1841.

Mr. Schlemmer came to the U.S. at age 11 and went to work for his uncle, Charles Tollner. Tollner owned a successful hardware store in the lower Bowery, where the young lad hawked tools and hardware in front of the store.

As his career progressed, it was not uncommon for Mr. Schlemmer to arrive at work by 5 a.m., seldom leaving before midnight. In 1857, he convinced Albert Hammacher to invest in the enterprise. As the years went by, Mr. Schlemmer gradually gained ownership of the company, first buying out his uncle’s shares, then most of Mr. Hammacher’s.

Our success today owes much to Mr. Schlemmer’s ethics and values. Our selection of The Best unique gifts, fully vetted by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, pay homage to his insistence on uncompromising standards of quality.

For example, we believe he would be a fan of this quiet-running window fan. It earned The Best rating because it produced the highest air velocity and pushed the most air volume. The Best model’s dual fans are reversible and operate independently, allowing one fan to draw cool air inside while the other pushes warm air outside for optimal circulation.

As an 11-year-old employee, young William undoubtedly spent some time sweeping up with an old-fashioned broom. He would have been amazed by this cordless handheld vacuum. It earned The Best rating by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it cleaned most effectively, ran the longest, and had superior features. The Best Hand Vac proved to clean debris in far less time than lesser models.

A photo from around the turn of the century shows Mr. Schlemmer with a tidy mustache. Certainly, he would have appreciated this beard and mustache trimmer, rated The Best by panelists because it provided the “cleanest, most comfortable shave” with “zero pulling or nicking.” Father’s Day will be here before you know it; consider this as a unique gift for him.

We thank the “Old Gentleman,” as Mr. Schlemmer was called in his later years, for the business he grew. We promise to continue to guard his values for The Best unique gifts, reflected as always in our Unconditional and Unwavering Lifetime Guarantee.