Gadgets That Only Do One Thing

I’ve never been a big fan of gadgets that do only one thing. I warn my clients that they are not a good use of limited space if there is another way to accomplish that same task with something you already own and which has multiple uses. But I’m (occasionally) willing to be proved wrong.

A few years ago, a childhood friend came to stay with us for a few days during the summer. It was strawberry season, and I set about washing and cutting up strawberries for our breakfast. My friend watched me use a paring knife to core and slice the strawberries (something I learned by observing my mother) and exclaimed, “What?! You don’t have a strawberry huller?” It had never occurred to me to purchase a gadget just to pull the center out of strawberries. My paring knife would do just fine.

Strawberry Huller

After she returned home, I received a little package in  the mail with a thank you note for our hospitality — and a strawberry huller. At first I bristled at the thought of the extra gadget. But when the following summer rolled around and I started buying fresh strawberries again, I truly enjoyed being able to efficiently pull out the centers! It’s a tiny gadget, and it takes up little room in the back of my silverware drawer where I keep the utensils that don’t get used every day.

Recently, I was working with a client and came across an item that was still in the packaging. It was a tool for cutting, pitting, and skinning an avocado. Specifically, it was the Oxo Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer. The client said she didn’t want it and was willing to let it go. Did I want it? Oxo happens to be my favorite housewares brand, and we do eat avocados at my home, so I said yes.

My daughter used the avocado tool first and gave it a thumbs up. When I tried it, I had to agree with her. I had been using a Cutco curved knife for cutting avocados (very effective) and a spoon for getting the flesh out of the skin (fairly effective). But I had discovered no good way for pitting the avocado. This tool accomplished that job amazingly, plus it did the other two jobs very effectively as well.

Oxo Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer

This tool is used several times a week, so it now has a place in the front of the silverware drawer! Luckily it lays flat, so it was easy to fit into that space along with other frequently-used utensils. It cleans up well in the dishwasher and has now become indispensable in our avocado-eating household.

I’m still suspicious of most single-use gadgets — especially ones that take up a lot of space — but I’m sold on these!

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