As 2022 comes to a close, I like to look back at the best and the worst of what the year had to offer here at Freakin’ Reviews. I recently published my picks for the best of 2022, but now it’s time to take a look at the worst of the bunch. Today I offer my picks for the 10 worst products that I reviewed in 2022, along with a couple of honorable (or shall I say dishonorable) mentions.
Below is an alphabetical list of all of the products covered in this countdown. Be sure to keep scrolling to see my summary of each product.
- Airwhirl Crisper: Video | Written Review
- Angel View Mirror: Video | Written Review
- Auto Fan: Video
- Egg Scrambler: Video | Written Review
- Elite Gourmet Toaster: Video
- Laser Scissors: Video
- Mobile Phone Stents: Video
- Plastic Wrap Dispenser: Video | Written Review
- Pogo Cam: Video
- Slicer/Holder: Video | Written Review
- Soup Spout: Video
- Spy Pen Video | Written Review
Worst Products of 2022
Below I offer my choices for the worst products I reviewed in 2022, plus a couple “honorable” mentions that just missed the final cut. There were more kitchen gadgets on this list than in years past, which is ironic because I reviewed less kitchen gadgets this year. Hmmm. Well, in any event, let’s get to the list!
10. Air Whirl Crisper
This As Seen on TV product promises to turn any pot or pan into an air fryer. After you get the instructions, however, you find that it’s not any pot or pan. And the images shown in the ads did not quite resemble the model I received. After testing it against a real air fryer, I can tell you that I did not make any plans to ditch the real thing. Even after several attempts, I found that it produced uneven results that took far longer than traditional methods.
Watch the full review below.
9. Auto Fan
My most popular video of 2022 was a collection of 7 car gadgets, and I liked all of them – except one: The Auto Fan. I’m pretty sure I had one of these back in the 1990s, and I don’t recall it working very well then. The idea of this product is that a solar panel will power a fan the pumps hot air out of your parked car. The problem is that it requires you to crack your window, so the benefits are minimal – if that – over just cracking your window without a gadget. To me, it didn’t really do anything at all.
Watch the full video below.
8. Spy Pen
Although the idea of a “spy pen” conjures images of James Bond’s high-tech gadgetry, this spy pen doesn’t exactly live up to that image. To its credit, it does capture video and audio, although it doesn’t do either very well. I had a terrible audio rattle that I had to fix with a piece of tape, and video was especially low resolution with any motion. I tried to use it as a stationary spy pen and the audio didn’t really pick up much from across the room. I love the idea, but not the implementation.
Be sure to watch the full video below.
7. Plastic Wrap Dispenser
Number 7 on my countdown is a sample that was sent to me, so I had little information about it. It is a plastic wrap dispenser that uses magnets and suction cups to secure to a counter or fridge and allows you to dispense plastic wrap, wax paper, or aluminum foil. I was kind of excited about this one – until I used it. At least half of my rolls didn’t fit, and some of the rolls that did fit were too thick to spin inside the unit. It also didn’t stay in place, so essentially none of its features worked.
Here is a similar dispenser, that supposedly works a little better.
Be sure to watch my full review below.
6. Egg Scrambler
The next gadget on my countdown promises to yield scrambled in-the-shell eggs that will produce “golden” eggs when boiled. This isn’t my first rodeo with this type of product, and the entire concept just screams “gimmick” to me. Nevertheless, I gave it a shot and this egg scrambler kind of worked some of the time. Then it broke. And fell apart. I don’t think most people would want to pull a string 40 times to get a “golden” egg that is nearly impossible to peel due to the broken membrane in the hard-boiled egg. It’s just a mess. By the way, the best in-the-shell scrambler I’ve used was the decades-old model by Ronco, which obviously isn’t sold anymore, but you can watch my review of that here.
Below is my full review.
5. Pogo Cam
My Number 5 pick is yet another camera that failed to deliver on its advertised promises. The Pogo Cam is a camera that attaches to any pair of glasses. It has been around for a few years, and originally retailed for around $100-$150 (reports vary). In 2022 I picked it up for $15 and at the time of this writing, the price is even less than that. Why has the price dropped more than 90%? Probably because the audio is poor, the video is poor, it’s difficult to install, doesn’t stay on long, difficult to angle, and in my case one of the straps broke. I didn’t find any real value even at $15.
Check out the full review below.
My #4 pick seemed to be based on a good idea: A tong-like device that holds tomatoes or lemons and includes slits used as guides for creating perfect slices. That’s how it’s supposed to work at least. The reality, however, is not so perfect. The silicone holder easily bends as a knife pushes downward, creating uneven slices. The knife also can’t cut all the way to the bottom, leaving part of the tomato or lemon still intact. To add insult to injury, the unit started to fall apart after only a couple of uses.
I’ve heard these metal versions are better, but still problematic for some people.
Below is my full review.
3. Soup Spout
My number 3 pick is yet another green silicone sample I received that was an utter failure. In this case we have a soup pour spout that can attach to any pot or pan and allow liquids to be poured more easily. While the concept makes sense, the implementation was a complete disaster. The silicone was too loose to create a seal, meaning liquids would seep underneath the pour spout and onto the counter. I tried different sized pots, and the result was always the same.
Below is my full review.
2. Elite Gourmet Toaster
The number 2 item on my countdown landed there not only because it was just a bad product, but also because it was listed as the #1 Selling unit on Amazon. The Elite Gourmet Toaster was anything but elite in my tests. Every setting over #1 was dark or just plain burnt. I thought it was a defective unit until I went back to the Amazon comments and read many other users reporting the same thing. The lack of trust in Amazon ratings gets worse every year, but to have a “#1 Best Seller” perform so poorly is especially egregious.
Check out the full video below where I compared this toaster to a high-tech competitor (which made my Best of 2022 list).
1. Laser Scissors
My number 1 pick for the worst product I reviewed in 2022 is Laser Scissors. I love the name, by the way. It sounds like something Dr. Evil would have invented. But these scissors supposedly beam a straight line onto whatever you’re cutting in order to provide a guide for perfectly straight lines. The flaw in this product is that the laser is attached to the scissors that are in your hand. As your hand moves, the laser moves. I felt like I cut straighter lines without the laser shaking around in my hand as I cut. I can see a stationary laser being used to create a cutting guide, but not one in your hand. Great idea, terrible implementation.
Here is the Amazon listing for the model I purchased. Shockingly it is an “Amazon’s Choice” as of this writing.
Below is my full review.
There were a couple of items I considered for my Worst of the Year that just missed the final cut. I have included those here as my “Honorable Mentions.”
Angel View Mirror
This As Seen on TV rearview mirror is advertised as a way to eliminate blind spots. While it does work as a mirror, I never felt like my blind spots were eliminated. To add insult to injury, cars behind me seem farther away than in my regular mirror. I’ve used blind spot mirrors before, but the most effective models are much wider than this.
Check out the Amazon listing where it “boasts” a lukewarm rating at best.
You can watch my full review below.
Mobile Phone Stents
Another item that just missed my Top 10 was this so-called “Mobile Phone Stent.” It’s a multifunction tool that does a lot of things, but none of them very well. Many of its 10 “functions” don’t seem like functions at all. A hole, for example, is called a “function” because it can be put on a keyring. Most of the tools were barely useable and the phone holder failed with every use.
Check out the full video below.
I appreciate everyone who has watched, liked, commented, subscribed, and shared my videos this year. I am grateful for each and every one of you! I hope all of you have a great 2023 and it’ll be interesting to see what strange gadgets we run across over the next year!