Category: Information

Streamlabs OBS Tutorials for Streaming to Twitch

Lately I have been experimenting with a lot of Twitch streaming and particularly using Streamlabs OBS and twitch with leveraging multiple scenes, overlays, sources and more. I created a few video tutorial showcasing some of what I setup and do in the hopes it helps others as a lot of people still come to me with advice on how to fix framerate drops and ask me for my SLOBS settings.

This was my video for setting up scenes and sources including touching on themes and widgets like choosing an Alert box.

This video directly covers some of the items to check when you have stream latency, lag, framerate drops or other Streamlabs OBS streaming issues to Twitch and hopefully you get some relief with implementing some of these tips.

Any questions about SLOBS let me know and I will do my best to find the answer, currently I can’t seem to get separate alert boxes to work with different scenes even when the alert box is set to a browser source instead of alert box.

Ending the Year 2018

It has been a while since I updated my personal blog, so I thought I would end the year with some updates on some of my smaller projects. Mostly I found the new WordPress 5.x to be troublesome with the Avada theme and more specifically the Fusion Builder plugin that comes with and is required by the Avada WordPress theme.

This has caused me to switch to finding a different theme on my smaller sites so I can exclusively use the new editor and get my sites more lean and easier to manage. I decided after reading in a blogging Facebook group to try the Frontier free WordPress theme which has an excellent set of customization options that are very easy to use even if the theme is a little generic. The theme wound up working well for some of my smaller sites in keeping them very lean and fast loading.

I continue to tweak things here and there in various programs, I am currently going to be ending my contract with BBTV which is a YouTube Partner program and go without any partnership in February 2019 to see if my earnings will be affected. BBTV aka. Viso was taking 20% of my YouTube AdSense earnings which ended up costing more than $600 in 2018 for what I don’t feel was that much worth of benefit.

TubeBuddy is a fantastic plugin and service to hook up to your YouTube Channel and was more valuable than any of the tools that BBTV Viso was providing with a lot of overlap.

Meanwhile, my blogging goals continue to be diversify into more niche sites to try and capitalize on the lower traffic but higher conversion niches where I can, but I find that I have less time and motivation to blog this year compared to previous years after doing it for 10 years now, and I want to spend my free time usually gaming rather than writing lately.

Hopefully I will get inspired again to continue blogging more in 2019.

Happy New Years Everyone.

Several Ways To Make Money Online

For those of you who know me, you know I started this blog in 2008 originally as a means to bring entertainment and my love of tech, gadgets and video games to an audience but also as a way to make a part time income online to supplement my full time job.  I didn’t have visions of grandeur thinking I could become wealthy enough to quit my day job with blogging, but over the past 10 years I was able to carve out a relatively stable method of making $10,000 to $15,000 per year by running a part time blog about 20-25 hours per week.  The best part about this is that I was able to do this at nights/weekends and queue work in advance so I had content being delivered everyday even though I only actually worked 2-3 days per week creating the content.  I have a whole make money online page that detailed many of the programs I have used since I started blogging, but this article will talk about the ways I have earned in 2018 and I foresee earning income online in 2019 that other people may wish to pursue and summarize them.

Become a Blogger or Run Social Media Channels (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook Fanpages…etc)

This isn’t as easy as it sounds, while anyone can become a blogger leveraging Medium, WordPress, Tumblr, and other blogging platform there is no easy way to make money being a blogger at first if you don’t have a following and a readership.  Social media and Video platforms now dominate compared to traditional blogs and even if you do become a blogger or expand your blogging into where you are monetizing then I would highly suggest you augment it with social media and video channels.  Note you can simply spawn off Facebook fanpages and Twitter pages devoted to affiliate earning as well, you don’t even need to run a blog.  I have several Facebook fanpages that have nothing to do with this site and earn purely by referring out specific products in the related niche for example.

Ways to Monetize

*Ads – These could include any type of banner ads like Google Adsense, Selling ads with BuySellAds (requires your site have a lot of views per month already) or sell your banner ad space yourself.  This is passive income and you get earnings per number of impressions or views of the ads with increased income if there is any CTR (Click Through) from the banners.  This is among the most passive and works well for a small passive income if you already have a fair amount of readership per your blog, it is not uncommon to get around $100 per month for a blog with 25,000 – 40,000 views per month in just passive banner income if you have decent banner placement and multiple methods.  If you are running a YouTube Channel and meet the requirements around views and channel subs you can also monetize your YouTube channel and earn revenue from video ads that play on your videos.  If your Facebook fanpage meets certain criteria as well you can get Facebook ad monetization on your fanpages and Facebook videos you upload to Facebook as well and earn that way.

*Affiliate Sales – This could be Amazon Affiliate, Gearbest Affiliate, MagicLinks (If they accept you), CJ, ShareASale or any other partner or affiliate program where you get a percentage of the sale of the item you refer.  This is done by a tracking link being provided so if someone clicks on the link from your blog/site you make money off of the sale, you don’t earn from clicks only if it leads to a sale.  Amazon and some programs leave a cookie for 24 hours in the users browser so that if they purchase any product after clicking your link (even if not the product you were directly showcasing) you get a percentage of the sales commission.  This is a good income earner for my site and YouTube channels as we link to Amazon affiliate linked products we review in or descriptions and on social media. You also can run blog posts, and leverage Amazon banner ads which lead to sales commission as well but they won’t give you CPM impression earnings like AdSense will.  Depending on your niche, specialty and how you are targeting there is good money to be made being an Amazon affiliate, you can see a copy of their current 2018 fee structure below to see what kind of % commission you get from types of products.  I won’t like in recent years the cut in commission for electronics, tech and gadgets has dramatically lowered our Amazon affiliate income being in the tech blogging niche.

Amazon Table 1 – Fixed Standard Program Fee Rates for Specific Product Categories

Product Category Fixed Standard Program Fee Rates
Amazon Fashion Women’s, Men’s & Kids Private Label, Luxury Beauty, Amazon Coins 10.00%
Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Pantry 8.00%
Apparel, Amazon Cloud Cam Devices, Amazon Element Smart TV (with Fire TV), Amazon Fire TV Devices, Amazon Echo Devices, Ring Devices, Watches, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, Handbags & Accessories 7.00%
Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies 6.00%
Outdoors, Tools 5.50%
Digital Music, Grocery, Physical Music, Handmade, Digital Videos 5.00%
Physical Books, Health & Personal Care, Sports, Kitchen, Automotive, Baby Products 4.50%
Amazon Fire Tablet Devices, Dash Buttons, Amazon Kindle Devices 4.00%
Amazon Fresh, Toys 3.00%
PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray 2.50%
Televisions, Digital Video Games 2.00%
Physical Video Games & Video Game Consoles 1.00%
Gift Cards; Wireless Service Plans; Alcoholic Beverages; Digital Kindle Products purchased as a subscription; Food prepared and delivered from a restaurant; Amazon Appstore, Prime Now, Amazon Pay Places, or Prime Wardrobe  Purchases 0.00%
All Other Categories 4.00%

Note, you can clearly see the where the higher earnings potential is so remember if you haven’t started a blog yet, better to choose and keep it to a targeted niche.

*Brand/Client Sponsorship – This generally is only an available option after your channels have reached a certain level of reputation, notice and views that brands are willing to work with you.  I would say if you can show a clear 10,000+ visits per day, or hundreds of engagement for Instagram posts, Facebook posts, thousands of views for a YouTube video then I would start reaching out to brands in your related niche directly and start looking for partnership. This can come in the form of simply receiving products/content in exchange for reviews or becoming an affiliate of specialized stores and brands directly.  An example of a brand sponsorship is we became a Netgear Brand Ambassador a few years back and continue to work closely with Netgear on proving reviews and tips on Netgear routers and devices.

Video Game Streamer

This is very specific for those who are looking to become the next Ninja or other major online streamer and dream of being able to make money online by just playing video games on Twitch, YouTube and whatnot.  There are some very important things to note here and that is that most people watch streamers not for the games, but for the streamer themselves.  Your personality, play style and engagement of the audience is a big factor, along with some luck and some marketing and putting yourself out there.  You need to have a very clean and consistent stream schedule that is clearly published so people know when to tune in, streaming isn’t like uploading videos to YouTube you are an interactive online presence and you must be available and consistent in your schedule and engagement with the audience.  Once your each a certain criteria you can monetize your Twitch stream with ads, but you can also unlock people to subscribe and earn money every month by having subscribers who contribute to your success as a streamer.

Some people focus on a very specific game, others vary the game and make the stream about themselves.  Always make sure you have the best equipment such as microphone, headsets, and a way to keep your streamers engaged while streaming.  I consider this a very difficult niche to break into and make money online, but I see people do it and have a few friends on GamingTribe who stream and monetize their Twitch channels so it is very viable.


If you are an artist or content creator, then Patreon is a very viable way to have fans donate and subscribe to your work and earn money from being able to continue to create content.  This could be creating illustrations, comic books, video games, or just about anything that provides value to people who want it and want more.  Examples include Trese Brothers on Patreon who make the game Star Traders: Frontiers which is on Steam, they provide artwork, content and even allow Patreon subscribers at certain levels access to early alpha and vote on what they implement in their games.  Another example is MorePurpleMoreBetter on Patreon who makes custom Dungeons and Dragons 5e Character sheets that have incredible quality and functionality and currently has around $5,000+ per month pledged from subscribers to continue his efforts to improve and make better MPMB’s Character Record Sheets.  There are people who use Patreon to fund their passion for CGI animation, creating board games and card games, producing podcasts and so much more.

In Summary

These are only a handful of ways I can come up with, there are thousands of more ways to make money online including becoming a freelancer with ODesk or if you have programming skills, to so many other ways.  Finally there is always creating your own eBook or books and self publishing on Amazon KDP or selling your own products/services as a way to earn income online as an entrepreneur.  Really the sky is the limit with the Internet, it does start with the foundation of a solid idea, a passion, a lot of research, marketing, promotion and building a fanbase and like it or not, there is a great deal of luck involved too, some people will just say “follow this plan” or “that plan” to get rich online, but most people achieve a certain level of success simply being at the right place at the right time and there is no way to replicate with a step by step process simply put.

Feel free to share your thoughts and any ideas, questions and I am more than happy to help you out if I can.

Does the Range Mate Pro Deluxe Microwave Grill Really Work?

So recently to save time and not always have to go into the yard to grill something I decided to pick up the Range Mate Pro Deluxe Microwave Grill which supposedly lets you actually grill foods in the microwave.  It was far too hot in the summer to turn on the oven as I don’t have an air conditioner here in Southern California so we also wanted something that will keep the pizza crust crispy when cooking microwave pizza or reheating takeout pizza.

What you get is a 5 in one cooking product that compliments and expands what you can cook in your microwave, this is really great for single people who want to cook more natural foods rather than frozen meals and yet still have the same simplicity without dealing with pans and a charcoal or gass grill.  The 5 in one set really only contains 4 pieces including the grill pan, a steamer tray, a baking tray and the lid.  The cooking instruction book which has 35 different meal instructions on what you can and how to cook the products in the Range Mate Pro grill is a helpful template on how to get started.  You will notice there is also a lot of blank and template lines for you to enter your own foods and timings, because this product does have a lot of “try it” and see how long it takes.

One thing to note is that some items you cook you have to preheat the Range Mate Pro grill before you place the items on the grill and actually cook them, this is to heat up the grill itself so that it cooks from surface temperature not just the microwave food and is necessary to create grill marks in foods and cook the surface.

Most items you preheat the grill for 2 minutes at full power with the lid on, then take the lid off and put your food in the grill and microwave.  It is best to microwave at 50 percent power for everything unless it says otherwise and then keep adding time as needed.  Cooking some left over pizza for example took some extra time, and a normal full frozen 3 minute individual pizza took 7 minutes with the Range Mate Grill but it had a perfect crispy crust instead of a soft chewy crust had I just tossed it on the plate and microwaved it without the grill.  

You can steam vegetables by using one of the inserts, putting water below and then having the steam completely cook the vegetables like broccoli (my favorite), spinach, mushrooms, or simply you can grill portobello mushrooms as well.  Some foods you can just cook one sided, others you have to flip and may want to grill the other side as well, like when I cooked a bison steak in this thing.  Overall I did find it was a bit harder to get internal temperature accurate and right, having rare or medium rare was difficult to assess and it was easy to cook it too little or overcook it to nearly well done by adding just 2 more minutes.  But once the experimentation was done, repeating written down notes for the same thickness level of steak yielded the same results so really it is just trial and error until you find the right timing and settings and then just remembering for next time.

Product was a little pricey but if you don’t have to buy a grill and replacement charcoal or gas, you probably would save money over the longer term if you used this Rangemate 5 in 1 Microwave Grill instead.  It can do nice chicken and cheese quesadilla’s as you can get the tortilla to be grilled as if it were pan fried as well.  

Buy Now From Amazon
Buy Now From Amazon

YUTING Portable Dresser for Storing Clothes or Toys

So I had one of those cheap 4 drawer dressers that you get from Amazon, Kohls, Walmart or Target fall apart, this is your typical white or black particle board based dresser that you typically use in a kids or guest room.  I wanted to replace it with something a little more functional, lighter and more specifically fit within a tight space.  I searched on Amazon and took a chance on the YUTING 4-Drawer Plastic Storage Organizer and was impressed enough I thought it worth a review to share my thoughts.

First, this is a fully plastic 6 drawer dresser system (4 drawers are 23″ wide and 2 are half size at top shelf).  The two half drawers at the top can be locked with a key, but as the entire system is plastic this is only a minor deterrent for maybe little kids if you wanted to hide stuff in the top drawers, maybe to lock away some toys during a timeout or something I don’t have any reason to ever use the locks on the top.  They work fine, it is just with a plastic dresser it isn’t sturdy enough to be a true protection type of locked drawer.

Assembly was easy and no tools are required at all, everything snaps together and quite securely in fact.  One thing to remember is to make sure the cosmetic back plates are properly attached while you assemble, I accidentally forgot to put the back on and it was very difficult to try and get this thing separated once it is put together.  It is very secure for plastic, far more than those cheap plastic dressers you find at Home Depot or Lowes that use tubes for the corners.  This thing is nearly as sturdy as a wooden dresser, and the top with the double drawer is sturdy enough to support 50 pounds of weight.  Plus the thing has rollers so you can make it portable or not install the wheels to leave it fixed.

So for a kids room, this makes a great dresser because the containers are actually one whole piece except for the front with handle, this means they can’t stuff too many clothes into a drawer and break it.  Which is what happened with particle board dressers that got overstuffed until the staples/boards started separating and crumbling apart.  Overall I have not used it for very long yet, so will update the post and review with durability tests when I learn more, but I am very satisfied with this product so far and even have very heavy printer on the top of it as seen in the picture.

The company offers 5 different options for the drawer style with the cheapest being $99.99 and some suiting younger kids vs being more generic.  For about the same price as a cheap particle board dresser I found the plastic quality to be good, durable and this to be a much lighter and easier option.  I was able to hold all of the clothes for my 14 year old and 11 year old without issue in the 6 total drawers.

Experimenting with Amazon Affiliate Autoblogs

So I was testing out a new WordPress plugin called Amazomatic which is a plugin which automatically connects to Amazon API using your own affiliate account so that you can create automatic blog posts based on Amazon products.  I wanted to start a few micro sites that were dedicated to very specific product niches to see if they would be able to run on automatic and generate a small amount of revenue each with minimal effort.  This was very easy to do and in all honesty each site took me about 30 minutes to setup and get fully automated and working.  Completed with a custom Facebook fanpage for each site and a feed which auto posts the new articles to the fanpage as well.

The new WordPress sites I setup are:

  • Remote A Day – This site I designed to feature and focus on all things related to remote control devices including drones, RC Cars, RC Boats and just about anything that is controlled with a remote.
  • PS4 Headsets – This site was specifically to showcase PlayStation 4 headsets and all headsets that were advertised as being compatible with the PlayStation 4.
  • Only Gaming PC – This was another smaller site that just focused on pre-built gaming PC’s sold on Amazon and must meet the minimum criteria of having an Nvidia or AMD dedicated graphics card and fall under the “gaming PC” category which rules out anything with just integrated graphics in my opinion.  This includes laptops or desktops that are considered gaming PC’s.

These sites are all auto-blogs with some manual posts thrown in when it suits me, depending on if they grow I will make more or less use of them over time as this is just an experiment that only cost me the plugin and the domain names, since my WPX Hosting plan allows for  15 websites I had plenty of room.  I also leveraged WPX Hosting for configuring free SSL certificates to make all my sites HTTPS which is known to rank better for SEO as well as provide more authority for a site.

What I really like so far about the plugin is how flexible it is, the creator did a great job giving you plenty of options.  It makes the purchase options for the product very easy and gives you buttons which auto link with your affiliate ID front and center.

I will do a much more detailed review of the plugin itself in a later post, this was merely to showcase what I am up to.  I did work with the plugin developer who already added several features within my first 48 hours of purchasing the plugin so he is great to work with.  If you want to experiment with running an Amazon Auto Blog, the Amazomatic plugin is already shaping up to be a great choice and you can pick it up from Code Canyon for a very reasonable price.

The Most Affordable and Comfortable Mattress for Kids?

I have two kids who both share a bunk bed and they needed new mattresses, yes they were using the ones that came with the bunk bed when we purchased it and this was your generic spring mattress that was low quality but did the job.  We did purchase a mattress topper to help but when both kids started having back pain and complaints over the bed not being comfortable of an extended period of time I was looking for a way to kill 2 birds with one stone by finding the cheapest high quality mattresses I could find.  I normally would buy ones from Ikea but those flat rolled mattresses with the additional topper never really worked well and were thick and unwieldy with my kids sleeping on them in Arizona before we moved to California.

Now most people would think that kids could sleep on anything and this would be true, but considering how important sleep is to kids and they get 8 hours a night plus have bad posture while sitting all day long I consider a comfortable mattress really important.  You spend 8-9 hours on a mattress you don’t want to have one that will cause you to be uncomfortable in your sleep or worse cause some back or neck problems later due to it not providing proper support. This is more true for older kids as they get heavier, the younger kids probably have lighter bodies and aren’t as affected by lower quality mattresses (just guessing don’t really know here).

So how do I test?  Well I use my own adult mattresses that I paid in upwards of a thousand dollars for as a frame of reference and I took some time to sleep on my kids bed and mattress to make sure if it is good enough for me, it is good enough for them.  Believe me I have slept in a lot of mattresses over the years and I can say for the price these are surprisingly good unless you are looking for frills.  I mean this would be the ideal mattress for kids, teenagers and for a high school dorm.  I was never a fan of the super thin and hard IKEA mattresses, but I do buy the frames and then going forward would just pick up one of these.

So the mattress that we bought from Amazon was the LinenSpa 8″ Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress which costs $99 and when you compare what you get in this mattress you will see that it is a fantastic deal.  The mattress has a combo foam/inner spring and I will show you a diagram from their website on how the mattress is designed.

When the mattresses arrive they are rolled and compressed in a vacuum sealed bag, I am really surprised ad just how crushed down and compact these mattresses are when they arrive and I initially had my doubts on how much they could expand.  It is best if you get them close to the bed and pop the seal on the plastic, then spread them out quickly and they will start expanding rapidly.

I would say it takes about a full hour to expand 100% and get the full 8″ thickness, but once it does, you can see the memory foam layer on top of the spring layer clearly.


Again, I bought 2 of these for a bunk bed and I can tell you they are far better than you would expect for the $99 and blew away any of the cheap mattress at Ikea plus were better than buying a cheap mattress and a topper separately.  I found them to have a quality nearly as good as my own $1200 mattress when I tested them by taking a few naps in my sons bed to test it in comparison to the old mattress.

This is a product where the Amazon reviews are spot on for averages and has an incredibly high star rating, with statements like the following:

For a product to have a 4.5 star rating on Amazon with over 2090 reviews you know it is going to more likely end up being a worthwhile buy.  So if you need a budget mattress that combines a memory foam and spring then this LinenSpa 8″ Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress is going to be excellent.  I actually preferred not having 100% memory foam and some spring support.


Is the My Pillow a Good Pillow?

This is my thoughts on the My Pillow after comparing it to about a dozen total pillows including feather pillows, stuffing pillows and foam pillows.  I have used many pillows over the years and wanted to let you know if I though the My Pillow is worth buying or whether it is a dud like so many other As Seen On TV Products.  So of course I have been someone who has bought those random pillows from Walmart and Target over the years and I have tried expensive Mattress Store pillows that cost $200 per pillow like the memory foam ones we have now on the bed that my wife loves but I can’t stand to sleep on them because they never get flat enough when I sleep on my side.

I have tried the Sobakawa pillow and many other bean/filling pillows that felt like little soft rice grains that help the pillow conform to your head and neck as well as feather pillows as well which I do get the poking in my neck or scratching from the down occasionally.  All in all, finally after my wife needed to use one of my pillows to prop her foot after an injury I was left having to find another pillow.  So like most people I have seen the commercials for My Pillow and thought another cheesy as seen on TV product like most people.

I went to legit reviews from Amazon purchasers who are verified and saw a mixed bag, but still I have picked products that were so-so and I decided to spend the money and buy it from Amazon.  I do this because the return policy is far superior than going to the source if there is a problem with a product.  The pillow arrived and I was eager to get to sleeping.

Now I never give the first night any weight for anything but I can tell you that this pillow has little soft balls inside of it, not quite as small and hard as Sobakawa pillows but smaller balls than some foam pillows.  They do conform around your head and neck well and it is very comfortable, where this pillow really shined for me is that it shapes easily and on my side it is extremely comfortable to keep just enough bunched under my neck to keep it in a good alignment.  On my back is even better, where I can give just enough support to arch my neck and the pillow does seem to not cause as much heat generation when sleeping on it because my head was not as sweaty as it is on some pillows, especially the foam ones.

I haven’t washed the pillow yet so I can’t speak for it’s survivability after a machine washing but I can tell that for the price this was far better than most pillows I have used and I like it better than the $200 memory foam pillow I had purchased previously.  So in my first 3 weeks of using the My Pillow I can tell you that I really like it and it may not be the best pillow but it so far is my favorite pillow out of the dozen or so pillows I have used over the past decade.  I want a 2nd one that I can use as a body pillow.


Review of the Potato Chip Maker from Vat19

So my son wanted to spend his earnings on a potato chip maker from Vat19, he loves Vat19 and previously bought a slushy maker and was very impressed with it.  Oliver loves potato chips and this was a way to somewhat get healthier versions that could be made at home in 4-5 minutes from a fresh potato without having to turn on the oven or use a dehydrator.

The Healthy Potato Chip maker is a simple premise, it has a mandolin slicer to slice out thin potato slices which you place on a circular rack and then microwave the slices until they turn into crunchy chips.  They say 4 minutes in the instructions but for me some of the chips were hard and some were still a little chewy after 4 minutes so you may have to play with the time a little bit to find the amount of time that gives you that crunchy chip.  Just remember to let them set for about 3 minutes after the microwave turns off so they can coast cook and cool down before you start eating them.

The first thing I will let you know is everything that comes with the kit, this is a clear plastic bowl with a red lid that has a mandolin style slicer.  A white potato slice holding tray and a plastic holder which is supposed to grab one end of the potato so you don’t risk your fingers.  I will tell you that the lid gets knocked off of the container too easily, the mandolin slicer isn’t stable and the plastic piece to hold the potato is not stable for large russet potatoes.  I think this product is way to risky for a kid under 13 to use and I would be the only one slicing the potato for my son Oliver.  I will say that while slicing a thick russet potato on the slicer it takes some force to slice it straight through and because the plastic lid is very light weight and the bowl is also light weight, there doesn’t appear to be enough of a sturdy structure to properly slice a heavy potato easily.

This means I wound up having to make sure I held the lid tightly while slicing quickly and I was always worried the lid would come off of the container bowl even though it fits and slots in place, it isn’t very sturdy.  It should have had some sort of clamp mechanism to hold it firmly in place in my opinion.  I personally think all mandolin slicers are risky though, so just know what you are getting with the slicer.  It does work and you get thin potato slices as you can see in the below picture.

Now after filling the entire chip holder with potato slices you place it on a paper plate or napkin and microwave it for 4 minutes to start according to the instruction and let it sit for 3 minutes to cool down after.  I found I had to microwave it a little longer and you do have to play with times to make sure it cooks the potato slices into chips.  Even Vat19 says you may have to adjust the times because microwaves don’t always all cook at the same wattage.

Before you microwave the chips you can add your flavoring, while the chips are wet from being freshly sliced you can add a little salt, black pepper, paprika or any seasonings or spices that you like.  They will stick to the wet potato chip and it is easier and better to add them before you microwave them into chips than after when they become dry and the spices would just fall off.

Aicok Knife Set and Magnetic Knife Holder Review

Sometimes you just need a new set of kitchen knives and I have bought and reviewed ceramic knives before but was ultimately disappointed that they did lose sharpness rather quickly and in fact the tips were able to break off easier than steel knives at least in my case and my previous set.  So Aicok reached out to me and told me to give their kitchen knives a review and particularly what made the set unique was the granite block magnetic holder that way after your knife was dry you could just set it and let it be held magnetically to the stand.

The box is fairly heavy and most of the weight is the heavy stone block that the knives magnetically attach to.  Aicok includes plastic tips that you can place on each knife which is a great touch and I say is highly recommended that you use them when you are done and the knife is washed and dried.   

You get a variety of knives for just about any purpose in your kitchen, though it doesn’t include a thin filleting knife for fish.

The bread knife I found worked particularly well for baguettes and other hard breads.

The block itself is heavy and has a stand, it does take up a large amount of counter space and you cannot mount this block to a wall.  Something to note is that when you hang the knives magnetically onto the magnetic block stand you need to make sure the handles are above and slightly resting on the block top. These knives are not seated very well magnetically and I found they were too easy to knock off accidentally by bumping the counter or bumping the block with something.  This would very easily cause scoring or damage to the countertop from the sharp knife tips if you don’t use the knife tip covers that are included, so I would say make them mandatory.  Overall I would have preferred the used a stronger magnetism and made the resting sturdier for the knives and have the ability for them to be more vertical so you can wall mount the block, or simply not have it consume so much countertop space as it does have to rest at an angle and the stand behind it takes up quite a bit of countertop space.  The fact you don’t have the block where you slide knives in and when wet can cause bacteria build up in the wood is good, but it comes with a risk of countertop damage and possibly risk to children in the home if you don’t put tips on the knives you have kids prone to climb on counters.

So with that I would say, it is nice in appearance, the knives themselves work great but the magnetic stand and block was a bit of a let down. Still if you need a good set of knives the Aicok knive set works well and these knives are made with 420 German stainless steel.