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Homework: Home improvement tools reviewed

Weighing just 3.3 lbs and only 10.4 inches

Weighing just 3.3 lbs and only 10.4 inches high and 8.4 inches wide, the Airfree Onix 3000 Air Purifier is able to clear the air for a big stretch of space. Credit:

Bounty with Dawn

You may know Bounty as the "quicker picker-upper." Bounty with Dawn is stronger, turning what used to be a paper towel into a semi-sponge packed with dishwashing liquid. It can clean up dishes and be rinsed off to wipe down countertops. A $6.99 three-pack of Bounty with Dawn rolls does the work of four-plus regular rolls.

Wink Hub

After it's connected to a free app available in the App Store or Google Play, the Wink Hub ($50 at puts an impressive amount of control in the hands of a smartphone holder. Schedule lighting for particular rooms, play around with dimmer settings with the swipe of a finger or control locks, house alarms and window coverings -- so long as the products are compatible with the Wink app.

Clever Crates

The collapsible Clever Crates come in six sizes and six colors ($9.99 to $19.99 at to help with everything from carrying groceries to transporting heavier loads of up to 132 pounds. The plastic products clean up easily after, say, a trip to the beach, and fold in a jiffy. They can be stowed and stacked in anywhere from closets to car trunks.

Airfree Onix 3000 Air Purifier

Weighing 3.3 pounds at only 10.4 inches high and 8.4 inches wide, the Airfree Onix 3000 Air Purifier ($299; check for dealers) is able to clear the air for a big stretch of space. The device aims to rid rooms as large as 650 square feet of mold spores, bacteria, viruses and airborne organic microorganisms; helps prevent mildew on food; protects video, films and optical equipment; and reduces household odors. The scents of a garlic-heavy Sunday dinner were gone far sooner than without the Airfree device, as was a bacon-and-egg breakfast.

Febreze HEPA-Type Tabletop Air Purifier

The Febreze Air Purifiers ($59.99 at clean the air, eliminate odors and add the fresh Febreze scent when used with special cartridges than can last up to 30 days. The purifiers, meant for small rooms of 85 square feet, work without a cartridge, but if you prefer the scent, single cartridges last up to 30 days, with a two-pack refill costing $9.49. A two-pack supply of replacement air filters, which should be switched out every three to four months, goes for $24.99.

60-Watt Cree LED Bulb

The new 60-watt Cree LED light bulbs ($7.97 at The Home Depot) are designed to look more like a traditional incandescent lightbulb and are encased in a shatterproof plastic exterior built around a 4Flow filament design that uses cross-ventilation to cool the bulbs. The dimmable bulbs light instantly and emit an omnidirectional light. They use up to 85 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and have a life span of about 25 times longer. That's 25,000 over 22 years if used an average of three hours a day, or a comparable savings of $177 per bulb.

The Paint Brush Cover

The Paint Brush Cover and its sister product, The Paint Roller Cover ( keep airtight seals around paint brushes and covers to keep them wet and in good shape without the messy wash-up in between coats. The Paint Roller Cover ($6.99) fits standard roller sizes up to 9.5 inches, while The Paint Brush Cover ($4.99) fits half-inch to 3-inch brushes. For any multiday job, they're worth the cost.

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