2004 Finalists & Winners
Contemporary Non-Stick Cookware
Calphalon Contemporary Non-Stick cookware features a hard-anodized exterior and non-stick interior, combining durability and performance with fast clean-up and low-fat cooking. The individual cookware pieces are designed in versatile shapes that can be used for a range of different recipes. Each piece features a ‘full-capacity’ line to help prevent overfilling for easy handling from kitchen to table. The stay cool handle is designed to remain comfortable through several hours of stovetop cooking. The glass cover allows for see-through convenience and beautiful presentation. The cookware features gracefully curved vessels as a design element. The line has a lifetime warranty.
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Nestle Toll House Very Best Baker
The Nestle Toll House Very Best Baker kit is designed to stir children’s interest in baking. The company emphasizes that the pieces are not just scaled down versions of adult products but were researched, manufactured and packaged with kids in mind. The four-piece set includes cookie dough dropper, mixing bowl, quick-grip bowl stand and cookie sheet. The 13-piece set includes these items plus measuring spoons, spatula, mixing spoon, recipe cards, measuring cups and leveler. One of the most innovative tools in the kit is the cookie dough dropper that makes scooping and dropping dough onto the cookie sheet a fun and appealing activity. The handle is shaped and angled for a child to hold. The Best Baker collection is targeted to the 5 to 8 year old age group.
The Kaiser Square Springform is square so it opens the door to new creative baking opportunities for the home baker. The new design solves the problem of removing delicate cakes without destroying the presentation. The sides of the pan are separate from the bottom of the pan just as they are on a circular springform. The sides release when the clamp is opened so foods can be removed without having to invert the pan or dig in with a spatula. The nine-inch Square Springform is in the LaForme collection and is constructed of commercial weight steel allowing for heat conductivity and even browning. The sides are coated with a non-stick finish and the base features a Magnum coating, which allows for cutting in the pan.
KitchenAid Roaster and Floating Rack
When developing the KitchenAid Roaster with Floating Rack the company set out to make radical changes to the roasting rack and to solve two problems: preventing the rack from shifting in the pan, and raising the rack so it doesn’t let food sit in the grease or get overcooked. The Floating Rack sits above the bottom of the pan, resting on the handles of the pan and secured so as not to slip or shift. The castings for the sides of the roaster accept the properly dimensioned loops in the wire rack so the rack fits snugly into the pan. The handles on the rack are also positioned in the opposite axis to the handles on the roaster pan, thus minimizing interference when removing the rack from the pan.
Perfect Plus 6.5 qt. Pressure Cooker
WMF sought to make improvements in the pressure cooker category by addressing any remaining safety issues related to pressure cooking. The Perfect Plus Pressure Cooker features flame guards on both the main and helper handles. These two sets of handles are also redesigned to be ergonomic so handling a full pressure cooker is more comfortable and safe. The TransTherm base of the pot has been upgraded, featuring an aluminum core and bonded base. Another feature is the quick release mechanism linked directly to the pressure indicator that does not allow the lid to be unlocked until all pressure is removed from the pot. Other features include a snap-off handle for easy cleaning and an easy to see pressure indicator, sealed to prevent food particles from blocking or impairing function.
Coleman Tuff Duty Workbench
Part of the company’s licensed Coleman line, the Tuff Duty Workbench with Pegboard Hutch provides consumers with a product rugged enough for garage use, but designed to be attractive enough for in-home use as well. The Tuff Duty Workbench is protected by the company’s Work Shield laminate. Work Shield is a moisture-resistant, resin-based surface that aids in resisting normal wear, usage and stains. The Tuff Duty Workbench is built with metal drawer slides and 1/2-inch drawer bottoms, fully adjustable moisture resistant feet and UL approved power outlet and shop light. It is a modular system.
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Port Royale Writing Desk
The Port Royale Writing Desk provides ample working area with an area that allows for the use of a computer and several peripherals, as well as sufficient space for writing. Consumers are increasingly choosing notebook computers for their personal home office use, as well as printers, PDAs, digital cameras, etc., which take up desk space. The two file drawers provide room for hanging letter size files. The two box drawers and center drawers provide storage space for pens and other accessories. The product is positioned as a premium RTA furniture product. It is constructed of solid wood, which allows for design details not easily achieved in commonly available particleboard desk furniture.
Coleman Dura-Stor Camping Storage
The Dura-Stor Camping Storage unit gives the avid camper or outdoorsperson a place to securely store and organize their gear. The unit is specifically designed to consolidate the accessories a camper might use in one location. The Dura-Stor unit is part of the Coleman Furniture for Your Garage product line. It provides a solution that features modular flexibility of design and layout, strong steel drawer sides, durable Work Shield laminate finishes, innovative wall mounting systems, and user-friendly features such as task lighting and power access. The Furniture for Your Garage by Coleman line provides a premium storage option for the home improvement market.
Seto Modular Seating
Seto was created for the consumer who is both design and space conscious. The Seto design allows for re-configurable seating and for self-contained storage. The set comes with a curved black plywood table and two white vinyl cushions that can be used as floor seating for two. The cushions can be stored away in the center of the body, under the table, when not in use. Seto can be used in various settings, for snacking or playing cards or games. The Seto unit is designed to be used in a modern household. The item is part of Umbra’s U+ line.
Manhattan Entertainment Collection
Compatible with most televisions up to 36-inches, the 47-inch TV stand from Z-Line has a modern silver and chrome finish to complement contemporary home theater systems. Its frosted tempered glass shelves provide ample space for a DVD player, VCR or video game system. Open tempered glass shelves allow for proper air circulation as well as additional AV component space. A convenient wire management system keeps cables out of the way. The ready-to-assemble collection has a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty. It is part of the Maxim collection.
Butterfly Step Can
The Butterfly Step Can is constructed of stainless steel and high-impact ABS plastic with brushed steel, polished steel, white or black finish. It features an extra wide split door design for low clearance, a “whisper close” lid with unique rotary damping mechanism, a “teeter-totter” style pedal mechanism, and a narrow footprint designed to fit in narrow spaces. The lid mechanism slows the close of the lid so that it shuts with a barely audible sound, as opposed to a loud clanking. The company designed the Butterfly Step Can to be long lasting and durable with the intent of making it ecologically responsible.
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The Grook XL Multi-Purpose Organizer
The Grook XL can be used in a variety of applications, including storage of sports equipment, gardening accessories, outdoor tools or cleaning tools. It can be mounted on 16-inch stud spacing. The Grook XL features rubber grips that hold eight or more items easily and securely and eight handy hooks in the front for holding smaller items. It is designed to accommodate a variety of pole sizes, from thin to thick. Constructed of anodized aluminum with rubber and plastic parts it can be left outside and will not rust, according to the company. The design is patent pending.
Superfold Three-Step with Tray
The Superfold is a new variation on the traditional stepladder that features an innovative bi-directional fold. It has two-way access with steps on both sides, allowing two people to work together on the same project. It is constructed of a lightweight aluminum frame and folds up into an extremely compact storage position. It has a comfortable carrying handle and straps that keep the ladder secure when folded for transport or storage. When opened for use, the Superfold has top hand????grips for a stable climb from either side and large angled leg tips to create stability.
Smart Can Recycle Center
The Smart Can Recycle Center addresses the problem of separating kitchen waste efficiently. It incorporates two identical 10-gallon receptacles sitting back to back within an oval exterior housing. One receptacle receives recyclable materials and the other disposable waste. The patented lid functions as a push-in for smaller items or a pop-up for bulkier waste. The red and green buttons at the ends of the cover denote recyclables (green) and disposables (red). Pressing the button releases the latch and the lid pops open. The product also secures the disposable liner and prevents the vacuum-like effect that can be created when the bag is overfilled.
Wallaby Wall Organizer
Offering what it calls a variable system that infinitely adapts to individual storage needs, the Wallaby Wall Organizer can be used in offices, kitchens, dorms and children’s room. The backboard can be mounted vertically or horizontally. It features a 48-peg backboard, and an entire range of other useful accessories including envelope pocket, pencil pocket, CD pocket, coin tray, accessories pocket, dry erase board, dry erase pen, rubber hooks, alligator clip, mounting hardware and screw covers. The accessory pieces can be moved around to completely customize the system. It is constructed of high-impact plastic.
Bionaire Digital Tower Ceramic Heater
The tall tower-like design of the Bionaire Digital Tower Ceramic Heater creates a practical option in home heating. The footprint takes up minimal floor space while a soft grip carry handles makes it easy to move. A ceramic heating element provides comfortable heat flow through a large vertical grill and a motorized oscillation maximizes the heat distribution area. A digital thermostat on the Bionaire unit provides temperature control and the 16-hour programmable timer can be set to preheat or automatically shut off the heater. A remote control operates all settings and functions.
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DC07 Root8Cyclone Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson’s long-time company mission has been to address the problem of suction loss in both traditional and bagless vacuums. The company found that by making the air stream spin, dirt and debris are subjected to centrifugal force, so even fine dust particles are thrown out of the air. The new Root8Cyclone technology uses 100,000 Gs of centrifugal force to filter dust and remove dirt from the airflow. It includes lifetime use filters, so there are no extra hidden costs. It has a 17-foot quick draw hose for stairs and ceilings and a self-adjusting cleaner head that automatically adjusts to different carpet heights. The dirt bin is clear so the user can see when it needs to be emptied.
Stanley Blower Fan
The Stanley Blower Fan features a powerfully focused stream of air and a patented 360-degree pivoting head. The air stream can be positioned precisely where it is needed for tasks such as drying a carpet or floor. The Stanley Blower Fan is approximately one cubic foot in size, which makes it portable. It has three speeds for cooling, ventilating and drying. Other features include two additional outlets, a ten-foot grounded cord and a rugged, easy to carry handle. The Stanley Blower Fan blower is also extremely quiet and comes fully assembled in the box.
Cordless Iron Model MLI7500
Maytag’s Cordless Iron is equipped with an “iron cradle” that acts as a docking station. Each time the iron is placed on the cradle, it is re-energized by a 1440-watt power boost. Because only the cradle is plugged into the outlet, the iron remains cord-free allowing for unrestricted ironing. Adding to the flexibility is an ergonomically designed handle that allows the user to iron right-handed or left-handed. It also features an “Ultrasmooth” titanium sole plate allowing it to glide over rough fabrics, buttons and zippers. It features a snap-off water reservoir to reveal a cuff-press feature for hard-to-reach places. The snap-off water tank features a cool spray feature.
Ultra Slim Air Purifier
Zojirushi designed the Ultra Slim Air Purifier to provide optimum performance along with a space saving design. The square-shaped unit is designed with a slim profile, similar to today’s flat screen TVs and computers. The Ultra Slim provides an energy efficient and quiet means of improving the quality of air in a room up to 126 sq. ft., according to the company. It filters pollen, tobacco smoke and odors. Other features include a high performance HEPA filter designed to last up to two years under normal operating conditions. It also has two fan speeds (high and quiet) and an automatic shut-off timer.
Chef’sChoice VariTilt Gourmet Food Slicer
The Chef’sChoice Gourmet Electric Slicer operates in an upright position or in a true gravity feed mode (30 degree incline) for the smooth and precise slicing of meats, cheese, vegetables, fruits and breads. The true gravity mode quickens the task of slicing. Combining European styling, power and economy, this model offers the home cook features found in more expensive models. Key parts are constructed of cast aluminum and stainless steel. Other features include a cantilever design and precision thickness control from deli thin to 5/8-in. thick. A quiet 100-watt motor powers the seven-inch diameter blade.
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The overall aesthetic of the Breville Panini Press borrows from professional style sandwich makers, so consumers have the option of displaying the product on the counter or storing it away. It has a chrome finish, compact design and large sturdy legs that contribute to the overall presence of the product. Functionally, it features a patented toast height controller which allows the user to either press or melt by adjusting the height of a top plate set to one of five settings. It features flat cooking surface for even results and 1500 watts for efficient cooking performance. The Panini Press makes café style Paninis and Turkish bread sandwiches as well as traditional toasted cheese sandwiches.
Model DSM800 Stand Mixer
With an 800-watt motor the DeLonghi stand mixer is a heavy-duty mixing machine. It comes equipped with a large seven-quart stainless steel bowl as well as a bonus 40-ounce glass blender that can be used in the base of the mixer, making it a two-in-one product. It comes with three large mixing tools for specific baking tasks, including a non-stick dough hook, stainless steel whisk, and nom-stick flat beater. A hinged splashguard allows for the easy addition of ingredients. The mixer also features a unique, contrary beater and socket mixing motion for thorough mixing results. It also has an overload protection device, four concealed power outlets, die cast aluminum body and components and a tilting head lift.
Designed to sit on the countertop for easy access, the Salter Nutritional Scale delivers precise measurement of weight to .01 oz. It also offers the USDA nutrition information on over 900 items and liquids. With advanced software, the scale provides nutritional content information on calories, fat grams, sodium, fiber, protein, carbohydrates and cholesterol at the touch of a button. The accumulated nutrition data is stored indefinitely. The product was created with a stylish stainless steel design with a base that houses the weighing circuitry and the large easy to read display panel. It comes with a removable stainless steel weighing tray.
FoodSaver Vac 1200 Vacuum Sealer
The FoodSaver Vac 1200 brings the practicality of home vacuum packaging into the world of high design with a brushed chrome and black finish. The FoodSaver Vac removes the air from FoodSaver Bags, FoodSaver Canisters, bottles, cans and Ball or Mason jars to store food in an airtight environment. This keeps food fresh three to five times longer than traditional storage methods, according to the company. The FoodSaver Vac features a powerful nylon piston pump. It also is designed with a press and release operation so the vacuum process can be completed with the press of the lid. It also features a shutoff button to stop the vacuuming process so as not to crush delicate food, while the extended vacuum button allows the user to increase the amount of air removed from large containers.
Good Grips I-series Jar Opener
The Oxo product team conducted extensive research with cooks who had a wide range of skill levels to create the I-series and the I-series Jar Opener. The team studied how tools were used for specific tasks, especially within the context of preparing an entire dish or recipe. Research showed that there are two steps to opening jars, holding down and twisting. These activities require two hands. The I-series opener comes with a silicone coaster that, when placed underneath a jar, acts as a gripping surface to make the twisting process easier. Tool specific grips add power and control to the I-series, in a departure from the Good Grips line that employs the same handle design for most tools.
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Advanced Performance Spice Spoons
Amco Houseworks’ Advanced Performance Spice Spoons are constructed of 18/10 stainless steel, which contains a high nickel content that makes the individual pieces corrosion-resistant. The spoons are constructed of a single piece of heavy gauge stainless steel with extra slim, rectangular shaped bowls designed to fit in small places. A slightly pointed end helps dig out hardened spices. The handles feature an ergonomic thumbprint to allow for better gripping. The graceful curves of the handle and bowl give it an aesthetically pleasing form.
Orka Silicone Oven Mitt
The Orka mitt was created on the premise that traditional cloth oven mitts are poor insulators, especially when they are wet. Silicone is an insulator, which means heat travels slowly though it. It is also non-porous so liquids and stains do not penetrate. The Orka mitt has thicker fins of silicone along the back of the mitt and the palm and thumb sections; the mitt maximizes heat resistance while remaining flexible through the alternate use of thicker and thinner sections. The mitt is also textured to help it remain in place while performing grasping tasks. The Orka Mitt can be used on either the left or right hand.
Good Grips I-series Container Grater
The Oxo Good Grips I-series is a line of kitchen tools designed to make cooking tasks faster, easier and more comfortable. The Container Grater features carefully considered angles that accommodate several different types of grips, while still keeping the grating surface fairly flush. The grater allows for grating in both directions and the container has measurement markings on it to better keep track of gratings used in recipes. The Oxo team created the Container Grater after observing how cooks use their kitchen tools and responded to their needs in the form of the new I-series line.
The Fruit Scoops set of three different size, patent pending scoops allow the user to easily scoop away fruit from the skin, or to slice, core or create shapes. The scoop’s head consists of a thin loop made from glass-reinforced nylon. The flared base at the handle provides for a firm grip while scooping. Made with no glue, the top and bottom are snap-fit together within the stainless steel tube, and the tube has an inside edge that forms a watertight fit, according to the company. The durable stainless steel handle is oval so that when cutting, the user has a greater sense of orientation of the blade. Fruit Scoops can be used to separate the flesh of the fruit from the peel because the handle is perpendicular to the slicing blade.
Rabbit Lever Vacuum Pump
The purpose of the vacuum pump is to remove air from an opened bottle of wine, thus the flavor and bouquet is preserved and the wine remains drinkable for days or weeks. A stopper is inserted into the bottle with the pump placed on top of the stopper. The user operates the pump handle to remove the air. When it is time to re-open the bottle, a valve in the stopper is opened to release the vacuum. The pump comes with two stoppers that were designed with a unique push button valve, which releases the vacuum at the touch of a button. Both the pump and the stoppers have patents pending. The design also possesses a form that strongly suggests its function: horizontal handles to grip the neck of the bottle, a squared off cylinder draws out the air and a lever handle on top does the pumping.
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Steel Cocktail Shaker
The Steel Cocktail Shaker combines double-walled stainless steel for insulation with appropriately placed elastomer grip zones for comfort in shaking and jigger pouring. The top and the bottom of the shaker are concave to enable the user a better grip when shaking with one hand or two. The innovative double wall keeps the cocktail chilled while solving the problem of the exterior surface becoming too cold for the user to grip. Condensation is also greatly reduced. The built-in strainer was designed for controlled, even pouring and a funnel-like spout creates a non-drip experience. It also features an over molded snap-on collar for better grip and a flared form that allows for improved marking visibility. The interior is also marked in one-ounce measurement increments.
Stanley Heatkeeper Food Jar
PMI leveraged innovative technology to create a new marketing opportunity for microwaveable thermal insulated food containers. PMI’s proprietary Heatkeeper technology utilizes crystals that are imbedded in the product and heat up the food when activated by the microwave. In addition the product is virtually unbreakable and has a design aesthetic which appeals to the masculine Stanley consumer. PMI previously had a similar item in its Aladdin division that was a single food container, targeted to female consumers. The existing product was feminine in appearance and failed to communicate its use towards heartier meals such as leftover stews and chili. The challenge for the company was to create a product that had the masculine, rugged, durable attributes of Stanley brand products.
Karim Rashid Corkscrew
The Karim Rashid Corkscrew was designed not only to be a functional bar tool but to act as a work of art for the home, according to Rashid. As it stands upright when not in use, it creates a striking conversation piece. It is constructed of stainless steel and die cast zinc. Functionally, the flange on top is turned clockwise to drill the screw into the cork. The lower handle is turned clockwise to pull the cork from the bottle. Karim Rashid is a contemporary designer who creates objects he believes communicate and speak about the time in which we live. The Corkscrew is designed to offer a contemporary option in higher-end kitchenware and barware and to give consumers the opportunity to bring distinctive style into their homes that interacts with and expresses their individuality.
World Clock and Weather Station
The high-end look World Clock and Weather Station is a desktop clock that offers a full range of information for the user. The clock shows the local time and by moving a ring on the base, will show the time in 18 major cities around the world while illuminating the time zone on the map. It also shows the difference between the time in the selected city and Greenwich Mean Time. The clock alarm can be set for both local time and world time with different alarms. The weather center has 16 weather icons from stormy to clear in both day and night icons. The unit shows indoor temperature and weather trends with an upward and downward arrow. The unit runs on batteries or an AC adaptor.
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No-Kord Cordless Gallery Lighting
No-Kord is an advanced cordless gallery light with LED technology. This technology provides illumination with a color temperature that enhances color hues within the artwork. Each light provides approximately 50 hours of brightness before battery change, according to the company. The LED technology panel consists of white and yellow LED bulbs for a natural looking light. No-Kord is offered in two sizes to accommodate different sized pieces of artwork, an eight-inch size and a 16-inch size. The exterior shell is polished brass with a white interior. A convenient on/off switch is positioned within the shade for ease of use. The Hobby Hill Hang-O-Bracket hardware system is included; it can be mounted directly into the frame or into the wall.
Strauss Oil Lamp
The Strauss Oil Lamp was made with a rustic feel and combines elements from nature to give the consumer a versatile color palette and a new, updated look in a traditional product category. The Strauss Oil Lamp bottles are suspended on the rack with a piece of metal that holds the bottle from the top as well as the bottom to create a balanced, stable look. The metal was worked to create the feel of a person holding the lamps. Another key element of the design is the lamp hues and the wick accent that the company said was crucial to support the primary function of the oil lamp-the flame.
Nova Task Lighting/CFS126
With a highly modern, uniquely styled appearance the Nova Series CFS126 features a 13-watt full spectrum desk lamp bulb that lasts up to 10,000 hours. The energy efficient light reduces glare and increases depth of focus, according to the company. It has a 21-inch adjustable arm and a toggle on/off switch. The finish is a contemporary looking brushed stainless steel. The Nova collection was designed to provide a lighting line that offers a higher degree of style and meets more rigorous quality standards, according to the company. It is targeted for higher end retail distribution. Each lamp in the Nova series has a five-year warranty.
Rolly Desktop Organizer
The Rolly Desktop Organizer is a unique interpretation of typical desktop box or bin storage. The wooden storage box features a roll-top cover that slides completely around the bottom of the elliptically shaped box and up the other side. The subtly curved shape allows the cover to roll open fully, according to the company. Besides the practicality of enclosing items in the box, it is an interesting design to feel. Part of Umbra’s U+ line, the Rolly Desktop Organizer is a sleek, modern interpretation on the roll-top desk design. It is designed to be large enough to hold photographs or to be used as a desktop storage accessory.
Body Fat and Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
The MF-90 Body Fat and Blood Pressure Monitor is a bio-impedance body fat monitor housed together with an oscillometric wrist blood pressure monitor combined into one compact unit. Operating by passing a tiny electric current through the body and measuring resistance to it, bio-impedance body fat measurement takes about five seconds to perform. The result is calculated automatically by a formula based on input weight, height, age, gender and the body’s resistance to electrical current. Measurement of blood pressure is done by the oscillometric method; the cuff is inflated and the reading is taken during deflation. The pulse rate is also taken. It stores and averages readings for up to four different people.
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Electronic Weight Control System
The Contek Weight Control System is a newly designed scale that permits users to store and monitor their weight reading as part of an overall weight management plan. It stores weight by date and permits fast and easy push button recall of stored weight by day, week, month or year. It has a fashionable high tech glass base. Weight information is transmitted wirelessly to a digital display that can be mounted conveniently on the wall at eye level. Its memory capacity enables four different users to store weight information. The display is easily removed so it can be taken to the user’s physician to review a weight loss plan. The display can also be positioned below the clear glass base for a typical “look down” use.
Cybersonic 2 Toothbrush
The Cybersonic 2 is designed as a complete at-home oral care system. The Cyberspring brush attachment resonates back and forth at 41,000 cleaning strokes per minute and features spring-action bristles that fit the unique contours of the mouth. The Sonic flosser attachment allows for one-hand flossing and the pre-strung flossing cartridges are disposable. The Sonic tongue cleaner targets the bacteria on the tongue that can cause bad breath using high-speed agitators. The Cybersonic acts as a tooth cleaner, plaque remover and breath freshener. It has an ergonomic handle and built-in one-minute timer.
Revlon Palm Straightener
The Revlon Palm Straightener features ceramic plates for straightening hair. It has a unique palm grip design created to fit concisely in the hand for better styling control. The unit features full size plates for complete hair coverage. The Palm Straightener is designed for everyday use, and the compact design means it is portable enough for quick touch-ups or for travel. The Palm Straightener is designed to create the same styles as a full size straightener and it can be used on long or short hair, according to the company. There is an on/off indicator and the plates lock together for easy storage when not in use. The unit also features worldwide dual voltage. The heat on the Palm Straightener peaks at 250 watts.
Eltron Personal Ear and Nose Trimmer
The Eltron Personal Trimmer has built-in protective side covers that shift up to cover the trimmer while not in use and are retractable to expose the cutting element. Other features include adjustable speeds and a detachable head for easy cleaning. It is also totally water immersible and features an easy to hold, futuristic, ergonomic handle design. It operates on a single 1.5-volt battery. The trimmer is designed to safely remove unwanted hair from the nose and ears while also providing a way to keep eyebrows neatly trimmed, according to the company. The company created the Eltron Personal Trimmer to offer a stylish, yet discreet, option in personal trimmers. The retractable sides are unique in the category, according to the company.