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9 of the best cheap gadgets for a budget-friendly life upgrade

We love a cool gadget here at Science Focus but, inevitably, investing in the latest tech can mean our bank accounts take a hit from time to time. So, when we find an inexpensive device with the power to improve our day-to-day lives, it’s fair to say we’re interested. 

Here are some of our favourite cheap gadgets on the market, all available for under £25. Our list includes a wide variety of different gizmos, with kitchen gadgets, car gadgets and office gadgets in the mix. 

Keep scrolling to find more budget-friendly tools to upgrade your daily life. 

Best cheap gadgets to buy today

Fisher space pen

Pens with hidden capabilities might be the ultimate gadgets – they’re a staple in classic spy movies, after all. This one doesn’t shoot bullets or tranquilliser darts, but it does have the ability to write in extreme conditions. 

With its gas pressurised cartridge, it can continue working on almost any surface and at any angle – even upside down. You can use it underwater and it’ll also cut through greasy surfaces without trouble. Plus, it’ll continue writing at any temperature between -34°C and 121°C. 

Famously, the space pen can even work outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. But if you don’t get the chance to put it to the test, you can still benefit from its long-lasting ink cartridges. They hold out for three times longer than the average pen. 

Colour-changing light bulb

iLC Colour Changing Light Bulb

It’s easy to give your home a fresh feel with one simple colour-changing light bulb, and this one comes with a lot of different functions. You can switch between 12 colours and four modes: fade, smooth, flash and strobe. The remote control also lets you adjust the brightness of the light and set timers to turn the bulb on and off automatically.

As added bonuses, this bulb lasts 60,000 hours and has an in-built memory to turn on with the last colour you selected. 

If you’re after some jazzy lighting for an upcoming party or fancy changing the colour of your room at the click of a button, this gadget will do the trick.

Car USB charging port

Halfords Twin USB 2.5A

Okay, a USB charging port may not be the most exciting gadget on the market, but it’s certainly a useful one, bound to come in handy on long car journeys. In fact, at under £10, it makes a sensible purchase, as it’ll probably save you many headaches in the long run. 

Halfords has created this double USB charging gadget designed to be inserted into your car’s cigarette lighter port. You can plug in two USB cables at once to top up your devices on the move, and the LED light lets you know when the power is on. 

Wireless LED shower speaker

Wireless Led Shower Speaker

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a disco experience in your very own shower! This nifty little speaker fixes to glass or tiles with a suction cup and plays your favourite music – with LED light show accompaniment – for up to five hours per charge. 

Here’s the twist: you can even take calls while you lather up. 

The speaker works with most smartphones and devices and you can top up the battery with a USB cable. Once it’s in situ and within 10 metres of your synced device, you can adjust the volume to your personal preference. 

Choose your favourite colour and finish before you buy. We love this wood effect version, but there are also floral, rainbow and iridescent options available.

ProCook cooking blowtorch

ProCook Cooking Blowtorch

You can’t get much more hardcore than a blowtorch when it comes to cheap gadgets. This one is designed to add a moreish layer of caramelised goodness to foods like crème brulée and meringue – a great excuse for investing in another fun gadget. 

While the blowtorch is one of the more dangerous items on this list, it comes with a number of features to keep you safe while you use it. There’s an anti-flare flame and a useful nozzle for adjusting it, as well as a grippy, ribbed holder to stop it slipping. 

It comes with an empty gas cylinder you fill with butane, so you can use the blowtorch again and again. 

Victorinox Tinker Swiss Army Knife

Victorinox Tinker Swiss Army Knife

No list of affordable gadgets would be complete without a nod to the Swiss Army knife. Victorinox is the brand behind the iconic tool and has been manufacturing them since the 1880s. 

There are a huge variety of Swiss Army knives out there, but the Tinker is a fantastic option for the first-time owner. It comes in at just £18 and has 12 different functions. As well as separate large and small blades, the tool includes a can and bottle opener, wire stripper and three screwdrivers. There’s also a toothpick and tweezers.

As you’d expect from a Swiss Army knife, this little gadget is compact and lightweight, at just 1.4cm long and 54g. 

ProCook milk frother

ProCook Milk Frother

If you want to spend a bit of money to massively upgrade your morning coffee, try a manual milk frother. It’ll help you replicate your favourite cafe cappuccino or latte, but it’s also ideal for creating thick, foamy hot chocolate. 

ProCook sells this effective frother for everyday use. It has a practical design made from stainless steel and can hold up to 800ml of milk. With the pump pushed down, the pot is just 12cm tall, so it should fit easily into cupboards and drawers. 

Plus, the whole thing is dishwasher safe, which makes for a hassle-free clean up.

Electronic diffuser

Dome Aroma Fan Essential Oil Diffusers

An electronic diffuser can create a calming atmosphere with relaxing scents and mood lighting. It’s a practical, sustainable and cost-effective alternative to candles, incense sticks and disposable room sprays, as you can use it again and again. 

Firstly, choose your scented oil and add it to the diffuser pad. Then, set the LED lighting; select a solid colour or let the gadget cycle through all the different tones. The diffuser will fill the room with the calming fragrance.

This simple, modern diffuser is just 7cm by 8.5cm, so it’s small enough to be inconspicuous in most rooms. When power is low, top it up using the USB cable. 

Energizer portable power bank

Energizer Max 10000mAh Polymer Portable Power Bank

We end the list with one of the most useful gadgets for 21st century life: the power bank. Whether you use your phone a lot while out and about or just don’t want to risk getting caught out in the future, this item is a wise purchase. 

We’ve chosen this power bank because of its high review score. Customers love it for its reliability and lightweight and compact design, making it easy to take on the move. The bank can charge most smartphones up to three times, but it has two USB outputs for simultaneous top-ups. 

There’s also an LED light to tell you when the battery is low, when it’s charging and when it’s at 100 per cent capacity. 

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