Our Methodology

Whether you spend your weekends kayaking a local lake or completing projects in your backyard, the great outdoors is probably where you make some of your best memories. If you’ve spent serious time scouring the aisles of hardware stores and sporting good shops, you probably are all too familiar with how many products there are in each category. It can often be tough to narrow down exactly which lawnmower or backpack to buy.

Don’t Waste Your Money is here to help. We know your time and money are both limited, and our goal is to find the best products in each subcategory to help you cut to the chase. You can also order many of the items we recommend online, saving you a trip to the store. Instead of playing a guessing game in the aisles of your favorite sporting goods retailer, you’ll have a fully-informed review to help you choose the very best.

We’re outdoor enthusiasts ourselves, and our team of sporting goods and hardware reviewers know exactly which features are important. We’ve used these items and outlined the things we like in a product we use for do-it-yourself projects or fun, and we put items to test to make sure they meet our high standards. In addition to looking at those features ourselves, we also research online to see what other experts are saying about a product so that we can form as fully-informed a report as possible.

In addition to expert reviews, the Don’t Waste Your Money team also pays close attention to what customers are saying about a product. We realize that the people who use these goods every day are often the best resource for how useful it is. We can often get insights into design flaws or product performance from these reviews. Similarly, customer reviews are a great way to find out when a product is really resonating with those who are using it, which will help you find the item that will quickly become your favorite.

This customer perspective is especially important with products like trampolines, where children are interacting with the product. Something like a snowblower or grill may not show true durability for months after the initial purchase, so customers are the best resource for that information.

When you’re looking for an outdoor product, you want something you can rely on to work for as long as you need it. We consider a product’s durability, as well as any warranties you’ll get against defects. If it’s a product like snow chains or golf balls, we look at all the features you’re most likely to want to make sure you can get the information you need before making a purchase.

Our team is primarily made up of investigative journalists who have made a career out of uncovering truths. We leave no stone unturned when researching products in each category to make sure we learn all relevant information. Over time, many of our readers find they come to us every time they need sporting goods or home improvement products, knowing they can depend on us to help them find the right products quickly.

Our Trusted Process

If you’re like many people, your free time is limited. Whether it’s nights, weekends or your rare week off, you want to make the most of every minute you have. At Don’t Waste Your Money, we specialize in researching the latest products in each category so you don’t have to. That means you can spend less time shopping and more time enjoying the products you purchase.

Our experienced researchers review up to 15 items in each subcategory and narrow it down to the top four of each. While we look at the items ourselves, we also search the internet to see what other reviewers are saying about each product and factor that information into the rating we give. Although we look at a wide range of websites, we do weigh some more heavily than others to ensure our score reflects what the best sites are saying.

From that original product selection, we narrow the options down to just four products in each subcategory, based on a numerical score we assign that ranges from 1 to 10. Our rating includes not only what our experts found, but also what other professional reviewers are saying as well as customers.

To make things easier, we assign Best Overall and Best Bang for Your Buck designations to a product in each subcategory. That means if you’re looking for a pressure washer, you can go straight to that page and immediately find our one overall recommendation for the category and, if you’re on a budget, the best deal you’ll find in that subcategory. You can also look for the Don’t Waste Your Money seal of approval to find the best products across our entire site.

We don’t just look at the positive features. We’ve found that paying close attention to customer and reviewer complaints about an item can be key to finding what works best in competing products. If one set of windshield wipers doesn’t work well in wintry conditions, we know to look at competing products in that subcategory to see how well they do in handling ice and snow.

With more than 20 researchers on our team, we put our efforts toward making the shopping process as easy as possible for our readers. Our team shares your enthusiasm for spending time outdoors and knows exactly which features are important to you. If you’re in the market for a jigsaw, for example, you need someone who has experience with jigsaws and knows the importance of blade types and battery power.

At Don’t Waste Your Money, our goal is to become your go-to resource for all your sporting good and hardware needs. When you start a new project and realize we need a tool, you’ll eventually find that heading straight to our website will help you find the perfect product for you. Our top four choices in each subcategory are designed to narrow down the options so that you can use personal preference to find products without sacrificing the best features.