Determining The Best Since 1983

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute has served as a non-profit consumer advocacy organization for 38 years by objectively researching, testing, and rating consumer products to determine which is one is truly The Best item within a particular category.

With a staff of three full-time analysts, The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute thoroughly vets items via rigorous testing unburdened by the interests of manufacturers, vendors, or merchants to ensure that only the item that performs better than the other items in a category earns a ranking of The Best.

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute performs a wide-ranging search of the marketplace to identify all the qualifying products in a particular category, which also includes items sold by Hammacher Schlemmer's competitors. This process enables The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute to declare in confidence that an item bearing The Best at the beginning of its description truly merits such distinction, which furthers The Institute's long-standing goal to provide solutions to meet customers' needs.

"The Institute was created in 1983 to impartially research, test, and rate consumer products without influence from manufacturers, vendors, or merchants." - Peter R., Sr. Manager of the Institute

A Variety Of Testing Methods

Each test conducted by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute begins with a consumer survey to determine which features and capabilities are considered the most important for that category. For example, a survey might reveal customers prioritize the frozen quality of an ice cube over how many ice cubes an ice maker produces while a different survey might show that consumers value the battery life of an electric lawn mower over how many grass height settings it provides. Depending upon the item, the results of the survey - which may include level of performance, ease of use, durability, comfort, and desired features - become the criteria by which an item will be evaluated.

A weight of importance is given to each criterion, with the result that the cooling effectiveness of an air conditioner might weigh more than its ease of use. This sets the direction for the test, which allows The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute to determine the most appropriate method of evaluation, which can include the help of professionals and subject matter experts, sophisticated testing equipment, certified independent laboratories, and consumer testing panels.

Bring In The Pros

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute seeks out professionals or subject matter experts whose specialized knowledge and skills provide valuable insight into a product category and help to evaluate products more effectively. For example, a certified auto shop tested The Best Auto Jump Starter and The Best Tire Inflator while a local wine store tested The Best Wine Opener. While a collegiate chess team provided critical consultation for The Best Electronic Chess Game test.

The Right Tool For The Job

For certain tests, analysts use sophisticated calibrated equipment, such as anemometers to measure wind speed for The Best Tower Fan and The Best Window Fan, digital dataloggers connected to thermocouples to measure temperature changes over time for The Best Heated Vest and The Best Heated Blankets, and a digital sound meter that measures the noise emitted by fans and air cleaners.

Send It To The Lab

When necessary, The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute commissions the services of certified independent laboratories that follow established testing standards and procedures. For example, The Best Body Composition Measuring Scale was evaluated by a university's hydrostatic weighing facility while The Best Tower Heater and The Best Warm/Cool Humidifier were tested in a certified lab's environment-controlled rooms.

Let The People Decide

We also rely on consumer testing panels that use the products as they would in a domestic setting and record their experiences. With the brand names hidden, panelists read instruction manuals, assemble devices, and evaluate the different models based on their overall effectiveness, ease of use, safety features, and other relevant categories.

The Best

The items below are seasonal examples of items that earned The Best rating in tests conducted by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute.

The Best Portable DVD Player

This portable DVD player was rated The Best by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produced the highest picture and sound quality, was the easiest unit to operate, and had a superior run/charge time.

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The Best Gentleman's Foil Shaver

This foil shaver earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produced the most comfortable shave.

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The Best Pocket Radio

This HD pocket radio earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produced the highest quality sound and had the best reception.

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The Best Beard And Mustache Trimmer

This beard and mustache trimmer was named The Best by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute due to its superior performance, ease of use, and extra features.

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The Best Heated Gloves

These heated gloves earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute due to their heating effectiveness, comfort, and superior coverage.

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The Best Automatic Cordless Tire Inflator

This cordless inflator earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it inflated tires faster than other models.

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