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These Unsexy Kitchen Tools Are The Best You'll Ever Buy

If you shop on Amazon Prime Day, choose deals on useful items, not flashy ones.

Today is Amazon Prime Day—but you already knew that. Amazon's been hyping everyone up for what seems like months. And while the ecommerce behemoth might feature its deals on automatic pepper grinders and cold brew coffee makers most prominently, here's our best, most practical advice for anyone who chooses to shop on Prime Day: Make it work for you by buying the everyday useful items your kitchen needs, not some unitasker you weren't actually thinking about purchasing until a big red "10% off" banner appeared beneath its online listing.

Here are our recommendations for unsexy but functinonal purchases, based on what's being sold at a discount today.

A good can opener

Using a dull, half-busted can opener tends to be one of those things we all suffer through for much longer than we should. But when you grab a can opener at the dollar store or the nearest Target, it's tempting to just go with the cheapest one available. After all, they all just... open cans, right? In reality, a good can opener will make you see the light. KitchenAid's Classic Multifunction Can Opener (a "Cadillac" option among widely available models) typically retails for around $13-15, but today it's being sold at a Prime Day rate of $8.54, a 57% discount.

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Using this tool, you'll quickly realize how hard you've been working to grind the old one through the tops of your cans. It "bites" down on the can neatly, and the large knob is easy to turn so you don't strain your wrist. Plus, like any good opener, it's got a bottle opener built into the top, because why buy two tools when you can stick to one for just under nine bucks?

While it comes in multiple charming colors like Pistachio, Lavender Cream, and Aqua Sky, not all of them are priced equally on Amazon—the Prime Day price only applies to the black one, and some models sell for as high as $22. But hey, maybe you're really committed to having a cutie-pie kitchen.

Shelf liners

Kitchen cabinets and drawers need shelf liners. If this sounds like Big Shelf Liner trying to lure you to make a purchase, rest assured this recommendation comes from hard-won experience. Too often, clean dishes are put away while still damp, and the water can cause damage inside the cabinets. When various kitchen tools are thrown carelessly into the drawer, they can scratch the wood to hell. Glassware can get scuffed around the rim if stored on untreated wood shelves. Have we convinced you yet?

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The type of liner doesn't really matter, but opting for a roll of spongy, webbed foam liner such as this will give your dishes a soft place to land and catch some of those unseen drips. There are also lots of patterns (such as faux granite) that let you "wallpaper" your kitchen and add some personality and a pop of color for an affordable price. (For something a little more durable/washable, try this—you can even use it in the fridge.) Whatever you choose, it's a way to make your kitchen feel more complete for under $10. (Stay away from anything adhesive, though, as that might cause damage to wood surfaces. )

A sink protector

You might think your stainless steel sink, being fairly impervious to damage, doesn't need a grate insert to protect it. However, a good sink grate—fitted to the bottom of your kitchen sink, with little "feet" that elevate it above the bottom and a hole cut out for the drain—will make washing dishes easier every time.

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Because the grate elevates your dishes on a flat surface above the curved sink bottom, you can place things like tall mugs in the sink and not worry about them tipping over. If you want to scrape a plate of food remnants into the garbage disposal, those bits will bypass the dishes sitting in the sink and head straight for the drain where they belong. Best of all, in a two-parted sink these grates can eliminate the need for a countertop drying rack, since dishes drip-dry above the bottom of the sink rather than sitting in their own moisture.

There are several models available at Prime Day discounts, which is great because they're just expensive enough to be a slightly annoying purchase. You'll be glad you bought them, though, and of course you'll have the satisfaction of recommending that your friends do the same.

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