Cooking Concepts Digital Timer (Dollar Tree)

Cooking Concepts Digital Timer in packaging hanging on a peghook at a Dollar Tree store
A solid budget timer for those who just need the basics.

 It seems I’m always using a timer for something, whether it be games, or cooking, so I need to have one on hand.  The last one I had, a digital one from Taylor, lasted me about five years, but finally started to become too much of a hassle to operate as the buttons starting wonking out. 

Even though Taylor’s aren’t very expensive, I had heard good things about the digital timers at Dollar Tree, and decided to give one a shot.  After all, it’s not like they require a large investment, so if it was terrible, I could just pitch it, and spend a couple more dollars and get a name brand one.

Right out of the package, there was some frustration:  The minute key didn’t work very well.  Over one year later, and it still doesn’t.  I was going to get another one to see if it had the same problem, but I’ve gotten used to working around it, as it just requires a little extra force to get it moving.  Thankfully, the second button works with minimal effort, so it very well might be limited to mine.

Working it is simple:  Press the minute button to advance the minute, and the second button to advance the seconds.  To reset, simply press both the minute and second buttons at the same time.  Pressing the “Start” button after time expires recalls the last minute entered, which is a feature that I’m glad was included, as I often use the same time over and over.  The beep when time expires is suitably loud (but not too loud) and easily audible even when I’m on a different floor.

Even though I would recommend these to anyone with a use for them, and yes, even though I realize these are only a dollar and I shouldn’t expect much for so little, I do still have a couple minor quibbles:  1.) The screen is rather small, so if you want to read the countdown, you will have to get very close to it, and 2.) There are no additional features.  Again, that is not an issue for me, but others that might need their timer to, say, count up, will definitely be at a loss.  There is also no way to turn it off, which can be kind of annoying.  It's still held up for over two years, so it's not that big of a deal, but it'd be nice to have the option of stretching its life out even more by being able to shut it off when not in use.

Overall: 7/10.  The screen is pretty small and special features are pretty much non-existent (except for a memory function that remembers the last time entered), but for a no-frills timer, you really can’t go wrong.  My minute key does require some excessive force to get it going, so I’m not sure if that’s just limited to mine, or a constant occurrence, but either way, this functions about as admirably as you could expect from a dollar timer.  I’ve also had it for going on two years now, and it’s still functioning, so chalk a point up for longevity.  Well worth looking into.