When I looked through my cupboard recently for favourite tools you can get as Christmas gifts I also noticed the ones lurking in the back of drawers that were not so successful.
Luckily, none of these were actually gifts so the only one feeling bad about my telling you about them will be me. Do not buy them. Do not put them on your wish list. They will probably linger in my drawers for years because I hate to admit they are completely useless, even though I know they are mostly useless.
1. Starting on the left, the mostly useless herb chopping tool. The theory is that you roll it over your herbs and it chops them finely. The fact is that unless your herbs are bone-dry they mostly just stick to the blades. What doesn't stick to the blades seems to scatter to the four ends of the earth. This might be useful as a pasta cutter, if I didn't already own one.
2. In the middle: the adjustable cheese slicer. It sounded like a good idea: you can move the back of the slicer closer or further from the wire to have different thicknesses of cheese slices. The reality? The button you are supposed to turn to hold the bar at the right thickness has never actually held it and so I have a cheese slicer that makes big, thick slices. Period.
3. Lastly, the wooden-handled cheese grater. This is not a bad buy on the surface: it grates reasonably well and is easy to store and pick up quickly. However, its fatal flaw is the pretty wooden handle. Beware of anything with a wooden handle attached to a metal tool, as your dishwasher will surely melt whatever glue is supposed to be holding the two elements together. And you will try to fix it with wood glue or rubber cement but nothing will change the fact that you really need to get a brand new grater made of a single piece of metal.