Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chawly Changer

I very rarely carry cash and thus I am even less likely to have change. However, after a week where I got TWO parking tickets due to a lack of change, I decided it was necessary for me to carry SOME change. For a while I stored it in a small, flat PCMCIA card case that came with a laptop modem I had some time ago (the case outlasted the modem by a long shot and was twice as useful). That worked well, as it sat nicely in the business card slot in my Tumi Alpha T-Pass Expandable Laptop Briefcase (whew that is an awkward name). The only problem was getting change out proved to be difficult. Plus, you can't really store a ton of change this way.

Some poking around on the Internet led me to the Chawly Changer. CutleryLover did a review of his changer:

It is not an expensive item--about $8.10 for the changer plus shipping. I have had one for about three months now, and it works very, very well. You can drop it into larger jeans coin pockets or into your main pocket. You can also put it in your car to have quick and easy access to a good deal of change without it slopping around in a utility compartment or cup holder. It is completely rattle free and I have never had coins sneak out.

It works like those built in change holders in cars, which seem to have vanished in favor of about three dozen cup holders scattered around the front of a car. There is a spring under a plastic platform and the spring and platform are set into a tube. Here the tubes are relatively shallow, allow you to carry only $1.70 (with dimes in the penny slots). Larger tubes might make the changer too heavy. Here the design prevents the platform of wobbling out of the tube ensuring even pressure on the coins (helping to keep them in place). The entire unit is made of nice plastic. It is chamfered all over the place. There is a hump on one side and a depression on the other, aligned with each other in the center of the changer, to allow you to pinch it between your index finger and thumb and spin the changer around to access various coins. The coin tubes are very well made, there are tight tolerances on all of the tubes both in diameter and in depth (the dime tube being the worst and even then the spring keeps it in place quite well). You can easily retrieve coins with one hand. Adding coins can be done with one hand, but it is a little bit of finger yoga.

For less than $9 it is totally worth it to try it out, plus it is produced by the inventor here in the USA. It only works with US coins. I like mine a lot. And it has made me hunt for and keep change, something I didn't really do before.

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