The Wirecutter and The Sweethome (part of The New York Times Company) are lists of the best gadgets and gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we earn affiliate commissions that support our work. Here is an explanation of exactly what we do, and how to support our work.

Tax Season Prep
Tax season doesn't have to be a pain. We spent more than 40 hours to find the best tools to file a tax return and make the number-crunching easier. And to help simplify the filing process and keep things organized, we've rounded up our picks for scanners, paper shredders, and finance apps.

The Best Portable Document Scanner Epson ES-300W
After 100 hours of research and testing since 2013, we think the wireless, battery-powered Epson ES-300W is the best portable scanner for most people.   Read More >
The Best Tax Software TurboTax
We tried five online tax-filing apps using staffers and five fake filers, and found that TurboTax remains the easiest way to confidently get your taxes done.   Read More >
The Best Tech and Apps for Your Home Office
When it comes to your home office, you need reliable, comfortable, efficient tools—and it doesn’t hurt if they look nice, too. After spending more than 150 hours researching and testing new gear and apps, as well as selecting the most office-friendly items from our other guides, we've found the best gear and tech for your home office to get you connected, equipped, and otherwise ready to be productive.   Read More >
The Best Online Backup Service CrashPlan
After carefully comparing 20 services and testing six, we found that CrashPlan is the best online backup service for most people. CrashPlan has a better overall value than any other service we tested, and offers a more flexible, reliable, and affordable experience than the competition. Restoring files with CrashPlan is less painful than with other services, and it has the unique option of peer-to-peer backups, which allows you to forgo paying for cloud storage.   Read More >
The Best Mechanical Pencils Uni-ball Kuru Toga
We surveyed thousands of our readers, considered 127 different mechanical pencils, and tested seven of our favorites. The $5 Uni-ball Kuru Toga rests above the competition, thanks to a unique mechanism that keeps your pencil tip sharp as you write and was the most popular feature with our readers. We have other picks, too, for metal bodies, bigger erasers, and side clickers.   Read More >
The Best Paper Shredders AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut
After we interviewed a man who made his living stealing discarded personal data and then tested paper shredders with a physicist, we recommend the $50 AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut for your paper-document, credit-card, or data-DVD-shredding needs. It was our pick last year, and we still couldn't find a shredder with comparable shredding capacity for the same low price.   Read More >
The Best Pen Uni-ball Jetstream
We consulted experts who had collectively written 1,200 pen reviews, and all of them said that the uni-ball Jetstream is the best pen for most people. Exhaustive analysis of a dozen pen attributes backed it up.   Read More >