I tried 5 ‘As Seen On TV’ products under $20 and found that some were a complete failure

I fell in love with the ‘As Seen On TV’ Veggetti Pro spiralizer. Erin McDowell/Business Insider
  • When it comes to “As Seen On TV” products, many of them can seem like a total gimmick.
  • And, as I found out by trying five different “As Seen On TV” products under $US20, some of them are.
  • I tried five products – the Veggetti Pro, the Perfect Potato Slicer, the Rapid Mac Cooker, the Press 2 Paste, and the Precise Pedi – to see which ones were a win, and which were total flops.
  • I absolutely loved the Veggetti Pro spiralizer, but I found the Perfect Potato Slicer and Press 2 Paste to be huge disappointments.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories .

While strolling the aisles of CVS and other drugstores, the “As Seen On TV” aisle never fails to intrigue and confuse me.

I often wonder, “Do these gadgets really work?”

To settle the mystery once and for all, I decided to try out five “As Seen On TV” household items under $US20 to see if they would impress me.

While I was pleasantly surprised by the Veggetti Pro spiralizer, I thought the Perfect Potato Slicer was far from perfect.

I also couldn’t get the Press 2 Paste toothpaste dispenser to work, making it a total failure in my opinion. Not to mention, it left behind a sticky residue when I attempted to pry it off of my wall.

Here’s what I thought of every “As Seen On TV” product I tried, ranked from worst to best.

The Press 2 Paste toothpaste dispenser seemed like a slightly more innovative way to brush my teeth in the morning, so I decided to give it a try.

Press 2 Paste toothpaste dispenser. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The Press 2 Paste toothpaste dispenser holds a tube of toothpaste and claims to “dispense the perfect amount of toothpaste” when pressed. It cost me $US8.50 plus $US5.95 shipping and handling from the “As Seen On TV” website.

The Press 2 Paste toothpaste dispenser came with the dispenser, an added toothbrush holder, and instructions.

The Press 2 Paste toothpaste dispenser, box, instructions, and toothbrush holder. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I was slightly confused about how to put my toothpaste tube into the dispenser but was able to figure it out by inserting it and squeezing until toothpaste was released.

According to the instructions, I should have been good to go.

The Press 2 Paste toothpaste dispenser mounted on the wall. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

However, I ran into a few issues.

First, the dispenser refused to dispense any toothpaste onto my brush.

I inserted my toothbrush into the dispenser. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

A small amount managed to drip onto my brush from when I squeezed the toothpaste tube into the dispenser, but overall this product seemed like a failure to me.

I barely got a dollop of toothpaste onto my brush.

The Press 2 Paste didn’t work for me. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I ran into another problem when I tried to remove the holder from my wall – the adhesive on the back was so strong and sticky, I had to wet it and pry the dispenser off with the toothbrush. Even still, goopy adhesive residue was left behind. I wasn’t happy with this product.

One of the kitchen products I tried was the Perfect Potato Slicer.

The Perfect Potato Slicer. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

For just $US3.99 plus shipping and handling, the Perfect Potato Slicer was the cheapest “As Seen On TV” item I tried.

It claims to be able to slice a potato into perfect fry-shaped wedges.

At first, I was nervous about accidentally cutting myself on the blades. However, I quickly learned that wasn’t my biggest concern.

I tried pressing down on the Perfect Potato Slicer but didn’t have any luck. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

As I tried to cut into my potato, which I had already cut to fit the shape of the slicer, I could barely make a dent in the potato, let alone slice it.

No matter how hard I pushed down, there was no slicing happening.

The Perfect Potato Slicer couldn’t cut through my potato. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

Since the slicer didn’t come with instructions, I had no idea whether the potato was supposed to be par-boiled or not to make for easier slicing.

Instead, the blades barely left a mark on the potato.

It barely left a mark on my potato. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The blades were so dull, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could slice a potato with this contraption.

Thinking that maybe a smaller chunk of potato would work, I cut my spud down to about two inches tall — and it worked.

It worked with a much smaller chunk of potato. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

However, I don’t know who would want fries this short. For me, the Perfect Potato Slicer was far from perfect – it was a total failure. In my opinion, you’re much better off using a knife for perfect potato slices.

Another product I tried from “As Seen On TV” was the Precise Pedi.

Precise Pedi. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The Precise Pedi device costs $US7.94 on the “As Seen On TV” website, plus shipping and handling. It claims to remove hard and dead skin, leaving feet soft instead. Since the average pedicure costs around $US20, I was anxious to see if this device could help get rid of my New Yorker callouses.

The device requires two AA batteries that are not included with your purchase.

The Precise Pedi requires two AA batteries, not included. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

After putting in the batteries, I gave it a whirl.

As much as I had apprehensions about sharing my callouses with the internet, a before and after showed that the product did a decent job at removing some dry skin.

Precise Pedi before and after. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

Looking at my skin after using the Precise Pedi, I didn’t think it necessarily looked better. However, the soles of my feet did feel a touch smoother.

Overall, I thought the Precise Pedi was just OK, and it ranked third out of the five products I bought.

I also tried the Rapid Mac Cooker from Rapid Brands.

Rapid Mac Cooker from Rapid Brands. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

On Amazon, the Rapid Mac Cooker was advertised as an “As Seen On TV” product and retailed for $US6.50.

The Rapid Mac Cooker can supposedly cut down the amount of time it takes to cook mac and cheese, allowing you to make it in less than five minutes in the microwave.

Dry pasta inside the Rapid Mac Cooker. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The instructions were very easy to follow. I simply poured my macaroni noodles – I chose Annie’s Shells & Real Aged Cheddar since it’s my favourite kind of mac and cheese – into the bright blue container.

I then filled the tub with water up to the designated fill line.

I filled the Rapid Mac Cooker with the pasta and poured water up to the fill line. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The instructions said to microwave the container for 2 1/2 minutes, stir it, and then microwave the macaroni for another two minutes.

After my macaroni was finished cooking, I noticed the water had become frothy.

The water became frothy as my mac and cheese cooked. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

While the instructions didn’t say anything about straining the pasta, I decided to pour out a small amount of the water that was still left in the container.

Then I added the packet of cheese sauce, a tablespoon of butter, and just a splash of whole milk.

I added the packet of cheese sauce, a tablespoon of butter, and just a splash of whole milk. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The pasta shells looked a little small compared to when they’re made on the stove, but they nevertheless appeared to be fully cooked.

I sprinkled some pepper on top of my mac and cheese and dug in.

I enjoyed the mac and cheese, even though it was a little al dente. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The pasta was a tad al dente, but overall I thought it tasted just as good as if it had been made on the stove.

For half the time and the option to make any kind of mac and cheese in the microwave, the Rapid Mac Cooker seemed like a great alternative for people with a stove-less office kitchen … or simply a lack of patience.

But the best product I tried from “As Seen On TV” was the Veggetti Pro.

The Veggetti Pro box. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I purchased the Veggetti Pro for $US14.94 plus shipping and handling from the “As Seen On TV” website.

The Veggetti Pro came with a plastic vegetable spiralizer and an instruction manual, which also contained a multitude of recipes on how to use the device.

The Veggetti Pro comes with a spiralizer and an instruction manual with recipes. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The Veggetti Pro can make anything from zucchini noodles to curly fries and coleslaw, according to the manual.

The Veggetti Pro also came with three different blades that allowed me to make thin spirals, thick spirals, or ribbon-cut noodles.

The Veggetti Pro comes with three different blades. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The different blades easily slot into the machine, making this product safer than I anticipated.

Overall, I would say the spiralizer was extremely easy to use. I tried making zucchini noodles and was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked.

First, I tried the ribbon-cut blade. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I tried out every blade on my zucchini and found they all worked perfectly.

I also tried it with a potato to see if I could make curly fries, as the manual claimed.

I also tried spiralizing a potato for curly fries. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I was definitely impressed by some of the spirals I was able to make, although others came out as potato shavings. Harder vegetables like zucchini or carrots may work better with this device.

I was definitely pleasantly surprised to find that this “As Seen On TV” product not only worked, but would be something I would actually buy again.

I loved how the thin-cut spirals came out. Erin McDowell/Business Insider

If you’re looking for an easy way to make healthy, delicious veggie spirals, the Veggetti Pro is a great tool to have in your kitchen. Plus, the price simply can’t be topped.