How We Test and Evaluate Products

Our Mission

As Family Handyman’s shopping editors, we cover products that make everyday life better. Through extensive research and hands-on testing, we strive to deliver the best, most-trusted product reviews, recommendations and inspiration on the internet.  

Our Team

Our team of shopping experts and product reviewers has more than 35 combined years of experience in professional product selection and testing. But we’re also everyday shoppers who aim to purchase the best products for the lowest price. Meet our team: 

Why You Should Trust Us

We’ve built a first-rate testing program that showcases our commitment to authenticity and rigorous testing. Our team of in-studio and on-location testers methodically yet authentically put products through their paces so that our audience can click “add to cart” with confidence.  

Our team’s biggest responsibility is to our readers. You can trust that when a product appears on our site, it’s been hand-chosen by one of our shopping experts, each with years of experience under their belt. We’re truly fans of every single recommendation we publish—we’ll never push a product we find faulty or unworthy of coverage. 

We’re always on the lookout for the latest products and brands that can make your lives easier and your days brighter. When we’re not sending products to expert contributors, we’re speaking to leading professionals in the fields of DIY, gardening and lawn care and home maintenance/renovation to incorporate their tips into our work.  

Testing steam cleaners on a dirty wood floor

How We Select and Test Products

As shopping experts, testing products is one of the most important—and most fun!—parts of the job. After all, how can we recommend products in good faith without getting our hands on them ourselves?

We follow rigorous guidelines and testing methodologies to arrive at the very best products. Whether we’re putting power tools to work or sifting through our cleaning data to test vacuums, we treat each product with the care and journalistic curiosity it deserves. 

When possible, we test products side-by-side with similar competitors, comparing qualities our readers care the most about such as pricepoint, accessibility, durability and design. We often include multiple testers to remove bias and personal preference from the equation. We also factor in reviews from across the internet from real, everyday people to form a more complete picture of a product’s worthiness. 

Adding different types of stains to a variety of bath mats for product testing

Some other qualities we evaluate:

  • Industry standards: You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing its MPG, and experienced homeowners know that certain products—like power tools and equipment—also have standard measurements to meet. Whether it’s the force of a pressure washer or the size of the cutting deck on a lawn mower, we’re constantly comparing the specs of the products we test against industry standards.
  • Safety: The world of DIY sometimes requires using dangerous tools like saws and wood chippers. We test these types of product with a particular eye toward safety, ensuring that the manufacturer took the proper measures to keep hobbyist and professional users from getting hurt.
  • Longevity: Most products need to work more than once, and even more still should last for years. In addition to our rigorous initial evaluations, we keep testing products, incorporating those vacuums and snow blowers and mattresses into our lives to see how they hold up to continuous use. We also take note of whether they come with warranties.

Our Testing Lab

Based in Milwaukee, our dedicated lab offers 400 square feet of space to put products through their paces. The lab space is specifically designed to handle an array of products, from vacuums to subscription boxes to anti-theft bags, ensuring a thorough evaluation process across various categories. Our team, led by experts in product testing and editorial standards, manages the operation. Here’s a snapshot of our day-to-day inside the lab:

  • We test roughly 70 products monthly, collecting more than 1,500 data points for consideration.
  • Logistics are an integral part of the job. We have scrupulous processes for intaking, storing and long-term testing products.
  • We take the time to carefully research each product to understand its features and specs better. This includes reading each owner’s manual front-to-back and scouring product pages for testaments and customer feedback.
  • Any products that do not require long-term testing are donated. Items that need disposal are done in an ethical and responsible manner.

Testing an app that sets the color of the toilet seat light

How We Make Money

Our website participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase or take certain actions through links on our site. However, it’s important to note that our participation in these programs does not influence our editorial content. We maintain editorial independence and the inclusion of any product or brand on our lists is based on our assessment of their quality, value and relevance to our readers. We are committed to transparently sharing products and services that we believe will be of interest and benefit to our audience. 

Testing a steam cleaner by cleaning grout on a tile wall


Work With Us

For all partnerships and editorial inquiries: [email protected] 

For more information about TMB: