The Gill Tube-Wringer #401 is designed for heavy-duty use; it’s not necessarily supposed to be for toothpaste. When I saw it, I immediately wanted one for its serious industrial look and its Made in America status. Squeezing out the toothpaste is a task, which although mundane, needs to be done, once or twice a day. Toothpaste can get messy after a while, and that mess is wasted toothpaste – one way or another, that toothpaste has to be all forced out through the cap end. You can’t easily hold the Gill #401 and squeeze out the toothpaste with one hand and hold your toothbrush with the other, and the knob is too big to clear the counter and spin all the way around. You might need a second pair of hands, and at our house we tried it that way for a couple of weeks. At first, I thought those things mattered, and that they were design flaws. They don’t, and they’re not. The machine squeezes the bejesus out of things, and crimps at the same time. The empty end of the tube is not only completely empty, but bent into many small, tight parallel creases that prevent any toothpaste from even thinking about trying to go back that way. After a few normal uses, a partial turn of the huge handle will compress all that’s left into a smooth, neat mass in back of the cap, so that you can dispense the right amount onto your brush the old-fashioned way: with your fingers. Eventually, the paste will be squeezed against the cap to the limit of the rollers; then you take out an almost perfectly empty, crimped and flattened tube. There will be just a few brushings worth of toothpaste ready to go quietly out the end of the tube, on the way to complete emptiness. Finally, the tube has nothing left to give up and can be thrown on the trash. Put a fresh tube of Botot, Elgydium or Marvis on the counter with this and you’ll be sure to squeeze out every little overpriced bit. A great gift for the frugal person with good oral hygiene habits.
Affordability: 8 Luxury: 9
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