These mechanical and electronic timers have a range of features such as large numbers, tactile displays, speech output or flashing and vibrating alerts.
The mechanical timers are for countdowns of upto 60 minutes and are designed primarily for kitchen use. They are generally self-standing but can be wall-hung.
The electronic timers may have a flashing, vibrating or a loud audible alert, or a spoken counter in a range of languages. They generally give hour, minute and second countdowns.
Mechanical timers ring for a designated time (usually a couple of seconds) and can be heard only within a limited range (depending on your hearing).If you want a continuous ring or variable volume control then you would need to choose an electronic timer.
If you want to hold the timer in one hand, and operate the dial with the other hand, ensure it is comfortable to hold and not too large1
If you have some sight loss you may find colour constrast and/or larger digits helpful.2 3
Electronic timers are often combined with clocks. They have a flashing, vibrating or an audible alert usually giving an hour, minute and second countdown. Some are magnetic or have a clip attachment.
Read more of our advice on kitchen timers.View references and sources of further information ›
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