Wirecutter (website)

Wirecutter (formerly known as The Wirecutter) is a product review website owned by The New York Times Company. It was founded by Brian Lam in 2011 and purchased by The New York Times Company in 2016 for about $30 million.[2][3][4][5] In the five years from its launch in 2011 to 2016, the company generated $150 million in revenue from affiliate programs with its merchant partners.[6][7] As of 2018, it had more than 100 employees.[8]

Type of site
Product reviews
FoundedSeptember 2011
OwnerThe New York Times Company
Founder(s)Brian Lam
EditorBen Frumin (as of 2020)[1]

The site focuses on writing detailed guides to different categories of consumer products which recommend just one or two best items in the category. It gains the vast majority of its revenue from affiliate commissions.[9] To prevent bias, the staff who write its reviews are not informed about what commissions, if any, the site receives for different products.[10] Due to affiliate revenue, the site is less reliant than other blogs and news sites on advertising revenue, although the Wirecutter site has displayed banner ads in the past.[11]

For several years, it had a sibling site called The Sweethome which focused on home goods while The Wirecutter itself focused on electronics and tools, but the two have been combined into a single site.[10] Wirecutter has partnered with other websites including Engadget (as of 2015) to provide guest posts sponsored by the company.[12] In 2015, Amazon tested a partnership with Wirecutter on a similar sponsored posts format on Amazon's site for recommendations.[13][14]

Wirecutter has been described as a competitor to Consumer Reports, from which it differs by its explicit recommendations of top picks, a younger readership (with average age between 41 and 53 as of 2018), and its acceptance of vendor-supplied test units.[8] While Wirecutter does perform their own testing of products, they also draw on and cite other reviews by sites like Consumer Reports, Reviewed, CNET, and America's Test Kitchen, often using those reviews to filter a large range of products on the market down to a small number of candidates for testing.


  1. "Wirecutter Masthead". Wirecutter: Reviews for the Real World. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  2. "Why the New York Times Is Buying This Gadget Review Site". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  3. "Why The New York Times is buying The Wirecutter for $30 million". Poynter. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  4. Kludt, Tom. "New York Times buying The Wirecutter, and a new revenue stream". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  5. "The New York Times, Searching for Digital Revenue, Acquires E-Commerce Shop The Wirecutter". Recode. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  6. Kludt, Tom. "New York Times buying The Wirecutter, and a new revenue stream". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  7. "Former Gizmodo editor launches new tech site, Wirecutter | VentureBeat". venturebeat.com. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  8. Ho, Karen K. (2018-06-18). "Testing out a new future for Consumer Reports". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  9. Carr, David (2012-12-16). "Buffeted by the Web, but Now Riding It". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  10. "New York Times Rebrands Wirecutter as Product Review Sales Grow". Bloomberg.com. 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  11. "Meet the Man Who Rejected Advertising and Still Runs a Profitable Media Site". Observer. 2016-04-11. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  12. "Introducing Engadget's newest contributor: The Wirecutter!". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  13. "Amazon tests third-party editorial content, starting with travel gear reviews from The Wirecutter". GeekWire. 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  14. Dove, Jackie (2015-04-28). "Amazon.com Features The Wirecutter as an 'Experiment'". The Next Web. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
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