I almost didn't participate in this one, because there are too many gadgets that we really need these days - computers, cell phones, etc. I will go for some non-typical ones.
1. Hand mixer
I just bought this one (in chrome) to replace the old Sunbeam one that my grandma bought me as an engagement present (in 2004). I worked that thing so hard that it recently started making sad funny noises.
2. iPod Shuffle
I still have my classic clip-on shuffle, which I mostly use for working out.
3. Chest freezer
OK, this is more of an appliance and less of a gadget, but what else would I do with tons of CSA meat and veggies, plus about 150 pastry shells at the moment?
4. Wine corker
You can really tell that someone has just moved if they don't have a wine corker. My friends and I have been so desperate in such a situation that my very resourceful friend Jackie has stabbed her way into the bottle with a knife. Through the cork. Yikes.
5. Kitchen scale
I was getting to the end of this list and was having trouble coming up with a final one, and even though my list is already kitchen-heavy, I have to put this on there because it has so improved the way I cook. What is two pounds of potatoes? Now I know! And I just do not think that I would have been able to can as prolifically as I do without it.
* Some astute readers of my food blog may remember that I did just purchase a food processor, but I do not think that I use it more than the other ones, and I was able to go without it for so long.