Things that last

I cannot stand plastic, or anything made of plastic. It drives me nuts. They never last.

I've started reverting back to things that last. You pay a decent price, you look after it, and in turn it looks after you. I'm talking about things made of good steel, thick sturdy wood and top notch thick hide leather goods.

Items that I have purchased once and shall never need to "upgrade" include ;

Weight lifting belt - full hide leather and chunky metal. I've owned it 25 years, and it is as good today as it was when I bought it. I hope to pass it onto my grandsons or great grandsons when they come along.

Cut throat razors and strops - last week I purchased a collection of these from an old Scottish barber. We had a fascinating 2 hour discussion during the trade. All three blades were Sheffield steel, yet forged in Germany. One is from the Raj days, pre WW1. It's beautiful. The strop is full leather hide with all steel attachments. It's over 80 years old and as good today as it was when it was made. The sharpening stone that accompanied it is also over 100 years and in fantastic condition. I picked them all up for $ 50.00, and I am firmly of the belief that all of them will outlast me. I'll never have to purchase a plastic disposable razor ever again.

Metal tools with sturdy wooden handles - I've been accumulating these and they never wear out.

Cast iron camp cooking equipment - we've had stuff for over 20 years, and they are actually better now than when we bought them. I am super confident they will last forever.

My Buck knive in a sturdy leather pouch. I was given this a safety reward on the rig 15 years ago, and it is as good today as it was back then. It will be with me forever I imagine.

It drives me nuts how manufacturers nowadays "force" consumers, via design faults or cheap inputs or non-compatible upgrading, to continually purchase new models of goods as the "old" 2 or 3 yr stuff becomes redundant. One is prevented from fixing or repairing otherwise perfectly good units. Things like a repairman saying "Yeah, that plastic component is worth $ 300, plus installation. You may as well chuck the whole dishwasher out and go and buy a new one for $ 400." ...."but how can that tiny piece of plastic designed to break be charged at $ 300.00 ??" "It just is mate."

Has anyone else come across items in their everyday life that shall last longer than them ?? ...and do you think it's worth paying extra to have them forever.
yer it does my head in. Everything I've bought in the last ten yrs is crud - I usually buy middle of the range. Everything has busted after about a year - fridge, washing maching, phones, dishwasher and oven. I actually know the warranty service guys quite well now, they've spent many mornings with my family, fixing our whitegoods. My granny bought the best of everything - I've still got her toaster and Kettle I inhereted nearly 20 yrs ago.
I'm with you Dazz.

I use old tools, including early power tools in the days where a re-brush didn't make people look sideways at you like you want to do your hair in the hardware store.

Other people buy our kids plastic toys to the point where our house looks like a technicolour studio explosion. We only buy or make our kids wooden toys or books.

our folks old telly (before the $99 special) would have kept going strong to this day had i not been dancing like a fool when drunk and kicking my legs around like a goat with a taser up it's bum.

the turning point for us was buying an $850 fridge. the plastic shelves snapped within 15 months and they were $247 to replace the lot plus another $130something for the crisper drawer. i went to the glass shop and got some thick tempered glass cut to size for $80 cash and that fridge still lives strong today.

the worst example of shoddy quality isn't actually the cheap stuff. i buy an ozito angle grinder every few years because i LOVE metal work and use the damn things instead of handsaws too. but i thought to myself - "i'll spend a bit more and buy a good one" - so instead of paying $29 for one, i paid $99 for a "top shelf mate" 4in DeWalt.

well, that lasted as long as ozito - about 18 months.

"can i re-brush it?"
"yeah the brush kit is $69.95, about the same in fitting"
"i can fit it myself"
"that'll void the warranty"
"it's out of warranty - was only 12m worth"
"nah you get a new warranty with us, our 3month workmanship warranty"
"don't worry about it, just the kit thanks"
"can't just sell you the kit"
"can't just sell the kit, we have to install it, it'll void your warranty"
"but i just said.....oh bugger it"
Yeah Bluecard, you're floundering against a well oiled machine, already set up by the CFO, the comapny's chief legal counsel and the engineer's who determine what the absolute minimum should be set at. They aren't interested in negotiating with customers. Directives get cascaded down to mere numpties selling the sell, with "must not" and "cannot", backed up with threats of sacking.

Somewhere along the line the consuming public passively swallowed this as OK, under the threat of legal action or voidance, mainly by the insurance solicitors. Charming isn't it.

I particularly like these tiny little plastic clips, that upon failing, render the apparatus completely useless. I have seen them go on dishwasher powder flap holders, on toasting iron handles, on almost all hinge products in fact....and when they go - as they always do, that's the end of the show. Paying for qaulity products doesn't even come into it.

The top end stuff, and the low end stuff all use the same components and same materials. She's all just fluffy branding....and sadly most of the decision makers in the domestic regard fall for it every time.
Yep stuff isn't made like it used to be 'ol 'righty give me the good old days. When all you needed was a


It's the price of progress I guess. :D
OK, things that have served me well:

- 1 pair of SCARPA walking boots (the Manta model). Made in Italy from one piece of thick leather with a steel shank and a Vibram sole. Bought for the grand sum of $350 ten years ago for a month's bushwalking in Tassie and I remember that feeling like a major extravagance. Stiff as anything but supremely comfortable once broken in. These boots have done well over 2000km in mud, rain and dust since then, during most of which I was carrying a 20kg backpack. They still look new (even the sole) - the water just beads off them - even the shoelaces are still fine. Best things i have ever bought - they never cease to amaze. Have walked for 12 hours at a time up and down mountains without discomfort. No use for anything other than bushwalking though - they are pretty much single purpose. I have been very grateful for that $350 many times over. My walking partners have had "name brand" boots crumble into dust a few times over similar treatment.

- My Stainless Steel Tissot self winding quartz watch. Bought sixteen years ago, still going strong, keeps accurate time and never had to replace a battery in that time. Still looks new. Only ever had a couple of days of power reserve but I'm always wearing it so that's rarely an issue - these days the reserves are much longer.

- We recently bought a KitchenAid mixer for $850, just because there was no plastic on it and it was made in the US. It was their commercially derived version. We shall see. The rest of their range is all plastic - they seem to use the mixers as a hook into the brand.

- RM Williams jeans belt - thick leather and steel and still going fine after fifteen years or so.

I agree it is very hard to buy consumer appliances that are built to last. In the kitchen though there is the alternative of buying commercial equipment. If you can get your partner past the dull stainless finishes, simple features, arguably poor aesthetics and high price tags. I have resolved the next time something breaks we will be buying a commercial version. In food processors, something like this. They don't even know the vegies are going through... Of course there is someone else who needs to agree to that! :eek:
up to a point

I like my placky canoe, beats the old glass and timber hands down.

Also like my carbon fibre and other resin plastics on bikes etc.

My pet hate is 250 dollar 4 burner BBQs............with a hotplate thats 3 microns thick. If u get 12 mths reg use put of one of these are u doing really well

Actually that web site is really fun to browse. I reckon I know where my next toaster is coming from...

Or fridge/freezer...

Not cheap of course but then quality rarely is...

Although I agree with poly canoes (and boats for that matter) I take a bit of exception on the carbon fibre bikes. Only because the wife of a work colleague was just riding hers one day along the bike path when she hit a small pothole and the whole frame shattered underneath her. She is now a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her days. CF rarely fails of course but when it does... :(

I prefer steel for bikes.
My only tool is a mini hammer from the reject shop for $2, purchased over 10 years ago. It's still as new, but all it does is hammer nails in the wall to hang pictures. :)

I have issues with electrical things breaking down (a washing machine that lasted about 5 years washing clothes for one person and an $80 kettle lasting about 10 months before blowing up). I find any of the cheap stuff from China a bit hit and miss, some things last forever, others are just rubbish.

Can't think of anything else that's broken, although the flimsy plastic shelves in my fridge annoy me. Put too much weight on them, and they bend slightly, making them slip out and end up with my drinks spilled all over the floor. :mad:
little off topic, but Dazz - is it hard to use Cut Throat Razors? Would be very interested in using these day to day (have always liked how close their shave is), but thought it would be very hard to self administer....what is your shaving time like?

One upside is the girlfriend would be to scared to touch my razors ever again haha...
I like my placky canoe, beats the old glass and timber hands down.

Yep, my big plastic Bushranger canoe is going to last a fair while. I bought it second hand and it looks like it has already had a hard life. But it still floats. Those things were made for hire fleets, I suspect.

Lots of my tools are old. And some of the stuff in the kitchen. But I admit I buy the odd $15 angle grinder - it saves changing blades. I've got my old (15 years) Makita and three cheapies. Got a couple of 18v cordless Ryobi drills, too. They come with a 12 month warranty. One of them broke this year. I had been drilling through timber (10mm holes through hardwood) and brick. Guess what busted? The plastic trigger. Back to Bunnings and home with a new one in no time.
I still have a few of my Grandfathers tools. A hammer, hand drill, plyers and some others but my pride and joys are my grandmothers steel rake with the original wood handle this has got to be 70 years old at least and her wheelbarra which is just as old, Metal spoke wheel and the tyre is a solid piece of rubber and has not perished at all and you know what it still does the job it was originally built and bought for. Shifting stuff:)

I bought a vac cleaner 1 month ago $100 [on sale] it lasted me 3 weeks so l took it back , they dont fix vac they are made to throw away. I was asked if l wanted money back or get another of the same. I took the money
perfect example is my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder.

door handles to the rear only need a little 8mm x 4mm plastic "knub" to operate the mechanism.

both sides have broken.

can't just order the little plastic bit from Nissan, have to order the WHOLE door handle.

6 weeks wait ex-Japan.

$247 paid upfront (international shipping rules).

no warranty.


i'm getting a little piece of sheet metal laser cut to fit where it used to go and i'll fold it and fit it myself.

$20 later and it'll last longer that the 4yo bit that broke.
little off topic, but Dazz - is it hard to use Cut Throat Razors? Would be very interested in using these day to day (have always liked how close their shave is), but thought it would be very hard to self administer....what is your shaving time like?

One upside is the girlfriend would be to scared to touch my razors ever again haha...

Got a few good tips off the 86 y.o. barber who sold them to me. I've only had a couple of shaves with them, so still getting the hang of blood as yet !! They give you a magnificently close shave, but I'm not quite game enough yet to go close to my Adam's apple bump with them.

Yes indeed, the girls and big girls stay well away from them all, which is great....
hubby has a 40yr old german made drop saw that all the tradies seem to want to fondle ... never missed a beat in all that time.

i agree with dazz - now that i'm getting older (but not old) i tend to save the dollars up and buy something a bit more quality and durable that i did 20 years ago.
Of course, it's us western countries that are the most profligate. One of the things I noticed most when I went to India at the end of 08 was that things got used, and reused, then broken, and fixed, and reused. Even plastic bags got used dozens of times. A bit of rope? It would have dozens of lives. An old, single shoe? Great find - plenty of people with missing limbs over there. When things were irretrievably broken, bits of them were used in other things. Stuff seemed to get used over and over till the molecules broke apart and they disintegrated. Then a stray dog would eat them.
i just accept the consumer culture. I find that payign mor rarely equates to quality. I paid twice the price for a smeg microwave oven and it's a piece of junk.

I marvel at how cheap toys are now, like lego and fisher price. The chinese modernisation has changed our lives and raised our standard of living. I wonder how thinsg will compare in another 30 years? we may all be drowning in palstic refuse. i saw a thing on tv about plastic breaking down in the ocean into tiny bits and the seafood ingesting it. what a thought
My roller skates. Bought over 25 years ago. They have had a lot of use and taken beating after beating. Mind you, they cost around $1500 when I bought them and were top of the line. I have not had to change any parts other than the consumables (toe stops, wheels, bearings, rubbers) in all that time. The boots were quality leather boots and I used the same pair for over 15 years. I upgraded the boots some time ago to some nice made to measure ones as the leather on the old ones had started to age and they no longer gave the support I needed.
i just accept the consumer culture. I find that payign mor rarely equates to quality. I paid twice the price for a smeg microwave oven and it's a piece of junk.

Agree, I am starting to think it just comes down to brand, not price. I bought a $20 plastic Kambrook kettle when I moved out of home and a cheap Kambrook iron at the same time. I ended up throwing the kettle away because it was 'too ugly' to sit on the bench of my nice new apartment I moved into, so lashed out and bought a $80 Sunbeam stainless steel one. The Kambrook one was still working after 10 years, the Sunbeam one lasted 10 months. My cheap little iron is still going too. My mother bought something Sunbeam, can't remember what it was but she had problems with it. My new kettle is now Kambrook... I don't like Sunbeam, their customer service was rude and unhelpful too.

It does horrify me when I think about what a throw away society we are, and where all this stuff is ending up. :( Trouble is, it's just so cheap to buy new items these days, the cost to get anything fixed just isn't worth it with many things.
I've become a master at fixing stuff. When things break around our place, everyone puts them in my shed for me to fix. If they're beyond repair, some of the bits often get used. I might have been an Indian in a past life.