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Buying High Quality Household Appliances Instead of Cheap Stuff

Updated on September 3, 2013
photo: courtesy of sxc
photo: courtesy of sxc

We’ve all heard the phrase “You get what you pay for”… Well, it turns out there’s a certain truth to it, up to a point. But does paying a little or a lot more really pay off?

Nowadays, there’s a bewildering array of gadgets and small household appliances for the home. Some are dirt cheap, while others seem to be overly expensive. How do you tell ‘real value’ from the imitators?

Usually, if you can handle the object in a store, you can feel whether it’s flimsy, or made of thin material that may not be durable over the long haul. Do the parts seem loose, or ill-fitting, or not too well finished? Are some parts made of cheap, soft plastic, whereas a stronger plastic, or sturdier metal would have made it more substantial and durable?

The concern here is not just the frustration of something breaking down after a short amount of use. There’s the more fundamental issue of ‘value’, and not having to keep buying the same cheap stuff over and over again.

I've assembled here, 10 high quality household appliances and useful gadgets that will last a lot longer than the cheap stuff you might be buying now.

What is value, you say?

Value in this case is whether a manufactured item is worth the (hopefully reasonable) asking price. If you wish to pay as little as possible for any given item, then you likely don’t put much value in that item, and are prepared to accept the [likely] poor quality and a lack of durability.

You could instead opt for a higher-priced equivalent that is much better made, and less likely to break over the short, or even longer term. So paying say, 20% more initially, could save you the cost of having to replace the item several times. In the long run, you will have saved quite a bit, and likely done your bit to help the planet at the same time. This is the true meaning of ‘value’.

I don’t know about you, but poor quality, small household appliances and gadgets that don’t function well or break easily, are just not worth the frustration or expense. Even something as mundane as a hand-held grater (for cheese, lemon peel, ginger, etc) is worth paying a bit more for, if it saves you some frustration, and money in the long run.

Ergonomic design

Ergonomic design is another area that needs a lot more attention. Anyone who does regular housework has at least one or two appliances or gadgets that just don’t seem to be adequately designed for the intended purpose, or with normal human comprehension or expectation in mind.

A proper design pays attention to all human interaction and utility issues. This is what ergonomic design is all about…making the device easy to use, and dead-simple to figure out..and do so efficiently and without fuss.

Here's your Top Ten list of high quality appliances

Haven't you had more than your fair share of useless, cheap appliances? I’ve done some research and saved you a lot of headaches (hopefully). So here’s a sort of Top Ten list of small appliances and gadgets that are sure to fill the bill…in both simple ease of use, and long-lasting high quality.

1. Dualit 25375 Lite Soft Touch 2-slice Toaster

So why would you want to pay so much more for a toaster? Because this Dualit toaster is ruggedly built to last, therefore excellent value. It has wide slots for toasting bagels properly, it has a high-lift mechanism so you can easily pull out smaller pieces of toast without resorting to a knife. Best of uses unique patented heating elements, which toasts everything very evenly! Most cheaper toasters don’t even come close to accomplishing such a seemingly simple task.

2. Rosle Can Opener

Aren’t you frustrated with those cheap can openers you keep buying at the supermarket? Why not make your can opening experience a pleasure, with this excellent device made in Germany by Rosle, one of the oldest makers of high quality kitchen utensils. This one works vertically, from the top of the can. The removed lid can also be placed back on top of the tin, in case you don’t want to use it all at once. The ergonomically designed thumbscrew makes it super-easy to turn and cut through the lid quickly. The cutting edge also never makes contact with the contents, so it’s hygeinically safe, and doesn’t need much cleaning.

3. Totally Bamboo Big Kahuna Cutting Board

This cutting board is made of bamboo, one of the hardest woods available, and ecologically sustainable too. Bamboo is a very fast growing plant, and constantly renews itself. This cutting board also uses a food-friendly glue, free of formaldehydes and chemicals. Bamboo is also very dense, so it doesn’t stain so easily and cleans up well. This cutting board is quite heavy too, so you can do some serious chopping and pounding without having it bounce all over the counter or prep area. It won’t warp or wobble like many cheaper cutting boards. Wooden cutting boards also don’t harbor bacteria like plastic cutting boards do.

4. Viking Professional 5 -quart Stand Mixer

If you’ve ever tried to make dough with most mixers, they just don’t seem up to the task. You need this professional quality mixer with its 800 watt powerful motor. Yet it’s also very versatile, so you can use it for delicate meringues as well. Unlike most cheaper stand, or hand mixers, it uses all-metal gears..plastic gears tend to have a shorter useful life. It is also a heavy unit, but has convenient rear wheels to enable easy moving. It should last you a long time.

5. MIU Trendy Stainles Steel 5-piece measuring spoons

A kitchen is not complete without a good set of measuring spoons. These heavy-duty stainless steel spoons are made to last. The long handles and oval-shaped spoons, allows you to easily get even the tablespoon size into small, or deep jars. The brushed handles make for an easier grip too, even if your hands are wet. The set includes 5 spoons from 1/8th teaspoon to 1 tablespoon.

6. Breville Ikon Cordless 1.7-Liter Stainless-Steel Electric Kettle

This stainless-steel kettle will boil a full 1.7Liters in under 4 minutes, and lesser quantities in no time flat. As with most automatic electric kettles, it has automatic shut-off at the boiling point, a boil-dry safety shutoff (won’t heat up if there’s no water). The base unit is fairly heavy so it won’t travel around the countertop. The power cord can be wound around the base so it’s not in the way when it’s already near an outlet. The kettle is heavy-duty, but has a comfortable, ergonomically-designed and cool handle.

7. Microplane Professional Patented Design Coarse Grater

The Microplane Professional series of graters are quite superior. This coarse grater has a very sturdy stainless-steel frame and large cutting surface, with very sharp teeth. Rubber is used on the large handle and also on the bottom of the frame to prevent it slipping on your work surface. Probably the last grater you’ll ever need. There are also many other Microplane Professional graters to choose from.

8. Eatsmart Precision Plus Digital Bathroom Scale

For those who like to watch their weight, this is all you need. Features ‘Instant-On’, so you don’t have to tap it to wake it up first. Uses 4 very accurate sensors which gives you an exact reading every time. The large blue backlit LCD display is easy to read in any light. The 15” wide non-slip platform and 400 pound capacity will accommodate the largest of users.

9. MAGLITE XL100 LED Flashlight, Black

Maglite has a long history of high quality flashlights, and this one continues that tradition. It uses a battery-conserving LED which can be focused to a narrow, or a smooth, wider beam..adjustable with one hand. It has a number of strobe settings, a dimming ‘night-light’ feature that uses a motion sensor…when you pick it up, it becomes fully bright. A sleek, comfortable and reliable flashlight.

10. Miele S5280 Pisces Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Don’t be fooled by the light weight of this Miele canister vacuum cleaner. It has a very well designed suction system (6 selectable levels) that can pick up animal hair and all kinds of dirt very effectively. Works best on medium and low pile carpet, and is almost as effective on parquet floors. Includes an effective HEPA filter, so your home doesn’t have to smell like you just vacuumed it. It’s also the quietest vacuum cleaner around.

There you have it...10 high quality products.

I hope I've given you some great ideas on how to save yourself some frustration and hard-earned cash at the same time. just doesn't pay to go cheap. You end up paying a lot more in the end. This applies to all kinds of household products, big and small.

There are lots of high quality products around, you just have to look for the best you can afford.

This article ©2010 by timorous+

Feel free to comment...

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    • timorous profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Nichol 

      7 years ago from Me to You

      Hey Denise...there's nothing stopping you from owning any of these fine items, except your budget of course.

      A happy holiday to you and yours as well. Thanks.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow, T. I really liked this hub. LOL I am laughing b/c the title didn't intrigue me but the photos sure do. I wouldn't mind owning a gadget or two posted here. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a very happy holiday full of peace, joy and love!

    • timorous profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Nichol 

      7 years ago from Me to You

      Wow...that was fast, shimmering Dawn. ..are you watching me or something? Haha. Anyway, thanks for having a look see. I hope everyone has learned to take a closer look at the value of what they're buying. Cheers.

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      shimmering Dawn 

      7 years ago

      If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.. goes the saying. Thanks for making work easy for us and finding products that are worth buying. Good Hub Timorous!


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