Looking for unbreakable stuff...
September 29, 2009 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Looking for common everday items that have been ruggedized for heavy duty wear and tear.

I recently saw a video of a cell phone that could be dropped, run over by a car and frozen underwater. It got me to thinking about what other normal everyday objects have been redesigned for rough use. I already know about panasonic toughbook laptops as an example. I'm not necessarily interested solely in electronic devices either. I thinking of older items where you think "they don't make them like that anymore" or newer items that have been redesigned to take a lot of abuse. Is there a television remote I can drop kick across the room? Will that concrete coffee table be the last one I'll ever need to buy? Can I find eyeglasses I can step on and still wear? You get the idea..
posted by snorlaxx to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Lots of great suggestions here.
posted by dersins at 3:27 PM on September 29, 2009

Best answer: Tactical pens are supposedly designed for self defense, and should be sturdy enough to smash other things.

Casio G-Shock watches were designed to survive shocks and abuse that would destroy other watches. That kind of durability is fairly common now but not when they were introduced over 25 years ago.
posted by meowzilla at 3:29 PM on September 29, 2009

I like the recent trend of USB key-drives that are also carabiners. No more wimpy key-ring.
posted by rokusan at 3:37 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

numa glasses can literally be tied in a knot and then put back on.
posted by dolface at 3:40 PM on September 29, 2009

As if crowbars/prybars weren't already tough enough, check out marketing for Gorilla Bars ("Patented shape makes the difference.")
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:49 PM on September 29, 2009

My sister and I had a yellow Tonka dumptruck that was made of metal and seemed impervious to the abuse that we threw its way.
posted by mmascolino at 3:50 PM on September 29, 2009

Going on the Inspector.Gadget based theme, there is lots of tools that you can buy at your local Home Depot/Lowes/etc. that you are most likely to misplace or be "borrowed" by a friend before you physically broke them.
posted by mmascolino at 4:12 PM on September 29, 2009

A lot of times the military or police is the customer for this kind of product. For instance, County Comm is a military supplier and has a lot of neat stuff that's super durable like these plastic vials that they run over on Youtube.
posted by smackfu at 4:27 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

The IronKey Flash Drive can withstand some abuse.
posted by wannalol at 4:35 PM on September 29, 2009

Swing-a-way can opener

DeWalt boom box
posted by jgirl at 4:48 PM on September 29, 2009

Best answer: I have a pair of Randolph Aviator glasses for 10+ years now. They suffer abuse on a daily basis. I don't use a case and I just slide them into my jeans pocket. They are still in great shape. The added benefit, of course, is that elegant fascist look that never wears off.

I also had a Spiewak Titan jacket that I used for 15+ years. The color started fading a bit. I live in Europe and I couldn't find a new one anymore. I wrote them a letter if I could order a new one. They wrote a letter back. Faded after 15 years of heavy use? Our bad. They next day arrived a huge box with a brand new jacket, including some really warm liner. Free of charge. Including an invitation for lunch if I would make it to NYC, anytime. Now I have two perfect Spiewak jackets.
posted by ouke at 5:13 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]

Netbooks with solid state hard drives - I've dropped my wee eeeepc way more times than I care to remember and it still works perfectly (although the Toughbook is still the leader in laptop ruggedness, and has been for a long time).

Cast iron cookware.
posted by goo at 5:25 PM on September 29, 2009

Oh, forgot something obvious: mechanical keyboards like the IBM Model M. These keyboards use mechanical switches and are rated to tens of millions of operations (basically forever). Modern membrane keyboards use a rubber membrane that loses its key feel pretty quickly. Modern mechanical keyboards (Unicomp, Filco, Cherry) cost $70 and up, compared to the $5 for a normal generic keyboard.
posted by meowzilla at 6:00 PM on September 29, 2009

The iPod docking connector has always struck me as extremely robust.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:19 PM on September 29, 2009

Best answer: Unbreakable self defense umbrella.
posted by Iron Rat at 7:34 PM on September 29, 2009

Ammo cans. How I love ammo cans. They come in a variety of sizes.

Bonus round: Buy them, pull out the rubber gasket, get it sandblasted, then paint over with some rust-proof primer, then however many coats of paint you like. Replace the gasket. I am contemplating building a time capsule out of one of the Big Ones.
posted by adipocere at 7:40 PM on September 29, 2009

Wiley-X sunglasses.
Blackhawk hearing protection.
Energizer tactical flashlight.
Surefire flashlights.
posted by squorch at 8:24 PM on September 29, 2009

Sewing machines used to be made with metal gears; now they're made with plastic gears that strip out pretty easily.

Many tools, both hand tools and power tools, are made out of cheaper materials than they once were. Totally worth it to scour flea markets and antique fairs for good tools.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:56 PM on September 29, 2009

One of the most humiliating lessons I learnt as an angsty teenager was that if you throw a Corningware baking dish to the floor in a fit of adolescent rage, it will bounce. Now that I am a grownup who prefers cooking casseroles to throwing tantrums, I find this to be a feature rather than a bug.
posted by embrangled at 11:57 PM on September 29, 2009

« Older eating to fall asleep   |   I can't even watch keyboard cat... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.