Help me destroy a printer in the most satisfying way that will not end up in me being arrested.
May 2, 2012 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Help me destroy a printer in the most satisfying way that will not end up in me being arrested.

This printer (an Epson SX325) is the most useless piece of junk I've ever owned. You don't need to know the traumatic details of its uselessness, but believe me when I say that my deep and cherished hatred for it is well-earned. I can't return it (lost the receipt, no box, so forth), so I'd like to destroy it in the most satisfying way possible to make up for the endless torment it has inflicted over the past few months. I may or may not have kicked it a few times today, but that just doesn't satisfy the deep hunger I have to harm this thing. Suggestions for how to take it apart in a deeply satisfying way are thus welcome. With the caveat that I'd rather not do anything that would get me arrested or that would harm the environment (which, sadly, rules out fire). (The remains will be disposed of in an environmentally sound way, of course.) If you also want to suggest a soundtrack for its destruction, go ahead.

(I have seen the Office Space scene, but don't think a baseball bat will give me quite the satisfaction I crave.)
posted by lesbiassparrow to Grab Bag (58 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
You need someone with a trebuchet.
posted by iamabot at 7:43 AM on May 2, 2012 [12 favorites]

Best answer: I'd recommend some sort of slow crushing, which could be managed with a car jack or a screwjack and a couple metal plates, and, of course, two solid things to push off of. With each twist or levering, you'll get to enjoy each little split and crack until everything is smushed to pieces.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:44 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

First, buy several other printers in the Epson sx line. Plug in your hated sx325, then summarily execute the other printers while the Epson watches. You can execute them however you wish, just make sure they're dead and that the original printer was forced to watch his own family killed.

Then, take out the ink cartridge and mount it on the wall. Congratulations - you've taken it's heart.

Keep it plugged in in your study, red "out of toner" light blinking on as you happily go about your business. There it will stay, eternally grieving, forever starving, gutted, useless, and kept alive so it may know its sins and never know the reward of an afterlife.
posted by Think_Long at 7:46 AM on May 2, 2012 [59 favorites]

Best answer: Guess I'm less complicated at heart - how about the time-honored sledge hammer?
posted by leslies at 7:51 AM on May 2, 2012

Best answer: Axe murder! Much better than a baseball bat, and immensely satisfying emotionally. (But wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying pieces.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:52 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Rail/Rescue saw.
posted by Mitheral at 7:53 AM on May 2, 2012

Give it to a 12 year old boy, along with a camera so his friend can youtube it.
posted by myselfasme at 7:54 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Keep it plugged in in your study, red "out of toner" light blinking on as you happily go about your business. There it will stay, eternally grieving, forever starving, gutted, useless, and kept alive so it may know its sins and never know the reward of an afterlife.

This would be an excellent way to go except for the fact that one night this thing would just slightly move so that the next morning I would trip over it and experience some sort of ghastly and permanently scarring injury. IT'S EVIL. IT'S THE MOST EVIL PRINTER EVER.

Also: suggestions that won't cost me a fortune are the most welcome. It's not worth having good money spent on it.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:59 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have no idea how to destroy it, but this should be the soundtrack.
posted by get off of my cloud at 8:00 AM on May 2, 2012

Homemade Thermite?
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Take it to Best Buy and have them recycle it for free. Then never buy anything from Best Buy. Fiendish!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:02 AM on May 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

If it's evil, let it serve its evil purpose. Give it to someone you don't like, or some charity that supports things you oppose. Imagine it cursed, and in your mind let the black smoke of its evil cursed evilness billow out the windows of the awful person/charity to which you donated it. Drive away cackling, knowing that you have wrought your vengeance. These two deserve each other. Mwahahahaha!

Seriously, you're going to have to get theatrical about this, because just smashing something is not going to make up for how awful it is to have a bad printer. Trust me, I know. I hate printers.
posted by gauche at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Send it to Amare Stoudemire, although he is partial to fire extinguishers.
posted by any major dude at 8:04 AM on May 2, 2012

This is an excerpt from an actual Microsoft technical support case. I have redacted the confidential information, but the rest is verbatim:
Hi [tech support engineer], this is [customer] responding to your e-mail of 7/29/'05
at 11:01:416 a.m. I have resolved our computer problem once and for all. Last night
exactly at midnight, mountain daylight saving time, I took our Dell computer out
in the back yard where there was plenty of moonlight and put our computer out of
its misery by blasting the holy hell out of it with a 30 gauge shotgun. It is now 
resting in peace! Thank you for all your fine effort in helping me with the problems 
our computer was experiencing at the time. You have a fine staff of technicians and 
we appreciate all your work and consideration. Please close cases numbered
[number], and numbered [number]. All problems with our Dell computer has been 
put to rest. Once again, thanks for everything. Sincerely, [customer]
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:07 AM on May 2, 2012 [12 favorites]

Whatever you end up doing, be sure to save the roller bar so you can have it mounted as a trophy to hang over your next printer.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:11 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Find an empty parking lot (industrial parks on weekends are good for this) and drag it behind your car. Video the whole thing.

If the cops show up, just tell them what you're doing. Assure them you'll clean up afterwards. $10.00 says they'll stay and watch.
posted by bondcliff at 8:11 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Lay out a tarp, get a sledgehammer, invite over a bunch of friends and ask them to bring their dead and evil machines if they have any. Then put on some safety glasses and take turns smashing. Fun party!
posted by birdbone at 8:14 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, and don't be afraid to splurge a little here. The warm fuzzy feelings of seeing it destroyed in an interesting manner (not to mention any video evidence) will be well worth most any price.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:17 AM on May 2, 2012

Be sure to mail the pieces back to Epson to properly express to them your feelings about their product.
posted by catatethebird at 8:18 AM on May 2, 2012 [10 favorites]

Have any friends with guns? Take it out to a desolate place or a shooting range and use it as target practice. Shooting things is immensely satisfying.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:42 AM on May 2, 2012

However you destroy it you most certainly need to keep one key component to mount on a spike in your office as a warning to all other printers that seek to defy your rule.
posted by elizardbits at 8:44 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

I once beat a VCR into tiny little pieces with a tire iron. It was incredibly satisfying, though getting through the sheet metal case was harder than I expected. Also, very noisy, in a way that was suspicious enough I'm surprised the police weren't called. If I were taking on a printer, I'd probably want to go the full Gordon Freeman on it with one of these. The tire iron was plenty destructive, but I'm sure the pry bar's extra mass would be helpful.
posted by leapfrog at 8:45 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The most intensely satisfying method of destruction is something that will vary from person to person. You seem to like axes and turning the screw. May I suggest that you could start with the axe, continue with crushing and round the whole show off with a nice big fire. BURN BABY BURN!

*cough* 'scuse me. May have gotten a little carried away there.
posted by fearnothing at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2012

Best answer: For a sound track, I thnk anything by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE would provide just what what you need.

No. What you want is Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now." And two or three friends, all of you with baseball bats. So you can re-enact that scene from Shaun Of The Dead, only with the printer as the zombie.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Axe.
posted by TheRedArmy at 8:48 AM on May 2, 2012

Best answer: You're right about the bat. You need a sledge or the like, though you could also use momentum as your friend - since all printers are now flimsy plastic pieces of shit I think you can probably heft this thing pretty well, yeah? THROW THE FUCKER REPEATEDLY AT A WALL.

And wear eye protection. You think that satanic thing can't send a shard into your eye? Oh it can.
posted by phearlez at 8:51 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

1) Put it in one of these bags (for easy cleanup.)
2) Let gravity do the work. A 5 story fall is good, 10 would be better.
3) Repeat until the printer is the texture of flour.
posted by Marky at 8:52 AM on May 2, 2012

How about sticking some cherry bombs or other firecrackers in it so that it can suffer from the inside out. And smash the rest of it with a sledge hammer. Don't forget the safety goggles. Maybe even name it after someone that you can't stand.

This sounds like so much fun. I will now be looking for inanimate objects that I hate the most and find ways to destroy them. Today you are my inspiration.

Think_Long - Thank you. My life has been major shit lately and you gave me the best shoulder shaking, tears streaming, red faced laugh that I've had in many many months. And now I'd like to do things to you.
posted by mokeydraws at 8:53 AM on May 2, 2012

Or, find a deserted stretch of highway and answer the age-old question, "What happens when something falls out of a car at 80 mph? Repeatedly."
posted by Marky at 8:55 AM on May 2, 2012

Nthing the eye protection and adding gloves, long-sleeved shirt, and jeans or other long, tough pants as protection: about a decade ago I witnessed several of my techie friends replicate the Office Space scene on two printers at a party and luckily nobody's eyes were injured, but there was blood in evidence from various body parts before it was all over. I patched up one participant's thumb myself.

Needless to say, there had also been a lot of alcohol involved, which I don't recommend, either. Post-destruction, perhaps, as a celebration.
posted by telophase at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2012

Will it blend?
posted by randomination at 9:01 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You seem to like axes and turning the screw.

Owning this printer has been a revelation about my darker side; I never knew I could have this much hatred in me for an inanimate object and, as demented as it sounds, I really, really want to ensure it can never be put back together Chuckylike to torment someone else the way it has me. It has made a major research project far, far more stressful than it had to be.

More details: currently temporarily living in Ireland, so guns are out, though I bet that would be excellent. Also currently no car, otherwise I suspect I'd have backed it before now. Thanks for all the excellent suggestions, even the ones that I will tragically not be able to use (and for the advice about safety glasses as well). I shall read them out to it later, as it blinks malevolently at me. NOT FOR MUCH LONGER, YOU VILE WHELP SPAWNED FROM THE DEVIL'S ARMPIT.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:07 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you ever seen those charity events that, for a small fee (usually a buck a whack or some such) let people whack the heck out of some old crap car? The participants get the destructo-fun, and the charity gets the $$$......
posted by easily confused at 9:15 AM on May 2, 2012

Whatever you do, please be sure to put it on YouTube so that I can continue to procrastinate studying for my MCATs.
posted by lotusmish at 9:27 AM on May 2, 2012

My input on soundtrack for this commendable enterprise: There's a lot of Iron Maiden that would set the tone nicely, particularly Run To The Hills or The Wicker Man.

If you do set fire to this thing make sure you stay UPWIND.
posted by fearnothing at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2012

In Ireland, you say?

1) Befriend a Camogie team, and let them go at it with their camogie bats. Alternatively, play some EBIL PRINTER FUTBOL with it.
2) If you're in Dublin, cart the thing down to Dun Laoighre and heave it off the cliff to the beach below (but then you have to go pick it up).
3) Also if you're in Dublin, throw it in the "lake" at UCD. That thing gets dredged every couple of months anyway to retrieve all the bicycles that get thrown in.
posted by LN at 9:37 AM on May 2, 2012

A fourth Ireland-specific suggestion:

4) Disassemble it, take a weekend trip to Cork with all your friends and play Ból an bhóthair with all the bits.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:39 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is there anyplace that's very high up where you could drop it from a height? I long to pitch a CRT monitor off the top of a tall parking garage.
posted by Mom at 9:44 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

There's a picture out there somewhere of me with a bandaged-up leg (four-wheeler accident), ponytail (I'm a guy), cigar in mouth, teeing off on a 286 with a 17-lb sledgehammer.

We'd received a number (15?) of old computers from a buddy's mother's office, and originally intended to make a Beowulf cluster out of them. When that proved futile, we parted out the useful bits, called everyone we knew to a BBQ, and set the computers on the parking pad out back. We used every tool at our disposal - splitting mauls, dull chainsaws, vehicles - that we could operate within city limits. When we were done, the entire parking pad was covered with an inch-thick layer of PCBs, chips, case parts, and hard drive bits.

We saved one computer for special destruction - the Frankenstein's-Monster we tried to resurrect into something that could at least serve as an internet machine for one friend who was computerless. Our efforts having failed on that front, this particular insult to computerdom was saved for target practice. Two clips each from a .45, a .38, a .22, and a 9mm and that beast was reduced to beans and sweepin's.
posted by notsnot at 9:46 AM on May 2, 2012

how about using a chainsaw
posted by basketballandinternet at 10:00 AM on May 2, 2012

Melt it in a pot of hot oil. Printers are mostly plastic, oil gets plenty hot. Reduce it to a pile of melted mutant plastic slag.

You can even do this *after* smashing it to bits with a bat or an axe or what have you, if you want to get that thrill of inflicting massive kinetic damage on an inanimate object.
posted by Scientist at 10:05 AM on May 2, 2012

I once destroyed a hated answering machine with a claw hammer. It was immensely satisfying and cathartic. I believe I took out the tape and smashed that first. For maximum destruction, take it apart and smash pieces individually. It's good to do this with a friend or someone who shares your sentiments about the item. I recommend doing it outside and using eye protection.

(Extra: the clean up of the destruction was also emotionally interesting.)
posted by purple_bird at 10:17 AM on May 2, 2012

Modification of "Drop it out of a car repeatedly on a desolate highway": Tie it up with a rope or chain, and drag it at high speed along a road. This way it grinds itself down into powder.

(This is totally worth borrowing a car from a friend for)
posted by CrystalDave at 10:24 AM on May 2, 2012

Have you seen Office Space?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yes. Yes you have.


posted by Sys Rq at 11:00 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Disassemble it and take out the internal guts while preserving the outer shell. Put the shell loosely back together, maybe with tape. Fill the shell with delicious candy. Suspend it, pinata-style, from a low hanging branch. Take the vile innards and crush them mercilessly, perhaps using a combination of clamps, axes, and hammers. Then, while stomping around on the sad dust of its internal organs, whack the shit out of your printer pinata and watch as it spills out candy in response to your overwhelming power, finally doing something right, now that it's a hollow husk. Eat the candy. Pass out in cathartic sugar coma.
posted by Mizu at 11:44 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

30 gauge shotgun

That's not a thing.
posted by Bonzai at 1:18 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm not great with the horror cannon, but maybe others can fill in the details: kill that printer with all the methods used to fell Chuckie, Jason, that Pinhead guy, and any other horror villain it may be channeling! It's the only way to be sure.

A small clear plastic display box from the Container Store ($5ish) would show off a tiny, splintered piece, with a suitable label. Have fun!
posted by BigJen at 2:07 PM on May 2, 2012

horror cannon

That's not a thing.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:09 PM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

If possible, when it is barely hanging together, find a multistory structure that you can drop things out of. Find a hard patch of ground where there will not be anyone who can be hurt and is bare enough that you can collect the pieces. Throw the damn thing off. Repeat as needed.
posted by Hactar at 3:24 PM on May 2, 2012

Oh dang, it's a canon. Jason just feels like a cannon. A creepy cannon.
posted by BigJen at 3:34 PM on May 2, 2012

it's an epson not a canon
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:17 PM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

We did this recently with a stove/oven combo that had haunted our family for several years with constant repair needed just to allow it to keep constantly alternating between burning everything to a crisp and leaving it half-raw. When we finally got a replacement, we dragged it out into the back yard and the whole family took turns at beating the shit out of it with a sledgehammer. That day, I caught a glimpse of the potential rage that is contained within a teenage girl (warning: if you give one of these creatures a sledgehammer and tell her to destroy something, don't try and then take it away from her).

Soundtrack? Probably something from Rage Against the Machine, but I would suggest this as an alternative. Given that printers are fairly small and fragile, a smaller hammer and some reflection between hits, plus a thorough approach to not only destroying the printer, but reducing each component to tiny pieces should fill out the 5:25 quite nicely.
posted by dg at 6:10 PM on May 2, 2012

Fling it down an empty stairwell, à la DropSquad
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:46 PM on May 2, 2012

posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:48 PM on May 2, 2012

Disassemble. Get a set of screwdrivers and reduce it to its core pieces. Take apart everything that can be taken apart. Use a soldering iron on the boards and pull away all the components. Separate it into neat little piles of plastic and metal. Then bring it to the recycling centre and put each material type into the appropriate skip.

This would honestly, for me, be the most satisfying destruction of an electrical device. Anything involving axes and explosives just, ultimately, turns your pile of crap into a messier pile of crap. There is something pure about undoing this object methodically and utterly.
posted by distorte at 1:43 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you go the sledgehammer/baseball bat route, something like the "1812 Overture" will work nicely with keeping a smooth, rythmic swing.
posted by easily confused at 12:57 PM on May 3, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you for all your help. In the end the Jack Russell cross we just rescued took a massive dislike to the printer and decided to help the process one afternoon while we were out. I am pondering not putting what's left out of its misery and enjoying that revenge...
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:48 AM on June 6, 2012

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