Great quality/good design is cheaper
February 12, 2017 8:05 AM   Subscribe

After having replaced my coffeemaker(s) (various styles & brands) too many times in too few years, I finally settled on a stainless steel, old-school stovetop percolator and I love it because it just works, there is little waste and the coffee is wonderful and hot.

My question is: what items do you have or recommend that are such good quality that you only buy them once, or that are repairable rather than disposable? Any items at all, not limited to kitchen stuff.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
W├╝sthof knives! Cast iron cookware if you have the time/energy/not-glass-cooktop for that. I tried thinking of things that weren't kitchen things but I haven't finished my coffee yet today, so this is all I've got. Also: sterling silverware.
posted by Verba Volant at 8:30 AM on February 12, 2017 [4 favorites]


Cheap but bombproof
Cheap but bombproof II
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:37 AM on February 12, 2017 [5 favorites]

Felco pruners.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:38 AM on February 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

I still shoot film with my Nikonos II and V
posted by ridgerunner at 9:07 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have some Bose Model 101 speakers that I've had with me since the late 80s. They're small enough that I can mount them unobtrusively, have a deep rich sound and Just Work. Other similar things in my house: Cuisinart (they replaced my blade after 20+ years!), Kenmore whole house humidifier, Milwaukee drill, Skilsaw circular saw, cast iron pans.
posted by jessamyn at 9:20 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

My carbon steel wok is 20 years old this year, cost less than 10 dollars in Chinatown. It's one of the things I'll grab if the house catches fire.

Miele washing machines and dishwashers last almost forever. They are expensive, but not if you factor in the longevity.

My steel toed safety boots are 37 years old, and you literally can't see they weren't bought yesterday. Unfortunately, I don't remember the brand and there is no sign on them.
posted by mumimor at 9:43 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I can emphatically second both Wusthof & Felco. Adding Rowallan leathergoods, KitchenAid stand mixers* and Loake shoes.

* I've had mine for 20 years (unambiguous endorsement!) but that means I haven't been in the market for decades so the quality now may be different.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:58 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love my Birkenstock sandals because they can be repaired over and over again, and because you can repair only the part that needs it. I get the rubber on the toes and/or heels replaced every few years, less often do I have to replace the whole rubber sole, and rarely have I had to have the whole cork footbed replaced. I have never needed a new buckle, but if I did, it would be readily available because they've had basically the same design forever.
posted by fussbudget at 11:46 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Quality optics, such as binoculars, should last a lifetime, barring accident or misuse.

Good quality cookware should also last a long time, unless it's non-stick.
posted by SemiSalt at 1:58 PM on February 12, 2017

I have a Saddleback Leather bag that fits my iPad... expensive but as sturdy as anything I've ever owned.

I got a Lodge 7.5-quart enameled Dutch oven at the grocery store on sale for $40... or you could buy basically the same pot by Le Creuset for $350 or so. They'll both last pretty much forever if you're careful about chipping. Anything cast iron is awesome.

I have some Redwing Heritage boots that are pretty hardcore, and repairable.

Seconding a carbon steel wok, cheap and so useful.

My general rule with cookware... if the handle isn't riveted on, don't bother. Maybe that's common knowledge, not sure. Loose handles drive me crazy. That wok is an exception, but it hasn't been a problem.

Knives can last a long, long time, but only if you sharpen them. I use the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpener. It does a great job and it's not too hard to use.

I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer that was my ex's grandmother's... it's between 20 and 30 years old. I keep hoping it'll break so I can get a new one.
posted by Huck500 at 3:38 PM on February 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Mephisto shoes.
I popped into a Mephisto store (in Seattle) and they had sample shoes at 1/2 price, but which are still covered by their refurbishment process - you get a new sole, renewed uppers, new insole, laces, etc.
I have some arthritis in a toe, and the Sano line takes care of that, and no more twinges of Plantar Fasciatis.
They aren't the most stylish, but for bomb-proof, the best shoes I've found.
posted by dbmcd at 4:19 PM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Outside of the kitchen, the question is so crazy-wide it feels both difficult to answer and difficult to use a full set of answers.

So, kitchen:
Kershaw kitchen shears. Duralex glassware. Kitchenaid stand mixer. Lodge logic cast iron.

I've had those for 10 years, 15 years, 40+ years, and 40+ years, respectively, and they're all in great shape. The Kitchenaid was serviced once in it's 30's.
posted by talldean at 8:36 AM on February 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

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