Living in an old house, one quickly learns that the tools [all those items (large and small) that help the home provide for its occupants] have an afterlife. Leaking faucets will stop leaking, noisy appliances will turn quiet, door bells will resume ringing, the garbage disposal will start working again, and on the top of the home owner’s list ‘WD40’ the miracle worker.
The life expectancy of the tools of a household has decreased considerably. I believe in having good tools, so I do not mind spending a bit more to assure good production while working. But with every replacement I make, I question if in a throwaway society that we live in, I would be better off thinking cheap and disposable.
In the last decade or so, I have replaced many items with the closest model to the original one. Surprisingly, the replacement is lighter (more like a toy instead of a tool), less expensive, and more stylish. The problem is that the replacement for the electric shaver that used to last me twenty years, only now works for two years. It seems like the manufactures have the motors working for longer than the parts of the product. So here I have a tool with a functioning motor literally falling apart in my hands.
I’m growing tired of the endless ‘lifetime guarantee’ that keeps you buying the product. New replacement items, in my kitchen, that will rust over and over.
Watch out for the ON & OFF switch. It goes dead before the actual machine gives up.
The small parts of my top level dishwasher are falling apart even though the well advertised electrical parts are working like new.
It is close to impossible nowadays to avoid Chinese products. I find it intriguing how the decedents of such a great culture can produce inferior products for worldwide consumption.
In many countries, affordability of a lot of products used to be price prohibitive. Now with access of cheap products from China, many people can enjoy life the way they only dreamed about. Further, if they can’t compare the earlier version of their products that used to last for two decades, having to replace a refrigerator every five years instead of ten is a cost to be bear like any other.
I will keep holding on to my twenty-two year old German chef’s knife, while tossing the dice every time an afterlife of one of my tools has finally expired.