So many times I see the advice, "Use a good quality..." something or
other. No brand or product name is ever specified.
Use a good quality caulk...
Use a good quality tape...
Use a good quality glue...
Use a good quality paint...
Use a good quality brush...
I don't know about you, but when I go anywhere and ask if their
product is good quality, they NEVER say no. Even when I know for a
fact that the product is garbage, and I'm just testing the knowledge/
loyalty of the employee.
So how do you know what's a good quality product? More expensive
doesn't mean better, that's for sure. Flashy logos and aggressive
marketing don't indicate a quality product.
You certainly can't trust the person in the apron at the store.
Everything they sell is top quality according to them.
Your friends, neighbors and professionals seem to think that it's
illegal to tell you what they used on their projects, because they
won't give you a specific product name. They just say "use a good
On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 06:55:47 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org
That's why people used to like Sears. They rated their different
grades of products Good, Better, Best.
Now it is all whatever the Chinese sell them. Usually when I hear
anyone say "use a good ..." they mean, "name brand" not a no name
product but that is till a crap shoot these days. The name might have
been sold in the bankruptcy when production went offshore.
In other words don't but your supplies at the dollar store. Price IS usually
a good indicator of quality at Lowes or HomeDepot.
Be sure to check the expiration date on the caulk if there is one. GE
Silcone caulk has always been a good choice for me. I have had problems with
some latex products. If it's inside caulking windows or something a cheaper
caulk will work just fine but could shrink a bit.
Always use caulk SPARINGLY. IF the bead is narrow, cut the tube narrow. Then
don't apply any more than you need. Back off the gun when you get to the end
of the bead. Use the tool I showed you and clean as you go. It's really
Oh yeah....I always keep a roll of paper towels near by.
On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 06:55:47 -0800, mkirsch1 wrote:
That's why I rarely buy anything online. I want to see the physical item,
because I certainly don't trust what the manufacturer or vendor* say, and
reading reviews often gives me far too many conflicting opinions.
* well, almost always. Once in a while I'll find a smaller store where
they're more interested in customer service than selling as much product
as possible, but places like that are rare.
Of course for things like paint and caulk you can't tell good from bad -
but for tools you can often assess finish, strength, ease of fixing it if
something does break, if there's any unacceptable play in mechanisms etc.
Plus of course you can pick the thing up and just see if it "feels right",
because that's important too, and everyone has their individual
What *I* want from a product is that it'll last, spares are available so I
can fix it, and one day when the spares have dried up I can engineer
things to use whatever parts I *can* get at the time. I don't always get
all of those things in the stuff that I buy, of course, but that's my
ideal situation. If I spend money on a tool that feels right for me, I'd
like it to still be around in 50 years.
Right. I saw a chap at HD buy a dozen 1" foam brushes for $1.95 each. He
could have gotten ten foam brushes at Harbor Freight for three bucks.
'Course he probably wouldn't have had the box-store Quality Foam Brush
Price is often a pretty good start though. Most tools can be distinguished
good or cheap just by picking them up. Look at the finish of a screwdriver,
the feel of the handle. Pull out the end of a tape measure and feel how it
glides (or not)
Most name brands can be trusted. "DuPont, Borden's, 3M, Honeywell, Georgia
Pacific and hundreds of others that have been around for many decades make
reliable products.Sure, you may have personal preference, but the chances of
getting junk are slim. They have reputations at stake.
I agree that simply picking a tool up and turning it over in your hands
a few times can tell a lot, assuming you have any experience with using
tools. Quality items just feel right, like an extension of your hand.
Trouble is, with modern packaging and retail practices, you often don't
get to handle the item until you get it home.
On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 22:57:42 -0500, aemeijers wrote:
You're going to the wrong stores :-) Well, OK, I wouldn't expect a generic
DIY store let me look inside paint cans (although my local "just paint"
store always shows me the contents of the cans before they take my money)
- but for tools they should let you near the thing if they expect you to
buy it (even if it's secured to a long chain, or they have to open a
Packard-Bell lived up to its reputation, such as it was.
Some Emerson stuff was pretty good, especially for the price point it was
made for. I've been inside of one of the Emerson plants and they made the
same exact products for eight different band names. Only thing different
was the decoration, label and name on the box. They were all aimed at the
low to mid end of the price spectrum though. Gibson, Norge, White, come to
In addition: Packaging and marketing can up the price of a cheaply
made item. This sells the item to those who have the theory of " If I
pay more, it has to be better". Many people buy because they "saw it
on TV" or "it looked good in the package", or "this is what is hot at
the moment", or " this is what my friend uses".
A professional auto mechanic may only use Snap-On tools. Why? When
Craftsman will do the same job for a lot less. Many people buy
Harleys. Why? When a Honda, by all reports are more dependable for
much less. This is because of "marketing". It has nothing to do with
But! when talking ATV's and dirt bikes, Chinese brands inferior in
many ways. As a motorcycle mechanic and racer for many years, I have
worked on MANY chinese ATV's\dirtbikes/scooters. I can attest to the
fact that the nuts and bolts are not machined to the close tolerances
of their Japanese counterparts. The bolts go in sloopy and wrenches
don't fit as tight.
So, let your concious be your guide, just don't be misled by packaging
and marketing and the theory that "if I pay more, I'm getting more".
It is not always true.
I don't think that Craftsman/Snap-On is a particularly good example of
the point you were trying to make. I've become disenchanted with
Craftsman over the past 10 years or so. Now my grandfather's old
Craftsman tools seem to be just as good as some of the brands that
today have a better reputation.
I think I understand where you are coming from. You are correct in
some instances. I was talking basic hand tools, wrenches and such. But
then again, it all depends on how the user uses them. For example, the
handle of a slitting wedge/sledge may not last very long in the hands
of a beginner because he misses the log. Whereas a pro can make it
last for years because he rarely misses the mark. So, the beginner may
be better off buying a more durable and expensive splitter/sledge as
compared to a pro who could get by with a cheaper model.
Because if it fails for some reason (which could be the installers fault)
they don't want you coming back to them looking for someone to blame. For
instance, I watched a guy put grout in tile. Did not clean it out. Not
even a vacuuming. Yes, a matter of months later it was falling out.
Just because a pro uses something doesn't mean it's good quality. Some
will use any cheap crap they can get. You have to ask them what they use
and why. Those that use a good quality product will tell you *why* it's
a good quality product, and you can pretty much bet they paid more for
it than the cheap crap.
Generally speaking, paying more doesn't always mean you get more, but
paying less is a pretty good guarantee that you will get less. I never
buy the cheapest product on the shelf because it is almost always crap,
especially in this day where there is so much made-in-China-cheap-crap
How do you find out what is good quality? Find someone that not only
says it's good quality, but tells you why. If they can't tell you why,
then they don't know and are probably lying to you when they say it's
I have built many computers over the years, and I learned long ago to
always buy name brand parts, and NEVER buy cheap off-brand stuff.
Everytime I do it seem to come back and bite me.
I just got back from the store, where I bought some wood putty. They had
several types, and I don't know wood putty from mud. I ended up paying a
tad more for the Elmers, because I'm familiar with the brand and I've
used Elmers wood glue and had good luck with it. I hope Elmers wood
filler is good because that is what I'm going to use.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.