Wednesday, February 22, 2012


As I have blogged about in the past and made comments on numerous blogs throughout the blogiverse, I reached the decision one day to stop buying cheaply made crap that you find in big box stores because they rarely are worth the money when you figure in the replacement cost when it breaks and you have to buy another one and also the hard to calculate environmental cost of throwing away all that broken stuff into landfills. So when something that I own from a big box store breaks as it eventually does, I replace it with better quality stuff which often means saving up my pennies until I can afford to pay the premium. It has served me well over the past handful of years and I am unable to name one thing that I paid 'more' for that has broken yet I can think of dozens of examples of cheaply made/cheaply priced stuff that has.

Case in point was my paper shredder. My cheap one from a big box store served me well for the first five minutes I owned it. That was before the strips that it shredded my paper into bunched up and tripped the sensor indicating that the basket was full or worse, started backfeeding through the shredded and puking them all over the floor. The basket, the size of a small garbage can literally hold only a handful of sheets before one of those two things happened. It was miserable and I spent much of my time cleaning the strips of paper out of the shredder heads so that I could continue. Secondly, the thing could only handle about two sheets at a time. This was fine for awhile until my wife started bring home reams of her work to study at night. As you know, all medical records are highly classified and thus need to be destroyed. Shredding only two sheets at a time and only five or six before you were cleaning out the shredding heads meant many hours of shredding. Though it hadn't technically broke yet, it was functionally broke and so I saved up my pennies until I could buy the one above.

This thing can handle a handful of pages, perhaps ten to fifteen at a time, goes through staples, credit cards and even CD's and DVD's easily. It micro shreds everything so it falls down compactly into the bin instead of strips that stand up on themselves so I can shred an entire paper grocery sack of stuff before the hopper is full. The paper is shredded so fine that it would make excellent mulch or in my case, great fire starter in the fireplace. I've had it for almost six months now and I am so happy that I bought it. My crappy big box store one is up in the urban jungle and will hopefully find a home when someone sees the free sign I hang on it come moving day. If not, it will end up in the landfill with millions of others of its brothers and sisters from big box stores.


Vince said...

I have a graveyard full of printers. But I'm not certain it makes sense to go beyond 'home' machines. And that's what I'd have to do for I've had all the main brands and they may as well have been Acmekrap for all their longevity. I print about 500 pages a month double spaced at 14 pt. So I darn well shouldn't be stressing the thing so much that it'll turn up it's toes in less than a year.

Ed said...

Vince - I have a bone yard full of printers too. Just in general, it seems as if electronics these days aren't built to last very long. My dad still has a dot matrix 'greenbar' printer from the early 80's that still works and he still uses it. They just don't make stuff like that anymore.

R. Sherman said...

It's better to buy the good stuff early. A tough lesson to learn, but eventually, we all do.