Perhaps this is an old fashioned thing, or maybe it is caused intentionally by big businesses – likely both – but I have trouble diverging myself from brand loyalties. This varies from everything to computer parts (ahh the love of apple products) to clothing and of course kitchen appliances.
This habit recently became apparent in our purchase of a blender and the destruction of our toaster oven. Firstly, it is worth stating that I have the classic cuisinart food processor and am extremely happy with it. I also own a cusinart kettle, hand mixer and until recently a toaster oven. The last three were gifts – very well received gifts mind you – we got in the last year.
At first we were thrilled, assuming that the products would be of the utmost quality based on our food processor experience. However after a few months our toaster oven broke. It still functioned, however it would not turn off unless unplugged and only broiled no matter what setting it was on. A true fire hazard. After googling this model I came across the page above and tons of people complaining – including some who had the model catch fire in the middle of the night. I was not prepared to have the unit fixed only to have it be a safety hazard so I actually chucked it.
In addition to the toaster oven, I was also not overly thrilled with either the kettle or the hand mixer. The kettle stopped turning off properly for awhile and the hand mixer doesn’t seem to work as well as our old, much cheaper, braun mixmaster.
I think there are several things at work here – and I don’t think it is just a cuisinart specific problem. There is the usual complaint that things aren’t made as well as they once were and I think that’s part of it. Another big problem is that some products might be made locally and be of a certain quality while others may be made elsewhere and have a lesser quality. Lastly, I think that lots of companies have a variety of lines and they count on consumers relying on repuation and not researching the exact model.
So, why kind of blender did we buy? I looked into cusinart and kitchenaid – I certainly love my mixer – but after some internet research and talking to a rep at my local cooking store I settled on a waring pro blender. It’s a bar blender. So far so good. It crushes ice like no blender I have ever owned and was very good with the squash soup from earlier in the week. I would highly recommend it – it’s actually on sale at amazon right now. However I have only had it for a short time and the lifetime really is a big part of the quality, so only time will tell.
So what have I learned – if you are making a big purchase – like a small appliance you should research exactly what you are looking for. And yes, duh I should’ve already known this.