Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=12)
-   -   What's a specific brand of consumer product that's worth the money and then some? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=826266)

RickJay 05-15-2017 02:51 PM

What's a specific brand of consumer product that's worth the money and then some?
 
We spend so much time in life buying things, and a lot of its is overhyped and turns out to be really disappointing, or you go into it knowing it'll suck but you have no choice (Airline travel.) But you know, some brands just deliver the goods. Nothing fancy or stupid expensive, but by God you get what you pay for and then some; they do exactly what they say they will. Stuff like movies or video games and things that are inherently mostly subjective don't belong here; I'm talking about products with a purpose.

Some examples:

1. Sharpies. This thread was inspired by someone mentioning Sharpies. Sharpies are fantastic. I have never, ever been disappointed with a Sharpie. They're affordable and yet work fantastically well, every time. I've been using the same set of permanent Sharpies for by whiteboard (erase by simply drawing over them with a non permanent marker) for a year and they're still going strong. I may as well have bought them yesterday.

2. Heinz Ketchup. My wife is a little cheap and will go out of her way to save 25 cents on a grocery item but when it ocmes to ketchup she'll buy Heinz and nothing else. And she's right. Heinz is delicious. I've tried other ketchups and they all taste exactly like if Heinz ketchup was accidentally not made quite right.

What are your examples?

Little Nemo 05-15-2017 02:53 PM

Philadelphia cream cheese - I've tried the store brands and they don't taste as good.

Pilot G2 ink gel 07 pens - Back when I was working, I had to write a lot of stuff by hand. These pens are so good I went out and paid for them rather than use the ones I got for free at work.

ZipperJJ 05-15-2017 02:59 PM

The Right Shoes. If you get a pair of shoes that are fitted properly for your feet, built with your required use in mind (running, basketball, walking, hiking, standing, etc) and have the right mechanics to support your specific foot needs (low arch, pronation, supination, heel spurs, etc) you will do so much more for your entire body than you will save by buying cheap shoes.

I'm a big person who wears New Balance shoes with pronation support and walks miles each week in them, and has zero leg and back problems. Well well well worth the $120 every year or so for the right shoes.

Czarcasm 05-15-2017 03:05 PM

Chili-Cheese Fritos. Haven't found an alternate brand yet that comes close.

cmkeller 05-15-2017 03:06 PM

Bounty paper towels. No other brand absorbs liquids as well.

Tropicana orange juice. Other brands taste like water by comparison.

I'll second the Heinz Ketchup.

Barkis is Willin' 05-15-2017 03:09 PM

The Wilson Evolution indoor basketball is so far and away the best product in its segment, I don't know why stores even sell others in that price range. The bounce and the grip blow away other leather and composite leather basketballs. I've bought 3 of them at around $55, and I'd probably pay double the price for that ball.

cornflakes 05-15-2017 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20208666)
Pilot G2 ink gel 07 pens - Back when I was working, I had to write a lot of stuff by hand. These pens are so good I went out and paid for them rather than use the ones I got for free at work.

Seconded, after checking my pocket. I use the 1mm pens though.

This is useful to maybe one or two other people here, but I try to buy my river stuff from NRS whenever I can't find what I want at the one or two local outfitters that I'm personally friends with. NRS first tier customer support knows their stuff (or used to, it's been a while since I had to call), and it's nice to start with my question and not have to wait patiently while someone rephrases the catalog descriptions before transferring (Hi, REI, for what little you sell.)

Fiendish Astronaut 05-15-2017 04:14 PM

The electronic calculator. You can get a solar powered one for a dollar and they'll last a life time giving you accurate calculations that only a few generations ago would have been hugely complicated and time consuming for a single person to perform.

chacoguy 05-15-2017 04:50 PM

NRS, Chaco, REI.

igor frankensteen 05-15-2017 05:26 PM

Puffs an Charmin.

bobot 05-15-2017 05:50 PM

Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot barley wine.

thelurkinghorror 05-15-2017 06:33 PM

OP mentioned Sharpies, which reminded me of Pilot G2 pens. I don't think anyone mentioned them yet.

Don't buy the cheapest blank DVDs. I don't get the really expensive ones either, but I find that Verbatim has the best price vs. quality point. That said, DVDs shouldn't be used for long term storage,

I am perfectly happy buying generic medications, and still feel that way about pills. But the name brand Catapres transdermal patches (generic is Clonidine) lasted a full week while generic brands are a crapshoot. Some worked just as well while others, while cheaper, ended up falling off after a few days so there is little price savings. And you couldn't really choose which generic supplier they had in stock.

Thudlow Boink 05-15-2017 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiendish Astronaut (Post 20208894)
The electronic calculator. You can get a solar powered one for a dollar and they'll last a life time giving you accurate calculations that only a few generations ago would have been hugely complicated and time consuming for a single person to perform.

A lot of the electronic devices available today—computers, TVs, tablets, smartphones, ereaders, etc.—give you so much for your money compared to what you could get for the same price thirty or twenty or ten or even five years ago. But I don't think that's the kind of thing the OP had in mind unless we're specifying a particular brand that's great value compared to its current competitors.

At one time I would have said Band-Aids, since I hadn't ever found a competing brand or generic version that stayed on nearly as well; but I don't think that's true any longer.

Atamasama 05-15-2017 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmkeller (Post 20208700)
I'll second the Heinz Ketchup.

I'll third that unless you're talking ketchup flavored with something "extra" like sriracha or Tabasco. In that case you can either buy the cheaper generic flavored version or just buy cheap ketchup and doctor it yourself.

I also vouch for Charmin and Bounty. If I buy generic I regret it.

Wesley Clark 05-15-2017 07:03 PM

High quality toilet paper. Charmin or cottonelle

Wesley Clark 05-15-2017 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZipperJJ (Post 20208681)
The Right Shoes. If you get a pair of shoes that are fitted properly for your feet, built with your required use in mind (running, basketball, walking, hiking, standing, etc) and have the right mechanics to support your specific foot needs (low arch, pronation, supination, heel spurs, etc) you will do so much more for your entire body than you will save by buying cheap shoes.

I'm a big person who wears New Balance shoes with pronation support and walks miles each week in them, and has zero leg and back problems. Well well well worth the $120 every year or so for the right shoes.

What new balance do you wear? I like the 927 and 928 models.

astro 05-15-2017 07:27 PM

Kraft grated sprinkle cheese. I get that fresh cheese is better but if we're comparing grated sprinkle cheese in the shaker containers nothing comes close to Kraft.

Mid tier Logitech mice give very good service and value for the money.

ZipperJJ 05-15-2017 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wesley Clark (Post 20209297)
What new balance do you wear? I like the 927 and 928 models.


I'm a 990 kinda gal. They're stylish too!

TreacherousCretin 05-15-2017 08:25 PM

JIF

Annoying Buzz 05-15-2017 08:27 PM

I was pretty skeptical about 3-bladed razors, and only bought one (a Gilette Mach 3) because I'd forgotten my razor on a trip and that was all the store had. I don't know what made it so different, but I was totally blown away by how much better it was than the 1- and 2-bladed disposables I'd been using. No nicks, no hairs left behind, and easier to keep clean. When the 4- and 5-blade razor came out, I started hoarding Mach 3 blades in a panic, but luckily they're still available.

For pens, the $1 Zebra Sarasa 0.5mm Gel is the only one I ever want to use. It has the perfect combination of reliability, line thickness, line sharpness and comfort. I wouldn't trade it for a Mont Blanc.

D'Anconia 05-15-2017 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chacoguy (Post 20208996)
NRS, Chaco, REI.

What's a Chaco?

astro 05-15-2017 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by D'Anconia (Post 20209452)
What's a Chaco?


These

stillownedbysetters 05-15-2017 09:42 PM

Dr. Pepper - I can spot a (poor) imitation at first sip.

Adidas running shoes - models change, but the quality construction remains.

octopus 05-15-2017 11:35 PM

Publix ice cream.

nearwildheaven 05-16-2017 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wesley Clark (Post 20209288)
High quality toilet paper. Charmin or cottonelle

I use Marcal, and just had a case delivered today. It will probably last me a year. :cool:

Either Bounty or Brawny for paper towels too.

Also Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

I'm going to add Tampax tampons, Always pads with wings (wings would have made my teenage periods a lot less unhappy, that's for sure) and Jockey women's underwear to the list. Jockey is about $25 for 3 pairs, but they last, like, forever, or so it seems, and they fit my middle-aged body. :p

running coach 05-16-2017 12:11 AM

Hypafix
Comes in 2,4,6 inch widths x 10 yds.

Hypoallergenic adhesive, stays on when wet but pulls off without tearing skin. Besides dressing wounds(which is where I heard of it) it can also secure medical devices.

pullin 05-16-2017 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chacoguy (Post 20208996)
NRS, Chaco, REI.

Not challenging you, just curious. Is REI really that much better? Or is it mainly better for heavy/rugged users (who actually get out in the wilderness)? I'm asking mainly about hardware like stoves, lanterns, etc. I think Coleman or even the Cabelas/Gander brands are OK for the average "outdoorsman".

To the OP: Craftsman or Snap-On tools. My info may be dated because I haven't had to buy replacements* for either brand in 35 years. At least at the time, they were worth the higher price.

*I have a picture from 1981 of myself working on an engine with my tools/toolbox beside me. This week I used the same tools, out of the same box, to fix the garage door.

panache45 05-16-2017 05:31 AM

Merrell shoes and boots.

Crafter_Man 05-16-2017 05:31 AM

Saran Wrap.

kayaker 05-16-2017 06:03 AM

Another Heinz Ketchup lover, even though the company passed on my marketing idea.
SPOILER:
Heinz, because Hunts is for *****.


A friend of mine is in love with Bose products. I'm hearing impaired, so I'm a poor judge of audio. But he's given me a few Bose products (headphones, stereo) and I'm impressed by the quality construction.

ftg 05-16-2017 07:13 AM

Another devotee of Pilot G2 Gels. People complain they smear all the time. Just give it an extra couple seconds on glossier stuff before swiping something against it.

Consumer Reports did an article on toilet paper some time back. They recommended the 3-ply Walmart store brand White Cloud. Mrs. FtG is never going to buy another brand again. While cheap being a store brand, there is still cheaper stuff out there so it is worth the little bit of money.

boffking 05-16-2017 07:40 AM

Cabot cheese.

Shoeless 05-16-2017 07:42 AM

Another vote for Pilot G2 pens. My only complaint is that the grips can get a little gummy after a while, but they probably weren't designed to be used for years at a time.

At one time I would have said Clarks. I needed some dress shoes for my first job out of college, tried on a pair, and decided I had to have them. They cost more than what I had planned on spending, but those shoes lasted me almost ten years. And sooo comfortable -- they are what led me to coin the word "footgasm". When they finally wore out, I bought another pair, and they were just as good. But I bought a pair a few years back and was not as impressed. Maybe they had outsourced to China by then.

Mr Shine 05-16-2017 07:46 AM

Coca-cola zero. None of the the generic brands I've tried have come close.

iiandyiiii 05-16-2017 07:49 AM

Great Lakes brewery. I've never had a bad beer from them.

Five Guys burgers.

My local pho place.

From my limited experience (I drive an '04 model), Audi.

running coach 05-16-2017 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 20210229)
Another vote for Pilot G2 pens. My only complaint is that the grips can get a little gummy after a while, but they probably weren't designed to be used for years at a time.

At one time I would have said Clarks. I needed some dress shoes for my first job out of college, tried on a pair, and decided I had to have them. They cost more than what I had planned on spending, but those shoes lasted me almost ten years. And sooo comfortable -- they are what led me to coin the word "footgasm". When they finally wore out, I bought another pair, and they were just as good. But I bought a pair a few years back and was not as impressed. Maybe they had outsourced to China by then.

*looks at username*
There are other brands to try.

Scumpup 05-16-2017 07:58 AM

Genuine Victorinox Swiss Army knives. Most of them come in well under a c-note. They're beautifully made, genuinely useful, and you'll lose it before you wear it out.

kayaker 05-16-2017 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 20210243)
Great Lakes brewery. I've never had a bad beer from them.

I'll second Great Lakes, but say the same for Evil Twin, Lagunitas, Stone, Victory, Otter Creek, Voodoo, Dancing Gnome, Oskar Blues, and a dozen others.

Doctor Jackson 05-16-2017 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by igor frankensteen (Post 20209087)
Puffs an Charmin.

Just don't get them mixed up.

As for me, it's Diet Coke. I will, and have, drink nothing if my only choice is that other big brand of soda.

jtur88 05-16-2017 09:40 AM

Coffee - name brands.

I bought a cheapo instant coffee (to carry when traveling), and the cup of hot water tasted the same, before and after I stirred in the coffee. Threw it away and bought Maxwell House. Similarly, coffee grounds for brewing are much better under the name brands.

Tea, however, tastes the same, all brands and prices.

Cardigan 05-16-2017 09:53 AM

There are other fine brands of charcoal available, but I find Kingsford never disappoints. It lights quickly and burns longer and more consistently. It can frequently be purchased on sale for the same price as some inferior brands of charcoal.

ZonexandScout 05-16-2017 09:53 AM

Heinz ketchup? Yeah. Definitely. My old GF tried to fool her son by putting store-brand ketchup in a Heinz bottle to save money. It took exactly ONE French fry for him to say, "This isn't Heinz!!"

Logitech mice? Also a big thumbs-up. The M305 was the best wireless mouse available. It worked on virtually any surface, including fabric upholstery. The newer ones don't work nearly as well. The similar models from other manufacturers hardly work at all in challenging environments.

Chefguy 05-16-2017 09:53 AM

S&W canned beans. Store brand beans are just uniformly bad.

Kettle brand potato chips.

Lie-Nielsen woodworking tools, if you're really serious about the hobby. Also pre-1950 Stanley blade tools, if you're on a budget.

Lucini olive oil.

Kerrygold butter.

panache45 05-16-2017 09:57 AM

Vernors Ginger Ale.

Czarcasm 05-16-2017 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 20210524)
Vernors Ginger Ale.

Ghod, yes.

RobDog 05-16-2017 10:07 AM

Rab walking clothes
Meindl walking boots
Silva compasses
Ordnance Survey maps - works of art IMHO
Garmin GPS handhelds
Stihl power tools

Daddypants 05-16-2017 10:24 AM

Boar's Head mesquite smoked turkey. It's $10.99 per lb at Kroger, and worth every penny.

The Tooth 05-16-2017 10:28 AM

Mountain Hard Wear and Arcteryx camping gear. Pricey, but worth it. Mountain Hard Wear went to great lengths to honor a lifetime warranty on one of their discontinued products for me as well. I also have no complaints about Keen footwear.

Turble 05-16-2017 10:41 AM

Heinz ketchup, yep. I buy the Simply Heinz type -- has sugar instead of corn syrup, and it's worth the extra money. Before the Simply type came out I was willing the spend the bucks for Heinz Organic.

A few things I think everyone should be willing to spend the money for:

Pendleton wool blanket
Tilley hat
Smartwool NTS shirt

Enola Gay 05-16-2017 10:48 AM

Best Foods Real Mayonaise


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:22 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.