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  #51  
Old 05-16-2017, 10:49 AM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Originally Posted by pullin View Post
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)?
REI makes decent gear, quite useful for actual adventure. There are many better brands out there that are top end, but most REI brand gear will suffice for rugged adventures.

Having said that, I have only a few pieces of gear from REI other than basic clothing items.
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  #52  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:36 AM
xizor xizor is offline
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Originally Posted by boffking View Post
Cabot cheese.
Seconded. As it is the only lactose free brand of real cheese I have ever found, it is all I buy.

As for shoes, I bought a pair of Skechers running shoes with memory foam padding. It was like running on pillows. I am on my 5th pair and still love them.
  #53  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:42 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Now that Turble has been in the thread, how did I forget Kem playing cards?

You know the paper playing cards you probably have in your house? You might as well be playing cards with toilet seats or potato chips. Paper cards are for crap. Hie thee to Amazon or Kem's website and order a two deck set of Kems. Oh, you'll wonder "why am I paying $30 for two decks of cards?" but when you get them you will wonder no more, because you'll save money on playing cards in the long run. They're near-indestructible. Don't tear or nick (unless you really try) and and are stain-resistant and washable. We've played hundreds of games of cards with our Kems and every card looks brand new.

You'll go to your friends' houses and play with their paper cards and wonder why they choose to live like animals, and resolve to always bring your cards if they won't buy Kems.
  #54  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:46 AM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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What are variously called "side", "safety", "safe-cut", or "smooth-edge" can openers: The ones which pry the lid off instead of cutting it, which is both easier and safer compared to the classic can openers which required you to cut metal and left a gratuitously sharp edge. The smooth-edge can openers are how can openers always should have been, and they make the older kind seem like a bodge job perpetrated by someone who didn't fully understand the problem.

Also, the lid can't fall into the can when the lid is bigger than the can, as it is when you've taken off the whole top, as opposed to just cut off a piece of the top.
  #55  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:47 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
You'll go to your friends' houses and play with their paper cards and wonder why they choose to live like animals, and resolve to always bring your cards if they won't buy Kems.
I always bring my own cards anyway. For some reason, I do much better with them.
  #56  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:55 AM
Buck Godot Buck Godot is offline
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Ziplock bags: Store brand resealable bags just don't seal as well


From the way down scale end:

Top Ramen noodles: They are about 20% more expensive than Manuchan, but 20% comes up to about 5 cents per brick, and they are much crisper than Manuchan which always end up tasting pasty to me.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 05-16-2017 at 11:56 AM.
  #57  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:58 AM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
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.
That was going to be my nomination as well. I have several and always have one on me. They are amazingly well made and useful especially compared to their fairly low cost. Victorinox kitchen knives are fairly inexpensive and excellent as well.
  #58  
Old 05-16-2017, 12:26 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
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.
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Originally Posted by ZonexandScout View Post
Logitech mice? Also a big thumbs-up.
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Originally Posted by The Tooth View Post
Mountain Hard Wear...camping gear. Pricey, but worth it.
Good picks.
  #59  
Old 05-16-2017, 12:38 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Bad link.
  #60  
Old 05-16-2017, 12:39 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
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.
You can buy them cheaply on ebay from guys who buy bulk lots thru TSA.
  #61  
Old 05-16-2017, 12:48 PM
Lowdown Lowdown is offline
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Pilot G2 pens.
Vater drum sticks.
PRS guitars.
Rogue fitness stuff.
All-Clad stainless steel cookware.
Asus motherboards.
  #62  
Old 05-16-2017, 01:07 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Vernors Ginger Ale.
My friends from Michigan would always stock up whenever they went there, until they found out (from me ) where they could get it in Iowa.

I've been a Nissan Sentra driver since the early 1990s, and will continue to purchase them as long as they keep making them. My car is an '09 with almost 90,000 miles on it, and the only major repair has been, of all things, the gas cap door.

I also like Eastland shoes. They may not be all that fashionable, but they are comfortable and last, like, forever. My brother, who wears size 14 shoes, says the same thing about Timberlands.

L. L. Bean's Perfect Fit Pants are aptly named, and worth every penny.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 05-16-2017 at 01:07 PM.
  #63  
Old 05-16-2017, 01:27 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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My cardiologist threatened me with death* if I didn't go on a low sodium diet. So here are some excellent low- or no-sodium brands:

Krema Peanut Butter (perhaps now called Crazy Richard's) I was a JIF guy, but this is much better. Only one ingredient, Peanuts. When you first open a jar, you'll have to stir it up, but after that it stays mixed.

Kettle brand unsalted potato chips. If you can't imagine potato chips without salt, try these. They taste wonderful.

Heinz and Red Gold both offer no-salt ketchup now. One of the Red Gold plants is about 20 miles from here, so I go with the locals.

Red Gold and Hunt's make no-salt diced tomatoes, and they're excellent.

*Not that he would kill me, but my heart would.
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  #64  
Old 05-16-2017, 01:50 PM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
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.
I wouldn't think I'm the kind of person who cares what ketchup he buys but one day after having bought off-brands for a while I had a taste of Heinz. It was that much better. So now I buy it all the time.

But my best example is something that's not an expendable like ketchup or facial tissues or soda pop. It's my carry-on baggage. About 15 years ago I decided I was sick of buying luggage that falls apart after a few years so I spent $450 for a Briggs & Riley expandable roller-bag and have used it ever since.

I expect to use it until the day* I die because they have a lifetime guarantee so if anything breaks on it or gets wonky (like a tight wheel) they'll repair it or replace it no questions asked. They don't care if you took a knife to it yourself... they'll fix it. No charge.

I've had it repaired three times now. You do have to pay to mail it to a repair center (although they pay for the return) but I don't live too far from one so I just take it in. I'm about due for another repair. The corner is worn down to the metal underneath. I'm hoping they deem it too much trouble to fix this time and give me a new one but fixing it is just fine with me.




*And someone else can use it their whole life after I die because they've never asked me for proof of purchase when I've taken it in to be repaired. It's an heirloom!!

Last edited by I Love Me, Vol. I; 05-16-2017 at 01:53 PM.
  #65  
Old 05-16-2017, 02:19 PM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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I've always said this about these two products: if you don't buy the brand name, you might as well not bother buying it at all.

Scotch Tape
and
Band Aids
  #66  
Old 05-16-2017, 02:28 PM
stillownedbysetters stillownedbysetters is offline
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Not sure if I should if I should add these as there isn't a brand name, but the Amish made woolen goods we have purchased over the years have been amazing quality-wise. Double knit mittens, scarves, wool blankets, etc. all still going strong after 40 years of ownership.
  #67  
Old 05-16-2017, 02:33 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
What are variously called "side", "safety", "safe-cut", or "smooth-edge" can openers: The ones which pry the lid off instead of cutting it, which is both easier and safer compared to the classic can openers which required you to cut metal and left a gratuitously sharp edge. The smooth-edge can openers are how can openers always should have been, and they make the older kind seem like a bodge job perpetrated by someone who didn't fully understand the problem.

Also, the lid can't fall into the can when the lid is bigger than the can, as it is when you've taken off the whole top, as opposed to just cut off a piece of the top.
That's not a brand name. And yes, they're way better than the old fashioned can openers. Though I wonder if we're thinking of the same thing - they don't pry the top at all, and do cut into the metal. It's really more of a grinding wheel than a sharp blade.

The old can openers are superior for one thing though - if you need to drain the water from the can, a small puncture makes it easier than clamshelling the removed top juuuust wide enough.
  #68  
Old 05-16-2017, 02:50 PM
Hampshire Hampshire is offline
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Lego. Perfectly consistent plastic blocks.
Hard to believe somebody could screw up a plastic building block toy until you try stuff like Megablocks or Nanoblocks.
For hotdogs it has to be Hebrew National or Vienna Beef. Anything else and I'll kindly pass.
  #69  
Old 05-16-2017, 02:54 PM
ZonexandScout ZonexandScout is offline
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Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
I've always said this about these two products: if you don't buy the brand name, you might as well not bother buying it at all.

Scotch Tape
and
Band Aids
I have to say that I considered these two brands, but didn't comment on them. Frankly, I have no problem at all with generic transparent tape from the local office chain or with adhesive bandages from my drug chain. I get at least twice as much/many and they work just as well.
  #70  
Old 05-16-2017, 03:07 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Regarding transparent tape, on occasion, the office has purchased the generic or low-end Staples brand of packaging tape (the two-inch wide stuff you use for sealing boxes) and it's noticeable worse than the real 3M Scotch brand. The generic stuff is really thin and folds up on itself very easily.
  #71  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:00 PM
Patx2 Patx2 is offline
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Another vote for Heinz here!
  #72  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:22 PM
Drummond Bays Drummond Bays is offline
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I'll toss my hat in for Heinz, Sharpies, and Victorinox. Great products.

Hellman's Mayonnaise. The best. There is no other.

I believe someone already mentioned Worcestershire sauce.

Bic lighters. Over the years I've had a few where the flint has popped out prematurely, but perhaps a dozen (being generous) out of probably over a thousand in my life is pretty damn good. Almost always reliable, well made and durable.

Logitech, even their cheap mice & keyboards can take a beating, and work amazingly well. I had a 7.1 speaker array that I beat the hell out of for 10+ years, it did die, but not after a very long life of very frequent and hard use. I bought a UE MegaBoom, and I cannot rave enough about how amazing that thing is! Albums I have listened to for years were new experiences entirely coming out of this little monster. Been asked many times 'where the Hell is that music coming from? That sounds amazing!'

Blaklader Workwear, I have a pair of workpants that are 7+ years old, and some minor pocket damage started occuring about a year ago. There are a few places (knees, crotch) where one row of three of the stitching has started to bust, but like most of my things I beat the living hell out of these bastards and they will not go down. I have had many a chat with many a dude (couple chicks, too) about their awesomeness, and everyone agrees. It's akin to a Tilly Hat thing.

Olfa knives. Affordable, available, durable, take care of them and they last 'until you lose them.' Pound the piss out of them and they'll earn their keep.

Kirkland. There are very few things that they make poorly. Toilet paper bosses, the dainty higher-end brands are unsuitable for my... Rigorous uses. The only thing they shit the bed on is pizza, the old rectangular pizzas were far superior to the (not bad) round versions of today. AFAIK, everything that has sucked has gotten better over time.

There's a few more, but Life has come up...

Cool thread!
  #73  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:16 PM
race_to_the_bottom race_to_the_bottom is offline
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Best Foods Real Mayonaise
Absolutely. Also Brawny paper towels, Pepperidge Farm cookies, Q-tip swabs, and California olive oil.
  #74  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:19 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Jimmy Dean sage sausage for stuffing or sausage gravy.

Second Best Foods (Hellman's) mayo.
  #75  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:41 AM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Another vote for New Balance, they just fit me. I'm also a big fan of Nite Ize products.
  #76  
Old 05-17-2017, 01:33 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
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I've had good luck with New Balance shoes; so much so that I ordered a pair (don't remember the model number, but you could go online and specify the color of each part of the shoe) and sent them to Canada to have curling soles put on them.
  #77  
Old 05-17-2017, 02:29 AM
chacoguy chacoguy is offline
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What's a Chaco?
Here.
  #78  
Old 05-17-2017, 02:59 AM
galen ubal galen ubal is offline
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Vernors Ginger Ale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Ghod, yes.
*weeping*

[wail]But I can't get that here![/wail]
  #79  
Old 05-17-2017, 05:23 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
You can buy them cheaply on ebay from guys who buy bulk lots thru TSA.
I... might have to look into this, because....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
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.
...Mine is busted. Probably accidentally got crushed somewhere, but it's so warped that I can't get the bottle opener/flat-head screwdriver, tweezers, or Awl out at all. That said, my girlfriend got me a knockoff brand a while back, and while I very much appreciate the effort, it was just not a very good knife. Definitely can cosign this. Victorinox is great.

My contributions:

Goya ginger beer. Goya does a lot of stuff really well, but there is just nothing quite like their ginger beer. I have never found a spicier one, and if I don't have to cough from sniffing a freshly-opened bottle, I want my money back.

Ben and Jerry's. How do you get away with charging five times what your competitors charge for consumer-grade ice cream? Be the absolute fucking best at it, hands-down, no questions asked. It's a luxury, sure, but fucking hell when you go for it it's just so worth it. The only place I've ever seen better ice cream is Ben and Bill's, an ice cream shop and confectioner in Bar Harbor, Maine, but this is a bit like comparing a fast food chain to a fancy restaurant - the fact that there's even a comparison shows just how absurdly good Ben and Jerry's is.

Augustinerbräu Edelstoff. This beer is not readily available outside of Bavaria, but if you can get your hands on it, this is far and away the best Lager not specifically brewed for Oktoberfest - and the best Lager ever is the Festbier that Augustinerbräu makes for Oktoberfest.

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 05-17-2017 at 05:24 AM.
  #80  
Old 05-17-2017, 07:52 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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Miracle Whip Light salad dressing. Once you get used to light, the regular tastes gross, as does real mayo.

Heinz ketchup, of course.

Minute Rice. You seriously can't mess it up.

Johnsonville sausages and brats. Store brands just aren't as good.

U-Verse cable. Far superior to Comcrap.
  #81  
Old 05-17-2017, 08:46 AM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is offline
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Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

The original kind, no weird shapes or anything. There isn't another brand (store or otherwise) that has the taste of good ole fashioned Kraft Mac and Cheese.
  #82  
Old 05-17-2017, 09:20 AM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
...Mine is busted. Probably accidentally got crushed somewhere, but it's so warped that I can't get the bottle opener/flat-head screwdriver, tweezers, or Awl out at all. That said, my girlfriend got me a knockoff brand a while back, and while I very much appreciate the effort, it was just not a very good knife. Definitely can cosign this. Victorinox is great.
Victorinox Swiss Army knives have a true lifetime warranty and they have a repair center in Connecticut. You can send it in and they will repair or replace it for a $5 handling fee (at least that is how much it was the last time I sent one in).
  #83  
Old 05-17-2017, 09:35 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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Many people are aware of Monoprice for cheap HDMI cables and the like but I've had good success with their branded small devices as well. I own a Monoprice gaming mouse, a set of headphones and a Wacom-style drawing tablet from them and all have performed exceptionally well on top of being cheap. I'm sort of sad that the mouse I have was discontinued because mine is starting to show a bit of wear on the rubberized surfaces and I would have liked to straight-up replace it.
  #84  
Old 05-17-2017, 09:38 AM
kopek kopek is offline
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Philadelphia cream cheese - I've tried the store brands and they don't taste as good.
Agreed.

And Liquid Wrench; best penetrating oil ever created.
  #85  
Old 05-17-2017, 09:39 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is online now
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For firearms, there are two: S&W and Ruger.

And A&W diet Cream Soda. I don't drink them often, but when I get a craving, nothing else will do.

And Blue Bell Ice Cream. The food of the ghods.
  #86  
Old 05-17-2017, 10:12 AM
Scribble Scribble is offline
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Halo Top ice cream. It's genuinely good, and it won't put tons of poundage on your frame.

Frixion erasable pens. These things are miracles for note-taking in different colors without having to cross out or white out anything.

It's been years (far too long) since I've done any serious work in the great outdoors, but if ever I go back to it--Ex Officio clothing. I especially recommend the lightweight Bugs Away stuff. I was the only member of my group who came out of our field site without a single bite from an insect, despite the swarms of mosquitoes and other biting flies where we were.

EO clothing also stands up to lots of abuse. Ages ago, on a different trip, I was doing work in a very humid area. Stupidly, I washed my clothes out at night and hung them up to dry. I woke up to find mushrooms growing on my clothing. Yes, for real. My Columbia and REI stuff disintegrated where the mushrooms had grown. My Ex Officio shirt and pants were bleached by fungal growth, but the fiber itself stayed intact. If it weren't for the EO clothing, I would have been naked for the rest of that trip.

The Hammacher Schlemmer wind-defying packable umbrella. Easily the best umbrella I've ever had for use in NYC. I wish they'd bring back the one that had the UV reflective coating, but I guess you can't have everything.

I second (third? fourth?) the recommendations for Victorinox pocket knives.
  #87  
Old 05-17-2017, 10:30 AM
dude robert dude robert is offline
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Uniball fine DELUXE pens are quite nice. I have an old black UB-177 pen that someone gave to me for free a few months ago and although there is hardly any ink left, it's so smooth and wonderful to write with. I also have a newer blue Uniball UB-150 Eye Micro pen as well, but it's nowhere near as good IMO, though I think they're probably different style pens and whatnot.
  #88  
Old 05-17-2017, 10:40 AM
wguy123 wguy123 is offline
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Originally Posted by Drummond Bays View Post
Kirkland. There are very few things that they make poorly. Toilet paper bosses, the dainty higher-end brands are unsuitable for my... Rigorous uses. The only thing they shit the bed on is pizza, the old rectangular pizzas were far superior to the (not bad) round versions of today. AFAIK, everything that has sucked has gotten better over time.
I tend to agree with this but they make one product so exceptional awful: Their Kirkland Light Beer that comes in a box of 500 (maybe it's only 48). I drink beer. Good beer, bad beer (PBR or Keystone Light - sure!), mostly any beer. EXCEPT for malt liquors and Kirkland Light. I saw it a couple years ago and thought "What a bargain"! Till I got it home and had my first. UGH!!! It was so awful I decided I couldn't even use it for beer-butt chicken.
  #89  
Old 05-17-2017, 11:21 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Blue Bunny ice cream bars.
  #90  
Old 05-17-2017, 11:27 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Jimmy Dean sage sausage for stuffing or sausage gravy.
Yes!
  #91  
Old 05-17-2017, 11:31 AM
BeepKillBeep BeepKillBeep is online now
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Not specific, but any brand of laundry detergent. I used cheap stuff once and it was horrible and ruined a lot of clothes. I happen to use Tide though if you really want specific.
  #92  
Old 05-17-2017, 11:41 AM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is online now
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
Victorinox Swiss Army knives have a true lifetime warranty and they have a repair center in Connecticut. You can send it in and they will repair or replace it for a $5 handling fee (at least that is how much it was the last time I sent one in).
I was about to post the same thing. I've used the service a couple of times.
  #93  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:05 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Originally Posted by Drummond Bays View Post

Kirkland. There are very few things that they make poorly. Toilet paper bosses, the dainty higher-end brands are unsuitable for my... Rigorous uses. The only thing they shit the bed on is pizza, the old rectangular pizzas were far superior to the (not bad) round versions of today. AFAIK, everything that has sucked has gotten better over time.

There's a few more, but Life has come up...

Cool thread!
Just an aside, not to highjack.

Kirkland/Costco is a discount retailer that does not produce any of the products it sells. They have no manufacturing facilities. They contract out to other manufacturers. Some products are straight relabels of other name brands, and some are custom Kirkland formulas made by those manufacturers producing to Kirkland specs.

It is not exactly a secret. Kirkland/Costco will simply say that their rigorous specifications separate their products from the other name brands, made at the same facility.

The toilet paper is Georgia Pacific Angel Soft. The embossing pattern and wrap is changed at the time of packaging. Due to the nature of toilet paper production it isn't really possible to alter the formula for the huge parent rolls that the toilet paper is created from.

I have cases and cases of Kirkland toilet paper in the spare room, right next to the Brawny paper towels. All from Georgia Pacific.

The second entry in this link about vodka is amusing.

https://www.quora.com/Is-Costcos-Kir...-name-products
  #94  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:18 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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In n Out. Coca Cola. Hunt's. Hellman's (although Costco's brand is competing for my affections.)

Oh, and 6-in-1 for crushed tomatoes for sauces. Perhaps the thing I am most brand conscious about.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-17-2017 at 12:19 PM.
  #95  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:25 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is online now
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LG televisions. I've got no reason to consider another brand, and there's no way I'm buying an off-brand.

Absolut and Stoli vodka. I've had a few of the more expensive vodkas and they're not worth the extra money.
  #96  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:38 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Second Best Foods (Hellman's) mayo.
At first I wasn't parsing this correctly. Why would anyone name their brand "Second Best Foods"?
  #97  
Old 05-17-2017, 01:22 PM
DrCube DrCube is online now
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Swissgear backpacks.
  #98  
Old 05-17-2017, 02:10 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Absolut and Stoli vodka. I've had a few of the more expensive vodkas and they're not worth the extra money.
I've been in bars where Absolut and Stoli were the top shelf brands.
  #99  
Old 05-17-2017, 02:13 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
At first I wasn't parsing this correctly. Why would anyone name their brand "Second Best Foods"?
A casualty of getting older. With not all that much time left on earth, I don't want to waste it with nuisance words like nouns or even verbs. Punctuation will go next, I suspect.
  #100  
Old 05-17-2017, 02:23 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Not a brand, but merino wool is worth every penny.
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