There are some things you can go the cheap route on. Dishwashing soap, tube socks, garbage bags, etc. Things not worthy of an extra buck for the brand name. And then there are things –little things, that are so useful that the extra cost is soon forgotten. These are a few of the things I’ve learned better than to scrimp on.
A Really Good Can Opener
Yeah, you can get a perfectly functional can opener for a buck fifty. And sure, it does a perfectly respectable job of opening your chicken noodle soup. But in the long run you’ll be glad you spent twelve dollars for the fancy stainless steel can opener that won’t rust to pieces. Get the one with those ergonomic handles that don’t bite into your hand or make the can lid all sharp and ragged.
Even if you just use it to heat up canned soup or cook noodles it’s worth the money for a decent set of copper jacketed pots. They heat more evenly than pure stainless and, well, they’re just better…
Really Good Flashlights
Sure, a flashlight usually spends most of it’s life mouldering away in your closet or your car trunk, so it’s tempting to go with the $3.99 Halloween Special two pack of flashlights complete with the cheap-o Ray-O-Vac nine-lives batteries, but chances are in an emergency they’d be almost useless.
A four “D” cell Maglite filled with Duracell batteries and the fancy krypton bulbs is pricey ($20 for the flashlight, $6 for batteries) but entirely worth it when you really need it. Also, when stranded on the side of a road in the middle of the night, you’ll feel better with a foot-and-a-half long three pound tube of metal in your hand.
Anybody got any more suggestions? I’m curious what folks who are more mechanical than me think of name brand vs. no name tools (Craftsman, Snap-On, Diamond, etc.).