Tuesday, February 7, 2017

KitchenAid: My contribution to the scrap metal drive

Not so long ago we bought a KitchenAid can opener.  It has proved to be a huge disappointment.  It won't close on the can, the cutter skips over the lid, the gear doesn't propel it forward.  I've tried cleaning it numerous times, but it goes back to its old ways. Recently, my wife dropped it in the recycling bin with the attached note.  She'd had enough.  So, I took it to the shop and deposited with my scrap metal, which I donate to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore when I've accumulated enough (they sell it to scrap dealers).

One of the purposes of this blog is to mourn the loss of products that we once used to be proud of.  Companies used to compete with each other for sales by making a better product.  Now, since most of the formerly independent brand names are all owned by the same corporate entity, profits are made instead by sacrificing quality. KitchenAid is a perfect example of this.  The name was first used in 1918 by the Hobart Manufacturing Company, but has been owned since 1986 by the ginormous conglomerate Whirlpool, and is probably made in China.

If you google "KitchenAid can openers suck" you'll find that I'm not alone in my opinion.  In fact, the most common advice to people asking where they can actually find a good can opener today is to try the thrift stores, because the old but good stuff ends up there. 

As someone I know recently observed, "We're getting really good at making things badly."

Progress is fine...


Steve said...

I'm sure glad that I bought my US made Swing-A-Way can opener before the company was sold and manufacturing moved to China. It is sad to see how lightly and poorly built the modern versions are.
My old can opener works as well as the day I bought it (1998), and it will probably last longer than I will.

Unknown said...

I bought a Kitchenaid opener recently because I thought, "This time I will buy something with quality, rather than the cheap junk I have bought in the past."

Well, it was a nice, but naive, thought. I will take your advice and check out our local Sally Ann for a vintage can opener that might actually work.