Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Crappy Products du Jour

In no particular order...

1) Kobalt tile and glass drill bits

Had to run a line for an ice maker from behind a kitchen fridge, through a tiled floor to the copper water line in the basement below. I knew the bit I had was too small (not to mention, I had no idea where it was at the time), so I grabbed a set of these (similar bit here) of bits at my local Lowe's(tandards).

For the record, when making such purchases, I will always check to see where the product was made, and opt for the products made in the USA, or at least made in a free, western nation, the name of which doesn't rhyme with vagina.

Needless to say, 98.3% (by my estimates) of all the items for sale at Lowe's, including the aforementioned drill bits, do not come from such a place.

These things are junk. I couldn't get one hole in one tile before snapping the heads off of two of these bits in the process. The last time I bought a bit for ceramic tile, it was at a Home Depot about 10 years ago (a Dewalt bit, I think). That one bit made short work of every piece of tile I took it to.

2. In-Sink-Erator Hot Water Dispenser - Model H-WAVESN-SS

There's nothing wrong with this product from a functionality point of view. You hit the lever and really friggin' hot water comes out. It's the design and marketing of the thing that suck to high heavens.

Like many faucets, there's a threaded shank that extends from the base of the fixture, through the countertop, where it is secured with a nut of some kind. Simple enough, right.

Not quite.

If you are installing this hot water dispenser in a granite countertop, or any countertop thicker than 3/4" (i.e. 99.2% of all new countertops) you will need to buy an extension for the threaded shank (see pic below) that will set you back another $17 or so. And, even then, if your countertop is less than 1.5" thick (again, MOST new countertops), the "collar" on the extension will extend below the bottom surface of the countertop, preventing the nut from tightening to the surface all the way. I had to make a 1/2" thick wooden spacer to fit over this collar in order to install this fixture securely.

An unintentional design flaw, or a scumbaggy way of juicing the customer for an extra 17 bucks? I know my answer.

3. Hitachi Quick Change Countersink

Nothing wrong with these countersinks, per se, but the drill bits that come with 'em are about as strong as Hillary Clinton's commitment to preserving Americans' gun rights. Any guesses as to where these aren't made?

These pieces of crap should come with a warning label telling the user not to use on anything harder then white pine.

4. What happened to Kohler?

(hint: rhymes with "made in china")

In the span of one week, I had two Kohler products that had to be returned for defects. One was a one-piece toilet with a crack in the bottom, that leaked on every flush. The other was a Forte kitchen faucet with a bad valve inside that dripped. I used to consider Kohler a reputable brand name. Now, not so much.

That's all for now.

I'll have more later, I'm sure.

And, remember, China is, and always has been, the enemy.