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Shop Vac Flaws Grind Use to a Halt

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hobby shop equipment
Rob Spiegel   6/27/2012 3:11:35 PM
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Sounds good, but wow, the wheel assembly broke within a few months. that's not so great. What is it with the products we're seeing these days?

dnason@kicmail.com
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Re: Poor quality due to high turnover
dnason@kicmail.com   7/17/2012 11:06:47 AM
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As a follow on to this, my son (who had given me the vacuum this posting refered to) noticed a shiny new Stanley vacuum at our house. I don't know how long it will last but it had the features we wanted, namely an additional dust bag. When I told him that I paid $29.95 at Costco for this, he told me that the Shop Vac (yes it was that brand) cost him considerably more and he bought it because of the name brand. I bought the Stanley for 2 reasons, neither having to do with the name: 1. - it was light to make it easier for my wife to roll it throught the house, and 2. it had the features we wanted (dust bag, floor sweeper). I hope it lasts longer than the Shop Vac it replaced.

One comment I would add to some of the postings about slapping a known name on a Chinese import. I wonder if that is the best avenue for a company to take. People buy into name brands equating them to quality, get disappointed as I did with the Shop Vac, and the name is cheapened. I hope my Stanley doesn't follow the same route although I have lower expectations for this.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Poor quality due to high turnover
Rob Spiegel   7/17/2012 12:04:29 PM
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Dave, this story keeps showing up again and again in the Made by Monkeys blog. Once-great brands are showing up with problems. From shop vacs to dishwashers, washing machines, and fridges. Buy it in the 70s or 80s and it lasts 30 years. Buy the same brand now and it breaks in two years.

This has got to have some impact on the brand name. I would think it's expensive to to maintain a strong brand name. I would think it's costly to let cheap products erode that name.

wacdn
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Similar story
wacdn   7/23/2012 11:04:17 AM
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I bought a Shop Vac from Wal-Mart in 2004 that had similar problems from wet/dry use in my basement and garage. It lasted about 3 years before the motor whined loudly and popped the fusible link. I was unimpressed with the alunimum fan and clip design, as well as the 3 "missing" Plastite screws between the motor housing and the top cover. I was least impressed with the open wire fusible link that showed signs of corrosion on the remaining terminals. I'm used to seeing encapsulated fusible links or TCOs in kettles, coffee makers, and toasters, but this fusible link design truly incorporated planned obsolescence.

I sprayed the motor with silicone spray and modified the top cover to accept a circuit breaker to replace the fusible link. After another year or so of reduced output and noisy service, the motor finally seized and I threw it in the trash. I will not buy another Shop Vac brand vacuum.

I'm not against cost-cutting or re-branding. I'm happy to find a good compromise between cost and performance, and some companies do a better job at striking the balance than others.

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