Consumer Research

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Consumer Research

Post by eddieshore » Tue Aug 09 5:50 pm

(Mods feel free to move or help find a different home for this discussion if applicable)

Like everyone else, I like to make informed purchasing decisions and research various products and services to make sure I am getting the most out of my dollar so I thought a new topic might be a good forum to review and discuss our experiences...

---------

Me first...

We currently have Comcast for Phone and Internet. We also have DirecTV for our television.

We just had a girl from Century Link stop by and offer their 'new' fiber optic internet, phone and package it with DirecTV.

All in all saving us about $25/mo.

I like Comcast's internet, their phone service is too expensive IMO and the service level for both has been pretty good.

Question is I guess, does anyone have any experience with CenturyLink(Qwest)'s fiber optic internet service? like it? Don't? Etc.

Just looking for some feedback.

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Dances With Gophers » Tue Aug 09 7:39 pm

Whatever you do, stay the hell away from USI Wireless!!! :chainsaw:
Suddenly, it all makes sense: "ND produces enough sugarbeets that produce enough sugar to sweeten 27 billion gallons of Kool-Aid." ND Fun Facts :ahhh:

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by The Rube » Tue Aug 09 8:29 pm

This may also fall into the "dumb question" category, but why the need for a land line, if you have a cell phone (do you have a cell phone)? Just seems to me that you're paying more for something you don't need. Even in some apts (like mine) the door buzzer to let someone in can be connected to your cell phone, and a landline is not needed.

That being said, I've never had a major problem with Comcast (been with them for about 10 years now) and any minor problem I've had, it's been fixed very quickly, usually over the phone in a matter of minutes. $25/mo does add up, but I'd look at what you really need, and if you can get out of the contract (and how quickly, and how much it would cost to do so) if you are not happy about the service.
MNGophers29 wrote:When the wife asks, I will just tell her "Rube said it was ok"!! LOL!

When you tell somebody somethin', it depends on what part of the country you're standin' in... as to just how dumb you are.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Armadillo » Tue Aug 09 8:39 pm

We dumped our landline about five years ago, and haven't looked back. At the time, the only people who were calling it were our parents and cold callers.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Slap Shot » Tue Aug 09 8:52 pm

We have a land line because the price difference with increasing our cell bill to have the minutes we'd need vs. losing our, "Triple Play" discount with Comcast is negligible.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by eddieshore » Tue Aug 09 10:19 pm

The Rube wrote:This may also fall into the "dumb question" category, but why the need for a land line, if you have a cell phone (do you have a cell phone)? Just seems to me that you're paying more for something you don't need. Even in some apts (like mine) the door buzzer to let someone in can be connected to your cell phone, and a landline is not needed.

That being said, I've never had a major problem with Comcast (been with them for about 10 years now) and any minor problem I've had, it's been fixed very quickly, usually over the phone in a matter of minutes. $25/mo does add up, but I'd look at what you really need, and if you can get out of the contract (and how quickly, and how much it would cost to do so) if you are not happy about the service.


Not a dumb question at all, we actually did that several years ago but I couldn't stand having to have my phone on me all the time. With today's land line phones we have three handsets that are scattered throughout the house and for whatever reason we're just more comfortable with it. Maybe we'll revisit it again.

I guess the main intention of my initial post was to find out if anyone has experienced the fiber optic service and could compare it to cable in terms of internet.

I too have been happy with Comcast's service and am reluctant to make the switch but if the speed and reliability is there (as well as the service) there's an opportunity here to lock into pricing for 5 years and save at least $300 annually.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by The Rube » Tue Aug 09 11:15 pm

eddie: I'd say if it's worth the convenience/peace of mind, the cost, and the potential risk of service (and opting out of said service) then go for it. It sounds like you've analyzed the risks, and deemed them worthy of probably switching. That's a majority of any decision, if you ask me.
MNGophers29 wrote:When the wife asks, I will just tell her "Rube said it was ok"!! LOL!

When you tell somebody somethin', it depends on what part of the country you're standin' in... as to just how dumb you are.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Wed Aug 10 7:15 am

Be very careful, as I'm sure you are, about pricing and deals. Especially with communications companies. It may be insanely cheap for the first year but you may be required to sign a multyear contract with rate hikes.

Do what I did. Setup a spreadsheet. Find out how long the contract is for the new services and when the price escalations are and how much. Then track it out for three to five years.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Handyman » Wed Aug 10 10:46 am

He said he the price is locked in for 5 years and he would save $300 annually so it would seem he has done at least some figuring on this.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Wed Aug 10 6:58 pm

missed that part. Was reading on the phone.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by momo » Thu Aug 11 7:06 pm

Slap Shot wrote:We have a land line because the price difference with increasing our cell bill to have the minutes we'd need vs. losing our, "Triple Play" discount with Comcast is negligible.

We also have a land line, main reason is the kids, don't need every 6-12 year old in the neighborhood calling my cell to talk to my kids, and also the 911 service.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Dances With Gophers » Thu Aug 11 7:38 pm

Get a party line :)
Suddenly, it all makes sense: "ND produces enough sugarbeets that produce enough sugar to sweeten 27 billion gallons of Kool-Aid." ND Fun Facts :ahhh:

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Kelor » Fri Aug 12 6:15 pm

We have Ooma. It's fantastic.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by gopher_ears » Fri Aug 12 7:13 pm

Kelor wrote:We have Ooma. It's fantastic.

Ditto.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by eddieshore » Fri Aug 12 9:20 pm

gopher_ears wrote:
Kelor wrote:We have Ooma. It's fantastic.

Ditto.


Do either of you have the Premiere service?

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Kelor » Fri Aug 12 9:41 pm

I do. It's been pretty much flawless for 2 years.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by ex_goldy » Fri Aug 12 10:52 pm

I converted my home phone over to my cellular provider so it costs me $10/month and got a bluetooth gateway that connects into my home phone wiring. when the cell phone rings it rings the home phone. I don't need the answering machine anymore since the cell phone has it, and I can take it outside or anywhere if I want to.

Here's what I got. You can connect up to three cell phones to it and it will ring the home phone. I only use one.
http://www.myxlink.com/xlink_bt.aspx

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by GopherHockeyFan » Sun Aug 14 1:40 am

If it's important to you to retain a "home" number since you switched over to a cell phone, why not get a number from Google Voice and have the same service for free?

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Driftryder » Sun Aug 14 8:24 am

We ditched our land line about 3 years ago, it may not work for everyone but for us it's been great.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Sun Aug 28 6:52 pm

Cordless Drills/Drivers. I'm looking for something with:
-Good battery life (both the time between recharges and number of recharges)
-Bang for the buck (total cost isn't so much an issue as much as performance for the price)
-Not buying something that is WAY too much tool for the average user
-Features
-Overall durability
-Lithium, 18V or more

Here are the combos I'm considering (but I'm very much open to others).
DeWalt DCK265L
Milwaukee 2691-22
Makita LXT211

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by davescharf » Sun Aug 28 6:59 pm

dxmnkd316 wrote:Cordless Drills/Drivers. I'm looking for something with:
-Good battery life (both the time between recharges and number of recharges)
-Bang for the buck (total cost isn't so much an issue as much as performance for the price)
-Not buying something that is WAY too much tool for the average user
-Features
-Overall durability
-Lithium, 18V or more

Here are the combos I'm considering (but I'm very much open to others).
DeWalt DCK265L
Milwaukee 2691-22
Makita LXT211


I have a friend who's a pretty handy guy and he swears by Milwaukee tools.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by st8ofhockey » Sun Aug 28 7:10 pm

davescharf wrote:
dxmnkd316 wrote:Cordless Drills/Drivers. I'm looking for something with:
-Good battery life (both the time between recharges and number of recharges)
-Bang for the buck (total cost isn't so much an issue as much as performance for the price)
-Not buying something that is WAY too much tool for the average user
-Features
-Overall durability
-Lithium, 18V or more

Here are the combos I'm considering (but I'm very much open to others).
DeWalt DCK265L
Milwaukee 2691-22
Makita LXT211


I have a friend who's a pretty handy guy and he swears by Milwaukee tools.


Agreed. I have several Milwaukee products, as well as a few competitors products. Most days, I start a project with the DeWalt cordless, and get so fed up I forgo the convenience, pull out the extension cord and go for the Milwaukee. They are simply better made products. Makita and Ryobi are both garbage, especially their cordless products.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Sun Aug 28 7:28 pm

Hmm... Hadn't considered corded. I'll have to do some digging now.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by g-manpuck » Sun Aug 28 7:36 pm

The Milwaukee line of cordless products are much improved from their origins, but I am not endeared with them at all. I dislike Dewalt because they are just too overproduced and are prone to getting a lemon which you have to take back and just get another throw away. I have had several Makita's and still currently own the 18 volt Makita LCT200 drill and impact. I love the drill and it's power but the compact batteries have a short life to them. I ended up buying the LXT batteries to replace the LCT and I am much happier with their charge life and their useful life. So in short I would recommend the Makita LXT drill, in my mind it's a can't miss. The other brand I would have you look into is Porter Cable 18 volt drill, it's another brand that I trust highly and the only other brand of tool other than Makita in my arsenal of woodworking tools. My 2 cents...


Step away from the cords! Unless you plan on drilling 1/2" plate stainless steel it's just not necessary!
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by st8ofhockey » Sun Aug 28 7:53 pm

g_manpucker wrote:Step away from the cords! Unless you plan on drilling 1/2" plate stainless steel it's just not necessary!


Ever try drilling through a poured foundation wall with a cordless? You kill the battery before you've driven a single expansion anchor. The corded drills, on the other hand, go through masonry like butter. I say go for the product that does it right every time, even if it is overkill in some situations.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by The Rube » Sun Aug 28 7:55 pm

We sell Milwaukee and DeWalt, and Milwaukee seems to be more popular amongst our customers (non-retail, btw).
MNGophers29 wrote:When the wife asks, I will just tell her "Rube said it was ok"!! LOL!

When you tell somebody somethin', it depends on what part of the country you're standin' in... as to just how dumb you are.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Orion » Sun Aug 28 7:57 pm

st8ofhockey wrote:
g_manpucker wrote:Step away from the cords! Unless you plan on drilling 1/2" plate stainless steel it's just not necessary!


Ever try drilling through a poured foundation wall with a cordless? You kill the battery before you've driven a single expansion anchor. The corded drills, on the other hand, go through masonry like butter. I say go for the product that does it right every time, even if it is overkill in some situations.


It's really more a matter of the right tool for the job. For the price of them, every handy man should have a corded drill and a cordless.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Sun Aug 28 8:02 pm

There's about a 99% chance I will not touch my foundation without professional help. :D

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Beauner » Sun Aug 28 8:09 pm

My dad received a text message from Brightkite claiming he won a $1000 gift card from Best Buy and said he had to go to some website within 24 hours to claim his prize...

Now, to me, this is screaming of "SCAM SCAM SCAM," and I advised him not to do this, but did anybody else receive a message similar to this?
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by The Rube » Sun Aug 28 8:11 pm

Beauner wrote:My dad received a text message from Brightkite claiming he won a $1000 gift card from Best Buy and said he had to go to some website within 24 hours to claim his prize...

Now, to me, this is screaming of "SCAM SCAM SCAM," and I advised him not to do this, but did anybody else receive a message similar to this?


That's a scam. Total "phishing."
MNGophers29 wrote:When the wife asks, I will just tell her "Rube said it was ok"!! LOL!

When you tell somebody somethin', it depends on what part of the country you're standin' in... as to just how dumb you are.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by davescharf » Sun Aug 28 8:31 pm

dxmnkd316 wrote:There's about a 99% chance I will not touch my foundation without professional help. :D


Even though you're probably right, we decided to hang some new shelves in our laundry room which involved drilling holes into cinder blocks. The lesson I learned after that episode is that a corded drill is the only thing worth a damn when it comes to masonry work. My buddy brought his Milwaukee corded drill over (after I went through 3 cordless batteries) and we were done in 15 minutes.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by g-manpuck » Sun Aug 28 8:36 pm

st8ofhockey wrote:
g_manpucker wrote:Step away from the cords! Unless you plan on drilling 1/2" plate stainless steel it's just not necessary!


Ever try drilling through a poured foundation wall with a cordless? You kill the battery before you've driven a single expansion anchor. The corded drills, on the other hand, go through masonry like butter. I say go for the product that does it right every time, even if it is overkill in some situations.

True, there is only one drill for that job...Hilti makes a hammer drills in all sizes for that type of a job, and they all have cords! Most homeowners wouldn't be drilling their foundation for anchors, unless they are already professionals. So, let me rephrase my sentence...Unless you are a professional in the construction world stay away from drills with cords. If you are only a homeowner who wants a drill to do the simple projects and maybe a little more a worthwhile cordless drill will do all those necessary tasks without having to drag a cord around your house. Case in point, if you wanted to screw a bird house to your fence at the back of your yard.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by g-manpuck » Sun Aug 28 8:41 pm

davescharf wrote:
dxmnkd316 wrote:There's about a 99% chance I will not touch my foundation without professional help. :D


Even though you're probably right, we decided to hang some new shelves in our laundry room which involved drilling holes into cinder blocks. The lesson I learned after that episode is that a corded drill is the only thing worth a damn when it comes to masonry work. My buddy brought his Milwaukee corded drill over (after I went through 3 cordless batteries) and we were done in 15 minutes.

Was your drill a hammer drill? I am assuming so, so I am guessing you were trying to drill 1/2" holes or larger? If you are drilling holes that large then yes a corded drill is the way to go. If you are only drilling 5/32" holes for Tapcon screws a 18 volt cordless hammer drill would do the job just fine, been there and done that.

Sorry to get on my soapbox but I am a BIG proponent of not underbuying when it comes to power tools. Know what tools you need for the job because if you try to just get by you will waste more time and money than if you would have just spent less time and a little more money to buy the right tool for the job.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Tee09 » Sun Aug 28 8:58 pm

g_manpucker wrote:Sorry to get on my soapbox but I am a BIG proponent of not underbuying when it comes to power tools. Know what tools you need for the job because if you try to just get by you will waste more time and money than if you would have just spent less time and a little more money to buy the right tool for the job.


You sound like my wife talking about shoes. "This pair of shoes will last forever and your crappy pair will be done next year!" At first I thought it was just that she likes buying expensive crap (oh no!) but she's actually been proven right over time.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by davescharf » Sun Aug 28 9:36 pm

g_manpucker wrote:
davescharf wrote:
dxmnkd316 wrote:There's about a 99% chance I will not touch my foundation without professional help. :D


Even though you're probably right, we decided to hang some new shelves in our laundry room which involved drilling holes into cinder blocks. The lesson I learned after that episode is that a corded drill is the only thing worth a damn when it comes to masonry work. My buddy brought his Milwaukee corded drill over (after I went through 3 cordless batteries) and we were done in 15 minutes.

Was your drill a hammer drill? I am assuming so, so I am guessing you were trying to drill 1/2" holes or larger? If you are drilling holes that large then yes a corded drill is the way to go. If you are only drilling 5/32" holes for Tapcon screws a 18 volt cordless hammer drill would do the job just fine, been there and done that.

Sorry to get on my soapbox but I am a BIG proponent of not underbuying when it comes to power tools. Know what tools you need for the job because if you try to just get by you will waste more time and money than if you would have just spent less time and a little more money to buy the right tool for the job.


His was a hammer drill...mine wasn't. He has a cordless too but just brought the corded one over. I have tools that work for most of the 'easy' stuff but otherwise I just talk to him because I just don't do a lot of hardcore handywork
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by eddieshore » Mon Aug 29 11:04 am

davescharf wrote:
dxmnkd316 wrote:Cordless Drills/Drivers. I'm looking for something with:
-Good battery life (both the time between recharges and number of recharges)
-Bang for the buck (total cost isn't so much an issue as much as performance for the price)
-Not buying something that is WAY too much tool for the average user
-Features
-Overall durability
-Lithium, 18V or more

Here are the combos I'm considering (but I'm very much open to others).
DeWalt DCK265L
Milwaukee 2691-22
Makita LXT211


I have a friend who's a pretty handy guy and he swears by Milwaukee tools.


Late to the party here but my contractor likes Milwaukee for drills/drivers. For myself this spring I purchased a 12V M12 Milwaukee Drill Driver on his recommendation and I friggin' love it.

Your needs may be greater and justify the 18V choice but for me the 12V is perfect.

I took apart the boards from my outdoor rink, dismantled an old deck with buried screws in swollen wood, and used it to put in the new one. It's light and the battery life is solid. When I purchased mine from ACME Tool in Plymouth, the purchase price was a few dollars less than Home Depot and they had a promotion running where I got a free battery as well. I mention ACME because their service is outstanding, their prices are fair and they're only in the tool business.

$.02 done.

dxmnkd316

Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Thu Sep 08 5:44 pm

Ok. Step one is complete. Step two:

Better to buy the cheap Milwaukee/DeWalt/etc. bits from Home Depot and replace them as they break or buy a good set?

As a follow-up, who makes a good bit set? These will be used almost exclusively in wood (I can't think of a metal or any other material I'll need them for at this point). So I probably don't need an exotic coating/material.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by g-manpuck » Thu Sep 08 6:56 pm

dxmnkd316 wrote:Ok. Step one is complete. Step two:

Better to buy the cheap Milwaukee/DeWalt/etc. bits from Home Depot and replace them as they break or buy a good set?

As a follow-up, who makes a good bit set? These will be used almost exclusively in wood (I can't think of a metal or any other material I'll need them for at this point). So I probably don't need an exotic coating/material.

Are you talking your run of the mill drill bit for wood or are you looking at forstner bits or spade bits? At Home Depot you can't go wrong with Irwin products. DeWalt bits are cheap and not worth it. Milwaukee bits are pretty good if you buy the higher price set. Like with most tools you get what you pay for.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Orion » Thu Sep 08 8:54 pm

dxmnkd316 wrote:Ok. Step one is complete. Step two:

Better to buy the cheap Milwaukee/DeWalt/etc. bits from Home Depot and replace them as they break or buy a good set?

As a follow-up, who makes a good bit set? These will be used almost exclusively in wood (I can't think of a metal or any other material I'll need them for at this point). So I probably don't need an exotic coating/material.


The type of bit is more important than the brand. HSS (high speed steel) is good for general purpose. A good carbide tipped bit will last damn near forever in wood. Don't buy a solid carbide bit for use in a hand drill. You'll snap the bits pretty quick.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Fri Sep 09 5:12 pm

Run of the mill, 99.9% of the time through wood.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Orion » Fri Sep 09 7:46 pm

Anyone have any thoughts on really good kitchen knives? I'm trying to decide on Wusthof or Shun?

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Tee09 » Fri Sep 09 8:14 pm

Orion wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on really good kitchen knives? I'm trying to decide on Wusthof or Shun?


We have had some Wusthof knives for awhile, and we really like them. They seem to hold their edge pretty well. Don't know anything about Shun.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by davescharf » Fri Sep 09 9:46 pm

Orion wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on really good kitchen knives? I'm trying to decide on Wusthof or Shun?


Everything I've been told about knives has always been Wustof or Henckels. So if you've elminated Henckels then that tells you what I'd give my vote towards.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Greyeagle » Fri Sep 09 10:19 pm

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by streakygopher » Sat Sep 10 12:58 am

davescharf wrote:
Orion wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on really good kitchen knives? I'm trying to decide on Wusthof or Shun?


Everything I've been told about knives has always been Wustof or Henckels. So if you've elminated Henckels then that tells you what I'd give my vote towards.

Wustof has always been good for me. I own several Benchmade knives that I use for other things, and they make a kitchen set (wicked expensive though!). I also have a couple Chicago Cutlery knives...even though they are lower end, they ain't bad.

I've figured out that the most important thing is to keep them sharp. Get yourself a high end sharpener and you can make any knife work.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Orion » Sat Sep 10 8:07 am

streakygopher wrote:
davescharf wrote:
Orion wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on really good kitchen knives? I'm trying to decide on Wusthof or Shun?


Everything I've been told about knives has always been Wustof or Henckels. So if you've elminated Henckels then that tells you what I'd give my vote towards.

Wustof has always been good for me. I own several Benchmade knives that I use for other things, and they make a kitchen set (wicked expensive though!). I also have a couple Chicago Cutlery knives...even though they are lower end, they ain't bad.

I've figured out that the most important thing is to keep them sharp. Get yourself a high end sharpener and you can make any knife work.


I've got a set of Chicago Cutlery knives now, but the steel is crap so it won't keep an edge that I put on it long. I may go with Wusthof. I think I like the heavier feel of the western style knives over the asian style knives.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Kelly Red » Sat Sep 10 11:51 am

Orion wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on really good kitchen knives? I'm trying to decide on Wusthof or Shun?
Wusthof all the way for me. An investment that you will be able to own the rest of your life. Did you know you can take your knives to the meat department of any Lunds/Byerlys and they will sharpen them for free?? They do it in 24 hours. I take my knives in at least 2-3 times a year for them to sharpen and I keep them honed w/ a steel.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Orion » Sat Sep 10 6:24 pm

Kelly Red wrote:
Orion wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on really good kitchen knives? I'm trying to decide on Wusthof or Shun?
Wusthof all the way for me. An investment that you will be able to own the rest of your life. Did you know you can take your knives to the meat department of any Lunds/Byerlys and they will sharpen them for free?? They do it in 24 hours. I take my knives in at least 2-3 times a year for them to sharpen and I keep them honed w/ a steel.

That I did not know. Thanks for the tip :good2:

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by GopherHockeyFan » Sat Sep 10 9:08 pm

dxmnkd316 wrote:Ok. Step one is complete. Step two:

Better to buy the cheap Milwaukee/DeWalt/etc. bits from Home Depot and replace them as they break or buy a good set?

As a follow-up, who makes a good bit set? These will be used almost exclusively in wood (I can't think of a metal or any other material I'll need them for at this point). So I probably don't need an exotic coating/material.


Sounds like you already made your purchase but for anyone else in the market tale a look at the line Panasonic puts out. I have had mine over 10 years and will never buy another brand.

http://www.7corners.com/catalog/index.p ... ter_id=150

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by davescharf » Sat Nov 05 5:24 pm

Does anyone here have a Weber gas grill here? I know their charcoal grills are pretty much the gold standard, but don't know much about their reputation for gas grills. I'm looking for a new one and probably limiting myself to $500 or $600.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Sat Nov 05 6:10 pm

Their top line (Genesis) is excellent from everything I've heard. If you're willing to pay top of the line prices.

If you ask me, and most people do (Simpsons? Eh? Eh?), I'd day stick with the weber performer. Best aspects of gas and charcoal. Worth EVERY penny.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by MNGophers29 » Sat Nov 05 6:45 pm

dxmnkd316 wrote:Their top line (Genesis) is excellent from everything I've heard. If you're willing to pay top of the line prices.

If you ask me, and most people do (Simpsons? Eh? Eh?), I'd day stick with the weber performer. Best aspects of gas and charcoal. Worth EVERY penny.

Their top line is the Summit Series. The entry level Summit starts around $1299. We (HD) carry a stainless steel one and a painted one in black. It has a bigger grilling surface, more BTU's etc. Genesis is their run of the mill homeowner line. The entry level is the Spirit series. Grills are a lot of fluff nowadays. You pay for the rotisserie, lights, side burners, fridges, ovens, etc on gas grills. Those options just make the cheap grills more appealing to customers.

I own a Weber Genesis E-320 (HD carries the E-310 now) the only difference being no sideburner on the E-310. In my opinion, most people don't use it. Anyway, it retails for about $649.

IMHO, another option that is over-rated on grills is the "all stainless steel" option. Stainless steel should only be on the lid, shelves, etc. Stainless is not a good option for grates. Stainless does not distribute the heat properly so if you are finicky about your steaks, burgers and chicken being cooked right, my opinion has always been to stay away from them. Sure, they last forever, but I have had mine with enamel coated cast ironfor 5 years and my entire grills looks brand new.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by MNGophers29 » Sat Nov 05 6:55 pm

GopherHockeyFan wrote:
dxmnkd316 wrote:Ok. Step one is complete. Step two:

Better to buy the cheap Milwaukee/DeWalt/etc. bits from Home Depot and replace them as they break or buy a good set?

As a follow-up, who makes a good bit set? These will be used almost exclusively in wood (I can't think of a metal or any other material I'll need them for at this point). So I probably don't need an exotic coating/material.


Sounds like you already made your purchase but for anyone else in the market tale a look at the line Panasonic puts out. I have had mine over 10 years and will never buy another brand.

http://www.7corners.com/catalog/index.p ... ter_id=150

As someone who owns 7 drills, 6 cordless and 1 corded (bit of a tool nut), most cordless tools have the same insides to their batteries. You have to dig deeper. Is it Ni-Cd (Nickel Cadmium), it is crap and has a memory, this is the material used in the old batteries 10 years ago. The next technology was Ni-MH (Nickel Metahydride) and I believe Makita was the first to introduce this technology. Now there is Litium Ion which does last longer, both in use and charges as any other battery. the key with Lithium Ion is to not drain the power in the batteries as it will cause the charge life to shorten dramatically. The other thing to take into consideration is the size of the batteries. Compact batteries have a much shorter use time on each charge.

My 18V Lithium Ion compact drill does not last as long as my Ni-Cd 12v drill from 10 years ago. I am a big fan of Ridgid because all my other tools are Ridgid and I have had good luck with them, both tools performance and any warranty issues. Hilti makes a damn fine tool too. I think of the others (DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Panasonic, etc), DeWalt is severely overated. Makita has always made a great tool and still does.

But regarding your accessories, you should absolutely buy them at Home Depot! :biggrin2:
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Viking » Mon Nov 07 11:09 am

davescharf wrote:Does anyone here have a Weber gas grill here? I know their charcoal grills are pretty much the gold standard, but don't know much about their reputation for gas grills. I'm looking for a new one and probably limiting myself to $500 or $600.

I've had mine for over 11 years and it still works great. The only thing I have had to do to it is replace the grates.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Beauner » Mon Nov 07 11:17 am

Viking wrote:
davescharf wrote:Does anyone here have a Weber gas grill here? I know their charcoal grills are pretty much the gold standard, but don't know much about their reputation for gas grills. I'm looking for a new one and probably limiting myself to $500 or $600.

I've had mine for over 11 years and it still works great. The only thing I have had to do to it is replace the grates.


I think we had a Weber grill for 10 years. We got a new one about 2 years ago, not because there was anything wrong with the Weber, but because the new grill was a gift IIRC. We ended up selling our Weber grill to one of my college buddies and he still uses it on a weekly basis.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by DrunkHockeyGuy » Mon Nov 07 11:21 am

Ever since Qwest got bought by century link my internet speed has been a disaster. It takes me twice as long to download a "movie."
Apparently, I am a little bitch, oh the horror.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by SouthTexGopher » Mon Nov 07 8:26 pm

DrunkHockeyGuy wrote:Ever since Qwest got bought by century link my internet speed has been a disaster. It takes me twice as long to download a "movie."


We have Century Link at the office.

Worst.Service.Ever.

We work lots of weekends during our busy season AND our accounting and payroll systems are web-based. Century Link routinely shuts off our internet access on weekends to perform "service."

Really?
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by dxmnkd316 » Mon Nov 07 8:29 pm

MNGophers29 wrote:
dxmnkd316 wrote:Their top line (Genesis) is excellent from everything I've heard. If you're willing to pay top of the line prices.

If you ask me, and most people do (Simpsons? Eh? Eh?), I'd day stick with the weber performer. Best aspects of gas and charcoal. Worth EVERY penny.

Their top line is the Summit Series. The entry level Summit starts around $1299. We (HD) carry a stainless steel one and a painted one in black. It has a bigger grilling surface, more BTU's etc. Genesis is their run of the mill homeowner line. The entry level is the Spirit series. Grills are a lot of fluff nowadays. You pay for the rotisserie, lights, side burners, fridges, ovens, etc on gas grills. Those options just make the cheap grills more appealing to customers.

I own a Weber Genesis E-320 (HD carries the E-310 now) the only difference being no sideburner on the E-310. In my opinion, most people don't use it. Anyway, it retails for about $649.

IMHO, another option that is over-rated on grills is the "all stainless steel" option. Stainless steel should only be on the lid, shelves, etc. Stainless is not a good option for grates. Stainless does not distribute the heat properly so if you are finicky about your steaks, burgers and chicken being cooked right, my opinion has always been to stay away from them. Sure, they last forever, but I have had mine with enamel coated cast ironfor 5 years and my entire grills looks brand new.


That's the one. Summit. I don't know why I said Genesis. :oops:

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Golden FE Ranger » Thu Nov 10 10:37 am

Who is using Sonos and what can you tell me? Thanks. :popcorn:
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Idontknow » Sun Nov 13 8:33 pm

Thinking about buying a new 2-stage snowblower.

Anyone have input? I've heard Toro is the best and will always have parts available, but they are also the most expensive.
How about Ariens or Husqvarna?

What about bargain basement Yard Machines models?

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by frozen4champs » Sun Nov 13 9:11 pm

Idontknow wrote:Thinking about buying a new 2-stage snowblower.

Anyone have input? I've heard Toro is the best and will always have parts available, but they are also the most expensive.
How about Ariens or Husqvarna?

What about bargain basement Yard Machines models?


I own a MTD 615 snowblower. It's part of the Yard Machine family. Have owned it since 2003. Bought it at Sam's club and paid around $500 for it. No problems with it at all. Has powered through every storm we have ever had.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by HockeyBum » Sun Nov 13 9:14 pm

Idontknow wrote:Thinking about buying a new 2-stage snowblower.

Anyone have input? I've heard Toro is the best and will always have parts available, but they are also the most expensive.
How about Ariens or Husqvarna?

What about bargain basement Yard Machines models?


I bought a 2-stage 24" Ariens Sno-Tek last year. It works very well and I have no complaints. Unfortunately this is my first snowblower, so I don't have anything else to compare it to.

EDIT: One thing I really like about mine is that it has a metal chute. A lot of them now have plastic.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Beauner » Sun Nov 13 9:29 pm

Idontknow wrote:Thinking about buying a new 2-stage snowblower.

Anyone have input? I've heard Toro is the best and will always have parts available, but they are also the most expensive.
How about Ariens or Husqvarna?

What about bargain basement Yard Machines models?


We have a Toro that we bought used from a family friend that bought a bigger one when they moved north. Ours has to be 15 years old and is still alive and kickin'. It has been a great machine for us.

If you can find a metal chute I'd recommend that. I've heard from multiple people that I trust quite a bit when it comes to tools etc. that the metal chutes are far superior than the plastic ones.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by streakygopher » Sun Nov 13 10:12 pm

I have a John Deere track drive 8 hp...have had it for 18 years. It's just now starting to give me a little trouble but mostly related to the carb, which can be expected. I've taken the carb out once and cleaned the ports and it's back on its feet. It has a metal chute but some idiot designed the turning gear as plastic instead of metal. Predictably, it failed but I credit JD for coming out with a metal replacement. Other than that, no trouble. Before the JD I had an Ariens, which was also good but too small when I moved to the burbs. NEVER had problems with gears, track drive, engine.

Whatever you do, don't get a sidewalk sweeper style. They're worthless in deep or wet snow. I would not settle for less than 8 HP 2-stage w/ a metal chute. They all use the same engines - Briggs, Kohler, Tecumseh - and honestly I think they're all good.

I think if you examine the spec sheets you'll find that the cheaper blowers use lighter gauge materials, plastic and maybe even a lighter duty motor. I've come to believe you get what you pay for in this world and if you want to buy a reliable 15-year machine, I'd stay away from these brands. If you get into the higher HP you may want to put electric start on it...it's great.

John Deere, Ariens, Simplicity, Snapper, Toro: All safe bets. If I were in the market for a new one, I'm guessing I'd be after an Ariens or Toro.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by davescharf » Sun Nov 13 10:55 pm

We bought a little 22" Ariens two-stage last year from Home Depot (I think we spent under $600) and the interesting thing about it is that it has a Subaru motor in it. That said, it handled two 18" snowfalls without much problem and the only time I needed the electric start was when I was testing to see if it worked. I've been very happy with it and am hoping to have it for a really long time.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by streakygopher » Sun Nov 13 11:16 pm

davescharf wrote:We bought a little 22" Ariens two-stage last year from Home Depot (I think we spent under $600) and the interesting thing about it is that it has a Subaru motor in it. That said, it handled two 18" snowfalls without much problem and the only time I needed the electric start was when I was testing to see if it worked. I've been very happy with it and am hoping to have it for a really long time.

Electric start comes in handy when A) it's really cold and B) when the machine gets a little older and the carb gets finicky.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by george » Mon Nov 14 9:04 am

streakygopher wrote:
davescharf wrote:We bought a little 22" Ariens two-stage last year from Home Depot (I think we spent under $600) and the interesting thing about it is that it has a Subaru motor in it. That said, it handled two 18" snowfalls without much problem and the only time I needed the electric start was when I was testing to see if it worked. I've been very happy with it and am hoping to have it for a really long time.

Electric start comes in handy when A) it's really cold and B) when the machine gets a little older and the carb gets finicky.

And when the operator has rotator cuff surgery! :mrgreen: or when the operator gets a little older and gets finkicky.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by streakygopher » Mon Nov 14 9:46 am

davescharf wrote:We bought a little 22" Ariens two-stage last year from Home Depot (I think we spent under $600) and the interesting thing about it is that it has a Subaru motor in it. That said, it handled two 18" snowfalls without much problem and the only time I needed the electric start was when I was testing to see if it worked. I've been very happy with it and am hoping to have it for a really long time.

Is your machine a 5 HP? I had a 5 HP for years w/o electric start and it was fine. When I went to the 8 HP JD w/ the Tecumseh, it was difficult to crank it up when cold...in fact, I bought it without electric start and had to install it later.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by eddieshore » Mon Nov 14 10:14 am

I've been doing a lot of research on snowblowers lately getting ready to purchase as well and found that the 'plastic vs metal' chute is not really much of an issue. From what I've been reading, most of the complaints are design/material related problems on cheap machines and a lot of those complaints are coming from years ago when many of the companies were making a change to plastic on some of their models. I've read forums with guys discussing the same issue and there are guys who've had plastic chutes for over a decade without issue.

In the end, all I'm saying is don't let a plastic chute weigh on your decision.

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Zwak » Mon Nov 14 10:51 am

I bought a Sears Craftsman 26" two stage last year and really like it. The one feature I really like is the ability to adjust the angle of the chute from the "handlebars". On a lot of models you can only turn the chute left or right from there, not the angle up or down. On mine you can do both. It was one of the cheapest models that offered that feature.

I too like electric start
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by davescharf » Mon Nov 14 11:18 am

streakygopher wrote:
davescharf wrote:We bought a little 22" Ariens two-stage last year from Home Depot (I think we spent under $600) and the interesting thing about it is that it has a Subaru motor in it. That said, it handled two 18" snowfalls without much problem and the only time I needed the electric start was when I was testing to see if it worked. I've been very happy with it and am hoping to have it for a really long time.

Is your machine a 5 HP? I had a 5 HP for years w/o electric start and it was fine. When I went to the 8 HP JD w/ the Tecumseh, it was difficult to crank it up when cold...in fact, I bought it without electric start and had to install it later.


The new ones aren't sold in terms of horsepower. All of them are sold in terms of the size of the engine. I think the one we bought was a 179cc if I recall and it's able to throw snow all the way across the driveway.

I agree with Zwak that the ability to adjust the chute would be really nice, but I wasn't willing to spend the $100 or more to get that capability.

For those interested, Sears I know is having a couple good Black Friday deals on snowblowers.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by eddieshore » Mon Nov 14 12:00 pm

I've wanted a snowblower forever as we have a fairly long sloped driveway but could never afford one. My neighbor has always been nice enough to take care of it and every time he did a little piece of my manhood disappeared.

This was the year I was going to bite the bullet and purchase one. Alas, just a week ago, my mother offered up their snowblower in exchange for some work I've done for them. She said it's two years old and only used a couple times... they've decided to reside in AZ over the winters and no longer have a need for it.

The clouds clears, the angel's trumplets blared and I think I saw my driveway smile.

So I will be the proud owner of a Cub Cadet 726 TDE track-driven snowblower complete with hand warmers, electric start, and a cab enclosure... I didn't ask if it had cup holders.

Now watch, it won't snow all year.

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streakygopher
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by streakygopher » Mon Nov 14 12:02 pm

eddieshore wrote:I've wanted a snowblower forever as we have a fairly long sloped driveway but could never afford one. My neighbor has always been nice enough to take care of it and every time he did a little piece of my manhood disappeared.

This was the year I was going to bite the bullet and purchase one. Alas, just a week ago, my mother offered up their snowblower in exchange for some work I've done for them. She said it's two years old and only used a couple times... they've decided to reside in AZ over the winters and no longer have a need for it.

The clouds clears, the angel's trumplets blared and I think I saw my driveway smile.

So I will be the proud owner of a Cub Cadet 726 TDE track-driven snowblower complete with hand warmers, electric start, and a cab enclosure... I didn't ask if it had cup holders.

Now watch, it won't snow all year.

$hit, that's man utopia right there. :good2:

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Re: Consumer Research

Post by Zwak » Mon Nov 14 12:51 pm

eddieshore wrote:I've wanted a snowblower forever as we have a fairly long sloped driveway but could never afford one. My neighbor has always been nice enough to take care of it and every time he did a little piece of my manhood disappeared.

This was the year I was going to bite the bullet and purchase one. Alas, just a week ago, my mother offered up their snowblower in exchange for some work I've done for them. She said it's two years old and only used a couple times... they've decided to reside in AZ over the winters and no longer have a need for it.

The clouds clears, the angel's trumplets blared and I think I saw my driveway smile.

So I will be the proud owner of a Cub Cadet 726 TDE track-driven snowblower complete with hand warmers, electric start, and a cab enclosure... I didn't ask if it had cup holders.

Now watch, it won't snow all year.


I was thinking this same thing last year. I bought a new snowblower on sale last year and all my friends were telling me that I would be "cursed" and not be able to use it due to lack of snowfall. Fortunately, it turned out just the opposite.
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Re: Consumer Research

Post by george » Mon Nov 14 12:53 pm

eddieshore wrote:I've wanted a snowblower forever as we have a fairly long sloped driveway but could never afford one. My neighbor has always been nice enough to take care of it and every time he did a little piece of my manhood disappeared.

This was the year I was going to bite the bullet and purchase one. Alas, just a week ago, my mother offered up their snowblower in exchange for some work I've done for them. She said it's two years old and only used a couple times... they've decided to reside in AZ over the winters and no longer have a need for it.

The clouds clears, the angel's trumplets blared and I think I saw my driveway smile.

So I will be the proud owner of a Cub Cadet 726 TDE track-driven snowblower complete with hand warmers, electric start, and a cab enclosure... I didn't ask if it had cup holders.

Now watch, it won't snow all year.


You can go get the aftermarket cup holders. Sounds like a sweet machine though.

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