of tools and appliances

I was going to buy a chainsaw this weekend. But now, I’m buying a washing machine.

There’s a small tree in our front yard that needs to go. Just got the postcard from the city saying brush collection is coming up, and what with the 3-day weekend upon me I figured now was the right time to get that tree cut down. In the past I’ve borrowed chainsaws, but it’s come up enough and I’ve had enough offer from friends for firewood if I cut it myself so… time to buy a chainsaw I can call my own. STIHL appears to be the top of the heap, with something like their MS 290 Farm Boss model. But that also appears to be overkill for my needs, at least right now, so I’m thinking of instead of a Husqvarna or an Echo CS400, which should get me by for my needs and not cost me a fortune. When I end up living out in the country, I’ll get the STIHL. Either way, something greater than a 40cc engine, 16″ chain, should be enough for my needs right now.

So while I was researching chainsaws, the washing machine repairman came. We’ve been hearing this god-awful noise during the spin cycle, but not always. He wasn’t 100% sure of the exact problem, but he could tell the problem was going to involve the tub, which would have been 3-4 hours worth of labor, then parts, and he said it just wasn’t worth it for us to do it: it’d cost more to fix it than to just buy a new one. :-( ¬†After he left, I hit Google just to find the specs on the washer (a Kenmore Elite HE3t, purchased 8 years ago), and to my shock… I found lots of people having what appears to be the same problem. YouTube videos of the same noise, of people disassembling their washer, forum postings, you name it. It all seemed to point back to the “spider”, which is this bracket on the back of the tub, failing due to corrosion. Hrm. When you see this much failure, you have to wonder about design flaw. I did see some stuff about class action lawsuits, but those tend to only serve to make the lawyer rich.

Either way tho, I’m out one washing machine. And so, the chainsaw has to go on hold (going to borrow one) and it’s time to go shopping for a washing machine. Quick searching last night seems to have good results for Samsung, and a few people I know own one and have had positive results with it. I’ve had more than enough experience with various brands to know that in some way they all suck and have problems, but I’ve never tried anything from Samsung before. People who use their stuff seem to be generally happy so, why not… it’ll be an adventure.

If you have any particular product recommendations (chainsaw or washer) post ‘em now. I mean, sucks that I have to buy a new one, but it’s nice that it’s on a holiday weekend when there should be lots of sales going on.

15 thoughts on “of tools and appliances”

  1. http://applianceguru.com/

    They’ve helped me repair my washer and dryer 4 times now, and it’s been a fraction of the cost of replacing or paying for the repair.

    Even though their store might not be the cheapest I buy from them anyway to support the forum.

  2. John,

    I feel your pain. Nothing sucks worse than having to spend money on household appliances, there’s no wow factor there. Not like a new blue ray, or gun, or car, etc. Yup, it washes and rinses!

    We are facing the washer/dryer replacement. The dryer takes FOREVER to dry a load there days.

    Did you check consumer reports yet? You can join online for a month to do your research and then shut it down.

    You’re right, holiday weekends are good times to buy those. If you have a Sears outlet in town, I’d check that out. We got a serious discount on a fridge because of a scratch on the side that would not be visible once in place anyway.

    Good hunting.

    1. Oh there is some fancy stuff now, like steam treatments and so on. But it’s all just gimmicks. Bleah.

      I haven’t checked Consumer Reports. I’ve used them in the past and may do the “one month” thing again. But there was something I did find via Google that seemed to cull not just Consumer Reports but a lot of other places. Ah, here it is:

      http://www.consumersearch.com/washing-machine-reviews

      LG’s and Samsung’s seem to be top of the heap.

  3. Last time we had a “multi hundred dollar repair event” occur with our washer we hit craigslist and found several ‘sets’ out there for $100.00. Used the washer to this day and sold the dryer for $50. Just an idea.

  4. To bad you’re not closer, I have an 20yr old, but still functioning, Kenmore washer in my garage that the previous owners left with the house. Works fine, we used it twice before pulling it out and putting in the one we brought with us and it handled the loads of towels and blankets just fine. You could have it for free if you’ll haul it! The cost of transport from NY to TX would be a bit prohibitive though lol.

    For a less expensive chainsaw, my husband and I just purchased a Worx Electric (corded) Chainsaw (16″ blade 14.5amp) this past fall, used it a couple times so far and gotta say we like it. Might not take on really huge trees, but it handled the 6 or 7 inch logs we cut just fine, and the reviewers on the Lowes website state to have used it on larger than that no problem. Its small enough I can use it too which is always an added bonus for us.

    1. See that’s what pisses me off about this. This washer was supposed to be a 20 year thing. I felt fine sinking the cash because if it was going to last that long, between that, the water rebates from the city, and all the water/electricity savings vs. a “regular” washer…. it would have been very well worth it. And now… this. *sigh* I really don’t want to spend a lot of money this time around. I want something “good enough” and that’s all.

      No cords on my chainsaw or any of my lawn tools. Drove me crazy as a kid, still drives me crazy.

      1. not to thrilled with the cord myself, so I can’t argue with that, but for the price and what it’ll do its worth it, so I’ll deal with the cord. Especially since in order to find a chainsaw I can use too we pretty much had to get an electric one. We’ll end up with a larger gas powered one too, but for now this is doing the job.

        We’ve always had hand-me-down washers and dryers, the pair we have now were cheap when new, but they cost us $150 (total) to buy from the previous owners (our former upstairs neighbors), and they’re going on 4 years old and still running strong…..we’ll eventually have to buy new. Not looking forward to it.

        1. If it gets the job done, that’s really the key. I just had bad experiences with corded yard tools, so I tend to avoid them if I can help it.

          Funny you mention “hand me down” washers… we were hoping to turn this washer into a hand-me-down for Oldest. Alas, that won’t happen. *sigh*

  5. No harm in cracking open that washer for a DIY repair if you’re condemning it anyhow. My f’ing Kenmore is practically held together with epoxy and silicone aquarium sealant. It isn’t that old either. When the leaks get too bad it’s time for more goobers around the seam of the drum.

    You’re a pretty handy guy. I’ll bet you could figure it out. Run a few cycles with as much of the case off as you can and observe. For the mechanical part there’s a belt, a motor, and then hardware holding it all together. It doesn’t have to be pretty.

    It is hard to find quality appliances today. They’ve all whored our their good brands and replaced quality with gimmicks.

    IIRC, Kenmore’s Duet series had a USB cable between the washer and dryer so they could finish at the same time. WTF? How about keeping you USB shit and making a washer that doesn’t leak. I might as well buy the cheapest Chinese one if the expensive ones are the same junk with different stickers.

    1. I did crack it open and didn’t see anything wrong, yet the problem persisted, so called in a pro.

      If it is the spider, I’d have to fully dismantle the thing to get at it. And as far as I know, it’s nothing I can really fix… would have to buy new parts, and they’re too expensive. :-(

      USB to sync the machines? Good grief. Talk about unnecessary frill.

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