Exit Reviews is a website about how long products last, how they broke, and how to fix them

Originally published at: Exit Reviews is a website about how long products last, how they broke, and how to fix them | Boing Boing


This site will be great until SEOs & scammers find it. Then it’ll just become another cesspit of literal trash talking about how bad product X is, and how much more durable product Y is.

(Substitute “product Y” for anyone paying an SEO, and product X for anyone in the same market as Y.)


I’m a big fan of the concept(though I, personally, would have leaned toward ‘Consumer Coroner’, perhaps because I open the dead for analysis more often than average); but, tragically if not obviously avoidably, a lot of the data is going to be obsolete by the time it makes it here.

Seeing something pop up in quantity before it’s irrelevant because that model is no longer sold will be a valuable indication that you should run screaming; but answering a question like ‘laptops: can I expect 3, 5, 8 years?’ is one of those where the models you have data on will have been replaced well before the verdict is in.

Also tricky are any products that get stealth revisions: by way of example, there are three steppings of the Intel i-225 2.5GbE NIC. B1 is really broken, B2 is pretty broken with some firmware workarounds, B3 works. Let’s just say that you will generally not find the stepping of the NIC used featured prominently on the package for motherboards and laptops and such that use the i-225; and it is to be expected that, since all of them are pin-compatible, vendors will start producing a revision that uses B3(either because they are professional enough to be against shipping broken products, or because Intel doesn’t produce B1 and B2 anymore, so supplies of anything that isn’t B3 have been drying up); but it may well be a silent change.

SSDs are often in the same category. Some of them, either because they are fancy enterprise stuff with a big datasheet full of specific assurances, or because the economics of flash and controller for their vendor haven’t shifted, are built of consistent parts. Many of them, though, only make some rough performance and endurance claims and freely futz with controller, NAND, DRAM or not; sometimes to the extent of being different products that share only a label.


I remember relying on Consumer Reports for awhile, until I became suspicious about the possibility of payola reviews.

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The problem is that by the time the product is old enough to gather longevity data, it is no longer being made these days.

Buying only things that have been around a long time is a pretty good approximation for what this site hopes to do. If a product has been around for, say, ten years, it’s probably solid, has been iterated on a few times to work out the worst kinks, and ten years’ worth of people have voted with their wallets on it.


The Lord of all that is Craptastic applauds this effort.


The advantage that Consumer Reports has is that they draw their longevity reports from questionnaires sent only to paid subscribers. Also, there is a long lag between the submission of a report and the publication of the tabulated data, which makes it hard to refine SEO/BS penetration.

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I have a washing machine that has a broken hinge… just because I rested wet laundry on the door… got another hinge (cast aluminium) you only have to look at it …it breaks…

it’s over ten years old still works but…

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oooh this sounds like the perfect posting haunt for “Colin Robinsons’”

I have alunimum1980s kirby vacuum I have had since the 90s the plastic manifold on it has cracked wide open and been duct taped a dozen times I tried both dollar store duct tape and duck brand and found there was a negligible difference for this application, I tried shrink wrapping around it with vinyl and a heat gun that was less effective than the duct tape . finally, I took cheesecloth and wrapped and layered it with acrylic epoxy over and around the crack it turned back into a solid vacuum I would more than gladly take with me into messy crime scenes or warzones. However, unfortunately kirbies new replacement rubber drive belts are less elastic than the ones they had up until a couple years ago the vacuum dealership told me that some clients didn’t like that because they were hard to get over the shaft. I found there to be no such problem but the lack of elasticity did make the belt more prone to slippage and the resulting friction would wear and warp the belt much quicker as well as cause the brush cylinder it drives to stall when moving back and forth over thick carpet. this ultimately may lead to me to retire the kirby unless i can find a solution that will cause less slippage of the belts while in operation over thicker carpets. greasing the carpet itself for better lubrication I don’t think would be a functional solution. perhaps there is a silcone based spray i could apply to the carpet that would not be as greasy but i feel i might be approaching this this from the wrong angle. if any other kirby heritage II vacuum owners out there have a working solution please advise I will be happy to share in full, my personal experience in trying recommended solutions…yes in full…

Collin Robinson



Last week I was having some unusual problems with my oven and the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide wasn’t any help. I strongly suspected it was a bad control board but still brought in an appliance repair guy to check. He quickly came to the same conclusion then let me know that GE didn’t make the part anymore, wished me luck in finding one and left. Fortunately I was able to get a used one off of eBay. But that was for a widely-manufacturered model from a major brand. The life cycle of modern products is getting so damn short that doing repairs is getting more and more difficult. And I wonder how much longer repair folks will stay employed if all they can do is tell you how screwed you are.


I had a similar experience with my large build-in microwave, which is only ten years old. The magnetron went out of it and the repair guy acted like he was shocked at how old my unit was and he said “there’s no way we can get parts for this old thing”. Ten years old. In the end he called around and was able to find the part on a buddy’s shelf somewhere and fixed it, but I guess I won’t get to fix it again.

Ten years seems unreasonably short to be out-of-support for a major appliance.


I bought a pair of $30 bluetooth open-ear headphones a year or two ago to listen to things while exercising. They worked okay but the headband was very poorly made & I started to get detached.

So I went to buy some newer headphones with seemingly-better build quality & closed-ear pads to mute the sound of exercise. I got them & the battery crapped out after a month. So I bought another pair… which also crapped out after a month.

So I’m back to my original headphones which still look like they’re about to break & I have to turn way up to hear over the sounds of exercise. They’re going strong, if limited.

I think this site might help with that.

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The original owner of the house we’re in made a lot of upgrades over the years and one of my favorite things here is the oven range. It’s this massive professional range made by a no longer around company called DCS. It’s a gas range with 6 burners, a griddle, a double oven, and has a upper shelf that sits under some heat lamps - I feel like a sous chef every time I’m at this thing (the head chef in this household loves it too). This thing is BADASS and cost like 10k in 2004.

With the exception of a few small parts, everything for this oven is No Longer Available. Imagine spending that much money on an appliance and now finding out that nearly everything is NLA. We have a home warranty (something I didn’t advise renewing when I was in real estate 14 years ago) but it caps out at around 3k total per year. So when the next part breaks on this oven we’re out a great appliance. We’ve renewed the home waranty once already and will probably renew next year since the life-cycle of everything is so short these days.

Most of appliances in this house are circa mid 2000s and we’ve had many repair companies come through here to repair something. Each time the tech has remarked that the item they’re repairing is no longer supported/made. Luckily they’ve been able to repair thusfar, but each time, they’ve said that this is probably the last time that it can be repaired due to scarcity of parts.

I recently got in to 3d printing and have been going through the house modifying or repairing appliances whose plastic pieces have the lifespan of fruitflies. It shouldn’t be this way! Things should last more than 10 years. I’ve been told that the average lifespan of a fridge is 5 years (even less on “feature-rich” fridges).


Anyways, as others have said, such a website is cool, but with so many things having such a short window before planned obsolescence, I’m not so sure that it’s all that useful.

And don’t get me started on headsets!

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