Quality Products for Home, Garden and Workshop

If you are fed up with the crappy quality of so many products, below is a list of some high quality products and brands you might want to be aware of. Or if you have found a company that is committed to delivering exceptional quality and standing 100 percent behind their products, please post it to the Comments section of this page.

It’s truly hard to find high quality products these days, made by companies that want the product to work well, be durable, and that provide parts and service if/when something breaks. High-pressure — sometimes even dishonest — marketing and the rise to dominance of big box stores are probably partly to blame. But mostly, too many people are willing to buy whatever model is the cheapest; they are enticed by the low prices at the big box stores, and forget that you get what you pay for. If we want high quality products, we need to pay more up front.

Here are quality product recommendations from MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors and readers: 

Deluxe Dehydrator

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OK, so I hate to plug any commercial brand, especially electrical, but this is an exceptional-quality product. I’ve tried every method of dehydration I possibly could over the last 25 or so years — oven racks with the pilot on, double screens in the backyard on blocks (flies, yuck), etc. — only to eventually find the best thing ever: My Open Country food dehydrator and jerky-maker. It absolutely rocks.

Because it has a built-in fan, it takes a fraction of the time that other dehydrators I’ve tried need. I still dry my herbs in open air (the flies tend to stay away), but for jerky and other wet foods, this appliance is the stuff. It has a temperature range of 95 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, so choose away, depending on the type of food you want to dry. The racks are dishwasher- and (fairly) kid-safe (having been dropped more than a few times), and they’re stackable up to eight high. I got mine at Cabela’s several years ago for about $50 and I can't tell you how many times it’s paid for itself.

Every year, I make up layered soup starter with dried carrots, celery, onions and herbs, presented in pint canning jars for Christmas presents. It’s pretty, and my family and friends really love it. Just stick a bow on top!

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