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post #41 of 44 Old 01-18-2019, 03:38 PM
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Careful -- Don't Overgeneralize

To understand and appreciate the differences (or, in many cases, similarities) among brands and the reliability of brands, you have to consider several things about modern manufacturing:

  • Brands. A brand is just that -- a name and the style to match. While some brands are unique to their respective manufacturers, others are not. Take, for example, Craftsman. Craftsman is not a manufacturer. It is a brand. Craftsman products may be manufactured by any one of a number of manufacturers, and the quality and reliability of those products follows. Some manufacturers produce multiple brands, and the quality of those products may relate more to the manufacturer's design and assembly processes more than it does the brand name.
  • Components. Many manufacturers source components from common vendors. Just because a Toro is different than an Ariens doesn't mean that they do or do not have identical components. If those manufacturers source carburetor assemblies from the same vendor, there is a high likelihood that the reliability of the carburetors between those brands will be similar. That doesn't necessarily mean one brand is better or more reliable overall since different models and individual products may have components coming from different sources. There are often a large number of companies supplying various parts for a single product.
  • Design. A manufacturer may do its own design work, it might farm it out to a contractor, or it might share designs with other manufacturers. Those designs might be shared among brands. And if one design is good, it doesn't mean it's been well executed. And, vice versa.
  • Final Assembly. People tend to think a product is better if it's made in the U.S. and worse if it's made in a certain foreign country. "Made" usually refers to final assembly. People often forget or disregard the fact that components and supplies may come from a variety of locations. The location and quality of performance in assembly may or may not lead to good reliability.

Here's the point. Don't generalize brands as being "good" or "bad," or even "reliable" or "unreliable." There are too many other variables in action. Manufacturers, over time, certainly get reputations for having produced a certain quality of products. But for any individual product, you really have to evaluate its reliability using information other than simply "what brand is it?"

There are good Toros and bad ones. There are good Ariens and bad ones. And so on, and so on.
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post #42 of 44 Old 01-18-2019, 03:47 PM
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Considering you only have one Ariens, I can see why you need back-ups to back-ups! Get 2 1000 models and stop worrying!
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post #43 of 44 Old 01-18-2019, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by AbominableSnowman View Post
To understand and appreciate the differences (or, in many cases, similarities) among brands and the reliability of brands, you have to consider several things about modern manufacturing:

  • Brands. A brand is just that -- a name and the style to match. While some brands are unique to their respective manufacturers, others are not. Take, for example, Craftsman. Craftsman is not a manufacturer. It is a brand. Craftsman products may be manufactured by any one of a number of manufacturers, and the quality and reliability of those products follows. Some manufacturers produce multiple brands, and the quality of those products may relate more to the manufacturer's design and assembly processes more than it does the brand name.
  • Components. Many manufacturers source components from common vendors. Just because a Toro is different than an Ariens doesn't mean that they do or do not have identical components. If those manufacturers source carburetor assemblies from the same vendor, there is a high likelihood that the reliability of the carburetors between those brands will be similar. That doesn't necessarily mean one brand is better or more reliable overall since different models and individual products may have components coming from different sources. There are often a large number of companies supplying various parts for a single product.
  • Design. A manufacturer may do its own design work, it might farm it out to a contractor, or it might share designs with other manufacturers. Those designs might be shared among brands. And if one design is good, it doesn't mean it's been well executed. And, vice versa.
  • Final Assembly. People tend to think a product is better if it's made in the U.S. and worse if it's made in a certain foreign country. "Made" usually refers to final assembly. People often forget or disregard the fact that components and supplies may come from a variety of locations. The location and quality of performance in assembly may or may not lead to good reliability.

Here's the point. Don't generalize brands as being "good" or "bad," or even "reliable" or "unreliable." There are too many other variables in action. Manufacturers, over time, certainly get reputations for having produced a certain quality of products. But for any individual product, you really have to evaluate its reliability using information other than simply "what brand is it?"

There are good Toros and bad ones. There are good Ariens and bad ones. And so on, and so on.
I disagree with most of that.

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Here's the point. Don't generalize brands as being "good" or "bad," or even "reliable" or "unreliable."
Sure you can do that, I think everyone should do that, I think its a good idea, because its a real thing, and because it leads to better educated consumers.
Brands do have reputations, good and bad, and usually those reputations are accurate and earned. Often earned over many years, sometimes decades, and sometimes half a century. Its a *good* idea IMO to pay attention to those reputations, and take them seriously..the reputations, good and bad, exist for a reason.

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There are too many other variables in action.
hmm..IMO, no, not really. Im not really sure what you mean by that. When we are talking about overall build quality and reliability, "brand" is an excellent indicator.

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Manufacturers, over time, certainly get reputations for having produced a certain quality of products.
Right, and as I said, the reputations are usually well earned.


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But for any individual product, you really have to evaluate its reliability using information other than simply "what brand is it?
ah..but..we are not talking about "individual" products here, at all.
we are talking about *overall* brand quality and reliability.

Sure, every manufacturer has had some "misses" and some "lemons"
I remember a friend who bought a brand-new 90's Honda Accord, she was a newly minted engineer, just out of college, and it was her first new car..
she had lots of issues with it, gave up on it, and vowed to never buy a Honda ever again!
meanwhile, the Honda Accord is (probably) the single most reliable automobile of all time!
You cant judge an entire brand off of individual machines, good or bad.

We have to look at the entire brand overall, thousands, millions of machines as a group.
Thats what matters here..individual machines are irrelevant.

I think using "what brand is it?" as a first line of questioning is a great place to start.
Saying "im going to consider this Ariens, Toro and Honda becaause of their brand reputation" is a very smart way to start.
then look at other details, features you need, want, dont need, size, etc.

Conversely, saying "im not even going to look at this off-brand Cosco special, because ive never heard of the name, and its probably low-end Chinese junk" is also very smart, and its making a judgement call off of the brand name, and its probably a correct call. Sure, you can do more research, maybe you are wrong..but you probably arent.

There really are quite distinct quality and reliability differences among brands, for many products..its a real thing.
Some people like to think "they are all basically the same"..it isn't true.

Scot


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Last edited by sscotsman; 01-18-2019 at 10:11 PM.
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post #44 of 44 Old 06-14-2019, 05:19 PM
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It is not weird. Kia and its parent company Hyundai have been the butt of the automotive industry and considered a joke for several years but over the last 20 or so years they make a decent quality automobile. In fact quality among automakers is quite good that the worst car for sale today is a much better car than the worst car for sale back in the 1970's. I have a 2003 Hyundai Elantra Gt with over 429,000 miles on the original engine and transmission and I bought it when it had 91,000 miles on it back in March of 2007. My son drives it and I very well believe it could make 500,000 miles. As to Chinese made goods they have improved too. China is becoming the new Japan in that they make a variety of goods some very good products yet they make some poorly made products as well. Maintenance is key as to how long your snowblower will last and I use Amsoil synthetic oil and ATF in the Hyundai and my snowblower and my MTD which is frequently criticized brand here on this forum still works well although it is re-powered by a Harbor Freight Predator 212cc engine and the original Tecumseh is long gone.
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