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When it comes to buying any product, I want it to last for life, but that is often never the case. Why is that? Because I have so often been seduced by a bargain rather than spending the money which will save me in the long run. I am sure that you have done the same.
A “buy it for life” (BIFL) product may cost more, but it will save you a lot of money. Over time, that more expensive product is going to work out cheaper. You are not going to have to pay to replace it often, nor are you going to have to repair it as frequently. A ‘BIFL’ product just makes sense.
Here is a list of my favorite ‘buy it for life’ products.
1. Cutting Boards
We all have them, and we all use them. Yet, how often do we replace them? They can be cheap, but that often translates to disposable. Butcher blocks are great for chopping on. Look for wooden cutting boards, and go for thickness. Thin cutting boards will eventually be cut through. If you have a wooden board, make sure not to soak it in water, and oil it regularly.
2. Chef Knife
If you have one great knife in your kitchen, you can save yourself a lot of time and avoid hassles. One great chef’s knife can replace multiple knives, and the sharpness will also lock in the flavor of herbs and spices. Invest in quality and go for a knife that can be sharpened.
- Zelite Infinity Chef Knife – Damascus Japanese Super Stainless Steel Blade
- Japanese Chef Knife – Professional Grade – Damascus Stainless Steel
3. Measuring Cups
If you are in the kitchen a lot, then you use some sort of measuring device. If you want your measuring cups to last forever, then choose for stainless steel for dry ingredients and borosilicate glass for wet. Remember, stainless steel isn’t rustless steel, so make sure to clean and store it once it is dry.
4. Can Openers
Even if you do not spend a lot of time in your kitchen, you probably still use a can opener often. The key here is to go for simplicity. The more complicated a can opener is, the more likely something is to go wrong. Stay away from electric can openers and stick with the manual ones.
I love to make smoothies, and a good blender is versatile enough to do so much more. With so many moving parts in play, you need to go for quality over price. A great blender can set you back a couple of hundred dollars, but that money will be saved in the long run.
6. Carbon Steel Pan
Carbon steel pans, compared to cast iron pans, are thinner, lighter, and, maybe what’s most important, more durable. They also have a smooth surface for easier cooking and cleaning.
7. Grill (charcoal)
A charcoal grill adds flavor to your food, is easy to use, and simple to set up. A high-quality grill should last you a lifetime. Plus, cooking outside is fun.
Cheap toasters break time and time again. Since many of us use them almost daily, why not invest in a toaster that will last you for decades? A high-quality toaster will add style to your kitchen, brings consistency, and is a pleasure to use.
A good flashlight starts with the material and construction. You may have to pay more for a metal case in place of a plastic one, but that protective case is going to protect the electronics inside. Pay more and never be caught out in an emergency.
Related: 5 Best Heavy-Duty Flashlights
Swiss army knives are handy, but they are not made for the more rugged jobs. A good multitool is a ‘BIFL’ product and durable. Keep one with you at all times and get the job done without the tool failing.
Whether it is a quick touch up or an entire room, a good paintbrush will not only save you some time but will save you money too. Investing in quality will result in an even coat of paint on your walls and they are easier to clean. Higher quality bristles last longer and will not fall apart like cheaper paintbrushes.
12. Power Tools
I did some renovations recently, and power tools were a lifesaver. The one thing which I learned was to go for the name brand. The big companies have been making power tools for years and know what they are doing.
13. Work Gloves
If you are going to use any of the above tools, then you need a good pair of work gloves. High-quality gloves will protect your hands and give you a better grip. The material is important. Look for high-quality materials and spend more to save more.
14. Car Jack
A basic car jack won’t be able to safely lift a heavy car or an SUV. A heavy-duty car jack will not only lift everything, but it will also be more durable. Another bonus is foam bumpers for vehicle protection, which you won’t find on cheaper models.
Your memories should last a lifetime, and your camera should be a buy it for life product too. A great camera will help you to capture those memories and can last a lifetime. Trusted brands like Nikon and Canon have been making quality cameras for years.
If music is a part of your life, then a great pair of headphones is essential. Stay away from the cheap pair which airlines hand out for free (there is a reason for that), and pay more for a ‘BIFL’ product. Not only will high-quality headphones last, but the sound quality will be better too.
I bet that there is almost no one in the world who has not used a pair of scissors. Investing in quality means investing in a product for life, and also one which is going to stay sharp.
We may not use this as much as we use scissors, but it can still be essential. There is nothing worse than a stapler not being able to staple paper. Invest in quality, and your BIFL product will staple everything in its path.
Related: 5 Best Heavy-Duty Staplers
19. Vacuum Cleaner
There is a reason why some vacuum cleaners suck and do not suck. Better materials and components not only means a vacuum cleaner which works better but also means a vacuum cleaner which will last a lifetime.
20. Washer & Dryer
Large appliances are something which I hate to buy, and that is the main reason why I only want to buy them once. Go with a well-known brand and focus on an appliance that is rated for heavy-duty usage.
21. Sewing Machine
There are many brands that produce high-quality and long-lasting sewing machines. Anyone who loves to sew knows of brands like Singer, Brother, and Kenmore, to name but a few. With some skill and a quality machine, the possibilities are endless.
Sports and Outdoors
I love to ride to work. If I am investing in something to replace my car, then I do not mind spending it on something which is going to be fast, comfortable, and save me a lot of money (especially on gas). A better bike will last longer and only need fine-tuning occasionally.
If you like to spend any time in the great outdoors, then you need something to cart your food around in. Not only does a great cooler hold your food, but it also keeps it cool for a long time. Spending a little more initially means that your food stays cooler for longer and does not spoil. You will never need to replace it too. Lots of money saved.
You have your cool food, and now you need to cook that food. Making a fire is easy with a hatchet to cut some wood. It also makes for a versatile tool when hunting, fishing, and camping. Investing some money in a ‘BIFL’ product means a hatchet that is effective, stays sharp for longer, and never needs to be replaced or repaired.
Camping is intense (camping is in tents). Okay, that was a pretty bad joke, but sheltering yourself in the wild is no laughing matter. You spend a lot of money on a house, and there is a good reason for that. The more money you spend on a quality tent, the more you are going to use it, and the longer it is going to last. A tent should always be a buy it for life product.
26. Water Bottle
A ‘BIFL’ water bottle will not only save you money from not having to buy bottles of water when you are out but will also save you money by lasting forever. Having one water bottle for life is also great for the environment. Look for high-quality materials and companies which offer a warranty on their products.
A backpack is one of the most useful luggage options when you are traveling. Not all backpacks are created equally, and much of this is down to the materials and construction. Look for high-quality materials, double stitching, and a trusted manufacturer. Find a style which you like, and a backpack can be a ‘BIFL’ product.
- 8 Best Heavy-Duty & Durable Backpacks for Every Situation
- CamelBak MULE Backpack Review: 15 Years Later
An umbrella is not a product which you will buy often, but there is a good chance that you will buy an umbrella multiple times throughout your life. Again, this can be a BIFL product if you invest some money. Look for the companies (like Davek) which offer free replacements and repairs and never worry about buying another one again.
Clothing and Travel Accessories
A well-made wallet can last you a lifetime. I’ve been carrying my leather wallet daily for 20 years now and it still looks like new. Buying quality and taking care of your possessions will yield remarkable results.
Related: 9 Most Durable Wallets For Men
30. Work Boots
A good work boot has to be durable; it needs to provide safety, be comfortable to wear, and it’s not a bad idea if it is stylish too. With work boots, you definitely get what you pay for.
31. Leather Jacket
Leather jackets are timeless. They look good, they are durable, and, with a little care, they’ll last you a lifetime. Investing in a high-quality leather jacket might prove to be one of the best decisions you make.
- For women: Lucky Brand Women’s Core Leather Moto Jacket
- For men: Cole Haan Men’s Smooth Leather Collar Jacket
If you travel a lot and, durable luggage is a must. Durable luggage is overengineered, crafted from premium materials, and will sometimes come with a lifetime warranty. This is definitely something you can buy only once and never again.
My Tissot PR 50 Titanium is now 15+ years old and I still wear it daily. It’s my first high-quality watch and it could well be my last. The design is timeless, the Swiss quality is impeccable, and, due to its lightness, it is very comfortable to wear. The best part? I didn’t have to spend a fortune. Any mid-range brand with some history will look good and last.