10 tech products that are built to last

No shiny new things here. These are the workhorses of the technology world.

Indestructible, that's what you are. Indestructible...

When you think about tech products, you probably think "refresh cycle" more than "built to last." But as it turns out there are plenty of tech products that put up with hard, daily use year after year.

Thanks to the BuyItForLife (BIFL) subreddit we've got solid recommendations for tech products that are durable, practical, and built to last, if not for life, at least for a suitably long time. Or, as Reddit user elf_dreams put it: '[BIFL] are well made products that are expected to perform their function well after their peers have given up.'

Image © Copyright P L Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

Sub-$200 wristwatch

BIFL recommends: Casio G-Shock

Verbatim: "They're ugly as sin, but they're engineered around getting the s&^! kicked out of them. Take a look at the G-Shock website if those sound like characteristics you like." -- maestromandan

Honorable mentions:
Citizen Eco-Drive
Seiko Monster

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here


BIFL recommends: Logitech MX510

Verbatim: "Can definitely vouch for this one, I've had mine since about 2003 and it's gone through multiple Diablo 2 installs, a lot of Warcraft 3, plenty of MMO's, tons of Counter-Strike. Its been bashed, spilled on, dropped, whatever." -- russell_m

Honorable mentions:
Logitech G500
Logitech G700
Anything else by Logitech

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here


BIFL recommends: Sennheiser HD-25ii

Fave rave: "Sennheiser HD-25ii is the work horse of DJs around the world. I've had my pair for several years now, they've lived through drops, getting stepped on, tossed in a bag with every other piece of equipment." -- JimiSmyth

Honorable mentions:
Sony 7506
KOSS PortaPro
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, 250 ohms

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here


BIFL recommends: Shure SE215-K or E4C

Fave rave: "I have a pair of e4c's that are going on 8 years old. Amazing sound quality, excellent sound isolation." -- equatorbit

Honorable mentions:
Ultimate Ears E700
Monoprice 8320
Etymotic Research ER4S

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here

* Pictured at left: Shure E2C

Laser printer

BIFL recommends: Brother (multiple models)

Fave rave: "I have a basic Brother black and white laser printer. I have been using it for years (all through college, actually) with the same toner cartridge. I've never had any signs hat it is going low, no streaks, no fading. In my experience, Brother makes a great, easy to use, long lasting laser printer." -- scottbwozniak

Honorable mentions:
Laserjet 4

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here

Clock radio

BIFL recommends: Sony Dream Machine

Fave rave: "I had one from about 1988 until 2010 or so, over twenty years - finally, one of the switches to change the alarm time failed. I got another Dream Machine because I wanted exactly the same features and it's even better - now the time sets itself." -- molly

Honorable mention:
Boston Acoustics Solo

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here


BIFL recommends: Victorinox CyberTool 34

Fave rave: "I bought the bigger version of that over a decade ago, when I was working IT as an undergrad. It is fabulous, and was what I came in here to suggest. It is worn and beaten but other than some damage done to the pliers by a drunk friend at some point, it works like the day I opened the package." -- xrelaht

Honorable mention:
Leatherman Wave

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here

MP3 player

BIFL recommends: iPod Classic

Fave rave: "If you want to get as close as possible to BIFL with an mp3 player, buy an iPod Classic with a broken HDD on ebay... buy the compact flash and SD adaptors, buy an sd card on ebay, ~$70 for a 128GB. You now have a virtually indestructible high capacity flash based mp3 player." -- Watty162

Honorable mentions:
iPod shuffle
Sansa Clip+
Cowon J3

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here

Mechanical pencil

BIFL recommends: Alvin Draf-Tec Retrac

Fave rave: "I promise you, if you need a daily use, reliable, affordable, mechanical pencil, you will thank me for showing you the light." -- PhysiciSteve

Honorable mentions:
Pentel P205 (207, 209…)
Paper Mate PhD
Staedtler Graphite 925 25

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here

Pictured at left: Pentel Side FX 0.7


BIFL recommends: Cherry G80

Fave rave: "Each key is rated for 50 million key operations. MTBF [mean time between failures] > 80,000 hours, MCBF [mean cycles between failures] > 10. bill operations. These things are sturdy as hell. The retro click sound is awesome in my opinion." -- perpenis

Honorable mentions:
Unicomp Model M
Filco Majestouch
Das Keyboard

Add your 2 cents to the thread: Here

What are your favorite "buy it for life" tech products?

You've got tools, gadgets, and devices you've been using for ages -- things that you'll mourn when they finally quit. Tell us about them in the comments.

Related reading:

Computing fossils: Old tech holding on for dear life

20 iconic tech sounds bound for extinction

What's the oldest piece of technology that you still use?

Image © Copyright P L Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License