Came across this Reddit topic about planned obsolescence of consumer products. I am sure we are all acutely aware of how we are forced to upgrade our gadgets every few years, whether it is your phone, tablet or laptop. The batteries are intentionally made not replaceable, and the hardware are deliberately made not repairable. Even if you luck out on the hardware, the software moves so quickly that very soon, you will find that your old operating system no longer run the latest version of your favorite software. So you say, so what, I will just make do with the old version. But soon enough, the backend protocol will change so your old software is no longer able to connect. Time to upgrade.
But I found that in every day consumer products, stuff are deliberately made crappy so that you will have to upgrade once past the warranty period. Frequently it is not the entire product that is crappy, just a tiny part of it so once the weakest link fails, most people won't find it worth their while to repair the gadget, so down the landfill it goes.
Some examples that I have personally encountered below...
So I have this shaver that was given to me some years back by my wife.
Another example is a more recent one. My meat slicer stopped working.
The meat slicer is a typical consumer grade one. It lasted for slightly over a year before giving up on me. I had been treating it very gently, and used it only once or twice a week.
The photo below is not from my slicer because I threw it away after I found out what's wrong and decided I couldn't fix it until maybe home-based metal 3D printing becomes a reality. But I found someone mentioning the same problem in an online forum, and photo below is from there.The basic design for these consumer meat slicers is probably quite similar. There is a motor with a metal worm gear that drives another blade gear. Unfortunately, the blade gear is made of plastic.