Why do I get on these writing kicks when my stuff is acting up. This writing was interupted a few dozen times due to software issues.
Standards and testing -- Its amazing how knowing the history of why things are done and made make them so much more useful and appreciated. Sometimes just knowing the right way is important. Not pro or con, but unions are standards based. While they take a lot of money and retain power, they train there members, give them growth steps, protection, and a future.
Some organizations and standards: UL, ANSI, ASTM, ISO, IEEE, NSF, MIL-SPEC, MIL-STD, MIL-PRF (Underwriter labrotories) (American National Standards Institute) (Formerly: American Society for Testing and Materials) (International Organization for Standardization) (National Sanitation Foundation), United States Defense Specification/Defense Standard/Performance Specification. These are mostly relavant in the United States of America. Other countries and regions may have some of there own. Most notably the UK.
Having any of these stamps generally makes the product more expencive. This is both due to cost of fees and third party testing, but also quality. Said quality means the product MAY in fact be more durable, higher quality, easily interoperable, safer, and easier to use. However, just as name brand may or may not mean better, the same is true here. Are they doing the minimum, relying on or using the name just to gain confidence.
Of course, I like to over build my stuff, and like to have durable stuff. As I put it, I like to actually use and sbuse my stuff. Why should I have to tip toe around. Lately, its become hard to tell the difference in durability by touch. Some lighter things are more durable. Some fiber board is more durable. You should also ask in what way. It may have some better features, and some not so good features.
Though wary of being over charged, because I like durability and quality, I like to look for Commercial Grade, Industrial Grade, Military Grade, or the stamp of approval from one of the Alphabet soups above. I will also push, pull, tap, pound things in the store. I also try to be aware of the "used and consumed" theory. Some things are not meant to last. So yea, I'll head to the store... Home Depot, Lowes, the corner hardware store, etc. I'll also head over to the Farm Store like Oschland, TSC (Tractor Supply Company), or even what I consider the "use and consume" stores Harbor Freight and Northern Tool (sometimes they are almost The Family dollar & Dollar General of Industrial supplies)
I typically like old school objects because they have a tangable durability to them. Have several uses and tricks that you don't know about there design to help make them more useful. New fangled things can be stronger, more durable, and last longer, but we are unsure because between the past and now, things were made thinner, cheaper, and with particle bits to save money, so we are both trained to believe that they are poorer quality. Now the new quality things are often more expencive, but you can't tell if the product is worth the price or is just a cheap piece of crap.
Sturgeon's law - erich fromm -- http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hl/hl431.htm -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth