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Subject: Re: quality hardware versus second best


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Message Thread:

quality hardware versus second best


Website: http://Morantzcabinet

I have read many threads on this forum over the years and one subject comes up constantly. Cabinetmakers trying to save pennies on hardware that cost them serious bucks in lost production time or call backs.
A clip on hinge, whatever brand you choose, can easily pay for itself several times over in saved labour. An insert a hinge saves even more time and damages that can occur when delivering flat wrapped and packed and quickly snapped on on site. A euro screw or nylon dowel end base plate is faster and stronger and easier to adjust, especially a cam model.
Why are so many people trying to save a buck on a drawer slide that does not run smoothly?
The total cost on an average kitchen between the worst crap hardware and the finest is too little compared to the time and reputation lost when they fail.
There are probably as many answers to this question as there are cabinetmakers and the average training of hardware reps and the time they will spend with their cabinet shop owners is so short, that no one seems to be learning how to work faster and smarter. The one exception that I can think of is our regular hardware rep contributor, Dennis Bean from Salice( and I am saying this as a devoted Blum man).
At whatever price point we are working at, we should be using the technology that will save us time as that is our most expensive cost. Harold.

9/4/15       #2: quality hardware versus second best ...
Leo G

Because it cuts into the profit margin. And usually you can find a cheaper version that is still quality.

I subscribe to your thinking. Saving $100 or less on an entire kitchen to downgrade hardware seems silly most of the time.

But there are times where people are shopping price and not quality. That's when you go for 2nd or 3rd best.

9/5/15       #3: quality hardware versus second best ...
Rich Kuban Member

Features do not equal quality. To acknowledge Dennis Bean's contributions over the years, I will state I used Salice's Logica series of hinges for years. Being able to insert and snap lock hinges on site as Harold describes was well worth the extra dollar per hinge. I cannot imagine transporting doors with mounted hinges. But closets are different in that assembly is done on site compared to cabinetry. The quality of Salice hinges were fine, but I used them for their features.

In 1997 I traveled 1000 miles to install closet systems for a client up in the Colorado mountains in Telluride. I never forgot the client telling me she never bought the best, because the huge price differential between best and second best was not worth the incremental difference in quality. Most people buy the absolute best for bragging rights.

9/6/15       #5: quality hardware versus second best ...
Dennis Bean  Member


On a daily basis I meet with cabinet shop owners, large and small, some production oriented and some highly custom. Likewise, I am also involved in meetings with some of the largest cabinet and furniture manufacturers in the U.S. The attitude towards the selection of functional hardware varies but the common thread I see is a desire for quality.

There are different market sectors in our industry and each views the importance of quality hardware slightly differently depending on the product they manufacture and the client they are on serving.

If you look at the largest kitchen manufactures in the U.S. you will see very little off brand hardware used.
Although this is a sector where you might expect to see low cost hinges this is rarely the case. In general, the larger manufacturers are not willing to gamble on the possibility of hardware malfunction.

The use of low cost hardware is most evident with manufacturers who produce what I might call “disposable” cabinetry. This would include cabinetry for multi-family housing, kitchenettes for the hotel/motel industry and low cost office furniture. These are all market segments where the cabinetry is expected to be replaced every few years.
In general, I do not see much, if any bargain hardware used by custom cabinet makers. There are, of course some exceptions but the percentages are very low.

Here is a snapshot of the overall market as I see it. This is not a scientific study, only my own assessment based on personal observation.

View higher quality, full size image (1540 X 678)

9/15/15       #6: quality hardware versus second best ...

Leo said it best, it is all about the amount of money you put in your jeans. Sure one kitchen has only $100-200 difference in using Blum hardware compared to some cheaper stuff, so what you say makes perfect sense. But what about the guy that does say 20 schools and all commercial work in a year, the hardware savings is in the thousands. I agree that the residential customers want Blum hinges and soft close slides, but really how much better is the quality than Salice hinges and accuride drawer slides.

9/15/15       #7: quality hardware versus second best ...
Harold morantz

Website: http://morantz

I agree that for commercial work and super economy jobs or those doing large volumes, that the dollars add up., but slit of small shops ignore the time saved over the cost of the hardware not realizing it really costs more in shipping , damages and installation to use better hardware. You can save a lot of real money by using clip on hinges and slides with multiple adjustments in manufacturing and installing your product. And there will be less callbacks with cam adjustment hinges and plates that do not lose their spacing a over time.


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