Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Aug 30, 2008 12:42 PM

Is there such a thing as a bad Oxo product?

I was just thinking about all the cooking utensils and products that I own now, and how I often wound up replacing a bad one with an Oxo and found the Oxo to be so much better. This includes the carrot peeler, ice cream scoop, and salad spinner that I have, which work very well and which I really enjoy using, among others. They seem to have a knack for making things that are durable, ergonomic, and functional. Their prices seem to command a premium above other brands, but for the extra few dollars for making a better product, I haven't come across an item made by them yet that I haven't liked. So, I wonder if anyone has experienced an item made by Oxo that isn't great?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yes! I had an Oxo Multi-Grater:

    It worked well until the plastic cracked, making it worthless. Foolish person that I am, I bought another one. Same thing happened. No, I didn't buy a third one.

    But I agree that their salad spinner works great -- and it's fun to use.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Channa

      Ditto on the Oxo Multi-grater!!! N.B. I wrote their website and they contacted to replace my grater with the cracked plastic.

      I also must say that I don't like the pointed corners on the cheese shaver blade. I've used other cheese shavers that don't have these corners and their really more comfortable to use - l'm less likely to gouge myself.

      1. re: Channa

        Salad spinner was great till maid put transparent, polycarbonate bowl in the dishwasher. The bowls really should not break very easily. They should be kept away from harsh chemicals and glass cleaners.
        I was totally disappointed with the garlic press.
        As heWho and others have said, it leaves garlic everywhere except through the other side.
        As a guy with large hands, I like the "fat" utensils and they have good designs, in general. I worked on some of their prototypes.
        From what I am reading, sounds like Oxo has a real problem with quality control; especially their plastics. Quality in their products sounds very hit-or-miss. I've generally had good luck with them.
        I am familiar with plastics. Sounds like they are having bad batches of urethane (that or silicone makes up the soft parts) that, once cured, are weeping, or are poorly formulated (should NOT be happening), and rigid plastics where they have scrimped on the toughening component (kinda like adding melamine to food; they have used too much of the cheapest plastic component). This happens a lot when there is not good quality oversight and you get things made in China. Much/most of what they sell is made there and some made in Japan. I hope they get the message! Just because you guarantee your products does not a happy customer make.

        1. re: Channa

          My Oxo Multi-Grater just cracked in multiple places on the plastic body...after a couple of years of use. I have contacted the company and they seem to be willing to replace it.
          If their customer service responds to a problem, then I will continue to purchase their products.

          1. re: liu

            A couple of years is not bad. They might do better if they didn't go into a dishwasher (heat and harsh chemicals), or be left in bright sunlight all the time. Many plastics are not UV safe. Besides changing colors they can physically degrade.
            Are you out anything to get it replaced?

            1. re: Scargod

              I agree with you, Scargod, that the dishwasher can be pretty harsh on these preparation utensils, so I always hand-wash these items. This possibly explains why this Oxo Multi-Grater served me for a couple of years.

              If they do, in fact, replace it, I will still be out about $8.00 for shipping expenses. I guess I could request a refund for my postage, but I will not.

              1. re: liu

                I just received my Oxo Multi-Grater replacement for the one that I had that was cracking in the plastic frame. This is good customer service!

                I noticed while reading the cardboard wrapper on my "new" grater that it says: "All pieces are dishwasher safe, top or bottom rack." So, if you have had the same cracking problem with this grater's frame and were thinking that it might have been due to placing the grater in the dishwasher...probably the dishwasher is not to blame.

                I appreciate that Oxo acted quickly to replace my grater -- no questions asked, and I will continue to consider their products when I make future purchases.

                1. re: liu

                  I don't mean to beat a dead horse, so if you get tired of me saying this, say so. I know quite a bit about plastics. While they say it is safe to put it in the dishwasher the results say otherwise. Lots of heat and strong detergents can cause small cracks and reveal stress fractures from the injection molding process. These appear to be made from inferior plastic or have an inherent design flaw. Inferior enough in design and/or materials that they really cant withstand the rigors of use and then the dishwasher.
                  Microplane switched to using a heavy metal wire frame for their handhelds. My plastic-framed one is in many pieces, held together by the cutting area. It's not just OXO's products!
                  If they don't make them sturdier or out of a better engineering grade, glass-reinforced plastics then this will keep happening. They are probably underestimating the force that can be applied, too.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    Scargod, thanks for this information. I was just hoping that I wouldn't have to be so careful with this product, suspecting that it might be flawed. Nevertheless, I will use it and enjoy it as long as it serves me. Then, I will have to scout for a box grater with a different all-metal design, even though it might not be as comfortable to use as this Oxo product.

                    I very much appreciate your input.

              2. re: Scargod

                I had commented to that my grater cracked. Oxo replaced my multi-grater. The replacement cracked within a few uses. I'll use it until it dies and find some non-Oxo product to grate - a all-SS hand grater for small amounts and my new KA food processor for large amounts.

                1. re: rtms

                  Hello, rtms!
                  As you just mentioned "an all-stainless steel" hand grater for the small jobs, I agree that the Oxo multi-grater with its plastic frame is a poor design. The plastic can not withstand the force exerted when grating a hard cheese.

                  If Oxo does replace my cracked grater, I will use it while searching for something more durable. I do, however, like the fact that this one folds up to fit neatly into a drawer.

          2. Their BBQ tongs were a bust -- not ergonomic, really tough to use. I had trouble figuring out their can opener but that was *my* fault. Otherwise, everything I've gotten from them has been great. Love the y-peeler, salad spinner, and ice cream scoop, too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: hollerhither

              Does everyone own their peeler, ice cream scoop and salad spinner? I do!

            2. Their mango splitter is the greatest thing. Makes a messy job so easy.

              1. My Oxo tea kettle is awful. Month one the plastic lid started to melt. Month two the plastic lid fell off. Now I'm searching for a new tea kettle. Otherwise all my Oxo products have been satisfactory.

                1. I don't buy Oxo anymore. IME, they're not durable at all. A salad spinner and several knives come to mind as products that bit it.

                  29 Replies
                  1. re: Mawrter

                    I was just going to post about the knives. I bought one for less than $10 during one of their sample sales in their offices and it really is a lousy fillet knife. Not nearly flexible enough to be very useful.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      Unlucky with that knife......My small chef's with the broad blade is a beauty. Also their brilliant potato masher deserves a mention.

                      For filleting my fishmonger uses and thoroughly recommends a Global Swedish Filleter, so that's now on my wish list. Slightly more than $10 though (!).

                      1. re: Robin Joy

                        Regarding the knives: I was given several sizes of paring knives and the small chef's knife. The smaller paring knife completely came out of the shaft. That's right, giving me the it were. I tossed it. But so far, the others are doing well.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Updating this 2 1/2 years later... the second paring knife has bitten the dust. Shafted again, as it were.

                    2. re: Mawrter

                      So what salad spinner did you replace it with?

                      1. re: wally

                        I haven't yet, actually. I was considering the Zyliss, but meanwhile I'm doing fine with rinsing, then drying with a clean tea towel.

                        I actually am pretty pissed off because the Oxo one came with a lifetime warranty and I've replaced the outside bowl a bazillion times.... I feel that if they really want to stop replacing it, then they should make one that doesn't break. I never thought I was such a free market zealot, but this just hit a nerve with me. My dh bought a new Oxo (!@#$%^&*), which I plan to return, since the last thing I want to do is throw good money after bad.

                        1. re: Mawrter

                          They make one that has a stainless bowl, but it costs twice as much and the lid is not interchangeable with the lids leftover from the others.

                          1. re: wally

                            My husband just bought the one with the stainless steel bowl for us, after our ancient salad spinner's bowl cracked. So far, I really like it - he's really into buying stainless steel anything whenever he can (including a stainless steel reamer that, needless to say, is completely ineffective - I much prefer my wood one).

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Wood reamers rock! I love that such a simple and cheap tool works so perfectly.

                              1. re: flourgirl

                                I'm not familiar with using a reamer in cooking? What/how do you use it?

                                1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                  I think it's for citrus fruit to get juice it.

                                  1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                    Yes, it's for juicing citrus fruit and they work really really well. And cost under $5 at places like BBB.

                                  2. re: flourgirl

                                    I used to use a wood reamer for many years, until I discovered the AMCO citrus press. It works so much more efficiently (e.g. No seeds, & one 2 second squeeze renders virtually all extractable juice), and best of all no juice on your hands. One word of caution... There are lots of cheap models where the citrus juice causes the paint to peel off. After a year with te AMCO press, I see no indication ok this happening.

                                    Mr Taster

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      Or, if you're in the market for a handheld citrus press, consider buying one that is not painted at all.

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        Cooks Illustrated rated the Norpro "not recommended" because the thing actually broke in their hands within the first few uses, and the citrus juice actually marred the stainless finish.

                                        Mr Taster

                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                          Well mine works great and I don't have any paint chip issues. The buyer ratings on Amazon are favorable and CI isn't on my radar for tools. Just sharing another option, Mr. T.

                                          eta: I just did a search on the Norpro and found at least a dozen 4-5 point ratings, so CI's review is not typical.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            Good to know! Couldn't tell from your post that you had practical experience with the Norpro. Thanks HillJ

                                            Mr Taster

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              My pleasure. I don't recommend w/out road testing :)

                                            2. re: HillJ

                                              That brings up an interesting question when there's a divergence between the ratings of Amazon and Cook's Illustrated's equipment reviews- who do you side with?

                                              On one hand, CI will test a wider range and number of equipment in the same category than the Amazon user?

                                              But, Amazon user will have a deeper user experience with the tool because they could be use it for longer before they post a review on it.

                                              1. re: hobbess

                                                hobbess, speaking for myself the answer is, me !
                                                nothing beats road testing a gadget.
                                                If I'm not happy with the performance, back in the box it goes; refund pls. Simple.

                                                I'll visit a retail shop and check out the gadget and then price it. I may wind up buying it elsewhere or at the retail shop depending on the deal. But, I never buy something I can't return if unhappy. So, commerical/written reviews are fine for general consumption, choices avail on the market..but I'd rather rec' the recommendation of someone (like Mr. T in this case) who has actually used the product in a home cooking environ. and has something important to share about their experience than a stand alone product review.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  The problem with Amazon reviews is the same as Yelp reviews... most people are prone to hyperbole and exaggeration and these forums do nothing to discourage it. While I definitely appreciate having a professional "staff" doing my equipment testing for me, HillJ's endorsement, as a long time & respected poster on Chowhound, means more to me than the reviews from either of the other two sources.

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    Appreciate it, Mr T; that's why these threads are so darn useful to all of us.

                                                  2. re: HillJ

                                                    I tried out a gadget one time and wasn't happy with it, but Marshall's wouldn't accept it even though I returned it with the receipt after a week I bought it.

                                                    Since then, I've been hesitant to even break any item out of its package to test it in case I want to return it only to have the store block that.

                                                    1. re: hobbess

                                                      hobbess, sorry to hear about your returns experience. I won't buy w/out a solid return policy or the ability to test out a product. Especially some of the small kitchen appliances out there today. Funny, you should id Marshall's. Sometimes the repackaging at the store clearly looks like the return policy is light. Some of my better (when it was necessary) return experiences have been to Sur la Table and Target.

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        Bed Bath& Beyond will let you return anything anytime -- even if it's been clearly used.

                                      2. re: MMRuth

                                        Amen , Amen. I put mine in a yard sale and went back to wood. the handle was fine, but doesn't even come close in effectiveness in getting the juice out.

                                        1. re: chazzerking

                                          I got one of the old time glass reamers that's really amazing -- the kind with a reamer in the center, a second level for catching pulp and seeds and a lower level for the juice. I think it beats my wood reamer.

                                  3. re: wally

                                    I do like my salad spinner - even with the unfortunate interaction between the plastic lid and the hot toaster!