Solutions for Self-Reliance


16 Tough Products Built To Last You a Lifetime


Tired of replacing stuff? Spend your money on stuff that’s built to last.

In a world of planned obsolescence and cheap mass-manufacturing the concept of stuff that can last your whole life must seem mind-boggling. But it’s out there.

We’re used to replacing our smartphone and wardrobe every couple of years, and the same goes for furniture, appliances and pretty much everything else in your home.

Fortunately, not every manufacturer has adopted the concept of planned obsolescence. There are people out there who value real craftsmanship and create works of art that will last a lifetime or more.

Here are some of them:

The Country Living Grain Mill

Country Living Grain Mill

The benefits of grinding your own flour are many, one benefit being that you avoid the highly processed and refined flour that you buy in the store. That stuff is dead! Whole grain flour is healthier, plus whole grains store much longer than flour.

The Country Living Grain Mill is one of the most well known (and well regarded) grain mills on the market, it’s US made and has a lifetime guarantee. The bottom line? I like it a lot.

Read my in-depth review of the Country Living Grain Mill here and read more reviews on Amazon here.

Saddleback Leather

Saddleback Leather

Saddleback Leather makes beautiful bags from the world’s best leather. It’s the last bag you’ll ever need, it’s going to turn heads wherever you take it, and your family will likely fight over it when you’re dead. And they guarantee each bag for 100 years.

Every piece of Saddleback Leather is built for lifetimes of satisfaction. In fact, we believe in our craftsmen, our materials and our designs so strongly that we warranty them against defects in materials and workmanship for 100 years.

Now, check out the Saddleback Leather briefcase that started it all.

Le Creuset Cast Iron Cooking Pots

Le Creuset

A Le Creuset pot looks beautiful, cooks wonderfully evenly, and you’ll still have it to pass down to your grandkids. Check out this beautiful “Flame” orange dutch oven for example.

And of course they come with the famous Le Creuset Cast Iron Guarantee.

Darn Tough Socks

Darn tough socks

Hold on, socks with a lifetime guarantee? Yes that’s right, if they’re not the best socks you ever had return them no questions asked, and if you manage to wear out a pair of these ultra-durable socks Darn Tough will replace them – no strings attached.

These socks are made of the highest quality merino wool and are made with an extremely high loop count per square inch. This makes the socks incredibly durable and efficient at wicking the moisture away from your feet.

Check out Darn Tough socks here.

Pelican Hardware Cases

Pelican 1500

How would you feel if you dropped your nice camera or laptop on a concrete floor, or got it caught in a hurricane? Peace of mind can be purchased, however, with a sturdy, waterproof carrying case by Pelican. Best yet, their injection molded cases come with a lifetime guarantee.

Check out the range of Pelican cases here.

Lodge Cast-Iron Cookware

Lodge Cast Iron

Made in the USA and pre-seasoned and ready-to-use, Lodge cast-iron cookware will likely last you a lifetime.

Lodge cookware does not come with a lifetime guarantee, but I don’t think it matters. I have faith in cast-iron, and when you can pick up a Lodge skillet starting at under $10 bucks I’d say it’s worth the gamble.

Or how about learning how to cook in a Lodge dutch oven?

Craftsman Tools

Craftsman tools
The warranty of Craftsman Tools is simple: it will replace any of the hand tools covered in this warranty any time the tool breaks or fails, for the life of the tool. And for hammers and the like, that lifetime can be very, very long.

So if you’re looking for tools that won’t need replacing again then Craftsman Tools looks like a good bet.

Here are some of their more popular tool sets:

Leatherman Wave 17 In One Multitool

Leatherman Wave

I’ve had my Leatherman Wave for a couple of years and never leave home without it. While I’m still relatively young (or so I’m telling myself) I’m sure my Wave will last me many more decades.

Leatherman have designed this brilliant multi-tool, that comes with an impressive 25 year guarantee.

”The Leatherman Wave multi-tool is hands down our most popular model, made famous by its outside-accessible blades that can be deployed with just one hand. When we redesigned it in 2004, we gave the new Wave larger knives, stronger pliers, longer wire cutters, and all-locking blades. Perfect for any job, adventure, or everyday task, the Wave multi-tool is an international best-seller.”

Check it out on Amazon here.

Gränsfors Bruks Axes

Large Splitting Axe

Axe production has gone from being a work of art to being something mass produced in large factories. Not so with Gränsfors Bruk, a company founded in 1902 that is sticking with their traditional production methods.

These axes are still forged by hand, by twelve master axe smiths, in a factory in the small village of Gränsfors in the middle of Sweden, and each approved axe head is stamped with the initials of the individual axe smith.

The axes comes with a 20-year guarantee on the axe head, but with proper care I’m sure that my Gränsfors Bruks axes will not only last me a lifetime, but also that I’ll be able to pass them down to my children (or more likely my grand-children).

The Small Forest Axe is by far their most popular axe model, used by bushcrafters and outdoorsmen all over the world. Check out my review of their Small Forest Axe here and check it out on Amazon here.

The Fisher Infinium Space Pen


It writes at any angle, even in Zero Gravity, under water, and in extreme temperatures (-30F to 250F). Plus, it comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee and have enough ink to last the average person 80 years. Check out the Fisher Space Pen INFINIUM.

The pen is rather on the expensive side, but if it does what it says on the tin then this could be the one and only pen you need to buy ever. Just don’t lose it!

Dr. Martens “For Life” Boots

Dr Martens for Life

Dr. Martens have brought out a range of boots and shoes that they guarantee for life. Simply register them, and they will fix them if they ever wear out for the rest of your lifetime!

These boots and shoes are made with toughened leather and their construction means they can be fixed if they do wear out. When they eventually wear out, Dr. Martens will repair or replace every pair you own — for life.

Got a pair of “For Life” boots? Don’t forget to activate the guarantee here.

Blundstone Boots

These are my kind of boots, and I use them daily around the my homestead. You’d expect the best boots to come with the best guarantee. That’s why if you upgrade to the Lifetime Guarantee, your Blundstone boots are covered for any defect in workmanship or materials for life. Not 5 years or 10 years. For life.

Filson Clothing

Filson mackinaw jacket
Filson are known for their clothing made from heavyweight Tin Cloth and warm Mackinaw Wool, and they make stuff that lasts.

My favorite? Although I don’t own one, I could see myself wearing this Mackinaw virgin wool coat any day of the week.

Oh, and all their clothes comes with a lifetime guarantee against failure or damage in its intended usage.

GORUCK Backpacks

This rucksack and endurance gear maker’s Scars Lifetime Guarantee protects against everything but burns, gunshot holes, knife slashes, dog attacks, damage from washer and dryers, excessive abrasion on the zippers and unreasonable wear and tear. If you somehow manage to damage your bag another way, Goruck will stitch it right up.

ZIPPO Lighters

Zippo lighters are guaranteed to still produce a flame, no matter how old it is. If you want something extra heavy duty, check out the Zippo Armor Lighter. Zippo offers free repairs on its lighters, hand warmers and knives.

The 10 Year Hoodie

The team behind the 10 Year Hoodie managed to raise $1,053,830 on Kickstarter from over 9,000 backers. The promise? A hoodie built for life, guaranteed to last at least a decade and backed with FREE mending.

Closing Thoughts

Cheap stuff has their place. I like cheap stuff.

But I like stuff built to last even more. When you hold something that’s built to last in your hand, you can feel it. You can feel the effort that went into making it, and it just feels good to use it and look at it.

I think stuff built to last, heritage goods, is making a comeback. As for me, I’m done buying cheap stuff where there are alternatives that will last.

But when it comes to guarantees, keep in mind that just because a company offers a lifetime guarantee does not mean you’ll be set for life. Many lifetime guarantees I’ve run into, including some of the products below, only covers manufacturing defects and does not cover wear and tear.

Now I’d love to hear from you, do you know of any other product that’s built to last?

Want more like this?

This is just one aspect of self-reliance. You'll find more in our 100% free online Self-Reliance Catalog, a carefully curated collection of the best in self-reliance & resilience

The goal of The Self-Reliance Catalog is to help you know better what is worth getting and where and how to do the getting, whether that “thing” is a plant, a tool, a book, or even a design for a home or greenhouse.

Set up your free account here for instant access



Suggested Videos

Self-Reliance is Hard
We Make It Easier

Solutions for Smarter Self-Reliance:

You'll find them in The Self-Reliance Catalog; a carefully curated collection of the best plants, tools, shelters and systems for self-reliance and resilience.

Free Registration