I thought I posted this but I'm not finding it so:
(edit: found it in Chat thread reposting here)
When the hell did bread machines get so expensive?
I have two of them, a Sensio XBM-1028 and a Zojirushi BBCC-V20. The Sensio I bought about the time my wife and I started living together 15 years ago. That particular model is sold by a lot of Chinese companies and was sold by the TV Food Network for a while. A nice little unit that bakes 1 lb. or 1.5 lb. loaves and has some good features. I think I paid about $35 (new) for it in 2005 and it has baked many hundreds of loaves since then.
The Zojirushi was given to me as a gift by a friend of ours that we helped move. He'd gotten it for himself, baked one loaf and decided bread baking was not for him. I think it originally sold for about $350, does only 2 lb. loaves and is considered one of the better bread makers on the market.
Two weeks ago, while it was kneading a loaf of bread for us to have at breakfast the Sensio started making funny noises then stopped kneading and all you could hear was the motor running and sounding odd. Shit... I figured the poor thing had suffered a transmission failure and kneaded its last loaf, moved the dough to the Zojirushi (adding a little flour, water, yeast to bring the loaf size up) and was about to toss it after looking and seeing deeply recessed security screws I don't have a bit for (but I can make one) but decided to see if they were still being made and maybe buy a replacement. Well, I found out four things.
- They stopped selling them in the US in 2008 but still sell them in Asia
- They didn't sell very many in the US
- They use a belt drive and a new belt is just $16.47 shipped
- If you can find one on eBay they start around $30 used and $120 new
I also found out that the cheapest Zojirushi bread machine these days sells for about $500 and there is only one bread machine I could find, a Hamilton Beach, that sells for under $100 ($85 on Amazon).
The belt arrived a few days ago and I went to work taking the machine apart with the same screwdriver set I use for working on laptops as it had the right security bit. Replacement of the belt and reassembly took about 30 minutes. As you can see below the old belt was pretty well and truly borked.