Product weight and perceived quality

I’ve done some research with titanium hammers in the field. The idea is that a lighter hammer with a longer shaft can generate the same force as your 20oz piece because you can swing it faster (F=ma). It was pretty hard to convince anyone of this idea whether it was a carpenter or physics professor. We even gave away Ti hammers for free for trials to contractors, only to find that a few weeks later they were actually using their old hammer. When you want to drive nails, you will want to use a heavier piece, even if you do understand “theory” :wink:

I usually refer to this as “heft” (the perceived quality of an object based on it’s weight - my definition). Heft can also go in the other direction such as a bicycle that ways almost nothing is higher quality than a heavy one. It is highly subjective and object specific.

Bikes, light weight equals higher race performance by lessening rider energy expenditure. This is very specific. The materials chosen and attention to detail required result in a higher expense. This higher expense is perceived as higher quality.

However, durability, less, stability, less, downhill performance compromised, likelihood of getting stolen, increased. These factors, not just cost, determine my choice of a bike to ride.

I can imagine the feeling of a too light hammer, just wrong. What is the feeling transmitted back to the hand of a Ti hammer? A heavy hammerhead lets the force stay in the head, resulting in a “quiet” feeling in your hand, it seems light a light hammer would be less dampened. Just a gut feeling.

Evidently, people are displeased with the new iPhone and its weight.

Don’t recall the exact experience, but I think that it bounces of more. Which actually helps repeated swinging. The nail driving functions surprisingly good actually, you can sink a nail with same amount of hits you would with a steel hammer (3-4). Its’ major winnings are the ergonomic aspects of constantly swinging a lighter object. The problem though - and probably why most people we observed went back to a steel hammer - is because hammers arent’t used for nailing, nailguns are. Hammers are mostly for random demolition and “adjusting” stuff, that often require one major blow once in a while.

I wonder whose direction it was to make it light? Could it be the absensece of Jobs, resulting in someone demanding the usual “Bigger, Lighter, Faster”?

I usually refer to this as “heft” (the perceived quality of an object based on it’s weight - my definition).

Somewhere out there is an old automobile commercial touting the heavy “crunch” that their car doors made when closed. I think it was Ford but couldn’t find anything on YT.

Volkswagen knows about it.

You may (or may not (mmm… probably not)) remember the old Ford Pinto Pony MPG commercials’ reference to “627 more pounds of road hugging weight than the Chevrolet Scooter” … although it was more of a rebuttal to competitors’ accusations that the cars were needlessly heavy, than it was a real selling point. Note the difference in MSRP in the ad.

Here’s the advert.


Touting weight as a positive on a subcompact car, called “MPG”
is really hilarious. Never saw that.
The Jetta ad is tops. The great sales of the new VW range could
be attributed more to the new marketing and local production
than real qualities of the cars…, my wife got a Touran as charriot
for the little ones … oh my…

Thats real art: Making the customer experience “Quality” without
delivering “substance”. FORD just wasn’t there yet in 1975.