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I have been buying Whalen racks from Costco for years. They used to have a slick grey hammered finish that allowed the pieces to slide easily together without tools. When they first moved to a black finish it was not as nice, it scratched much easier than the grey, but at least the pieces still assembled easily with a rubber mallet. Now, the newest black powder coat is cheap and awful. Not only does it scratch and rust easily (the demo at the store showed rust) but the pieces stick together - the new model is far more difficult to assemble. The new cross braces also have tabs that protrude down to the top of the shelf space below and can catch on items being placed or removed from the rack.
The hammered grey from years ago assembled easily without a mallet. When Whalen first switched to black, I found a mallet made assembly easier. With the current black powder coat, a heavy rubber mallet is an absolute requirement and some pieces are still very difficult to fit. While I used to buy only Whalen shelves from Costco, now I would recommend similar options from other manufacturers that have a far better finish.
I wish Costco allowed reviewers to post pictures, the differences between the 3 finishes is very noticeable.
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