Actually, you'll only thank me later if you choose to do what I did - assume they weren't worth the extra bucks. Then it probably won't be so much a thank you as a bit of cursing me under your breath for being right. In which case we'll have a chat about misdirected anger. But I digress.
It wasn't long after I had my kegerator up and running before I noticed a problem. If you don't use the standard beer faucets for a couple of days they start to stick closed. At that point, you either need to disassemble the faucets and clean them out, or use more force than feels comfortable to try and free them up. Either way, you'll find some sticky gunk hanging out around the edges of the inner workings. Yuck.
Enter Perlick. I'd read their design eliminated the sticking and kept things cleaner. Here's what Perlick has to say:
Its revolutionary Perl ball and floating O-ring design eliminates the need for a valve shaft. Internal parts are not exposed to air so the handle lever doesn't stick and there is no build up of mold and bacteria in the faucet body. The Perl faucet has fewer internal parts for better reliability and fewer service calls. A polished interior produces a smooth flow with less foaming.Here's the deal. This is going to be a very short product review. I have no idea about reducing service calls, but every other claim is spot on. Whether I leave the taps alone for a day or a week, they don't stick, work immediately, and I perceive less foam forming from them. Disassembling them every once in a while to clean the entire system is easy.
If you've heard complaints from your favorite home brewer about sticking faucets, now you have another holiday gift idea. If you're in the market for a kegerator, skip the standard faucets and go with these.
I chose the Perlick 525 stainless steel model, the industry standard. (These were not provided by Perlick. I purchased them with my own cash.) Prices range quite a bit, so check around. I got mine from Adventures in Homebrewing for about $33 each on sale.
Amazon.com currently has a good price, too. Regular pricing around the net hovers around $44, but prices seem to be coming down since Perlick recently introduced a chrome plated/brass model that is less expensive.