I think I bought this whisk in the late 1970's, when I was setting up my first flat. It had a red handle and a matching spinner whirly thing (you know, the bit which rotates on the crank so you don't have to worry about it taking the skin off your fingers). Both handle and spinner broke more than a dozen years ago.
It has been used for cream, egg whites, cakes, pancake batter, Yorkshire Pudding batter, and everything else in between. The blades are metal, but the top part, with cog and wheel, is plastic - and it's started to seize up when I wind the handle.
In the thirty-six-plus years since I paid for it - in the Co-op, if I remember correctly - designers and manufacturers have added the food-processor, the whizz-stick-blender with whisk attachment, as well as the proper electric whisk, to our kitchens. I have owned all three at one time or another. And of course there is the "real" balloon whisk as well. And the Kenwood Chef.
Should I let it go? I reach for it several times a week but have recently found myself wearing the beaten egg after using it, so I think it may have finally reached the end of its life.
I feel strangely sentimental about this, which is unexpected. It has seen me through almost four decades of birthday cakes and Shrove Tuesdays and cream-on-the-top-of-the-Christmas-Trifles. And I can't see me replacing it either. Other utensils do the same job, not better or worse, but I don't need another one.
What is the oldest kitchen utensil in your drawer?