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Is it important that tools are made in the USA?

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  • #16
    Are we talking about made in the USA or American owned? Honda cars are made in America but the profits go back to Japan. Honda provides jobs to Americans. Some American companies manufacture overseas but bring the profits back to America.

    The world economy is a complex and complicated issue. Are we truly buying American when the company is American owned but the product is made overseas or are we buying American when the company is foreign owned but the product is made in the USA?
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #17
      What a topic this is....good responses from all and I agree with most of them. I've got several foreign tools and a whole lotta American mades....given the choice, I will always buy American for the quality (as long as it's there).

      As far as all tool makers looking to move their factories overseas (which most are), as long as the quality doesn't suffer, I guess it'll be ok. Sure would be nice to be able to say all my tools were made in America, but I fear that will soon be a thing of the past. It's sad to me to see this happen in the US, but I do understand the problems. Between the EPA and the tax structure, it's getting harder and harder to do business here.

      On another tangent, I will say that due to the huge influx of cheap labor in our great country, I would never buy a new home. Builders now are cutting every corner they can and it's ugly to see OSB and finger-jointed studs and shoddy construction everywhere in a house that will sell for half a million. I'm in hopes that the tool makers don't fall prey to this type of shareholder greed...
      Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>


      • #18
        The true question is this: When China invades Taiwan will the US still have a smooth flow of Ridgid tools?? It is definately in our National Interest to have some manufacturing capacity here. I try to purchase American made products whenever possible.


        • #19
          To me, it is important to buy American as often as I can. I follow by trying to go Canada next. Given the choice between two tools of equal quality, I'll pay more if I am sure it is made, not assembled only, in the USA or Canada. If not available, I'll go with the best quality in my price range.

          In other words, I would buy a General Drill press over a simular made Rigid if they were the same price range/ comprable product. General is in Canada, Rigid from off shore............
          Support Our Troops!


          • #20
            House of Tools sells General's Canadian made drill press (General also imports BTW) Model 34-01 for United States $913.31. Pricey, huh?

   is the page with price.



            • #21

              Yup, it's pricey! I think General makes some of the best tools out there. But, with that said, they are a tad out of my price range!

              In it's price range, I think that the DP1550 is a good deal. Specs out the same as some of the other brands that are $75-100 more. Just wish HD would carry the Mortise attachment right in the store!
              Support Our Troops!


              • #22

                Thanks for starting this thread.

                I try to buy tools that are made in the USA if I can. I will usually pay more for made in the USA but I also expect more. I expect better service and parts availability as well as a properly written user manual and higher quality. I have purchased Ridgid plumbing tools for years because they were and are top quality and they are made in the USA. As far as woodworking equipment goes I still try to buy in the USA although it’s getting tough to do so. For instance it’s almost impossible to buy a drill press or jointer that’s made here although it is possible. I ended up purchasing a used Rockwell-Delta jointer because of its quality and because it was made in the USA. There are exceptions like when its Sunday afternoon and you need a 15mm wrench. All Pep Boys has are wrenches made in Taiwan, you end up buying the wrench just so you can do the job.

                One problem seems to be marketing. For instance when you go to Home Depot the cheap import pipe wrenches are easy to find and in the tool department. The Ridgid pipe wrenches are locked away in a cabinet. You have to get a clerk to open the cabinet just to look at one. It’s the same way with a lot of other types of tools. For some reason the importers always seem to have the best web site and marketing.

                It was sad to here Emerson Electric decided to close the Paris plant. More US jobs were lost, it’s now even harder for me to buy made in the USA products, the US has lost even more valuable manufacturing infrastructure. A foreign country now has more jobs, and more US money.

                Bottom line for me is if the tool is made overseas chances are I won’t buy it.

                Bill T.



                • #23
                  i would always buy a ridgid tool so long as its made in usa. even if its expensive! thats quality!


                  • #24
                    Quality for the dollar IS the bottom line. They go hand in glove. Anyone who buys anything (a car, a tool, an appliance, a computer, whatever)based solely on country of origin is a fool. German cars, American tools, Japanese entertainment electronics; how many Americans have that mind set? Too many. Not enough look at the questions; What do I need?, What will do the job I need?, What is the best function/value/quality/price product that will do what I need done?. That is my decision process.

                    The second thing that keeps popping up in discussions like this is China. China used generically. China is not Tiawan and Tiawan is not China. There is a general quality level difference. There are also specific exceptions. It is up to the consumer to do their homework and find those exceptions if they exist, or to find that there is no exception in a particular case. Although, generally, Tiawan has a higher quality standard than China, if a manufacturer (read importer such as Delta, Ridgid, Sears, WoodTek, Grizzly) wants to buy junk from Tiawan, they can.

                    Enough of my soapbox. I just get upset when people blame everything under the sun for quality/price/value except themselves. DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST, THEN BUY.



                    • #25
                      I would prefer to buy American made everything to keep my fellow Americans working. However, the labor is so cheap, and the import taxes are such that companies can better profit from manufacturing abroad. It's polotics I'm affraid. Until our government sees to it that American companies benefit more by staying here in the US, we will be forced to purchase non US made products. Foriegn trade is one thing, keeping the American working is another. Instead of taxing the heck out of the American who is becoming more and more unemployed these days, tax the imports.
                      Although big business see's nothing but numbers on paper...profits, bonus's, etc. I would like to see big business return to the pride they had with the Made in USA that has seamed to be forgotten for the numbers on paper.
                      Bottom line is I read reviews, get personal opinions, look at warrenty and service reputation on nearly everthing I purchase. If what I want is made in the USA, YHEY! If not, or well. That is the direction I take because that is path that has been set before me.
                      The path can change ONLY when our fellow Americans become more important than the numbers on paper.
                      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                      • #26
                        There are a lot of opinions here and a few good points. It's important to remember that the countries we import from are as dependant on us as we are on them. If we don't buy they don't profit. The problem comes from the smaller items. Put a $10 wrench set aside a $50 wrench set and most people will buy the $10 set (or two for that matter). The screwdrivers, tape measures and countless other products generate huge profits through volume.

                        The biggest problem is that the domestic products aren't significantly better. Dollar for dollar it's hard to see how we've retained any market share at all.

                        Many will disagree but the fact is they design, build, and ship across the world in some cases and are still able to make healthy profits while maintaining lower prices.

                        The problem is right here at home. We haven't come to realize that building the exact same products here and not having to ship them and pay import taxes offsets the increased cost of labor.

                        These countries aren't importing Caftsman wrenches and Ridgid Tablesaws and yet they're able to repair their cars and build their homes.

                        [ 01-21-2003, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: J Reed ]


                        • #27
                          J REED,

                          The labor is cheap. They pay people maybe $3.00 a day! And the people there are happy to make THAT!
                          I remember reading an article about NewBalance Shoe Co. They build about 60%~70% of their shoes in asia and the rest in the U.S. The labor cost of building in asia is about $2.00 per shoe, in the U.S. it's about $4.25 per shoe, - not that much of a difference per shoe. But if your selling 4 million shoes, well then, it's a big difference.
                          My feeling is that it's a matter of national security that we maintain a large enough manufacturing base so that if needed, we can produce the goods needed to defend ourselves.
                          We need the factories and the infrastructure, I will always buy AMERICAN MADE whenever possible.
                          Have a great day in the shop!
                          Eastchester, NY
                          "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds"~ Albert Einstein