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Is it important that tools are made in the USA?

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  • Is it important that tools are made in the USA?

    A recent thread in the Woodworking area talked some about this topic ( Emerson Tool Company closing plant in Paris, TN). While Jake is probably correct in limiting the conversation within that specific area, I think it is important for us at RIDGID to know your thoughts on the subject.

    I share some of your frustration, as I see how increasingly difficult it is to buy something that is NOT made in China these days. As long as the discussion about this issue remains civil, I think it has a place on this board.

    So lets hear it! How important to you is it that your tool is labeled "Made in the USA"? Do you buy only American-made products? Or is the bottom line your only consideration?

  • #2
    Wow Norm, you might really be opening up a real discussion here. Here I go. For me, when I am looking for a tool, I first look at the name brands because I expect better functionality and quality. When I find what I want, I then look to see where it is made. (I do look at non-name brands but their quality must be obvious for me to consider them). If an item is made in the states AND it is known to have a good track record for quality, then I will buy it even if it costs a little more. Note that I do not want to reward an American manufacturer for bad quality, their thinking that they can produce anything with the USA tag on it and us devoted Americans will buy it no matter what.

    In the past, "Made in China" meant poorer quality. That is changing just like "Made in Japan" made a huge transition. What I hope Ridgid will do is maintain its specifications so that poor quality will not be accepted from any manufacturer.

    The last thing which I believe will go nowhere in this forum is the discussion about corporate greed. Yes, corporations that are publicly traded are under pressure to make a larger profit to pass on to their shareholders. While this is necessary for capitalism to work, how much will be of much discussion. Corporate executives are largely judged according to financial results so you know if given a decision to make an item abroad will bring more profits, you know where the balance will lean. Note that stocks are where people and corporations invest for a good return on their money. This includes retirement funds. Nobody wants a 3% return on their money as in the bank so remember that.

    I originally thought all Ridgid tools were made in the USA according to what the Home Depot employee told me. I was impressed with the quality of what I saw and when I heard the tools were made in the USA this was an additional plus in choosing Ridgid. After I purchased the MS1250, I found the "Made in China" plate on the motor and admit was a little disappointed. I would suspect that sales will drop somewhat when the "Made in the USA" tag is dropped. I, like many, am willing to pay a little extra if the item I purchase provides me with good quality and its profits stay in the USA.

    Please Ridgid, maintain the quality of your products!!

    [ 06-24-2002, 12:37 PM: Message edited by: Ivan ]


    • #3
      Norm, I think Ivan summed it up very adequately.
      I agree with just about every word he wrote, in particular the last portion about big business. Profit, profit, profit. That is what in the end drives the companies to make the decisions they do. It's unrealistic to think that the big companies are thinking of us, the consumer. So we all have to be diligent in our choices and as Ivan said, just because it says made in the USA does'nt necessarily mean it's good. A lot of junk comes from China but so does some very high quality stuff. As long as Head Office insists on a certain standard and it's met, then OK. It does not help the laid off U.S. worker but unfortunately that's the way commerce works these days. Profit, profit, profit.

      Just my rambling 2c worth. And I am not American.

      Cheers Ivor in Calgary, Canada. (But with lots of made in USA Ridgid tools).


      • #4
        Sooner or later, the decamping of American businesses is going to hurt the economy. I agree the tax burden is causing a great deal of the problem, but solving the problem is not going to happen without 'Big Business' rattling the doors of Congress. States and counties are giving business's tax abatements in order to land their factories and stores. That is already backfiring here in KC, Ks. We need to stop the exodus by fixing the cause.
        Mac<P>Problems are opportunities in disguise


        • #5
          norm, YES, its so important for us to make sure our products on our shelfs are made in usa. it has been synonymous with good and reliable compromise there! by the way, why arent international distributors or dealers not included in the promotional offers on the Ridgid rapid wrench, anyway???


          • #6

            I'm glad you reopened this thread here---I really hated it in the Woodworker's Corner though.

            "How important to you is it that your tool is labeled "Made in the USA"?

            If my TS2424 wasn't ‘Made In the USA’ I can tell you it wouldn't be here in my shop. I had made my mind up to buy a different brand TS but while talking to the toolmen at HD (a couple of old guys who know their stuff!) I learned of the Ridgid & Emerson Tool history and I changed my mind. Mostly because of the ‘Made in USA’ but I suppose the fact that I had a Craftsman RAS, made by Emerson, for over 25 years with nary a complaint played a part in it as well. The 'Made in USA' was what did it for me though.

            "Do you only buy American-made products? Or is the bottom line your only consideration?"

            As far as only buying American made products, not much is made here in the USA any more. I wish I had that choice! The bottom line is not a consideration for me now but I have to admit, it sure was when I was raising my family. [img]smile.gif[/img]

            There are the answers to your questions but please permit me to add:

            If anyone needs to save their pennies for one reason or another that’s fine but please don’t badmouth the American worker. They are the best there is! Quickly adding, IMHO. [img]smile.gif[/img] They also work the longest hours in the industrialized world. This according to published statistics by the International Labour Organization - 1999.


            Take care all.


            • #7
              "It dose matter" WWE superstar the Rock!!!
              It really does not matter to me!
              Andy B.


              • #8
                I vote with Ivan. While "Made in USA" is not (and cannot be) the only factor, it is a value for which I will pay a premium. In my view, the premium goes to strengthing the United States' industrial capacity, which is in the national interest.


                • #9
                  In response to your question I will offer my opinion.
                  I always try to buy American and I always try to buy from a local retailer.
                  To me buying American is natural, you love the country and you support it's position in the world market.

                  Buying locally is also natural, you have questions and need answers, you want to touch and feel, you need immediate satisfaction you buy locally. You also then have someone you can look eye to eye when something is wrong.

                  I realize buying American is not always possible due to foreign parts usage and such. In those cases I then choose the one that has the company located in America. We can not keep allowing the profits to go to foreign countries, it is slowly destroying our economy and will eventually effect our freedom.
                  Rev Ed


                  • #10
                    For me the bottom line is quality. Just because a product is made in the USA. Does not mean it's the best there is. I thing some people feel that if they buy products that are only made in america that they are assuring our freedom and our way of life. Those thing come from those who serveand had served this country in the military. And to say you only buy american made products is really hard to do. Just becasue a company makes there products in the USA. Does not mean that every part was made in the USA. It could have foreign made steel, or plastic. The nut and bolts may have come from over sea's. Thses are thing that you may never know. NAd just because a company is locations in this country does not mean that all the profits stay in this country.
                    If you want to buy american made products over any other kind then so be it, But you should do all you can to be sure that the company is putting out the best product and if it falls short in any way let the company know that wont do. You may get thing changed but you will pay much more.
                    Big business is there to make money. To pay the people who work there and forthe stock holders. And the stock holders come first. If the stock holders are not getting as much money each year or what have you then the company eather has to cut back on the number of people who they have on the payroll or cut back on the quality of the product they make some thing has to give and for the most part is quality that goes first. They could say every person who works for the company to take a pay cut so that they could keep making a top quality product (ANY TAKERS??)
                    Ok I'll get off my soap box now. For me quality has to be number one. If that means the product I buy are made in the USA fine, If the come from over seas that fine too. Our Freedom is not going to be threatened because I or someone else bought a tool or a car made over seas. That price was and is paid each and everytime one of our military members gives his or her life. And lets US not forget those who gave their lives on 9-11. They to paid a price for our freedom. And it had nothing to do with buying foreign made goods.....
                    Dan<br /> <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                    • #11
                      Well...the answers listed above state a lot of things that I agree with regarding "Made in the USA". I would pay a few dollars more...but not much for the same quality. I would not choose an inferior product just because it was made in the US.

                      However, I had a professor who loved the following equation: Value = Performance / Price. If you are the highest priced product then you are vulnerable to cheaper goods. The competitor does not have to have the same quality to have the same value. I can understand why the market pressures demand a move overseas.....but I hate that it has come to that!!!


                      • #12
                        It's important to me that the tools and products I buy are made here in the US. I feel very strong about this. Ivan brought up several good points and I agree with them. And I will pay more for them. But I really feel it's in the best interest of the country. 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. Sure, nobody takes a table saw or a drill press to the front lines, but we need the factories and the infrastructure. During WWII you couldn't buy a new car because the car manufacturers were building tanks, trucks, jeeps, etc. When I was shopping for my table saw, the "Made In USA" label made me look at the Ridgid, and after comparing it to the imports I bought the Ridgid. If all the Ridgid tools will be made oversees, then I can't really consider Ridgid a tool manufacturer, Ridgid would be just be another importer to me. You guys really make a good product. Don't through it away.
                        My 2 cents.


                        • #13
                          One more thing. The reason "The South" lost the US Civil War was because the north had factories to build guns and cannons. The "South" had cotton farms.
                          2 more cents.


                          • #14
                            Very few of the firearms used by either side during the Civil War were manufactured during the period 1861-1865. In fact, some of the innovations of that period were shunned by the military of both sides.

                            I actually agree with the point, but the facts in the case of the Civil War don't bear it out. The story with respect to World War II, particular the Pacific theatre, is an entirely different matter.

                            Consider this: in 1939, it was decided that the military needed a new, light weight, short-barreled carbine. This was not a derivative of any existing design; it was to be created "from scratch." It went from conceptual idea in October 1939 to full production in October 1940; Jake, wouldn't that be a miracle today, even with computers and all the other design and manufacturing techniques that they didn't have in 1939? Now, the .30 U.S. M1 Carbine wasn't a great weapon, but that isn't the point. As early as December 6, 1941, no less autority than Yamamoto himself realized that Japan would be defeated by the industrial capacity of the United States.


                            • #15
                              Made in america has been and i am sure it always will be a deciding factor. However I am not opposed to buying foreign in the right circumstance. For example, Ridgid is an american company sold through home depot, an american company and therefore even if something is made overseas if you are buying from home depot in essence you are buying american.

                              I would be willing to bet that even if the tool is made in usa it was made with some foreign parts.

                              as long as ridgid keeps their high standards, superior technical support, and parts/accessories availibility, i will continue to buy Ridgid.
                              \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL