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  • Made in America

    Jake: Several months ago I purchased a RIDGID jointer and RIDGID thickness planer. I am very please with the quality and performance of both tools; great value for the money.

    I thought I knew the history of Craftsman / Emerson / Ridgid and the development of RIDGID TOOLS for Home Depot, and made the assumption that these products were made in America. I was disappointed to find the "Made in Taiwan" model No./serial No. plate on the back of my jointer. Is it only the castings that are made in Taiwan? What about the Emerson motor?

    I have since done a little homework, and was very disappointed to discover my Delta drill press was made in China, JET tools are made in Taiwan, even my trusted Lee Valley Tools router bits are made in Tiawan. Have we stopped producing our own products and become importers? Are there any (mid-range/contracter) power tools produced in North America?

  • #2
    First off let me list what tools that we make in the US.

    All three of our table saws
    TS2424
    TS2412
    TS2400
    RS1000 Radial saw
    MS1050 Miter saw
    SS1650 Scoll saw
    EB4424 Sander
    All RIDGID Vacs
    Our two air filtration systems are made in Canada along with our dust collection network.

    Most of the rest of the tools are made in the Taiwan with the exception of the Drill Press, which is made in China.

    A couple of reasons for production of tools overseas: On the tools with Cast iron like the jointer and the Drill press (which are lower volume tools that our table saws), cast iron in the U.S. in low volumes is prohibitively expensive. A lot more pipe wrenches are sold than bandsaws.

    Market pressure is the single biggest reason for making tools oversees. If we could demand $30 more for a $250 tool for USA made we would but all things being equal most customers will save the $30 and buy an overseas tool. Also pressure from direct importers such as Jet and Grizzly really make it necessary to source tools from Taiwan. Import does not necessarily mean lower quality. Jet is consistently noted for the quality of their tools and every one of their tools are imports.

    We still have the largest single power tool factory in the world in Paris, Tenn. where our table saws and the like are made. The vacs are made in Michigan.

    I'd like to hear your input on where tools are made and how much you feel the fact a tool is made in the US is of value to you.

    Jake

    Comment


    • #3
      I have shopped price for tools over $50 and as you say, foreign-made usually win. However, I am rethinking that as I have a Delta planer (12") that I have been unable to get a part for since 7/5/2000! I thought that a "good" name would assure me of service when I needed it-not so.I believe I will go for USA tools in the future and call the price difference a "service charge". It seems silly to have a tool down for three months for lack of a $7.00 part.

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      • #4
        There are still a lot of true professionals in the woodworking industry that do care where the tool is manufactured. I always try to buy American if possible. I also buy quality tools manufactured by German, Swiss and Japanese companies. I have never seen or used a quality tool that was manufactured in China, Tiawan, Indonesia, Korea or Mexico because in my opinion they do not exist. I do not believe the argument that Jack is trying to make concerning the cast iron products. You only have to look closely at the rough casting of these tools to realize the difference is not in the cost of the cast iron but in the quality of the finished product. Also the foreign steel used by these manufacturers does not compare to the quality of US or other steel. I recently purchased a Powermatic 66 10" table saw. This saw has long been considered as "The best saw on the market" Before I purchased this saw I was concerned that it was no longer being manufactured In the USA. Powermatic was recently purchased by the mega conglomerate (WMH)that owns Jet tools which are mostly manufactured in Taiwan. I was assured by the customer service dept. of Powermatic that the saw was still proudly built 100% in the USA. When I received my new saw and opened up the cardboard box my disappointment soon turned to anger when I realized that all of the Powermatic saw accessories that where included had been manufactured in Taiwan including the safety gaurd, table inserts, mitre gauge, hand wheels, locking knobs and the cast iron extention wings. (the main table was USA but the extention wings are Taiwan. There is a big difference in the quality of the steel and the mounting holes did not line up) I contacted Powermatic to voice my complaint and was told that those parts are accessories and not part of the main saw so that they did not have to be manufactured or assembled in the USA and the saw could be considered as 100% USA. I would like to see them try to sell the saw with no safety gaurd if it is considered an accessory and not part of the saw. I have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission as if it will do any good. I have had no problems with saw but I cannot help but feel deceived by Powermatic. Bottom Line - buyer beware.

        Comment


        • #5
          I did a lot of home work before I spent the money for my Ridgid power tools. I could'nt be happyer with the quility. A lot of people out there feel that just because it says made in the USA it's the best. It's just not true. And a company can say that a product is BUILT in the USA and have all oversea's parts. Thay take the parts and build the finished item. The bottom line is the companys Quality Assurance dept. If you say me Made in the USA more times then not means substandered. Sorry to say this countery has lost the edge it once had. Many of Ridgids tools made be made overseas, But waht sets them apart is Ridgids Quality Assurance. I cant see spending more money for a power tools when I know I can get top quality for less from Ridgid.
          Regards Daniel Maloney

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          • #6
            Generally, I don't care about where my tools are made because I don't buy them from a country. When I bought my Rigid table saw at HD I was buying from HD and Ridgid. If something goes wrong, I know who to contact and whose reputation is on the line. It's the quality and price that matter to me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Bravo. I couldn't have said it any better.

              We are one of the biggest economy in the world and I think we need to help this other countries indirectly by bringing them up and out of economic jeopardy by. What was that saying "Don't give a man fish, show him to catch it"

              The more tools Taiwan makes and sells hopefully the better the tools will become.

              <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ghodgin:
              Generally, I don't care about where my tools are made because I don't buy them from a country. When I bought my Rigid table saw at HD I was buying from HD and Ridgid. If something goes wrong, I know who to contact and whose reputation is on the line. It's the quality and price that matter to me. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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              • #8
                It shouldn't matter where the tool is made. If a tool is a quality tool and has good customer support I will buy from them. In the '80s the Japanese car makers forced their American counterparts to improve their products. Just being an American company is not enough, you've got to take care of your customers.

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                • #9
                  <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ghodgin:
                  We are one of the biggest economy in the world and I think we need to help this other countries indirectly by bringing them up and out of economic jeopardy by. What was that saying "Don't give a man fish, show him to catch it"

                  The more tools Taiwan makes and sells hopefully the better the tools will become.
                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                  <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Maxdod:
                  It shouldn't matter where the tool is made. If a tool is a quality tool and has good customer support I will buy from them. In the '80s the Japanese car makers forced their American counterparts to improve their products. Just being an American company is not enough, you've got to take care of your customers.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                  All things being equal, I don't think a tool's country of origin is as important as the quality and service behind the tools.

                  Buying American just because it's American merely hurts us, buy giving our manufacturer's a crutch when they should be competent enough to make a quality tool and offer services to their customers as good as, or better than the competition.

                  If we give them this "crutch" we could see the same thing happen to our U.S. tool manufacturers that happened to our auto manufacturers in the 70's and 80's which I'd rather not see repeated.

                  Bubba

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I suppose that I should no longer be shocked to hear my fellow Americans tout the virtues of tools made in Taiwan or China, or say they don't care where their tools are made. I personally will vote with my dollars to buy American wherever possible. As a person who makes their living in manufacturing - based in the US, I'll continue to support those like me.

                    One thing to consider next time you buy that cheaper tool made somewhere else - we can't all make a living in this country by doing each others laundry. The strength of this country has been our ability to manufacture the best tools, equipment, and automobiles in the world.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mike, the United States still does build some of the best tools in the world. Question is, can you pay for them?

                      Northfield is a superb quality manufacturer of woodworking tools, in Minnesota. There band saws, to take one example, start at $6,000 list (motor not included).

                      Dave

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                      • #12
                        Basic laws of supply and demand set the price. The assumption that a tool or (fill in the blank) will be inherently better because it's made in the USA holds no water.
                        How long do you think a company would be in business if their saw cost $100 or so more than a competitors with no better quality or features than an import?

                        Don't get me wrong in thinking that I am anti USA. (My pension check comes from a very large and well known manufacturer). It hurt to see jobs lost to overseas, Mexico etc. because we could not be competitive!Sorry to say, but that's capitalism at work. In this country the work goes to the low bidder.

                        By the way, better check your underwear and shoes, shirt etc. I'd be willing to bet they are not made in USA. [img]smile.gif[/img]
                        Dick

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                        • #13
                          I'll give another input. I believe we should all do our part and buy American made goods when we can, But just because a product is "Made in America" does not alway mean it the best quality. Quality in most product comes down to one thing, The quality control of the company. And like most people these days I want the most for my money. I shop around before I buy check out the company look at the product you can tell alot about the companys quality control that way. And I hope that people are not fooles in to thinking that if a product says "Built in the USA" wont have any overseas parts. For me I'll buy American Made goods unless I can get better quality ,better warrenty and better price. I love this country I proudly serviced in the US Navy for 20 years and if recalled I would gladly go again. This is with out a dought the greatest country in the would. How ever that does not mean that because a product is American Made that it is that best. Everyone will have to make the choise for them selfs.
                          Dan<br /> <a href=\"http://community.webshots.com/user/pepaw101\" target=\"_blank\">http://community.webshots.com/user/pepaw101</a>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'll probably get flamed for this. I live in Canada and, even though I hold both Canadian and US citizenship, things like illegal import duties imposed on products imported to the US from Canada (softwood is just the latest example), the US foreign policy and my experiences dealing with US government agencies, I generally avoid purchasing any product that is actually manufactured in the US. I travel to Europe quite a bit in the course of my employment and you find a lot of the same sort of sentiment there, as well.

                            The US does not have a monopoly on quality. In fact, just as often as not, a US-made product is inferior in quality and design to foreign products. I find that too many American companies use "Made In The USA" as a marketing tool and a sign of patriotism rather than as a sign of quality.

                            I will only purchase American made products if, and only if, I cannot find an equivelant product of equivalent or better quality that is manufactured outside of the US. Needless to say, I don't own too many US-made products.

                            Steve
                            flamemehere@hotmail.com
                            Steve in Vancouver

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not overly concerned about where a product is manufactured. What I look and pay for is quality and the most bang for my buck.

                              Foreign goods do not take jobs from Americans. Many Americans make their living importing, transporting, selling and servicing imported goods. Many more make a living in the foreign contry managing ghe business that makes the imported goods.

                              We Americans love to export our goods. Approximately 70% of my company's business is export. Our main competitor is a foreign company, we compete based on quality, features and price - not on country of origin.

                              I served this great nation for 16 years in the Air Force (and will also gladly do so again) and managed a branch office of a US company in Taiwan.

                              I still by the best product I can afford, regardless of its origin.

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