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Made in China

by PineChopper
posted 790 days ago


1 2 next »
57 replies

57 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2182 days


#1 posted 790 days ago

If the Chinese products are made properly they can be good tools but many are made as inexpensive as possible and the products are usually inferior to US or other countries products. If I have my choice I would prefer to buy American made products.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 869 days


#2 posted 790 days ago

That’s a little too general a question in my opinion. Not everything made in China is junk (though a lot of people would like you to think that). In fact, a lot of the tools you buy from major manufacturers are now produced in China or other countries that many people regard as producing junk.

If you’re instead meaning, “What do you think about cheaply-made, seemingly inferior tools?” Then I actually have an opinion on that. I don’t buy them unless I need them for one or two things and don’t mind them being destroyed or being essentially disposable. I don’t need every one of my tools to be a top-of-the-line, “built to last several lifetimes” investment.

Since I turn a lot of wrenches, I often have a supply of cheap sockets and wrenches that I use for banging on, heating and bending, and building custom tools with (by cutting and welding).

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View BreeStephany's profile

BreeStephany

29 posts in 790 days


#3 posted 790 days ago

I generally only buy namebrand tools when it comes to power tools, and generally try to stay as far away from HF as possible, but as the same time, I really have to agree with Doss, if I need to make a tool or known that I’m going to be abusing a tool to the point of destroying it, I generally go with the cheaper alternatives and use them til they are destroyed.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7274 posts in 2252 days


#4 posted 790 days ago

The Chinese can make very good products but they don’t
make a quality product at a rock-bottom price, they make
an inferior product at the rock-bottom price… just as
factories in any country would. The problem is that
most companies go to China demanding what is
called “the China price”.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

398 posts in 1799 days


#5 posted 790 days ago

Comparing a Chinese made product with a US made product is often impossible because the US product isn’t made here any more.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7274 posts in 2252 days


#6 posted 790 days ago

Oh you should know that most electric products “made
in China” are actually assembled in China and many parts
may be sourced from other countries.

I-Phones for example are assembled in China but most
of the cost in the phone is not in the Chinese labor
but in raw materials and high-tech manufacturing of
microprocessors and precision components done
in countries other than China.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View wingate_52's profile

wingate_52

219 posts in 1174 days


#7 posted 790 days ago

For years, the only Chinese tool I had was a lump hammer. Now I have a Quangsheng LA BU no.62 plane with 3 blades. It is absolutly brilliant. Flat ground and square. Really sharp blades with edge retention.( I made a new rear handle in matching Bubinga as the original was short and at a strange angle for me) I had dabbled with one of their plane blades and chipbreakers after buying a Rob Cosman combo. then a few more, pls a lever cap iron and bronze adjusting yoke. I am about to buy a QS LA block plane that like the 62, coms with 3 blades with different angles pre ground. I reccomend without reservation. One of my colleages has bought a QS no.5 plane.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3848 posts in 933 days


#8 posted 790 days ago

IMO made in China is a mixed bag….

Not every hobbiest needs “top of the line” tools…. but if you’re going to buy “good enough” for half price, you need to go into the acauisition with your eyes open.

I much prefer made in Tawain over made in China. The evolution of industry there has a 30 year head start on China and made in Tawain is arguably as good as made in Japan.

Many items just aren’t made in the USA any more.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1025 days


#9 posted 790 days ago

As long as you realize that most Chinese cities have resorted to welding the man hole covers in the street so they aren’t stolen to make hand tools, you might be okay. (Low quality steel.)

Second thing to realize is that many of the name brands you know and love are already made in China and that those Chinese manufacturers usually make the exact same tool with thier own private label and sell it as the “top line” product at the imported tool store at a 70% mark down from the name brand.

Still, even with that knowledge it is a mixed bag.

Example 1:
There’s the $200 name-brand jig saw that I bought with the Chinese private label for $69. Same tool, same awesome performance and features. They didn’t even use a different color plastic in the molds… I just got to keep a lot more of my money which I used to buy more wood.

Example 2:
Then, there’s the $19 trim router that the spindle was so unbalanced it nearly put me in the hospital the first time it was turned on. Thankfully, and luckily, I avoided injury with that one.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

208 posts in 1926 days


#10 posted 790 days ago

Just like products that are or were made in the US there is good, bad and ugly. Some products are built to a quality point, some to a price point and some in the middle. Many of the woodworking machines built in the US in the last century were built only to a quality point, consumers like most of us didn’t buy 20” bandsaw, cabinets saws or 12” jointers. They were built for commercial and industrial use by companies that spread the initial cost over many years.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1119 days


#11 posted 790 days ago

Having lived in China for 16 months on a daily basis, and worked with their people shoulder to shoulder on a daily basis, I agree with a1Jim, Loren and Doss.
I drove a Buick while in China, made in Shanghai under the guidance of American Engineers. It had a four cylinder, turbo-charged, fuel injected engine, and was an absolutely great car that got great gas mileage. No catylitic converter on it, but the Chinese think differently than us, they think in terms of efficient burning of the fuel as an emmission control. They are wrong, but it ran great the whole time I was there and the next guy behind me praised it also. Doggone thing had an analog clock in the dashboard that actually worked!

On the other hand, all of us ex-pats used to say that things made by the Chinese people, for the Chinese people were not so hot. And we were right. I bought a bicycle while I was there, a 24 speed unit with three baskets, 27”, all the bells and whistles for $125 American. Some Korean owned company. When you hit the front brake the tolerance on the front fork was so bad you always had the creepy feeling that the front wheel was going to go under you. And more than once I had a brake bracket snap off while stopping. You could buy a single speed bicycle over there for $18 American, brand new. Last you about 10 months, unless it got stolen first.

I worked for a furniture manufacturer, and I can safely say that the Chinese are copycats, not improvers like the Koreans and Japanese, not innovators like Northern Europe and the United States. They have little concept of how to make or improve anything, probably a direct result of a couple thousand years of feudal rule, then 35 years of Mao, and still another ten years of finally settling down into a sort of Socialist-Communist state. So they have been exposed to our technologies only since about 1988.

They want what we want, but they want it in their style. A Kentucky Fried Chicken breast in Shanghai is about 3 ozs., not the 6-8 ounce giant we get in the US. And it will come with Chinese sauces. But a Big Mac is still a Big Mac. You can buy Lays Potato chips in Shanghai, but they don’t taste anywhere the same, and you can get flavors like shrimp, and soy sauce. I couldn’t buy some things, like shoes. I wear a 12, and no Chinese person has a foot that big, at least they don’t stock for it.

China is capable of making fine products. Really fine. We made good furniture and our covers were milled very well. Leather is a problem in China since they don’t know about plastic fence, and they all still use barb wire, which screws up the leather when the cow scratches itself. They do make wonderful stringed instruments, with some factories being over 1000 years old, such as Shanghai Instrument Company #1. That’s why they make such good guitars.
But I have a TAG Heuer Tiger Woods knockoff watch that I’ve fooled many people with. I’m probably on my fourth or fifth battery now. Great watch. I own Tommy Bamaha shirts that were made on what they call a “ghost shift”. The factory shuts down, then another bunch of people come in at night, and make shirts out of the remaining cloths on the same machines, for sale in the famous Shanghai market, which is now in a beautiful indoor building in Shanghai, since the world could see them in the old outdoor market and kept complaining about it since every tourist and ex-pat visited it and spent money on famous knockoffs. I paid about $7-10 a shirt, and they even came with the real hangtags. Still available in Shanghai, in the Hongshen district…just need an airplane ticket.
So they are capable if they are guided, but left alone, they make pretty much junk.
Our problem is we want the $49 microwave, and you just cannot build that inside the US.

But things are changing fast. The Chinese government has mandated wage increases twice a year for about 8 years now. So back in 2006, when the Chinese worker was making .56 an hour, everybody was happy. Now they make $4.00 an hour, and companies are starting to look at the labor cost, the shipping/fuel issues, and further transportation, especially for East Coast people in the US. Reshoring is happening here, (not so much Europe), and if too much manufacturing leaves China, their economy will not support itself and they could have 200-250 MILLION people unemployed. (Total population of China is over 1,400,000,000) There are NO Fortune 100 Chinese built and owned companies, just millions of little mom and pops, and all the foreign investment which is what really holds up the Chinese economy. If that goes, that is probably when they start thinking of taking over another country…

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5281 posts in 2190 days


#12 posted 790 days ago

The problem becomes magnified when China is asked to make brand name tools like dewalt delta etc then your buying top dollar from bottom dollar manufacturers is this wrong? If it keep us buying dewalt delta porter cable at low prices and the goods are good then I say so be it.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2448 posts in 956 days


#13 posted 790 days ago

Are there tools made anywhere else?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 869 days


#14 posted 790 days ago

Continuing Tennessee’s thoughts, I don’t feel anything is wrong with Chinese goods. They are what they are. As said before, if directed, they do what they’re told. If no one tells them, they do as they please (like anyone else would). Nothing wrong with that. I think the problem with producing what some see as junk is their exposure to the rest of the world. They don’t see what we see is wrong with the way they do things (sometimes) so they don’t change what we perceive as their flaws. Why? Because they don’t know any different.

Moving on, I don’t blame the Chinese for making inferior tools for the big names. They do what they are asked to do. Those big names are asking for lower and lower manufacturing to shelf costs so they can increase profit. If Americans showed they were willing to buy on a quality basis rather than a price basis, I’m sure the goods China cranked out to us would be of higher quality.

Because that is not the case and the majority of us (Americans) want things for the lowest price possible, we should not be surprised when we are given junk.

If you want quality, be prepared to pay for it.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7274 posts in 2252 days


#15 posted 790 days ago

Many of Dewalt’s better tools are made in Italy. The 621
and 625 routers are. The DW712 trim saw is made in
Italy as well. The Dewalt scroll saws were made in Canada
but I think they are not anymore. These are all tools
I’ve owned and all very good quality for the price – not
Festool quality but pretty close.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View DKV's profile

DKV

3059 posts in 1109 days


#16 posted 790 days ago

I remember the day when “made in Japan” was a joke. It was associated with cheap junk. Now they have completely dominated us in car and electronics manufacturing. Our cars are a joke compared to theirs. When was the last time you watched a television made in the US? I see the day when “made in China” will stand for quality. Don’t get me wrong. I am 100% American, through and through.

-- 2014 will be a different year...at least for me it will.

View ITnerd's profile

ITnerd

261 posts in 1204 days


#17 posted 790 days ago

Paul, that was one of the best replies I’ve read in a long time – thanks for the perspective.

And DKV, I agree with you about the history of Japanese quality. But not many folks know, they got there with a little help from a friend – one of our guys :)

Reminds me of the famous baker who was asked why he gave his recipes away. He said ‘anyone that works as hard as we do to bake the best cookie deserves the same success we’ve had.’ I always liked that attitude.

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

758 posts in 921 days


#18 posted 790 days ago

I don’t buy them. For starters, there’s something wrong when the labor rates are so different between two different countries. Whether it’s the exchange rate, or a case of slave labor, I don’t like the ramifications of it so I’d rather not contribute money to buy cheap products built there. There’s also the negative reputation of labor camps and other forms of draconian policies that they’ve yet to overcome. Until that reputation is gone to my satisfaction and Chinese workers are getting similar wages to American workers, “made in China” reads “don’t buy this” in my eyes.

Certainly American corporations aren’t always the best of role models but at least they’re closer to home and I can more easily pick and choose which products to support. I’m sure I’ve unintentionally given money to a corrupt company on more than one occasion but I am positive that it is less money than would have been the case if I didn’t bother to make the effort in the first place.

Ironically, avoiding products from China has actually saved me money rather than costing me more. Usually I end up deciding I don’t need the item period and don’t even look for a different make of the same product. Other times I’ll locate a quality used product. Occasionally I end up purchasing a high end offering from a reputable company or a small time manufacturer. Festool, Malkoff Devices, Elzetta, Lie Nielsen, Adria, Carl Ziess and other makers of quality devices charge a lot but their products are rock solid.

Hopefully the Chinese will soon be able to produce useful goods for themselves instead of putting so much of their manpower into producing low quality goods for outside consumption.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View DKV's profile

DKV

3059 posts in 1109 days


#19 posted 790 days ago

I’m confused. Are we talking about Chinese made products under a Chinese brand name or are we talking about Chinese made products for a nonChinese brand name. If the latter then you can’t fault the Chinese manufacturer since they build based on specs from the American, European, etc company. Cheap specs…cheap product.

-- 2014 will be a different year...at least for me it will.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3848 posts in 933 days


#20 posted 790 days ago

labor cost is only one factor….

The company I work for spends tens of thousands of dollars on software….. while in China piracy is rampant. But even if they’re willing to pay for the software, MS sells Office Pro with a “not for use in the US” license for $20 a seat.

Then there’s the cost of regulatory compliance.

The cost of liability insurance….. worker’s comp….. and health insurance for your employees.

There’s the complicated web of US tax law…. with many taxes that discourage business expansion, like the capital equipment taxes Michigan is finally trying to get rid of.

I think the brain dead stupidity of the US has finally overtaken our prospects for growth as well. Case in point, when was the last time you heard of a Chinese company getting hit with a multi-million dollar judgement for serving their coffee to hot.

Each of these items is an obstacle that can be overcome…. add them all together and you get a ham strung economy. And just wait until global carbon taxes kick in with exemptions for “developing countries”. Or when all the poor countries go to the UN and vote that all the rich countries should pay out the nose (more than they already do) to underwrite their development.

As for the corporate greed comments…. I’m sure that comes into play. But what about the consumer greed? Where people insist on rock bottom prices for everything, and can give a rats @$$ whether the poor sod who makes his paycheck making that product can get a living wage out of the deal or not. In my estimation, that is the underlying dynamic that has forced U.S. Manufacturers to go off shore…. the only other option may be to join the ranks of the many failed businesses we all once knew of.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2253 days


#21 posted 790 days ago

more importantly than country of origin is the consideration of how cheap you want a tool to cost. if a Table saw for example cost $500 but you want it for $100 – then the factory will make it for $100 – and obviously will have to cut those extra expanses of making it – somehow – most likely with lower grade materials, lesser quality castings and no machining, poor assembly, and no QA. in that case it’ll probably be junk. but if you are willing to pay $499 for it – then you might just get a good quality machine if the mfg. is willing to cover that $1 loss in benefit of more sales.

There are junk chinese tools out there, and there are really high quality chinese tools out there (that are still cheaper than tools made elsewhere). you have to do your research per tool to figure out which one you are getting.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

758 posts in 921 days


#22 posted 789 days ago

To answer DKV, I’m referring to any products that carry the made in China label regardless of the manufacturer’s base of operations.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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DKV

3059 posts in 1109 days


#23 posted 789 days ago

China has two assembly lines, one with quality specs and quality products and one with cheap specs and cheap products. I agree with Purplev’s second paragraph in that you have to do your research. Apple is a good example of a company that holds their Chinese manufacturers to high specs. Harbor Freight on the other hand…

-- 2014 will be a different year...at least for me it will.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1119 days


#24 posted 789 days ago

ssnvet makes the prime point: That US consumers, due to outlets like Walmart, Costco, and others have made us believe that we can get bargain goods at a US quality. Wrong… The real truth is if you look around your house and belongings, at least 50-70% is made overseas, be it Europe or the Asian Rim. And most of it is not prime quality.
I would be the first to say that Japan, South Korea, and soon – Indonesia, will be making goods as good as the US if not better. Japanese cars have built the last nine plants in the South of the US, and they are all successful. The one American plant, Saturn, located in TN, was shuttered when the bailout came. Penske tried to bring Saturn back to life, but the unions would not negotiate the 18 million in benefits and retirements that Penske wanted reduced – Penske simply walked away from the table and the brand died. GM is using the plant at about a 20% capacity for parts, hardly the full measure they had years ago. Too bad, I always liked Saturns, thought they were great US innovations. Overseas, their current problem is the cost of moving it to the US. Ironically, the horrid gas problem also includes diesel and JP5, which is the fuel of most tankers on the Pacific. With those costs skyrocketing, along with the cost of fueling trains crossing the Rockies, and the increased wages of the Pacific rim folks, we are seeing a strong trend toward “reshoring”, the art of bringing a company back to the US.
I will take a beating for this, but one of our biggest roadblocks is our union membership, which causes not big wage increases, but benefit increases. We cannot absorb the cost to pay them when they retire at 60 and live another 18 years. I find it ironic that since Walker in Wisconsin has passed his union changes in Wisconsin, including the option to opt out of automatic deduction of your union dues from your check, a little over 50% of the union members in Wisconsin have told the unions to stop taking deductions out of their wages – no wonder, with the economy where it is. Union membership is down 55% in Wisconsin as I write this in critical, auto deduct unions in Wisconsin. Hmmm.
With all that, this opens a wonderful window for products to re-enter the US from China, Mexico and other places, and it is happening.
Where I live, in SE Tennessee, Volkswagen opened a new plant. They paid probably 15-20% less than union wages would have wanted in NE plants, but with full benefits. It is also cheaper to live down here. Gas, for instance, is $3.19. 65,000 people put in applications for 2700 jobs at Volkswagen. With this plant, Volkswagen was able to reduce the cost of their Passant almost $7000, and due to their great sales, are currently looking for another 400 workers to fill the need for a total of 3100 jobs in less than 14 months. The Tier One plants have not even begun to arrive, having 60 months to move here. Some have arrived, like Gestamp Automoticon, who stamps frames for Volkswagen, and E-spin, who makes seat padding. But the bulk are yet to arrive, bringing another 12,000 jobs. All non-union. Not banging unions, just saying that reality is here, we need to compete with the world.
Then Amazon came along and added another 800-1000 jobs. Whacker silicon is here with another 1000 jobs. It goes on and on. It’s crazy in Hamilton county, TN, and surrounding counties. The most common license plate we see here out of state? Michigan. Sorry, MI folks. You have a beautiful state, but hard to make a living there… Here, we have a right to work state, no income taxes, no unions, and our weather is easier to control in a plant. There is a definite reason the last nine auto plants in the US were built South of the Mason-Dixon line.

With all that being said, I would agree that the Chinese juggernaut is still a big animal, being fed by people like Walmart, Target and others. It will take years before we can equalize the playing field, but it is happening. China announced their first “stimulus plan” this year, where they will give money to their citizens to spend. Same as us, but it won’t work – Chinese citizens save 30-50% of their wages. It will end up mostly in the banks of China. I used to walk stores with Chinese folk, but they bought nothing, just window shopped. But as Japan found out when they adopted our system, people found out what capitalism really is, true competition. People like LG and Ibanez found out that to compete in a global marketplace, you simply have to build the best product. My wife loves her LG fridge. I own an Ibanez guitar. May the best product win!
Now that South Korea is on board, Indonesia is close as is others, and China is maybe 5-8 years behind that, I have a more optimistic view of what GW Bush called the true “global economy”, where everyone is playing at the same level.
That, more than anything, will save the US. We can compete because I firmly believe we are true innovators and inventors. Just take a look at the small scale projects on this site. Amazing stuff!!! In the end, the people with the best ideas will prevail, once labor and logistic costs level, which is IMHO, about 7-8 years away. We have the best minds, the best inventors, and our democratic system makes it easy for us to sell. Rock on!!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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TopamaxSurvivor

14621 posts in 2280 days


#25 posted 789 days ago

Too much cheap junk coming out of there. The CEOs seem to think they can take a warm body out of a rice paddy and have skilled labor for the factory floor ;-) One of our local manufacturers of large transportation vehicles found the “global partners” were just roughing out parts and shipping them as finished product saying that was the best they could do. a friend of mine worked in the salvage operation. The latest vehicle was 3 years late off the assembly line ;-(

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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bestwoodrouterman

8 posts in 885 days


#26 posted 789 days ago

Also, the tool might be assembled (made in the USA) but the parts might be from China. Just another thought.

-- WoodRouterMan, http://www.bestwoodrouterreviews.net

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1119 days


#27 posted 789 days ago

Topamax, I totally agree with you, but here’s the rub. We know it’s junk as does most buyers, and we will only be burned so many times. In the end, they will either improve or die. Just like Japan in the 70’s they were shipping junk, now most of their stuff, especially products made in original factories located in the major industrial areas of Japan, are really good products. Improve or die.
Companies that do business with China find out quickly that quality is everything. It makes or breaks a company in the long run. Others fill the need, and improvements become available. Either you improve, or you die.

bestwoodrouterman, you are so right. A prime example is a company in Maryland called Oktober Guitars. They are all built by a fairly new guitar company in South Korea called JR Music Company. Only four years old. They build the guitars, then they are assembled, fine tuned, setup, and any QC issues are caught in Maryland. I would bet the percentage of errors have caused Oktober to take these extra steps. I would also bet that after a while, Oktober will tell JR Music either get these things built right, or we’ll just find another company or build them ourselves. Simple economics when you have to sign those paychecks for extra hours wasted in a shop when those folks could be marketing, distributing, etc. When I was in China, we would have regular inspections of all incoming parts and of finished parts. People were not fired, the Chinese have a different view. They FINE people off their wages. If you had 30% of your paycheck removed for four weeks because you made junk, you might walk, but in a socialist state, you stay and try to do your best, plus you are pissed and not happy. Many did not respond well to this type of control. It just became harder to try and control the quality. I was glad when I finally came back to the US. In the end, I firmly believe that “quality never goes out of style”, and “Made in the USA” is still the prime for the world. It will take time, but some day it will all come home. I just believe in our ability better than theirs.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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NH_Hermit

383 posts in 1701 days


#28 posted 789 days ago

If we did not buy Chinese junk, they would not make it. If we demanded better quality, it would be made. So where does the blame lay? American corporations going to China for a better profit margin? American workers not willing to adjust to global wage competition? Chinese workers accepting too little compensation? American consumers settling for too little quality?

I too like to look at what happened with Japanese products over the years, and like to think there is an evolutionary process going on. It will be interesting to watch what happens now that the average Chinese worker is starting to demand a better quality of life and better incomes to pay for that lifestyle.

-- John from Horse Shoe

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helluvawreck

15452 posts in 1471 days


#29 posted 789 days ago

If the company is manufacturing the tools with the right equipment, good training, modern engineering practices, and proper quality control techniques then they can manufacture a quality product.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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Danpaddles

534 posts in 916 days


#30 posted 789 days ago

Seems like, when I was a kid, Made in Japan meant it was crap. Then later, Made in Taiwan was crap. They all figured out how to make stuff right. Then, Made in China was crap. But now, I think China is learning. How about- Made in India …. is the new crap standard.

just my $.02 before I run out of here….

-- Dan V. in Indy

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CAH

8 posts in 857 days


#31 posted 789 days ago

I gree that we can’t always buy what we want. Deferring gratification used to be an American strength, no longer so.
The loss of US manufacturing has led to the downturn of the middle class and the American consumer is to blame. We chose to buy cheaper foreign goods and now whine about the loss of jobs and quality. And even when we have the choice, some morons still patronize Toyota and Honda when there are American vehicles just as good if not better.

CAH

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abie

590 posts in 2375 days


#32 posted 789 days ago

Paul: Amazing analysis. and I fully agree.
China is getting its come uppance now..
they will be playing on a even playing field soon .
The chineese market is taking a real hit now..
Innovation and proper consumer information/ transparancy will win out.
Too bad most of our power tools come from large conglomerates that hide the real origin of their products.
IE.Porter cable, Delta, Stanley, DeWalt, De Vilbis, Emereson etc.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

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ShipWreck

536 posts in 2357 days


#33 posted 789 days ago

I have no gudge with the average Chinese citizen as they are just trying to muddle through life like the rest of us. I do have a serious grudge with the United States goverment being in debt to a communist state. This country has been run by “cowards” and “crooks” for far to long.

Real unemployment is some wheres around 11% and we have to sit back and watch politicians argue over gay rights, and banning 16 oz. soft drinks….. seriously WTF ?

Big Effing deal if I have to pay twenty dollars more for a tool, I’ll pay it happily to see a fellow american doing well.

Sorry all….. rant over!

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1574 days


#34 posted 789 days ago

PRC – Probably Really Crap

Some stuff is good, some stuff is terrible. You can generally tell by the price point which is which.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1119 days


#35 posted 789 days ago

abie, thanks. I try to really pay attention to world affiars after working in China for all that time. I eagerly await the leveling of the playing field so my children have a chance!

Shipwreck, I also totally agree. I also would pay more for QUALITY American made, which usually is the case because you cannot survive in the US making junk. And by the way, the real unemployment rate is currently about 14.2%, when you count the people who have just given up looking. I find it ironic that for the last 37 months the Labor Department quietly “resets” the unemployment numbers a month after they announce, and they are always worse than the original announcement. Hmmm.

renners, true about the quality of stuff, but I do disagree slightly on price point. At HF, maybe. But I own a Samick made acoustic guitar that I lend out to players when I do acoustic repair work that will last more than a week and they need a loaner. One guy wanted to trade straight away his American made for my Chinese Samick. I didn’t, because it was a bad bargain money wise for him, and to tell you the truth, the Samick sounds and plays much better. The Samick lists on the street for $499, his guitar street price was $1400, made in New England.
The Asian rim products generally depend on the engineers and quality people monitoring them. PGA Golf attire, for example. The polo shirts. Really great shirts, I own them made in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Jordan. I do not own an American made one because that product does not exist.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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AHuxley

208 posts in 1926 days


#36 posted 789 days ago

@ShipWreck there are plenty of quality machines made in the US, I can’t think of any machine that the average woodworker could need that isn’t built in the US. Have you purchased any of these? The biggest issue is it is not a $20 price difference. Hand power tools is the one area buying new US made tools is impossible though.

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ShipWreck

536 posts in 2357 days


#37 posted 789 days ago

AHuxley: Can you point me towards a few? Mainly woodworking and construction items are what I’m looking for.

Thx…. John

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2039 days


#38 posted 789 days ago

This controversy comes so many times, with many different solutions offered, but none of which offers more than a wait and see stance.
If you want quality, then buy ONLY quality products from the best quality product manufacturer, even if they were made on the moon.
As a customer, you are in full control, you don’t have to buy junk or inferior products, just refuse to buy them. That is the fastest cure for all the whining, learn to say NO to crap. The message will arrive quickly.
Stop perpetuating this cycle.

Here is an interesting thought:
John Dyson, engineer and designer, designs a revolutionary way to increase and hold vacuum cleaner suction, as used in vacuum cleaners. He took and offered his design to Hoover and ALL the other major vacuum cleaner manufacturers, but his design was rejected because it negated the need for replaceable vacuum cleaner bags, which was where they made a lot of their money from.
Dyson being frustrated that the Big Guys chose bags over a more efficient suction system, decided to become a manufacturer. The rest is history, his product worked better than ALL the major brands, and it did not need a constant supply of cleaner bags.
Seeing Dyson getting market attention, some of the Big Vac companies tried to copy his patents, Dyson sued them and won.
Dyson never wanted to be a manufacturer, design and engineering was, and is, his passion.
I am not trying to make a sales pitch for Dyson, what I am asking you to think about is:
An inventor comes up with a revolutionary quality and efficient product, which is rejected by the major manufactures because even though their products are inferior, the they prefer to keep making crap because it sells replacement bags. Then when they realize their mistake of understanding the public’s needs, they try to steal the design from someone who offered it to them beforehand. What does this tell you about what we want and how manufacturers decide what they want to sell you instead.
Once you grasp this, you can apply the same scenario to GM, Ford, Chrysler, Delta, Rikon, Porter Cable et al…....ad infinitem. I guess Festool wins?

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

208 posts in 1926 days


#39 posted 789 days ago

Northfield makes pretty much everything, Tannewitz makes bandsaws, Clayton spindle sanders, Vega Lathes and edge sanders, Robust lathes etc. Make note I said it would be a little more than $20 difference.

Consider the fact the Powermatic 141 14” bandsaw was always made in the US and was $2,000 when it last appeared in their catalog, even if it was still produced at the same price I doubt many if anyone on woodworking forums would buy these instead of paying over a $1,000 less for a Asian built 14” Delta or their clones. $2K buys a lot of bandsaw in the Grizzly catalog…

If people were really worried about quality they would just buy used machines, there is a constant supply of plug and play ready machines from a bunch of different dealers for less or just a little more than Asian machines and the non-dealer machines are a steal but often not plug and play. Although these do not stimulate manufacturing jobs the money does stay within US borders. There is one machine in my shop that is made in Asia, since I wanted a cabinet saw with a riving knife my options were limited to a VERY few rare old iron machines. Every other machine was made in the US or Europe.

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PineChopper

175 posts in 801 days


#40 posted 789 days ago

Thanks for all the replies and opinions.
What got me started was the passing of my 37 year old Craftsmen table saw. When I went looking for a new one, it seems as though the only ones out there are made in China. Personally, I don’t care for Chinese made anything.
I ended up with a Porter Cable that cost $600 from Lowes.
I also wanted to buy a new Skil md 77 saw and they were now made in China. I didn’t buy one.
Most of the time made in China is made cheaply and does not last.

Thanks again,
PineChopper

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TopamaxSurvivor

14621 posts in 2280 days


#41 posted 789 days ago

ShipWreck, Most of the things the major corporations have done and are doing to destroy the economy, American jobs and the American consumer was illegal in 1980. Much of it still is, but Eric Holder was a corpo pig atty before becoming atty general so he will not do anything about it. The Federal systems is gong after Roger Clements and lance Armstrong for drugs while playing some silly game. Nobody cares about about Goldman Sachs destroying Greece and the European Union.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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startreking

36 posts in 903 days


#42 posted 788 days ago

We send jobs overseas and in return we only accept wealthy CEO’s across our borders. Seems simple enough.

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ShipWreck

536 posts in 2357 days


#43 posted 788 days ago

I dont know if the CEO’s and Corporations are all to blame. I think I would send my prodution overseas too if I had to deal with the current tax codes, unions, healthcare, workers comp abuse, OSHA, EPA, and frivolous lawsuits. It seems to me that there is plenty of blame to share all around.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1119 days


#44 posted 788 days ago

Rex, the Dyson story is very interesting, I did not know that, but know the technique, which is why there is a Kodak printer, (even though they declared bankruptcy) sitting next to this computer, rather than an HP. Ink is about 1/3rd the cost of the HP, otherwise, same quality, same print speed, and yes, they are both made overseas. HP is so bad about this I cringe when I see the $29 color printers from HP in Walmart, knowing the first fillup of ink, I may as well just buy another printer.

AHuxley, some companies may not be that concerned with quality, it’s called an RBA study. (Risk Benefit Analysis). I did one at Time Warner Duplication on the printing quality on compact discs years ago. The RBA results increased by 5000 the discs we sent out the door everyday. Like when the FDA approves a drug when it harms people below a certain threshold, it’s good to go. The benefits outweigh the risks.
But some companies purposely design things so they will break in a manner that causes them to make big dollars on spare parts. I find that outright theft.
But consumers do want quality. I find it ironic that right down to the garage sale level, people standing in your yard will ask questions about something like it should be new in the box, even though it might be priced at 50 cents and lying on your lawn. Quality is assumed.
Pinechopper, just keep the faith, hopefully some day it will all come back and you can buy all the American you want. But I will say this: I reviewed a Chicago random orbit sander on this site I found at HF for $22.95. Obviously made so far into China no one even know what unknown city it was made at. The reviews were generally good on comments from others. A couple of them broke, but there were people who have used the same unit for years, one guy I think for ten years. I liked mine so much I went back for another just to have multible grits ready to go.
Thank you for starting this thread, Pinechopper. This was fun, interesting, and I learned a lot.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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William

8931 posts in 1447 days


#45 posted 788 days ago

I have a mixed bag of feelings when it comes to Chinese made products.

I done mechanic work most of my life and used nothing but Craftsman hand tools. They always served me well and they had a lifetime warranty with no questions asked. This was back when all these hand tools also had the words “made in the USA” stamped on them. Somewhere along the way, I started noticing that they started having “made in whatever country has the lowest bid” stamped on them instead. The warranty was still working though, so I continued using them. I really had no choice with the huge investment I had in them at the time.

Now I do wood work as a hobby. I have tried different brands within my price range. The one tools name you’ll see a lot of in my shop is Ridgid. Of the affordable brands, they have become my favorite. Most of their stuff is made in China. So far though, they still seem to be a fairly well made tool in a reasonable price range.

Now, if I had me choice, I’d buy nothing but American made. I’m one of the weird fellas who will absolutely pay a few more bucks for a “Made in USA” tag. I will not sell my first born’s kidney to do so though. I just can’t do it. Sadly though, a vast majority of tools I need, I cannot even find American made versions, even if I was rich enough to afford them.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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TopamaxSurvivor

14621 posts in 2280 days


#46 posted 788 days ago

CEO’s and Corporations are all to blame. Definitely not. Crooked politicians have a big share too. So do the idiots who populate this country. Every generation seems to have to learn the hard way since they think they are smarter than the previous who have a life experience. How ever they shoulder the lion’s share and are using corporate coffers to buy the gov’t and promote corruption.

My parents generation was not only conscious of American Made, but union made. Of course, they experienced the Great Depression with total poverty every where they looked. The union movement of that period won the end of the company town, end workers paid in company script, the end of company housing, no more company store and eventually the 40 hour week. Those conditions are attractive to CEOs moving the world’s manufacturing floor to China and India.

I have always wondered how they think they are going to sell anything in the world’s largest economy after they have destroyed it?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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lcurrent

106 posts in 2420 days


#47 posted 788 days ago

They sure do put a lot of Americans out of work

-- lcurrent ( It's not a mistake till you run out of wood )

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2039 days


#48 posted 788 days ago

As a consumer, you have the power to control whatever you buy, the quality, place of origin and the price point. If your past favorite manufacturer decides to stop making it’s products in the USA, then simply don’t buy them and alternatively choose a another product that fits your requirements. Boycotting products you are unhappy with will send an immediate message, and maybe, the message will be acted up to your benefit.

I agree with what William said about his craftsman tools, which no longer carry the lifetime warranty. William has identified a brand which he is satisfied with and fits his needs.

You can even expand this notion of purcahsing inferior things from overseas beyond the tool area. Imported fruits and vegetables, even though they may look good, can, and usually are, inferior. They lack taste and their nutritional value can be quite bad opposed to locally grown. Again the problem is still the same, we choose to buy them, when we have a choice not to. What would you do if you grocery store started selling eggs, milk and meat from China?
In many cases we are our own worst enemy, as sooner than putting our foot down and refusing to purchase items we have problems with, we cave in and buy the crap and whine about it.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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ChuckV

2380 posts in 2132 days


#49 posted 788 days ago

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14621 posts in 2280 days


#50 posted 788 days ago

A friend recently told me about Chinese frozen prawns being imported that have been grown in a cesspool that were full of hazmat substances. He went to his do freezer to check. Sure enough, he had some and they went into the garbage!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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