On a lighter note. Made in USA

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Forum topic by jim C posted 07-26-2012 05:33 PM 2680 views 0 times favorited 76 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jim C

1472 posts in 3297 days

07-26-2012 05:33 PM

There has been quite a bit of political bantering here lately, so I thought I would pass on some good news for a change.

I was working on a home plumbing issue and needed adjustable pliers. I have one in a set of portable tools, and I keep those in my SUV. Problem was the vehicle was at the dealers for an air-conditioner issue.

Since I have every conceivable tool in the shop, I decided to get another pliers to add to the collection and not rely on my car being available.

So I went to the hardware store, not the big box places, as I like to give the local owners the business as much as possible.

I always try to buy “made here” products whenever it’s possible.

I had three choices in the pliers. A no-name brand (China), a Irwin (China) and lo and behold Channel Lock…..fiercely made in Meadville PA.

The price was $19.95 vs. $18.95 for the Irwin.
Gee, that was a tough decision. Channel Lock, the inventors and still made here!

If it was $6.00 more I still would have bought “made here”

The last time I had to replace a Phillips screwdriver, I went to HD (as I also needed some oak), and found all the chinese junk as usual, but hanging there was also Klein products (made here in Skokie, IL). Another easy decision.

Has anyone else lately found “made here” tools available that you purchased over imports?

Let us know where and when.


76 replies so far

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1117 posts in 2433 days

#1 posted 07-26-2012 05:39 PM

I look at “Made In” before I buy things. I hate buying online because it only notes “Forgien Made.” I will not buy things made in China because of quality and their politics.

-- Jerry

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3169 days

#2 posted 07-26-2012 06:28 PM

I usually buy “made in USA” if possible.
The price is really NO more; if you factor in what all the jobs and riches leaving this country is costing you.
A couple years ago I was looking to buy a recripical saw. I looked at 8 choices. The only one made in the USA was the original Milwaukee Sawzall. And it was not the most expensive. I bought it.

An interesting point, to me at least, is that many of the cheaper and store brand tools at Home Depot are actually the ones made here. Buck chisels and Husky screw drivers for example. Can’t brag on the Buck chisels, but the screw drivers are not bad at all. I also try to buy mostly Eastwing hammers and Jorgensen clamps, both made here.

However, lately I have seen a trend in HD where they are starting to replace some of my favorite brands with Cineese made DeWalt and Milwaukee. They have figured people will pay more for certain brands and won’t look to see where they are made. They probably make twice the profit on these items. Pisses me off. Big time.

I really wish there was a law to prevent companies from selling import copies of their products under the same brand name as their American made product. Like you could have a “Stanley” saw made in the USA, but the Stanley saw made in China would have to be sold by “Stanley International” for instance. Some folks would not care either way, but I bet it would make a difference.

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3765 days

#3 posted 07-26-2012 06:32 PM

I have a question about this, if I may…
So – there you are in the shop, 3 choices in front of you, one made in your own country. Is there any “big” indication that this is so? A big “Made in the USA” Sign? Or do you have to look closely yourself to find it?
The reason I ask is that I, too, like to try and buy locally made products (in my case, Made in Portugal) where possible. Over the last year I’ve found at least 4 local shops that sell only “Made in Portugal” products – one is a tailor, one a shoe shop, two were “lots of things” shops (I bought a belt in one). There is absolutely nothing in these shops, or outside, or in the windows to indicate they stock local product, let alone that they only stock local product. Only when the staff have seen me looking, almost with a magnifying glass, at the label to see where it was made have they pointed out that everything was local.
Is it the same situation in the USA, or are you provided with better “encouragement”?

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

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jim C

1472 posts in 3297 days

#4 posted 07-26-2012 06:42 PM


We have a big box store chain here in the midwest that competes with Home Depot and Lowe’s. Thay are tagging a red, white and blue sticker on anything made in the USA.
There are plenty of those stickers in the last year.

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3765 days

#5 posted 07-26-2012 06:46 PM

Thay are tagging a red, white and blue sticker on anything made in the USA

That technology will come to Portugal in a few decades, I guess :-)

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2502 days

#6 posted 07-26-2012 07:18 PM

that is always the first thing I look for is “Made in America” and if it’s not I will go to multiple stores until find it. As you can well imagine we don’t have that many stores in Wasilla, but we do have the big box stores (Lowes and HD) Although not as well stocked. If I can find it then I will settle.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View jmos's profile


902 posts in 2568 days

#7 posted 07-26-2012 08:25 PM

Jim, good topic. Nice to illustrate not all of non-shop talk is a flame throwing street fight.

It’s great to see more made in USA products around. I too avoid made in China, but have no problems buying products made in Canada or Europe. Made in China just screams to me that the company wants the cheapest junk they can find to try to get my money.

I’ll second the thumbs up on Klein tools; when I was working instrumentation maintenance in refineries all the guys had Klein tools. Very uncommon for one to fail even with all day use for years. I have a few myself.

-- John

View HoosierDude's profile


48 posts in 3214 days

#8 posted 07-26-2012 09:03 PM

I just did it recently with a putty knife. I had misplaced the 1.5” flexible one I got from my dad 25 years ago and needed to buy one. Headed down to Lowes and had two choices; made in china for about 3 bucks or a Warner, made in the USA for twice the price. I grabbed the Warner.

I’ve done the very same thing with the Channel Lock’s and Crescent as well years ago. Heck I still call them by the brand names. (The look on my wifes face is priceless when I say “hand me that Cresent Wrench.)

Now, if we could only convince Grizzly to start making their power tools here. :-)

-- Paul Lyons

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2485 days

#9 posted 07-26-2012 09:31 PM

I buy the best quality tools I can afford. Usually that means those made in the US or Canada, although Japan and many of the European countries also produce some fine tools.

I recently bought a few Channellocks on sale, and was happy to see that they were still made in the USA.

-- John, BC, Canada

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jim C

1472 posts in 3297 days

#10 posted 07-26-2012 10:02 PM

Good points. I too will buy things made in Canada and Europe. I just would hope that we can bring some mfg. back to this country. Mfg. was my profession and business back in it’s heyday.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 3034 days

#11 posted 07-26-2012 11:26 PM

With tools it is dependent on if it will be a one time use item or not, something I need a lot is always worth the extra cash. I’ve been more amazed at how many items at the dollar stores around here are actually made in the US. Went one day for 5 items and 4 were US made.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View jackass's profile


350 posts in 3911 days

#12 posted 07-27-2012 12:49 AM

I think we all need to take a page from Jim c’s book. The way things are shaping up, we all will be in trouble financially if we don’t try to buy “RED WHITE AND BLUE”. Some sort of campaign should be started to at least slow it down a bit. My wife and I look carefully at products in the supermarket to buy locally grown. Chinese tools are for the most part very inferior to home made. The north American tool guys are exercising greed without considering the danger they put us woodworkers in when a tool breaks. A friend had a Chinese grinding wheel break in a hand held unit, lucky not too much damage to his hands. Made in North America is much safer.

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

View cabmaker's profile


1740 posts in 3007 days

#13 posted 07-27-2012 12:59 AM

Good for you Jim ! I share the same sentiment and will always spend more for homemade. But it is becoming difficult.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18389 posts in 3874 days

#14 posted 07-27-2012 01:16 AM

Channel locks have a lifetime warranty too ;-) I have never broken a pair except for their miniatures. I am probably using them for work they were not designed for, Some of mine are over 20 years old. Would have had them longer, but my tools were stolen in the early 90s ;-(

I have to wonder why people pay 98% the price of good USA made for Chinese junk? Irwin vs Channelock.

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

View Belg1960's profile


1076 posts in 3264 days

#15 posted 07-27-2012 07:29 AM

Have you guys seen this? An entire house made with, made in the USA products.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

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