The cost of power tools

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Forum topic by Mark posted 12-30-2012 09:33 PM 1037 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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916 posts in 1998 days

12-30-2012 09:33 PM

Morning all. Noob here. My first time posting to this site and forum. I’ve just returned to WW after a 20+ absence so please bear with me. In early Dec. I purchased a new General 50-200. My first really nice tool ever. A week ago I bought a General 1/2 hp drill press, plenty for what I need (basically a hobbyist). I thought about the Grizzly tools as I live very close to the U.S. border and Bellingham. But I live about 10 min from Canadian Woodworker (General Tool dist). The question is. Why are the Grizzly tools so much cheaper than the Generals, or almost everyone else? They seem to get good reviews and the look identical to different brands and models. I know most of these tools are made in the same plant in Taiwan but what’s the deal? Sorry about the long post. Mark

-- Mark

5 replies so far

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2887 days

#1 posted 12-30-2012 10:04 PM

I’ll throw in my 2-cents. I think they are able to sell low because they keep their overhead low. They don’t manufactor (but they have their own quality control engineers over-see the process), nor do they own hundreds or thousands of stores and service centers around the country.

They have built a pretty good following too, so they can undercut the competitors, make a modest profit but still be successful cause they sell enough product. In short,mail order and centralizing their warehouses and facilities keep operating costs down.

They also have above average customer service and word of mouth travels fast. So if they do ship a lemon, they
take care of the quality control on their end.

An example of cost cutting and centralizing. Jet has over 1700 authorized service centers. Grizzly has one at each of their 3 distribution centers and showrooms.

General International is not a retailer. They have distributors so there is a cost or markup
associated with that.

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2309 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 11:22 PM

Hi Mark, welcome to LJs. I’m just down the road from you in Maple Ridge, originally from the Seattle area, so I share your pain with tool prices up here. It basically comes down to price vs. convenience. Lots more selection and better prices in the States, but you have to either go pick it up and possibly pay duty at the border, or have the tools shipped (again with the extra cost). On the flip side, we have Lee Valley nearby :) so I guess it all evens out in the long run. Good luck and again welcome to the site.

-- John, BC, Canada

View runswithscissors's profile


2764 posts in 2048 days

#3 posted 12-31-2012 12:48 AM

I’m actually in Bellingham, so I buy a fair amount of stuff at Grizzly. Another reason for their low prices is that they rarely have sales. A $99.95 item might be marked down only $5. I think some Grizzly stuff is pretty good quality, others I’m not so sure about—for example, their cordless tools, though they may have improved over the earlier ones. I didn’t know about Canadian Woodworker. Where are they located?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Mark's profile


916 posts in 1998 days

#4 posted 12-31-2012 03:34 AM

Runwithscissors (ain’t that dangerous) I live in the South surrey area, 20 min from the Peace Arch border. Canadian Woodworker is maybe 10 min from my door. That speaks pretty loud if your concerned about warranty issues. The staff down there are a pretty decent bunch as well.

-- Mark

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2600 days

#5 posted 12-31-2012 04:44 AM

Mark, another thing to keep in mind with grizzly machines is that the warranty is only 1 year.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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