Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

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If you ever bought anything from Harbor Freight you would know that the instruction and parts manual that comes with a tool is more like a safety and maintenance manual; there is lots on what to not do and not too much on how to use the tool. If you follow the instructions, you are not likely to get hurt, and if you don't, well you were told, so the liability part is covered. I mean, does a company really have to tell you not to peas in your ears? Wouldn't you know not to leave the key in the drill when you turn it on? Most tool mishaps are due to operator error and carelessness and not faulty tools. Most of the time if the tool is defective, it just doesn't do anything and you cannot blame the manufacture when you get mad and throw it down and it bounces up and sticks in your groin.
BTW, Harbor Freight, at least at my store, will without hassle, replace any tool that you say won't work and if you return it in an original box they don't even ask for a sales receipt.
Maybe parents shouldn't let their kids drive 100 lb go carts, but then they let 5 and 6 year olds drive ATV when it is illegal for children to operate them. I expect they still sue the manufacture when their kids get hurt. County prosecutors could be a little more robust in prosecuting parent who do stupid and illegal things that kill their kids. Maybe they ought to prosecute the suing lawyer for aiding and abbeting a crime also. Sorry for the rant, but irresponsible people tend to anger me.
Richard J Kinch wrote:

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Don't buy Chinese products.
http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/2003/05/29/news/world/5966873.htm
--
Larry Bailey
Illegitimi non carborundum
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yea smell like rice
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mark Ransley incoherently wrote:

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LBailey wrote:

That's near impossible to do with so many things these days. You'd be spending most of your shopping time trying to find a source of what you needed that *wasn't* made in China.
Speaking of "dangerous tools": Two weeks ago I succumbed to temptation and bought one of those Remington pole saws (a lightweight 10 inch electric chain saw on a telescoping pole.) to help me trim back some of the tree branches which persist in seeking the open spaces over our backyard. (Because every other direction is blocked by more trees, those trees aren't dumb.). I'd been using one of those pull rope loppers, but some of the branches which I wanted to cut were too large for it.
Anyway, the pole saw worked as advertised albeit it's reach wasn't as great as I would have hoped for. But, the clamp which you tighten to lock the telescoping pole sections where you want them is pure shite for the job it has to do. It's a plastic collet clamping on a shiny fiberglass pole. The collet is closed by a threaded plastic ring with a ribbed outer surface. Looks OK in principle, but it would take King Kong to tighten it enough by hand to keep those pole sections locked in use. And, the (rather crummy) manual which came with the product specifically warns NOT to use tools to tighten the clamp. Even with work gloves on I can't tighten it enough to lock it up.
So, after a few seconds of use, the handle at the bottom of the pole, which contains the saw's trigger switch and it's safety unlock button, twists around relative to the chainsaw bar at the other end of the pole until I'm turning my hand and wrist into a pretzel trying to operate the switch, and by then my grip on that handle is far from stable. Now, I think I'm smart enough to know when to quit when this happens, but it sure seems like an inadequate design to me, and there's something about the warning not to use tools to tighten the clamp that makes me think the manufacturer must know that too.
I Googled around and found that several other people had the exactly the same complaint about this product in their amazon.com product reviews of it.
An email a week ago to the "manufacturer" (DESA) has produced nothing but a question asking me if the collet part was turning relative to the pole it's attached to, and I immediately responded that it wasn't that, but the collet "jaws" themselves which were slipping on the pole they were clamping. Nothing has been heard from them since then.
Before someone suggests I drill a few holes right through both pole sections in several places and stick a bolt through them to fix the pole length where I want it at the time, let me point out that there's a coiled electrical cord running up through the pole, so that approach won't be as easy as it sounds.
I think I'll just return the darned thing to Lowes this weekend. Don Foreman tipped me off about "High Limb Chain Saws" (A few feet of chain saw blade between two ropes that you toss over the limb and "shoe shine" back and forth.) I bought one, and it works great, and reaches a LOT higher that that electric pole saw.
Jeff -- Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"Success is getting what you like; Happiness is liking what you get."

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I have one of those pole saws. It works great. Sounds to me like you were trying to manually saw with it. Let the chain do the work. If it is sharp and properly tensioned, you don't have to exert any great force to make it cut, and the telescoping clamp won't slip. Mine tightens up just fine with hand effort, but if the pole is as "shiney" as you say, you might try taking the shine off with a bit of sandpaper. That'll let the fingers of the collet grip it better.
But in keeping with this thread, I'll relate one incident with respect to the pole saw. You *cannot* step out of the way quick enough to avoid the limb you were cutting *directly* over your head. Fortunately I was wearing my hard hat. Now, for limbs which are so high I'd need to stand directly underneath to reach them, I use a ladder, off to one side, so I can reach *over* and cut the limb instead of reaching *up* to cut the limb.
Gary
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'nuther Bob wrote:

Well, the instructions which came with mine addressed that. They said to move as far to each side as posible first to cut through the bark on the underside of the limb. I realize the geometry to make that happen is kinda tough unless you add some VERY long extension ropes and can get quite far off to the side. But, that's what they said to do, and I suppose some undercutting is better than nohing....
Jeff
--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"I before E except after C"....(The height of insufficient weird ancient
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