Do you care where your tools are manufactured?

Page 12 of 16  
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00944349000P?vName=Tools&keywordÞep+offset
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00943927000P?sbf=Brand&sbv=Craftsman&filter=Wrench+Style%7CBox+end%5EWrench+Sizing%7CStandard&vName=Tools&cName=Hand+Tools%2C+General+Purpose&sName=Wrenches
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00944319000P?sbf=Brand&sbv=Craftsman&filter=Wrench+Style%7CBox+end%5EWrench+Sizing%7CStandard&vName=Tools&cName=Hand+Tools%2C+General+Purpose&sName=Wrenches
Of the five stores nearest me only one lists that particular wrench as being in stock. On the other hand three out of the five list the set as being in stock (one store doesn't have online inventory). If you only need one, looking at the set will tell you if they're what you need then you can order the one you want and if you have it delivered to the store you save shipping.

Once you've got it up on the site, click the "pick up" button and enter your zip code then "check availability" and the site will tell you if it's in stock anywhere near you and if so where--that system is not completely reliable--if the store's inventory is screwed up then so is the online inventory--but it's usually right. Can save a trip if it's not in the store and if there's more than one Sears near you then it lets you go to the one that has it.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Craftsman open end and box wrenches both come in several patterns, in different lengths and offsets. The ones you got 40 years ago didn't have so much variety. So make sure you're comparing apples with apples and not comparing one wrench with another designed for a different purpose.

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On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 09:15:14 -0500, "J. Clarke"

I go to Sears about once in a blue moon... was there the day after Thanksgiving actually. I think we are perceiving things differently.
I'm not talking about Sears selling Bosch or Makita. I'm talking specifically about Craftsman.
Do you know the "Harbor Freight Smell"? That's the smell of lead paint mixed with cheap plasticizers, or something. Anyhow, it's very distinctive, and Sears didn't have it until a couple of years ago. The HF power tools have this cheap plastic housing that is usually orange or something. It actually has a bit of an oily film on it when you first take the tool out of the box. It might be mold release, or it might be plasticizer oozing out of the plastic, I don't know. And they *always* have that strong smell. Then you have the cardboard box. I keep the old boxes from my purchases. That way I can locate by Craftsman jigsaw from 1985 quickly, and keep all the accessories and the manual together with it. Those cardboard boxes are sturdy and have a real solid feel about them. The new ones feel like a wet cereal box. I don't know how to describe it, they just do.
The stationary power tools that you mentioned: I just have to rebut that. I mean this in all good humor, what drugs are you on? The table saws are just garbage. The radial arm saws are better, but they are a pale shadow of where they were 10 years ago. You can't cut corners on a radial arm saw or it will cut corners on you!! The benchtop saws are pure junk. I have a 3 wheel bandsaw from a while back that has a metal case, with a metal door, and metal wheels, and a nice quiet motor. Granted, it still has that *annoying* slotted aluminum top, but as you say, it does the job. The new ones are almost all plastic and they are getting more flimsy every single time I see them. The accessories to all of the stationary and bench top tools are very poor, unless you are doing something like upselling a TS with a Bessemier fence. (But then again, Craftsman branded tablesaws have had very poor factory fences for 20 years). I had my dad's old craftsman TS, again with the *annoying* slotted aluminum top, and the old fence. I put an Incra fence on it, and it improved 100%. Then after I used it for a while, I really decided I needed something better, so I moved up to a real cabinet saw. However the new TS in the same class as the my old one is half the saw, with cheaper accessories. My point is that you need to take a look at those $500 table saws compared to anyone else, and compared to where they used to be. They are flimsy, compared to say a Jet 10" contractor saw at the same price at HD. The $200-$500 ones don't even classify as a joke. They've been going downhill at quite a steep angle. I don't think they can go much lower.
Wrenches, screwdrivers? Sure, they are still good but they sure are expensive compared to yesteryear (individual, not in the million piece tool set). What's interesting is to go to HF and compare the HF set of combination wrenches, in full polished chrome, with a lifetime warranty, on sale at $8 a set, to the exact same Craftsman set (with the name) at the old price. Fit and finish are identical (actually the chinese set may be slightly superior). I do buy Craftsman wrenches and screwdrivers when I can get a real deal. Usually I won't buy 1-2 missing sockets though (that's how they make their money). I found that some local secondhand stores may have one or two mixed in, and you might luck out and get them for 50 cents.
I have to say I don't have any experience with their Professional series power tools, so I bow to your wisdom there.
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wrote:

Do I ever know that smell!
At the bicycle shop, we call that smell "L'essence de China". <G>
It's a mixture of paint, sea container "stank", plastic fumes, and the sweat of children and forced labor.
Anytime we open a shipment from North America or Europe, the smell is noticably missing.
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On Nov 25, 12:08 pm, "Bonehenge (B A R R Y)"

That 'scent' makes me gag. I have posted to that topic before and since then (not because of) I have noticed more and more people complaining about it. I'm looking for 4 tires for Angela's car, so I poked my head around the corner at our local WalMart and FN lost my lunch. Tire stores used to smell GOOD!
I tried a line of solid surface sinks (to be undermounted) made in China. My distributor gave me a couple to play with. They were actually well packaged, but a part of the package was a slab of...mmm..whatshallIcallit...kinda particle board, sorta pressed horseshit,..but VERY stinky. An oily, pissy, vomity, college-bathroom- pub-floor (so I been told). The $ 50.00 savings per sink didn't cut it.
Bonehenge now, huh? Love it!
r
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On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 11:01:44 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

Different computer. <G>
I'm _always_ B A R R Y!
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Bob the Tomato wrote:

Until recently their Craftsman Professional jigsaw was a Bosch. Now it's an Australian made Triton, which may be a brilliant move on both parts--Triton makes good stuff and they've never had a major US distributer before. If I hadn't just gotten a new Bosch I might give it a try just to see if it's as good as other Triton stuff.

The only smell I've ever assciated with anything from Harbor Freight is that of cutting oil and Cosmoline. I've not noticed such a smell at any of the Sears in the area.
Every tool I've ever had with a polished plastic case has shown that "bit of oily film"--it's mold release.
I don't really give a damn about cardboard boxes--if I want a case for a tool I'll make or buy one. Every time I've used a cardboard box the bottom has come out of it at an inconvenient time. If they want to use cheaper boxes that's fine.

Coffee.
Which table saws?

What specific corners were cut?

Aside from a few pricey German models intended for precision miniature work most of them are, from anybody.

For certain values of "job".
The new ones are

Is the frame plastic? If not then what difference does it make if the accessories are?

The Orion-built Craftsman saw comes standard with a Biesemeyer fence. No "upselling", it comes in the box.

How long ago? There was a time when 500 bucks would get you a new car.

What is "HD"? Ordinarily I would assume "Home Depot" but they discontinued Jet a long time ago. If you want to say that Sears doesn't have a decent contractor saw I'll agree with you. If you want a good 500 buck saw Ridgid is probably your best bet.

This is hardly unique to Sears.

So are hamburgers, coffee, and gas. What of it? It's called "inflation".

The Craftsman wrenches are also American made. If you object to their selling American made goods be sure and write them and tell them that you'd prefer they sell Chinese for a fraction of the price, but don't come crying to me when they take you at your word.

So you're asserting that the Chinese product is superior to the American product?

Looks to me like you're judging the quality of tools based on the odor of the store and the quality of the packaging rather than on how well they work.
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wrote:

Interesting... and just when I was looking to pick up a replacement, too. Anybody have experience with the Triton jigsaws? Is the Sears version simply a rebadged OEM unit, or are there functional differences?
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

I'm also looking for a replacement, and I've been to both CDN and US Sears sites. The US price looks good. The CDN price - not so much.
Tanus
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Tanus wrote:

Whether there are functional differences is always the question, but in practical terms it's unlikely as that kind of retooling for a limited production run generally costs more than just continuing to make what was already in production. Changing the color of the plastic and slapping a different label on is one thing, changing the mechanical design is quite another.
I recall reading a review somewhere but now I can't find it.
Of course if you want to play safe, the latest Bosch from Coastal is only about 45 bucks more.
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Snip

Not all Triton tools are Australian made. The much admired Triton router is made in China.
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I guess my nose is too old to tell the difference... I tried a HF biscuit jointer to see if that was a tool worth adding.. when made a few things with it and realized that biscuits were a good thing, I bought the Dewalt one with the craftsman name on it..
It's been working great for years but just to be safe I better get a neighbor or someone to smell it..
mac
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Agreed. I've currently got a 10" Craftsman Industrial tablesaw, and a friend has the early production Orion hybrid I used to have. Both are excellent tools. I've also got a refurb 15" planer, which is very good. I need to look at the new bandsaws. Currently, a Steel City 16" draws my praise...it is Taiwanese, I think, and very, very well made. Trunnions are cast iron (not always the case in bandsaws under 20") and all is well made.
As a general statement, I think there has been a basic upgrading of quality in the past two decades, with more and more woodworkers demanding better tools. A lot of the perceived faults we bitch about these days might have been overlooked in the '70s, '80s and maybe even into the '90s. Not today.
Yes, some Chinese/Taiwanese tools are junk, evennow, regardless of the name on the tool, but an awful lot of that is the fault of the company providing the specs and inspections. For example, 17-18-19 years ago, any framing nailer cost upwards of $375, often way upwards. Today, a decent brand name framing nailer may be had for well under $250. Why? IMO, a large part of the credit goes to Porter-Cable, which started getting decent production out of Taiwan by the simple matter of sending an inspector over there, full time as I was told, with the authority to reject anything that didn't meet standards.
I also don't have a real problem with Harbor Freight tools. They are cheaply made, but they are also sold cheap. There's not a whole lot of BS and artifice in their sales techniques. You pay 25 bucks for a biscuit joiner, and you get a 25 buck (or close to it) biscuit joiner, but you have no right to expect anything else, and HF doesn't tell you you should.
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On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 12:50:45 -0800 (PST), Charlie Self

Do you remember when people would complain about a body rattle in a pickup, and be told "It's a pickup truck, who cares?"
_All_ vehicles are better than they were 20 years ago.
Thank Toyota and Nissan. <G>
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I remember in the late 70's when GM could not put a bed on a pick-up that aligned with the back glass. New trucks on the lot looked like thay had been wrecked when looked at from the rear.

Yes, and partial thanks goes to Detroit and the labor unions that had the strangle hold. Had they not charged too much for poor quality the Japanese would not be quite as far along as they are today.
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There were a lot of Dodge trucks going back to the dealer in the 90's to get the bed aligned with the road..lol
mac
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On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 21:15:00 GMT, "Bonehenge (B A R R Y)"

But sadly, they aren't better because folks complained about fit, they were made a lot better because (in the case of Japanese cars) the technology for building them got better..
mac
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wrote:

Same here, but the point I was making is that quality and "made in the USA" are not always the same thing. In fact, they are not usually the same thing most of time. Where a product is made should be irrelevant to what the quality of the product is. A toy made with lead paint is dangerous whether it's made in China or Chicago. Far too many people act like "Made in the USA" is a stamp of quality, not location.
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It's certainly more suggestive of quality than "Made in China". <g>
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 20:50:54 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

It used to be, anyway... I'm not sure any more, though I hope it still is.. I have a 99 Dodge ram that the VIN says is assembled in Mexico.. it's been a damn good truck for me.. Better than in the USA? A lot of dodge owners think so..
Folks in Mexico don't have the job security that the US workers have... Screw up a truck and they're back on the street..
mac
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