Rockwell - I'm so confused


Opened up a Craftsman catalogue today and in the middle of the thing is a couple of pages of Rockwell tools. Those that would compete with Porter Cable and at least one with Delta.
Now I know Rockwell sold their tool division to Pentair mid eighties (I was hired because of it) and I can only assume they had a long term non compete which is normal for such a sale, so where did this stuff come from and how long has it been out there?
Is it a case of another company selling or leasing their name? Rockwell?
I'm so confused.
Frank
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From their website:
"Rockwell power tools are a part of the Positec Group of companies which have been designing, engineering and manufacturing power tools since 1994."
That help at all?
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2008 14:08:51 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes, I read that on the website. Just trying to find out how they acquired the name and the right to use it.
Frank
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I've got a Rockwell Beaver table saw. I was under the impression that the company eventually got sold out to Delta. Can't confirm this, but it's what I understood for a number of years. Either way, it's too bad really. I've always associated Rockwell with a long line of fine tool technology. It's disconcerting when the old, recognized and valued names get sold off one way or another.
Toronto's Skydome is a case in effect. It's now the Roger's Centre, a company I love to hate. That detracts from the Skydome lore as far as I'm concerned. It's only an emotional association I know, but it's still there.
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wrote:

Rockwell stationary, including the Guelph operation, was sold to Pentair in 1984 and when that happened, Pentair chose to start using the Delta name again as the primary brand. Rockwell had moved the branding away from Delta. Rockwell had already sold the Porter Cable brand and all facilities to Pentair in 1981.
Normally, you cannot use a name that had been covered by the non compete agreement. I'm just trying to figure out how this came about. Doesn't really matter, a sign of the times.
Either way, it's too bad really. I've

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Upscale wrote:

It happens in every industry, from sporting goods to musical instruments. Somebody buys the company, shuts down the plant and reopens in Korea or China and churns out relative crapola under the old name while advertising it as if it's still the genuine article. The consumer plays a role too, they buy the crapola because it's cheaper, then they complain too many jobs are being exported....
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On Sat, 18 Oct 2008 11:51:50 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Yep. I used a 315 for years but finally wound up with too many saws and decided to keep the Skilsaw wormdrive 77 and their Pro 8600 that has the 60 degree tilt on the baseplate.
My first set of tools was all those Rockwell silver colored bad boys. Had their bayonet (sic) saw but replaced that with a Bosch. Had their version of the reciprocating saw (Tigersaw?) but replaced that with a Milwaukee Sawzall. Had their drill but replace it with Milwaukee's. Had a Rockwell 9" electric miter box but replaced that with a Hitachi 8 1/2" SCMS.
Still have a couple of tubes of that Rockwell grease if you need some :-)
tom watson
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Which of course became an industry standard and classic all at the same time. An awful lot of saw to wag around!

first recip was a Milwaukee, which is another tools I still have. I was all polished aluminum with a little red lightning bolt painted on the side. It was something like a whopping 6 amps, an it continues to run like a vintage sewing machine. It NEVER goes to a job anymore. My guys (and me!) are too used to our bigger Sawzall, and our favorite the PC 12 amp oscillating recip saw.
Remember how often we wore out those old steel blades 30 years ago? We were so careful that when doing demo we took wood and metal blades for the saw. We would cut until we thought we were at the nails, then we changed blades. After cutting the metal, we changed back. Hitting a nail with the wood blades killed the blade instantly.
Now I happily cut away with a 6 - 8 TPI bimetal samurai meatchopping sombitch that cuts everything, and I never think about it.

Ditto. And yes.... my 1975 vintage Milwaukee 3/8" hole shooter still works fine. It was my only drill for years, and no one is more surprised than me that it still works fine.

I might have to take you up on that! The last tube I saw of that was when I helped my Dad buy one of those 346 saws, and he has it in the original Rockwell box. The last time I saw it, probably ten years ago it was so old it wasn't white anymore... it was a odd brown.
Hmmmm... I just read Upscale's post Tom, and realized REALLY how long ago we are talking about in actual years and tool years. There weren't many >>usable<< cordless tools out until about 1980. Upscales MW 12V drill probably was out around the end of the 80s to start of the 90s or so.
My first was a Hitachi about 1984 (when they were still made in Japan as Hitachi Koki) and it was a 7.6 volt 1/4" chuck drill that took 12 hours to charge, and you could use it for about 30 minutes. We used it hang mini blinds and put on door hardware in condo refurbs we were doing. It wasn't good for anything else. It might have generated about 30 pounds of torque, max.
I was in the orange box last week, and met the Hilti rep that told me they were going to go into certain HD stores with their products. They have designed a drill cordless drill that is a 15.6 volt operation that generates (a grain of salt here) over 600 ft lbs of torque. *ahem* Anyway, he also told me that this drill would drive over 400 3" screws (I never heard of such a thing) into solid pine.
My how things have changed.
Even if this guy missed it by 20% on every claim, that's still pretty substantial performance. Price? Not bad for an all German made tool, which he claimed was made from all German made components. Drill, two batteries, charger and bag: $229. Two year warranty and some other impressive details.
Things like that make the old scratched and scuffed aluminum sawzall and Rockwell saw in the shop look pretty old and dated.
No matter. I still haul them out every once in a while and use them for some light work. I get a kick out of using them.
Robert
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wrote:

Which of course became an industry standard and classic all at the same time. An awful lot of saw to wag around! snip
I had my father's 8" Porter Cable side winder that was a 1960's vintage. Unfortunately, it was stolen. That saw was made by the original PC and it was a tough powerful saw that handled anything that came it's way. I've never had a saw that is it's equal. The tools made during that era were quality. Black and Decker, Rockwell, Milwaukee, and the original Dewalt radial arm saws were all terrific. Craftsman was a good line.
You know, refrigerators were called Frigidaires, portable circular saws were called Skilsaws.
Now most of them are called pos. Aw well!!
Thank God for Lie Nielsen, Lee Valley, and sometimes DeWalt has a good tool. The 621 router is a good one and Bosch seems to be good.
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Hmmmm... I just read Upscale's post Tom, and realized REALLY how long ago we are talking about in actual years and tool years. There weren't many >>usable<< cordless tools out until about 1980. Upscales MW 12V drill probably was out around the end of the 80s to start of the 90s or so.
Going on close to 30 years now and it still works fine with a few battery rebuilds along the way. You look at 99% of the tools on the market these days and there's no way in hell that you can expect that long a life out of any of them. Not that I expect to live 30 years more, but it sure says something about the quality of the older tools. Too bad it's mostly only the older generation that realizes it.
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But for me, that is what opened the door to Milwaukee. DeWalt had not staged their comeback and diversification yet, and there was only Millers Falls, Milwaukee
I went with Milwaukee too, first a 12v cordless drill and then a corded hammer drill. Both of them are still in operation. However, recently when I was looking to buy a cordless package, the dealer I was talking to told me that Milwaukee was now built offshore. I didn't have to think twice and bought a six tool DeWalt 18v package. Too many times I've handled the offshore stuff and I won't even consider looking at it anymore, much less buying it.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Probably Positec Suzhao, that sells tools under the "Worx" brand and apparently now under "Rockwell".
May not have anything at all to do with Rockwell International, which is now totally out of the tool business and split into several specialized companies. Even when they were in the tool business the only brand they sold that contained the name "Rockwell" was "Rockwell Delta"--they didn't sell under the "Rockwell" brand, but at this point if they cared to even try I doube that either Rockwell Collins or Rockwell Automation would be able to make much of a case that Rockwell on power tools would create confusion in the market or dilute their trademark.
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I'll bet that Rockwell did not sell their own name to Pentair. In any case, this sort of thing happens quite frequently. For example, Zeiss sold the Contax name to a Japanese company many years ago. Thus, when Zeiss decided to re-enter the camera market, the product was called Zeiss Ikon rather than Zeiss Contax. The Japanese outfit is still selling cameras with the Contax brand name.
Back here in the power tool market, we have seen that Black and Decker no longer means the top brand of the Black and Decker company. At present it is confusing whether their top brand is DeWalt or Porter-Cable.
Similarly, Skil no long means the top brand of whichever Japanese company bought Skil. Conversely, Milwaukee is still the top brand of whichever Japanese company bought them.
It really is hard to keep all this straight, and perhaps that is the intention of the Japanese owners.
As for myself, I will buy either Milwaukee or DeWalt power tools. I leave all others at the store.
Jim
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Jim wrote:

Actually, Kyocera pulled the plug on Contax (and Yashica) in 2005. The Yashica name has been sold to some Chinese outfit the name of which escapes me.

No, the top brand of that company is simply "Bosch". And it's not Japanese.

Techtronic Industries, in Hong Kong, also not Japanese.

Which might be the case if there were any Japanese involved.
In point of fact at this time the Japanese don't need to put American brand names on their products.

Well, then, you're missing out on some damn good jigsaws--the Milwaukee and DeWalt models are based on expired Bosch patents, while Bosch has not stood still in the interim.
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