Why Are There So Many Bad Tools?

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Eric Anderson writes:

Yes. The powered tools have dropped. IIRC, I paid about $20 for a single speed non-reversing, ungrounded, aluminum cased drill back around '56 or '57. It was a wonder then, but a POS, and dangerous, by today's standards.
An equivalent drill today might run $25-35, but will add a variable speed reversing feature, and quite possibly a hand operated chuck, with grounding and a plastic case. That plastic case may not sound like much, but the first time you drill into a live wire in a wall, you'll appreciate it.

There is a lot of complaining going on about cheap tools these days. That's generally easily corrected. Avoid the cheap tools. As you note, today's costly tools are much cheaper than the costly tools of 30 or so years ago, and are generally better engineered. And today's costly tools, checked for inflation, don't appear to cost quite so much after all.
Given time, even the cheesy stuff improves. I can remember my first view of a Jet tool, a couple decades or so ago. There is almost no comparison with today's Jet tools in terms of quality. The same is true of Grizzly and a couple of others. Today's tools are far better than those from 20 years ago. Part of that is simple development. Part is a learning process on the part of the distributors who deal with the actual overseas factories. Part of it is a learning process at those factories. And, so far, most of it is a benefit to the tool user.
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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On 25 Nov 2004 23:54:24 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

The PC router - 890 series - I just bought cost a bit under $200. It's replacing a 28 yr old Craftsman that cost $50+ with single speed, smaller motor, rougher adjustment, and a tendency to go out of adjustment. That $50 has to be in the neighborhood of $150 today.
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Probably quite a bit more. Isn't invested money generally supposed to double every ten years or better? 28 years ago almost means that it would have quadrupled. $50 x 2 x 2 x 2 = $400.00.
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wrote:

From the point of view of investment, yes, but I what I was referring to was the value of the dollar: I'm guessing that $50 28 yrs ago would be roughly equivalent to $150 now. And if our deficits keep going the way they are, it will be $1,000 in 3-4 years....
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wrote:

of living/income thing.. In the 70's, I remember making $3.50 an hour as a mechanic in a factory, and buying a "good" table saw blade for about $10.. The same job now, in the same area, would pay at least $50 an hour and the saw blade is now $30 to $50 (comparing quality range of craftsman level good blade) so it seems to me that looking at how hard you hard and long you have to work to buy tools has dropped a lot and the quality of the tools in most cases has improved.. (the "craftsman best" blade in the 70's was NOT carbide or even the hi tech steel that came later)
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GregP notes:

You're probably close. And the changes in technology, whether in manufacturing or in the item itself, tend to show up everwhere. My first new car was a '57 Chevy convertible, 283 V8 with the Duntov package (3/4 race cam, 11 or 11.5 compression ratio, dual 4 barrels, no suspension changes). It was a rocket in a straight line, deadly in curves and didn't stop for shit. But it cost under 3 grand.
Of course, I was making about 55 bucks a week when I traded a '50 Studebaker on the Chevy.
A car with similar speed today would probably cost 20 grand, maybe 25, but additional features would include excellent handling, much (much, much, much) better brakes and tires, and interior padding and belts and other features that would give driver and passengers at least a chance of surviving a low to medium speed crash, and some hope of making it out of a really bad mess. The '57 Chevy interior was a killer all by itself. But, jeez, I loved that car!
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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If you are over 50, this description makes you wet yourself. Those under 40 can go back to debating the best CD player for your car.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

... and those of us in our 40's will talk about 8-tracks. ;-)
-- Mark
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On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 15:04:40 GMT, "Mark Jerde"

I had my first CD player in high school, and my first car was front wheel drive and got 36 MPG. <G>
Barry
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So was mine. An Austin Mini.
Dave O'H oheareATmagmaDOTca
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Barry responds:

To be pitied. If it wouldn't break the wheels loose in second gear at over 70 MPH, it wasn't worth driving (3 speed column shift).
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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On 26 Nov 2004 19:10:34 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

My Chevette wouldn't break the wheels loose on a frozen pond. <G>
Barry
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(Charlie Self)

Must have been an automagic. The 4 speeds would light up pretty well, and get a chirp in second gear to boot. Nothing compared to real horsepower of course, but the standards could be made to talk a little.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
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On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 22:28:05 GMT, "Mike Marlow"

4 speed, 4 door, not automatic. Maybe the extra weight and length of my sedan body made for extra wimpyness?
But hey, the seats reclined. <G>
Barry
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George wrote:

I had to think about that one a second. Windows open to vent the aroma of tangy poon I guess. :)
If your dad was anything like mine is now, he might have enjoyed the smell, because he hadn't smelled it in sooooooooo long. :)
(I got a rude awakening as a teen when certain items from my collection of, um, age-appropriate literature disappeared, and I later found them in Dad's bathroom. Talk about turning the tables on me for all those old Playboys I used to filch out of his closet. :)
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 19:12:11 -0500, Silvan
]

I got a rude awakening when my mother turned her defroster on, the morning after I was out in her car, to find bare footprints all over her windshield. Different sized prints faced different directions.
Barry
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wrote:

wanted to know where we got those " huge cd's" (proud owner of several small block chevy's)
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On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 09:54:38 +0000, Charlie Self wrote:

My two "loves" were a '64 Chevy Malibu SS and a '66 Olds 442. I really shoulda kept the Malibu. The 442 was a real fright - you never knew what direction you'd be pointing in when you hit 3rd...
Ah yes, then I got married and bought a spanky new '70 VW bug for $1900 - sold it ten years later for $1000.
-Doug
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Doug Winterburn writes:

Yah. '68 Barracude 340S, 4 on the floor (big deal back then as you recall), fastback, a true Chrysler Corp. POS as far as quality went, including the lousy wide oval tires that lasted 5000 miles if you took it easy, but a bolt of lightning in a straight line if it was running at all.
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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"Charlie Self" wrote in message

58 Impala, 348, white, convertible, 'big deal' 4 on the floor ... too damn bad it was my best friend's, instead of mine. Although I occasionally traded him my 49 Willis Jeepster for the night if the date was hot enough. (Rosemary Powers, you lovely lipped New Yorker who actively encouraged perfection of the one-handed bra removal technique, wonder where you are now? ... take that back, I don't even wanna know.)
--
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Last update: 11/06/04
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