I just bought a Werner MT-17 Multiladder at Costco - it appears to be
exactly the same as the Little Giant Model 17 ladder, which I've seen
on TV. The price for this Werner MT-17 is $219 all over the internet,
but Costco for some reason is selling them today (first time I've seen
them there) for $99... That's the tool bargain of the year, near as I
can tell. I've been outside in the yard playing on this ladder,
setting it up in all the different positions as on the TV infomercial
for the Little Giant, and I am loving it already. I'm going to sell my
two other regular extension ladders and pick up one more of these
Werner's - perhaps a taller MT-22 or MT-26 if I can find another good
deal on one!
One Caveat - the $99 Werner is made in China, and the equivalent
Little Giant model 17 is made in the USA (and is priced accordingly at
My experience seeing "great deals" at places like CostCo and HomeDepot
is that you get a substandard part.
HomeDepot demands suppliers meet certian price points. So folks
like Milwaukee have an "HD" model that's got a 1 year (not lifetime)
warrantee and has that because the innards are plastic, not metal.
(friend replaced a (10 year old, perfect) stolen Sawsall with an HD one
and, 14 months later, with a real one after the cheap one broke down badly).
Dunno if your chinese made, werner branded ladder is made with solid
parts, has a 6 month warrantee, etc, but sometimes you get what you
"Costco for some reason is selling them for $99"... Do you suppose that
"Made in China" might be the reason?
And do you *really* imagine that a $99 made-in-Communist-China ladder is
truly equivalent to a made-in-USA ladder priced at three to four times
that? You can't seriously believe that the quality is the same, can you?
Sure, it's possible. Like I said, sometimes there are patents that run out,
driving the price down. For example, I have a wine cork remover that's
really great, but it's exorbitantly priced - over $100 (Leverpull). About a
year or 2 ago they started selling knockoffs at around $30. They're just as
good as far as I've seen.
I know a fellow who is the litigator for one of the major US ladder
manufacturers. He handles their product liability cases. Based on what
I have listened to I suspect that half of the price of a US made ladder
is for attorneys. Maybe the Chinese haven't had the "pleasure" yet.
I think you missed the part about made in Communist China versus made in the
United States. Do you *really* believe that the quality is the *same*? Or do
you suppose that maybe, just maybe, you get what you pay for?
Maybe I'm being a bit naive, but what I do find hard to believe is that
Werner would jeopardize their reputation by putting their name on a lower
quality copy of one of their own ladders. Are they identical, or is there
some obvious difference that might account for the lower price ?
The "Made in China" sticker is certainly an "obvious difference that might
account for the lower price." Somewhat less obvious is what's implied by that
sticker: alloys that may not be up to manufacturer specifications, castings
that may be flawed internally, and absolutely non-existent quality control.
That "Made in China" sticker is only an indication that Werner is paying a
lot less money for the product than it costs to make it here in the USA;
hence the lower selling price. Beyond that, the other implications are just
assumptions. Back to my point: I have to believe that Werner knows what
they're buying, and if they really don't care that their name is on a
product that might have all those supposed quality deficiencies, we should
begin to worry about what they're manufacturing in the USA.
Made in China? Buy all you want..hell, buy 10....
I have Davidsons, and Werners..all made here in the States, and I sure as
hell wont trust a made in China ladder when I am 45 feet up..
Cost isnt an object when your noggin is on the line...if your stupid enough
to buy something that sounds so obviously cheap, and I dont mean in monetary
value cheap, that you will be on, that might just fold up on you...then
perhaps you need to buy quite a few and use them often.
I saw a TV-piece on how there were only a handful of ladder manufacturers
left in the US....and they are slowly closing up shop. At some point not
too far off, there will be none.
In the late 90's, my out-of-college job was to transfer manufacturing to low
cost countries. I worked (and still do) for Fortune 5 company. My new job
within the company is transferring it back here due to the astronomical cost
of cleaning up the quality issues these exact same projects produced. We
are talking tens-of-millions of dollars of clean up.
Don't worry, it will all come full circle very soon. If you can, buy
Oh, and stay out of HD and Loewes. Support your local
Industrial/Electrical/Plumbing supply houses.
There were NO assumptions made.
I have YET, and thats a few years, to see ANYTHING that is a tool that is
made in China that is better than made here.
Come to think of it..I have yet to see anything made in China that is better
Man, where did you come from? Even the Japanese car manufacturers have
discovered that products made in the USA are better.
Tools are an even more important issue, and the Pros know tools. Dewalt,
Klien, and others are US made and quality that you can stake your life on.
As CB said, do you really want to be 40 feet in the air (or even 15 feet) on
some cheapo piece of crap that might shear a rivet or bolt? Your pro is
gonna have the good stuff, and if you want to DIY, you better too.
Otherwise, you'll end up with a hospital bill (or worse).
Actually, Japanese labor and shipping costs went up, making the
American factory more competitive. Check out where the Lexus
factories are located. Lexus may be the highest quality mass-produced
vehicle in the world, based on quality control issues and
reliability. Also, many of the high end Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and
Honda vehicles are still made in Japan.
I agree that tools are important, but many of the best stationary
tools now come from Austria, Germany, and Italy. My cabinet saw,
which certainly can kill you, was proudly made in Quebec, Canada, by
Festool, Makita, and Bosch also sell very high quality tools made
outside of the USA. Many, if not most, of the American tool
manufacturers are steadily moving production offshore. Very few of
the USA branded, flag waving tools in my shop were actually
manufactured in the US. I don't think anybody can figure out where
Delta tools are made these days, including Delta! <G>
100% agreement there! <G>
Lets not confuse "Made in Communist China" with "Made Outside of the
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.