I saw from a 1999 post that Ridgid's EB4424 Belt Sander was made in the
USA. Thought things might have changed, I emailed Ridgid, I was right.
"RIDGID Response: (05/02/2005 12:06)
The EB4424 is made in China/Taiwan to the same exacting Ridgid
standards that it was when it was made in the U.S.
Consumer Response - One World Technologies, Inc. "
Irritation - they don't reply to your email - they send you a user
name/password to use with there 'E-box" on their website - BS. I
Who are the Made in USA power tool makers left? Delta is a mixed bag.
DeWalt? Porter Cable?
Pains me to buy the China stuff.
I've got a bunch of Porter Cable stuff that ranges in age from a few weeks
to about 18 years... I don't recall seeing anything but Made in USA on it
(course that could be the box that was made in the USA. ;-)).
Seriously, PC is my preferred brand... a local service shop means I can get
any parts I loose, wear out or break. For example, the dust collection
canister from the random orbit sander didn't survive it's trip through the
dust collector's impeller... I was using the dust collector as a vacuum and
accidentally sucked up the canister. ;-)
I have a P-C cordless drill I bought in early 2001. Made in Taiwan. They
make some stuff in the USA, but not cordless.
That damn drill is dying already and I didn't use it all that much. There
is a distinct ozone smell every time the trigger is touched. I took it
apart and all the internals are one big cartridge. You basically buy a
new drill if something breaks.
Interesting... I don't have any cordless tools (unless you count hammers,
planes, etc.). All my portable power tools have "wires," as my son puts it.
(One day I pulled out my corded PC 3/8" drill and my son asked me what it
was. I told him it was a drill. He responded with "Oh, I never saw one with
a wire." Guess he's seen too many home improvement shows. ;-))
I'm a free-market person and while it might be
hard to accept the export of jobs overseas look at
Everyone is trying to save money. Including companies.
In order to compete, companies have to continually
stay on top of price curve in order to stay in business.
Otherwise someone will come in with an "as good"
product at a cheaper price point and put them out of
business. That said, Thomas Friedman in his
latest series of articles and in his latest book "The World
is Flat", gets it right when said that the way Americans
compete in this global free market is to offer employers
something they can't buy elsewhere. .
(I think a wonderful case in point is Bridge City
Tools - they produce some fantastic tools and
I think that it would be hard for them to ship
jobs overseas - couldn't get the quality. At least
We need to fix up our educational systems, our trade schools, etc. This
is a crisis in the making and it will
bit us in a shorter time then the so-called SS problems
that the current president is so fixated on.
The big benefit I see with India/China and elsewhere
making our products is that the money that
the employees get there is helping to increase the
middle class in those countries. It also helps
to foster peace by giving those people a vested
interest in the world economy.
(Imagine if the disaffected Muslims in Iran/Iraq and
elsewhere had a stake in gainful employement, would
the terriorist groups have a harder recruiting job? I'd
think so. Doesn' t mean that they won't find fanatics, but
if there was something they could see happening for
their families, I'd think the be relucant to join a group
that espouses death).
So, buy US, if you can, if not buy locally, if not
then buy what you can afford.
Sorry to bust your Bridge City nostalgia. Their combination square
rules were made in India. I just picked up a closeout 12 inch rule at
the WW show for $14.95 with Bridge City markings and made in India. In
fact Manny (of Manny's ww) tells me that he buys from the same factory
that made some of Bridge City tool stuff.
In some cases, you simply can't find new stuff made in the USA anymore
without looking long and hard. There are no drill presses made in the USA
expcet some really expensive Powermatics that I know of. General does
maek one in Canada that is still $850 or more, and I did buy one a few
I'm not going to go to five different stores looking for something like
kitchen measruing cups made in the USA. I might go to five different
stores looking for a tool made in the USA.
Not to deny the problems in the schools, but, according to the venture
capitalist who spoke at lunch time today, a significant portion of the
engineers being hired in China, to do development on a very large scale
Asian ecommerce effort, were educated in schools in the United States and
There is a competitive cost to educating the world, but there are great
benefits as well. You live in the Bay Area. Who leads Silicon Valley?
Whence come the engineers? And where are they educated?
who just bought a made-in-Milwaukee Delta jointer, and it's only 50+ years
Apprenticeships at Mercedes and Volkswagen factories are highly sought
after. They create careers that the workers are very proud of.
It shows in their products.
The Japanese (Toyota/Honda etc) are the same way--->THEY do the training
in the technical- and 'people'-skills.
Here, speaking as an Americanadian, all you hear is: "Once I get my ass
into that union!!" Where is that pride you hear so much about in the ads?
The educational system seems to work for those kids who WANT to get
ahead. Too many expect to be spoon-fed a degree.
The problems start at home. So do the solutions.
That's just a Rovian smoke-screen. It's called misdirection, magicians
operate on that principle.
Yet Volkswagen quality has been at the bottom of the heap for many years
now. Audi is mediocre at best, and speaking of Mercedes, you had better
get something when money is no object. American cars are much better
than they are given credit for, and not all Japanese cars are just like
a Lexus in reliability. I find most of them to be soulless and insipid
and most of the people who drive them treat you like an idiot if you
don't agree with sending thousands of dollars to the perpetrators of the
Bataan Death March. Asian-Americans almost always drive Japanese cars,
yet what the Japanese did to Asia was as bad as what the Germans did to
the Russians. According to human nature, everything imported is better,
no matter how obvious it is that it isn't better. In England, some
people actually drink Budweiser. That about floored me when I heard
Volkswagens are built to a price-point. Not a good idea. Not even those
Volkswagens made in Mexico.
Audis are a hyper bunch. Incredibly complex, incredibly agile. $1200.00
tune-ups. Worth it if you're into that kind of thing.
Mercedes is highly overrated in my opinion. Ranks amongst the highest in
'one-time buyer' syndrome in the luxury market. Many don't buy a second
Some are better than average. Many 'Japanese' cars like Toyotas are
built in North America. (Many BMW's are made in Georgia.)
Cheap Toyota Corollas are more reliable than the big models that Lexus
sells. ( My nephew is a service advisor for a Toyota/Lexus dealership in
Incredibly boring. Suddenly 1200 dollar tune-ups don't seem so bad, eh?
Couldn't agree more. Here in Canada, we make some of the better beer in
the world, but Budweiser is all the rage in some areas. Go figure.
Budweiser in the UK...mmmmm warm too?
If my information is correct, Aussies don't care much for Fosters either.
Anyway, I agree with many of your observations. What you did not touch
on was the difference in workers' attitudes, and that was the point I
was trying to make.
I actually kinda like Budweiser, but it gives me a headache that feels
like a mule kicked me the next day, so I drink Bass instead (it's a
good trade with the Brits who are drinking Buds.)
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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