I was looking at routers on ebay to see if I could get a nice recon or
just a good buy. I feel bad buying a brand new one as I already have
BUT... I don't have a lightweight router except my DeWalt laminate
I wanted to buy a router to dedicate to the new Akeda jig I will be
ordering tomorrow, one that I can easily set up and adjust. All my
other routers have homes and do specific tasks, and that works for me.
I was surprised that the sold prices on the Hitachi and Makitas are
almost cheap. Some are outright cheap. Some don't even get bids.
I have DeWalt, Bosch, PCs, my first Sears (32 years old and it still
runs!) and those first three are my preference in certain models.
I can see NOT buying the Hitachi as I would feel like I was looking at
a comic book Martian while I was trying to use the tool. But I have
understood from the guy at Lowes that the Hitachi tools sell well and
they have little problems with them. And I thought those newer
Makitas were supposed to be great with their quiet operation and
So why are they so cheap?
I also found out something from a friend of mine, and he's usually
right about these things. Sears has switched from the Bosch line for
some of their routers to same manufacturer that makes Porter Cable. I
may have to drop by tomorrow and check that out. Anybody know
anything about that?
I wouldn't doubt it. I remember how stunned I was when I went to Sears
for their sanding belt blowout and saw the Bosch 1617 branded as
Sears. I contacted Bosch, and they told me it was the EXACT router as
the Bosch. They no longer sell it branded as Sears, but I think they
do have a couple of other routers made by the Bosch conglomerate.
I figure it's the result of the marketing industry thinking that fashion
plays a large part in the decision to purchase a product. And, just the fact
that you'd feel out of place using one of those comic book martians for your
woodworking validates that idea, only in reverse. Consider that the average
home owner or neophyte woodworker knows very little about woodworking tools,
at least not to the extent that many people here do. They'd be drawn to your
green martian just out of (mistaken?) fashion sense because they've got
little else to go on. Being experienced woodworkers, we know better, but we
too want to be accepted by our coworkers and so in this case, we wouldn't
use a green martian whereas the average person would or might.
I agree. Hitachi, while a decent product, seems to be trying to appeal to
all buyers and has to use eye catching design to draw you towards their
product if you don't know one from the other. Once purchased the short
comings may become obvious.
Personally I find that the wild design of the Hitachi products tend to
confuse me when I am looking for a particular lever, button or switch. The
critical adjustment parts tend to blend right in with the camouflage design.
One in particular that is confusing is the Hitachi SCMS.
Makita is sorta following with their Lithium Ion drills as is Panasonic.
On Wed, 20 Feb 2008 23:55:09 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Now that would be a shock. Porter Cable hasn't private branded for at
least thirty-five years or so. But they are part of B & D now so.....
Until a few years ago, all PC routers were made in their own facility
in Jackson, TN. There was no contract manufacturer. Then I believe
they eliminated their winding lines and bought wound components. More
recently I think they moved assembly to Mexico but kept the machining
of components in Jackson, TN. But I think these facilities are all
owned by B & D, not contracted.
I'm glad all my corded PC stuff is prior to this transition.
At this point in our globalized world of production, I would be
surprised if these guys weren't simply jobbing the whole machine out
the way Sears used to do it.
I remember when I had old Craftsman saws that were old when I got them
in the mid 70s and the guys at the repair shop told me they were made
by an appliance manufacturer under contract to Sears, to their specs.
I am to the point where I don't care too much anymore about where the
product is made. I was buying tools when all of us on the jobsite
would hoist our pants and spit when someone said their new tools were
made in Taiwan. Disgusting. Chinese tools? Please get that foreign
piece of crap out of here.
Now Taiwan (yeah, I know... R.O.C.) is preferable to China. But not
always. And so few tools are made in the USA anymore. And it is
little comfort to me that the recent surge in Eurotools are branded
with a certain name, but are not playing under the same rules as US
manufacturers. If Metatbo wants to make a drill from parts made all
over the world " a la DeWalt " they can still say it was made in
Germany if it was assembled there. US companies must say where the
parts came from they exceed (help me out - 42% ?) an aggregate number
from foreign sources, or are assembled elsewhere.
Me too, Frank. I was actually looking on ebay to see if I could steal
another PC 7529. I have had the one I used regularly for years, and
it still runs like a top. It took a while to get used to the
controls, but that is well made up for by the quality of the machine.
What i've seen in hitachi and my experience is in cordless so i'll
speak from that perspective
They are well made and well balanced and when you include the third
battery that they keep promoting youve got an impact that is
comparative to the Dewalt and makita in price (Usually a bit cheaper)
with an extra battery.
They ARE made in china but appear to be well built. I dont think they
skimped on quality to drive costs even lower at this point but they
did choose to make them in a country with low manufacturing costs.
That is a frequent source of complaints on chinese anything and i dont
think Hitachi or Makita are skimping.
But another reason over here is that in a sea of yellow tools its very
easy to say "Pass me the slime colored impact" and impossible to
mistake it. I dont think any of us buy tools to be pretty and the
styling on the hitachi is noticeably FUGLY.
I think they're doing some smart manufacturing to keep the prices down
and frankly overall the third 18V lithium battery won me over. Heavy
users wont pay the extra price for a tool they cant use hard. And
homeowners wont pay hundreds for a tool that gets used ocasionally and
will still last for years.
I think they also did something REALLY smart too and i need to
investigate it more. I think they make one tool body per voltage and
allow batteries to be interchanged by voltage (My impact and chanrger
will connect to and charge up a NICAD or a NIMH as well as the
lithium) if the tools are just as strong then perhaps it might be
smarted to buy the nicad or NIMH powered tool and use the litiums in
But i have not investigated that yet since i don't intend to go tool
You hit the nail on the head as to why Hitatchi went with this wild
design. The very thing everyone is talking about (buying tools based
on fashion i.e. DeWalt) is whats got them (Hitatchi) to this point.
Its the "if you cant beat em join em" thing. DeWalt has clobbered the
market mainly due to contractors wanting all yellow and paying less
attention to quality. DeWalt has made, and still makes, a lot of
crappy tools since B&D sent DeWalt into the consumer market. The vast
majority of these tools are sold to people who are far less
scrutinizing than the people in this group. Drive onto any jobsite and
DeWalt will likely be the predominant tool, but then ask the
contractors why they buy DeWalt and they cant tell you. They will
default to quality but its usually a reply they stumble to after a few
seconds of head scratching. The yellow fever was a marketing
masterpiece and has paid dividends a million fold.
I have asked other contractors this question countless times. These
are usually guys that come up to me with an 18V cordless weighing
about 800lbs hanging off their belt. They carry on all day about their
aching back and here I am with a 12 or 14.4v makita impact zipping in
screws right along side them. So I swap out an extra battery, I can
carry an extra with me at all times and still carry less load then
that drill. Forget about when I run around all day with a 10v Bosch
Impactor! With battery and motor technology and especially impact
drivers, the need to carry around these big drills is diminishing.
Its yet another instance of marketing driving the market and the
marketers making the decisions rather than the consumer. I too am in
the column of people who just couldnt own a tool that looks like the
Hitatchi. I actually looked hard at the SCMS and its a really nice
saw, rigid, pretty well designed, the DRO would go the trash, but I
just couldnt handle that saw sitting on my job hehe.
When you go to look at the new Sears routers, write down the model
number. If they still use the three digit manufacture code in the model
number (the first three numbers before the ".") you should then be able
to google around and find a list of all the Sears manufacturer codes.
I used that methodology when I bought my Sears 14" band saw (clearance
priced at $150). I found that the manufacturer code was Rexon so I
contacted Rexon and bought the 6" riser kit for $50 (which included
I don't know. I do know that after I bought one Makita to replace a
dead Dewalt I ended up buying a second one. Even new they are
cheaper. They are pretty much all the same. The main thing I like
about them (other than that the motor hasn't gone BOOM like the
Dewalt) is that in the plunge base the release is a momentary switch.
On the Dewalt it was up is unlocked, down is locked and every once in
a while the sucker would just pop up on me because it wasn't
completely locked. You do NOT want this to happen with a dovetail bit
that is larger than the guide bushing. That would be VERY VERY BAD.
The Makita is locked unless you are pressing the lever. I found the
handles to be more comfortable too. You do need a screwdriver to lock
the motor into the plunge base, but you're going to leave it that way
all the time so no big deal.
Apropos the design, I think of it as Rap Design. They look like you ought
to get a pair to wear on your feet. I've noticed that a lot of SUVs and
trucks have borrowed the same style. Nissan seems the worst in that
Though, I'm no expert on power tools, I believe many shoppers are more
familiar with the brand name merchandise of Dewalt, P-C, Bosch, etc. due to
being used by construction contractors, whereas Hitachi and Makitas, though,
have been around for many years, are considered more of a home buyers tool.
Though, I have seen Makita, Hitachi, even Craftsman on job sites and I have
used a Makita cordless drill and currently use a Hitachi router and table
saw, I can honestly say these tools have been flawless for many years.
Therefore, my overall assumption would be the purchasers believe they are
buying a better quality product with the Dewalt, PC, etc. This was my line
of thinking prior to my purchasing more power tools since I moved into my
home a few years back. But, I could be completely wrong.
Actually, when Makita and Hitachi were introduced to us contractors
back around 1980, they were the Festool of the day. I had a Hitachi
hammerdrill that worked well for about 20 years and was used hard. It
had bronze cut helical gears in the transmission, and it tore through
concrete like a champ. Using the Hitachi line of tools was like using
a precision machine to perform a task. The tools were made only in
Japan, and they were something. They actually cost more than
Milwaukee at that time!
I liked that hammerdrill so much I bought Hitachi screwguns (same
vintage, 2 of which run today) and a circular saw. The saw ran fine,
was very smooth but had a 10.5 amp motor - not enough for me. Then of
course there is the venerable M12 router, a design so good it is in
production today after about 20 years on the line.
I have had less luck with all Makita tools. I like their 15 amp
circular saw and I use it a lot, but other than that, no experience.
I don't think so. I think you are on to something about the idea of
those tools being a homeowner/serious craftsman line of tools. The
styling of the new Hitachis certainly reflects that. The lower end
"affordable" tool lines they both make seems to bear that out.
But I keep beating the bushes, and no one seems to use the newer lines
of tools from either Hitachi or Makita.
That doesn't raise much confidence.
Thanks for the reply!
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