On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 20:13:07 -0600, Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas
You're likely to experience a greater number of failures,
but not that many: if you have only one tool, you are likely
to use it much more than each of the eighteen.
First, I don't believe that there is any greater reliance on cheap
tools/goods now than 50 years ago. I think that the first point you
made is the key one: most of us own a lot more stuff of all kinds
than our parents and grandparents. So there is a lot more cheap
stuff floating around. Secondly, one reason for manufacturers
to concentrate on the cheaper stuff (in addition to market share,
etc) is the cost of repair relative to the cost of initial
production. At most levels of quality, it is possible to produce
the majority of goods incredibly efficiently - just think of all the
components mechanical & electronic in a sub-$1K computer -
but repairs are not. Even if you make something really well,
the probability is high that something will eventually break and
it is likely that the repair cost will run on the order of 30 - 100
percent of the purchase price. Most people I know are likely
to opt to purchase a new item instead. This is a disincentive to
Thomas Beckett brings his outlook to us with:
snip of long diatribe that is mostly inaccurate
First, learn something about plastics technology. Plastics often save money,
but just as often increase quality and safety. They provide greater electrical
safety, drop resistance, and grip safety versus most thin cast or sheet metals
while also providing lower manufacturing costs, and lower development costs.
Second, the number of power tools owned may increase the chance that one of
them is going to fail, but that is incidental and of little importance.
Anything complex may fail at any time for any of variety of reasons, almost
none of which have to do with quality of manufacture or design.
Third, motors are designed to last a specific number of hours in actual use to
provide a minimum use time, not a maximum. If every tool is designed to last
500 hours, Joe or Jane Average is going to pay for that 500 hour lifetime, and
never use the tool more than 10 hours. If the tool Joe or Jane buys is designed
to be last for 75 hours, and they use it for 100, they've gotten more than they
paid for, not less.
We have more types of power tools than ever before, available from more
manufacturers than ever before. The buyer has the responsibility to learn
something about the tools and materials used to make each brand before making
the purchase. People who don't do so don't get tools that last (and serve) as
well as those who do. Too, those who make decisions based totally on price
almost never get good quality tools. Price, though, is always a part of the
decision, and should be, because buying more tool than you need may be as
wasteful as buying the cheapest tool on the market.
Finally, over-generalizations about a field as large as the power tool field
are good only for relieving the feelings of someone who has made a poor tool
buying decision and blames it on someone else.
"Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity
has made them good." H. L. Mencken
Now, somebody take a survey. Find out
how many people believe that ANY
Sears Craftsman tools can be returned,
no questions asked, for a free replacement, at any time. I bet more
than 500 out of 1000 would say yes.
I had the fortune to be working at Sears when an older gentleman with a
dump-bed pickup and the back full of tools dump the entire load in the
parking lot. Yes, he thought the power tools were lifetime warrantied. No,
they never have been. If you ever got to replace one after the 1 year
period, you had a nice employee just "make it happen" for you.
About your conscience and the screwdrivers, Sears knows they will be
replacing tools not used for their intended purpose. They figure if they
get you into the store to replace the tool, you might buy something else.
Had a guy come in with a broken 1/2" breaker bar snapped just below the
head. Out of curiosity, I asked him what happened. He mentioned something
about 3 guys and a 6 foot cheater pipe. I replaced it with a smile.
If you don't know to switch the "com" and the "gmail",
You probably shouldn't attempt to email me.
That one year Dad got about 750 million cubic buttloads of logs dumped on
our garden, the guy at Sears did finally request that we put tape on the
maul before returning it the next time. We were going through three a day
at the high point of that.
Wow, I musta been stronger than I am now. I don't remember how many cords
that wound up being, but it lasted three or four winters. I had to do 2/3
of the splitting, and never could convince ol' Dad of the efficacy of a
handy dandy hydraulic log splitter.
Thanks to Sears, we kept whoever makes those things in business
single-handedly that year. :)
Then many years later, I used the same dull, rusty, mangled maul to rip up a
bunch of carpet tacks. Worked great. No problem getting a new one
(I'm glad Dad got a pellet stove or I'd probably *still* be guilt tripped
somehow into helping him split all that. :)
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Yes, I'm saying that's what most people believe, or at least it's factored in
subconsiously when people think about
Sears warranty policies. Sears does
have generally good return and service policies. For example, they were ready
to come out and replace the motor in
my 6 mo. old tablesaw until I realized
I hadn't pushed the reset button hard
enough. But no, they aren't going to
replace my Crafts-
man Chinese-made rolling toolbox
with the broken handle
even if it's not a year old. What I'm
saying is, people hear, "y'know, if
that's a Craftsman wrench, they'll
replace it for free," and think that
applies to all Craftsman tools.
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