and yet, you can still buy tools at sears that clearly have "made in
usa" stamped right into the metal. it's next to impossible to do that
at home depot or lowes. "made in usa" is notably ABSENT from my latest
snap-on ratchet too.
Friend of mine got a basic Kobalt (Lowe's) "mechanic's set" for xmas
I obviously can't judge the quality of the metal/heat treatment
unless/until something fails... but I will say this, the *feel* of the
ratchets and wrenches is closer to my old S-K stuff than it is to any of
the Craftsman tools in my collection save for one polished-handle
"professional" ratchet that I got when my local Sears was out of the
standard ones to exchange (and they apparently stopped selling the
ratchet rebuild kits years ago)
I liked them enough that when I needed a set of large 6-point metric
sockets and I saw a set on sale at Lowe's packaged with a 1/2" ratchet I
bought them, I figure an extra ratchet is a good thing to have, and the
cost was less than just the sockets at Sears. I find myself using that
ratchet more than the Craftsman one because it feels better. (the only
S-K sockets/ratchets I have are old, and 3/8" drive SAE. I also managed
to pick up a set of S-K metric combo wrenches, but damn if it isn't
missing the 13mm... almost want to buy one just so that one Craftsman
wrench doesn't piss me off.)
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Not surprising. The early (pre 2003 Kobalt tools were made by J.H.
Williams Corporation, Who are now owned by Snap-On.
The 2003 and up tools are made by the Danaher group, who also make Matco
and Armstrong tools (Kobalt is actually house branded Armstrong for the
no it's not. it's to cut input expense to a fraction of that of
domestic production [the chinese often sell at /below/ cost], keep
selling at the price of the domestically produced product, and roll
around in the excess profits laughing your organs off.
well, we'll /all/ be rolling around in poverty and servitude before
long. you can't run an economy on money printing, selling each other
mortgages and madoff schemes for ever.
No. Big box retailers want to hold (or drop) a price point in numerical
dollars. Going to these stores with a price increase is the last thing
you want to do. As a manufacturer you not only have to please the end
user but the customer that actually buys from you, the distributor
and the retailer. In the case of a big box the distributor and
retailer are often the same thing. If you can't keep the design ahead of
inflation then labor has to be cut. If you have to manufacture in China
to meet their expectations, that's what you do.
Products I designed and/or developed over my career have been sold in a
wide variety of retail environments including big box stores. I have
never been to meeting where management wanted to squeeze more profit out
by going to China. Not one. Pleasing a big retailer by maintaining the
retail price in numerical dollars, yep. Redesign parts? Yep. Work with
new and existing vendors to bring part costs down? Yep. Sometimes a
manufacturer gets some margin out of it for awhile. But it's a race
If you want to know who benefits, see who benefits from inflation. Who
gets the new money first. They got the extra. Not the manufacturer, not
The chinese people are having their labor stolen from them as are we. If
you want someone to blame start with the privately owned fed and work
Well , if this country ever gets in a WW2 style war again, were in big
trouble. What do we make anymore? not much.
The big steel blast furnace plants that ran WW2 are mostly gone or shut
remember when we lead the world in computer?
company's such as DEC, IBM, Wang,Univac,Western electric developed
and made products here. Where are they now? mostly gone or a shadow
of there former selves. IBM created the personal computer market
on a mass scale. They threw in the towel and sold out to Lenovo
on the PC side.
Now we have Microsoft and apple. MS just updates its already
bloated products and wants us to buy the same thing ever few years.
Windows 8 has gone over like a lead balloon. MS's new tablet
computer is the Edsel of its time.
Apple builds all the cool products all the Yuppies must have.
Gezz, my i phone is a year old, i must need the new one.
We have all fell for the banana in the tail pipe from them.
And for the most part, Apple is made in China and such
with virtual slave labor camps (err, foxcon/ Hon Hi).
Truth be know, apple stole the Mac interface from Xerox /Sparc.
Now they sue the world for obvious inventions.
For what apple and Samsung have paid in legal fees over the last
few years you could have paid down the national debt by 1/2.. ;)
remember all the consumer electronics here? names such as RCA, Zenith,
Magnavox,GE,Motorola and such made products here and were successful.
where are they now? gone or just shell names on foreign products.
Nipper speaks a different language now.
Detroit used to own the world auto market. Now we have to bail out
auto company's before they sink into oblivion
Go into Wallmart and imagine how much stuff would be there if there
were no far eat imports. Wallmart would be the size of a convenience
mart. There was just a big factory fire in Bangladesh in a plant
that made clothing for wallmart and such. Illegal and unsafe as hell.
But no one shut it down until people had to die making clothes
Our military used to make thousands of aircraft to defend our country.
Now, we cannot afford our own toys. What did we make, 22 B2 bombers?
how many B52's did we make? Hell, even scrapping most of them, there
are still more B52's than B2's. F22's, a few hundred at best.
By the time we actually make F35's, we will be lucky to have a few
hundred of those too. Then we do something stupid like cut up and
destroy all of our F14's. Go figure
Agriculture is still one of the bright spots in the country.
but even its in trouble. the cost of land and taxes are so high
that its virtually impossible to start a farm from scratch unless
you inherit it, or win the power ball. Buying a John deere is like
buying a high end sports car. Hundreds of thousand of dollars
for the big boys. Even Deere is starting to build more in India
and other parts of the world
Someday you will being buying you snap-on, SK, and such from the
names you know and trust. But those names will be names only,
like RCA used to be. Names sold to foreign company's that don't really
Obama made big loans to start up energy company's like Solendra and A123.
A123 was suppose to put the US in the lead in manufacturing hybrid
car battery's in the future. So what happened? A123 is now being sold
in bankruptcy to the Chinese. We pay, they play. We all better get used
Hell, even Warren Buffet had bought into the Chinese car industry.
IBM was never a big player except for businesses which is partly* why
it's chosen framework took over, but the mass market was created by
apple, atari, and commodore. *mostly because it could be copied.
big american companies ended up being run like big american government.
Still goes on today. However in ages past they would have been replaced
by new names in the USA, but government has made starting
and growing manufacturing companies so difficult there haven't been
They only had briefly because everyone else had been bombed. Go bomb
germany and japan again and the big three could sell a lot more cars.
(although the big three did have the japanese market long before WW2
until the government there interfered.)
The stores would still exist. Big box stores work on using logistics and
sales volume. This works where-ever stuff is made. The problem is that
inflation has to go somewhere and where it has been going is largely
overseas. These foreign made goods are what supports the american
lifestyle now, because inflation has destroyed the real value of
wages. When the US dollar finally breaks after these decades of abuse
and mismanagement since the ties to silver and gold were broken we may
get some manufacturing back provided some other things happen as well.
Hardware sales wise the military is just a welfare program for the
connected suppliers and has been for decades.
"Get Big or Get Out" was the quote from some government mucky-muck ages
ago. Basically the regulations are set up for giant agrabusiness in
mind, not the family farmer. Small new farmers have been trying to carve
out a niche with organic food and such, but it is difficult with all the
regulation. Some have been raided with fully armed and body armored
government empolyees. Farmers are arrested, product is destroyed,
property taken, etc and so forth. Their products did not make anyone
sick, the customers knew what they were getting, it just didn't follow
the procedures coded into law for the benefit of industrial farming.
That's what happens when people use politics instead of markets.
Back in the sixties, IBM was the computer industry, along with the Seven
Dwarves. It's strange too, since IBM was never a hardware company, they
were a services company that sold hardware as part of their services.
Lots of companies made IBM-compatible machines.... National Advanced Systems
and Amdahl were probably the most popular. But, they never really made
much inroads into IBM's customer base, because people were buying IBM
service and getting IBM hardware in the bargain rather than the other
But IBM has always, always stayed away from commodity systems. It's
a nasty business there, and these days the microcomputer industry revolves
around cheap commodity hardware.
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
there are many chinese tools i point blank refuse to use. pliers are
one. hammers are another.
suffering a momentary lapse of judgment, i buy a set of cheap stanley
junkyard dykes thinking that they should be at least halfway usable and
that stanley would have done some q.c. first time i ask them to do some
real work, about 1/8" of one jaw tip breaks clean off. i'm lucky it
didn't fly off and get me in the eye.
now my "cheapo" junkyard pliers are channellock.
[continue with rant about de-industrialization being the death of
america and how the chinese, despite the fact that we're giving them all
our tooling and i.p. don't seem to learn.]
The Chinese have no problems manufacturing aerospace, military,
medical, chemical, communications, environmental ... equipment,
but some dilettantes continue to either unknowingly or deceptively
attempt to convince others that those Asians just can't seem to
perfect that demanding, oh so difficult process of manufacturing
automotive parts and related tools. If you have an issue with any
manufactured product, blame those you purchased it from, not
those they contracted with to build the items, for the cheapest
possible price per, to their specifications and inspection method.
In Nebraska, the small town of Dewitt used to pride itself as the home
of "Vice Grip Pliers". Well, a corporate sale, bean counters run amok,
and some stupidity to go and that small town that has made tools
for over 1/2 century + no longer makes anything and has a big empty
former factory. They used to have a big town banner "home of Vice grip".
Don't know if they ever took that down or not. They should have replaced
the banner with "former proud town of what the USA used to be"
If you got some older vintage vice grips, hang on to them.
So if "made in the ole USA" means ANYTHING to tool buyers,
it sure did not seem to make any difference to those at Vice grip.
Sadly, if you really use them for e.g. removing rusted, busted studs or
similar eventually Vice Grips wear out so in another couple decades you
won't even be able to find them anymore.
I don't have any of the new ones... is there a currently available
replacement product that works as well as the old ones?
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
On these pages you will likely find among the highest
quality locking pliers ever manufacured in the world,
some of which are clearly labeled Vise-Grip.
yup, vise-grips are one of my favorite "love to hate"'s. they used to
be the perfect example of how you can DOMESTICALLY produce a world class
product at prices that people will gladly pay.
but that wasn't enough. newell rubbermaid sold vise-grip out to china,
among many of their other brands, and have been ruthless and systematic
i even wrote the company president expressing my disgust at their lack
of patriotism because ultimately, our military security depends on our
ability to manufacture if we are to be able to sustain and prevail in
conflict, but i received no response.
none of them care or can think past their noses. they're in position
for a few years, they cash out, and then they're off. i wonder where
they go when they're done? i hope they're not staying here and
expecting the rest of the country to protect them if there's a problem.
another example of iconic sell-out is dixon ticonderoga. countless
generations of american kids used them at school. countless office
workers still use them.
but management sold out and any pencil still bearing that name is made
in china. however, unlike newell rubbermaid who didn't just sell the
vise-grip name but the machinery too, the pencil plant here in the u.s.
was sold to local management and a company called megabrands. so you
can still buy american pencils of the quality that d.t. used to be, but
with a different name - usa gold is one, but there are others.
the supreme irony is that these domestics are now cheaper than the
chinese crap with the brand name! that pretty much says it all imo.
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