Buying your tools at sears?

http://www.impomag.com/blogs/2012/12/david-vs-goliath-%E2%80%93-stealing-innovation
bob

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On 12/18/2012 01:56 PM, bob urz wrote:

http://www.impomag.com/blogs/2012/12/david-vs-goliath-%E2%80%93-stealing-innovation

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.
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On 12/18/2012 09:45 PM, jim beam wrote:

Friend of mine got a basic Kobalt (Lowe's) "mechanic's set" for xmas last year...
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.)
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

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 most part)
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Steve W.

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On 12/22/2012 03:25 PM, Steve W. wrote:

are they not made in china now? all the "husky" stuff sold by home despot used to be made in usa, but is now china. [for the same price, naturally.]
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In numerical dollars. In constant dollars it's cheaper. The goal is to hold price point in numerical dollars as the dollar declines in real value.
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On 12/22/2012 11:20 PM, Brent wrote:

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.
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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 against inflation.
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 retailer.

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 up.
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This of course is if the company stays in the same hands.... once the wall streeters and take over folks get involved all bets are off. They will destroy a company for a quick buck any way they can...
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On 12/24/2012 12:43 AM, Brent wrote:

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 down.
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 for wallmart
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 care.
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 to it.
Hell, even Warren Buffet had bought into the Chinese car industry. go figure...
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That's what nukes are for.

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 replacements.

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.
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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 way around.
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. --scott
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jim beam wrote:

Taiwan mainly. Some of the pliers are mainland China
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On 12/23/2012 06:56 AM, Steve W. wrote:

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.]
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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.
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On 12/23/2012 8:56 AM, Steve W. wrote:

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.
http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/machines_12.html
bob
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On 12/23/2012 12:23 PM, bob urz wrote:

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?
nate
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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.
http://www.matcotools.com/catalog/pliers-and-sets/locking-pliers-and-sets/
http://www.mactools.com/shoponline/productdetails/tabid/119/c-23086-locking-pliers.aspx
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/tools.asp?tool=all&Group_IDh2419&store=snapon-store
http://www.cornwelltools.com/webcat/categories.php?category=Common-Service-Tools/Locking-Pliers
http://www.wrighttool.com/pub/default.asp?catalog=0&title2=Pliers%2C+Snips+%26+Scissors&oid=%7B648587BC-6222-11D4-807F-009027E52D9E%7D
http://www.stahlwille-online.de/index.php?amac 030002000e&sid$db88632ec4f8dbade6084ae8edd8e1&lid=2&mid=2&shid=&scmd=plist&pid63&pcidY44&cida22
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On 12/23/2012 09:23 AM, bob urz wrote:

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 about it.
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.
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On 12/23/2012 09:51 AM, jim beam wrote:

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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