Fun Time Buying Tools

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
edited 8:15AM in OFF TOPIC
So the big ol bench grinder I inherited from my Dad finally gave up the ghost. Its a US made Black and Decker Pro series. Its from the 70's. So me thinks I can just jump in the car head to the local tool house and get me a nice US or Canadian made replacement. Well what a bunch of horsecrap it is looking for tools nowadays. I got a strict policy of only buying US or Canadian made tools. It means I pay more but I get more plus I keep us employed. I go through the whole store and everything in it is Chinese made crap. I luck out and talk to the old dude at the counter who sends me off to a speciality tool store where lo and behold I was able to buy a 8 inch bench grinder that was made in Canada. Now here is the kicker it cost three times what the top model at the tool store was selling.

So you might think is this guy a moron buying this thing?? Well I almost herniated myself getting it into the car. Damn thing was so heavy. It has a heavy duty motor and everything is just so well made. I get it home and bolt it up to my grinder stand. Turn it on and the darn thing is near silent until you start grinding. Has power to spare and damn there is something satisfying about using a well made tool. I was lucky my Dad was a mechanic and I inherited all the tools from his restoration shop. Everything is Snap-On, Mac or Craftsman. These are quality tools. I have added tools as I go and I always add US and Canadian made tools. Proud to say my tools are ALL North American, except for my Dad's British made motorcycle tools and my german wood working tools(all passed down).

Needless to say folks it hard to buy tools made over here unless you are willing to pay the price. I am lucky in I am stubborn enough and have enough money to buy them. My view is if I cannot buy North American I look on eBay for old tools. I will not buy these cheap tools and I know a lot of guys are in no position to be choosey and think I will buy this cheap stuff to do the job.

This is just a general lament for what we have lost over the years with offshoring manufacturing. Talking to the speciality tool store guy he said he only stocks 2 North American grinders there are no others.

So one thing I would like is if you have experience with tools made in US or Canada maybe you can list here for others like me to find them.

Here are some I know

Hand Tools -- Snap-on, Mac
Grinders -- Balder, General

Comments

  • hoggyrubberhoggyrubber Posts: 596Expert Adviser
    good for you! it's funny how it started off, there has always beens some cheap tool lines and you could avoid them. now the good brands have switched production there, and like you stated, it's hard to even find anything quality. it will prob be like all save a penny now pay a dollar later stuff and really be a problem down the road.
  • My big beef is quality and longevity. It used to be the norm to have a tool last a lifetime. You ask for warranty now and they laugh at you. I broke a Snap-On socket my Dad got 30 years ago the local Snap-On guy replaced it with new one no questions asked. We need support local and in country manufacturers and protect these guys. Once they go under we just get junk. I used to buy Stanley but stopped as they off shored all their tools. Tools ain't cheaper at counter just cheaper for them to make. That pisses me off. And I know it in their corporate interest to make more money but when you eliminate local jobs you end up with NO jobs as every industry ties into the other.

    As long as I can I will buy local and in country made. Sharpened some drill bits and my lawn mower blade on my new grinder last night and while I did it I whispered under my breath F%*k You offshore tools. Then laughed my ass off.
  • Terraplane33Terraplane33 Posts: 271Expert Adviser
    I got some US made tools from my Dad, you cas use 6 feet pipes to reduce effort without breaking them... excellent 'old school' quality !
    He always said, they do not export poor quality (to stay polite...) ;)
    Nowadays, it's easier to choose tools: you have drop/forget, China and still some good material !
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,609Senior Contributor
    This applies right across the board nowadays. Day was when here in N.Z. you only had the option of quality tools from U.S., Australia, or U.K. I still have my Dads wood saw which he bought new in 1934, along with a "saw-set" crimp, and file to sharpen. Now you buy a Chinese saw for $20, and throw it away when it get's blunt and buy a new one. I had a Black and Decker 2-speed electric drill that the drive pinion wore out after 35 years use. Went to the dealer to buy a new pinion and he just laughed and told me to buy a new drill, as they don't stock parts for obsolete models any more. I bought a new drill (Chinese) and it burned out the armature the first time it stalled, of course just outside it's warranty period. A new armature was only $10 cheaper than a new drill! Paradoxically, the best quality tools available here nowadays are Japanese, so I forked out $300 for a Hitachi, and so for it has withstood 10 years of abuse.
    Unfortunately a lot of American, British, and Australian firms just could not stand the onslaught of cheap Chines junk, and went out of business. Like the British Motor Bike industry, but in that case it was just sheer inferiority of product that brought that on. The British car industry went down the same track unfortunately, and look what happened to G.M., Ford and Chrysler recently. So it's not always the fault of the Chinese. However, the old maxim still generally stands, - you get what you pay for.
  • hudsontechhudsontech Posts: 4,606Senior Contributor
    Cheap tools do have their use - I used a lot of those up when I went junk yard crawling. Had them in what I called, appropriately, my junk yard box. Drop a cheap socket into a place you can't get to and you don't go home crying because you lost a Craftsman or other good tool. I know there's some of the cheap stuff I dropped still lying in junk yards - if the car hasn't be crushed for scrap that is.

    Hudsonly,
    Alex Burr
    Memphis, TN
  • chopperchuckchopperchuck Posts: 290Expert Adviser
    edited September 2011
    over half my tools older than me {42yrs}i got from my dad & my grandpa,a couple years ago i needed a blade for this old B/D portable band saw,i took it to Lowels.who really hate doing business with.well any way the old timer in the tool section saw it & came over 7 asked where i got it-i told from my grandpa "man they don't make em like that anymore!!"DAMN right! i almost thought i should invite him over to see the rest of my stuff.i know some of my stuff will be passed down to my kids....:whistle:
  • ernie28ernie28 Posts: 482Expert Adviser
    edited September 2011
    over half my tools older than me {42yrs}i got from my dad & my grandpa,a couple years ago i needed a blade for this old B/D portable band saw,i took it to Lowels.who really hate doing business with.well any way the old timer in the tool section saw it & came over 7 asked where i got it-i told from my grandpa "man they don't make em like that anymore!!"DAMN right! i almost thought i should invite him over to see the rest of my stuff.i know some of my stuff will be passed down to my kids....:whistle:

    Being a sentimental old fool, there is something special using tools that were used and held by your dad or granddad's hand. I too have many tools from them and treasure them. Hopefully my son will respect them also when his time comes to have them.
    I still have my B&D drill I bougbt over 30 years ago - periodic lube the bearings and it still goes well. Do similar maintenance / repair on household appliances rather than just discard and replace when they go wrong but some stuff you buy these days are made so you cannot repair or even dismantle easliy (protecting their continued sales!!)
  • MikeWAMikeWA Posts: 1,505Senior Contributor
    Years ago, my dad, who was a carpenter by trade, came to help me with a project. I had a crummy "sidewinder" circular saw, so he gave my his ancient Porter Cable worm drive. Said he'd been looking for an excuse to buy a new Skil worm drive.

    Few months later, he came up again, and he's carrying another old Porter Cable, just like the one he gave me. Said the Skil was the worst piece of junk he'd ever had (and this was pre-China)- burnt it up within 2 months, and found another Porter at a garage sale. I told him if he'd have said something, I'd have given his back to him- he just smiled and said, "That's not how I operate, son, and I hope you don't, either."

    Fast forward a few years, and the trigger switch went out on the saw. I figured there would be no hope of finding another, but had noticed a Porter Cable "Authorized Service Center" in Tacoma, so stopped in the next time I was up there. Had the switch in my hand- the guy just glanced at it, went in the back and came out with one- didn't even have to order it. I was surprised, and he said it seems like every one of those saws ever made was still in service, so they laid in a supply of the "wear" parts because they got tired of ordering them one at a time.

    Economized with a cheap Chinese metric socket set- I didn't have much need for metric at the time. Had to take a Dutch hay mower apart- split the Chinese socket on the second nut, without even using a cheater. I felt both strong, and stupid for wasting my money. Off to Sears, like I should have done in the first place.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited September 2011
    Good story I have a lot of older Porter Cable tools and they are solid as a rock. My router is a beauty got it 17 years ago when I built all my kitchen cabinets. Still looks and works like the day I bought it. I have the worm drive saw, hammer drill and 3/8" drill as well. These tools work out cheaper in the long run as you do not have to replace them.

    Still got my Dad's 35 year old heavy duty angle grinder works like a charm. I just refuse to buy that offshore junk. My tool roll in car and junk yard kit is craftsman tools I got from my Dad as a Christmas present 30 years ago. Good tools last.

    And I agree with everyone above about using your Dad's tools, its a way to remember him. Every time I use those tools I remember my Dad and some funny story of us working together. My Dad bought the best tools he could afford at the time and he always told me to do the same. Advice that has stood the passage of time.
  • ESSX28-1ESSX28-1 Posts: 1,351Senior Contributor
    In Nov 1965 dad asked what I wanted for a 21st present? I'd just gotten the 28 Essex Coupe & thought I needed a good quality socket set with ratchet etc. Still using it after 46 years & it shows no sign of wearing out. I'm still using a large Stanley Mitre cutter with 3 foot tenon saws my grandpa used in our picture framing business that he started in 1910 & which I ran for most of my working life. Good quality tools are never regretted!!
  • MikeWAMikeWA Posts: 1,505Senior Contributor
    Didn't mention above that for Christmas when I was 16 (1964), dad got me a 1/2 drive SK socket set. Have used it all these years. Lost the 7/8 socket about 10 years ago- have kept an eye out at garage sales, and was able to replace it, so the set is again "intact".

    Good memories. Dad was a great guy- taught me many things about character (told me that "character" is how you act when you know nobody's looking)- but I was always a lot more "mechanical" than he was. He would save up problems for when I came home from college on breaks, and I would fix them. Once he said the Buick wouldn't charge- kept running the battery down. I looked under the hood, and the generator belt was gone. I got another, and got it back on the road. He asked what it was, and I just mumbled something about "there was a problem with the belt".

    When I was about 14, he took me to a hot rod show in Tacoma, about 60 miles from home, even though he had no interest in hot rods. I never forgot that- Do things with your kids that THEY want to do, because its not about you. RIP Ray Mittge, 1918 to 2005.
  • I started working in my Dad's garage when I was 6 cleaning parts carrying stuff. Generally getting in the way. Best memories I have are on warm days sitting on the bus seat we had out by the big door eating lunch and just shooting the breeze. Dad telling me about all the cars and bikes he had as a young man. Learnt lots of things on that bus seat.

    Everything I know about cars and bikes I learnt in his shop. When I was twelve he gave me a 327 small block and said rebuild that ask any questions you need to. I rebuilt that engine we put it in a bus it ran great. He helped me put the crank and cam in I did the rest he timed and tuned it. By 16 I was doing engines from start to finish. Good tools are critical and the right tools. And the appreciation of good tools.

    Not a day goes by I do not miss him. I have a big pic of him over my work bench he watches me do my work. My daughter helps me in the garage all the time. She knows more about cars than most guys. So yes pass it on and spend quality time help them build character. More time you spend the better it is for both of you.
  • MarconiMarconi Posts: 572Senior Contributor
    I got a Craftsman tool box/set for Christmas in 1965 when I was 21, still have it , minus the box, let a car down on it one day and crushed it but still have most of the tools. Went to Sears and bought a new grinder in '86, used it about 3 mos before it took a crap. It was 'made in japan' and was all plastic! What a piece of crap. Went to an industrial hardware store the next day and bought a Baldor, just used it this afternoon, it's quiet and works as good as it did when I took it out of the box! I've bought some cheap tools over the years and was always sorry I did. BTW, the Baldor and Craftsman grinders both sold for the same price when new! Guess which one was the better buy!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited September 2011
    I found out my new grinder has a 1hp motor made by Baldor. Great tools. Almost silent running and so much power. Nothing better than a well made tool and in my book way safer. Junk tools can be dangerous. Was over at my buddies he was wrenching on a stuck bolt with crap socket. The socket cracked came off bolt and he broke his knuckles hitting head. Looked painful.
  • rambos_riderambos_ride Posts: 3,186Senior Contributor
    51hornetA wrote:
    I started working in my Dad's garage when I was 6 cleaning parts carrying stuff. Generally getting in the way. Best memories I have are on warm days sitting on the bus seat we had out by the big door eating lunch and just shooting the breeze. Dad telling me about all the cars and bikes he had as a young man. Learnt lots of things on that bus seat.

    Everything I know about cars and bikes I learnt in his shop. When I was twelve he gave me a 327 small block and said rebuild that ask any questions you need to. I rebuilt that engine we put it in a bus it ran great. He helped me put the crank and cam in I did the rest he timed and tuned it. By 16 I was doing engines from start to finish. Good tools are critical and the right tools. And the appreciation of good tools.

    Not a day goes by I do not miss him. I have a big pic of him over my work bench he watches me do my work. My daughter helps me in the garage all the time. She knows more about cars than most guys. So yes pass it on and spend quality time help them build character. More time you spend the better it is for both of you.

    Thanks for sharing your story about your dad. I lost my father when I was 6 so for me it was scurrying around my grandfathers garage, helping and learning about cars and I still have many, many good memories to recall from that time.

    Not a day goes by I don't think about my grandparents and wish they were still around. But, I know I'll meet up with them again someday.
  • My grandpa used to own and run 2 standard service stations, one in Fond du Lac wi and one in north fond du lac wi the building is still standing and is now a sandwich place but the quality of tools has gone down so much that i can't even stand it any more and my grandpa feels the same but we buy them because we need them but it would be nice to get back to AMERICAN MADE TOOLS FOR GOOD and keep our jobs in this country just to let you know.

    Nick Hansen
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