Made in China

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Forum topic by PineChopper posted 06-01-2012 04:39 PM 2964 views 0 times favorited 57 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PineChopper's profile


191 posts in 2738 days

06-01-2012 04:39 PM

What is your opinion of tools that are Made in China?

57 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4119 days

#1 posted 06-01-2012 04:47 PM

If the Chinese products are made properly they can be good tools but many are made as inexpensive as possible and the products are usually inferior to US or other countries products. If I have my choice I would prefer to buy American made products.

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2806 days

#2 posted 06-01-2012 04:55 PM

That’s a little too general a question in my opinion. Not everything made in China is junk (though a lot of people would like you to think that). In fact, a lot of the tools you buy from major manufacturers are now produced in China or other countries that many people regard as producing junk.

If you’re instead meaning, “What do you think about cheaply-made, seemingly inferior tools?” Then I actually have an opinion on that. I don’t buy them unless I need them for one or two things and don’t mind them being destroyed or being essentially disposable. I don’t need every one of my tools to be a top-of-the-line, “built to last several lifetimes” investment.

Since I turn a lot of wrenches, I often have a supply of cheap sockets and wrenches that I use for banging on, heating and bending, and building custom tools with (by cutting and welding).

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View BreeStephany's profile


69 posts in 2727 days

#3 posted 06-01-2012 05:36 PM

I generally only buy namebrand tools when it comes to power tools, and generally try to stay as far away from HF as possible, but as the same time, I really have to agree with Doss, if I need to make a tool or known that I’m going to be abusing a tool to the point of destroying it, I generally go with the cheaper alternatives and use them til they are destroyed.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4189 days

#4 posted 06-01-2012 05:42 PM

The Chinese can make very good products but they don’t
make a quality product at a rock-bottom price, they make
an inferior product at the rock-bottom price… just as
factories in any country would. The problem is that
most companies go to China demanding what is
called “the China price”.

View Jeff's profile


512 posts in 3736 days

#5 posted 06-01-2012 05:48 PM

Comparing a Chinese made product with a US made product is often impossible because the US product isn’t made here any more.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4189 days

#6 posted 06-01-2012 05:53 PM

Oh you should know that most electric products “made
in China” are actually assembled in China and many parts
may be sourced from other countries.

I-Phones for example are assembled in China but most
of the cost in the phone is not in the Chinese labor
but in raw materials and high-tech manufacturing of
microprocessors and precision components done
in countries other than China.

View wingate_52's profile


226 posts in 3111 days

#7 posted 06-01-2012 06:04 PM

For years, the only Chinese tool I had was a lump hammer. Now I have a Quangsheng LA BU no.62 plane with 3 blades. It is absolutly brilliant. Flat ground and square. Really sharp blades with edge retention.( I made a new rear handle in matching Bubinga as the original was short and at a strange angle for me) I had dabbled with one of their plane blades and chipbreakers after buying a Rob Cosman combo. then a few more, pls a lever cap iron and bronze adjusting yoke. I am about to buy a QS LA block plane that like the 62, coms with 3 blades with different angles pre ground. I reccomend without reservation. One of my colleages has bought a QS no.5 plane.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9355 posts in 2870 days

#8 posted 06-01-2012 06:14 PM

IMO made in China is a mixed bag….

Not every hobbiest needs “top of the line” tools…. but if you’re going to buy “good enough” for half price, you need to go into the acauisition with your eyes open.

I much prefer made in Tawain over made in China. The evolution of industry there has a 30 year head start on China and made in Tawain is arguably as good as made in Japan.

Many items just aren’t made in the USA any more.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View DS's profile


3325 posts in 2962 days

#9 posted 06-01-2012 06:25 PM

As long as you realize that most Chinese cities have resorted to welding the man hole covers in the street so they aren’t stolen to make hand tools, you might be okay. (Low quality steel.)

Second thing to realize is that many of the name brands you know and love are already made in China and that those Chinese manufacturers usually make the exact same tool with thier own private label and sell it as the “top line” product at the imported tool store at a 70% mark down from the name brand.

Still, even with that knowledge it is a mixed bag.

Example 1:
There’s the $200 name-brand jig saw that I bought with the Chinese private label for $69. Same tool, same awesome performance and features. They didn’t even use a different color plastic in the molds… I just got to keep a lot more of my money which I used to buy more wood.

Example 2:
Then, there’s the $19 trim router that the spindle was so unbalanced it nearly put me in the hospital the first time it was turned on. Thankfully, and luckily, I avoided injury with that one.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 3863 days

#10 posted 06-01-2012 06:27 PM

Just like products that are or were made in the US there is good, bad and ugly. Some products are built to a quality point, some to a price point and some in the middle. Many of the woodworking machines built in the US in the last century were built only to a quality point, consumers like most of us didn’t buy 20” bandsaw, cabinets saws or 12” jointers. They were built for commercial and industrial use by companies that spread the initial cost over many years.

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3056 days

#11 posted 06-01-2012 06:32 PM

Having lived in China for 16 months on a daily basis, and worked with their people shoulder to shoulder on a daily basis, I agree with a1Jim, Loren and Doss.
I drove a Buick while in China, made in Shanghai under the guidance of American Engineers. It had a four cylinder, turbo-charged, fuel injected engine, and was an absolutely great car that got great gas mileage. No catylitic converter on it, but the Chinese think differently than us, they think in terms of efficient burning of the fuel as an emmission control. They are wrong, but it ran great the whole time I was there and the next guy behind me praised it also. Doggone thing had an analog clock in the dashboard that actually worked!

On the other hand, all of us ex-pats used to say that things made by the Chinese people, for the Chinese people were not so hot. And we were right. I bought a bicycle while I was there, a 24 speed unit with three baskets, 27”, all the bells and whistles for $125 American. Some Korean owned company. When you hit the front brake the tolerance on the front fork was so bad you always had the creepy feeling that the front wheel was going to go under you. And more than once I had a brake bracket snap off while stopping. You could buy a single speed bicycle over there for $18 American, brand new. Last you about 10 months, unless it got stolen first.

I worked for a furniture manufacturer, and I can safely say that the Chinese are copycats, not improvers like the Koreans and Japanese, not innovators like Northern Europe and the United States. They have little concept of how to make or improve anything, probably a direct result of a couple thousand years of feudal rule, then 35 years of Mao, and still another ten years of finally settling down into a sort of Socialist-Communist state. So they have been exposed to our technologies only since about 1988.

They want what we want, but they want it in their style. A Kentucky Fried Chicken breast in Shanghai is about 3 ozs., not the 6-8 ounce giant we get in the US. And it will come with Chinese sauces. But a Big Mac is still a Big Mac. You can buy Lays Potato chips in Shanghai, but they don’t taste anywhere the same, and you can get flavors like shrimp, and soy sauce. I couldn’t buy some things, like shoes. I wear a 12, and no Chinese person has a foot that big, at least they don’t stock for it.

China is capable of making fine products. Really fine. We made good furniture and our covers were milled very well. Leather is a problem in China since they don’t know about plastic fence, and they all still use barb wire, which screws up the leather when the cow scratches itself. They do make wonderful stringed instruments, with some factories being over 1000 years old, such as Shanghai Instrument Company #1. That’s why they make such good guitars.
But I have a TAG Heuer Tiger Woods knockoff watch that I’ve fooled many people with. I’m probably on my fourth or fifth battery now. Great watch. I own Tommy Bamaha shirts that were made on what they call a “ghost shift”. The factory shuts down, then another bunch of people come in at night, and make shirts out of the remaining cloths on the same machines, for sale in the famous Shanghai market, which is now in a beautiful indoor building in Shanghai, since the world could see them in the old outdoor market and kept complaining about it since every tourist and ex-pat visited it and spent money on famous knockoffs. I paid about $7-10 a shirt, and they even came with the real hangtags. Still available in Shanghai, in the Hongshen district…just need an airplane ticket.
So they are capable if they are guided, but left alone, they make pretty much junk.
Our problem is we want the $49 microwave, and you just cannot build that inside the US.

But things are changing fast. The Chinese government has mandated wage increases twice a year for about 8 years now. So back in 2006, when the Chinese worker was making .56 an hour, everybody was happy. Now they make $4.00 an hour, and companies are starting to look at the labor cost, the shipping/fuel issues, and further transportation, especially for East Coast people in the US. Reshoring is happening here, (not so much Europe), and if too much manufacturing leaves China, their economy will not support itself and they could have 200-250 MILLION people unemployed. (Total population of China is over 1,400,000,000) There are NO Fortune 100 Chinese built and owned companies, just millions of little mom and pops, and all the foreign investment which is what really holds up the Chinese economy. If that goes, that is probably when they start thinking of taking over another country…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4127 days

#12 posted 06-01-2012 07:14 PM

The problem becomes magnified when China is asked to make brand name tools like dewalt delta etc then your buying top dollar from bottom dollar manufacturers is this wrong? If it keep us buying dewalt delta porter cable at low prices and the goods are good then I say so be it.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View bondogaposis's profile


5560 posts in 2893 days

#13 posted 06-01-2012 07:31 PM

Are there tools made anywhere else?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2806 days

#14 posted 06-01-2012 07:32 PM

Continuing Tennessee’s thoughts, I don’t feel anything is wrong with Chinese goods. They are what they are. As said before, if directed, they do what they’re told. If no one tells them, they do as they please (like anyone else would). Nothing wrong with that. I think the problem with producing what some see as junk is their exposure to the rest of the world. They don’t see what we see is wrong with the way they do things (sometimes) so they don’t change what we perceive as their flaws. Why? Because they don’t know any different.

Moving on, I don’t blame the Chinese for making inferior tools for the big names. They do what they are asked to do. Those big names are asking for lower and lower manufacturing to shelf costs so they can increase profit. If Americans showed they were willing to buy on a quality basis rather than a price basis, I’m sure the goods China cranked out to us would be of higher quality.

Because that is not the case and the majority of us (Americans) want things for the lowest price possible, we should not be surprised when we are given junk.

If you want quality, be prepared to pay for it.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4189 days

#15 posted 06-01-2012 09:48 PM

Many of Dewalt’s better tools are made in Italy. The 621
and 625 routers are. The DW712 trim saw is made in
Italy as well. The Dewalt scroll saws were made in Canada
but I think they are not anymore. These are all tools
I’ve owned and all very good quality for the price – not
Festool quality but pretty close.

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