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latest tool hunt

PC

Obi Wan
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Been doing some work in my master bath and closet and needed a couple of new tools.

As I mentioned in my last tool thread, I like buying US made tools. Actually, I'm happy to buy well made tools from other places too. But I have a soft spot for American industry. And I definitely try to avoid offshore made products whenever I can.

To me, offshore means made by shipping jobs somewhere to avoid first world wages, labor practices, social responsibility and environmental protection. So while places like Japan or Sweden may be oceans away from here, I consider them "onshore."

The main thing I needed was a putty knife, specifically the stiff kind with a metal tail cap that you can pound with a hammer to separate trim molding.

Putty knives are plenty easy to come by. Poundable ones, a little less so but still common. American made ones, not so much.

Depot, offshore. Ace, offshore. Paint shop, offshore. OSH, offshore. OSH was blowing out some US made Craftsman chisels so I snagged one of them. They had some UK made chisels too.

Lowes, Score! But...

Lowes sells US made putty knives from Warner. So they're my go-to place for putty knives. They have a good general selection but not the one I needed most, 1-1/2". Thank goodness for Amazon. But I would have to wait a few days.

The other tool I needed was a screwdriver I could pound on. Of course pounding on a normal screwdriver is tool abuse and even though you can theoretically abuse "guaranteed for life" tools and trade them in when they explode, I won't. The tool companies know that too so maybe that's why some of them make screwdrivers with solid metal cores and tail caps that are designed for pounding?

Depot had two, both made offshore. One was from a big American name company that has a habit of buying US factories, shuttering them and shipping production offshore. And the other from another American name company that's no longer American, but now wholly owned by and offshore manufacturing conglomerate.

OSH had no poundable screwdrivers.

Lowes, score again! Sort of. But I didn't.

Such Irony in steel. Every other Kobalt tool I've ever picked up was made offshore. But I've finally found a couple that aren't. Their poundable screwdrivers are US made. Whoo-hoo. I guess some big box store tools actually need to be made well, from higher grade materials.

And yet, as much as I was glad to see that, I wasn't crazy about their design. They aren't bad, not at all, just not as nice as my other option, Euro made poundable screwdrivers.

Some of my absolute favorite screwdrivers are from Wera of Germany. Their poundable screwdrivers are really sweet, and not much pricier than the Kobalts. I couldn't resist. I went Euro. But again, I had to order them and wait a bit.

I'm a little conflicted on the Wera, but just a little. I didn't buy a perfectly good US tool. Although I like avoiding giving my money to Kobalt in general, it would have been nice to support the cause. And the Wera are actually made in the Czech Republic, not Germany. So the company is sending the work to a lower wage country.

But the Czech Republic is a beautiful place with a rich culture and nice people who may make a little less than some of their western European counterparts, but aren't living in ghettos filled with toxic waste and selling their children into slavery, either. And I'll bet Wera didn't shutter a German plant to move there.

The final tool in this round is a nifty multi-purpose plumbing wrench thingy made in the US by Superior Tool, a Basin Buddy Faucet Wrench. It fits a number of different plumbing gizmos. But be aware, there are offshore knock-offs out there. If you want one, be sure to get the real deal.




No more typing for now, I have pounding to get to.
pc


new%20tools%2020150328_zpsxeed9jqz.jpg
 
Last edited:

number6

Jedi Trainee
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Not that I know much about tool origins, What about Snap-on. I believe they are made here. I also could be wrong.
Tom.
 

CaptRandy

Jedi Warrior
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Screwdriver exact reason I buy old ones at garage sales. There are so many old tools at these sales that are made correctly. You may have to clean them up a bit but well worth 50 cents.
Offshore stuff is the main reason I have NEVER gone into a Walmart.
 
OP
PC

PC

Obi Wan
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Snap-on's a good source for mechanics' tools but not necessarily for specialized tools for other trades.

They do have their industrial tool line which isn't sold "off the truck." You have to go through their industrial distribution channels. And many of the tools in these lines aren't made by the same people who make their general purpose mechanics' tools.

I don't doubt they're all fine tools, and I know for sure many of them are excellent tools, but if you're specifically looking for US made products you have to check on a tool by tool basis. If you're just looking for good tools I'm sure you'd do fine with them.

"The truck" doesn't have poundable screwdrivers but the industrial line does. They're made by Bahco, a Swedish company that Snap-on owns. I love Bahco screwdrivers. But I like Wera more.

And neither line has poundable putty knives.

On this project I've used a US made Hyde scraper which worked OK and a Swedish made Bahco scraper that worked much better.


pc
 

aeronca65t

Great Pumpkin
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Thanks for the info.

I'm pretty much the same; I like buying N. American/Euro/Japanese tools when I can.

We just spend about $2 million on a college lab renovation and I did my very best to buy US stuff if I could (or at least European or Japanese). For the most part, I was successful.

ccm-lab-1.jpg

ccm-lab-2.jpg

ccm-lab-3.jpg

ccm-lab-4.jpg
 
OP
PC

PC

Obi Wan
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Awesome lab!

Maybe I should go back to school just to play. Although the commute would be a killer.


pc
 
OP
PC

PC

Obi Wan
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Oh, I forgot to mention earlier,

I also picked up these little US made pry bars at Depot.

prying%20eyes_zps99xgtm6m.jpg


Together with the poundable putty knives they made popping the trim apart a piece of cake.
 
D

Deleted member 8987

Guest
Guest
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My latest hunt seems to be 3/8-20 tap and die. I have old fashioned doors in this house, and some old glass knobs. The shafts are different between the solid knobs (square, set screw all the way through the shaft) and the glass (thread on, setscrew against flats). I checked, the knobs are 3/8-20. I'm thinking square steel, run a die down both ends.
 

Banjo

Yoda
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Oh, I forgot to mention earlier,

I also picked up these little US made pry bars at Depot.

prying%20eyes_zps99xgtm6m.jpg


Together with the poundable putty knives they made popping the trim apart a piece of cake.
I have met a few of the folks from this company. Our company is working on some grinding automation for them. Previously I did not know they were made in the U.S.
 

Banjo

Yoda
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The other tool I needed was a screwdriver I could pound on. Of course pounding on a normal screwdriver is tool abuse and even though you can theoretically abuse "guaranteed for life" tools and trade them in when they explode, I won't. The tool companies know that too so maybe that's why some of them make screwdrivers with solid metal cores and tail caps that are designed for pounding?

Depot had two, both made offshore. One was from a big American name company that has a habit of buying US factories, shuttering them and shipping production offshore. And the other from another American name company that's no longer American, but now wholly owned by and offshore manufacturing conglomerate.

OSH had no poundable screwdrivers.

Lowes, score again! Sort of. But I didn't.

Such Irony in steel. Every other Kobalt tool I've ever picked up was made offshore. But I've finally found a couple that aren't. Their poundable screwdrivers are US made. Whoo-hoo. I guess some big box store tools actually need to be made well, from higher grade materials.

And yet, as much as I was glad to see that, I wasn't crazy about their design. They aren't bad, not at all, just not as nice as my other option, Euro made poundable screwdrivers.

Some of my absolute favorite screwdrivers are from Wera of Germany. Their poundable screwdrivers are really sweet, and not much pricier than the Kobalts. I couldn't resist. I went Euro. But again, I had to order them and wait a bit.

I'm a little conflicted on the Wera, but just a little. I didn't buy a perfectly good US tool. Although I like avoiding giving my money to Kobalt in general, it would have been nice to support the cause. And the Wera are actually made in the Czech Republic, not Germany. So the company is sending the work to a lower wage country.

But the Czech Republic is a beautiful place with a rich culture and nice people who may make a little less than some of their western European counterparts, but aren't living in ghettos filled with toxic waste and selling their children into slavery, either. And I'll bet Wera didn't shutter a German plant to move there.
Don't forget Channel-lock! made in Meadville P.A.
here's a nice set with (go-thru) steel blades https://www.channellock.com/SD-7CB-Gift-Set.aspx
 
OP
PC

PC

Obi Wan
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Don't forget Channel-lock! made in Meadville P.A.
here's a nice set with (go-thru) steel blades https://www.channellock.com/SD-7CB-Gift-Set.aspx

Yes, ChannelLock makes lots of great products in the US, but not all of their products. You have to pick through them. Some are from the US, some from Europe, others from Asia.

Note that on that page for the SD-7CB set its says, "Made to CHANNELLOCK® specifications and A.N.S.I. standards in China."
 
OP
PC

PC

Obi Wan
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You know what else I can't find? An onshore made 8 oz claw hammer.

8 oz isn't all that common to begin with and all the ones I've found are made offshore.

Sometimes I just want a small hammer to drive brads and staples or hang pictures. A 16 oz framing hammer is sort of heavy and unwieldy for delicate work.

I picked up this Estwing 12 oz claw. It's a great tool but still a little heavier than ideal.
12oz%20claw_zpspayy4di2.jpg


Estwing makes an 8 oz ball peen hammer but not a claw.

Anybody seen a onshore made 8oz claw?
 

number6

Jedi Trainee
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I believe Tekton makes an 8oz claw. Quality was poor years ago, but apparently has improved greatly recently.
Tom S
 
OP
PC

PC

Obi Wan
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Sure, they and other offshore manufacturers do make them. And some are likely serviceable.

But I'm really after an onshore tool.
 
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