Letter Re: Where to Find Quality-Made Hand Tools?

Let me tell you about an experience I had the other day and my frustration. I recently purchased some tools from Sears and got the “higher quality” Craftsman brand. One of the items purchases was a bow saw. I did not look closely at the quality of the item purchased because I thought to myself, “It is a Craftsman, they have a life time warranty.” Well, a few months later
the saw broke because of bad construction. Some little nubs that were punched through the very thin sheet metal that held the saw blade in place. It does not take an expert to see that they broke soon after I started to do some hard work. Very disappointing. Sears exchanged it, and I see that they have a new model with a rivet instead of a nub. But I am not sure that it will las very long. I asked the clerk if all of their stuff was Made in China. She said “No,” and stated it surprised her that the saw was made in China.

On the way out I looked at a vacuum cleaner, it was a wet-dry “shop vac”. Craftsman and Made in Mexico. I guess that “Mexico” is not China so she was technically right. I purchased a Kenmore about two years ago because it was rated the highest in Consumers’ Reports. It is all plastic and does not work that well. The suction is pretty low. My grandmother has a vacuum cleaner that she purchased over fifty years ago. My brother and I call it “The Pig” because it looks like a pig (complete with a snout) from behind. I can not seem to find a vacuum cleaner that will last. They are all cheap and made as disposable items. I would rather purchase one good vacuum cleaner to last me 50 years instead of one cheap one every 3-to-5 years.

Where does someone buy Made in the USA products that are made out of good metal? I know a place must exist somewhere. Thanks, – Brent

JWR Replies: This topic has been raised before in SurvivalBlog. In my opinion, the best quality for your dollar can often be found in used American and European-made tools. For details, see this post from late 2008: Letter Re: Recommended Sources for Gardening Hand Tools.