What will become of “American” tools?

DeWalt. Porter-Cable. Black and Decker. These are names that have long represented high quality “American-made” tools.

Many of us are aware that for some time now, most of the tools sold under these names have not been made in America but have been outsourced to factories in other countries (Brazil, China, etc). Some are even aware that these names no longer represent different manufacturing companies but are owned by the same company.

Recently, new but obviously “dumbed down” offerings bearing the venerable Porter-Cable badge have started appearing on shelves carrying extremely low-end price tags (how good can a $59 circular saw be?). This has been causing some consternation among PC aficionados who have relied on, at least, mid-level quality from their old favorite.

More and more now, it seems that to get “the best” you need to look for a European badge like Festool or Fein or a Japanese brand like Makita or Hitichi for decent “mid level” tools, and one of the “American” names for the “cheap stuff.” A pretty sad state of affairs that we can only hope turns around as the economic realignment we are currently experiencing makes it profitable once again to make things in our own country.

D.D.

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