dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
4513
share rss forum feed


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

1 recommendation

Brand names

I've noticed something when I'm shopping for tools and supplies. Many old brand names that were standard setters in quality have just gone to complete crap in the past few years.
Remember when Black & Decker would get you a good quality drill or jigsaw?
How about Hunter fans? Craftsman? Stanley? Milwaukee? G.E.? Lithonia? Levi's? Carhartt? Redwing? Zenith? GM? Westinghouse? BlackBerry? Kodak?

It seems like the most valuable asset these companies have anymore is a bygone reputation. I know, a lot of these brands were sold to foreign companies strictly for the value of name recognition. I wonder how long they can milk it?
Not really asking much here. Just spurring some discussion.
I was just shopping for a new cordless tool setup (the whole shebang), and it seems like even when I spend $1,000.00, my options are pretty much limited to crap.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



Junker

@mycingular.net

Yes, these days the choice is either cheap crap or expensive crap. After many cheap household coffee makers, I decided to purchase a commercial Bunn. The stupid thing leaked water everywhere. It turns out that the nuts that secure and seal the submersible heating element were never tightened. So much for American QC.



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to nunya



Back in my automotive shop days, my absolute favorite "workhorse" was my Chicago Pneumatic 1/2" air impact wrench. There wasn't much that thing wouldn't bust loose. I bought it around 1980, and it was a real piece of workmanship. I bought another in 1985, and it was just as good.

Something happened then in the late 80's.... Unbeknown to me, CP was sold, and more than once.

I wanted another one for my growing business, and I was eager to get the new tool working hard in my shop. What a disaster that was-- it had far less power than the originals, and just plain felt "cheesy" to use. In exactly 2 weeks, it spit the guts of the air motor right out the side of it. Realizing that good-old Chicago Pneumatic was now "China Pneumatic", I tossed the pieces in the trash and that was the end of it.

I kept using the "real" ones for many more years, and I still have the first one I bought here at home now. There simply isn't any substitute for things that were made here by people who truly wanted them to last, and had the reputation to go along with it.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to nunya

You can thank Wal-Mart.


telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06

I know for hand tools im not a huge fan of stanley anymore but Chanell lock still seems great. Old appliance names like RCA, Sunbeam, GE, Moffat, Litton, Inglis, etc are all made by others under licence these days, so brands dont mean anything anymore in consumer grade product...

its sad



stevek1949
We're not in Kansas anymore
Premium
join:2002-11-13
Virginia Beach, VA

3 recommendations

reply to nunya

I am not sure that we didn't contribute to the downfall of quality to ourselves. Just a quick perusal of the forums on DSLR will show any number of people asking for cheapest this, cheaper that, including labor on any project.

I have always been of the mindset of you get what you pay for. If I am going to use a tool for a single job, I don't mind getting the store brand from Walmart knowing that it was probably China made. But if I want it to last, I will use my stash of older tools.

I do not search Craigslist for an "electrician" if I need a project done correctly. But that is just me, YMMV.



Chinabound
Premium
join:2002-12-21
Antioch, IL
kudos:3

2 recommendations

reply to mattmag

said by mattmag:

Realizing that good-old Chicago Pneumatic was now "China Pneumatic", I tossed the pieces in the trash and that was the end of it.

Most people here will say I'm full of shit.... but here goes.
If you purchase a pneumatic wrench at a tool store in China, it will be of the highest quality you've seen.

I make a rather comfortable living selling Chinese made items. I began this business with my wife after my second visit to China to get married in 2000. The first thing I noticed as I walked into various stores in her hometown was the high quality of everything. Clothes, tools, kitchen items (especially cutlery), appliances, toys, women's accessories - it didn't matter. Everything was high quality, and the prices were very reasonable for all of these things. That's when I had the idea to start our business. I went from making a decent living in the printing industry (18 years total), to making a much better living selling the items we sell.
My wife has the connections to obtain what we sell, and I created the means to sell them. My only wish is that I had discovered this sooner.

I have to head out the door soon, so I won't be able to reply to anyone who doubts me until tonight, or tomorrow morning should I have a busy day today - which I will.
But I assure you, the crap they export (by following the specs they are given, btw) are not the same items they use for themselves.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by Chinabound:

But I assure you, the crap they export (by following the specs they are given, btw) are not the same items they use for themselves.

Which just shows its the retailers, looking for the maximum profit that choose what is sold. When enough retailer do it, they all have to do the same or go out of business.

The issue isn't the sellers, its the buyers ... and its pretty much now a given that while people bitch and moan about quality, they purchase by price. The only ones to blame are themselves


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

You can thank Wal-Mart.

said by stevek1949:

I am not sure that we didn't contribute to the downfall of quality to ourselves. Just a quick perusal of the forums on DSLR will show any number of people asking for cheapest this, cheaper that, including labor on any project.

I hate Wal Mart as much as the next guy, and avoid it like the plague, but I concur with stevek1949 See Profile here. Wal Mart is simply the facilitator of people's demand for cheap shit.

The manufacturers, including the ones nunya See Profile listed, faced a decision: lower their prices (and subsequently their quality) in order to get their products in Wal Mart and Home Depot, or close shop.

If people would have continued demanding high quality stuff, and most importantly continued to pay for it, it would still be around.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

You can thank Wal-Mart.

Bingo!

Great article, although a few years old ...

»www.fastcompany.com/54763/man-wh···wal-mart


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to stevek1949

quote:
I am not sure that we didn't contribute to the downfall of quality to ourselves. Just a quick perusal of the forums on DSLR will show any number of people asking for cheapest this, cheaper that, including labor on any project.
That is the other side of the equation...
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 recommendation

reply to nunya

GE never had good stuff imho.



magicjimmy

join:2006-03-23
Tucson, AZ
reply to stevek1949

+1



Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5

3 recommendations

reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

You can thank Wal-Mart.

No: you are confusing an effect with the vehicle by which an effect makes itself known. It's your fellow man that you have to thank for this, as he has made it perfectly clear he that he shops on price alone.

A few of us on the planet, including some here, do value spending more for better quality, but our tastes are so much in the minority that it's simply not profitable to cater to them.

This totally blows :-(

Steve
--
Stephen J. Friedl | Unix Wizard | Security Consultant | Orange County, California USA | my web site


DannyZ
Gentoo Fanboy
Premium
join:2003-01-29
Erie, PA
reply to telco_mtl

Yes, Channellock is still high quality, made in Meadville Pennsylvania. It is owned and run by the fifth generation of the family of the person who started the enterprise. They still treat their employees with a personal touch.
--
Out the 10BaseT, through the modem, down the co-ax, over the fiber, across the backhaul, past the edge router, off the network...nothing but net



54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Milwaukee?

From treasure to trash.

Had a Sawzall for about 20+ years other than a couple of worn out cords never a problem then someone swiped it off the job.

Bought a new one and three months later it ceased operating, motor would run but the blade would not reciprocate, returned it to tool store I purchased it from and they had it repaired no charge, a month out of warranty it made a loud pop and the motor jammed up, it then made a loud bang as it bounced into a dumpster.

Three eights inch hammer drill same thing, the old school drill ran for years and never a problem then one day the gearbox took a dump, so I bought a new one and it was a POS right out of the box. The keyless chuck wouldn’t decently grab a bit over a quarter inch (which explains why Milwaukee sells bits with flats on the shank) and as a result it scored up a number of bits, then in less than a year of use the gearbox let go, the motor would spin and make a real nasty grinding sound but the chuck would not and could not be turned.

Opened it up and found the steel drive gear on the motor had split the Delrin gear it drove, now I realize Delrin is a self lubricating material stronger then nylon but what happened to using steel gears with grease.

Oh that’s right controlled obsolesce, can’t make a lot of money selling people a drill every 20 years or so.

I will say this, bought a Bosch version of the Sawsall cost me about $30 more than the Milwaukee but it is sweet, it’s quiet (noise is a sign of poor engineering) has more power and even though it is about the same weight it has less vibration than the Sawsall it replaced.

And don’t even get me going on the battery powered trash Milwaukee is offering.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to Steve

said by Steve:

No: you are confusing an effect with the vehicle by which an effect makes itself known. It's your fellow man that you have to thank for this, as he has made it perfectly clear he that he shops on price alone.

This totally blows :-(

Steve

Yup and the term acceptable failure rate becomes part of the design.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to 54067323

I'm only 35, so I can't speak for the much older stuff, but we use Milwaukee at my company. We have very few problems. In fact the only issues I can personally recall in the 5 years with the company is when I dropped my drill 30' to the concrete. It didn't make it, naturally. We use full size and compact drills, sawzalls, their new battery vacuums, and porta-bands. Both corded and battery. I'm not a Milwaukee "fan boy" but I cannot fault the reliability and quality we have gotten out of them.

Some of our guys use Bosch and DeWalt tools as well, and I also use Makita for some jobs. No problems with any of them.

That said, I do know there is a difference in older tools compared to today's tools. I have some old things here at home that are built like a tank. The problem I have is like everyone else said. Americans demand cheap shit. This makes retailers want to sell cheap shit. In a pinch I needed a simple racheting PVC cutter. Between two stores and several options, they were all made in China. Even the flagship brands like Rigid and Kobalt.


Liberty

join:2005-06-12
Tucson, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
reply to nunya

I still use, rarely, the corded Milwakee tools purchased in 80s and they are solid

Early 90s I bought my first battery drill motor, a Milwakee
Within first week both batteries were toast
Took whole shebang to the authorized repair place for warrantee and they said the charger was defective and replaced it but batteries were not covered

Never bought another Milwakee anything again....



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

1 recommendation

reply to 54067323

Milwaukee is a heart breaker. I have many Milwaukee drills from the olden days. They still hum along fine. They were very expensive, but I use them for commercial use, so it was worth the money.
I bought a cordless Milwaukee set a few years ago, and it has been nothing but problems. At least three trips to the repair shop. I FINALLY got the Milwaukee rep to switch out the drill with a new one.
Milwaukee is now owned by Techtronic (Ryobi), thus the dramatic drop in quality.

I like Bosch, but it appears as thought they are taking the same path as Milwaukee. Everything is going to China. I have yet to see a quality power tool from China.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


Liberty

join:2005-06-12
Tucson, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
reply to nunya

I am with pike and some of the others
WE are to blame for the crap we have to pick from these days because so many always select the cheapest item on the shelf

If you were a manufacturer, would you stand up for your employees and high quality standards while you watch your sales plummet thru the floor?

WE are the job creators, not the 1%ers
We either create a job for a Chinese worker by buying their crap
Or we create a job for an American worker building a better product - for more money (sorry I can not survive on $80/week Chinese paycheck)


scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN
reply to Chinabound

So, would it be fair to say that, after transferring our manufacturing know-how and (quite often) the very machines to do that manufacturing over to China, that they now produce and keep the good stuff for themselves (at reasonable prices), while shipping the junk back home to us? I mean, this seems like it would be an expected outcome of the whole penny-pinching off-shoring process. Also very Darwinian, where companies that are greedy and stupid enough to do total off-shoring like that ultimately pay the price by losing any reputation for quality that they might have once had.



Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5

said by scross:

and stupid enough to do total off-shoring like that ultimately pay the price by losing any reputation for quality that they might have once had.

When customers are no longer willing to pay for quality, a reputation for same is no longer worth all that much.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

They were very expensive, but I use them for commercial use, so it was worth the money.

The Sawsall that grew legs cost me something like $150 twenty or so years back, the new Sawsall was $120 so you know something had to be cut and it was the quality of the build.

Yea I know processes become more efficient materials improved yada yada yada but when I saw the price of the new Sawzall I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be the same quality tool and the guy at the tool supply alluded to that but I was so stuck on the brand I ignored his solid advice. .

I whip tools like a team of horses so I need tools that can take a licking and keep on ticking and am willing to pay a higher price for quality, but that is rapidly becoming a tough nut to crack.



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to stevek1949

said by stevek1949:

I am not sure that we didn't contribute to the downfall of quality to ourselves.

I agree but only to a degree.

There used to be a range of quality, If you wanted a disposable cheap tool they were available as well as more expensive high quality tools. Each manufacture brought a different set of trade-offs and values to the party. Now where brand names are just marketing terms and there are only a few different companies that actually manufacture tools that is no longer the case. We now have Detroit inspired name-plate engineering on a massive scale. Used to be limited to Detroit automobiles in the 50-60 but now is pervasive.

/tom


hm

@videotron.ca
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

I like Bosch, but it appears as thought they are taking the same path as Milwaukee. Everything is going to China. I have yet to see a quality power tool from China.

Things with names like Bosch may have come down a notch in quality (if they did), but that company has a great name for taking care of the situation if something does fail. Sure it sucks to be out a tool for a week, but they will mail off a replacement part or the whole tool if needed. Even on their other low-end low-quality tools they sell under the SKIL name (Bosch owned), and even when out of warranty.

Been there.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to tschmidt

There used to be a range when people would buy a range. Range of products started to disappear when people started to buy the cheapest in droves.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



PeeWee
Premium
join:2001-10-21
Madera, CA
reply to nunya

Bullshit. The quality dropped long before the prices.



jrs8084
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Statesville, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

said by PeeWee:

Bullshit. The quality dropped long before the prices.

That is what I was thinking. Sure, we (consumers) reward the race to the bottom by voting for the cheapest price.

But, there also are fun management games called "cost reduction". Sure, it is great to become more efficient and push on your suppliers to do the same. But, that is only sustainable for so long-there only is so much low hanging fruit.

Who cares if sales are great and we are quite efficient and profitable? Cost reduction is the game everybody else is playing, so we better play as well. Let's focus on the short run and start cheapening the product to make our annual goals!!

I wonder how those Toro designed motors are working out. (I honestly don't know.)


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to CylonRed

said by telco_mtl:

I know for hand tools im not a huge fan of stanley anymore but Chanell lock still seems great. Old appliance names like RCA, Sunbeam, GE, Moffat, Litton, Inglis, etc are all made by others under licence these days, so brands dont mean anything anymore in consumer grade product...

Actually, GE makes everything themselves although some of it is made offshore. They have recently started making several lines of new high-end products at appliance Park in Louisville that are receiving excellent reviews.
said by CylonRed:

There used to be a range when people would buy a range. Range of products started to disappear when people started to buy the cheapest in droves.

I personally think the reason people started buying cheaper products is because they all performed the same. If you're going to have to throw it away anyway you might just as well by the cheaper one.