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Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk

ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
on: November 29, 2006, 01:41:15 AM
I was going to respond to something 665ae posted in another thread but I decided this one was going to be it's own discussion, and therefore, should have it's own thread.

Quote
I try to stay away from the Chinese junk.  Unfortunately, one of my favorite tools the Buck X-tract, is made in China.

We often refer to junk knives (and most products in general) as Chinese stuff, but there actually is a line that we have to draw.  Yes, lots of junk does indeed come from China and other countries.  Yes, they are probably the biggest exporters and manufacturers of junk.  However, that isn't all they manufacture.  This gets a little political, and I will try not to stink the place up too much with it, but the big reason they crank out crap in these countries is because that is what sells here, and rakes in higher profits.  Leatherman sells a tool for $60, but it probably cost $10-15 to make and another $20 to actually get it form the factory to the store, which means the profit is all of $25.  The crap tool is manufactured for less than $2, has maybe $10 in distribution costs and retails for $40, which works out to $28 per unit, and many more sold due to the cheaper price.

However, as the Buck X-Tract, and other tools have proven, there is no reason whatsoever for Chinese tools to all be labelled as crap.  The manufacturing plants in China are every bit as advanced as the ones in industrialized nations- in fact, when many manufacturers move operations to China (or any of these other countires) they often pack up the equipment they use in the US and set it up overseas.  The same equipment, and the same materials, work out to the same tools in the end, especially since mass production has more or less "killed off" the craftsman.  The tools are stamped out according to a set of CNC instructions, assembled by hand and sent out, just as they were in the US, only at a weekly cost of around what the average unionized employee makes in the US.

I am not shooting holes in US manufacturing though.  I have alot of friends in those kinds of positions (including our own J-sews) and I fully support them.  I am not defending moving operations to third world countries or promoting slave and/or child labor.  I am simply saying that the bottom line is that Chinese, Mexican, Pakistani etc tools are not necessarily the junk they are reputed to be.  The Gerber Clutch is a great example of that as well.

And remember, it wasn't that long ago that all the stuff made in Japan was considered to be the lowest of the low, and now they are a couple of years ahead of the rest of us in techno gadgets....

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline 665ae

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Re: Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
Reply #1 on: November 29, 2006, 02:00:45 AM
I think one of the big things to remember is that for the most part, quality items made in China mostly come from quality companies.  When I think of "Chinese Junk" I think of the tools/knives that are made/copied by overseas companies that don't care who they rip off, or if they make a half decent tool/knife or not. 

As we've all seen on this forum, there are a bunch of multi's out there with a ton of different companies making them.  I think if you stick to a name you recognize, you'll get a decent tool no matter where it's manufactured.  In regards to Buck Knives, half of their current line of knives are manufactured overseas.  They have to do it to stay competitive.  People in general buy knives/tools because of how they look or the brand name.  They don't normally look to see where something is made...

One thing that really bugs me is that a lot of overseas companies are using names now that make you think it's made in America.  Don't get me wrong, it's freaking brilliant from a marketing standpoint, but to me it's a bit misleading. 
If you took all the intestines out of your body and stretched them end to end... you would die.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
Reply #2 on: November 29, 2006, 02:23:21 AM
One thing that really bugs me is that a lot of overseas companies are using names now that make you think it's made in America.  Don't get me wrong, it's freaking brilliant from a marketing standpoint, but to me it's a bit misleading. 

The "Winchester" brand knives and tools are a good example of that. I'm sure Ebenezer (or whatever his name was) Winchester is rolling over in his grave, seeing what modern day marketers have done to ruin the good quality that used to be associated with the Winchester brand.

Smith & Wesson is another brand name of knives and tools that isn't nearly the quality that the name implies.
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006, 02:28:16 AM
Many of the big US gun manufacturers have crappy stuff made in China and elsewhere.  It's actually not them doing it- it's a marketing company that buys the rights to the name figuring they can use to to sell hordes of cheap junk at huge profits.

The worst part is that it works, which means it will continue.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 02:29:46 AM
But Def is right, the Chinese are coming. Forget any prejudice notion that products built in this country will always be superior to those from Asia. Well over half of all metal-working machinery produced in the world is now sold to China. Their engineering and manufacturing will only get better, just like the Japan example Def gave.

I predict that the MADE IN USA label will become a very rare thing indeed.
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006, 02:34:28 AM
Kinda makes you wonder what we'll all be doing for money in 20 years huh?

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline damota

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Re: Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
Reply #6 on: November 29, 2006, 05:24:09 PM
As long as the company who are importing keep an eye on the quality there should be no problem. Outsourceing has gone on for years most of it not noticed. I think in Buck's case a batch got through that were faulty. If you go to Whitby Knives (they are the Buck importers in the UK)
http://www.whitbyandco.co.uk/products.cfm?parentitemid=258
There it is at what seems to be a silly price. I have Emailed them and all you get is that they are available over here but when you search no one has them. They even said Blade Box had them in but if you try them all you find is-
http://www.bladebox.co.uk/products/productsearch~itemid~258~action~linkfind~categoryname~Buck.htm
So I am thinking the consignment has been sent back and they are expecting a new batch ASP.
In the days of the cold war we used to get some really strongly engineered stuff from the eastern block so cheap foreign goods do not bother me as long as the quality control is good and I will have an X-Tract when they are available in fact if that price is right I will get a couple seeing as we normally have to pay a UKP for each USdollar

Dave


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
Reply #7 on: November 30, 2006, 12:48:46 AM
I have to agree- a quality tool is a quality tool regardless of where it comes from.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline David Bowen

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Re: Chinese, Mexican and Pakaistani junk
Reply #8 on: November 30, 2006, 06:37:25 AM
I agree with you Def and dmota, china/tiwan/japan make alot of copy cat and just stuff that is plain junk, but the outsourcing that US companies are doing are increasing the quality control that is comming out of these countries. Even some of the junk is getting more daring and sophisticated. J-Sews posted a china WAVE if I remember correctly, and I was amazed at how much they had copied of the original design. They are getting better, more daring and are able to create stuff as a cheaper price, eventually quality will meet price and then we might have a problem. I know that the almighty dollar is a big thing in the industry these days, you see walmart making a killing selling china stuff and dollar store pop up just about every where loaded with more junk than I care to look at. We are a dollar driven society and nothing is going to change that but the simple fact that we are american, we are proud, and we support local product delopment and sales. Americans are some of the hardest working people out there and it takes the backing out our county to see that we keep out dollars inside our borders. There was a gentleman in walmart one day thinking about buying a multitool, I was shopping myself and decided to tell him about these fabulous tools, showed him my powerlock (walmart carries one) and after all my praise and talk, he goes and buys a schrade apex!! I was so pissed off, I told him you get what you pay for and you get quality that last when you invest in it, but it was like talking to a wall, more and more of americans are seeing the economy this way, dollar driven and it scares the heck out of me.

David


 

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