Curmudgeon Comment of the day: Aside from the obvious answer of price, why do so many woodworkers today purchase tools made in China or India?
The lack of support for American and even European made products in this craft confuses me in as much as at the same time as tools made in China and India are becoming a predominate factor in the marketplace and workshop, we are calling the death knell of the US/European economy through support of the China and Indian economy which, by and large, is based on worker debasing shop conditions, low pay and often environmentally disastrous consequences.
The adage of: "buy the best tool that you can afford" which drove the tool making marketplace of the 18th and 19th centuries, seems to have devolved through the marketing of "looks the same as" products.
There is much talk of using only sustainable timber, of recycling as much as possible, of the need to preserve virgin forests and restore those that have seen the depredation of man. Yet, the tool market is flush with products made in China or India, nations known for their distain for environmental preservation. Some tools are of excellent quality but we often have no information on the quality of the work conditions or worklife of those who produced those tools.
More so, by purchasing tool products made in China and India, we are not supporting those toolmakers who have been attempting to restart that industry through small and medium sized production shops. I am not referring to the toolmakers who produce one-off products, but to those whose goal it is to have an economically sustainable product line.
The profit driven bottom line of the retail store has largely, to date, dictated what tool we put to the stuff we work. That is only sensible as the retail company has to make a profit to survive. At the same time, it should be the responsibility of the retailer to consider what is being selected to sell as well as the responsibility of the buyer to make it known to the retailer through purchases what tools, and where those tools came from, are most desirable.
Why this curmudgeon comment of the day? I noticed a review of a China made copy of a Preston shoulder plane.
In the end, it's up to you.
Till next, Gary