We went to the Chinese Emporium again today. While my wife picked up a few things, I wandered around most of the store trying unsuccessfully to find something interesting. Naturally, nearly ALL the tools in the hardware area (both hand tools and electric) were from China. I DID find a couple trash cans made in America. When I can spare a few bucks, I think that I’ll get one and use it for a “water barrel” at one of our downspouts; it never hurts to have an extra source of water. Eventually, I’d like to do that at every downspout.
My last stop of the day was out in the lawn and garden section to look at the hand tools. Since I used to work for Ames, I’m always interested to see how they’ve further sold their souls, since becoming just another importer for the most part. Their stuff seemed to be made less in China these days than in India. Also, many of their tools were “assembled in America from foreign and domestic parts.” I guess that means the handles are American ash, while everything else is from China or India. They bought out Council Tools a while back, I heard, so I look for THEIR products to eventually go to hell in the proverbial hand-basket as well, if the story is true.
There were “splitting wedges” there made by somebody (they didn’t put their name on them) that were so blunt that they’d probably jump out of the wood for the first five minutes that you beat on them. Stanley’s shovels, which we used to make at Ames, are now made in China. The morons stamp their name, in big raised letters, right on the blade, never considering how that would add friction to use of the shovel and make dirt stick to it worse.
I was glad to see that Fiskars still makes their axes and hatchets in Finland, so the steel should be good, but I was surprised at how thick the blades were and at the steepness of the grind. I’ve never been an admirer of their plastic handles, but I guess I could live with their axes, if I couldn’t find a good antique one to rehaft. As I left, I looked at some Fiskars hand clippers and saw that they were all made in China. I suppose their axes will follow someday, another victim of corporate greed.