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November 1, 2013

To American Made, or Not To American Made…

Ok… so, looking for a few fill in products for a very small socket set I purchased years ago. The set was “Kobalt” but it was the early days of Kobalt tools when it was actually J.H. Williams (the founding company, but now low end division of Snap-On tools) the Kobalt tools I’ve got are USA made J.H. Williams tools (Kobalt has since switched tool manufacturers and are now made in China… oddly enough J.H. Williams tools are also made in China now). I’ve got Kobalt tools from every step of this debacle… I’ve got J.H. Williams “Kobalt” tools that were made in America… I’ve got “Kobalt” Snap-On tools also made in the USA… I’ve got “Kobalt” tools that are actually Snap-On Blue-Shift tools, made in Taiwan… and then I quit buying Kobalt tools when they canceled their contract with Snap-On tools.

Now I’m looking to expand my tools set… I could get J.H. Williams tools that match my current tools… but they’re now Made in China. Blue-Shift is only a slight percentage (typically 5% more than J.H. Williams) but they use the Snap-On dies, they don’t look like my “Kobalt” tools, and they’re still made in Taiwan… Snap-On still makes everything I need in America… but they are typically 200-500% more than even the Blue-Shift line, and they wouldn’t match my American made “Kobalt” tools since J.H. Williams has always used different die sets than Snap-On.

It doesn’t really hurt me to purchase the high end Snap-On tools, and I do like supporting American manufacturers… but it would take me much longer to save up the money to get them… and my toolbox would be a bit mixed in styles of drivers… which does not appeal to my OCD side that wants everything to be symmetrical. Honestly I’m just trying ton convince myself to spend 5x what I could spend, just so I can support an American company, and get a lifetime warranty on the tools that I only use periodically and probably wouldn’t stress the low end set to the breaking point ever.

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