• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Anne Miller
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • James Freyr
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin

Tools that don’t last

 
gardener
Posts: 588
Location: Piedmont 7a
199
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
These losers are maybe two years old, have not seen very heavy duty at all. Blade just sheared right off while cutting a small (1”) branch. Pretty pathetic. These were around $50, so not even super cheap. Big box store.

Looks like I can buy a replacement blade to fix it for about $12, but maybe that’s throwing good money after bad!  I guess it keeps the rest of it out of the landfill.

Anyone else bought junk that doesn’t last?
EE202AB2-E892-4265-9DE8-2AEA3A2FF6F3.jpeg
[Thumbnail for EE202AB2-E892-4265-9DE8-2AEA3A2FF6F3.jpeg]
Lopper
CFD6DF53-B4ED-4FD2-BE2D-7275622B5B4A.jpeg
[Thumbnail for CFD6DF53-B4ED-4FD2-BE2D-7275622B5B4A.jpeg]
Broken blade
77285896-4E7C-4813-841A-306036397155.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 77285896-4E7C-4813-841A-306036397155.jpeg]
Broken blade 2
 
pollinator
Posts: 120
Location: South Carolina 8a
51
hugelkultur dog foraging cooking rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Artie Scott wrote:These losers are maybe two years old, have not seen very heavy duty at all. Blade just sheared right off while cutting a small (1”) branch. Pretty pathetic. These were around $50, so not even super cheap. Big box store.

Looks like I can buy a replacement blade to fix it for about $12, but maybe that’s throwing good money after bad!  I guess it keeps the rest of it out of the landfill.

Anyone else bought junk that doesn’t last?



Daggum stuff not made in America. I swear, everything is made with cast metal nowadays.

From the Corona Website

"After moving from our 6th Street location early in 2000s, we shut down our forging processes due to increasing economic pressures and built our new manufacturing facility in Mexico. Customers still wanted good quality tools from Corona, however we saw the trend beginning to shift away from those willing to spend more on a tool made in the US in favor of lower-priced tools . We felt the shift in our business and like 90% of US manufacturing, had to look at alternative solutions to maintain our distribution partners and still be competitive in the marketplace. Mexico offered tremendous opportunities to control our product manufacturing processes and brand, while other parts of the world filled in our line for competitive market needs and completeness."
 
Artie Scott
gardener
Posts: 588
Location: Piedmont 7a
199
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Update:  new blade was $15;  shipping was $16. I paid it, but not happy about it.
 
Hamilton Betchman
pollinator
Posts: 120
Location: South Carolina 8a
51
hugelkultur dog foraging cooking rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Artie Scott wrote:Update:  new blade was $15;  shipping was $16. I paid it, but not happy about it.



It's actually cheaper to get the whole replacement on amazon. :/

https://amzn.to/361liEq
 
Artie Scott
gardener
Posts: 588
Location: Piedmont 7a
199
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know, right?  Just didn’t want to throw the whole thing away...
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
666
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have had that happen with cheap stuff from Canadian Tire. But I also have really good Fiskars loppers that I have used professionally for several years. Thousands of cuts and a few sharpenings. I had some loppers made in St Catharines Ontario, which is a fruit growing area, that were about 30 years old. I finally sharpened them down to the very end , but they would not break. Wish I could remember the brand name.
 
gardener
Posts: 3062
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
698
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Artie; Well you bit the bullet and ordered a replacement blade.   With shipping $31.  
I did a quick search. You can buy high quality american made loppers with forged blades for near the same price.  
Check out Barnel / stihl / fiskers .
I was taught by my granddad a hard thing to do...   Wait until you can afford a lifetime tool.
In my broke years I didn't always follow that advice...those tools are no longer in one piece...
Save and spend that money one time and your grandchildren will get to have those tools.
Along with the memory of old granddad teaching them to properly use and care for that quality tool.
My brother and I have those tools from grandpa, and ones I've bought myself ... My grandchildren will get them someday.
 
Artie Scott
gardener
Posts: 588
Location: Piedmont 7a
199
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do also have a set of Fiskars - they have held up well, and operate much better than the one that broke.
 
Artie Scott
gardener
Posts: 588
Location: Piedmont 7a
199
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Agree completely, Thomas, and that is my usual approach. Bought these when I needed an extra pair for some trail work - clearly not a good choice!
 
Mother Tree
Posts: 11449
Location: Portugal
2092
dog duck forest garden tiny house books wofati bike bee solar rocket stoves greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
These lasted less than two hours.  I took them back and bought some Fiskars.

 
gardener
Posts: 3048
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
665
cattle chicken bee sheep
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think i lived through the whole cycle of the downgrading of tools. The company i worked for started a "good, better, best" selection on the sales floor. This also started the lifetime guarantee on inferior tools. A stanley socket set next to an "x" brand at half the price. The "x" brand had a lifetime warranty. I think the manufacturer counted on using the warranty to sell the product with hopes that very few would go through the motion to return it.  The cycle started and never stopped. I bought the set, used it, and the socket split open on first use. The junk that is out there.....

 
gardener
Posts: 3047
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
759
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know where this story falls on the Fiskars-romance spectrum, but here in the USA it's common for Walmart to sell inferior versions of branded products to keep prices low.  Manufacturers have no choice but to source and supply "cheaper" copies of their own high-quality products if they want to maintain a presence in the biggest US retail outlet; if they don't, Walmart will drop them like a hot rock.

So I bought a fancy set of Fiskars loppers, the kind with extensible arms and the gearing at the pivot that claims it cuts with five times more pressure.  The very first day out with it, I put it on an osage orange branch and squeezed and fingernail-sized pieces of steel just came flaking off the cutting blade.

I was mad, bro.

But somebody pointed out to me that Fiskars was advertising a lifetime warranty on that tool.  And it had failed in utterly normal use.  So I got on their website, found a form, and inquired about the method by which they would honor the warranty.

Dang if they didn't collect my info and mail me a replacement blade (it attached with a single bolt) that was made out of titanium!  Haven't had a lick of trouble since.

I am guessing that if I had paid twice the price at an outlet where decent tools are sold, the titanium blade probably would have been in there from the get-go.  Or maybe they sell various grades of steel blades to various outlets to keep costs down, and then make a limited number of titanium blades to ship out for warranty satisfaction, on the theory that only one in a thousand customers will actually have true hardwood branches, strong arms, and the ability to make a warranty claim -- but that they want to be able to solve that customer's problem once and for all when they hear from him/her.  
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 3047
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
759
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Burra Maluca wrote:These lasted less than two hours.  I took them back and bought some Fiskars.



Because of my garage sale habit, I have a bunch of these cheap pipe-handled bypass loppers, which cost ten or twelve bucks new (sometimes cheaper) and show up at garage and estate sales for one or two bucks.  They fail for me at the bolt/pivot.  If I snip little soft branches they are fine, but the minute I put them on a branch that's too thick and hard (which I always do) and reef down on them, the blades twist on the branch instead of cutting it.  Nothing is visually wrong at that point, but something in the soft metal at the pivot point (the bolt? the soft metal through which the bolt hole has been drilled?) has bent a millimeter or two and subsequently the "bypass" blade hits or binds on the fixed knife blade instead of bypassing it.  And tool is now useless.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1132
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When it comes to crappy items cheapened by big box stores, it is not just tools that a person has to watch out for, but other things as well. Like I bought a Square D Load Panel from Home Depot and it was just a little different, so that the only place I can buy circuit breakers for it is at Home Depot. That is a pain when you are adding a circuit and cannot just go down to the local hardware store and pick them up. But it is such a slight difference that it is almost impossible to tell the normal circuit breakers from the kind that work.

Along the same lines, I bought Levitron outlets in big bulk packages at the same time from Home Depot, and I have two outlets short out on me over the last 13 years...I mean smoking and almost caused a fire in my house, short circuit. I inspected them, and the short circuit was internal...it was not a loose connection with the wires. I contacted the company, but never heard from them. I think it was a cheap Home Depot back-door deal, but I have no proof.
 
Posts: 464
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a compound snipper that the handle came loose, called the mfg customer service and the sent me new one,
 
steward
Posts: 3629
Location: West Tennessee
1295
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

thomas rubino wrote:
Check out Barnel / stihl / fiskers .



I'm looking to buy some loppers, and I've been following along in this thread. This is the kind of info I was hoping someone would share. The Barnel's look nice, and for a 26 or 28 in handle they seem to be in the sixty dollar range, which costs more than most other loppers of the same size that I'm finding. I prefer to pony up the money on the front end for a tool that will give me a lifetime of dependable use.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1465
Location: RRV of da Nort
202
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Travis Johnson wrote:......Like I bought a Square D Load Panel from Home Depot and it was just a little different, so that the only place I can buy circuit breakers for it is at Home Depot. That is a pain when you are adding a circuit and cannot just go down to the local hardware store and pick them up. But it is such a slight difference that it is almost impossible to tell the normal circuit breakers from the kind that work.

Along the same lines, I bought Levitron outlets in big bulk packages at the same time from Home Depot, and I have two outlets short out on me over the last 13 years...I mean smoking and almost caused a fire in my house, short circuit. I inspected them, and the short circuit was internal...it was not a loose connection with the wires. I contacted the company, but never heard from them. I think it was a cheap Home Depot back-door deal, but I have no proof.



Travis, I'm reeling from your story here.  I've been confused in the same way....wondering why, for all of the positive noteriety of Square D, that they often have panel covers and doors that do not fit right and breaker sockets that are harder on some breakers than on others to get into place properly.  (And yes, all of these are Square D breakers going into a Square D breaker panel.)

But in addition, I too just recently bought some rather spendy Levitron GFCI outlets for our new building.....the GFCI being state electrical code for animal-housing structures....and then spent most of last Sunday trying to figure out what the problem was with my wiring.  Was it the breaker?....the wire itself?.....the connections in the junction box?.....the connections at the outlet itself?  Finally, in frustration, I replaced the new GFCI with an older 20A outlet that was scuttled from the previous building....BINGO!.....it worked fine.  So I'm bringing back the other outlet for the rather hefty refund.  So I'm wondering more about the supply streams of what are supposed to be identical items, but some of which might be considered 'factory seconds'.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1132
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe...these were both GFCI's.

I do not use the stab-in connectors, but always circle the wire around a screw. It was those screws that I checked and the screws were tight.

As for the arcing itself; one was when I was not home, but it just started smoking, and Katie had to chase down the smell until she found the outlet, then had my father come up and shut off the power to those outlets. On the one I had, it was 4 AM in the morning, I was at the kitchen table on my laptop, heard a pop, and then the outlet started smoking literally in front of me. Neither were in use when they arced out...
 
pollinator
Posts: 285
Location: West Virginny and Kentuck
86
forest garden books building ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I won't own metal handle loppers.  Every one I've ever seen pretty much falls into pieces if you look at it.  I keep my eye out for old wooden handled models at flea markets/yard sales and pass them on to friends who've bought the newer ones.  The old ones just keep on cutting.
 
master steward
Posts: 6658
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1901
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dan Boone wrote:I am guessing that if I had paid twice the price at an outlet where decent tools are sold, the titanium blade probably would have been in there from the get-go.  


I've heard the same issue with larger items like John Deere garden tractors.  The ones at the big box stores sometimes have slightly different part numbers on them and they also happen to be cheaper than the "same" one sold at the John Deere dealership.

I love finding antique tools and using them.  I got a 5 tine pitch fork at a garage sale and I couldn't bend them out of shape if I tried (with my hands holding the tines).  I can stab it into frozen compost and pry out chunks where I'm sure a brand new one would bend immediately.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1132
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A lot of Harbor Freight and Walmart tools are junk, BUT it depends on their usage. Like I would never use a Walmart Impact wrench in a professional shop environment, BUT I have had one for years at home, and it is perfect. The few times I needed it, it really worked well, so if that thing crapped out tomorrow, the $40 I paid for it 20 years ago has been well worth it. Sure Snap-On would last forever, but I cannot justify the $300 cost for the same thing for what little bit I would use at home.

It is a risk, but the greater the risk, the greater the reward too. The key is to look for patterns. Sure a $12 pair of loppers would be a great bargain if they lasted a person 20 years, but if a host of people said theirs broke on the first try, then patterns indicate it is something to stay away from.

But sometimes cheap surprises you. I have a really expensive caulking gun, and a cheap one, and I prefer the cheap one; for whatever reason I have more control over it so $4 it is!
 
pollinator
Posts: 162
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
34
goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Travis Johnson wrote:Like I bought a Square D Load Panel from Home Depot and it was just a little different, so that the only place I can buy circuit breakers for it is at Home Depot. That is a pain when you are adding a circuit and cannot just go down to the local hardware store and pick them up. But it is such a slight difference that it is almost impossible to tell the normal circuit breakers from the kind that work.



Are you aware that Square D has two different lines of breakers now, homeline and QO? They aren't always marked in a way that makes it obvious that they aren't interchangeable.

 
pollinator
Posts: 408
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
128
urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As for the electrical components, there are inexpensive and lower quality "contractor grade" ones, that are junk and exist only to save money in the short term. Then there are commercial grade components, made to last tens of thousands of uses. Then there are "Spec. Grade" components that are even better, like what you'd find in a hospital, where failure really isn't an option.

For the lopping shears, I have tried a friend's Florian loppers. Wow! they aren't inexpensive, but they are nice. They have a ratcheting system, and something like a 4:1 advantage as compared to plain pivot shears.
You don't need to be a gorilla to cut some big stuff, even dry wood.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1132
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kenneth Elwell wrote:As for the electrical components, there are inexpensive and lower quality "contractor grade" ones, that are junk and exist only to save money in the short term. Then there are commercial grade components, made to last tens of thousands of uses. Then there are "Spec. Grade" components that are even better, like what you'd find in a hospital, where failure really isn't an option.



He, he, he...funny story on failure...not that anything of what you said is wrong at all, because it was spot on...

But my Uncle and I were logging right next to the substation for the City of Belfast. Well he cut a tree and it leaned back on him, so I took the bulldozer and was going to push it over, but it broke off the stump and went backwards....

CRASH....

Down that tree goes, right into the second busiest road in Maine, Route One in Belfast. But the substation was also right there, not one telephone pole away. So not only did we shut down the road, we also took out all of the power in the City of Belfast. The Dispatching Center went on emergency power, all the stores in town, everything. The hospital would have gone on emergency power, but the backup generator would not start. They had people in the middle of an operation when we blew out the power.

I asked my Uncle if he wanted me to call the power company, and he said they would be along pretty shortly.

They were, and were they ever hopping mad. They were screaming at us like you would not believe. Red face, spit coming out of their mouths, and slewing a string of swear words that would stump a sailor.

But through it all my Uncle was pretty tame, which is not like him. When the guy got done asking us just how much he was going to charge us for this accident, my Uncle pointed to the substation. He said, "Do you see that rock wall right there? Did it ever occur to you that when you added on to this substation and bulldozed that rock wall out of the way, just maybe that was the property line? I am not sure how much this is going to cost me, but I know doing that is going to cost a whole lot more."

The supervisor got down off his high horse, looked at us and said, "Well we all make mistakes now don't we Mr. Johnson?"

We never got a bill. I am pretty sure the patient under the knife in the operating room did though, even if they finished by flashlight! :-)
 
pollinator
Posts: 242
Location: Monticello Florida
66
homeschooling forest garden foraging chicken wofati food preservation wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sears electric chainsaw. My dad got the warranty and burned through 3 of them. Each lasted about two hours of use before something broke. Then another few hours and the motor burns up.
 
Posts: 91
Location: Ontario, climate zone 3a
23
forest garden chicken food preservation
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dan Boone: I had the same experience with Fiskars loppers (the geared kind), they weren't purchased at a Walmart but another big-box store.  I was unimpressed with the damage taken by the blade with only one weekend of use clearing along our lane, and took pictures of it to send to Fiskars - same type of damage you described with the blade edge bending and flaking.  I asked them whether this type of complaint has increased since they stopped manufacturing in their native Finland and moved their production to other countries.  They didn't answer that question, but sent me a free titanium blade replacement.  I was really happy about their willingness to stand behind the product and add to the length of the life of my loppers.  

It is really important to understand the capability of a tool though as misuse can be just as bad as poor manufacturing.  Don't force the lopper to cut larger than the recommended size, or try to cut dead wood with a bypass lopper - use an anvil lopper instead.  I'm really anal about cleaning and oiling tools as well, something I learned from my dad.
 
Posts: 21
2
tiny house cooking greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
HF pvc pipe cutter failed last week cutting schedule 40 pvc on a water main repair. Nothing beats a spare hack saw blade in that situation.

The potmetal handle snapped not the blade.

Everything is made to fail now days. MTBF just stay safe using equipment. My hands and knuckles have seen many a equipment failure. Wounds heal crap goes in the trash.
 
gardener
Posts: 2331
Location: Southern Illinois
389
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
First off, I love this thread!  Few things frustrate me as much as a broken tool.  I hate it when, in the process of fixing something, the tool itself needs fixing!

But on a slightly different direction, I really don’t like having rechargeable batteries quitting on me.  I realize that all batteries have a limited lifetime but some seem to quit early and they are expensive to replace.

Incidentally, I have become a big fan of repacking batteries as opposed to replacing.

Eric
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1132
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:First off, I love this thread!  Few things frustrate me as much as a broken tool.  I hate it when, in the process of fixing something, the tool itself needs fixing!

But on a slightly different direction, I really don’t like having rechargeable batteries quitting on me.  I realize that all batteries have a limited lifetime but some seem to quit early and they are expensive to replace.

Incidentally, I have become a big fan of repacking batteries as opposed to replacing.

Eric



I have just gone back to corded tools. It seems just about the time you need to finish that last cut, drive that last screw, or torque that last nut; the batteries conk out, and you ended up making more steps and have wasted time then if you just got grabbed the extension cord and a corded tool in the first place, so that is what I do now. Doing that, my frustration levels has gone drastically down.
 
Posts: 9
Location: Olney, Maryland
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Artie Scott wrote:Update:  new blade was $15;  shipping was $16. I paid it, but not happy about it.



Yes it is irritating and even though you feel committed to not being wasteful they were just sucking you into a cycle of spending that is not cost effective. Wow, it sure is an unreasonable shipping cost and casting those stinking blades once the mold is made is probably just cents of that $15. Sorry about this debacle but glad you shared it to reinforce what is going on in industry. At some point it makes sense in permaculture to just recycle that steel tool and buy a better tool. I am surprised (not shocked) that the blade is cast - I have one hanging in the shed just like it as well as a pole saw and lopper that I bought and gave away a perfectly good old tool away on Freecycle. I have started buying and rescuing old tools and restoring them instead of buying new junk that has designed obsolescence. My rant is over. Happy New Year All.

Mike Love
 
Posts: 30
Location: SW Pennsylvania
4
fungi trees bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Like Dan Boone, I frequent sales, with estate auctions being preferred. I usually buy "vintage" yard equipment that was manufactured years ago to different standards and is still good for many years. Maybe the previous owners also bought junk, but got rid of it when it failed so it doesn't show up at the estate auction.
 
Michael Love
Posts: 9
Location: Olney, Maryland
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ban Dinh wrote:Like Dan Boone, I frequent sales, with estate auctions being preferred. I usually buy "vintage" yard equipment that was manufactured years ago to different standards and is still good for many years. Maybe the previous owners also bought junk, but got rid of it when it failed so it doesn't show up at the estate auction.



It is a good approach Ban Dinh and I hope our fellow, followers of permaculture see Artie's tool failure as an opportunity to do just what you are doing and what for me has emerged as a practice for supplying my needs for everyday items. It is also an opportunity to start to learn new skills in making repairs, maintenance and restoration techniques for the old tools after all self reliance is certainly a core strength of permaculture. What I have to resist is the urge to save everything because then it becomes another social problem.

Mike Love
 
Posts: 31
5
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When a machine tool worth thousands of dollars is sold, the manufacturer finds it cheaper to send out a mechanic to help install it than to deal with warranty problems he might forestall.  So, one day there was an American technician making adjustments in Taiwan.  He asked to borrow "a pair of locking pliers" and was surprised to get genuine Vise-Grips from home.  "Why is it" he asked "that when I ask for locking pliers in the USA, I get Taiwanese knock-offs, but in Taiwan, I get Vise-Grips?"
"Very simple, sir.  Only Americans are rich enough to buy tools that do not work."
 
Posts: 248
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
23
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Count me in as "hates tools that don't last" ... and actively on the lookout for made-in-USA...

As to Fiskars: starting about 15 years ago (per what I saw, maybe longer), they began offering two product lines:
-- original made-in-Finland, still top class
-- copies made-in-China, about as "good" as you'd expect
For a while I'd see them side by side in the store. The Chinese version was about half the price of the Finnish version.

And oh lordy, buckets. Get me started on Chinese and Mexican metal buckets. Grrr....

 
Posts: 129
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought a pair of "Bond" loppers at least 5 years ago for $12.95 at Atwoods, they still work fine and use abuse the heck out of them.
the trick is not letting them twist when you are applying cutting force.

Amazon has them for $19.95
 
Randy Gibson
Posts: 129
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I won't even think about buying a battery operated tool. Such waste and they are never charged when you need them.
 
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dale Hodgins wrote:Thousands of cuts and a few sharpenings. I had some loppers made in St Catharines Ontario, which is a fruit growing area, that were about 30 years old. I finally sharpened them down to the very end , but they would not break.



To Dale and anyone else:  What is the best way to sharpen loppers?
 
Mike Haasl
master steward
Posts: 6658
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1901
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's a link with a few youtubes in it.  I believe you disassemble the lopers and sharpen the blade part separately.  But I've never done it.  Be sure to take photos so you can submit it for PEP points (if you are so inclined)...

Tool Care Badge Bit for sharpening shears
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 2331
Location: Southern Illinois
389
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So I have a question that is partially on track with this thread and partially tangental.  

I have become a huge fan of repacking battery packs for cordless tools.  I have an old Craftsman 13.2 volt  (presently 1.8 ah) 3/8 inch cordless tool that I got for Christmas of 1996.  This is ancient by today’s standards, but the actual drill is still in perfectly good condition.  I have repacked the (2) batteries 3 times.  The drill continues to work as good as if not better than it do when I got it 25 years ago.

I don’t use it as much anymore, as drills have gotten smaller and much more powerful at the same time, but I still repack old battery packs when they wear out.

What I don’t know is if it is possible to repack lithium ion batteries.  As of yet, none of my lithium ion batteries have failed or even show any signs of decay.  I am in the Ridgid platform and I have a whopping 5 4-ah lithium ion battery packs.  This is enough for me to use 3 tools without switching batteries and still have 2 charging.  But some day these battery packs will go bad, and if possible I would love to repack them.

Any thoughts?

Eric
 
gene gapsis
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, Master Steward Mike!  
 
You will always be treated with dignity. Now, strip naked, get on the probulator and hold this tiny ad:
HARDY FRUIT TREES FOR ORGANIC AND PERMACULTURE
https://permies.com/t/132540/HARDY-FRUIT-TREES-ORGANIC-PERMACULTURE
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!