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Kobalt Tools


Conductor562

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Went to swap out an old set of Kobalt ratchets I bought when they first came out and were made by Snap-On. They were the best kept secret in tools for a good while. I abused them and finally busted them working on a rear suspension. They held up for I guess about 15 years so I can't complain. I took them back for a warranty exchange and I'm now the proud owner of ratchets stamped TAIWAN on the shaft. Lowe's and Kobalt can stick their outsourced junk up their ass. I sulked all the way home, got online and dropped about $200 on 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2, Proto Pear head ratchets. I'm not concerned with Price, I'll just save a little longer. I'll not buy anything but Proto, Channellock, or Klein from now on. I'm tired of the multi-national guessing game.

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They are 72 tooth gears and have a nice feel. I invested pretty heavily in the Kobalt line in the mid/late 90's (back when I first got addicted to tools) at the suggestion of my neighbor who was a professional mechanic and had started buying some of it himself to get the Snap-On monkey off his back. He was right, it was great stuff and felt alot better in your hand than the Craftsman stuff. However, by the early 2000's I started noticing some Chino stuff. At first it was just scrapers, tape measures, and stuff like that, while their core tools like ratchets, screwdrivers, combo wrenches, and stuff were still made stateside. I could live with that, besides, I wasn't a professional mechanic, just a snotty nosed teenager trying to keep my old 5.0 Mustang on the road, I still wasn't crazy about it, but I was willing to chalk it up to the times we live in. Over the last couple of years it has become a different story entirely. I walked around Lowe's for an hour and was unable to find a single Kobalt tool stamped USA. I was already pissed at Lowe's for dropping Milwaukee and this was the last straw. As I stand in my garage and look around at all the great Kobalt stuff I've got like the old screwdrivers, man, you couldn't kill those things, identical to a Snap-On only blue. You could....anyway, back to my point, it makes me sick! Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this or maybe it's my grandpa's old war prejudices speaking to my subconscious mind, but either way I'm pissed. I'm a Railroad man, the only tools I use for work are a lantern and a leatherman, but It kills my soul to pick up a cheap ass tool. If I'm not at work I'm in the garage tinkering with something. The projects we do are the tightest bond my Son and I have and surrounding myself with the best AMERICAN tools I can afford makes me happy. If that's wrong than I guess I'll just have to be wrong. I'm still stuck on the idea that the American worker is something worth supporting. I make a nice living and if I have shell out twice as much of it for Proto, Klein, or another brand because it cost more to make it here then so be it. It might take me a couple years, but if I take the notion I'll replace every Kobalt tool I have. You can tell a lot about a guy by the tools in his garage, and I sure as hell don't want anyone getting the wrong idea about me.

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I know it man, it's depressing. Couple months back I bought a Klein Stubby multi-bit screwdriver because it was a tad shorter than the regular stubbies and I had lost the phillips anyway. Brought it home, opened it up, and as I was tossing the package in the trash I was absolutely horrified at what I saw. MADE IN CHINA! That's right, Klein tools and Made in China in the same sentence. Counting nut drivers I have 33 Klein cushion grip series products and I could now give a shit less if they all got lost. I emailed Klein to express my extreme displeasure and their response was something to the effect of "Great advancements in the manufacturing processes and capabilities of the Chinese allow us to now offer our customers the professional quality products they demand, at a lower price point than ever before. Klein tools has never closed a US manufacturing facility and has no immediate plans to do so." Oh, well then, to hell with us Americans with all our bellyaching about benefits, cost of living, and working conditions. I should piss my pants with joy for Klein to be so gracious to afford me the incredible bargain of paying $12.00 for a 2 1/2 long Chinese screwdriver. The extra $1-2 for one forged in Illinois, USA would have been a total deal breaker. I'd have probably sworn off Klein forever and replaced them all with Harbor Freight junk. People who buy Klein buy them for their quality and reputation, they don't buy them for their "price point". If other tool guys are like me, I get suspicious when I see a traditionally quality tool at Task Force prices. If I wanted a shitty screwdriver I'd have got one of those "Pittsburgh" pieces of shit for $2 or less at Harbor Freight or somewhere, not one that had to unlocked by someone so I could get it off the shelf. I'm a really a minority on this? Do people really not die a little inside over this stuff? I'm genuinely curious. I'm ok with electronics and cheap disposable things being made over there, that's always been their thing, but hand tools? When I was growing up Chinese tools were marketed to the guy who needed instruction on changing the battery in his car or installing a new door knob, not professional tradesmen. I'll shut up and go away now, I've stated enough of my displeasures. :angry:

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LOL. Don't go away. We need more people like you. The problem is most people don't care anymore and it pisses me off too. I hate seeing the picture of how China has all these new buildings and is growing like crazy. Then you see places like Detroit etc where stuff is just crumbling because everything has gone away.

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It's sad that China is such a thriving economy while ours just withers and dies. Take the railroad coal business for example. Domestic coal for power plants and such is down to record level lows. Now, there are multiple reasons for this such as the very mild winter we had causing less demand for electric heat, the cheap natural gas prices, the loss of most of the United States steel industry, and an all out assault by the EPA on the permits needed to produce the coal. Mines are shutting down almost weekly and with them go most of the top paying jobs in our state. However, China is buying coal, especially metallurgical coal used in steel making, like it's going out of style. They recentley spent $50,000,000 in Newport News, VA to double their capacity to load the ships lined up and down the coast with coal bound for China. We shipped record tonnage to China last year and we're looking to nearly double that this year. The moral of this unnessecarly long story is that the demand for cheap ass China steel and the junk they make with it is the only thing keeping us here in coal country working. China doesn't care about all this global warming crap, they care about prospering from the manufacturing base we've regulated away all while we're drowning in our own stupidity. These idiots in D.C. concern themselves with shit like student loans, gay marriage, and wether or not Barry Bonds took steroids, while the manufacturing base that made America what it is has ran away to China. It's not political, it's not theological, it's about common damn sense! If World War III were to start tomorrow what would we do? We don't have the ability to produce anything or the people with the skills nessecary to produce it. I'm afraid we're at the point of no return. Hope I'm wrong. Guess I should use my cheap ass ratchet with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

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Are you my long lost brother? I am voting for you. It sucks and I feel the same way. Nobody gives a crap or sees what is going on. Your right, if WW III broke out, we would be screwed. That's interesting your take on the coal. I live in Illinois and we never hear stuff like that. No one reports on that kinda of stuff, the stuff that is important. I know we are sitting on the largest coal reserve in the world, but we are chicken shit about using it. I love America, but we are going down the tubes, like a piece of crap with corn in it.

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Don't lose hope guys,U.S made and U.K made products may be harder to find and there is no way you should go away pal.

Wanting to support your own country by spending in a patriotic way is a good thing.

Recently over here in the U.K Stanley brought the manufacture of the new wood chisel and lightweight framing hammer back to Sheffield the home of steel in the U.K for hundreds of years.So it can be done. :)

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and an all out assault by the EPA on the permits needed to produce the coal. Mines are shutting down almost weekly and with them go most of the top paying jobs in our state. However, China is buying coal, especially metallurgical coal used in steel making, like it's going out of style.

I'm very glad we aren't like China and have agencies looking out for our environmental health. China has a SERIOUS problem with pollution. We would have riots in the streets if we had half the problems China has, With about 2 in ten kids being born in China today being born with birth defects due to pollution. We have one or two cities here with minor smog problems, China has vast areas with MAJOR smog problems. You like having clean air to breath and clean water to drink? Thank the organizations that protect our environment.

Here is an old Indian quote that I find appropriate

Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

If World War III were to start tomorrow what would we do? We don't have the ability to produce anything or the people with the skills necessary to produce it.

Our weapons production is one of the few things we still do well in the U.S. that and medical equipment plus computer chips. If we haven't wiped humanity off the face of the planet we will be one of the few countries to be standing in the end.

We still have one of the best bunch of people in high tech, and the highest skill set. it's just that there is such a little demand for what they produce, that not many people need it or come across it in their daily lives.

It is my belief that what we need is another revolution, one where the average Joe stands up for himself to get what he deserves. One where we end up working for the common good rather than standing in our own pride, divided and conquered.

We already produce enough food to feed everyone in the world, the problem is that a lot of people can't afford to eat. Once we solve this problem, we will be well on our way to a better world.

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There is quite a difference in using coal in the manner that we do and the manner in which China does. The EPA serves a purpose, I'll not dispute that, but the last 3 years that purpose has been to police an agenda under the false pretense that it is for the environment. I've seen mine permits that 1,000 people were depending on to support their families revoked on paperwork errors, bullshit technicalities, and any number of ridiculous reasons. Coal is perfectly environmentally sound when used properly, the EPA's job is to make sure it's being used properly, not to ensure that it's not used at all. Where in America is this utopia of microchip producing factories full of highly skilled people who carry the American dream upon their capable shoulders? Is it in California? The worst State in America in terms of finances, choking to death on the consequence of it's own policies. I'm not sure where it is, but I can sure as hell tell you where it isn't. It isn't in Detroit, MI where entire middle class sub-divisions have been bulldozed to the ground. It isn't in Weirton, WV where the the furnaces that fueled the livelihood of a few thousand blue collar families have long ago went cold. Same with Youngstown, OH and the list goes on an on. You can attribute it to whatever reason or excuse you like, it doesn't make a damn to me, I'm not here for politics, but the undeniable truth is that America is losing ground and nobody's doing shit to fix it. What do our kids have to look forward to? A nice clean rock to live under? They'll have plenty of clean air to thank the EPA for while they're standing in line to collect their food stamps. There's a happy medium to be found but nobody seems to be looking for it. The industry that we're squashing in the name of the environment is the very industry that cuts the paychecks that separates America from the list of 3rd world countries. There's nothing wrong with the environment being A priority, but it cannot be THE priority.

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To be honest guys we have it exactly the same here.

But we have gone even further to the point where British has almost become a swear word, and has been hijacked by racist nutters who want to rule by fear.

Look up any company name that you would think is a great old British manufacturer and chances are it is owned abroad.

And if it is not,it out sources everything abroad and if we are lucky we may get to assemble the bits before it gets shipped.

All this we are told is because it is cheaper and produces goods at the prices the consumer demands.

Well I have a word of caution for the feeble minded who buy into that view, your consumers are losing they're jobs by the day, and very shortly when China implodes as its workforce start to demand better pay and conditions, and no longer apologises for bleeding on the company machine because it has no safety guard, and calls his lawyer.Then the corporate Giants will move on to the next nation who work all week for a pittance.

Yes we need big business to thrive as strong nations.But we need to be strong at home to be in a position to help others abroad, we need people in jobs here in the U.K and U.S to pay the taxes that should be spent on our old folks and health and education.And also defending our boarders.Buying British and U.S products is getting harder to do but if you want your children to live in a country to be proud of then it just makes damned good sense. I have been as guilty as the next guy in buying foreign goods because they are cheaper in the past, but if we keep doing this very soon there will be nobody in the U.K or U.S making anything at all.From now on I will be spending my money to support jobs in countries that support us, defend us, and stand with us when times get tough.

If you love your country, spend your money in a way that saves jobs not just for us but for our children and Grandchildren. :)

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Many years ago at the height of the cold war, British and American troops were stationed in Western Germany when a new American officer flew in fresh from the states to relieve his fellow officer and allow him a well earned return to the comforts of home.

He reported to his British commanding officer who took him to one side and explained " Good morning young man" said the C.O "I'm sure you have given some thought to the fact that we face over a million fully armed Russian Troops half a million tanks and are out numbered tens of thousands to one" " yes" said the young American. The English officer continued " I used to lay awake at night having nightmares about those thousands of Russian tanks rolling over the western fields of Germany right towards us" The young American asked "what happened Sir?" The C.O replied " Just after my wife moved out here to my quarters, I bought her a Lada ( a russian car) And you know something young man I have slept like a baby ever since. LOL :)

Quality beats quantity every time, and that Lada never did take that wife very far without breaking. :)

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I'm very glad we aren't like China and have agencies looking out for our environmental health. China has a SERIOUS problem with pollution. We would have riots in the streets if we had half the problems China has, With about 2 in ten kids being born in China today being born with birth defects due to pollution. We have one or two cities here with minor smog problems, China has vast areas with MAJOR smog problems. You like having clean air to breath and clean water to drink? Thank the organizations that protect our environment.

I think everyone would agree we want clean air and water. The problem is the EPA goes way overboard. Personally I don't like the EPA. They are too political to really do any good. We sit on a huge coal reserve and we do nothing over here. I am not going to get into it because conductor and Wayne pretty much summed it up. Just tired of no one giving a shit anymore. Nobody opening their eyes anymore. Everyone is too busy wondering what Brittney Spears is wearing or what some other crack whore is dating this week.

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I'll not argue that the EPA is influenced politically. Like any governmental agency, they are influenced by those seeking to be reelected, who are increasing being bought out by large corporate overlords. But I will argue that some of their policies are successful. Do you worry about mercury poisoning? Where does the majority of mercury in our living environment come from and why is it no longer as big a problem as it was?

IF you have ever had to deal with any toxic environmental conditions, like having you or your family sickened by pollution, your attitude about the EPA may change. They are the agency that is responsible for cleaning up all the messes that past generations didn't care to bother about. Just look at all the Superfund sites they are working on. @ http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/index.htm

Love Canal- Look it up.

If your interested in the latest corporate propaganda, it is that renewable energy investment kills jobs, so the corporate media won't support politicians who support anything but business as usual.

Re: Just tired of no one giving a shit anymore.

It is my opinion that the government has shifted support from the people to the corporations. This is the only way they can get the money needed to stand a chance of winning an election. It will not change until we have our own "Arab Spring". People are starting to notice, look at the Occupy Wall Street movement. We may be witnessing a "Maple Spring" in Canada, with the protests there getting 15% of Montreal's population involved. Your NOT going to hear much about it unless you look for it outside of corporate controlled media. After all we do have the best propaganda machine in the whole world, so good you hardly even notice it, right here in the good old USA. We are even going to let the government get involved with it now.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings/congressmen-seek-to-lift-propaganda-ban

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"IF you have ever had to deal with any toxic environmental conditions, like having you or your family sickened by pollution, your attitude about the EPA may change."

I have a little more of a direct connection to toxic environmental conditions than I care to remember. I grew up in the chemical valley. An area of West Virginia covering parts of 3 counties which are Putnam, Kanawha, and Jackson. Consequently, there are 13 superfund sites within a 25 minute radius of my home. There are 4 superfund sites in Nitro, WV alone which is 15 minutes from here. This is somewhat misleading because all 4 sites are basically the same place as all the plants were adjoining. Beginning toward the end of WWI Nitro was as much a chemical town as any. At any given time there 4 or 5 operating chemical plants there which during my lifetime were Monsanto, Fike, Artel, and Viscose. up until the early 1990's after a lot of clean-up had taken place, the entire town of Nitro smelled like rotten eggs. Anyone who'd ever as much as got off the interstate for gas could attest to the overwhelming odor that surrounded the town. My Mom grew up in Nitro and a lot of my family still lives there. When ordering her senior class ring the salesman at the local jewelry store advised her not to order pearl because they usually deteriorated fairly quick in the area. She ignored the warning and sure enough it's discolored and pitted to this day. Every car in town over 4 or 5 years old had paint peeling off of it. My Dad, his Dad, my Mom's dad, and pretty much all of my uncle's all worked at Fike or Monsanto. When dad hired in the very early 70's his first operating job was in a unit that produced the primary ingredient in Agent Orange and Agent Blue. Hell, I remember as a kid having Mason jars of Agent Orange in our garage. The real kicker was that all the bi-products were just dumped in the Kanawha river. Everyone around here knows someone who's caught a mutated fish. Just down river from Nitro in Eleanor there was a huge flat of property that cover several hundred acres and was probably the best piece of property in the state that wasn't owned by the school board or the power company. In the early 90's there was a lot of commercial interest in the property. Disney and Nascar both looked at it but a soil test confirmed that entire place was contaminated with Dioxin from the aforementioned dumping.They spent 11 years removing millions of cubic yards of soil and hauling it off to Louisiana for "disposal". Rather than add it as a superfund site they made it an army base. My grandpa died in 1988 at the age of 62. His whole body was ate up with cancer though he had no family history which the doctors attributed to his working environment. We also had several other chemical plants here. At one time Union Carbide alone employed 10,000 people in this valley. We had Dupont, FMC, Rhone Poulenc, and several other smaller companies. After Fike shut down dad went to work at Union Carbide and though it's now owned by Dow, he's still there to this day. From the original 2 dozen or so plants with thousands of employees we now have 4 very small plants with maybe 1000 total employees. The EPA did a fantastic job of cleaning up the mess the years of neglect created and it was totally necessary and I'll in no way dispute that. 25 minutes in the other direction we have Pt. Pleasant, WV. There is a superfund site the which is technically WV Ordinance but everyone around here knows it simply as TNT. During WWII they made TNT there for the war. They constructed a shit ton of little concrete igloos back in the woods to hide them from any air attack. After the war several companies leased them for storage and the area became popular as a local hangout for teenagers. This may sound familiar as it was the TNT site that gave birth to the Mothman legend in 1966. As information, the movie has not one damn thing to do with the real story. I could keep going but the point is I know all about polluted environments. The production of chemicals didn't pollute the environment, the negligence of the chemical companies did. The use of coal doesn't pollute the environment, the negligence of the people who burnt it does. We have no smog or air pollution problems because coal as been used more and more efficiently and the couple of areas we do have them has nothing to do with coal. China doesn't give a rats ass about the environment and at the end of the day their polluting the same environment we are. This doesn't make the shady tricks they've pulled on the coal industry ok. For those of us here it's all we've got left. After it's gone what's next? We can debate coal and the EPA from now until the end of time and neither one of us will ever change our mind, but the fact doesn't change that we need industry. You can't support a country the size of ours with Tech jobs. Obama is so well liked in WV that a prison inmate in Texas got 40% of the primary vote and actually won 9 counties. Our state senators (both Democrats) have stated publicly they will not vote for Obama. The point is that my view is the norm in this area. We've been beaten down in the name of the environment long enough. We're one of the poorest states in the nation based on per capita income. We don't need goverment regulations and liberal agendas, we need the jobs their trying to kill.

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Every meal I've ever ate, every stitch of clothing I've ever worn, any basically everything I've ever owned was bought with paychecks wrote by some company the EPA hates, same goes for my mom and dad and their moms and their dads. Maybe in the end the enviromentalist will win, but it won't be on account of the 2 little insignificant electoral votes in West Virginia.

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Don't get the wrong idea, my Dad hated Elmer Fike. So much so he once went to a parade Fike was supposed to be at in hopes of having an oppratunity to stomp him into the pavement. The guys like my dad and grandpa were often given false information or no information at all about the effects of the chemicals they worked with. I blame Elmer Fike for my Grandpa's premature death as well as others. This is a classic example of the EPA being useful, even essential, but the coal industry is an entirely different situation.

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