Our recent Woodworker’s Journal eZine Industry Interview with Rockwell Tools engendered quite a few comments, some of them unprintable, with the general take that if the tools are Asian-made, the name means little. While I will not agree with the contextual argument that an Asian-made tool is, without exception, of lower quality than a U.S.-made tool, I do agree that brand names move around a good bit.
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When folks find out that I review woodworking tools for a living, one of the first questions they usually ask is, “Do you get to keep them?” Especially those good-natured freight truck drivers who bring this stuff to my shop. Many of them are woodworkers. They really want to know.
Here’s the honest answer: usually, no, I don’t get to keep the tools.
Most sample tools, especially the really big, expensive, incredibly cool ones, have a predetermined round-trip ticket in and out my shop door. And, it should be that way. But believe me, over the past eight years of reviewing tools for Woodworker’s Journal, I could cry a river over what I’ve had to take apart, re-crate, re-skid and put back on a freight truck. Then watch it drive away…