Hand Tools Archive

Re: I know that comes up quite often..

david weaver
...but in my opinion, there is some reality that countries developing all go through this stage.

I'm not a fan of buying copied tools, copied guitars, etc, so I don't do it. I do have those butt chisels, but had no idea that they basically look like pfeil copies (because I saw the pfeil offerings well after buying the butt chisels).

The diamond hones, high speed steel blades, CBN wheels, etc, I think those are all fair game, though.

what I've noticed in the world of guitars (which is *ultra* competitive) is that China has been passed by for indonesia for a lot of current investment. The US and Japan produced a lot of guitars and in the 80s, korea became sort of the place to make guitars at lower cost for lower end guitars themselves or lower ranges for certain makes (guild brand went there, etc, for some guitar, then back here and back to korea again). Korean production went to china and then indonesia (some at the same time).

Long story short, over a ten or 12 year period, the average wage in china has increased 3 1/2 times - from $2,000 to about $7,500. I'm sure that it hasn't increased that amount for unskilled labor, but they're more or less working through the same growing pains we did, just in a slightly different environment. I think as consumers, we can pick the items that aren't copies and the result will be that their standard of living increases as their economy organizes (that's a principle that I support rather than keeping people on 1/6th of an acre near starvation - my parents visited rural china about a decade ago and there were still people growing food on a fraction of an acre, and eating basically garbage so that they could save the food they were growing to be sold). Labor conditions have improved in some cases (others not) and the video footage of a lot of the guitar factors are probably better conditions (air quality, lighting, etc) than the original heritage factory in kalamazoo, and they're definitely better than a tile factory that I worked in in the united states.

I have a much more dim view of retailers selling copies than individuals choosing what they think is their appropriate level of ethics.

An example of this came up with wood river planes a decade or so ago. It was apparent they were copied from LN planes in some aspects, and not from stanley planes. I never bought one, I don't like the idea of someone copying LN. But Todd Hughes and others on here were, in my opinion, correct, that LN's development in the first place was extremely limited and that the planes are in general, copies themselves. Copying the bronze lever cap, etc, and some trade-looking elements, that was in poor taste to me. Woodcraft and japan woodworker picked up some tools that weren't direct copies of LV's tools, but their style and elements were less than creative (black painted cast with bubinga handles and brass trim bits...). Not a fan.

But I think that kind of decision is up to each person to make. All the way up to guitars - I don't like outright fakes, but must admit, Gibson and Fender (who are probably faked the most) are protecting trade designs that were established almost 70 years ago. While I won't buy fakes, I'm not going to carry water for Gibson or Fender, who are both very litigious and have been historically, not always using their legal hammer for well-meaning purposes.

Very subjective, I think. My take is that I'll buy the non-copy goods, but not the copies. One feels fine to me, the other one -personally - doesn't.

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