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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Craptastic tools



I own a pretty good caulk gun. Bought it years ago. It’s served me well, but I can’t find it. Perhaps it’s on loan to one of my friends. There’s a chance it’s here but well hidden. With all the people moving in and out of the house, stuff gets misplaced.

No problem, I thought, I’ve only got about 4 caulk tubes to apply. A medium duty one from Walmart should do the job. There was a nice recognizable name on the side: Stanley. How bad could it be?

Awful.

The first thing I discovered is that while it appeared to have a built in cutter for the tube tip, it really didn’t. Sure, there was a hole for the cutter in the right place, but no cutting blade inside. It only massaged the nozzle without cutting it. After cutting it with my pocket knife, I discovered the pin to break the seal was almost too short to do the job.

One tube of construction adhesive did get successfully applied. Right as the second one began to flow, the caulk gun came apart in my hand. That was the end of that. I wasn’t happy.

Now I didn’t have high expectations from a Walmart tool, but really. One tube of caulk? That’s it? Of course, while the brand name is familiar, it was made in China. That’s the last Stanley tool I’ll ever buy. The name no longer has any value for me.

This wasn’t really a tool. It was more like a stage prop, like using a convincing fake rubber knife instead of a real knife. This prop just had to look like caulk gun long enough for a fool like me to purchase it. No way could it actually perform the job of a real tool.

Stanley joins the long list of other companies that traded a good name for short term profit. At least it was an inexpensive item. The worse washing machine I ever owned was a Maytag. They used to be reliable and well built. Mine never worked right. My bad luck was to buy one on reputation just as they stopped giving a damn about quality.

How do they build anything in China? Not with Chinese tools -that’s impossible. They must import tools from Germany or something.

-Sixbears

20 comments:

  1. I hope you at least returned the tool for a refund. They're really good at doing refunds. Tons of experience, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sure glad that I bought all my Snap-On thirty years ago, back when they were quality. Don't take me wrong, they are still fair quality tools. The price tho has gotten entirely out of this world. Bad thing is the guy using it really does not make much more money now days than back when I bought all those tools. Wonder who is raking in all that extra cash ?
    Example: 24 ounce Dead Blo Hammer,1990 price $40 , todays price same identical hammer $89

    Damn bean counter and salesmen are killing and sucking the system dry !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not the average working man making any of that money, that's for sure. CEO needs another bigger house in the Hamptons.

      Delete
  3. damn glad held on to my "used tools" some old as me.....

    Wildflower

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very hard to replace with the same quality without spending a small fortune.

      Delete
  4. At my age I don't need tools to last, but they have to be good enough to do the job for awhile anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting good enough is hard enough.

      Delete
  5. We have two or three old caulk guns. So battered that I can't find a name on them but glad we kept them. Brought one full case and four extra tubes of caulk with us from Michigan. Stored the case in the shed where until we needed it. It's difficult as heck to get the stuff to flow now. Lesson learned about the heat/humidity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep those old caulk guns because good new ones aren't cheap.

      Delete
    2. We priced new onces. YIKES! We also priced a few other things we got rid of up north. If we could kick outselves in our own butts...

      Oh well. Live and learn.

      Delete
    3. If I remember correctly, you were pretty over loaded on the trip down as it was. You can't take everything.

      Delete
  6. "How do they build anything in China? Not with Chinese tools -that’s impossible."

    That's awesome. Thank you so much for the laugh this morning!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Stanley, DeWalt, Craftsman... All going down the tubes. Better off going to Harbor Freight, all I had to do to that caulk gun was reinforce pump lever after it buckled on the first few strokes. Maytag, they got bought out by some crappy appliance maker and instantly turned to garbage. Same with DeWalt, got bought out by Black and Decker (junk). Kept the DeWalt prices though...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DeWalt too?! So much for that name.

      Delete
  8. Greed can sure kill quality and put an end to the loyal fan base!

    At least at Harbor Freight you know what you're getting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't trust any "name" anymore, so might as well go to Harbor Freight.

      Delete
  9. I had the same experience with a caulk gun, two squeezes and the spot welds ripped apart.
    Nothing like having to extricate a tube of caulk from a twisted metal mess and then have to go clear to town and shell out serious money to finish one ten minute job.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I always look for older quality (US made) tools at tag sales and the like.

    ReplyDelete