Recently I was in the market for a new cordless drill set and mostly was debating between Milwaukee's top tier set and Makita's. In my search to evaluate the different options available and decide what the right fit for me was, I had many a conversation with craftsmen, tradesmen, and makers of all sorts. Everyone had their own opinion as to which brand is better, but a question came up frequently that I, to date, had not given much thought to: What brands can I purchase that help support American workers and the American economy?"
Its pretty much impossible to find power tools made in the USA any more:
Milwaukee, Ryobi, and Homelite, are all manufactured in China and owned by TTI, a Chinese company. TTI also manufactures Ridgid, even though they do not own them (Emerson does)
Stanley, Bostitch, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Proto, Mac, and Black and Decker are all owned by Stanley Black and Decker. Dewalt advertises "Made in the USA" on many of their products, but my understanding is that they are just assembled in the US, please add info on this if you know more. I believe Mac makes their toolboxes in the USA as well.
Bosch makes a small selection of their tools in the US, which is strange given that they are a German company, and even Makita, a company from Japan, outsources some production to China!
All this to say, I've been wanting to become more aware of products made in the USA, not that products made in China are always bad, many very impressive products are made there, but if I have the opportunity to choose between two products of similar quality, I'd like to begin making a conscious effort to support American companies, especially small ones.
So here's a list of companies I've found that make products in the USA, please feel free to add to this list in the comments or correct me if you have additional information!:
- Purdy Paintbrushes - Paint brushes
- Blue Spruce - Chisels and hand tools for woodworking
- Lie-Nielsen - Woodworking tools
- Forrest - Saw blades
- INCRA - Precision measurement tools
- Woodpeckers - Precision woodworking tools
- Stihl - Chainsaws and gas-powered equipment (may only be assembled in USA)
- Benchcrafted - Bench hardware and vises
- Caleb James Planes - Wooden planes
- Walke Moore Tools - Quality layout tools for woodworking
- Makers Mark Branding - Quality flame and electric branding irons (who makes mine)
- Crown Plane - Spectacular wooden hand planes
- Sterling Toolworks - Quality machined layout tools
- Florip Toolworks - Handmade saws and layout tools - Veteran Owned
- Empire Tools - Levels and construction layout tools
- Johnson Tools - Levels
- Benchmade Knives - Knives
- Kershaw Knives - More knives
- Klein Electrical Tools - yep, you guessed it, electrical tools
- Channel Lock - The name says it all
- Lenox - Hole saws and saw blades
- Occidental Leather - Leather Tool Belts
- Estwing - Hammers, hatchets, sledges, metal stuff
- Park Tool - Bicycle tools
- Stiletto - Titanium and Stainless hammers
- Council/Best Made - Axes, hammers, heavy tools (Council makes axes for Best Made)
- Buck Knives - Even more knives
- Starrett - Precision layout and measuring tools
- Leatherman - More knives with other tools attched
- Hobart and Miller - Welders and accessories
- Texas Heritage - Shop aprons, tool rolls and shop accessories
Some additions brought to my attention from the fine folks of Instagram:
- Plate 11 Benches - Roubo style benches that are the jam!
- Bad Axe - some of the finest axes you've ever laid eyes or hands on!
- Scott Meek Woodworks - some dazzling wooden planes
- Hamilton Marking Gauges - Heirloom quality brass and wood marking gauges
- Tools for Working Wood - Yep, you guessed it!
- Blackburn Tools - Saw, filing aides, plane blanks and parts, and some unique tools
- Cranford Design Works - Branding Irons, Leather stamps and metal marking stamps
- Black Bear Forge - Forged wood working tools, holdfasts, hardware
- Cergol Forge - Some kickass hammers, sledges, axes, and tools
- Elk Head Tools: Classic Twist on Modern tools
- Tico Vogt - Jigs for your tools
- Hoffman Blacksmithing - Knives, axes, tools, an blacksmithing classes!
- Red Rose Reproductions - Wooden bench tools
- Voigt Planes - Traditional wooden planes
- Old Street Tools - Wooden Planes (not currently accepting orders)
- J Wilding Planes - Reproduction wooden planes
This list will be ongoing and edited as I get new information.