Tool Addicts

Tool Addicts

Updated: Stanley Sells Delta Tools to Taiwanese Company

comments (48) January 17th, 2011 in blogs

Tom Tom McKenna, Managing Editor
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The Unisaw, newly equipped with a riving knife to prevent kickback, came back with a bang in 2010. Says our reviewer, It was hard to find anything wrong with the new Unisaw.
Deltas 18-in. drill press impressed our reviewer in issue 216. Key features are a quick-release depth stop, 6-in. quill stroke, a big tilting table, and a handy quick-release tension lever, which makes it easier to change speeds.
The Unisaw, newly equipped with a riving knife to prevent kickback, came back with a bang in 2010. Says our reviewer, It was hard to find anything wrong with the new Unisaw. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

The Unisaw, newly equipped with a riving knife to prevent kickback, came back with a bang in 2010. Says our reviewer, "It was hard to find anything wrong with the new Unisaw."

Photo: FWW staff

Updated 1/17: Stanley Black & Decker has sold the Delta brand to a Taiwanese company, Chang Type Industrial Co., Ltd., which makes power tools for a number of well-known brands, including Craftsman, DeWalt, Ryobi, and Black & Decker. The new company has been renamed Delta Power Equipment Corp.

I spoke with the new CEO of Delta, Bryan Whiffen, about the deal and about the future of Delta woodworking tools. Whiffen is no stranger to power tools, having been in the field since 1994, most recently as the senior vice president for product development at Techtronic Industries North America (TTI). TTI makes Milwaukee, Ridgid, and Ryobi power tools.

Whiffens says he heard about Stanley’s plans to sell Delta last year, after he’d left TTI. Eager to pursue a new opportunity, he put together a team to buy it.

In terms of manufacturing, there are no major changes afoot. Delta has long been known for making many of its tools here in the United States. But some tools and parts are made overseas. So far, according to Whiffen, that plan will not change. “Tools made in the U.S. will continue to be made here.” But, he says, “outsourced tools will be made in the same factories as well.” The corporate headquarters will be moved to Anderson, S.C.

After some disappointing offerings over the last few years, Delta seemed to be rebounding with gusto. A couple new tools FWW looked at last year—the updated Unisaw (FWW #207) and a new 18-in. drill press (FWW #216)—scored well in their respective reviews. Whiffen credits Stanly Black & Decker with reenergizing the Delta brand, moving it in “a positive direction,” and his goal is to continue the surge.

Serious furniture makers will be happy to know that Delta has no plans to veer from their interests and needs. “We’ll continue to focus the brand on woodworking machinery,” says Whiffen. “We’ll take a look at existing, older tools—both benchtop and stationary—and update them as we need to.” And there likely will be some new offerings. Whiffen says a miter saw makes sense for the company, so we’ll keep an eye out for that. With the hand machine expertise of Chang Type Industrial Co., Ltd.  I asked Whiffen if Delta would make the plunge into that market. As of now, there’s no plan to jump into that market, but Whiffen won’t rule it out for the future.

What about Stanley Black & Decker? So far, the only official statement from Stanley is that “certain assets related to the Delta brand were sold to Delta Power Equipment Corporation.” But from the outside, it appears that Stanley Black & Decker is focusing on the DIY and contractor markets for their tools. That makes sense, because the company says it posted a great third quarter last year, with most of the profits coming from that market.

We’ll continue to keep you up to date on all related developments in the Tool Addicts blog.


More on the Sale

Delta Press Release on the Sale
Press Release from SC Dept. of Commerce
Delta's Move to Stanley Works in 2009
Chang Type Industrial Co. Web Site
Delta Machinery History on Wikipedia
Current Delta Machinery Web Site

posted in: blogs, Delta, Stanley Black & Decker, Whiffen

Comments (48)

CharlieL CharlieL writes: I'd have to agree with JackTaraz. Blaming customers and Unions is total BS.
Posted: 1:27 pm on October 17th

jlaw3304 jlaw3304 writes: I'll add my thoughts and recent experience to this. I have a Delta drill press I bought back in 2004 that was serviceable, it was a pain to keep the table level but I honestly didn't pay a lot for it and instead put more of my limited budget to other tools (planer and table saw). Anyway, after 8 years and two moves the cheap-ass cast table trunnions gave out and I had them back-ordered for 9 months (ordered Nov 2011) before I could finally get an answer from them, which was... "we no longer support that tool." I would not buy a Delta Tool ever again with that type of service. To stop supporting a tool that is less than 10 years old is a joke. I now have a worthless tool because I can't get a $20 part. Looks like I'll be hitting up the machine shop at work for some custom fabrication, at least it will be machined and not cast.
Posted: 8:49 am on August 8th

OVERTAXED OVERTAXED writes: i have a dekta drum sander and i need a dc motor switch part #911609 and i am told not 1 in usa and some co. have been back ordered for 3 to 4 months I believe it's time to stop buying delta equipment i have 1000.00 pc of crap now
Posted: 9:51 am on September 14th

unTreatedwood unTreatedwood writes: The first major tool I bought back in the late 80's was a 10" Delta contractor's saw in Pasadena, CA in order to remodel my kids' bedroom; complete with cabinets, doors, etc. I learned a lot on that first remodel, and have been at it ever since. It is my second job, as I manage money for a living during the week, while functioning as a finish carpenter on weekends. Been doing it for 30 years.

I find it fascinating that those in the trades lament the slow departure of tool manufacturers from the lower 48, so to speak. Why didnt other US companies buy any of those well-known names? Milwaukee, Delta, DeWalt...why was it that only non-US companies were able to pay the price for these companies?

In recent years, the last tools I have purchased were Festool brand names. I cannot find their quality anywhere else. Sure, I still use my Milwaukee worm drive that I bought back in the early 90s. But I use the Festool TS55 to break down pieces of plywood for cabinets. When I build islands, or cabinets, or staircases, no one asks me what kind of tools I use, and I doubt that any client asks those questions of anyone else out there. However, we are responsible to deliver the best product we can for the lowest cost in order to make a profit.

That is exactly the same situation these manufacturing companies find themselves in. The one variable they have that I don't have is the union labor they must use. I have to compete on all other levels. But I don't have to deal with the unions. I suspect that if we look carefully, we would find that there is a huge element involving the cost of having unions involved with these companies. If someone could design and build a Fein or Festool quality tool in the USA, who WOULDN'T want to buy it? I would. There are other aspects to this dilemma, including the devaluation of the dollar, and access to capital. But I'm pretty sure in the long run, until we get a handle on the cost of labor here in the states, we are not going to be able to produce a Bosch, or Festool, or Fein.
Posted: 3:24 pm on January 25th

schwa6970 schwa6970 writes: Sad news indeed. Even though most of everything Delta sells is Chinese made anymore at least the dollars were still flowing into our economy. All this selling out to Chinese company's is destroying this country.
I have bought 2 different Delta machines (both Chinese)one of them being a 12in benchtop variable speed drill press that came real close to burning my shop down when the switch shorted out in the middle of the night and was in a molten mess on my bench the next morning. It was about 2 months out of warranty so I had to pay for their shoddy materials in the construction of this thing. It was recalled shortly before that due to some faulty pulleys.
I will never buy anything Dela again!!!
I am very thankful I already have about 95% of the machines and tools I will ever need and most of them are US made. I would not even want to think about outfitting a wood shop these days.
It would cost me triple or quadruple what I have spent to get the same quality of machines and tools I own.
All these companys that are selling out like this I have a very serious question for you- Who do you think you are gonna sell your products to when none of the people(Woodworkers,tradesmen) who made you have jobs anymore?
As a lifelong woodworker in the Detroit area I have felt the crunch of our "Selling out".
Posted: 11:02 am on January 24th

pkwooster2 pkwooster2 writes: Someone mentioned Sawstop as American made. It's not, it's made in Taiwan. I've used one a bit, it's great to use, appears to be a well built machine and it costs like one. It's on my wish list.

On Delta quality, the last two Delta tools I bought were made in China and of atrocious quality. I don't plan to buy any more Delta products, I find Ridgid and General International to be better built (mostly in Taiwan).

Posted: 4:25 pm on January 22nd

jpl2 jpl2 writes: I hope, one day, people from all spheres will realize Quality has a Price.

For those who complain about overseas manufacturing facilities and the resulting "cheap" products that come out of it, they should understand that it’s the CONSUMER who, directly or not, DEMANDS to pay the lowest price possible. Although they may not have the creativity (at least for now), Asians have the skills and tools to build fairly high quality products at relatively competitive prices. But that is NOT what they are asked for.

As everything (precision manufacturing equipment, quality of materials, man power skill set etc.) bears an increasing price, well guess what: A 100% US-made standard tablesaw would now cost around $3,500. Would you be ready to buy it, even if that's exactly the same price than the 'real McCoy' US-made tablesaw that sold for $900 back in 1975, taking into account inflation since then? The long term and, interestingly enough, environmentally conscious- consumer WOULD buy it. And there are plenty of products available in that price range; unfortunately for us North American, they are mainly European.

But over here, as everybody wants everything for nothing nowadays, manufacturers had to find a solution. And they found it overseas. What comes out of it is lesser quality products for the mere reason that this is EXACTLY what Chinese manufacturers were ASKED to build by North American distributors and phony manufacturers: Products good enough to last no more than 5-8 years in order to get recurring revenues down the road, and cheap enough so they can make a fairly good margin right now. This is not rocket science. Too much greed.

For those who are still interested in putting up front good money for a machine that will last way above 20 years, there are plenty of European manufacturers offering high quality machines 'like before'. Chinese imports never got very popular up there. And that’s the real sad story: Almost no US Company now appears to be willing to provide the market with high quality price, WITH the high price tag it commands. Even if it means lower production volumes… and profits.

Posted: 6:12 pm on January 20th

f7streamliner f7streamliner writes: I don't know who the tree stumps are that run the company but they blew it. They blew it along time ago. this was the lasr straw. I have all pre export Delta tools but I have been buying General tools now and am extremly happy. I do agree that some one should start up another compay to manufacture American made machines. The only problem is kepping greed out of the business if it is company owned.
I think there would be plenty of investors for an idea for that. What would be the first step?
Posted: 10:22 am on January 20th

Fred_Walker Fred_Walker writes: Finelinewoodworking made the following, very interesting, comment "Maybe the woodworking community ought to get together and put their heads together and design and build a new U. S. made UNISAW". I find this idea intriguing.

We all bash the companies who, in search of profits, lower their quality and customer service, then sell out to the highest bidder. For several reasons it is no surprise these bidders tend to be overseas.

What if we quit complaining and proved there was another way.

Anyone interested in funding a new American company with a commitment to quality and customer service. Like for instance - Lie Nielsen.

Or how about we all buy shares and do it ourselves.

Anyone know how to get started?
Posted: 6:38 pm on January 19th

gcfrank gcfrank writes: It's all part of the "Great American sell off". After being a Delta user for most of my life I am very dissapointed with the new contactor saw I bought a little over a year ago. It cost me the best part of $1,000 with the add on of a better fence. I protected the table as soon as it was assembled as per instructions and within a couple of months rust spots started to appear on the table. My work area is warm and dry but still the table continues to rust. I suspect that Delta may have been out sourcing for some time and complaining to Delta was fruitless. I worry about the security of this great nation when we totally rely on other countries to supply our goods.
Posted: 11:54 am on January 19th

Edwould Edwould writes: I hope they create a more user friendly website as a part of the precess. It would be nice to be able to find information and parts There is a market there too.
Posted: 9:46 am on January 19th

Woodman5d Woodman5d writes: I work for an American manuactuer of industrial machines. We have currently began having machines made in China, and the quality is not as good as the machines we build locally.
As a long user of Delta Machines, I hate to see them be out sourced, not only because of the lower quality controls in these foreign facilities, but mostly for the loss of AMERICAN jobs. We, as AMERICANS, must demand a stop to this out sourcing of our work force. This practice will be the down fall of our once Great Country.

Only hope is to buy AMERICAN as much as possible and boycott the imports.
Posted: 10:57 pm on January 18th

sredinbo sredinbo writes: Might as well buy at Harbor Freight! If you can't beat'em, join'em!
Posted: 8:42 pm on January 18th

sredinbo sredinbo writes: jef keighley, you tell it like it is! Your comment could be said about most companies in America today. Wish it was posted in the wall street journal or on business weekly. I really like Delta tools. Up to this point, I felt they made a quality tool with professional results at a very affordable price. Guess I'll have to switch to General tools. Sad to say.
Posted: 8:38 pm on January 18th

PlaneFolk PlaneFolk writes: I'm the proud owner of one of the older Delta contractor saws... it's been a workhorse in my shop for over 20 years now and has not yet asked for any more than an occasional cleaning and alignment.

I'd love to be manufacturing the kind of quality wood- and metal-working machines I grew up on. As a young engineer-in-training I worked for a tool manufacturer... best job I've had, measured in amount of satisfaction in seeing the fruits of everyone's labors and seeing nice looking tools emerge from raw stock and cutting oil. Sad thing is, a couple years later all that manufacturing left our area for a much less expensive labor pool.

If you want get the public to pay for higher quality tools, you need to start by putting them back in the hands of the public that will someday buy them. Bring back the "manual arts" to the public high schools. Make sure they're equipped with the finest Made-in-the-USA tools, and that the students are taught how to use, care for, and appreciate them. Yeah, it will cost money and it will take at least as much time to recover as it did to get to this point.
Posted: 7:20 pm on January 18th

Filtersmith Filtersmith writes: OK, so I read through the comments and what I find missing is any mention of the SawStop. Lots of encomiums for the favored Unisaw with a Biesmeier fence, much moaning about cost of Felder, Festool, etc. But let me tell you, I am exceedingly pleased with the AMERICAN MADE and US Patented SawStop! I sold my (pre-2010) Unisaw, bought the SawStop, and haven't looked back. It's a great saw, well justifying the somewhat expensive Incra fence I added with its 0.001" precision. The saw is solid, easily adjusted and maintained, plenty of power, on-board kickback prevention, etc. With respect to other manufacturers, there was some complaint about various customer service experiences; I have had one experience with SawStop, and it was most competent. My cartridge fired for no reason I could divine, so I sent the spent cartridge and the chunk of wood to Oregon. Here's their response: "Um, we looked at the wood and noticed that the cartridge fired just as the blade was leaving the wood, and the data saved in the electronics indicated it hit metal. Check your miter gauge." Sure enough, there was a teeny nick in it; nothing to blame here except operator error -- I had not left sufficient clearance between gauge and blade. I feel all the more safe for having had the $75 experience of having had it activate. (Maybe that's $175, actually; I replaced the SawStop blade with a Freud Fusion, but it's a really fine blade -- even better than the SawStop factory blade.) I think the tablesaw is the most potentially dangerous tool in the shop, especially given its frequency of use, and I am very glad to have that danger minimized, especially embodied in a fine AMERICAN woodworking tool.

Richard Juday
Longmont CO
Posted: 2:54 pm on January 18th

Sorin Sorin writes: Funny to see how everyone gives in the urge to post his piece of mind without having to say anything useful to the readers.
Here comes a piece of news informing us of a certain event, and all (with very few exceptions) jumped to beat their drums around the bush, in an attempt to show others how sharp they are. Typical american, I guess.
Sorry... Guilty here too, but hoping this will eventually stop.
Typical bored/boring american has now a new focus, so go ahead, use your itchy fingers instead of your brain and bash me! Alternately, you may think of something useful to say! (Well, who am I kidding)...
Posted: 2:08 pm on January 18th

lwj2 lwj2 writes: The sale of Delta to an offshore firm should come as no surprise to anyone.

Powermatic was sold to WMH years ago. Oliver is offshore (Taiwan, I believe). Northfield is about the only U.S. tool manufacturer left.

We'll see how the quality holds up, but I confidently predict an even more active market in used stationary tools.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA
Posted: 2:03 pm on January 18th

Gizmohandyman Gizmohandyman writes: I'm reading that everyone seems to think that Delta tools have been made with the up most quality...that would maybe be true for the ones that were actually made in the USA, but not all of them. I have a US made Delta 14" band saw with gear box used for reducing the speed to allow for cutting metal. I love this saw, even though I've had some minor issues with it, it's 25 years old and a workhorse. I can, and have, cut through rail road rail with it, that is once I found some non-Asian made metal cutting blades for it. I also have a Asian made Delta 10" table saw (15 years old) which works pretty well, but the quality is nothing like the band saw. The miter guide slot, the left one that I use most often, is tapered and narrows a solid 3/32" from the leading edge to the trailing edge. It makes it very hard to cut anything straight, you have to remember to push the guide toward the blade to keep it from drifting...this adds a little danger to the operation due to putting hand force toward the blade...I use my sliding miter saw for most cross cutting. I sent a message through the Delta web site pointing out the defect, but have never received a response. A replacement "deck" would have cost about a third of the price of the saw with no guarantee that it would be any better than the original

I have no hope that this move to Asian manufacturers will lead to any good, for our country, our tools, as well as just about everything else. One writer stated that you can still buy US made if you look for it...and that is true for some things but very little these days. I still hunt for US made products, but I'm not really sure they are much better since the pride of workmanship has seemed to have left the workforce. Like one of the other writers commented, I spend a lot of time rebuilding tools and some times it's new tools I'm rebuilding even before I get a chance to use it.
Posted: 1:17 pm on January 18th

happyhoosier happyhoosier writes: The sad fact is that when this country rebuilds itself, if ever, it will be with Asian tools.

You simply cannot convince the general public that paying twice as much for a tool that lasts five times as long and works four times better is a good deal. Ever notice that it's never the shoddy-products company that is bought by the high-quality company? There just isn't a market for quality. Or, perhaps, it would be more accurate to say the market for quality is so small that it cannot support itself.

Maybe Delta's new owners will produce a high quality product with superior engineering. Maybe. In the mean time, my old Unisaw and Biesemeyer fence is looking better and better.
Posted: 1:16 pm on January 18th

darbybrown darbybrown writes: A number of years ago Henry Koster opened a small hot dog stand in front of his house, he made some of the best hotdogs in the country. His wieners were hame made from the best available ingredients, and he spared nothing on the condiments he offered to go on them. Eventually his clientel grew so large he needed to expand his mstand. He built a bigger building, made room for the patrons to sit and eat thier hotdogs.

After a few more years Henry decided to open another stand on the other side of town so people could enjoy his dogs over there also. Henry made enough money to send his children to college and earn degrees so they had a better opportunity to succeed that he did. One of his sons, James, earned a degree in business management and after graduation he joined his father in the hotdog business.

James went to his father one day and said 'father, we're going to have a recession and you need to cut your costs if you want to survive. So Henry started shopping for and buying cheaper ingredients. The hotdogs wern't as good as they used to be, but they cost less to produce and James showed his father that they were making more money thaan ever so Henry continued to believe him.

Eventually the patrons of Henry's hotdog stand began to realize that the food wasn't as good, so quit frequenting his establishments and guess what, James was correct, they were in a recession. Henry was forced to close his second store and eventually the 'recession' caught up with him and he closed the original store.

The moral of the story, I think it's obvious. If you can't figgure it out you probably graduated with James from the same school.
Posted: 12:58 pm on January 18th

Sorin Sorin writes: Funny to see how everyone gives in the urge to post his opinion without having to say anything usefull for the readers.
It is a piece of news, informing us of something, and all jumped to show how smart they are. Typical american. Sorry... Guilty here too, but hoping this will eventually stop.
Typical bored/boring american has now a new focus, so go ahead and bash me! Altenately, you may think of something useful to say! (Well, who am I kidding)...
Posted: 12:31 pm on January 18th

TXwoodchip TXwoodchip writes: I experienced the lack of quality this Christmas. For years I've been using a Delta 4 x 36 bench top combo disc and belt sander.
It had been a work horse but finally gave out. My kids bought me a new one for Christmas. Not knowing that much about power tools they bought me a Skill 4 x 36 sander. The workmanship was atrocious. Very sharp edges on the bottom of the steel case, flimsy parts, milled smooth in some areas and not others and some parts didn't fit. Of course it wasn't made in this country. It went back to the store. I went on line looking for another Delta. No luck. Finally found at one place a Black & Decker that was exactly like my old Delta. I ordered it but I'm still waiting for it. What really bothered me was the inability of finding this machine. My old one was in many stores when I bought it and the workmanship on it was perfect. We'll see what the B&D is like. Hope they kept the quality of my old Delta, don't want to have to send this one back. I guess some of these companies don't care about their reputation just the bottom line. Make them fast and cheap. When they break down in a short time they sell another one. No long term usage as in the past.

Posted: 12:04 pm on January 18th

HIVANH HIVANH writes: No one should get their hopes up or have cheerful thoughts about any of this. This is all about the immediacy and the demand for higher corporate investors profits and returns. This is the new American way. B&D tools are already junk, just like all the yellow plastic Dewalt consumer items.

Very soon you will see the "venerable" Unisaw on sale at Home Depot for 1995.00 and customer service and parts will be non-existent.

The only way to reverse this tide is refuse to buy this third rate, shiny plastic fluff, stop trying to save a few dollars, and buy only tools of substance. They are out there, but you have to look for them.

Delta is the General Motors of shop tools. Wouldn't I really rather have a Buick? Nope.
Posted: 11:50 am on January 18th

Jonahhole Jonahhole writes: A Tale of Two Companies. I recently had a fire in my wood shop that damaged many of my tools and am working on restoring some and replacing others.

Delta. One item I am working on is my Unisaw with a Beisemeyer fence system. Working with the Delta website was almost as much work as working on the tool. Trying to reach a knowledgeable customer service person was next to impossible and the the cost for replacement parts when available is high. I hope the new company can do a better job.

Lie-Nielson - Called to replace the handles and tote on my hand planes. With the help of a very knowledgeable customer service person I received the replacement handles and tote at no cost for parts or shipping within days of my call. I also explained I needed the tool for removing the handle on my dovetail saw. Instead customer service suggested I send them the saw and they would replace the handle. Which they did along with polishing the fire stained steel and resharpening all at no cost - and they shipped it back with no cost.

Maybe Delta could learn something about customer service at least have knowledgeable customer service people operating at they South Carolina Site. I also wonder if Beisemeyer was part of that sale.
G Renfroe
Spruce Pine, NC
Posted: 11:36 am on January 18th

jef_keighley jef_keighley writes: Folks:

I completely agree that it is sad that yet another quality tool maker appears to be sliding farther down the slippery slope to mediocrity, but the the sale of Delta is simply a continuation of a process that's been going on for a very long time. Stanley Black & Decker is not in the business of making tools. They are in the business of making money! They just happen to make tools in order to make money, just as GM, or MacDonalds or Starbucks, or Chase Manhattan is first and foremost in the business of making money, and chooses to make cars, hamburgers, coffee or lend money to accomplish that goal. That's why Stanley Black & Decker sold Delta, plain and simple! The business of big business is to make money, as much as possible, as fast as possible. Quality and customer relations are important only to the extent that a company needs to maintain a client base sufficient to accomplish the primary make money! There are still lots of small and medium sized family owned businesses that started with and maintain the concept of delivering quality at a fair price, but once those companies are bought out and become absorbed into a larger corporate empire, run by 'professional managers', the scale of whose financial remuneration is inversely proportional to the duration of their focus and vision, quality becomes at best a secondary consideration. This is not a phenomenon driven by employees or unions they may choose to represent them. This is a phenomenon driven by the top echelons of the respective business empires made easier by the policies of the political minions their money buys them.

With so many good jobs exported from North America over the last several decades, at the hands of these same corporate empires, for the same reason, ie. to make more money, there has been a serious shrinkage in the average disposable income of Canadians and Americans relative to our cost of living. This fuels the drive to sell cheaper, lower quality goods, because our collective purchasing power to buy better quality tools is shrinking.

Having said that, it is still sad to see Delta slide further down the slippery slope.


Jef Keighley
Halfmoon Bay, B.C., Canada
Posted: 11:20 am on January 18th

HJACKSON HJACKSON writes: It should come as no surprise that STANLEY-BLACK AND DECKER decided to sell. The company is concentrating on something other than the customer/consumer. In both the area of power tools and small appliances, the response you receive when calling customer service for assistance with a less than acceptable performing tool is "perhaps you should try buying from another tool company". When you ask "do you want to lose me as a customer?" their response is "we can't satisfy every customer". Who are they satisfying? The declining profits will cause them to also loose investors on top of customers. Perhaps the move will advantage the customer, finally.
Posted: 11:11 am on January 18th

shoptroll shoptroll writes: It's very hard these days to know where quality tools come from. For example, I bought a Bosch 36 volt set a couple years ago. The circular saw and flashlight were made in China, and the hammer drill was made in Switzerland. The flashlight and drill both had to be replaced (after the warrenty in the case of the drill... thanks Bosch), but the Chinese made circular saw is tough as nails, surviving several drops onto concrete.

There should be no reason why saving money has to mean lower quality. In fact, lower labour costs leave room for increased quality. As consumers, the best we can do is to watch for what is the best value, regardless of where the machines are made. Competition will take care of the rest.
Posted: 11:10 am on January 18th

Trollusk Trollusk writes: Why are we so surprised and upset at the sale of Delta to an offshore owner??? It is us, the American woodworker, who tell American companies by our purchase decisions, that we are perfectly fine with paying less and getting lesser quality. It is us, the American investor that wants 10% annual return on our investment.

In fact we demand it and as a result, in order to survive, these companies have no choice but to reduce cost in a world of increasing raw material costs. Because their margins have become threadbare and investors want immediate gratification, they don't have the R&D funds to develop higher quality lower cost so they move to lower labor cost regions and sacrifice quality both in materials and assembly.

The low volume of higher cost higher quality goods with low margins doesn't sustain a company so in a world of low margin, they go for low price, high volume and short product life cycles....and WE buy it...everyday....over and over again.

As for American made quality, regretably we have shunned the blue collar and trades workers upon which this country was built. We no longer value machinests, tool makers, assembly line workers, carpenters, etc. We stopped teaching these skills in high school by abandoning the Industrial Arts labs. Even if we wanted to produce these products, we no longer have the skill base that we once did to be able to do so.
Posted: 10:45 am on January 18th

Trollusk Trollusk writes:
Posted: 10:31 am on January 18th

mbwright mbwright writes: I too am not surprised. The overall quality for manufactured goods is poor. When the bottom line and price are the only factors in how a product is made, the consumer gets the short end of the stick. Levi's used to be made in USA, now they wear out in a few years, if not sooner. Wal-mart used to be proud to have made in USA products, but not now. Car parts, appliances and other major goods do not last. I will continue to buy quality products on the used market when I can. I have lots of heavy old iron, that I am sure will out last me. I can't say that for the new products being made. It's hard to restore plastic parts, and thin metal, and weak castings. I hope Delta will continue to support the old products, but I am sure this will be a casualty of savings. They could save money on tooling if they continued some of the great products, like the heavy duty tennoning jig. While Festool is a great example of current quality, Bosch, Skil, Millwaukee, and many others were made in Germany, Switzerland, and USA. I have yet to see the same exact quality made in Asia. Also, when products go to Asia or elsewhere, I have never seen the prices go down to reflect the lower labor and materials cost.
Posted: 10:19 am on January 18th

mrk40 mrk40 writes: I too like the old tools and feel my father's presence when holding a family owned tool. As for these transplanted companies and their tools I am reminded of a comment Roy Rogers made on the Carson show which I will paraphrase."I feed my horse the finest oats but thay are exensive however if you would like something cheaper I can get you some used oats at a considerable savings.
Posted: 10:13 am on January 18th

lilarry lilarry writes: Everybody always blames the companies: Walmart, tool manufacturers and so on. Blame yourselves. You (most Americans) by the cheapest tools you can....just what screwdrivers go out at the HomeDepot checkout counters. Look at what tools are being purchased. People always say....I know, I know, but I won't make a difference....and why should I pay $2.95 for this straight-slot when I can buy "this one" for $ .89....

Like Walt Kelly said...We have met the enemy...and he is us...

I try to buy American whenever I can...but it's hard. There are very few American companies that produce a product like, for example Festool or Fein ...

Larry Beck
Woodbury NY
Posted: 10:12 am on January 18th

borderdogs borderdogs writes: Thanks for the update Tom. It's been interesting to read the comments coming in on this issue. This discussion about Delta still being Delta reminds me of the tale about the guy who owns a tomahawk once owned by Daniel Boone; the handle has been replaced four times and the head has been replace twice but he's still proud to own it.

trduff I appreciate your support & your effort and your interest in buying US products. My company is called Brailsford & Co ( & we manufacture brusless dc pumps, motors, & blowers sold to various industries. We have in business since 1944. That year, 1944,the US was probably at it's pinicale for industrial might and the world looked to us & our industral abilities to help win WW2. It's that spirit of pride in what we could do & produce that I wish was more prevalent in today's business & I try to foster that kind of spirit in my own company.

Professionlly, I have purchase Hardinge, Brigeport, Clausing, Souh Bend, Logan, etc machines over the years. Sadly these companies are not what they use to be or have been bought up & no longer exist. The quaily of some of these older machines, the castings, tables, lead screws, etc were excellent, hold up to the rigors of daily production use and lasts for years. We have machines that are 60+ years old that are still used daily for production work. Ever take a look at some of the older Delta machines? I have a Delta combination sander that is probably 50-60 years old & is used daily. I have newer Delta sanders that can't hold a candle to that old one.

ieiswingle of couse I know it's not a country that makes a product & I beg to differ on who steers a company. Generally it's a BOD that may be influenced by a union. But it's the people who work for the company that make the products not the union. Unions in my opinion are probably part of the problem of why companies such as Delta are owned by Asian interests. Fortunately for me I do not have to deal with unions and I have a loyal work force with virtually no turn over. Our employees are treated fairly & paid fairly. We have to compete with other bigger companies and overseas companies as well. How we stay competitive is producing quaility products and don't aim for quantity. As a nation we are losing the talent & abilties we once had as a producer nation as we gradually become a user nation. I find that sad....don't you?
Rob Drummond
Hillsboro, NH

Posted: 10:07 am on January 18th

Roger_61 Roger_61 writes: USA companies have been buying Canadian companies (like Black and Decker) for years and the quality has gone downhill afterward, mainly because of cheap manufacturing. It is the marketing strategy of USA companies that you must buy the goods at the cheapest possible price even if it is very poor quality. A good example is Walmart. Since Walmart buys a horrendous amount of good from China, China now has so many US dollars they can buy anything. In Canada, we tend to resist this to some extent, but we are being corrupted. You must pay for good quality and in the long run it will be less expensive because of less maintenance and because it will last longer.
Posted: 9:50 am on January 18th

JackTaraz JackTaraz writes: "The Dismantling of America!"

Chrysler sold to the Germans, then to the Italians, then Budweiser to the Netherlands, Delta to Taiwan. Everything else to China.

I blame the U.S. Federal government for allowing this to happen. No tariffs to protect the U.S. manufacturing segment, borrowing money from Communist nations. They are having one big party in D.C. while Rome burns.

It is the end of an era. The end of the United States dynasty. Sad. No one was looking out for our interests. The politicians work for the Lobbyists. Selling us down the river for a few coins.
Posted: 9:47 am on January 18th

jgperry jgperry writes: Once a company decides to "save money" on the labor force (which means, increase profits by decreasing costs), the easy next step is to "save some more money" by decreasing the material costs (like using recycled steel from North Korea) or "re-engineering" to save some environmental costs.

Pretty soon you have a company like Troy-bilt, which used to be a top-quality USA outfit in upstate New York, making great products at a fair price. Now look at the junk they make. I hope Delta does not go the same route.
Posted: 9:22 am on January 18th

finelineWoodworking finelineWoodworking writes: The people in charge of making this decision ought to be ashamed of themselves. Obviously they are part of the problem here in the US. I'm in complete agreement w/ trduff. I go out of my way to outfit my shop with US made tools, even at greater expense. It's a matter of pride for God sake. My family comes from the gunmaking industry here in CT and I am proud to make my products on US made tools some of which were my fathers tools. I recently had to refurbish my US made Delta shaper spindle and after learning it would cost over $300 dollars and 2-3 weeks to get a new one, I decided to refurbish the one I have (It helps that my brother owns a precision grinding shop).
Maybe the Fine Woodworking community ought to get together and put their heads together and design and build a new US made "UniSAw".
Just the thoughts of a small town woodworker.
Posted: 8:27 am on January 18th

rbogle rbogle writes: I also have delta drill press from China.I thought it was junk until I got 8 inch Powermatic joiner.The American made helical cutters are great but I have spent a lot of time working on the machine to get it to join a board.The companies who are buying these brand names have one thing in mind and it is not quality. We might as well save money and buy Grizzly because it is the same stuff with a different name on it.
Posted: 7:54 am on January 18th

ieiswingle ieiswingle writes: It is not a country that makes a product. It's a union that steers the manufacturers in this country to new location with a competitive labor force to build it's products.
Oh and how many Festool tools do you own? And why are you willing to pay 2-3 times more for that overseas item but you will not pay $9,000.00 dollars for a 100% made in the USA Unisaw?

Posted: 7:36 am on January 18th

hbowern hbowern writes: As a small woodworking shop here in Canada, I was glad to see that Delta is still remaining in the USA. I have quite a few staionary powertools with the Delta name on them and I find they do an excellent job.

I wish some of the other major brands that were around such as Porter Cable and Dewalt had not slipped into the B&D line. Maybe someone in thwe US will buy these back and make them back into the quality they once were.

As pointed out by some, the money saving is in labour costs overseas. Make things cheaper. I thought that reduced cost meant maximizing the cost savings through technology developments and not through cheaper labour. Also I don't see how the freight would be an advantage in cost of goods made overseas. Last time I looked shipping tankers take fuel to work.

Quality should be the focus for any manufacturer and not shareholders return.

In todays society where throw away technology seems to be the present state of mind, we just don't care or appreciate having an item that is old and works well.

Just my view on the subject
Posted: 7:34 am on January 18th

trduff trduff writes: I am in complete agreement with Rob. For the past 40 years I have made every effort to buy Made in the U.S.A. first.That also pertains to the clothes on my back to the shoes on my feet. I utilize the internet now to great effect to find American made products. A little patience and time will usually get you what you need. Granted, many times it is a used tool or piece of equipment but the dollar stays in our economy. Plus I like old tools, so I can't lose. What do you manufacture Rob? I'll support you.
Posted: 6:00 am on January 18th

trduff trduff writes: I am in complete agreement with Rob. For the past 40 years I have made every effort to buy Made in the U.S.A. first.That also pertains to the clothes on my back to the shoes on my feet. I utilize the internet now to great effect to find American made products. A little patience and time will usually get you what you need. Granted, many times it is a used tool or piece of equipment but the dollar stays in our economy. Plus I like old tools, so I can't lose. What do you manufacture Rob? I'll support you.
Posted: 5:59 am on January 18th

KingGeorge KingGeorge writes: I recently bought a Delta drill press. I bought the Delta brand because several generations of my family had Delta equipment and I was familiar with the high quality. After using the drill press for several months, I realized this is not the same quality equipment my father and grandfather had. Checking the details, turns out my drill press was manufactured in China. Appearently Delta has been manufacutred in China for some time. China is where Japan was 40 years ago - bargain basement, low quality tools and machinery. Since they are now manufactured in China, I guess it's no supprise that it's now owned by a Tiwanese company. They may catch up in quality in a generation or two (as Japan did), but for now, Delta is off my shopping list.
Posted: 10:15 pm on January 17th

rlorsbach rlorsbach writes: This comes as no surprise. Recall that just a few years ago, Stanley wanted to move their corporate headquarters to American company essentially in name only.
Posted: 10:36 am on January 16th

Sulayman Sulayman writes: Easy to understand the thinking behind the decision to sell,but as I live in South Africa,woodworkers here can only hope to buy good power tools at competitive prices via the Internet.At the moment there are a few good portable tool dealers around but not many quality big machines available,except jet, makita,and to lesser extent Ryoby!
Posted: 3:41 pm on January 13th

borderdogs borderdogs writes: You know I find it sad that Delta was sold to an Asian investor. I don't have anything against Asian products but for me "Made in the USA" still means something. Parts for their tools are probably already made in Asia and maybe we'll see no change in the fit & finish of their products I hope so. But it seems to me there goes another old American brand down the tubes.

I can speak to this with some experience because I own a manufacturing company where we make just about everything that goes into our products. We take pride in the Made in the USA label we put onto our products. It might cost more because we don't sub out to overseas contractors but in the end we can control the quality of the products. And when a customer calls they can talk to a live person for assistance who knows the product first hand. We stand by our products & we make every effort to make sure our customers are satisfied with their purchase. Maybe that is old fashioned a way of the past but I know we have customers who appreciate a US manufacture & US quality. Delta has a long history but I think in the near future there may be people looking for a Pre 2010 model Unisaw, etc.
Rob Drummond
Hillsboro, NH
Posted: 9:32 pm on January 12th

Woodsmithy Woodsmithy writes: Considering the weak dollar and slow recovery. I'm not surprised that this company was sold to an Asian investor. Most of the tool manufacturing jobs have been gone for years. I assume that all the parts are already made in Taiwan or China. Hopefully the innovation, quality, and service won't decline.
Posted: 3:18 pm on January 12th

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