| Dear Customer,
For a host of reasons, many of you want to know where every tool
we sell is made. Accordingly, we always identify those tools made
in Canada or the United States, our two main markets. But it is
next to impossible to accurately identify the country of origin
of tools coming from Europe or Asia, or virtually anywhere else
outside North America.
For example, we get offers to have tools stamped with whatever
country of origin we would like. In some European Common Market
(ECM) factories, they maintain a stock of stamps of all the ECM
countries. Because there is virtually no border control between
the countries, a firm in Germany can stamp "Made in France"
on a tool and only the buyer and seller need ever know.
But it does not stop there. Some European firms bring in tools
from Asia and then stamp their own name and false country or origin
on them. Some Japanese saws are actually made in Korea; only the
handle is applied in Japan. Tools made in China but shipped from
Taiwan are often marked "Made in Taiwan". And so it
goes. The rest of the world is much more cynical about all of
this than we are in North America. Their view seems to be "Hey,
the buyer wants a tool made in Austria; that's how we'll stamp
To our knowledge, the vast majority of North American retailers
and manufacturers play by the rules, but your best assurance of
tool quality is always a guarantee and reputation of your supplier
and not the country of origin stamped on the tool.
Leonard G. Lee
P.S. Among the baubles on the front cover is a very shallow bone-handled
gouge, ornately finished and dated 1671 (carved into the butt).
Our speculation is that it was a surgical tool, but we would be
glad to hear from anyone who could confirm or refute that.