Tuesday, May 29, 2012

RIP - Crescent Tools

I'm not sure why this doesn't bother people more.

I stopped in to the local Lowe's a few days back and did a little sweep through the hand tool department and saw this end-cap display. The end-cap was advertising a three pack of adjustable wrenches for $25. The Crescent brand logo looked weird, so I stopped to investigate. Usually a change in corporate logo signals some other change of a more drastic nature. That proved to be the case here as well...

...because when I flipped the package over this is what I saw.

Another American made too brand bites the dust. This is a direct development of the co-op between Danaher Tools and Cooper, the company which has owned Crescent for years.  The new entity calls itself Apex, and many of their brands are headed overseas. Grr...

Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to offshore manufacture, rather what I'm opposed to is the gutting of an established American Icon (when people ask for adjustable wrenches, they do not say "adjustable wrench', they say 'Crescent wrench'....  like asking for a Kleenex and not a tissue.) with NO corresponding reduction in cost passed on to the consumer!  Why does this three pack of Chinese adjustables cost $25 when the next end-cap over advertised Chinese made Kobalt  (Lowe's house brand) adjustables in a three pack for only $9?

I'm supposed to pay $25 to support the spirit of what was once a great American tool manufacturer?

This is the end of Crescent.  There is no longer a reason to buy these tools, especially at such an over-inflated profit driven price point.  If you act quickly you can still find USA made Crescent products on the shelves, but the restocked items all come from China now.  Flip over the packaging and check the country of manufacture.  If it says China, then just buy the Chinese Kobalt's and save yourself a boat load of dough.  Actually the folks who used to make the Crescent brand here in the states are probably all out of work already, so just pass on all of them and buy the Kobalt's (or Husky's or Great Neck's or Pittsburgh's etc.)


Buyer beware.


Steve Reed said...

I didn't know Crescent was a brand. I thought it was just a kind of wrench!

I'm not sure what to think about the whole globalism thing. No easy answers there. People in China need jobs too, I suppose, but so often they're mistreated and the quality of the products suffers. It's a conundrum.

utahDOG! said...

I don't mind the guy in China making the wrench, it's the guy in the US making even more cold cash by laying off the US worker and then having his products manufactured overseas with none of that savings passed on to the consumer. Like I said, just buy the house brand tools and save your money rather than buy a brand name with seemingly no discernible benefit to either the consumer or the worker. You know that guy in China making the $13 Crescent gets paid and treated no better than the dude in China making the $8 Kobalt.

utahDOG! said...

It's like this. There is a tool supply chain called Harbor Freight. They sell almost exclusively tools and equipment made overseas in contries offering lower manufacturing wages, like India, China, Taiwan, etc. I have no problem with Harbor Freight and here's why. You KNOW that your tools are imported when they come from Harbor Freight, and they are priced accordingly. Crescent has long touted their products as USA made, and now very quietly the packaging sprouts a Made in China statement, and the price stays the same? That is pure profit decision making, and I'd rather go buy an honest imported tool from Harbor Freight. (Which lately has been offering better and better quality tools! There are some pretty nice bits and doodads available from HF!)

I can't stress this enough, I am NOT railing against offshore manufacturing. I AM railing against brands wrapping themselves in the flag and touting their patriotism, and then slinking off overseas to control costs by exploiting foreign labor, with no relative savings passed on to the consumer. It is corporate American greed, and the consumer, the worker overseas AND the unemployed worker here at home all lose. Shady!

Anonymous said...

It is like the spiffy carbon bike frames I love so much. The high end Treks are made in Wisconsin and most other high end frames are made in Taiwan and China. They are comparably priced. If I am going to pay someone $3000 for a piece of plastic, it is most likely going to be to a company on our soil employing our people.

Anonymous said...

Steve-why are you posting at 3:24am!?! Go to bed!

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, I see your point. You're absolutely right. I hate the thought of upper management making bazillions in bonuses ("generating value for the shareholder") while people who make and buy the products get no discernible benefit.

Anon -- ha! It's not really 3:24 a.m. I'm in a distant time zone. It's about 7 a.m. here. :)