Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Of Rubber Mallets, Made in the USA, and Genuine Hickory Handles

For my next project, I needed a rubber mallet.  I've actually worked on projects where a rubber mallet would have been ideal, but I've never owned one, until now.

As I was selecting my new mallet at the Big Box hardware store, I was faced with four to choose from.  There were two slightly lighter mallets, with black heads, and two slightly heavier mallets with grey heads.

I picked up one of each and determined that the lighter ones would do the job.

Now the decision came down to which of the black-headed mallets to choose from.  One was $4.99 and was made in China.  The other was $11.99 and was made by Estwing, in the USA. 

I had seen the two Estwing (light and heavier) mallets first, and liked the feel of them.  They have "Genuine Hickory Handle(s)," which have a nice, smooth, finished feel.  In perusing all of the other hammers, I came across the two Chinese-made "Workforce" mallets.  The handles were nowhere near as nice as the Estwings, they felt rough and unfinished by comparison. 

There was an Estwig in the bin with the Workforce mallets.  Clearly someone made a decision based on price - they had an Eswig in hand, then saw the Workforce mallets. 

I wavered for a minute, then picked up an Estwig mallet.  I figured $12 won't break the bank, and I'll have this mallet forever.  I like the peace of mind that it's a nicely made tool.

I don't know where I'm going with all of's all just something to ponder.  There is a lot of "buy USA" and "we don't make things here" anymore furor going around these days.  I picked the mallet that was the best quality; and I was pleased it is American-made.  It cost more than one made overseas.  How many people waving the flag about our decline in manufacturing would have paid extra for the US-made tool?  I'm not saying anyone would be unpatriotic to buy the less expensive tool, and I'm not making any value judgement either way; I'm just offering some thoughts to chew on.


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