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 Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.

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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:49 pm

Not pipe related, but still another Fine American Company that actually stands behind their products:

Maglite!

I've used their products over the years and they are built like tanks. Years ago, I bought a 6-D Maglite just because of the sheer size and weight of the thing. It could double as a club if need be. It was accidentally run over by our S-10 pickup (on a hard gravel driveway in the middle of summer) and it didn't even bend the tube, much less hurt the flashlight in any way...

I recently picked up an old 5-C model at the local flea-market. I got it really cheap (very cheap) because the switch didn't work. I contacted Maglite and they told me to ship it to them for repair. I did, and got it back about 2-weeks later. Not only did they replace the switch, they also put in a new reflector and lens (both of which it needed) and they sent me their new upgraded Bi-pin Xenon Bulb with adapter - all free of charge. All it cost me was the shipping to them!

In these days of disposable products, it's good to see companies like Zippo and MagLite that still warranty their products for a Lifetime and stand behind their products the way these two companies do.


Last edited by Rob_In_MO on Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dave_In_Philly

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:59 pm

I'm still pissed that they pulled the LED conversion kits off the shelves because too many people were converting old flashlights rather than buying new ones. Otherwise I'm a long time Maglite fan. I probably have a dozen AA and AAA lights from my days on the ambulance and I have a 3-D cell next to the driver's seat in my car.
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:04 pm

Dave, there are much better drop-in LED upgrades available on Ebay and Amazon. The ones I've used are much brighter and more efficient than Maglite's upgrades they put out for a while. In my 4-D I put in the Terralux 140 lumen bulb and was quite impressed for 15-bucks. Not only is it much brighter, but the focus is better overall and the battery life doubled.

Looks like the price went up a little, but here is the upgrade I put in mine. Of course they do make the same model for 2 & 3 Cell Maglites also.

That's my only complaint about Maglite is their falling behind in the LED category, but with their newer LED and PRO models they seem to be much better in terms of brightness and beam quality.


Last edited by Rob_In_MO on Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:04 pm

Maglite is awesome. I have two of their products, an LED mini, and an LED 3 D-cell. I would have gotten the 4-cell, but it falls out of pockets too easily. Laughing Never had a problem with either.

Can I get some love for Leatherman, a US company of the same ilk as Maglite and Zippo? These guys have been awesome. I asked them to fix an old Leatherman, an original one, and they offered to keep it for their archive (as I guess they're rare) and sent me a whole new one. Fine with me, I need to use them, not collect them. On a separate incident I mentioned I had another model that I lost somehow and what did they do? Sent me a new one and said "Don't lose this one" with a smiley face.

They have been downright humbling in their good care they give to customers.

Cool
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:08 pm

Kyle - never dealt with Leatherman, but I've heard great things about them from others as well.

I'm just happy that there are still at least a few companies like this still around today. Businesses should take note and follow in the footsteps and great companies like the ones mentioned here.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:16 pm

Leatherman always fit my hand, carrying profile and pure usefulness. Coupled with their service, and I don't hesitate to buy another if I need to, nor do I shy from suggesting them to people.

I don't know why more companies aren't that way. Oh wait, I remember: we want the world at rock-bottom prices. So, as we buy more crap, more crap gets made. If prices increase, customer service (being expensive, processing defective workmanship, phone calls, etc) is the first to go...and it's a profitable downward spiral until the inevitable end. It becomes about tricking the consumer rather than being genuine with them, and backing up a product. No wonder gleaming examples, once more common, are so... gleaming. All to save a couple of bucks (but have the consumer waste their time and money nonetheless).

I suppose the companies that never did to bow down to the modern rules of productivity have two things in common: they never decided to follow the trend, and, their product was simple and useful enough to not ever need to change so much. Their name followed them from a quality era into the disposable era, and stand out. That's my assumption.

I'm not sure once the corner has been turned by other companies if they can viably restructure themselves back to "product reality." They're caught in the riptide, and are stuck there.

Cool
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beetlejazz

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:34 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
I don't know why more companies aren't that way. Oh wait, I remember: we want the world at rock-bottom prices. So, as we buy more crap, more crap gets made. If prices increase, customer service (being expensive, processing defective workmanship, phone calls, etc) is the first to go...and it's a profitable downward spiral until the inevitable end. It becomes about tricking the consumer rather than being genuine with them, and backing up a product. No wonder gleaming examples, once more common, are so... gleaming. All to save a couple of bucks (but have the consumer waste their time and money nonetheless).

I suppose the companies that never did to bow down to the modern rules of productivity have two things in common: they never decided to follow the trend, and, their product was simple and useful enough to not ever need to change so much. Their name followed them from a quality era into the disposable era, and stand out. That's my assumption.
Amen, brother! cheers

I've promised myself that I won't get another lighter before I can afford a pipe Zippo. Why to buy the stupid plastic crap that just ends up floating in some junk soup in the ocean.
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Dave_In_Philly

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:05 pm

It wasn't that they pulled them off the shelves that bothered me as much as why they pulled them off the shelves.

I'll vote Leatherman too. I have three, including the original supertool, which lives in my car along with my Maglite. Both have gotten me out of trouble numerous times.
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:37 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:
I bought a 6-D Maglite just because of the sheer size and weight of the thing. It could double as a club if need be.






Laughing
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Simple Man

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:51 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:
Rob_In_MO wrote:
I bought a 6-D Maglite just because of the sheer size and weight of the thing. It could double as a club if need be.






Laughing

Hmm, that gets you suspended for two days without pay. Mad

Or so I've heard.
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Steveaux

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:55 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:
Rob_In_MO wrote:
I bought a 6-D Maglite just because of the sheer size and weight of the thing. It could double as a club if need be.






Laughing

I have one of those. My son calls it the "Ball Bat".
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:29 pm

Simple Man wrote:
Hmm, that gets you suspended for two days without pay. Mad

Or so I've heard.

Yeah Yeah, for self defense purposes only - to be used as a last resort in an emergency situation. Twisted Evil
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Growley

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:43 pm

I'll throw another out there. Toms Shoes. I'm just learning about these guys, but for every shoe they sell, they give a pair away to a child in need. I don't know much more about their philanthropy than that, but I'll say this:

We had an issue with the first pair we bought "my daughters". We were way outside of the return policy and they still replaced them for free.

Good thread. I love hearing about these types of companies.
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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:41 am

You could probably survive for years with nothing more than a Leatherman, a Zippo, and a Maglite.

My sister used to be friends with an Arizona Border Patrol officer. As she got to know him and his colleagues, she often heard them refer to the illegals they picked up as "Tonks". She asked him why and he replied that it's the sound you hear when you bop them on the head with a Maglite. Shocked



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Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

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Cuervo25_1

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:42 am

Speaking of I have 2 rechargeable ones I need to send one off because it has corrosion where a rechargeable battery leaked and the switch is bad. I also need to pick up some parts to convert one of my mini mags for this project.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgJ0EpxjZBU&list=FLMdq78ufzRUiKvqNg1guIfA&index=39


I am going to test it to see if it could be used to start a fire in a survival situation
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:50 am

I don't recall a time where I didn't have a Maglite, but never really thought about them being an American Company, that makes me appreciate them even more. A Maglite got me thru some difficult times, storms, etc. 25 years ago, our home was flooded (Potomac River, WV) and I slept in the power-less home with a lantern, shotgun and a big six-cell. We caught a few guys who were looting one evening and they left quickly after receiving several large "Tonk" lumps on their heads.
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bosun1

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:42 pm

Three great American products. And you can hang all three from your belt. Coincidence? Around here, if you have a multi-cell flashlight with more than three (I believe) batteries in it then you can get arrested for having a weapon in your car. When I was in the military they taught you not to use a downward stroke to the head. Instead it was an upward 'scrape' to the chest bone -- so you would generate a 'ripple' of meat as it seperated from the bone!
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Steveaux

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:06 pm

Let's not forget Gerber. Founded in Portland, 1939.

I have a Leatherman. It sits on a shelf, collecting dust. The one-hand opening and locking blade/tool feature on my Gerber won out.
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:19 pm

Buck knives, I assume they are made in the US? Knife makers may be the largest US maker? (Case, etc)
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Steveaux

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:37 pm

Case is in Bradford, Pa. Same as Zippo.
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Wet Dottle

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:05 am

Steveaux wrote:
Let's not forget Gerber. Founded in Portland, 1939.

I have a Leatherman. It sits on a shelf, collecting dust. The one-hand opening and locking blade/tool feature on my Gerber won out.
Gerber has been bought by Fiskars a long time ago. Many (possibly most) of Gerber's products are made in China...
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Steveaux

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:29 am

I knew about Fiskars. Did some work for them in Minnesota.

My multi and knives are stamped U.S.A.

Next thing ya know, some furriners will buy Budweiser.

Wink
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Wet Dottle

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:38 am

Steveaux wrote:

Next thing ya know, some furriners will buy Budweiser.
I think Coors is now owned by a Canadian company. But it is still brewed here, in Golden, CO. I work next door to it. Smile
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:43 pm

We talked about this in another thread, but Red Wing Shoes/Boots are another. The leather, according to the employees, is from USA-cows, and is even supplies a good number of other USA-made boot companies (including Cabela's, for those that aren't made in in China). The Red Wing store here gets visits from me after every work trip, because my boots get thrashed. Desert flora, alkali soil and dry is not a boot's best friend. They oil them, re-do the laces (usually break at least one per trip Laughing ) and have them ready for me in an hour. They were the only company that (locally) provide boots that were non-insulated and non-waterproof that have such good product support. They fit my wide feet well, too.

Oddly, whenever I get to talking like this with people, the comment comes up, "Oh, but they're so expensive."

"Yeah, but they replace them/fix them any time you like...meaning, you don't have to go buy another after the year warranty is up and they break due to purposeful design flaw."

So, apparently, there's other people that don't mind throwing down money as an investment in something that will last rather than countless dollars re-buying things that fail as you need them.

Imagine that.

Cool
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Another 'Great' American Company - other than Zippo.   Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:20 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
So, apparently, there's other people that don't mind throwing down money as an investment in something that will last rather than countless dollars re-buying things that fail as you need them.

Imagine that.

Cool

Yup, that's now become the American Way.

To that, I say: 'Bovine Feces!'

Give me a good ole sturdy/quality designed and manufactured product any day over cheap/disposable Chinese imports.
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