Garden tools, as with many hardware supplies, are a very particular purchase for many people. Consumers must balance their budgets with a need for quality and performance, particularly those who do a lot of work
Garden tools, as with many hardware supplies, are a very particular purchase for many people. Consumers must balance their budgets with a need for quality and performance, particularly those who do a lot of work out in the yard. In many cases, tools of this nature can come with a higher price tag if they are advertised as being made in the U.S.—but what does that phrase really mean? Is it worth it to invest in American-made goods? The answers may surprise you.
Qualifiers for Products Made in the USA
The Federal Trade Commission defines the standards for labeling a product as being made in the United States of America. Being that a country of origin must only be noted on certain classes of products (such as textiles and automobiles), “Made in the USA” often becomes a point of advertising. Therefore it’s important to ensure that such claims can be validated.
Products must be “all or virtually all” made in the states in order to be labeled in this fashion. This means all significant parts and production, with only negligible foreign content, if any.
What’s the Difference?
Tools and utilities made in the U.S. have a reputation for generally being more durable and reliable when compared with cheaper alternatives. They offer the benefit of stimulating the American economy, and for many, a sense of pride in their country’s craftsmanship. Purchasing a tool made in the USA can be the difference between buying it once and needing to replace it months down the line.
While American-made tools are generally trusted to be of higher quality, one must realize that there are numerous types of tool which simply cannot be manufactured stateside and then sold at a price that the market will accept. Conventional wisdom says that a product will not sell simply because of where it is built; price and availability will always factor in.
Often times, your decision will boil down to expected use of your tools. If you are out in your garden every day, then it makes sense to pay a little more upfront for quality equipment. If you are more of a hobbyist than a dedicated gardener, then there are some situations where you may be able to get by with lesser products in order to squeeze more into your budget. It all depends on what you do in your garden, and how often you do it.
Many Americans take pride in supporting workers in their home country, and prefer prolonged performance from reliable equipment. Invariably, there will be occasions when the product made in the USA will be too expensive—or simply not exist in that category. Keep an open mind, address your highest buying priorities whenever possible, and you will feel confident in your tools each time you work in your garden.