Saturday, July 11, 2009

American Hand Tools & Home Defense

Ever find yourself in the hand tool aisle at a hardware store, and try to find the few remaining Made In USA tools that are offered? I love the hardware aisle as almost as much as Dr Desert Flower loves a shoe store sale. In my search for functioning replacement carbon monoxide detector (required by AZ residential building code) I found myself at Home Depot. So there I was, looking at literally 30 different types of hammers, made by 7 different branded manufacturers, and only Estwing (Rockford IL) is made in the USA. I'd bought a nice 22 inch Estwing clam hammer several years ago, and love it. Not only does it pound nails handily, but I keep it on my office shelf as an expedient means of home defense as well. One Japanese wrecking hammer, 2 Mexican framing hammers, and the rest of the massive display, Chinese.

Ever find yourself looking at hand tools (hammers, crowbars, pry bars, awls, screw drivers, et al) and thinking, 'which of these would be best for defending against / braining / brandishing / wielding against a home invader?' It's not paranoia when 1 out of 3 homes are vacant & foreclosed here in my neighborhood on the west side of the nation's kidnapping capital. So I selected the 16 inch claw hammer (3413962381), proudly made in the USA - I don't want to rely on a Chinese tool for defense, it just doesn't work in my head.

Maybe I'm the only one who has these kinds of thoughts at the hardware store...

BTW - FireX COQ-8 120V AC "wired-in" CO detectors are total crap. They fail, en masse, exactly at the 5 year warranty - all 3 of them within 2 months of each other (manufacturing dates are even stamped into the back of the plastic casing, from 2003). The Kidde 900-0120 is an adequate replacement (4787100120), but being made in China, only 2 of the 3 replacements actually worked, forcing me to return to HD to exchange for a 4th. At $30 each, you'd think they would be a little more reliable, but hey, America loves to market cheap Chinese garbage.


  1. this is what I use for pounding nails.

  2. isn't that bad for the grip though? And the magazine can't really appreciate repetitive impact loading, can it? =)

  3. I do this all the time. Not just with hammers and crow bars and the like -- I think, what if some tweeker came in here right now - what could I bludgeon him with?. Glad I'm not alone in my considerations in the implications of a claw hammer and skull....

  4. Funny...My Firex COQ-8 detector just failed...and it's 5 yrs + a few mos after the warranty! I was searching the net for a replacement and came across your site! I am going to send it back to them and see what hijinks ensue...probaby none. Booo.

    PS--i like your footer message!


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