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Made in China vs. Made in Taiwan

chills1994's picture

Hi everyone,

I took a trip to Nashville, TN over the weekend.  I just had to stop in at the local Woodcraft, there.

They have a Rikon 18" BS.  That caught my eye because I have a General International 18"  BS (sorry don't know the model #).  And both were priced at $1,000.  So I gave the Rikon a really good looking over.  It looks like; it is well built.  It also had some features that my saw doesn't have:  A blade tensioning crank at the bottom of the upperwheel housing, blade viewing window, better fence, bigger resaw capacity.

I asked the salesman where it was made.  China.  "Mmmn...."  My GI BS is made in Taiwan.

So, my question is to those who are better informed, is there a difference between buying something made in China vs. Taiwan?

For political, economical (and Okay, emotional) reasons, I prefer not to buy stuff made in China.  I would prefer if everything I bought was made right here in the USA.

I just don't want my money going to someone I could see being our future enemy.

Now if Delta could just make everything in the states....OR if the US would put a high enough tariff on the some of the foreign stuff to make American made stuff price competitive.

Cheatah's picture

(post #75880, reply #1 of 46)


First off-- I dont want to sound anti American...but get used to buying products made in Asia. Simply put we (America) can not compete with Asian labor rates. Also, just because it is made in Asia does not mean that it is not a quality product. You would be suprised by the sophisiticated factories in Asia. I know. I work as a product manager for Schlage lock. Many products i deal with are produced in Asia. The quality is as good as anywhere. Do not get hung up on where it is made. If the company responsible for the product is reputable like Schlage or Delta or Porter Cable etc.... then the specifications for the product are good. It does not matter where it is made. In fact if it is made in the USA, you can be sure that it will cost more. Americans are laborers have demanded high wages to keep pace with our inflation. And the quality will be no better than if made abroad. It amazes me how many people on this forum really beleive that Asian made products are junk.

To answer your original question, the main difference between China made and Taiwan made products is labor cost. Products made in Taiwan typically cost more than products made in China. Taiwan demands a higher labor cost in China.

Anyway-- I sincerely hope that this does not cause a yet another controversial thread on Asian made products vs. American made products. Frankly, that debate is trite.

I do not mean to sound blunt, but that debate has been beat to the ground--almost to China (LOL).


Take care

Thank you,

The Great Marko

Thank you,


WillGeorge's picture

(post #75880, reply #22 of 46)

Anyway-- I sincerely hope that this does not cause a yet another controversial thread on Asian made products vs. American made products. Frankly, that debate is trite.

I have been to China two times.. Two times about two monts total.. Just to get our beautiful Granddaughters..

In REAL CHINA!.. Well, the folks are really nice to you ( my neighbors in the US shoot at me )  Sort of.. Not sure who..

Just a joke... but the folks in China are really nice to Americans.. Not sure why!

Could be we buy their stuff!

Edited 3/17/2005 9:30 pm ET by Will George

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

chills1994's picture

(post #75880, reply #23 of 46)

Hey Will,

I wasn't really looking into starting a thread on American vs. Asian products.  That subject is such a dead horse.

I think the general concensus on Asian stuff, especially Chinese or Taiwan items, is that the price is lower and everybody expects their quality to be less.  The "you get what you pay for" school of thought.  But obviously their quality and features on tools is getting better all the time.  They are catching up, so to speak.  Some people think of buying their stuff as a crap shoot.  Or for the money that they are saving versus buying a US made product, they can tweak that tool to their liking, and still come out ahead. 

 It seems like some manufactureers, like Delta and Powermatic, are continually expanding their product lines to include Chinese and Taiwanese made items.  I would be nervous working at one of their US plants.  It seems like it is a matter of time before their whole lines will be made overseas.  "Okay guys, you get this kind of severance package if you help crate everything up and load it on to these trucks, OR you can leave now."

Back to my original point, I would say that China can be a future enemy.  I don't want my money to be supporting their army.  Not to mention their poor human rights policies.

If they have 1.5 billion people, where do they get all that food to feed them?  Are they self-supporting in that respect?  Do we ship them beans, wheat and corn?


JohnSprung's picture

(post #75880, reply #24 of 46)

The thing to watch out for with stuff from mainland China is metalurgy.  I had a pair of channel locks from China that looked fine, but snapped the first time I squeezed hard on them.  Ditto with some brass screws that broke being driven by hand.  QC from Taiwan is OK, but from the mainland, I'd avoid anything where you depend on the strength of any metal part for more than a few hundred psi.


-- J.S.




-- J.S.


dustmight's picture

(post #75880, reply #2 of 46)

This debate is anologous to made in US vs made in Japan, then made in Japan vs made in Taiwan, and now made in Taiwan vs made in China. China is certainly capable of making high quality products, but in the early stages of any transitions there are bumps in the road. China is getting there. I get a more comfortable feel when I see made in Taiwan, but that's certainly not a quantifiable quality indicator.

The new Sears 22124 and Delta 36-717 hybrid are both made in China. I haven't seen the Delta yet, but the 22124 looks pretty impressive. The end quality is in large part a reflection of the design specifications and quality control that the contracting company passes to the manufacturing company. Parts that are poorly specified or not specified will almost certainly get the very basic level quality. If QC is not specified, your at the mercy of a Chinese worker to determine acceptable quality levels. Things may have been assumed that were previously made in the States that now need to be spelled out very literally. Not all companies contracting with plants in China have learned all these details yet. In time I suspect all these details will all be ironed out and Chinese quality will improve like Japan's and Taiwan's. Then China's labor rates will go up and the big companies will move their manufacturing off to Laos or wherever else they can make the most profit.

Peter36's picture

(post #75880, reply #3 of 46)

You would like the US to put tariffs on imports so the US stuff is price competative? Why would you want to get rid of a cheaper option?

derekb's picture

(post #75880, reply #18 of 46)

You would like the US to put tariffs on imports so the US stuff is price competative? Why would you want to get rid of a cheaper option?


That sounds like a pretty political statement.  We better move this thread over to the cafe. 

chills1994's picture

(post #75880, reply #19 of 46)

Hello again everybody,

Really, when I orginally posted this question, it more about a money trail.

Does China get money, like taxes, when Taiwan makes a product?

Does the money stay with Taiwan?

Of course, in an ideal world, I would only buy tools from American manufacturers.  They have to abide by OSHA, EPA, and NLRB regs.  And at the end of the year, when their profits get taxed, that money goes back to our US government.

MichaelPB's picture

(post #75880, reply #21 of 46)


Taiwan is for all intents and purposes a seperate country than China.  We used to pretend China didn't exist and ONLY recognized Taiwan and called IT China.  Taiwan pays nothing to mainland China.

As for corporations paying tax that ends up here, very little does.  Take Ingersol Rand, they are now based in Bermuda.  Their HQ in Bermuda consists of a drop box but that HQ owns all the trademarks and other corporate property and so they escape paying a massive amount of US taxes.  Not sure if Delta is doing it yet but it is a major trend. 

cicero's picture

(post #75880, reply #26 of 46)

Jacks,our biggest supplier of tools and machinery (NZ) tell me that the Quality of Taiwan kit is up with the best German and Italian tools.

A top notch commercial jointer is $5000 from Taiwan,same thing from Italy is $10000.

He said when he was in China he saw parts being made for Wainig,they are the cream of 4 sider makers.

brianmexico's picture

(post #75880, reply #27 of 46)

To answer your question about money,

Taiwan has a completely independant economy and taxation system from mainland china. The economic bond between the two countries exsists within it's population, many prominent taiwanese and chinese business people own and operate companies in both countries for cost and quality reasons. The strongest link is within immigration law that is dominated by chinese policy and recognized internationally. A taiwanese citizen must carry a passport that reads "Republic of China" whereas a Chinese Citizen's passport reads "Peoples Republic of China" as though they were being branded and forced into inclusion and yet not accepted as an equal member.

I do business with several people in taiwan and I have visited factories in Taiwan where equipment is made and I would have to agree with earlier posts that give a thumbs up to taiwanese quality. The taiwanese are hard working, well educated, and very proud of the quality of the products they manufacture and they immediately distinguish themselves as beeing a cut above China.

You have to remember that before the second world war Taiwan was part of the Japanese empire, and many of the elderly don't read or write in mandarin. There are many cultural diferences that seperate these two countries. Taiwan also has it's own language and has become a real melting pot of many different asian cultures. Taiwan is a democratic state that holds elections, and governs itself completely independantly of China. I hope that the recent events boiling up in China and Taiwan don't create problems for the Taiwanese people, they are some of the most wonderful people I have met. I would recomend a trip there to anyone, It's not the prettiest place to visit but there is much to see and learn from a country that has created it's own economic strength and independence from the ashes of the conflicts that have formed it.

Since visiting taiwan I have been keeping my eye on taiwanese woodworking machinery and I've bought a couple of different tools that I've been very happy with, so I say give the taiwanese a hand and buy their products, they are an excelent trading partner for the USA and they could use the help right now.

By the way, someone made a comment about Taiwan having nuclear weapons. If you look into the Taiwanese military you will find that the biggest supplier is the USA (they've proposed a 14 billion dollar missle defense system to protect themselves from china). The only reason that they have a military presence is to keep up with the constant chess match that China forces them into playing. This recent series of laws that were passed in China is just to increase pressure on the Taiwanese government. Interesting how a country that is so small like Taiwan can have their giant neighbor worried about their independence??

I'd be interested to hear what anyone has to say about the current political tension between the two countries.

Peter36's picture

(post #75880, reply #28 of 46)

We are not allowed to discuss the current political tension between the two countries. The cafe is for that.                                             I'm goin' for brownie points!

nikkiwood's picture

(post #75880, reply #29 of 46)

Heck with the brownie points.................

Discuss anything you want, and make the Sysop decide if the whole thing should be moved behind the new "iron curtain".

*** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden ,1910-2010

Peter36's picture

(post #75880, reply #30 of 46)

Ssshhhh. Big brother might be listening.

DougF's picture

(post #75880, reply #44 of 46)

Please take this to the cafe. 

nikkiwood's picture

(post #75880, reply #46 of 46)

<<<"Please take this to the cafe.>>>

Huh?? Take what to the cafe?

*** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden ,1910-2010

JRuss's picture

(post #75880, reply #31 of 46)

We have lost the ability, for complex reasons, to profitably produce certain items, mostly unskilled or semi skilled services and manufactured products for say a 20% to 50% mark up. However, because we are a highly educated country and allow the best and brightest from other nations to continue to immigrate to this country and increase our intellectual edge, we have switched from low mark up products to high skilled value added products and services with 100% and more mark up. Most of us and the country are doing just fine. The challenge for America is not to dwell on what was, but to make sure we keep ahead of the competition intellectually. The race is not machines, natural resources, or even military, it's the education and training of our most precious resource, our people.

We don't care if every nation on earth goes to the moon as long as we're the only ones looking back at them from Mars.

Never serious, but always right.
Never serious, but always right.
chills1994's picture

(post #75880, reply #32 of 46)

Thanks everyone for your response. 

Yes, at some point this thread should have been booted to the behind locked doors Cafe.

I had a big old long rant ready to go here, but I deleted it.  Being a union carpenter/millwright, you can imagine what kind of tone it would have taken. 

What's the point?  Most people won't get it any way, or they just don't care.

Yes, MR.  MODERATOR, I started this thread.  Please, kick the whole thing to the Cafe.

sp8zzz2's picture

(post #75880, reply #33 of 46)

Very introspective Russ. But I don't know if the bulk of the people in this country are as educated as you may think we are. I could list a dozen examples of a growing intellectual inferiority of this country (as opposed to lets say Canada) and you could probably list as many pointing in the other direction.

JRuss's picture

(post #75880, reply #34 of 46)

I'm afraid that may be true. But the emphasis on No Child Left Behind and although they don't want to admit it, national testing, means someone's aware and thinking about it. However, our deficit's may not allow us the resources to fund education and compete. Ans successfully compete we must.

Never serious, but always right.
Never serious, but always right.
sp8zzz2's picture

(post #75880, reply #38 of 46)

Russ, Gregk1 post #22513.36 proves my point about the growing intellectual inferiority of this country.

JRuss's picture

(post #75880, reply #39 of 46)


Never serious, but always right.
Never serious, but always right.
frenchy's picture

(post #75880, reply #37 of 46)


 If you read the handwriting on the wall China already showed how it intends to annex Tiawan.  The issue really has been settled and everybody is now just going thru the moves.

       Spending 14 billion will only provide China with American technology, but since China is a slow dragon (except when provoked)  the matter may well be mote by the time China has fully annexed Tiawan.  The US will only sell short range defencesive type missles Something that China has had a hand at making for decades now.. Oh sure we may provide China with a few neat little nuances in our more sophisticated missles but theirs work OK already..

gregk1's picture

(post #75880, reply #35 of 46)

I think the Chinese should design all the boxes for their tools to look like giant fortune cookies. Then their would be no mistake where they come from. Plus, those Chinese that hide in the shipping containers could feed on them during the trip.

Peter36's picture

(post #75880, reply #36 of 46)

Hey Greg, if they taught you to read in Redneck piece of sh*t school then you could probably see the words made in China written on it. Hey maybe you could get some of those giant fortune cookies and feed the youngin's when the squirrel supply runs low huh?        Peter

nikkiwood's picture

(post #75880, reply #4 of 46)

I think marko got it right -- doesn't matter where it's made. What does matter is if the company marketing the saw is setting the specs, and monitoring the completed product, and then standing behind it if anything does go wrong.

Rikon is fairly new to the US market, so I would be extra careful; maybe try to find a half dozen names of people who have bought the tool you are considering, and see what they think of it.

BTW, my theory is the more we buy from China, the less likely there will be a conflict between us and them. The larger issue is what this country will do when China finally makes its move to take over Taiwan -- which is inevitable.

*** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden ,1910-2010

WillGeorge's picture

(post #75880, reply #5 of 46)

Taiwan is Part of China!! At least they think so....

China just made a law about Taiwan..

China puts threat to Taiwan into law

Beijing/Taipei, March 14 (Reuters): China passed a law today granting itself the right to attack Taiwan if it moves towards formal independence, drawing protests from the island and a rebuke from Washington.

I have the 18 inch Rikon and am pleased with it...

No markings on the saw about China OR Taiwan.. Small installation manual states printed in China..


Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

GLAUCON's picture

(post #75880, reply #6 of 46)

[Taiwan is Part of China!! At least they think so....China just made a law about Taiwan.. China puts threat to Taiwan into law

Beijing/Taipei, March 14 (Reuters): China passed ...]

Could be a problem... as some reports have pegged Taiwan as having 2 nuclear weapons and medium range surface to surface misssile capability, as well as their own native fighter aircraft/interceptor program... Strangelovian...? 

Might want to buy the saw now (and get spare parts...)



If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

AntzyClancy's picture

(post #75880, reply #7 of 46)

Tarifs aren't going to happen. If we tariff their products, then they tariff ours. Then we pay more money for stuff, and lose jobs. Then the economy tanks! Thankfully Washington knows this, so it will (should) never happen.

cherryjohn's picture

(post #75880, reply #8 of 46)

Save the debate and buy a Laguna

Wicked Decent Woodworks

Rochester NH

" If the women dont find you handsome, they should at least find you handy........yessa!"

Wicked Decent Woodworks

(oldest woodworking shop in NH)

Rochester NH

" If the women dont find you handsome, they should, at least, find you handy........"