The Made In The USA Thread

Let’s talk about Stuff We Like That’s Made In The USA.

My sister inherited most of the camping gear of my father, which included an old Estwing Sportsman’s Axe. I used it many times and so did she, as it was a staple around our many campsites growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. Feelings of nostalgia struck, so…

I recently bought a new production version of the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe for about $35, which is still made in the USA. Our dad’s has a really nice but very old leather sheath and the new one I bought has a really nice and rugged synthetic cordura/nylon sheath of some kind. Otherwise it seems to be the same rugged and well-made tool, so far as I can tell. The stacked leather handle feels great in the hand. I’d like to get them side-by-side to compare.

This is a very rigid and small all-steel hatchet, so it will carry more shock compared to a wooden handle hatchet or small forest axe in a similar blade form factor. That’s the price you pay for wielding a nearly indestructible hatchet that’s still made in the USA.

This hatchet has a much narrower blade profile than a wooden-handle hatchet. You don’t need to shape the whole metal component of the blade around a large wooden handle. It is much more blade-like than any wooden handle hatchet or axe. That has a lot of advantages, including keeping the weight down.

Whether you are a backpacker, a car camper, a cabin camper, a pandemic camper, or a person who likes hatchets or may be considering the benefits of hatchet ownership, you should buy this Made In The USA product. It will work for decade after decade with plenty of abuse.

The patent filing of the basic design seems to be entering the 100 year mark, which I dig.


Some Lucchesse boots. Marketed as Lucchese Handmade 1883 Bart Ranch Hand Cowboy Boots.

Not sure how truly handmade they are but they are supposed to be made in the USA.

Solid boot that should get many years of use. Definitely a significant step up from the pair of Ariats I first got that were made in China.

Also my father owns a body shop/mechanic shop so I love every single over priced piece of Snap On he owns. Who doesn’t love a 500 dollar impact gun.

I remember when I used to try to cheap out by using pneumatic tools from Harbor Freight for like 50-80 bucks. Sometimes they wouldn’t even work when I plugged them in. Other times I would get like a week out of them before they stopped working. Of course that was years ago maybe their product lines have improved.

He also has some vintage Sears tools from when he first got started that have to be 40 + years old. Unfortunately the sears is all in standard sizes so kinda worthless these days. At least I never had to use any when I would work there.

Should also add thats a pretty sweet axe. Me and my roommate just set up a target in our back yard for axe throwing. For only a few bucks more we should have got an axe like that.

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This blurb here


Makes me so SO happy whenever I buy anything from Ironmind. And in the current state of home gym stuff, they STILL have products.

The things I love the most from them

The Apollon’s Axle


The Vulcan rack/dip station/chin station


The Buffalo Bar


And the 5 star bench press, rated to hold loads up to 4 THOUSAND pounds


I have even more of their products, and they’re all fantastic, but I don’t want to keep flooding this with gym porn


Eastwing are by far the best hammers one can have. When you grab one, it’s immediately clear that it is a superior tool.

My recent purchase, a Harris gas regulator for my welding set up, is a very good quality product. It cost me about 5x more than a typical off shore one, but I need stuff that works. I don’t like equipment on high pressure gas systems that haven’t been QA tested, or even inspected in the most cursory manner. Fragging a regulator when tapping a new tank is absolutely a thing, and I want no parts of it (embedded in me).

Pretty much all of my go-to tools are US made.

And it wouldn’t be a made in the USA humble brag without this-

I stand behind, or inside of everything I make… :grin:

But I don’t expect anybody to just run out and buy some fancy window stuff for their cathedral though. That gets pretty spendy, pretty quick.


I don’t particularly care about “Made in USA”, but I was born in Canada. I do care about quality in things that I use. Estwing is solid, I own roughly ten of their hammers and have had an axe and several hammers stolen from me. They are worth the money. Same with Ironmind stuff. It’s quality. I don’t buy it because of where it’s made, that’s stupid. I buy it because it’s good, and that’s how it should be. Buying inferior stuff just because it was made in the US or Canada just provides disincentive to be competitive. Give me a reason to buy it. I own a lot of Klein hand tools as well, because they are good tools. I own a lot od Milwaukee stuff, because it as historically always been better than the others. I don’t care if it’s more money. Pay once for the quality is better than paying often.

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You’re in the wrong thread.

That’s no excuse.


I hold dual citizenship, just to lead with that, to stave off whatever comes about not being American. I also made a point that matters. Where a thing is produced doesn’t matter if it’s junk, and the whole “Buy American” thing is a largely stupid concept. Americans make money from things not made in America, usually by exploiting people and workers somewhere with a lower standard of living and cheap labour. The “Buy American” attitude results in things like the US car industry in the 70’s - expensive junk built by overpaid people.

I genuinely don’t understand why you are posting this in this specific thread. It seems to go against the spirit of it, no?


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I suppose I don’t understand the sentiment of contrainianism purely for the sake of contrainianism. Seems exhausting.


America makes good barbells IMO. Rogue Ohio Power bar, Texas power and DL bars are great. My new favorite bar is the OMNI Viking Power Bar. It’s knurl can make a grown man cry during a hook grip deadlift (seriously it is the sharpest knurl I have felt). I think they are made in MN. Also, they are less expensive and use higher grade materials than Rogues offerings (which is not a hit on Rogue as I thought they were the best before experiencing OMNI’s fantastic bar).


I will say I am not impressed with Kabuki bars for the price. My gym has a few of the bars, and the only one I care for is the squat bar. The power bars I have used from them have a shiny coating on them, that makes them the most slippery power bar I have used.


Texas Power bars are the best, even better slightly rusted

The OMNI is better than Texas for power bars IMO (both are 28.5 mm shaft, but the OMNI uses better steel and the knurl is sharper). The Texas DL bar is the best DL bar I have used though.

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I’m saying it’s a bad rallying cry. All things being equal, buy local. Reward quality by buying it, which stimulates innovation as well as the manufacturer’s bank account.

I understand what you are saying: I don’t understand why you are saying it in this particular thread. It’s against the spirit of the thread. It could be expressed anywhere else.

Like, I’m not a big fan of modern bodybuilding, but I don’t go to the bodybuilding section of the forums and express that sentiment on the bodybuilding threads. I figure those folks are having their conversation and enjoying it and don’t need my opinion on the matter.


That knurling pictured looks like it was cut in instead of rolled. It’s like, perfect.

Some bars I’ve used it might as well have just been screen printed.

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I am not sure if cut or rolled TBH. I assume rolled (because of the tip of the point is a hole like a volcano). The steel they use has a tensile strength of 235 KPSI IIRC, so it is some strong stuff. I think Kabuki is a bit higher, but they ruined the bar I have used with a terrible coating.

Me neither. I find them in person to give unsolicited deadlift advice laced with insulting innuendo about steroid use, preferably while eating a giant turkey leg.

Back on topic, I’ve been a fan of St. Croix fishing poles for many years. My son will get his third for Christmas this year. He loves made-in-the-USA gear and it apparently has some “cool factor” with 19 year olds in my area.

Not all of their rods are made in the USA, but the ones I buy are and they are a joy to fish with. My kid loves his, especially reeling in big bass on his ultralight.

My sister has some of my dad’s St. Croix rods from the 1960s, still in good shape after decades of use.


I had to blow it way up to see that. Still, very quality. The dimple probably prevents serious/injurious abrasion. I’ve seen a few hand cut knurls with the points intact that would remove skin.

That is. I wonder if that’s actually necessary to prevent permanent deformation or if it’s more of an end user appeal thing.

Seems like it should be bombproof, but the last time I tried working through a chapter of “Strength Of Materials” or “Mechanics” I ended up in tears.

Fair enough. I’m still wonky from anesthesia maybe, had a colonoscopy yesterday/

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