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Jeff Wisnia
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Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent ElectricDrill Accident)

LBailey wrote:

Don't buy Chinese products.

Larry Bailey
Illegitimi non carborundum

That's near impossible to do with so many things these days. You'd be spending
most of your shopping time trying to find a source of what you needed that
*wasn't* made in China.

Speaking of "dangerous tools": Two weeks ago I succumbed to temptation and
bought one of those Remington pole saws (a lightweight 10 inch electric chain
saw on a telescoping pole.) to help me trim back some of the tree branches which
persist in seeking the open spaces over our backyard. (Because every other
direction is blocked by more trees, those trees aren't dumb.). I'd been using
one of those pull rope loppers, but some of the branches which I wanted to cut
were too large for it.

Anyway, the pole saw worked as advertised albeit it's reach wasn't as great as I
would have hoped for. But, the clamp which you tighten to lock the telescoping
pole sections where you want them is pure ****e for the job it has to do. It's a
plastic collet clamping on a shiny fiberglass pole. The collet is closed by a
threaded plastic ring with a ribbed outer surface. Looks OK in principle, but it
would take King Kong to tighten it enough by hand to keep those pole sections
locked in use. And, the (rather crummy) manual which came with the product
specifically warns NOT to use tools to tighten the clamp. Even with work gloves
on I can't tighten it enough to lock it up.

So, after a few seconds of use, the handle at the bottom of the pole, which
contains the saw's trigger switch and it's safety unlock button, twists around
relative to the chainsaw bar at the other end of the pole until I'm turning my
hand and wrist into a pretzel trying to operate the switch, and by then my grip
on that handle is far from stable. Now, I think I'm smart enough to know when to
quit when this happens, but it sure seems like an inadequate design to me, and
there's something about the warning not to use tools to tighten the clamp that
makes me think the manufacturer must know that too.

I Googled around and found that several other people had the exactly the same
complaint about this product in their product reviews of it.

An email a week ago to the "manufacturer" (DESA) has produced nothing but a
question asking me if the collet part was turning relative to the pole it's
attached to, and I immediately responded that it wasn't that, but the collet
"jaws" themselves which were slipping on the pole they were clamping. Nothing
has been heard from them since then.

Before someone suggests I drill a few holes right through both pole sections in
several places and stick a bolt through them to fix the pole length where I want
it at the time, let me point out that there's a coiled electrical cord running
up through the pole, so that approach won't be as easy as it sounds.

I think I'll just return the darned thing to Lowes this weekend. Don Foreman
tipped me off about "High Limb Chain Saws" (A few feet of chain saw blade
between two ropes that you toss over the limb and "shoe shine" back and forth.)
I bought one, and it works great, and reaches a LOT higher that that electric
pole saw.

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"Success is getting what you like; Happiness is liking what you get."

"Richard J Kinch" wrote in message
The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So

of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual

tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere

because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?