Saturday, March 17, 2012

V3.12 - Drill Press: Why no Parts?

Last week, we were talking about the way tool companies supply their replacement parts, and we started outlining how Delta got into such a hole with theirs. The thing is that once Delta got taken over by the portable tool folks (first Porter-Cable, then Black & Decker) the idea of supplying parts for decades went down the drain. Truthfully, there is quite a lot of difference in the philosophy behind supplying parts for portable tools and for stationary machines. P-C & B&D just never did ‘get it’.
Sadly, it was about to get worse.

In the grand scheme of parts, once B&D had fully taken Delta over, it was not unheard of for them to discontinue a tool and immediately no longer have any parts for it. No one was doing that ‘long-distance planning’ that I told you about last week. In the portable tool world, one could buy a drill for 40 bucks, use it for a year or two and they’ve pretty much gotten their money’s worth out of it. Not so for someone who bought a lathe for 500 bucks and then, a year later, can’t get a drive belt for it. THAT is what Delta is dealing with right now. B&D would not get a supply of replacement parts for future support of Delta tools. In fact, I know of several instances where a tool is currently being marketed and sold and a customer has a need for a part and that part is ‘cannot furnish’. This is NOT what a customer wants to hear… this is one of the reasons that B&D sold off the Delta brand last February. The lack of foresight of B&D has really put those guys in a hole. Eventually, they will climb out of it, but it’s going to be a while. I suppose, being honest again, if I were in the market for a new drill press, and I were considering a Delta, I would make sure that it was made after 2010. I do know the ‘new Delta guys’ and they are committed to supporting their products, but they’ve been left holding an empty bag. I have even done some consulting for them and we’re working thru issues one at a time. If they can hang on, I know it will turn around.

It’s always important to consider the company you’re buying items from, or at least I do. I try my best to support businesses that employ our citizens. Think this means “Buy American”? You’re absolutely correct. Fortunately, even though a tool may be manufactured outside of our country, ‘tool service’ is still a homegrown effort. So, even when a machine is made in China, you can bet that you’ll be talking to someone in the USA if you have questions about it.

Next week, we’ll wrap up our Drill Press review.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you.

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