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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Default Triton Routers

I thought I should write a short piece to try to explain, and remove a few misconceptions, about Triton brand routers.

Firstly, perhaps the most interesting, and for some the most contentious, piece of information is the simple fact that they are manufactured in Taiwan. They are distributed by several distributors throughout the world under the Triton, and also the CMT brand names.

At the moment, Triton brand products are marketed by a company that is registered in Switzerland, but with the main sales force in Somerset, England - Powerbox. Now, far be it for me to suggest that the reason Powerbox is registered in Switzerland is to "help" their tax situation - but you get the general idea anyway.

However, you will also find that the routers that are branded as "Triton" are also sold under the CMT brand - the tool maker in Italy that I'm sure you are all familiar with. I say this to help those with fears that their "Triton" brand router may be under some sort of future cloud regarding the spare parts situation: just get the parts from CMT - simple.

It is interesting to see that the "Triton" branded routers seem to have greater horsepower than the CMT branded routers - despite identical motors and gearing. But, this is all part of the world of marketing, where white can really be sold as blue - if you look at it under a blue light, that is.

More to the point, perhaps, is the related fact that there are no small electric hand tools made in either Europe or the USA these days. They are ALL manufactured (although not marketed) in various Asian Pacific rim countries, including China (everyones bugbear these days), Korea (as the Triton/CMT routers), Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, etc.

So, relax a little when it comes to defending your own country's products - they aren't. Chose the best tool for the job you have in mind and try not to get sucked into the marketing lies told by salesmen who only want your money. And, yes, I realize that there will be several salesmen that will argue and defend their own products. But the proof of manufacture can only be a photograph of the actual production line showing the machine in process of manufacture - not just the attachment of the power cord and the boxing up of the product, yes?

Out of interest, I have a Triton branded router instead of the CMT equivalent - which is the router most seen here in Italian workshops. Why? I needed the "collet set, rather than just the 12mm set that is standard on the European models as I have quite a few " cutters and I am a tight-wad when it comes to spending even more of my hard-earned on adapters and converters - I also rather like my cutter to be held by the collet directly, rather than through more bits of metal that might 'let go' at very inopportune moments. Simple, eh?

Happy, and successful woodworking!

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:16 AM
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For many years products made in Taiwan have passed far better quality controls than ones made in mainland China. I still have in regular use a drill press, mill and jointer, all made in Taiwan and bought in the early 80's.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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For many years products made in Taiwan have passed far better quality controls than ones made in mainland China. I still have in regular use a drill press, mill and jointer, all made in Taiwan and bought in the early 80's.
An interesting thought, but not one that holds up under the cold light of day.

For example; Apple have all of their products made in China - hardly a brand that is associated with poor quality, surely?

No, the reason for many Chinese-made products being of such relatively poor quality is the fact that they are made to a price that is demanded by the marketing companies in the western world. Made DOWN to a price, I mean, of course.

If you are old enough, you may recall that products made in Japan used to be regarded as poor quality copies of the "original" products made in whatever western country you happened to be living in. Nowadays, Japanese-made products are considered the best the world (assuming even they are actually made in Japan now, that is...).
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 12:42 PM
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Totally agree with both Harry and Peter. With the machines that I repair, and the companies I worke(d) for sell, it was/is the same way. After you could no longer purchase an American made metal cutting machine (late 70's -'80's) ( Metal cutting Lathes & Milling Machine), your best imported lathe was a Mazak, that was made in Japan. The company I work for sells a brand that is a step under Mazak, which is Kingston which is one of many copies of the Mazak line. Kingston went a step further then the other copiers and sold two lines, both the exact same machines, as far as looks (paint color). One line was made in China and the other in Taiwan. The China machines sold for thousands less, and you got exactly what you paid for. The China machines were "night and day" cheaper built then the Taiwanese ones. So much so, that we no longer sell the Chinese machines.

And I use to work for a company that sold one of the other many copies, Hercules-Ajax. And I remember many times, when I worked for the company that sold the Hercules-Ajax machines, if their importer was out of a particular model, they would buy one from the other local dealer (the company I work for now) and they would just paint the machine the right color and change the name tags, and the customer didn't know the difference!

But yea, as with the routers, Japan, Taiwan, and then China would be the order from good to junk.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 04:55 PM
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Peter, you have confirmed what I have been saying about Triton for the last few years.

There was even a post not long ago that suggested that Triton was owned by Kregg? That made me smile.

Also in regard to "Chinese quality", I was told that in band saws, for example, the brand owner [for want of a better word] can specify what bearings are used( cheap or imported) in the manufacture.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 05:27 PM
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Peter, you have confirmed what I have been saying about Triton for the last few years.

There was even a post not long ago that suggested that Triton was owned by Kregg? That made me smile.

Also in regard to "Chinese quality", I was told that in band saws, for example, the brand owner [for want of a better word] can specify what bearings are used( cheap or imported) in the manufacturer.

I think Kreg has a USA distributorship of , not ownership of Triton.

As to the "Chinese Quality" thing, Panasonic used to do just that with VCR's. The machines they built for other brands had different mixes of different quality parts depending on that OEM's specs. The Panasonic branded machines had top grade components. A GE branded machine looked the same, but had the lowest grade parts Panasonic would sell. Many other brand were somewhere in between.

I think the same is true with Chinese machinery. Most major brands have QC people on the floor the plant to monitor quality of material and workmanship. Lesser brands don't and as mentioned, build to a low price point.

Brand name is much less an indication of quality than it used to be!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 05:33 PM
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Hi Duane,

The original quote was "and a Triton TRA001 Router (Made in China of Swiss parts but owned by Kreg) ".

You could see why this made me smile.

James
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:08 PM
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Hi Duane,

The original quote was "and a Triton TRA001 Router (Made in China of Swiss parts but owned by Kreg) ".

You could see why this made me smile.
Yes, James, I can. That's one of the problems with the internet, being able to sift the truth from among the fiction!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 09:13 PM
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Suggested reading: Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the China Production Game

It's a "Get what you pay for" game. Pay for the necessary QC to make sure your products are manufactured to your specs or take what they give you. Companies like Apple and Powermatic pay for QC and charge accordingly but you might notice their products aren't exactly in the middle-to-bottom end of the price spectrum.....

Other so-called manufacturers look at the bottom line: Where can we make a decent profit given that we will have to refund/replace/service a given number of units? Pure and simple, it's a bottom-line decision. Sorry to break the news but there ain't no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Best case is they're new to the business and naive, ignorant of how the game is played, go out of business and leave their customers hanging out to dry. Worst case is that they have it all figured out: you get a bad tool be prepared to fight to the bitter end.

Sorry to inform you but TANSTAAFL(There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) is as valid a concept today as it was 80 years ago. If you can buy a tool from Horror Freight(just an example, there's one near my house and I use it for consumables) for 1/3 the cost from a reputable manufacturer there's a reason. And it ain't because they like you and want to do you a favor.... It's because they figure they can sell enough cheap crap to people who don't know better that they can make a profit after taking into account the amount of product they'll get back in returns. Business math, bottom line rules, forget about the customer. Give the tiny minority that knows enough to complain a refund or replacement, shear the rest of the sheep and pocket the proceeds.

It's a global economy. My Bosch router was "Assembled in Mexico", Lord only knows where the parts came from. Ditto my Porter-Cable routers. Something, maybe my Dewalts were assembled in Brazil( and who can trace the provenance of the parts?). My Festools say they were "Made in Germany" but who knows where the resistors in the speed controls came from?

About the only thing that I can be sure of is that the manufacturers of the tools I buy have a good reputation for quality assurance, customer service and have been in business long enough that I can have a reasonable expectation that they will still be around if I need support.

Just my $.02 worth,
Bill

P.S. Harry, are dollars Metric? They're base 10....

Last edited by billg71; 01-08-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
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Yes, James, I can. That's one of the problems with the internet, being able to sift the truth from among the fiction!
The problem is, I believe the poster was told this by "Kreg's people". Or he believes he was?

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