So where is the Axminster Hobby TS-200 Table Saw Actually Made?


#1

Well, a little while back i took delivery of my new shiny Axminster Hobby TS-200 Table Saw Complete Package…

Now I though Axminster prided itself on manufacturing its own brand of tools…so I got a bit of shock when I saw this label on the box that contained the actual table saw…!! so whats going on Axminster???


#2

Axminster do make some of their own branded tools (e.g. the wood turning chucks) but many (probably a vast majority) of the machinery will be made in the far east. Generally it’ll be a standard design that’s painted and re-badged for the end retailer. E.g. there’s a surface planer (jointer) that’s sold by Screwfix, from at least three different brand names; all different colours and all with subtle changes, but it’s clearly the same unit, likely originating from the same Chinese factory.

It’s a fact of life with modern trade I’m afraid. You could have a completely UK made TS-200, but expect to pay significantly more for it due to the higher cost of the labour (and, frankly, more stringent quality control).

Fettle the TS-200, and unless you’ve been unlucky enough to get a dud, you’ll have a perfectly decent little tablesaw, for a very good price. Alternatively, buy an Austrian made Hammer table saw… starting at around 3,000 euros :wink:


#3

Hi, Gordon…
Thanks for your comment, and yes in the most part I concur with your comments, but, and it’s a BIG ‘BUT’…I don’t recall Axminster stating anywhere that their ‘Axminster’ branded machinery is manufactured overseas… Whereas I do see a lot on their site about their huge factory that manufactures their ‘own brand’ goods, and exemplifying the fact that it’s ‘made in the UK’… of course they don’t actually state particular items they manufacture with the exception of woodturning lathe chucks… But certainly give the impression, so far as I was concerned, that own brand items are manufactured here in the UK…

That’s the reason I was somewhat taken aback to find a label stating ‘Country of Origin - China’ on the box…

So far as the table saw is concerned, I though I might do an honest and basic DIY woodworkers assessment of how the machine went together and how I’ve found it in use… in non-to distant future…complete with photos (which I took as I was unboxing and later assembling the table saw (full package purchase with sliding crosscut table and extension).


#4

The ‘factory’ at Axminster in Devon isn’t really all that large, but it does contain some very posh and very sophisticated CNC machines, which are geared up to produce the ‘in house’ products which are actually made on site. Imagine if you will, the sort of plant needed to produce ALL their machinery and hand tools so that they could carry ‘Made in Axminster, Devon, England’ badge…it would take up five times as much room as Wembley Stadium! As Gordon has rightly said, the _modus operandi of current manufacturing procedures that stuff is inevitably made in the Far East and shipped world wide…even Powermatic machinery isn’t made in the USA any more.


#5

Thank you for insight Rob…my comment was that Axminster prided itself on making its own…thats all…so thinking I was buying something that was at the very least ‘assembled’ in the UK was what I was expecting!

As a bolt-on to this during my spare time recently I decided to trawl through all of Axminsters web site footers and T&C’s just to see if there was any mention of their items not beiong made in the UK (under EU law items ‘assembled’ in a country from parts made elsewhere can carry the ‘Made-in’ label of the country where they were ‘assembled’)…but alas not…the only reference being to 'items made worldwide, which is representative of items obviously manufactured overseas, as in the USA, Canada, Japan etc…which Axminster sell in their stores.

Other than that I definitely get the impression that is given is that axminsters own brand items are ‘made in the UK’… So whatever views might be held about where items may actually be manufacturered,. and that one should expect to get items ‘made in China’ as ‘stuff is inevitably made in the Far East and shipped world wide’… I think it would nice to be at least be made aware of the fact…after all, even the Chinese put ‘made in China’ on their goods, do they not, whereas (except for that label in the photo - which was on an 'outer box carton - not the axminster carton inside it) I see no indication whatsoever on the goods I received to suggest it was ‘made in China’…and the only thing on the table saw itself is an Axminster logo.

I hope this answers your response…and whilst I do of course realise that other countries manufacture goods and parts, when something is made in China, I would expect to be able to discern that fact at the time I was ordering - not following my purchase by discovering a label on an outer packaging box, that I think was not meant to be there - in so much as it would notmally be removed exposing the Axminster box within - with no tell-tale ‘made in China’ markings…!!


#6

This is an interesting one to ponder. Looking at the ‘Evolution’ range of turning gear, for example the excellent SK114 chuck, it appears that sometimes the info says it’s ‘Made in Axminster using CNC techniques’ and at other times it doesn’t. I can only assume that if it doesn’t say on the website that it’s made or at least assembled in the UK, then by default it must be produced elsewhere.
One slight exception is the ‘Rider’ range of bench planes. These are made in India and are generally pretty good value (I have two and can vouch for them), but each one is stripped down, checked and re-assembled in Axminster where it says on the website 'Every plane undergoes careful inspection in Axminster to ensure consistent quality
One answer of course would be to provide much more detailed information about exactly where each piece of machinery or hand tool is made, but that would be a gargantuan task to trawl through and amend each relevant entry on the website.


#7

WHAT!!! Powermatic is no longer made in the USA? Having recently purchased a Powermatic 3520 wood turning lathe for over £3,000 from Axminster I am quite shocked as I really believed it was made in America. I have just read through all the information for my lathe and also all the online descriptions on the Axminster site and everything leads you to believe that Powermatic design and build most everything. There is no mention anywhere that I can find that says “Made in China”.

I would still have bought the machine if I had known it was Asia built and in practice its a beautiful piece of kit. I would however have considered the price a little more carefully and would probably have looked at other makes.

Maybe a little more transparency is needed Axminster although I am totally happy with my lathe and in particular the customer service I had in the ordering, after sales and the superb delivery arrangements.


#8

V Yes, an interesting one to ponder…I can only guess that that the laws on goods must have changed, as I was of the view that all goods, regardless of where they were made, had to carry the name of the country of manufacture… so the planes you refer to if made in India should carry some form of marking to say so…unless the parts are shipped here and Axminster check and then assemble them in the UK to get around that…?

I did read in a Good Woodworking magazine that the American Machines referred to in the other post here were now being manufactured outside the USA… So knowing how the Americans are (the majority of my family are Americans) about supporting and buying goods of US manufacture (Shame we’re not the same), I would not be surprised to see sales of their goods in the USA take a down-turn…

As for the issues of stating which country manufactures what items are offered for sale…do you really think it is such a big issue to simply state in the sales blurb on a web site…’This product is manufactured in China/India…or elsewhere…I don’t…but Axminster perhaps might do…as I am sure if they have chosen to do this, they are obviously getting the machines manufactured there for greater profitability.

Whilst I don’t have a problem with that, I might well have considered an alternative, as stated in the other post, rather than buying a machine manufactured in China… Whilst The machine is certainly better than the much cheaper one I previously owned, I think it would have been better for Axminster to be up-front about where the machines are made, as opposed to leaving it to be discovered…by seeing the external shipping carton with the label attached…

It might also be interesting to see if anyone else who has purchased the TS 200 tablesaw also had it arrive with the external shipping carton on with the label displaying ‘country of origin - China’ on, and what their perceptions are on this…or whether the outer shipping carton with that label had been removed prior to them picking it up or getting delivery…or if they even noticed…?


#9

As for the issues of stating which country manufactures what items are offered for sale…do you really think it is such a big issue to simply state in the sales blurb on a web site

Stating the country of origin is relatively easy to do as information is generated for new equipment and thus a new page on the website; it’s much more problematic to retro-amend existing pages and it’s somewhat doubtful that the company would allocate a very substantial number of ‘people’ hours for this task.

Carrying the argument through to a logical conclusion, all products should then state a country origin. When you consider the ‘logistics’ involved of sorting through around 17,000 lines (clearly not all of these are machinery) it would become an onerous, impractical and almost impossible task, would it not?


#10

Indeed. And then you get into the question of where the parts came from. A Mini may be made in Oxford, but the engines (and I believe the gearboxes) used to come from France. The latest engines are BMW, so I assume made in Germany.

Heck, Apple’s iPad (“Designed in California assembled in China”) uses Samsung screens (so likely “made in South Korea”)!


#11

Actually, no…I don’t think it would, adding a short line of text nowadays to a web page is easy and takes seconds…


#12

Gordon… Did you actually read the posts concerning where a product is ‘assembled’ or ‘manufactured’…?

If your car of many parts from all over is finally assembled on an ‘assembly-line’ in the UK, then according to the law it was ‘made’ in the UK… I.e. the whole car as purchased… you didn’t purchase the individual parts You purchased the finished ‘as built’ item…


#13

So if Axminster bought the machine in China and screwed in an additional bolt or two and claimed it was “Made in UK” you’d be happy?

I think it is a common knowledge that most tools and machinery (if not most all things) are made in the Far East at least in part. We’re a global economy. Even your Makita and Bosch whose brands are built on German or Japanese reputations are likely largely “Made in China”.

As an aside, the way the Far East economies are growing and standard of manufacture improves all the time I don’t actually even see this as a big deal. Much of the quality gap many exaggerate. I’ve seen plenty of bad tools Made in USA or Germany etc.


#14

Stu - I did read the posts; and think Tim’s summed up my point in a much more succinct way (an additional bolt).

Adding a short line of text to a web page may be easy (depending on how the web pages are constructed from a back-end system). You would also have to add said fields to the database for retrieval, and (here’s the killer) ensure the data is correct for all of the products you sell. I suspect there may also be some legal need to ensure the data is kept up to date; as you could get yourself into trouble by claiming a product was made in one locale when that was no longer true. That’s going to take quite a few seconds…


#15

Agreed.

Related, does anyone know of any retailer who lists the country of manufacture on their website? I’ve just looked at the big boys (Screwfix etc) and they don’t…


#16

OK, Guys… My point was other than the label on outside carton, there is no indication to say where the product was manufactured - and Axminster give the impression that their own brand goods are made in the UK… HOWEVER: Since getting into this debate i have found that I am wrong…and i am honest enough to admit it… within the ‘Brochure’ for TS 200 Table saw which I went through again is this statement under the heading of ‘Declaration of Conformity’:

Anyways…

Tim - ‘Assembled’ means what it says - adding a couple of nuts and bolts to an already assembled machine is not 'assembly…!!..at least not in my dictionary or so far as I can ascertain in EU law concerning same.

Gordon…I dont think I need to go into the technical aspects of amending text a web site - primary school kids do it these days…and if Axminster can amend a price on anything simply, an extra couple of words will make not an ounce if difference.

Tim…the reason not everyone adds details to the website on where a product is made is simple - it normally says so in the manual (which I completely missed - as its under the ‘declaration of Conformity’ heading) or usually its clearly marked on the goods themselves in the majority of instances - the Axminsters table saw is not marked other than with their own logo…but as I noted above, it does have a ‘declaration of conformity’ in the brochure (which I admit I did not notice before).

I now understand that recent changes in EU law now mean that imported goods no longer need to be labelled with the country of origin - see item 6 on this web page: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/frequently-asked-questions/customs-11_en#6 - However, is this a step forward or a step backward…?

I personally feel its a step backward for consumers… but if you guys are happy to defend that ambuguity thats fine by me, but i doubt that I need to tell you that goods from the far east are not generally as high in quality as those similar items actually made in places in the world that have higher standards.

Generally across the board EU standards are lower than those that the UK traded under previously, and apply to all areas of manufacture and construction, which is probably why our manufacturing industries have lost their place in many areas as ‘World Class’…

Endex.


#17

Primary school kids don’t maintain commerce websites for huge companies. The scaling issues are complex (believe me - I work in this area). The technical side of adding the ability to store and display a country of origin would probably only be a few days of coding and testing, but collecting and updating the data for thousands of products would be a huge task.

Not sure I’d agree about EU standards being lower than the UK. Sure, a 100 year old Sheffield handsaw was superb, but I’d rather own a Felder or Bosch or Festool power tool than any UK manufacturer I can think of. Not that I can really think of any UK manufacturer of power tools; as I suspect most are made in the far east.

Our manufacturing industries have mostly lost out because it’s much cheaper to build products in countries with lower wage levels (and, let’s be honest, rather more lax application of health care, working hours, and employee rights). See the likes of Apple occasionally feigning surprise when a journalist details working conditions at Chinese factories.


#18

I think you answered your own question on UK manufacturers there Gordon, and although they are made cheap, that is not reflected generally in the retail price…it’s just additional profit margin…
Standards have slipped, I have worked in construction as an Engineer all my life, and without doubt, EU standards are lower… unfortunately it is disasters like Grenfell that will tell the tale…I just hope in that case justice prevails and it does not just come to finding scapegoats…as lower standards of EU approved materials will no doubt be a contributing cause…


#19

Just to remind you again how many product lines Axminster carry…it’s around 17,000!


#20

I really don’t recall stating that I expected Axminster to have this sorted out by tomorrow morning…lol… in fact I. Don’t recall setting any deadlines, only that I thought it should be done, and that I thought it would not be too onerous a task or take that long to achieve…

Let’s put it another way, if the Board of Directors at Axminster decided today at their board meeting to increase the price on the whole range of goods they sell by 10% for start of business on Monday next, do you think it would be achievable…or do you think the IT Manager would be telling the Board ‘Sorry guys, impossible, it’s gonna take of month of Sunday’s to do this at least, we have over 17000 items you know’…!!

No, nor do I…

Ergo, it’s an achievable aim, even it it was, let’s say programmed to be done in the background over a number of weeks, tested, and then going live…

I do think in hindsight it would be good for business if companies were more ‘up-front’ with their customers on this, and provided information to them on the ‘Country of origin’ of goods they are selling, when their customers are looking at those goods, and before making a decision to purchase… I think Customer’s would appreciate that, I know I would… and I think it would be a good addition to the level of ‘Customer Service’ offered…

What I have exampled in these posts I hope, is that Axminster gives the impression that that their own brand is ‘made in the UK’…that’s the definite impression I had by looking at and reading the info they put out on their web site…which is my main means of looking at their range and ordering…
In addition, nowhere on the Axminster site does it state or imply that any of their own brand goods are in fact manufactured overseas…

As it turns out there is a source of information on this, but in the case of the TS 200 Saw Table, it’s contained within the machines manual under the heading of ‘Declaration of Conformity’, which is a statement saying the machine complies with the relevant EU standards applicable related to safety in its design…

I would argue that most people would not look at this statement (as I did not), knowing that it referred to such… However, that the very place Axminster chose to place the information on the ‘Country of Origin’ of the machine…

I only spotted the ‘Country of Origin’ when I saw the label at the head of this thread on the outside of shipping carton, following delivery and prior to unboxing the equipment. Inside that carton was an Axminster box with no such information on it…

I did not buy this machine from an Axminster store, so I cannot say if at a store the outer shipping carton would have been removed exposing the Axminster box (with no such information), had I gone in a store to buy and collect it…?? But I expect that very well might be the case…

In those circumstances, I could well have bought the machine, got it home, set it up, read the instructions, ignoring the bit on ‘Delcaration of Conformity’…as you do…and been blissfully unaware of the fact that this machine was made anywhere else than by Axminster in the UK…!!

I hope by now you are getting my drift…

So, yes, I think being up-front with your Customers and including information on the ‘Country of Origin’ in the information available on the items web page is a good idea…

As I mentioned above, EU law has now changed so there’s is no requirement to place information on the item itself relating to it’s country of origin…and you make of that what you wish, I think it’s a retrograde step…and a further degeneration of EU standards…

Lastly Woodman, may I ask if you work for Axminster? As your comments seem not so much an arguement on the topic as a defence of Axminster…

Personally, on bringing this matter to the forum I was thinking ‘Customer’…but it seems the respondents are more interested in defending Axminster, by placing presumed obstacles in the way of simply providing information where it can be clearly and plainly observed prior to making a purchase…

I rest my case!