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Thread: Altendorf - German made??

  1. #1

    Question Altendorf - German made??

    Recently on the lumberjocks web there was a discussion initiated by a Spanish woodworker about the advantages of European sliding saws. Well I never eally thought about and was interested enough to look into it. Everyone seemed to think that the German products were the best. Some posts were even snotty about it. But today while looking up Altendorf saws on E Bay I came acroos an Altendorf saw supposedly the best of the German saws. The post included a photo of the manufactureres info plate. Altendorf Sliding Table Saw Model: F92 - eBay (item 230480515709 end time Aug-25-10 14:22:50 PDT) Damn! this thing was made in China! Are all Altendorfs made in China?? Are Felders made there too??? Damn if I'm going to give up my rock solid American style Sawstop for some Chinese-made German saw. Is anyone familiar with the quality and origin of these "European" saws. Honestly, I'm bit bewildered after all the snooty insistence on getting a German made Altendorf.

  2. #2
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    I have some news for you Michael. You saw SS isn't manufactured in the US.

    IIRC, the only US manufactured saws left are Northfield and most of us can't justify the expense.
    Ken

  3. #3
    Brendan Davis Guest
    Ken, doesnt Delta also manufacure the Unisaw in the USA? I could be mistaken. (Unless you are just refering to Sliding)

    Sorry to get off topic OP.

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    Brendan,

    They might.

    I'll have to check on that one.
    Ken

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    Not sure what the reality and the US situation are, but over here Altendorf offer an openly Chinese made saw. So far as I remember they say it's made under their supervision. It's certainly a very solid looking saw, and not noticeably tacky in any way - but it would need to be as it's by no means cheap coming in at Felder or even a bit higher prices.

    There's then a German made model, it's a lot more expensive and I think may include some fancy electronics for fence positioning and so on.

    I've no idea how they perform...

    ian

  6. #6
    Yes, there's been a made in China Altendorf for a while. No, it's not a secret. Many of the other German companies have select products which are made there as well. If you're concerned about the country of origin, there may always be parts that are made elsewhere too.

    The German products are the best in sliding table saws. Have a look at Martin. The refinements on those and the accessories are light years beyond what people think of as table saws here in the US.

  7. #7
    Ken,

    Your right. I know its made in Tawain for Sawstop. That does'nt surprise anyone sadly. But I'm still surprised that the highly touted "German" products are Chinese. Its really scary to think where this is all going. By the way, I think the Delta unisaw is made in the U.S. Well thanks to all for the input. Life's a continual learning curve.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by michael case View Post
    Ken,

    Your right. I know its made in Tawain for Sawstop. That does'nt surprise anyone sadly. But I'm still surprised that the highly touted "German" products are Chinese. Its really scary to think where this is all going. By the way, I think the Delta unisaw is made in the U.S. Well thanks to all for the input. Life's a continual learning curve.
    LOL - the "highly touted" products are still made in Germany. It's only the cheap ones, albeit from well known high end manufacturers, that are made in China. Cheap is of course a relative word when some machines have starting prices higher than inexpensive cars. Buttfering also started making a sander in China around the same time as Altendorf started making a saw there.

    I think you'd be surprised by the level of quality in those machines.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael case View Post
    Recently on the lumberjocks web there was a discussion initiated by a Spanish woodworker about the advantages of European sliding saws. Well I never eally thought about and was interested enough to look into it. Everyone seemed to think that the German products were the best. Some posts were even snotty about it. But today while looking up Altendorf saws on E Bay I came acroos an Altendorf saw supposedly the best of the German saws. The post included a photo of the manufactureres info plate. Altendorf Sliding Table Saw Model: F92 - eBay (item 230480515709 end time Aug-25-10 14:22:50 PDT) Damn! this thing was made in China! Are all Altendorfs made in China?? Are Felders made there too??? Damn if I'm going to give up my rock solid American style Sawstop for some Chinese-made German saw. Is anyone familiar with the quality and origin of these "European" saws. Honestly, I'm bit bewildered after all the snooty insistence on getting a German made Altendorf.
    I looked at the Altendorf about 3 years ago. At the time, they had one machine that was Chinese made. I believe that was the model WA-8 or something like that. The F-45 was made in Germany. I don't recall seeing an F-92 although I admit that I may have the model numbers reversed. I don't know if that has changed. Comparing the two models, there was a significant difference in quality and price. The China made model cost about half of the German made model.

    The Felders are indeed made in Austria. The Martin is made in Germany. The SCMI and MiniMax are made in Italy.

    Comparing all the models (that were in my price range) at the time, I ended up with the Martin T60 Classic saw. For me, it offered the best value for what I wanted. The quality and performance of the machine in all respects is outstanding and far superior to any machine I have ever owned. In the past 3 years, I have had absolutely no regrets about my choice. Whether it is the best is indeterminant as I have not used every slider on the market. I will say that there is no reason for me to even try now.

    Steve

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    The way I heard it is that when Altendorf started making their saws with the linear bearings they set up the old machinery in China. The lower end saws with the old phenolic ways are produced there and the newer top of the line saws are still made in Germany.

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    http://www.martin-usa.com/cms/_main/index.php?id=125
    The Martins are supposed to be the best of the German machinery makers. There's other German machines that aren't even imported over here. Name an American sliding panel saw manufacturer in the states. The Powematic is made by Robland. The Northfield sliders aren't in the same league as the Euro saws.

    20 years from now the Chinese will be highly respected in their manufacturing. I've seen improvements over the last ten years. I remember when people scoffed at Japanese manufacturing, now look at them.

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    "20 years from now the Chinese will be highly respected in their manufacturing"

    It won't take 20 years. They're fully capable now. IMO, the main reason the majority of the products we see are 'second rate' is that they've been made to a price point ... usually determined by the American company that's importing them.

    I have a Chinese Olympic target rifle that's, in terms of fit and finish, the equal of anything Anschutz has made. And AFAIK, the Germans haven't yet put men in orbit. Well, at least not in their home country ;-)

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    doesnt Delta also manufacure the Unisaw in the USA
    What does "made" mean? It's a global economy, parts are sourced from all over the world: Switches and electronics from Japan & Taiwan, sheet steel from China, iron & copper ore from US & Russia, Baldor motors from China, England, & Mexico, castings in Taiwan, final assembly & packaging in US....

    The company I work for makes computer chips and has one of our plants in China. If they can make features that are thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair then I think they can make table saw parts. It all has to do with the quality controls that the company puts into place.

  14. #14
    You are rite on with that post Rick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Portland View Post
    What does "made" mean? It's a global economy, parts are sourced from all over the world: Switches and electronics from Japan & Taiwan, sheet steel from China, iron & copper ore from US & Russia, Baldor motors from China, England, & Mexico, castings in Taiwan, final assembly & packaging in US....

    The company I work for makes computer chips and has one of our plants in China. If they can make features that are thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair then I think they can make table saw parts. It all has to do with the quality controls that the company puts into place.
    I agree that great products can be made in China. But, I think any manufacturer that wants quality product from China MUST specify every single aspect of the product in excruciating detail, and they must not only specify it, they must test 100% of the product before they accept it.

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