Back in October I was doing a lot of work with Ego’s cordless string trimmer and needed to order additional trimmer line.
The Ego 56V brushless trimmer uses 0.095″ twist line, and I saw that Ego has two widely available options: a 5-pack of pre-cut line, and a bulk pack of line.
I purchased a 5-pack of line in-store, because I wanted it quickly, and also ordered a 50 meter spool from Amazon.
The trimmer takes 14′ of line at a time, and so that’s what you get in the 5-pack, 5 coils of 14′ line. That’s a total of 70′ of trimmer line, priced at $13. If you don’t go through a lot of line, a single pack will last you quite a while.
The 50M pack, on the other hand, gives you 164′ of line for $20. It’s uncut, but you can easily measure and cut the line for use.
70′ (in 5 coils) of line for $13 comes out to be 5.38′ per $1.
164′ (continuous coil) of line for $20 comes out to be 8.2′ of trimmer line per $1.
If you use a lot of line, the continuous roll is a better value – you get 52.4% more trimmer line per dollar.
As with the difference sourcing of Stanley PowerLock tape measures, I was surprised to find that the pre-cut line is marked as being made in the USA, and the bulk-packaged line is said to be made in China.
I kept both. I probably should have returned the continuous spool based on changing needs, but I’m sure it’ll get used. With something like this, different sourcing is less impactful than when you’re talking about multi-component products.
So far, we’ve seen different sourcing when it comes to Milwaukee utility knife and blade bundles, where the blade packs are sourced differently than the usual off-the-shelf USA-made packs, Gladiator workbenches, and Stanley PowerLock tape measure bundles.
Irwin launched a line of premium NWS-made pliers and cutters, and then clearanced most of them out, replacing them with similarly styled pliers made in Taiwan instead of Germany. That’s not quite the same as what we’ve been talking about recently, but it still made sense to mention.
Dual sourcing can be beneficial. In this case, with the Ego trimmer line, you can spend a little more on the 5-pack, which is convenient and available in-stores, or save money and go with the bulk pack. If the quality is comparable, I’m happy to have the choice of both options.
With products like the Milwaukee utility knife bundle, it made sense to have everything made overseas, rather than to ship components back and forth for the holiday season promo packaging.
I shouldn’t have been surprised about the different Ego trimmer line options having different origins, as they show you the COO in the online product imagery.
What I’m curious about is whether there are other instances of mixed sourcing for different tools or accessories. Does this kind of thing happen a lot?
Occasionally brands do change the sourcing for their products, as with the Irwin pliers example discussed above. But what’s going on here and in the other examples, those are instances where brands maintain different sourcing at the same time.
Some brands have “make it where they sell it” policies, and from this we’ll occasionally see 3rd party sellers bringing regional tools or SKUs into the US.
Back in 2017, Bridge City Tools announced a new licensing agreement where customers outside the USA could buy licensed copies of their products for half as much, while only the full-price USA-made tools would be available to USA customers. That left me with mixed feelings, but it’s a moot point now.
Now, that licensed partner owns Bridge City Tools, tools are no longer being made in the USA, and price-cuts were recently announced on the imported tools. I did buy an imported version of a cutting gauge to compare with the USA-made one I bought a few years ago, but have not closely compared them yet.
A couple of years ago, I found holiday season displays with mixed-origin Rayovac battery packages. Now I won’t use Rayovac batteries anymore – here’s why.
Sourcing is a complicated topic, but one I find very interesting.
I received one bit of political hate-mail yesterday, resulting from my post on the Stanley tape measures. I’m here to share observations and candid opinions, and am welcome to your own, but keep politics to a minimum.
What other sourcing intricacies have you noticed?