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Thread: General, General Canada, or General International

  1. #1
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    Default General, General Canada, or General International

    Hello everyone,
    I am new to the craft of woodworking and am still at the phase of researching many of the bigger power tools. From what I can see there are three General brand names: General, General Canada, & General International. Based on what I have read, General Canada is manufactured here, International is done abroad and I keep hearing that Taiwan is the centre for that, and then there's the ''General'' name. Where does that name belong and where is it made? Can any of you break all this down for me? I have looked at the General website and see some of the table saws with the Maple Leaf on them. Does that mean that all the models of table saws are not necessarily manufactured here in Canada? One final thing, is that it seems to me, that inspite of the three General labels, the Canadian make is the preferred choice even though they are yet one of the same in some respects. Can any of you clarify this for me and correct something that I may have mistaken here.

    Dan

  2. #2
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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    there were a few companies using the name "General" out of both here in Canada and the USA way back.

    General LTD, Canada has always been made here in Canada , "the machines with the maple leaf sticker"
    the General International is their Import brand

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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    The 'General' you are talking about doesn't make machines if I am not mistaken, just accessories? The logo looks similar but there is no afiliation with general ltd.

    General Canada and General International are the same company, but items labelled as International are made overseas. They share one website.

    AK

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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Could the "General" not be from before the created the "General International" brand? When they didn't need to distinguish?

    Like the one in ArtMulder's post?
    http://london.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-se...AdIdZ264580561


    Kevin

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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Kevin that is the original General, all made in Canada, and how they started out business. General tools, which have always been made in Canada, carry a premium price tag. This is why they started the General Internation line, cuts the prices in half and opens them to a new market.

    Here is a link to the other 'General' I think the OP was talking about ... http://www.generaltools.com/

    AK

  6. #6
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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_K99 View Post
    Kevin that is the original General, all made in Canada, and how they started out business. General tools, which have always been made in Canada, carry a premium price tag. This is why they started the General Internation line, cuts the prices in half and opens them to a new market.
    That was my point entirely ;). Before the new brand, I assume, they were called just plain ol' "General".

    Kevin

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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Before General International, GI, they only sold General made in Drummondville Quebec equipment. The price of it put them at a price disadvantage for a large segment of the woodworker market so they imported Asian tools and called them GI to distinguish them from the Cdn produced equipment.

    I don't know what else they make in Drummondville beside the tools. If you go to a a small deli-style restaurant in Ste. Anne de Bellvue west of Montreal (assuming it's still there) they have a stainless, refrigerated display case with the cast "General" nameplate on it identical to the one on my General 260 lathe. I have no idea how old it is.

    billh

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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    It seems like to me that no one really knows, 100%, though what you guys are saying is not totally wrong either. The only way for truth then is to go to the source. Thanks Guys.

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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Quote Originally Posted by Wysong View Post
    there were a few companies using the name "General" out of both here in Canada and the USA way back.

    General LTD, Canada has always been made here in Canada , "the machines with the maple leaf sticker"
    the General International is their Import brand
    Dan,

    All the guys are on the same page, just saying it in different ways. Go with the first response you got.

    Matt
    SPCHT


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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    I think I "kind of" have the General story. The Quebec company has three divisions
    1. Foundry
    2. Machine Shop
    3. General International (Importer)

    The foundry and Machine shop do a great deal of other work then Woodworking machines. They will also do custom casting/machining for other companies. For example they make highway guard rails and hydro towers.

    The story I heard was years ago they got into Woodworking Machine because one of the sons was interested. If you notice General has not designed many machines they got most of their designs from companies they purchased, or had manufacturing agreements with.

    I hope this helps a bit.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    hoss10 has it right.

    Growing old is mandatory
    Growing up is optional

  12. #12
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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Quote Originally Posted by danpower View Post
    It seems like to me that no one really knows, 100%, though what you guys are saying is not totally wrong either. The only way for truth then is to go to the source. Thanks Guys.
    Dan,

    Nobody really knows? (smiley)

    While General's manuals have rightly come in for criticism regarding the sparseness of information, the company has been head and shoulders above others in terms of distinguishing their made in Canda machines from their imported stuff: General nameplate, with the mapleleaf sticker, is made in Canada stuff; General INTERNATIONAL(E), without the mapleleaf, is "mported, made offshore. As others on this thread have said.

    As for going to the "source" ? Please do.....http://www.general.ca/site_general/general_en.html

    good luck

    michael
    Last edited by michaely; 03-05-2011 at 02:33 PM. Reason: grammar

  13. #13
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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Well gentlemen let me give you an update. In brief General were made in Canada and General International in Taiwan. General ceased Canadian manufacturing in the fall of 2012. More precisely they closed their foundry which produced the high quality castings that made General expensive. They are still assembling in Canada as long as their castings inventory last. I bought a General cabinet saw a couple of years ago and their tolerances are tighter than a ducks rear end. GI stuff is actually pretty good and their QA and quality is better than Grizzly. One point you may want to consider is future spare parts. GI is good, Grizzly just rebrands the same machines that other lower end suppliers sell. Big/cheap production run - spare parts - limited time offer. Buyer beware.

  14. #14

    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Quote Originally Posted by dwhittington View Post
    Well gentlemen let me give you an update. In brief General were made in Canada and General International in Taiwan. General ceased Canadian manufacturing in the fall of 2012. More precisely they closed their foundry which produced the high quality castings that made General expensive. They are still assembling in Canada as long as their castings inventory last. I bought a General cabinet saw a couple of years ago and their tolerances are tighter than a ducks rear end. GI stuff is actually pretty good and their QA and quality is better than Grizzly. One point you may want to consider is future spare parts. GI is good, Grizzly just rebrands the same machines that other lower end suppliers sell. Big/cheap production run - spare parts - limited time offer. Buyer beware.
    What is all this Grizzly bashing --- Do you have one?? -- have you owned one?? Grizzly has a very good name south of the border and there are quite a few happy owners here on this forum. Do you even know what you're talking about?? Have you owned GI?? There have been many problems reported about the GI machines. Enlighten us with your wisdom. Tell us what machines they RE BRAND.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Quote Originally Posted by dwhittington View Post
    Well gentlemen let me give you an update. In brief General were made in Canada and General International in Taiwan. General ceased Canadian manufacturing in the fall of 2012. More precisely they closed their foundry which produced the high quality castings that made General expensive. They are still assembling in Canada as long as their castings inventory last. I bought a General cabinet saw a couple of years ago and their tolerances are tighter than a ducks rear end. GI stuff is actually pretty good and their QA and quality is better than Grizzly. One point you may want to consider is future spare parts. GI is good, Grizzly just rebrands the same machines that other lower end suppliers sell. Big/cheap production run - spare parts - limited time offer. Buyer beware.
    I see you are new here, We had a couple of threads on the closing of General Canada.
    http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...general+canada

    I think you will find many happy Grizzly owners on this forum including getting parts for machines without issues.
    Personally I think G.I. is slipping at the moment and needs to pull up their socks if they are to survive. I know of people with machines right now under warranty having problems with getting G.I. parts and service. I was not that impressed with some equipment when I assembled a whole shop full last year.
    I see the PBS Rough Cut show has dumped all the G.I. stuff in favor of Powermatic this season, you are seeing less ads around and the new Website has been made by clowns. Makes you wonder, but I wish them all the best being an owner of some General and G.I. equipment.
    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Why is this two year old thread even being revived?
    Cheers

    Tim

    www.timbowdin.com

    'If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem'

  17. #17

    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim in Milton View Post
    Why is this two year old thread even being revived?
    I guess because some new member wants to tell us everything he knows about Grizzly and beat them down.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Maybe this forum should have a "closed thread" policy where the threads are available for reading but not writing after a period of time. This isn't the first time I've had that thought on this forum. Sometimes people add to a thread without realizing how old it is and if the comment is considered important another thread can be started.

    billh

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    Default Re: General, General Canada, or General International

    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    Maybe this forum should have a "closed thread" policy where the threads are available for reading but not writing after a period of time. This isn't the first time I've had that thought on this forum. Sometimes people add to a thread without realizing how old it is and if the comment is considered important another thread can be started.

    billh
    What would be the advantage to closing the thread? Is there any harm in adding to an older post? From my point of view the fewer the rules the better. We seem to be a pretty polite group.
    Rob

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