In a recent ConsumerSearch poll of 1,200 readers, we asked about buying American-made goods: 67% said they were trying to buy more American-made products or would like to buy them if they were easier to find. And that's the problem, really -- finding them. You'd be hard pressed to find made-in-America consumer electronics these days. And even some iconic American companies -- such as Singer and Samsonite -- now manufacture entirely overseas.
In researching our reports, we're making note of products or companies that still produce goods in the U.S. Here's a sampling of what we found...
Grado Labs, headquartered in Brooklyn, still makes most of its headphones in the U.S., including the Grado SR60i, one of the top-rated headphones in our report. Note that the company's lowest priced models, including the iGrado, are now made in China.
Almost all vacuum cleaners are made in Asia; even expensive Dyson vacs. Riccar is the only vacuum company we know of that's trying hard to make vacuums in the U.S. The company assembles most of its upright vacuums and some of its canister models in St. James, Missouri. The highly rated Riccar Supralite RSL3, one of the runner up vacuums in our report, is assembled here. Shop-Vac makes some wet/dry vacuums in the U.S. and Oreck makes a couple of vacuums here as well.
Most consumer-grade power tools are made elsewhere, but most Stihl lawn-care tools that are sold in the United States are also made here. We discuss Stihl string trimmers, chainsaws and leaf blowers in our reports.
Weber doesn't make all of its grills in the U.S., but its top-rated Summit and Genesis gas grills and all of its charcoal grills are made in America. Other grills are made in Asia. Many Fiesta gas grills are made in the U.S. (Fiesta is a Canadian company), but the Blue Ember grill reviewed in our report isn't among them.
Small kitchen appliances
Almost all are made elsewhere, with a few standouts. KitchenAid assembles its highly rated stand mixers in the U.S. Vita-Mix makes its top-rated (and expensive) blenders in America. A few Bunn coffee makers are made here, but check the labeling.
We couldn't find any strollers or baby monitors that are made in the U.S., but most Britax car seats are assembled here. Cosco and Safety 1st assemble some models here as well, but not all, so check the label for specifics.
Treadmills and elliptical trainers
ICON Fitness, which manufactures fitness equipment under a bunch of brand names, including ProForm, NordicTrack, Weslo and Gold's Gym, makes almost all of its treadmills, ellipticals and exercise bikes in its factory in Utah. The company's Gold's Gym 450 treadmill is one of our Best Reviewed budget treadmills, and the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 is a good pick among elliptical trainers.
Very little luggage is made here; even Samsonite bags aren't made here anymore. A few examples: Red Oxx luggage, including the top-rated Red Oxx Air Boss duffel bag, is made in the U.S. Tom Bihn makes laptop bags and sleeves. Its Brain Cell laptop sleeve is Best Reviewed in our report.
Finding companies that manufacture in the U.S.
One site's that's helpful is StillMadeInUSA.com, which includes an index of some items still made in America. The site isn't comprehensive (we found quite a few omissions), but it's a good place to start checking if you're interested in companies that are making an attempt to keep some manufacturing in the United States.
We also had good luck calling companies and asking. Most customer service representatives were able to find this information quickly, and many that we called were very specific in their replies. One place were we didn't find much information was company websites. Most do not include country of origin in their product descriptions at all.
And if you've come across some examples of companies trying to make goods in the U.S., please add a comment and let us know.