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Huot Stub Drill Index = crap

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  • Huot Stub Drill Index = crap

    Scuse me while I vent a bit.

    I finally got sick and tired enough of trying to keep my stub drills lined up in drawers. Seems like I use them more and more these days. There is just too many and of course you can't find the one you need if it isn't in an index. Great little devices, those index boxes.

    So I never had a problem and kind of liked my Huot drill indexes for my jobber length drills. I figured I'd not cheap out and go ahead and get some Huot indexes for the stub drills. Well I didn't have to cheap out because Huot already did it for me! I didn't think that I would be wishing I asked for advice first, coming direct from the mighty Huot Co. and all.

    Well these things are just jobber boxes with a piece of foam glued in the top to keep the short drills from coming out. And one of them arrived with the foam already knocked loose. What a piece of crap.

    So since it IS what they do, Huot could have made a dedicated case that actually fit the drill bits, which would also have been handy for being able to tell them apart from the jobber box without having to open it first, which I'm sure I would do more often than not if I didn't slap a big label on the box. Or here's an idea - maybe slather a different color of paint on the stub boxes at least so they can be identified at a glance. No, that would cost Huot too much I guess. They just leave that labor for the customer to do.

    Speaking of costing too much, they charge twice as much for the stub box as for the jobber box. Yea. Twice as much for the inconvenience of a box that contains mostly air and foam. For that kind of money I definitely expected an index that was designed to actually fit stub drills. Why didn't they do that?

    If it wasn't such a hassle, sending it back would be a no-brainer.
    If there was a good alternative - a good index made to actually fit stub drills - sending it back would be a no-brainer too. Anybody know of a better set I could buy? A real stub drill index that actually fits stub drills and won't fall apart because I moved it?

    Damn. What a disappointment. There's a bean counter somewhere in the middle causing this ruckus. Where's my peashooter? I'm going to write them a letter at least. Chances are that effort is a useless waste of time, but at least they'll have heard it from somebody at least once.


  • #2
    For twice the price of their jobber indexes, I'd return the "stub" indexes. Then I'd buy jobber indexes (preferably from another company) and make my own spacers to keep the stub drills in place. I'd use something a bit more durable than foam. A can of spray paint would fix the identification issue.

    They'll never learn if you don't return their crappy stub indexes. Of course, you must tell them why!


    • #3
      I've been there got screwed similar, Huot should be a LOT better than that, Address your email to the CEO, You don't need his name, Just address it, ATTN. CEO, HUOT. If you keep your email free of what you really want to say, It should get to him. I did the same thing for KBC tools, The CEO herself called me within 2 day's. Didn't help at all but she knows what I think.



      • #4
        Definately return it if its that crappy and the company is one that should be producing quality products. More hastle then its worth sure, but sounds like they deserve it.
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


        • #5
          I would definatly send it back, just to let them know what crap they are makeing. I remember seeing a tool supply dealer selling the 3 drawer Huot end mill cabinets on e-bay, he was a reputable seller with good feedback, and one buyer left negative feedback complaining that the Huot cabinets were not original but a cheap copy. NOW.......... after reading your post maybe they were original but not what the customer expected from Huot.
          Don't forget they have to compete with China so they have to cut corners somewhere.



          • #6
            It's just more cost cutting to maximize profits and compete with cheap Asian crap.

            Corporate types don't get it, if I'm going to get crap then I might as well pay the cheap crap prices not the expensive crap prices.
            The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

            Bluewater Model Engineering Society at


            • #7
              I've got an old Huot stub drill box with the usual steel drill retainers. Might look for one used??


              • #8
                E-mail Huot with a link to this thread, that would open their eyes.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the sympathetic ears guys.

                  I need some kind of indexes so I was kind of considering just dealing with the hand I got dealt here. If I thought it would make a difference I would be more enthusiastic about hassling with the return. Maybe I'll fire off a letter (no worries - I can be quite diplomatic when I have to) and see what kind of response I get from that first. If they surprise me with some actual practical thinking, maybe then I'll go ahead and send them back.

                  I understand having to compete with China. The company I work deals with foreign competition by providing fantastic local service and making the highest quality products we can muster, and over time we just keep improving our methods. We don't clean out any corporate bank accounts, but we do make a living and enjoy the rare (these days) phenomenon of being proud of what we make. Always.

                  From where I'm standing, if I saw that my company had new competition that was horning in on my market share, the solution i would come up with would NOT be paring down my product line and reducing my quality to be more equal that of my discount competitor. Strange days indeed.

                  I guess one reason they can keep doing this is that there doesn't seem to be anything available like I originally pictured. If I found what I was looking for I'd just trade up.

                  One reason I didn't mind spending a little more for these Huot cases is that I didn't want to, and didn't think I would have to, add my own labor to end up with what I needed. I have plenty of things surrounding me to take up my time. Anybody else know what I'm talking about there? hehe.


                  • #10
                    This must be a fairly recent change. I purchased a 100+ machine length drill index a couple of years ago from McMaster and the case was Huot. Good quality and made for the shorter drills, not adopted. Marked "Made in US". Could they be selling both US made and imports at the same time?
                    Paul A.

                    Make it fit.
                    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


                    • #11
                      AFAIK, Huot is still located in my home town...... but they seem to have lost the decent good sense that the inhabitants used to have.

                      Actually, a stub drill SIZED box might not be very convenient, so i can see having a "blockade" in there. The number-sized boxes are already small. But a piece of poorly glued-in foam is probably not the best solution to having a sensible sized box while not letting the drills fall out.

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan


                      • #12
                        Don't know if something's changed since you bought yours Paul, but I prefer the individual cases to the all-in-one case. Or at least I did. Maybe I should have gone the other way this time. These are stamped "Made in USA" and they probably are, but you never know these days. Actually being made here sadly doesn't mean what it used to anyway, other than US citizens have a job doing it. Sometimes the quality is high but often it is not. I attribute this to 1) bean counters eliminating the ability for workers to make high-quality and/or 2) gutting of manufacturing infrastructure has made it so we have forgotten (as a whole) how to make good product like we used to. But I digress.

                        J Tiers you have a point. Personally I could deal with a mini case and I just assumed that's what they were. This is much ado about not much and the truth is that if there were a little sheet metal "blockade" installed rather than the foam, then we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. I think even if the foam never came loose, it will deteriorate and get torn up over time by the bits while sheet metal would hold up. I've never seen old foam rubber that wasn't turning to dust. I guess that, and the fact that one of them was already loose, was the straw.

                        But now that the camel is out of the bag and were here to see it, I'll pick on a couple more things.

                        The hinge on these things is not fantastic either. it's made to be easy to assemble, not to have separate parts, and still work for a while. It's just slots cut in the sheet metal and shaped for function. But when you open it up, the hinge catches on all three of these indexes when you're half-way open. All three do this. If not careful, and maybe regardless, eventually the sheet metal will bend and break - it's relatively thin and short. I recall this same phenomenon leading to a broken hinge point on a Huot drill index where I used to work a few years back. It was broken within a month. So you have to treat these with kid gloves or have a broken sample. Or you could do what I guess I now plan to do and fiddle with the hinge to make it work smoothly without the catch. This is a design flaw Huot should have worked out long ago.

                        Having spent a few minutes with them now, I discovered that while the small number size index seems to have crisp bends and is OK other than the hinge issue, the two larger indexes are kind of "bow-ish" - the bends are there but caused the flat areas to be kind of warped. It's not terrible, but it does seem to have affected the fit & function of the inner pivoting racks. The bottom-most rack pivots up halfway, then drags a bit on the bottom of the case before it clears that free to pivot the rest of the way up. This is true for both the larger cases, so a sample of two indicates a trend in my case anyway. This too is not a huge deal, but it is a quality issue and all I know is if I made and sold these things, I'd want to make a couple changes so my drill indexes were the best quality available and would warrant charging more than anybody else does... like they do.

                        OK that's my review.
                        I'll get a letter sent off to the company just so they know one feller cares. I don't expect any changes, but I guess you never know.
                        Last edited by tyrone shewlaces; 02-13-2010, 11:40 AM.


                        • #13
                          I just bought a Huot drill index for my fractional stubby drills. It's a jobber size drill index box with sheet metal indexes inside, which have been sized to hold the stubby drills. It works, but the indexes have burrs on the drill holes and the hinge isn't all that great. I know American manufacturers are desperately competing with China; but I expect Made-in-America quality with the Made-in-America price. It's better than what the OT experienced with the foam block; but I'm still a little disapointed.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tyro 001
                            I expect Made-in-America quality with the Made-in-America price.
                            Yeah, it sounds as if they are doing what so many US companies do...... They "split the difference"..... with a "combo approach"

                            They make the item cheaply, but not so cheaply as to sell for the chinese price (which is probably less than the materials alone cost).

                            Then they also reduce the price a little......

                            The assumption seems to be that you'll pay a little more than the chinese price to get US-made, and they can get away with not-so-good quality because you are still paying less than before. I think they are fooling themselves and cutting their own throats.

                            I would rather the US bozos kept the quality, and had a higher price. The effect of the "combo approach" is that you get NEITHER the good quality NOR the low price...... all you get us US made.... maybe.

                            And the chinese item would have the good hinges, etc...... They can afford to, currency exchange rates totally mask the true pricing (not to mention cheap labor) and allow them to price lower than any US maker regardless.

                            So the net effect is that buying US made gets you lower quality than the chinese item, at a higher price than the chinese item. That's no way to compete.

                            better they make a very good item and sell for a bit more...... Then there is a true distinction, and it goes the 'right way".

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J Tiers
                              So the net effect is that buying US made gets you lower quality than the chinese item, at a higher price than the chinese item. That's no way to compete.

                              better they make a very good item and sell for a bit more...... Then there is a true distinction, and it goes the 'right way".

                              U.S. labor costs are much higher, so they scrimp on materials. Thinner metal, plating instead of solid parts, plastic parts that should be metal, etc.

                              I'm about finished with American manufacturers. I'd be glad to pay 20% more for American stuff of the same quality as foreign, but I won't pay more for lesser quality!