A couple of years ago, I backed the Pocket Monkey Kickstarter campaign. Basically a multi-tool that’s the size of a credit card and so fits easily in your wallet. Quite handy I thought, so I backed them, getting one for myself and one as a gift.

While browsing the net recently, I came across a Chinese supplier selling what looked to be exactly the same product, though priced at $2 rather than $10.

Out of curiousity, I ordered one in December, and it arrived last week. Here’s a comparison of them, with the original at the top and the copy below:

Pocket Monkey multi tool

Without a doubt, the quality of the American-produced version is much better; the edges are rounded (and not sharp!), the text printing is more accurate, and it generally feels like a more crafted product.

When you’re competing with $1/hr labour, it’s hard to win. So I guess US companies just have to keep producing high quality goods in the hope consumers appreciate the value.