KEEPING PRODUCTION STATESIDE
As the economy has become increasingly global, it's become steadily more difficult to find products made in the United States. For many consumers, "Made in USA" is a mark of quality that makes a purchase more worthwhile. In a 2015 survey by Consumer Reports, nearly 8 in 10 respondents said they prefer to buy American-made, and more than 6 in 10 said they're willing to pay 10 percent more. Although many popular brands seem to be stamped with "Made in China" labels, there are still companies whose products are manufactured right here in the USA.
The rounded shape of the Weber grill, which hasn't changed since it was first designed in 1952, has helped make it a recognizable fixture at many outdoor cookouts. Although Weber does produce gas models overseas, all other Weber grills are manufactured at the company's headquarters in Palatine, Illinois, including Cheapism's pick for best charcoal grill, the 22-inch Original Kettle ($99 on Amazon).
Often associated with cross-country road trips of yesteryear, the iconic aluminum Airstream trailer is now the oldest luxury trailer in the industry. Its longevity is thanks in large part to the high-quality manufacturing processes at the company's plant in Jackson Center, Ohio, which still employs nearly 500 people. Airstream's smaller trailers cost upward of $30,000, although branded clothing and accessories are available at its online store.
Gibson guitars are among the most iconic instruments in popular music, and the company is fittingly based in Nashville, also known as Music City. The company was founded in Michigan more than a century ago and now manufactures its guitars at factories in Tennessee and Montana. Prices vary widely, from around $100 on the low end to well over $3,000 for certain guitars on Amazon. But the company's future is uncertain — in May the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and in June was granted a $135 million restructuring loan.
Wilson is the official supplier of footballs to the National Football League, and each pigskin is handmade in America. More than 4,000 leather footballs are produced daily at the company's facility in Ada, Ohio, which employs 120 people. Wilson's footballs start around $14 on Amazon with a pump and tee.
CHESAPEAKE BAY CANDLES
The Chesapeake Bay Candle factory in Maryland employs 100 full-time employees who churn out more than a half-million scented candles each month. Its home-fragrance products are sold in popular retail stores like Target, as well as online, with prices of around $6 for small candles. Things may change on the manufacturing side, though. In September, a $75 million sale of the company was announced.
AMERICAN PLASTIC TOYS
Staying true to its name for 55 years, American Plastic Toys has resisted outsourcing its production to China, where 90 percent of toys sold in America are now manufactured. The company employs 300 workers at five facilities in Michigan and Mississippi, and produces toy cars, dollhouses, wagons, toy strollers, and more for sale at Walmart and Walgreens. Prices range from $7 to $87.
The KitchenAid mixer has been around in one form or another for more than 100 years now. The mixers are still produced at the company's flagship plant in Greenville, Ohio, even as KitchenAid has come to manufacture many non-American-made appliances, as well. The iconic stand mixers (starting around $200 on Amazon) are noted for their performance and durability.
ALLEN EDMONDS SHOES
Only 2 percent of shoes sold in America are made here, including Allen Edmonds footwear. The company specializes in painstakingly crafted, hand-stitched men's dress shoes of varying styles and widths. The company's shoes are understandably expensive, but its website includes a clearance section with slippers starting at $57, moccasins at $77, and wingtips at $97.
To date, Green Toys has recycled more than 55 million milk jugs to make eco-friendly toys that meet rigorous standards for sustainability and safety, not to mention durability. Relying on a local, all-American supply chain also helps them reduce energy use. Green Toys has become a top seller of eco-friendly children's toys, offering miniature toy vehicles and sorting sets that start under $10 and rarely exceed $30.
AQUASANA WATER FILTERS
Aquasana creates water filters to reduce contaminants in tap water while leaving behind helpful minerals such as magnesium and calcium. The company behind Aquasana, Sun Water Systems, has based all its manufacturing in Texas, meaning high-end filtration systems including the Clean Water Machine ($130) and adjustable showerhead filter ($55) are completely American-made.
Lasko specializes in small appliances for heating and cooling the home. Although a few of its products are now manufactured overseas, the company continues to produce many American-made products at plants in Tennessee, Texas, and Pennsylvania, including its oscillating stand fan ($30) and the sleeker wind curve cooling fan ($55).
Fiesta produces ceramic dinnerware for humans and their furry friends in several colorful art-deco styles. Prices start at under $10 at sellers such as Kohl's, but opt for a larger set for the best value.
Every art supply sold under the Crayola label is manufactured at the company's flagship factory in Easton, Pennsylvania — also the site of one of the company's extravagant Crayola Experience retail sites. An average day's production totals 13 million crayons alone. Prices usually range from $5 to $25 for sets of colored pencils, chalk, Silly Putty eggs, paint, and more.
Socks4Life isn't a manufacturer, but rather an online retailer specializing in socks made in the United States by other companies. Its selection is affordable — most three-pair packs sell for less than $10 — and varied, with sections devoted to thermal socks, boot socks, and even diabetic socks. The few non-American-made items on the site are specified in their product descriptions.
GOODWEAR USA CLOTHING
Every step of the manufacturing and supply process is all-American at Goodwear USA, a domestic clothing brand known for high-quality, lightweight shirts and sweatshirts for men and women. The cotton the company uses is verified to be American-grown. Products typically start around $30 and don't exceed $100.
A Texas company founded at the tail end of the Civil War, Stetson is now the only company to produce cowboy hats entirely in the USA, and it is also one of the largest hat manufacturers in the nation. Still a cornerstone of Western lore, millions of Stetson hats are produced each year in the company's 9-acre Philadelphia plant, and some styles start around $60 on Amazon.
NEW BALANCE SHOES
No other brand manufactures as much athletic footwear in the USA as New Balance. Each year the company makes more than 4 million pairs with at least 70 percent domestic materials. Look for shoes labeled "made in USA," which are often more-durable but priced higher, starting at $150 on the company's website. The company faced a class action over the claim that was settled this year, which was good enough for the U.S. military to sign a $17.3 million contract to buy sneakers for basic training.
Gillette has been manufacturing its ubiquitous razor blades in Boston since its founding in 1905. The company has expanded operations to multiple nations since, but its best blades still come from the original Massachusetts location. The American-made blades are available in 10-count packs for around $20.
BURT'S BEES PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
Burt's Bees sells about 200 skin- and hair-care products with an environmentally friendly approach from its headquarters in North Carolina. Now owned by Clorox, Burt's Bees still manufactures lip balms and ointments with minimal processing or additives. Prices rarely exceed $25 — and in March the media was buzzing over how one $3 tube of Burt's lip balm sells every second.
The first Zippo lighter was made in 1933 in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and the thousands of variations produced since have almost all been manufactured in the same town. The reusable metal lighter company is now an iconic American brand selling its products around the world, with basic models starting around $11.
Baseballs are no longer made in the United States, but at least some bats still are. Although the brand was sold to a Finnish company, Louisville Sluggers are still made in Kentucky, as they have been since 1884, with prices for a signature wooden model starting around $30.
BENJAMIN MOORE PAINT
Founded in Brooklyn by an Irish immigrant in 1883, Benjamin Moore now operates in eight locations throughout New Jersey that collectively produce more than 3,500 paint colors. Now owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Benjamin Moore's products are noted for their high quality. Prices vary among retailers, but some gallon-size cans start at about $40.
ORECK XL VACUUMS
Many of the vacuums and air purifiers produced by Oreck are made outside the United States, but its signature Xtended Life vacuum is still manufactured entirely at its factory in Cookeville, Tennessee, even now that the company has been acquired by a larger multinational corporation. XL vacuums can be purchased for $155 on Amazon.
K'Nex is one of the few leading toy companies committed to manufacturing its products in the United States. The raw materials all come from American sources as well. The company employs 150 people at its plant in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, and a 521-piece kit of its connectable building toys is $25.
Every Post-It note available for purchase in the United States or Japan was produced here in America, most of them at 3M's plant in Cynthiana, Kentucky. The plant was once used to produce copiers and overhead projectors, and the facilities have expanded to focus on the adhesive notepads since 1985.
Pyrex was founded in 1915 and sold to Corning Inc. in 1998, but the new ownership avoided transferring American manufacturing operations overseas. Although Pyrex's metal bakeware is now manufactured abroad, the oven-safe lidded glassware (starting around $15 for a six-piece set) used to preserve many a leftover meal is still made at the factory in Charleroi, Pennsylvania.
L.L. BEAN BOAT & TOTE BAGS
L.L. Bean's line of simple yet effective Boat & Tote bags has been made in Maine from hearty 24-ounce canvas since first introduced in 1944. The Freeport-based company manufactures some of its other products abroad, but its online store has a convenient "Made in the USA" category that includes footwear and outdoor gear in addition to the bags.
Woolrich, as the oldest manufacturer of outdoor wear in the nation, actually provided supplies like its heavy-duty woolen blankets for the American Civil War. Today many of the company's garments are produced overseas, but the original Pennsylvania plant remains one of the oldest working woolen mills in the country. A separate section on the company site features the fabrics still produced domestically.
Lodge Manufacturing is one of the rare companies that remain family-owned after more than a century of continuous operation. Its foundry in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, has been in operation since Lodge's start in 1896 and continues to produce enduring cast-iron cookware in a wide variety of styles and prices. In December, the company fired up a 127,000-square-foot foundry adding production capacity in the same town.
HERMAN MILLER FURNITURE
Herman Miller is the brand most representative of the sleek, modernist-style furniture that's back in vogue. Industrial designs such as the Aeron office chair have become iconic. The brand is based in Zeeland, Michigan, and has kept manufacturing here in the USA. Pieces range in price from $500 to $10,000.
DR. BRONNER'S SOAP
Dr. Bronner's makes Castile soaps and other health products in line with the moral philosophies of its founder and namesake, Emmanuel Bronner. Its soaps, lotions, oils, and balms are all made in America with organic, fair-trade products, using traditional methods outlined on the information-packed product labels.
Many of the most-common cooler designs come from Igloo, and all the company's products come from a 1.4 million-square-foot facility near Houston. The brand has recently expanded to sell more heavy-duty coolers, resulting in a larger price range from $20 for a basic model to more than $260 for iceless thermoelectric units.
Vitamix was founded in Olmsted Township, Ohio, and the company remains headquartered there today, along with its manufacturing facilities and hundreds of domestic employees. The blender company, founded in 1921, now has a full line of commercial and home products available for purchase at many retailers and online.
From the same man who invented Tupperware, Sterilite makes plastic storage containers, as well as a host of other home storage products. The company's product line has expanded consistently since its founding in 1939, and it continues to manufacture its products exclusively in the USA. Based in Townsend, Massachusetts, it began production at a new U.S. plant — its seventh — in Davenport, Iowa, this past March.
Since 1946, Tervis has been making tumblers that are customizable and insulated using a unique double-walled design that keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. The drinkware (starting at $15) is made in America at a manufacturing facility in North Venice, Florida.
Heritage General Store is the first company to produce a completely Chicago-made bike since Schwinn relocated from the city in the '70s. The store is also a coffeehouse where guests can order an Americano before browsing a selection of vintage handmade bikes and related apparel. The cheapest models start at $800.
HANKY PANKY LINGERIE
Hanky Panky makes durable designer lingerie frequently touted for its strength and comfort, thanks in large part to the use of extra thread and stitches. All the fabrics used in its garments are knitted in the United States. Prices start around $15 for basic garments and around $70 for more complex negligees.
SMITH & WESSON GUNS
Smith & Wesson was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1852 and grew into the nation's largest handgun manufacturer, expanding its operations to include handcuffs, knives, and tactical law-enforcement tools (and is now actually called American Outdoor Brands). Its guns, made legendary by their use in the Civil War and by Clint Eastwood in the film "Dirty Harry," are made in facilities in Maine and Tennessee as well as Springfield.
The lightweight Wiffle ball was invented in the 1950s by a former semi-pro baseball player who wanted to help his son avoid injury while practicing. His invention has become a staple of backyard ballgames since. Little else about the company has changed — the products are still cheap (less than $10 for a bat and three balls), the dimensions are still the same, and manufacturing operations are still in Shelton, Connecticut.
The Slinky, introduced by naval engineer Richard James in 1945, is one of the most successful toys in history. The company is now owned by the larger toy corporation Alex Brands, but Slinkys are still manufactured at the same facility in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. They can usually be found for less than $5.
The appliance company that first introduced professional-grade oven ranges still makes all its ovens, refrigerators, and other products in the USA. Viking employs more than 1,000 people at four manufacturing facilities near its headquarters in Greenwood, Mississippi, where it also opened a cooking school and restaurant.
VERMONT TEDDY BEARS
As the name suggests, Vermont Teddy Bear manufactures all its stuffed animals in Vermont. Two factories produce nearly a half-million teddy bears each year, making the company one of the largest producers of teddy bears and the largest seller by mail and online orders. The stuffed ursine friends, which start at around $40 a piece, are made with recycled cotton and guaranteed for life.
Often considered the world's foremost piano company, Steinway operates manufacturing facilities in Hamburg, Germany, and New York City. The Queens-based factory supplies the Americas with the company's distinguished professional-level pianos, many of which cost more than $100,000.
HALLMARK GREETING CARDS
Hallmark produces almost all its U.S.-sold greeting cards and gift-wrap products at manufacturing centers in Kansas, Missouri, Texas, and Illinois, which collectively employ about 1,800 workers. Notable exceptions include any cards with recorded sounds or featuring handiwork such as beads and tassels. The company's cards and other paper products rarely exceed $10.
KettlePizza makes a pizza oven insert fit for most common charcoal grills. It has the dual function of allowing you to check the food's progress without opening the lid and allowing the heat to escape. The simple yet revelatory product is made at inventor Al Contarino's Massachusetts barn. Sets sell for $140 or more.
MERLE NORMAN MAKEUP
This well-known makeup company has kept its research and manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles County since 1931. Although it expanded beyond the original Santa Monica studio, Merle Norman remains family-owned and committed to producing superior cosmetics, which are sold in individually managed "try before you buy" studios around the nation.
ANCHOR HOCKING GLASSWARE
Anchor Hocking has been producing its glassware in the USA since the company's founding in 1905. It employs more than 1,500 associates across the nation, most of them concentrated around its manufacturing plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Anchor Hocking has plenty of products between $10 to $40 marked with a "Made in the USA" label, except for a select few collections that are sourced internationally.
You might already own a pot or pan made by Regal Ware, which has been producing high-quality stainless steel and cast-iron cookware from its Wisconsin manufacturing facilities for more than 100 years. The company's products are sold under brand names such as Kitchen Fair, Lifetime, and Saladmaster. Prices range from $25 to $200.
Fleabags are American-made canvas bags designed to withstand even the most productive trip to the flea market. The brand was founded in New York in 2009 and already includes a wide assortment of unique bags, totes, and clutches ranging from $25 to more than $200.
William Harley and Arthur Davidson built their first motorcycle in Milwaukee in 1903. Since then, Harley-Davidson has survived countless rough periods and changes in ownership to remain an iconic part of American biker culture. The company and its manufacturing operations are still headquartered in Milwaukee, and today the machines sell for anywhere between $8,000 and $45,000. Just this week, however, Harley-Davidson said it was considering moving some production overseas because of retaliatory tariffs imposed by other countries in response to the White House’s recent tariffs on imported goods. The announcement from the motorcycle maker was met with a strong rebuke from President Donald Trump, who said the company will be “taxed like never before” if it moves production overseas.