I live in rural Nebraska where there’s lots of wind. Over the years I have gone through several “Made in China”windmills, only to have them fly apart. As much as possible, I go out of my way to buy USA made products. So when searching for a replacement windmillI was especially happy to come across this one. This is a very well constructed and sturdy windmill. Here are the features that simply out-class any of the Chinese made ones out there:
1) The braces are made of a lightweight but sturdy aluminum alloy. After it was assembled, it was no problem to lift it up and set it in place. The Chinese ones are made with soft steel, they are heavy and prone to rusting.
2) Unlike the Chinese made ones, all bolt holes were accurately punched. Hex bolts are used to hold the assembly together–much better than screws!
3) At the top of the windmill, where the vane mounting block attaches to the top of the 4 braces, this windmill has threaded inserts in the braces for the block mounting screws. This is a MUCH sturdier design then the Chinese ones that simply have a hole in the vertical brace. This mounting block takes the full stress of the wind and is a frequent failure point on cheaper windmills.
4) The colored trim on the vanes and the sail are sturdy mylar decals. Much more durable than the painted-on ones.
5) The wheel assembly is held on with a lock nut on a threaded shaft, allowing a much tighter and secure connection. The Chinese ones use a cotter pin and loose connection that causes wobble when the vane is turning.
6) A plastic cap is provided for covering the front end of the vane wheel hub. This prevents grease from the vane bearing from splattering all over the vane wheel.
7) The grease zerk for the vane wheel is in the front of the vane shaft. This makes lubrication of the bearing assembly much easier, because you don’t have to stop or remove the spinning wheel. The Chinese ones have the zerk in the bearing hub. Good luck trying to grease one of these types on a windy day while trying to hold a grease gun.
8) Long anchors are provided, that have a useful j hook on the end to securely anchor the assembly to the ground. The Made in China windmills have short straight stakes that are totally inadequate for fixing the windmill to the ground.