Many of the dowels and tool handles sold in the United States are actually made from an endangered tropical hardwood called ramin, logged from the swamp rainforests of Borneo. Indonesia and Malaysia export ramin in the form of furniture, dowels and plywood, even though ramin is considered endangered.

Even though they advertise that their product is “Made in the USA”, many US companies — such as Ames and Quickie — are using dowels imported from Indonesia or Malaysia for the handles for their tools.

Using ramin dowels fuels the destruction of the rainforests of Borneo, causing violent conflict with indigenous peoples such as the Penan and Iban, and driving endangered wildlife such as orangutans and hornbills, to extinction.

Excellent alternatives to ramin dowels exist. Since the campaign targeting DIY stores like The Home Depot. Lowe’s has shifted to purchasing poplar dowels made in the US (and carrying a label that says “This Product Saves Rainforests”).

Also, pine dowels and tool handles are made from second growth pine. Encouraging tool companies to use recycled plastic for tool handles would also go a long way toward reducing logging and building a secondary materials economy.


EIA Commends Lowe’s On Eliminating Illegally Sourced Ramin Wood Dowels From Their Retail Stores
08 August 2000
Illicit ramin wood from Indonesia's National Park

The following companies export, import, sell or manufacture dowels or tool handles made with tropical hardwoods.

Alliance International

Cardinal Products

C&W Berry

Great American Marketing (GAM)


Quickie Manufacturing



American-made dowels

Bayer Wood Products

Bayer Wood Products

Come By: Bayer Wood Products
416 Dussel Drive
Maumee, OH 43537

Bayer Wood Products sell American-made dowels to crafters, woodworkers, hardware stores, lumber yards, and many others.

Smith Wood Products. Ltd.

Smith Wood Products. Ltd.
800/346-9003 or 817/581-5200
Fax: 817/581-5205