We’d just like to make a quick comment regarding the rumor” that goes around every so often regarding changes in the Craftsman warranty. OTOH, since everyone does seem to think the warranty means their lifetimes, Sears has a PR problem with unmet expectations then. Some require modification before use, which supposedly notably includes their machine tools which have rough edges and the like. I LOVE Sears.. NEVER had a problem returning anything.. even 20-year-old tools for brand-new replacement!!!
I often thought about filling a truck with german tools and going around selling them. This is my first time receiving such treatment after more than 25 years of buying Craftsman tools from Sears. Give me American tools like Wright, S-K, Proto….Bought craftsman in the past but not in the last 15 years All tool companies now have a line of imports so you have to watch it if your trying to buy American.
A good tool for home mechanics, and several of the guys at the shop here use Blue-Point tools (perhaps because the Snap-On one is too expensive.) If Snap-On is out of your budget but you want high quality, get Blue-Point. Home Depot , lowes, harbor freight, menards, ace, napa all sell tools that are of better quality than Sears. One way to help is for people in managerial positions to promote buying of American made goods.
I would agree that the three standard Harbor Freight torque wrenches compare favorably with the 1990’s era Craftsman torque wrench that I paid $90 for. The only difference between Snap-On and Blue-Point is where the parts are made. A review of the Craftsman catalogs found that the 4507 pliers were first listed in 1947 under the Dunlap brand, and then offered in 1949 under the Craftsman brand. Too much junk throwaway stuff in the Sears stores to qualify them as quality shopping experiences. I too have had my share of problems exchanging Craftsman hand tools in the recent years at Sears. This kind of abuse of the Craftsman warranty is why stores get anal retentive about things, and refuse replacements.
The newer Grizzly tools manufactured in Taiwan are comparable in durability and far more precise than anything ever manufactured in the US. I would just avoid Chinese manufactured tools which are highly variable, but if it offers a lifetime warranty you could take the gamble. I used to work for Sears about 4 years ago in the Tool Territory department (Tools) and my manager Greg had always told me to not accept tools that had rust on them.
Value: 4 While expensive, the tools are high quality, perhaps the best I’ve consistently seen. The settlement imposes a $205,000 civil penalty – a significant portion of the profits made from selling the mislabeled wrenches – and prohibits Stanley from violating the 1999 order. Shop by Craftsman at for Hand Tools including brands like Craftsman Sears home. However, they’re certainly not required to. Some stores keep a cabinet full of repaired” tools which they’ll trade out to you whenever possible. I am quite familiar with the Craftsman Industrial line of hand tools, and I already own a bunch of them.
Also, The metal racks they came in did not have that typical green semi wrinkle finish on them, instead they had a smooth green paint job on them that wasnt nearly the smae color as normal sk tools use. The owner said in a recent newspaper article that he wanted to stay small and do good said that if he had gone large and had gone into mass production that he would have been crushed by chinese that he can deliver his custom made parts cheaper and fasster than the Chinese can. I have bought many Craftsman tools, some Husky tools – they have some ratcheting combination wrenches that are excellent.
The Craftsman sockets I picked up a couple days back are a mix of both, with a couple of g’s in there. They obviously have to honor the Craftsman warranties and toe a fine line, but it isn’t just a management difference but an actual ownership difference at times. We found a Milwaukee power tool set that said on the box that it was made in Mexico. Footprint Tools originally closed in May 2009 following financial difficulties, but has since re-opened.
Sears is being sued for mis-representing it’s made in U.S.A. tools with many parts made elsewhere but since it’s being sold under the guise of patriotism it should entirely made in U.S.A. Someone made the comment earlier that there ratchets are the most replace item. And yes i have found old beat up craftsman tools at yard sales or on the side of the road.
Craftsman no longer makes the wrench, most likely because cars no longer have distributors, so it was a smart move on their part not to invest on the tool and die here in the states for such a tool. The tools will come in the same basic shape (although as the link below shows, thicker to make up for lesser quality steel, rougher finishing quality and less gear lube), with the same packaging part numbers and price. Closing Notes: Special thanks to Harry J. Epstein Company , a tool retailer that still cares about the country of origin off the tools that they sell. I work at an auto repair shop, and for the most part, the shop tools are craftsman.
Then covered it with plastic, enlarged the Irwin mark, and you’d scarcely realize it was ever a Vise-Grip made by American Tool. As to Sears power tools, I bought my first Craftsman power tool back in 1981, 27 years ago, and there was no lifetime warrenty on them then. US labor has in some cases priced themselves out of competition,(I am an IBEW electrician) I have seen that first hand. I have owned craftsman tools now for over 30 years and still have some older tools from my father. If you ever exchange a craftsman tool, watch out or you will get a repaired tool (does not apply to sockets and wrenches).
Taiwan has long had a reputation for tools almost as good as Japanese tools (after they got past their crap period after WW2). The power tools are still pretty much the same as ever, except for having gone through a few design changes so the battery shapes are different and non-interchangeable with earlier versions of the cordless tools. The Craftsman hand tool brand would probably not last as a quality tool brand if the name were sold off.
Now here’s the kicker: MAC Tools, Proto Tools (a very expensive industrial brand), Husky Tools, and, (prior to five or so years ago) Craftsman Tools are all made from the same forgings in the same plants. This table excludes power tools, wood working tools, yard and garden tools, and any hand tools not specifically identified with series codes. The average family man could not afford to only live with U.S.A. made goods anymore.
A little nicer finish, some consideration for ergonomics on some models, and they seem to be a bit thicker or sturdier than the same craftsman tools. They did replace my bits and just to show them who had the power I went home and gAthered up every craftsman bit and demanded the store replace them with new becuase I wasn’t satisfied with them per the warranty. LogRite Tools (Vernon, CT): aluminum-handled logging tools for use at sawmills, woodlots and construction sites. Also have a 30 year old 1/2 drive fine tooth Craftsman ratchet that I love, been kitted a few times. I just warranty returned a bypass lopper I bought several years ago from Sears.
I may have to stock up on all tools I’ve wanted to get to make sure I get them before they completely switch. The head also had an odd knurled spinner permanently attatched to the drive end, which is not found on SK tools. Shop around and buy tools that are still well built from suppliers that still respect some type of warranty. I started my working career at a Hardware back in 1955, and have yet to see tools stamped as such. Taiwanese tools are better in my experience, I bought a couple Titan brand tools that have a really nice finish, some innovative design features, and nice materials. Please, I beg of everyone here to please only have legitimately defective tools warranteed.
More interestingly, the Harbor Freight dog-bone wrenches are identical to the Craftsman dog-bone wrenches. Husky are also good tools and have a good lifetime warranty (they’ll even replace your broken Craftsman with an equivalent Husky). The Sears stores have not been really competitive in the retail market for years. I happen to know that craftsman tools are produced from american steel, as well as matco, allen, and armstrong. Unsure exactly what the warranty is. My KD tools are ordered through Snap-On, though we also have a direct account, so getting the warranty is probably a little harder than getting Snap-On warranties.
Sears continued to use the Dunlap brand for economy tools into the early 1960s, but by 1964 the Craftsman catalog no longer included Dunlap tools. I found the last long nosed pliers made in the USA in an old hardware store selling out at 50% off so I got them for $8. You say the tools are made to Sears specs, yeah sure and I’m Santa Claus, so no presents for you in Dec. Currently our only catalog reference for these pliers is the 1947 Craftsman tools catalog.
I can’t believe how many people here think that it’s apparently Sears’ obligation to repair tools that have been abused. I will still go into a sears, but will only buy it if its made in USA, so sometimes I come out with hardly anything, and some stores, nothing at all. You must keep in mind that we on the GJ are but just a small speck of dust about keeping the made in the USA in the USA. Lowe’s has Kobalt brand, originally made by JH Williams (related to Snap-On), but now made by Danaher. They have their own slew of knock-offs made in their own country, but no one can argue that their scopes aren’t wonderful.
Have a look at the Craftsman web site, it states that only 80% of Craftsman hand tools are made in the USA. I’m not questioning quality of the tools, I have some tools from Harbor Freight made in China and they’re great. I found the MADE IN THE USA statement stamped into the Craftsman metal socket organizing rails that I procured today at the Chico SEARS. Tools include cant hooks, log peaveys, timber carriers, and hand saws, all made in USA.