All of my Craftsman sockets, ratchets, extensions and u-joints say Made in the U.S.A. These span many years and the latest are probably 10 years old. That was until I read a story concerning the newer style channel locks, seems as if Sears found a small US company making a good style of these and they contracted for an exclusive deal, to be sold by sears only. I was livid, anywho, I raised a stink and made the guy swap it out for the life time guaranteed fire man type nozzle. The pliers are marked with the Craftsman double-line logo, but no model number is marked. I have a lot of American made RP wrenches stocked up. I also look for old American made Craftsman and others on e-bay. Those branded as Sears and Dunlap were the lower grade tools until around the late 1950s.
The Wilde Tool Company was the dominant supplier of pliers for the Craftsman brand in the post-war era. I was in an RS strauss the other day, and on the way out, I walked by thier garages, and I noticed that a bunch of thier mechanics had craftsman boxes. What people fail to realize is the Craftsman warranty is an act of good will for Sears. The US made cabinets are at the median of price points all with good reviews so that is what I am using. Next thing you know Sears is selling the exact copy of the US company but made in China. In the last 4 years I’ve purchased, Craftsman Allen Keys, Armstrong Hex sockets, a craftsman socket kit.
I know they have been selling imported supplies and larger items for years, but the hand tool line has been synonymous with Made in USA, and since they have other tool lines, I never thought they would ruin the Craftsman line. Have not bought Craftsman in years but if they are now made in China, I sure won’t be buying any in the future. I’ve noticed that some Craftsman tools are still made in the USA and other’s aren’t – you have to read the packaging.
Today I was out looking for some 1/2 drive tools and SAE sockets for my son who has recently acquired a 1972 Dodge pickup that needs lots of work. According to the complaint, the Zero Degree ratchets, made under Stanley’s MAC Tools trademark, were marketed as Made in the USA, when the foreign content was actually a substantial part of the product. Look carefully at your Snapon tools you buy from now on. The unmarked ones are Chinese too. But the idea of the core hand tools no longer being made in the USA yet still having the premium pricing bothers me. We use only certified materials for our hand tools so our products are made to last.
So for a toolbox in the field, the Harbor freight stuff has gotten alot less ty in the past 5 years, and is still dirt cheap, so if your local sears is cleaned out of USA made stuff, I would look at the Harbor freight stuff. The American made tool may be made with worse tolerances and a larger spread, but yours simply happens to have paired two tightly fitting parts together. Now, people will have a choice between cheap Chinese junk, rebranded Chinese junk, and overpriced (but well made) US made tools. I think the price is about the same as the standard Craftsman line, but I don’t remember for sure.
Not because I believe thier products are better than the other name brands, but because I work at Sears so I can get a discount, AND thier lifetime warranty. By unilaterally changing the warranty, and making it retroactive, Sears has broken their contract with me. Years ago they tried the same thing with Die Hard Batteries, which at the time were warrantied for as long as you owned your car. I buy Craftsman because its what I can afford and their warranty is very convenient.
For others Craftsman made in USA also means that these are tools with a long history of being made in the USA, these are tools that their fathers or grandfathers used. We can no longer trust that all Klein tools, all Craftsman tools, all Armstrong tools are made in the USA. I got the craftsman 299 piece socket set a month ago and holy cow was it the most underwhelming purchase ever.