Craftsman Tools -- RIP
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    Default Craftsman Tools -- RIP

    Looked at some of the new "Craftsman" tools at Lowe's today and nearly wretched because of the terrible quality of most of them.

    Good thing I have two lifetime's worth of old "Guaranteed For Life -- if it breaks we'll replace it for free" Made in USA tools.

    Or maybe you think Craftsman tools were always junk. I always liked them. Not any more.

    Anyone make hand tools in the USA anymore?

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    Channellock, Armstrong, Vaughan, sargent, there are many others.

    Don't wright off all the Chinese hand tools harbour freight "Doyle" brand of slip joint plier is a good one.

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    Danaher used to make many of the Craftsman Tools. Follow the financial trail -- Bain Capital now owns oodles of US brands: Apex Tool Group - Wikipedia

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    usually related to cost, $5. socket wrench set not going to work as well as a $50. or $100. set
    .
    Craftsman usually better than Sears brand. Lawn mowers used to be silver, gold, platinum rated. silver lawn mower I had lasted a year. gold lawn mower lasted 7 years. just saying cost often related to quality level.
    .
    $40 circular saw not normally as good as $120. circular saw.
    .
    battery drill or saw,...... brushless with high amp hour battery going to have more power and last longer per charge than old style drill with brushes. might cost $40. or $60. more but usually worth it......... cheap ones have cheap battery and old inefficient motor design

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    Wright makes some good tools- I have a bunch of their screwdrivers, open-end wrenches and socket wrenches. They like to encourage purchase thru their dealers but Amazon is a good place to find their stuff too.

    I have a few older Craftsman open-end wrenches, they are pretty nice. OTOH I picked up a really nice looking old set of Craftsman taps and drills from an estate cleanout and almost had a Big Problem putting threads into an engine block- both the drills and taps were like chalk- tossed the rest of the set in the trash before I got into more trouble- never again.

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    All of my Crafstman tools are mid-late 90's or so, so very good quality, when they would exchange tools with the guarantee for life program. 99% of my hand tools are Craftsman with the exception of some Eklind and Bondhous allen wrenches...

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    Craftsman guarantee is NOT for professional use. knew a carpenter who'd buy $40. circular saw building houses and when it stopped working he'd bring it back to store and get a new circular saw free.
    .
    decades ago warranty was changed lifetime warranty is NOT for professional use
    .
    well known Craftsman wood chisels are so soft they will bend and not snap or break. cause if bring back a bent chisel you abused it, so dont get a replacement one. soft chisel obviously dont stay sharp long but lawyers made them change stuff so it bends and not breaks so warranty can be not done cause it shows abuse
    .
    be careful of lifetime warranty often it forces inferior tools to be made

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    Circa 1959 I got a set of their ignition wrenches. Flawlessly made, forged, polished and plated. A friend had a similar set and one day we were commenting on them and I said I had lost two over the years. The next Christmas he gave me a new set. Punched out of sheet with a blanking die, virtually unuseable. Of course, I had to be properly appreciative, then tossed them in the wrench drawer/

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Menke View Post
    Wright makes some good tools- I have a bunch of their screwdrivers, open-end wrenches and socket wrenches. They like to encourage purchase thru their dealers but Amazon is a good place to find their stuff too.
    +1 for Wright tools, they make good stuff here in the USA. I have a set of wrenches and a set of their sockets.

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    The ones they sold at Ace hardware were ok, for a while

    till stock runs out

    My FIL got me a sears gift card for Christmas every year, last several years rushed out to buy stuff before they went under

    At least i have a decent selection now

    Craftsman may not have been Snap On, but they were a decent tool

    RIP indeed

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    When I first worked as a motorcycle mechanic many years ago, I bought a complete set of US Made Craftsman tools - combination wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, ratchets and the like.

    They are still going strong, except maybe for the screwdrivers which will wear out. Whenever I go to a swap meet, I buy any loose US made Craftsman tools I see.

    Too bad that Sears is now just a shadow of its former self and has been reduced to selling second and third-rate tools.

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    I had craftsman from day one. Always nice quality. Back around 95 I bought a bunch of tools for the shop. All the ratchets I bought went straight into a chip can. I didn't realize I had bought them from the "Knuckle Buster" series. Even the finishes were very crude, so even 25 years ago they were circling the drain.

    I bought some snap on ratchets instead. Remarkable quality. But the last snap on tool I looked at said Made in China, so they're crossed off my list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    All of my Crafstman tools are mid-late 90's or so, so very good quality, when they would exchange tools with the guarantee for life program. 99% of my hand tools are Craftsman with the exception of some Eklind and Bondhous allen wrenches...
    Late 90's? I don't think any of my Craftsmen tools are that new. I started buying Craftsmen tools to keep my collection of $300 beater cars alive in the mid 70's. I might have a couple things bought as late as 1995.I think that is how old my Crafstmen reciprocating saw is. It still runs fine. I bought it from a Sears store when I lived in my first Riverside Ca location. I loved that store because it was never crowded. I always expect it to get closed down, every time they announce Sears store closures, but it still lives. They must do a good catalog order business to keep it open. I have lots of tools that say "Made in USA" on them that haven't been made here in decades. I have a Craftsmen die grinder I bought to sharpen chain saw chains when I was cutting firewood for a living 40 years ago. It still works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    I had craftsman from day one. Always nice quality. Back around 95 I bought a bunch of tools for the shop. All the ratchets I bought went straight into a chip can. I didn't realize I had bought them from the "Knuckle Buster" series. Even the finishes were very crude, so even 25 years ago they were circling the drain.
    Those POS coarse tooth ratchets. Absolute pure GARBAGE. I've finally thrown them all away. There are a
    couple of dents in the roll up doors from when my knuckles got mangled and the POS ratchets somehow
    got launched.

    And yes, I did THROW them away. I wouldn't give one of those POS's to my worst enemy.


    And when I was a kid, I thought Craftsman was the only company that made hand tools.
    And they used to be good, I haven't bought a Craftsman tool in 18 and a half years,
    and the hand tools and sockets were decent, but those ratchets...

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    Most of my Craftsman tools are from the 50s and 60s and are still as good as new except for one, a hand drill with a "Albrecht" like chuck. The the button that locks the gear train so you can tighten and loosen the chuck broke and I haven't been able to repair. :-( Haven't bought any of the brand since, probably the 80s or later.
    ...lewie...

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    What good is the Craftsman warrantee now hen they will replace it with the Chinese junk?
    Proto had good American made tools a few years ago. The adjustable wrenches and locking pliers were made in Spain or somewhere and not as good as Crescent or original Vice Grips.

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    Wright, Proto, S-K, Armstrong and Williams are all still U.S. made AFAIK. You probably won't find them for Craftsman prices unless you get them at a yard sale or flea market though. Maybe eBay. Great stuff. Top quality on the older tools, not sure how they are today.

    I like old Diamond Tool and Horseshoe wrenches too, they're pretty good. Only made adjustable wrenches and chain wrenches though AFAIK. Out of business long ago however.

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    We sure-as-shit do! Just north of Chicago. Steel bars, tubes, and coils go in and finished torque wrenches go out! Here's a silly interview I did to support Yamazen (I am aware of the irony involved in supporting a Japanese company in a thread that touts American manufacturing, but what can I say...the Brother and Takisawa machine tools make our hand tools better! )

    YouTube

    It's really weird (but I get it) how much attention the brands get but not the manufacturers FOR those brands and the resulting differences in quality. My brothers and I are the third generation of family ownership of our torque wrench company, Precision Instruments, so we are right in the middle of what you're talking about! Over the past 20 years more and more brands have moved their manufacturing over seas and a lot of that import crap really is complete garbage. There used to be several American-made torque wrenches but now there are essentially none other than us. Don't miss the fine print on some big-name brands (i.e. "Made in USA............................................... .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ........out of foreign and domestic parts." )

    That being said, the cheap stuff is sufficient for home or light-duty use and if it breaks and can be replaced via warranty fine, but a lot of professionals do not have time to drive on down to Sears (if you can even find one anymore) or wherever to swap out their tools so they prefer high-quality tools they can RELY on. Of course the "good" stuff is so expensive now that sometimes all you can afford is the cheap stuff that used to be good but not now, so that sucks.

    The mark up the big brands slap on the products they source is crazy...one particular example I may or may not be (but definitely am) aware of is a 700% markup for a product made by ABC and sold via drop ship to a customer of XYZ. XYZ never even touches it! :step: That is why I support MariTool whenever I can. They make high-quality products about 20 minutes from my factory and sell direct to the end user to save us money without sacrificing quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdlinger View Post
    We sure-as-shit do! Just north of Chicago. Steel bars, tubes, and coils go in and finished torque wrenches go out! Here's a silly interview I did to support Yamazen (I am aware of the irony involved in supporting a Japanese company in a thread that touts American manufacturing, but what can I say...the Brother and Takisawa machine tools make our hand tools better! )

    YouTube

    It's really weird (but I get it) how much attention the brands get but not the manufacturers FOR those brands and the resulting differences in quality. My brothers and I are the third generation of family ownership of our torque wrench company, Precision Instruments, so we are right in the middle of what you're talking about! Over the past 20 years more and more brands have moved their manufacturing over seas and a lot of that import crap really is complete garbage. There used to be several American-made torque wrenches but now there are essentially none other than us. Don't miss the fine print on some big-name brands (i.e. "Made in USA............................................... .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ........out of foreign and domestic parts." )

    That being said, the cheap stuff is sufficient for home or light-duty use and if it breaks and can be replaced via warranty fine, but a lot of professionals do not have time to drive on down to Sears (if you can even find one anymore) or wherever to swap out their tools so they prefer high-quality tools they can RELY on. Of course the "good" stuff is so expensive now that sometimes all you can afford is the cheap stuff that used to be good but not now, so that sucks.

    The mark up the big brands slap on the products they source is crazy...one particular example I may or may not be (but definitely am) aware of is a 700% markup for a product made by ABC and sold via drop ship to a customer of XYZ. XYZ never even touches it! :step: That is why I support MariTool whenever I can. They make high-quality products about 20 minutes from my factory and sell direct to the end user to save us money without sacrificing quality.
    What brand do you make? Just curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Wo View Post
    Good thing I have two lifetime's worth of old "Guaranteed For Life -- if it breaks we'll replace it for free" Made in USA tools.
    Sears replaced tools with new ones. Then the policy changed to replace with a used one.


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