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Craftsman Tools

Plumdog_2
Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
They have good, better, best. Or maybe no good, OK and pretty good. I've had good luck with the automotive tools thru the years, but the other tools (carpenter, plumber, what-have-you) seem to have a make-believe feel. Nuts and bolts on cars are mixed up from sae to metric. Six-point sockets don't strip the nuts when going from one standard to the other.

Comments

  • Is it just my garage???

    I have been helping my son build his tool box up... mainly because he will one day want to be totally independant. So while rebuilding yet another motorcycle he has been buying Craftsman Lifetime Warranty tools because Snap On refuses to stop in my neighborghood (and Craftsman was always a good #2).

    Seems a week does not go by that he needs to take a trip back to Sears and replace another tool or tools plural. Not only that but the sizing seems to be off too. The other night he compared allen sockets and my sockets fit his bolts, his were either too big or too small.

    Anyone having better luck with other brands? ANyone seeing the same problems we are having???

    Losing my faith in Craftsman Tools,

    wheels
  • Jeff Lawrence_25
    Jeff Lawrence_25 Member Posts: 746
    SAE vs. Metric

    May be part of the problem.

    My daughters truck is SAE for the body, but not for all of it. We have the metric for the engine and now for some of the body work as well.

    For what it's worth, it's a 1989 Chevrolet S-10.
  • SAE vs Metric

    Jeff,

    Using SAE for SAEW and metric for metric. Comparing sae to sae and metric for metric also.

    They all break the same :-)

    skw
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Their line of pliers

    the kind made of layers of stamped heavy gauges steel? The ones that come in 3-packs, both pliers, nippers and channel-lock types? I broke the wire cutters cutting a piece of Romex... Yes they replaced it, but why?

    I suspect they are made in Newton, Iowa, I don't know... ;)
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 770
    Just the other day

    Just the other day I was exchanging a broken 6 in one screw driver thinking it is about the fifth one in ten years yet my Huskey one seems to last. I have to exchange the quarter inch drive ratchet frequently as it starts to slip. Like everything else the Craftsman quality has started to go down hill. I have many many Craftsman sets, kind of obscessed with tools.

    Leo
  • Bob Sweet
    Bob Sweet Member Posts: 540
    I've noticed the same thing

    seems the tolerances on the Craftsman tools are just a little off.

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  • lee_7
    lee_7 Member Posts: 458


    Noticed the same things. The quality of the tools is nothing like the good old days. I have wrenches from my grandfather that probably 30 years old and work perfectly. The new ones feel like junk in your hand and get they a little wet and forget it, they rust up and are junk. I don't know where they are made anymore but my guess is overseas for 10 cents a wrench.
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    Kobalt

    I bought a combo set from Lowe's for one of my buildings. Was very surprised, reasonable price, reasonable quality. I use Blackhawk sockets / wrenches at home...not cheep.
  • lee_7
    lee_7 Member Posts: 458


    kobalt has lifetime warranty as well
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    that would be enough to make me

    want to chase down a Snap On truck :) Snap On dealers always have used tools and boxes for sale. I'd rather own "pre trained" quality tool from Snap On then the deal with the frustration level from buying low quality tools.

    Or maybe you are just too strong!

    hot rod

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  • Oh yea, thats it..

    I'm too strong, hahaha.

    Maybe my son is, but not me.

    Funny you mention the PRETRAINED tools. Nice wording!! A lot of my snap on tools I purchased from a 90 year old man who retired and non of his kids wanted his hand me downs. Man, was that a winner of a day for me :-)

    Will we see you ate REX?

    wheels
  • Charles G.
    Charles G. Member Posts: 113
    TOOLS

    Like a lot of others, Sears has probably figured out it's cheaper to make a cheap tool and warranty it than make a quality product that lasts. Yeah, the tool's guaranteed for life, but that's a small consoltion when you're in the middle of it...
  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
    eBay?

    If you don't need the tool "right now", there is always ebay for Snap-On, Matco, Mac, etc. You have to watch pretty closely, but sometimes there are some pretty good deals.
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    Main problem with the Snap-On dude

    Is that he is becoming a rare breed, at least in my area. sales down, too pricey,competition has driven a lot of franchised dealers under. It costs around $100K to start up.
  • my local guy...

    My SnapOn man retired and became a regional, then retured completely. The Snap On man that I do have contact with tells me I can meet him at a local hang out on friday night... but he usually does not have his truck.

    When we were racing back in the 70's we had a snap on guy stop once a month, or more often if called. He didn;t make a killing on us but he profited pretty well. ALways a sale when he stopped. It may have only been $100, but he stopped on his way home, had an iced tea, took a swim and then tallied our purchases. Pretty easy stop.

    I just wish I could get someone by once a month. I'd get all the local "home" mechanics to come over fopr beers and hanfg out for him.

    Maybe the MAC guy will stop?
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
    Steve,

    There are other companies in our area too. We see the Snappy guy, Mac tools ,Cornell and occasionally one of those "right out the back door guys".

    I guess I've been blessed with my Craftsman purchases. I've had my wrench set for about 20 years now without a single return. However...I just didn't like the feel of their ratchets in my hands. I found S-K to be solidly built and own at least 2 boxes of 3/8ths and 1/2 " shallow and deep sets. I did have one of the ratchets blow out, and it was replaced with no questions asked...about 15 years ago.

    I used to see Proto tools around here too, but haven't in quite a while. They made a 6" folding set of allen wrenches that any oilman would die for, and worn as they are...they still work although a few are getting too short to reach a fan hub on the older stuff.

    I agree with those that say to keep an eye on E-bay or the newspapers. Sometimes you get lucky. Tools have become an extension of my hands. I try all I can and keep the ones that feel right. Sometimes the garden variety, run of the mill hardware store brands are pretty good! Don't forget them! Chris
  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 770
    Kobalt aremade by

    Although not the same Kobalt are made by Snap On, from what I have read they are the only tool Snap On makes for stores. Snap On does have a web site for their tools and I believe purchases can be made there.

    A few years ago there were only one or two factories in the country that made tools so Craftsman, Stanley, Huskey were all made in one of the two places. Snap On stayed segragated. It may have all changed with the world economy now.

    Leo
  • billygoat22
    billygoat22 Member Posts: 124


    Been awhile since I visited here.

    I have some craftsman rachets that slipped as well. I usually chip the screwdrivers over time and have to replace, but the sidecutters and pliers seem to hold up pretty well.
    Pick up tools preowned as well from estate place and on sale. Put together a set of taps- 1/8,3/8, 5/16, 1/2, 3/4, 1" for a couple dollars- no china crap either. I've used the 3/4 plenty of times on airhandler drains to clean up the threads on a broken off drain.
  • billygoat22
    billygoat22 Member Posts: 124


    Oh yeah, could be the fasteners themselves vary some- with the global market and commodity buying.
  • Ken D.
    Ken D. Member Posts: 836
    Craftsman

    I have been using Craftsman forever. I have not noticed a drop in quality, but then again I have almost everything already and seldom buy new anymore. If there is a decrease in quality, I am not surprised considering K-Mart owns Sears. I have been concerned ever since (Craftsman are now sold in K-Mart).The last bastion of Made In The USA quality. Pretty sad and maddening.
  • Ken D.
    Ken D. Member Posts: 836
    Kobalt

    > Although not the same Kobalt are made by Snap On,

    > from what I have read they are the only tool Snap

    > On makes for stores. Snap On does have a web

    > site for their tools and I believe purchases can

    > be made there.

    >

    > A few years ago there were only

    > one or two factories in the country that made

    > tools so Craftsman, Stanley, Huskey were all made

    > in one of the two places. Snap On stayed

    > segragated. It may have all changed with the

    > world economy now.

    >

    > Leo



    Kobalt is made by the Danaher Tool Co. They also make for other private labels and maybe even Craftsman. Last I heard, they were still made in USA
  • Ken D.
    Ken D. Member Posts: 836
    Kobalt

    Kobalt is made by the Danaher Tool Co. They also make for other private labels and maybe even Craftsman. Last I heard, they were still made in USA
  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
    Sears & Home Depot

    It is my recollection from talking with the Ridgid rep a few years ago that a large portion of the Craftsman tool line was actually manufactured by Emerson Electric - Ridgid being a subsidiary of Emerson.

    Sears decided to outsource the craftsman tools overseas a few years ago. Ridgid, losing a such a large customer turned to Home Depot to fill the void. Thats why you see Ridgid there. In fact you may have noticed there are some Ridgid products in HD that the wholesalers don't have access to.

    This outsourcing by Sears may be the root cause of the quality issues being described in this post.
  • I don't know...

    when I see pepople like "Boob" Vila hawking tools I run away from them like they're the plague. I go for names like Klein, Rigid, Lenox, things like that.
  • Ken C.
    Ken C. Member Posts: 267
    Good tape measures too

    I bought a Kobalt tape measure with a magnetic end, as I do commercial plumbing and work with steel studs. The tape was very reasonably priced, yet seems well made and is easy to read. Used to be a Stanley tape loyalist, but no more. And forget Craftsman, I heard they no longer warranty their tape measures.
  • Ken C.
    Ken C. Member Posts: 267
    Speaking of HD,

    I bought a Ridgid mini tubing cutter there recently. Instead of the usual gray, it was painted silver ... kinda odd. When I went to use it, I noticed it was "sloppier" (i.e., poor fit/tolerances) than my other one I had bought at a plumbing supply. Different specs for the HD line? Hmmmmmm...... Anyway, back it went to Big Orange.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Great Story

    I heard this a few years back ...

    Seems a father has a son who was quite the budding mechanic. One day the Dad went downstairs and found the kid had about 5,000.00 worth of tools. Fearing the kid was doing something illegal he confronted his son.

    He son said that when someone brought back a defective tool to Sears, they replaced it and threw it on the trash. The kid would go in the dumpster, pick out the tool, and go in the store to get a new one.

    I think the Dad made him give the stuff back, but ya gotta give the kid credit for being "crafty"

    Scott

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  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,291
    My favorites

    S-K, Blackhawk and Proto for hand tools. Try the Facom screwdrivers from S-K, they're the berries!!! Lenox for P&H tools. Try one of the one tooth wonder hole saws from Lenox, you'll be amazed. OSB, Lam beams and truss joists are no problem. You better have a good grip on your Hole Hawg when you hit the wood with it.

    You heard it here first..............Lenox will own the P&H trade tool market within 5 years. Ridge is history.

    Klien's warranty is non existent. If I break one I don't even bother to return it.

    Older Craftsman tools are good but don't bother with any of their new merchandise. Most is made in China. Not so with the oldie but goodie variety. Check garage sales for the good stuff.

    Hanson for bits and taps. Irwin is OK on some things.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    I think Mr. Vila

    uses Strap-On myself.

    :)
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Jim_139
    Jim_139 Member Posts: 61


    Try this for American made tools - www.stillmadeinusa.com for links to American tool mfr's. Sears has a line of tools, Companion, that's made in China. Supposedly the Craftsman line of hand tools is still made by Danaher in the US. Power tools made in China. I was told by a salesperson in Home Despot a few years ago that HD had purchased Husky Tool and would honor the Craftsman warranty with a like Husky.

    I've been picking up some good American hand tools at a local yard sale, the guy cleans them up and sells them for the benefit of the Boy Scouts. Unfortunately he's planning to move to VA if he's not already there.
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Without question..........

    ......Knipex makes the highest quality stuff around. Once you try their plier wrenches, they will quickly become indispensable. I use Craftsman ratchet wrenches for circulator flange bolts, but for almost eveything else it's Knipex plier wrench. Also, their electrical hand tools will make you wonder why you ever bought Klein.

    http://www.knipex.com/index.php?id=16&no_cache=1&L=1

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    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    Sears work clothes

    Knew a plumber that wore his Sears workshirts maybe 1 or 2 washings and then brought them back for new ones.
  • HitzKup_2
    HitzKup_2 Member Posts: 45
    Hanson - Irwin

    Hanson & Irwin is one company all Irwin bits are made in China.
  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,291
    Why did I know..........

    Someone would slant the discussion in this manner and that the someone would be Brad White or Ken Secor? :)
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557


    At least he's consistent.
  • Ken D.
    Ken D. Member Posts: 836
    Tools

    Most of the big American name are made in China and elsewhere. Stanley, Irwin, Plumb, Husky, Cooper. The list goes on. The quality is not as good as it used to be.
This discussion has been closed.