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First, this isn't about Snap-On or other high-end tools.

 

All my life the guys in my family have bought Craftsman mechanic hand tools... and when I reached "wrench-turning age" I did also (when I could afford 'em).

 

Well... I just received an email from Sears - it seems they've sold the brand:

 

 

Dear [Hardpan],

I'm writing to let you know some exciting news about Craftsman that will enable us to put even more hardworking tools in the hands of makers everywhere. On January 5, Sears Holdings announced that it will sell the Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker.

Craftsman is and has been an important part of the Sears family for ninety years. And thats not going to change. The research and development team at Sears and Craftsman will continue to develop new innovations that will be available exclusively at Sears and Kmart stores and online. However, as part of this transaction, Stanley Black & Decker will gain the rights to develop, manufacture and sell Craftsman-branded products outside of Sears and Kmart, which will make Craftsman products more broadly available in the USA and internationally.

 

 

Wondering if the quality will change* and how the warranties will work. :mellow:

 

*I don't think they're stamped "Made In USA" anymore. :(

Edited by Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967
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I'm glad to see that Craftsman tools is establishing a market outside of Sears and Kmart. Those two boats are sinking fast. Craftsman makes some fine hand tools. I hope they survive. As far as Sears and Kmart, well, I'll never miss them.

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The announcement I read said Stanley would assume and continue to honor all the Craftsman warranties on US made tools.

 

Even Sears "adjusted" the quality on the Craftsman products over the years - no reason to think Stanley won't also.....

 

Most hand tools are not getting to be "better quality" than they were in the 1950s and 60s. :(

 

BTW - "Craftsman" was a brand name that was applied to many different companies tools that were branded for Sears to sell as Craftsman. Just like the Ted Williams line of sporting goods, long guns and fishing tackle were. There is no "Craftsman" company.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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With SK gone .

Craftsman was one of the last good tools for the Hobby Home Mechanic.

 

I have been a Professional Certified Technician my hole life.

We need tools like Snap On and Mac .

 

I have alway told my Sons and Other People .

The best home tool for the Money is Craftsman tools.

 

I hope the brand and quality survives.

The down fall of Sears and Kmart.

 

I can say Homedepot Husky brand of tool

Is also a very quality Home Mechanic tool.

 

I hope Craftsman dont go the way of SK.

GONE FOREVER !

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I will take the sit back and watch approach with this transaction. I loved Lands End and purchased from them for years. They were purchased by Sears and their product quality went down the drain suffering from many cost cutting measures. Lately Sears was selling them to become stand alone stores and their own brand again. I asked one of the area managers if they would go back to their old supply chains and product quality. He flatly stated they have no plans to make any of those changes. I replied I had no plans to resume purchasing the brand then.

 

Good luck.........

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I would echo what Cypress said. I bought a set of Crapsman screwdrivers a few years back. All the Phillips head drivers were ground off center. Wouldn't turn a screw. I took them back to the retailer, 4 of them and got 3 back in the mail. That's when I decided I wouldn't buy another one. Their warranty has changed as well. Not lifetime anymore.

If I find some old Craftsman tools at thrift stores, garage sales and auctions, I'd buy them. Any thing from the last 10 - 15 years, I'd pass.

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Calamity, you are right on in your assessment. You should have seen the change in culture at the distribution centers. It went from a feeling of inclusion to one of cut to the bone. They lost their "soul". Many of the workers just don't care, just going through the motions. It got worse when Sears started putting Lands End products in their retail stores. What a way to confuse the market and dilute your distribution. Then they try to go upscale and that didn't work either. They keep hiring these people from high profile retailers who try to manage from 1500 miles away. Nothing says I don't care about you like not wanting to associate with you and your small town values. The last president was some fancy babe from New York who would grace the HQ with her presence every couple months but had to stay in a hotel at the state capitol, some 40 miles away instead of staying at one of the local hotels. The locals weren't fancy enough for her. So her limo would shuttle her back and forth. She lasted 10 months. The board is clueless.

They forget their bread and butter is everyday, quality work/office clothes, comfortable recreation clothes. They aren't fancy but they get it done and if done consistently, will make money. It isn't fashion trendy but it is a solid model to work from.

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Sears used to also have a lifetime warranties on their batteries. They banked on most people selling their cars in lieu of keeping them My dad and brother hang onto vehicles forever. Kept the receipt and would go back and get a new one about every 3 years. Finally Sears dropped the warranty for life on batteries.

 

25 years ago I bought a Sears/Craftsman air compressor for my garage. It finally wore out. I went back to Sears to buy another. As they were ringing it upI mentioned I was replacing one I had for 25 years. The sales clerk looked at me and said, 'this won't even come close to that'.

Ike

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I always liked Craftsman, but then again I always liked Stanley and Black and Decker! Looks like a WIN WIN for us!! ;)

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About 36 years ago I guess it was I started working in the communications business as an installer and my boss told me to go down to Sears and buy this list of tools. I did so and a lot of those tools are still being used in my shop today. I have a few other Snap on tools and such but primarily Craftsmen tools for wrenches, screwdrivers and such and they feel good in my hands. I needed a wrench awhile back and looked over the Craftsmen wrenches at Sears and they just didn't seem to be the same quality.

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I have bought lots of Craftsman tools but they have gone down the tubes. I mostly own Snap-On and Matco tools now with a smattering of other quality tools. I still have a few of my old Craftsman tools but the new screwdriver set I bought last year just because I wanted the biggest one in the set is pure garbage. I was actually shocked at how bad they were and they said "Made in USA" on the handles.

 

I heard the news story about Stanley / Black and Decker buying Craftsman. They said that the Craftsman tools will still be made in USA and that they plan to expand production. We will see if the expanded production means "quality".

 

On another note - Carlyle tools sold at Napa are made in the USA and they are really nice tools. I have been buying them lately and I am impressed with them. The guys at Napa claim that the Carlyle tools are made in the same plant that makes Snap-On. I don't know if that is true but they sure look like it might be true. The price of the Carlyle tools is about 1/3 the cost of Snap-On tools off of the truck. Sometimes even less than that. I bought a 15mm wobbly socket from Napa. It was $11. The same socket from Snap-On, $32. I worked the heck out of that wobbly on two engine swaps (same engine pulled and installed twice...don't ask) and this socket is as tight as the day I bought it. I am impressed.

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The announcement I read said Stanley would assume and continue to honor all the Craftsman warranties on US made tools.

 

Good luck, GJ

Yeah. And "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"

 

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