[4]

Craftsman Tools Today

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

racecar builder

Registered
Registered
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
407
Likes
17
#1
We are getting ready to replace some open end and boxed end wrenches.

The gist of it is there was a comment in Sears reviews that the open end wrenches he bought were a little strange.

It is probably the Kmart open end set.

He said they looked lobster claw like. Meaning the ends had too much material around the opening and the handle was too short.

Individual open end wrenches look okay so we're going in!:)

Happy Holidays!
 

dlane

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
2,928
Likes
1,373
#2
Ied check out other brands with lifetime warrantys first.
 

Uncle Buck

Registered
Registered
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
0
Likes
3
#3
Sears tools today are not worth consideration. I was once a huge Craftsman fan, but no longer. Depending on what you are looking for and if it is home or at work makes a difference. A lifetime warranty means little if the tools are cheap crap to begin with. Who wants a tool that fails every other time you use it resulting in a trip to get it replaced? Not me. Without sounding too harsh I would not make the core of my mechanics hand tool set Harbor Freight.

A good brand to look for as a solid user, but not priced as high as professional brands like Snap-on would be SK, or Proto. Craftsman tools are now primarily products from China meaning they are no better than Harbor Freight in my opinion.
 

kd4gij

Active User
Registered
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
4,587
Likes
1,768
#4
Proto is now owned by Stanley. They aren't what they used to be.
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
5,402
Likes
5,734
#5

PHPaul

Registered
Registered
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
142
Likes
184
#6
I agree that the Craftsman name has seen better days.

The last set I got wasn't NEARLY the quality of Craftsman tools from 30 or 40 years ago. It appears to me they went to cheaper alloys and made up for the loss in strength by using larger castings (or forgings as the case may be) and they certainly cut corners on the finishing. The end result is a tool that's larger, more crudely made, harder to get into small spaces, doesn't feel like quality in the hand.

I've been getting my hand tools from Home Depot, their Husky brand. Still not what Craftsman used to be, but better than what they are now.

Add to that the fact that Sears as a company is circling the drain anyway. They'll likely sell the Craftsman name (if they haven't already) and it'll just get cheaper and more difficult to get the warranty (if any) honored.
 

David S

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Nov 18, 2012
Messages
1,261
Likes
1,002
#7
Yes Stanley Black and Decker now own the Craftsman brand name.

David
 

kvt

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
1,999
Likes
988
#8
Some of the old stuff yes, but even trying to get things replaced that break is a pain. I use to have all PROTO, Craftsman and Snapon in my boxes. Most of tools got stolen then went and replaced with a full set of Craftsman, Was I in for a shock ratchets break and I smashed knuckles Sockets split down the sides. Then take them back and get harassed saying I had to be abusing them when the only thing I worked on was my own stuff.
Have not seen the inside of a Sears other than to try and get replacements. Son in law has been purchasing MAtco, and several others that still do tool trucks that come to the shops and do the replacements
 

kd4gij

Active User
Registered
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
4,587
Likes
1,768
#9
Well Stanley bought the craftsman brand. Time will tell what they do with the hand tools.
 

HBilly1022

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
502
Likes
883
#10
Sears is gone in Canada. So I'm pretty sure the lifetime guarantee on my Craftsman tools won't do me any good.

I have some of their tools and a set of taps and dies from the 70's and that stuff was great.
 

markba633csi

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
2,768
Likes
1,434
#11
Yep Matco is AFAIK still good. I like the old Thorsen wrenches; they're very smooth and nice. And I have a set of vintage Snappies I inherited from my Dad. An old Craftsman 18" breaker bar (one of their best values, in my oppossum/oppinion)
Mark S.
ps what about MAC tools?
 

gman10259

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
65
Likes
50
#12
I had a bit of nostalgia a few years back thinking about working with my dad and his old craftsman set of tools so I ordered a set from Sears to add to my tool box. Found out they were made in China and I immediately returned them. That's when I found out that Craftsman was no longer made in the USA. I was able to find a set of USA Made Craftsman from other websites that were selling "Made in The USA" Craftsman tools. Sad to think of such and Iconic USA Name Brand gone. It paralleled losing one of the Big 3 (Chrysler) when they sold to Daimler and then Fiat.:(
 

Campfire

Swarf
Registered
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
18
Likes
21
#13
Yep Matco is AFAIK still good. I like the old Thorsen wrenches; they're very smooth and nice. And I have a set of vintage Snappies I inherited from my Dad. An old Craftsman 18" breaker bar (one of their best values, in my oppossum/oppinion)
Mark S.
ps what about MAC tools?
Stanley Black & Decker purchased Mac Tools in 1980. They left things alone for a while, but then started changing things in the mid to late 90's.
I had a heck of a time with a toolbox warranty issue around 1999 or so. They would not repair or replace the box, but give me credit toward a "bigger & better toolbox".

It's so sad about Craftsman tools. I stopped buying them years ago, and now when they break, I replace them with S-K or Snap-On.
 

royesses

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
645
Likes
555
#14
When Sears switched to the China made wrenches they went lobster claw. Right now SK has a 40% off sale going on at http://www.skhandtool.com/
Lifetime made in the USA high quality tools. Some of the best customer service in the USA. It's worth a look. Some Craftsman Industrial or Pro are still the Armstrong manufactured version and are very good quality if you can find them.

Roy
 

Aaron_W

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Messages
302
Likes
337
#15
I've got a decent Craftsman wrench set, but it must be 15 years old. No idea the quality today. I agree with Paul that HD's Husky brand seems to be pretty good for the price.

Sears decline is sad, we went there a lot when I was a kid. I've been watching youtube videos from Essential Craftsman (no relation to Sears) and this one talking about Sears boots amused me. I remember my Dad wearing these same boots when I was a kid. He probably still has a pair, but since I'm no longer 3 feet tall I don't notice his shoes as much. I had no idea these boots were still around.

 

FOMOGO

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
1,783
Likes
1,711
#16
I bought my original set of Craftsman boxes and tools in 75'. Still have 95% of them, and wouldn't trade them for anything. The new stuff is garbage. Went into the local sears store a few days ago, having seen a great price advertised on a 41" top and bottom box set. Really flimsy junk, which accounts for the low price I imagine. Guess I'll be going with the 44" HF units. Mike
 

samthedog

Active User
Registered
Joined
Nov 21, 2012
Messages
777
Likes
299
#17
Things are a bit easier for us here in Europe. We have the likes Stahlwille, Beltzer, Hazet, Facom and Wera to choose from. All great brands with true lifetime warranty (for most of them) but they do cost a lot. I use Stahlwille myself as they are high tolerance and their metallurgy is second to none.

Paul.
 

Uncle Buck

Registered
Registered
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
0
Likes
3
#18
Proto is now owned by Stanley. They aren't what they used to be.
I have seen nothing in the quality of new Proto tools to indicate a drop in the quality of Proto tools. I already knew about the Stanley connection and myself am not a fan of Stanley mechanic tools. That said I have noticed no change in Proto tool quality since Stanley bought them.
 

Uncle Buck

Registered
Registered
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
0
Likes
3
#19
I bought my original set of Craftsman boxes and tools in 75'. Still have 95% of them, and wouldn't trade them for anything. The new stuff is garbage. Went into the local sears store a few days ago, having seen a great price advertised on a 41" top and bottom box set. Really flimsy junk, which accounts for the low price I imagine. Guess I'll be going with the 44" HF units. Mike
While not a big fan of HF I will agree that that the HF chest and roll cab offerings today are head and shoulders over Craftsman now. The only thing HF really needs to improve on their offering of chest and roll cabinets is the number of shallow drawers. That is the glaring issue with the HF boxes, their drawers are way too deep. I like a lot of shallow drawers and would gladly pay more to get them which would happen if HF made that change.
 

Uncle Buck

Registered
Registered
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
0
Likes
3
#20
When Sears switched to the China made wrenches they went lobster claw. Right now SK has a 40% off sale going on at http://www.skhandtool.com/
Lifetime made in the USA high quality tools. Some of the best customer service in the USA. It's worth a look. Some Craftsman Industrial or Pro are still the Armstrong manufactured version and are very good quality if you can find them.

Roy
Very good post here. Finding Armstrong now at Sears would be tough, very hit and miss and likely only as closeouts.
 

Uncle Buck

Registered
Registered
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
0
Likes
3
#21
Well Stanley bought the craftsman brand. Time will tell what they do with the hand tools.
I keep hearing they are going to bring the brand back to domestic production. I will not believe that until I see it.
 

kd4gij

Active User
Registered
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
4,587
Likes
1,768
#22
Well They own Proto for there high end tools and of cores there Stanly tools. I read that Stanly only bought Craftsman for the outdoor and garden tools. But who knows till it happens.
 

Spfwoody

Swarf
Registered
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
2
Likes
1
#23
Stanley announced back in October that they were in the process of building a new US factory to shift production back stateside. They also announced a deal they cut with Lowes to begin selling Craftsman tools in mid to late 2018. The CEO of Stanley Black & Decker was quoted as saying "Craftsman is still an incredibly strong brand, albeit one that is largely manufactured overseas and basically situated within one major retailer,", "We believe this is an excellent opportunity to invest in, re-Americanize and revitalize this legendary brand, ramp-up product innovation and broaden its distribution.","We already manufacture many products cost effectively in this country and, in some cases, we've been able to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. at a lower cost than producing overseas,"
 

racecar builder

Registered
Registered
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
407
Likes
17
#24
Finally ordered some Craftsman wrenches.

One 3/8" x 7/16" open end and two boxed end(or box end as Sears says it) ones.

We'll see!:)
 

wawoodman

himself, himself
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Mar 19, 2011
Messages
931
Likes
703
#25
Stanley announced back in October that they were in the process of building a new US factory to shift production back stateside. They also announced a deal they cut with Lowes to begin selling Craftsman tools in mid to late 2018. The CEO of Stanley Black & Decker was quoted as saying "Craftsman is still an incredibly strong brand, albeit one that is largely manufactured overseas and basically situated within one major retailer,", "We believe this is an excellent opportunity to invest in, re-Americanize and revitalize this legendary brand, ramp-up product innovation and broaden its distribution.","We already manufacture many products cost effectively in this country and, in some cases, we've been able to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. at a lower cost than producing overseas,"
I’ll believe it when I see it. Not holding my breath, though...
 

machinejack

Registered
Registered
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
52
Likes
40
#26
We had this very conversation at our local McDonalds drinking coffee this morning. Tim took a Craftmans wrinch and a Snap On and compaired them on a hold down flair nut. Craftman was loose fitting where the Snap On was right on. Nothing beats my old Bonney's but don't have the complete set any more.
 

BROCKWOOD

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
May 26, 2017
Messages
298
Likes
188
#27
Old Bonneys are nice. As are Thorsen. Been splitting Craftsman sockets since 1980, but loved their wrenches, ratchets et al. I always picked carefully between Matco, Mac, Cornwell & Proto for many of my tools. The benefit of Craftsman back in the day was getting a replacement tool same day. Waiting for a tool truck to come back around next week just was not the best option. I hope Stanley does leave Proto in peace. Unfortunately, Stanley has been in the business of ruining brand reputation for a hundred years. I check pawn shops for quality tools anymore. Price is Right.
 

BROCKWOOD

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
May 26, 2017
Messages
298
Likes
188
#29
Kd4gij, what years was this?
 

MikeInOr

Registered
Registered
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
107
Likes
99
#30
I think Stanley bought Craftsman relatively recently 2016? 2017?.

Back in the late 90's and early 2000's Stanley started closing their manufacturing facilities in USA and moved them to Taiwan, China, India and even had a plant in Poland. At this same time they also started doing a fair bit outsourcing of their production to nameless manufactures in China. Quality started declining in this period.

I think it was the mid 80's that Stanley bought Proto from Ingersoll Rand. For quite a while Stanley produced a lot of tools for Home Depot that were sold under the Husky name. I think Stanley still does manufacture many Husky tools. Many Mac tools used to be manufactured in the same plants as Proto.

Proto used to be called Plomb tools until about 1950. Plomb bought P&C (Peterson and Carlsborg) tools in the 1941. Proto considered itself a decendant of P&C tools. Thorsen tools was created when the head saleman at P&C quit over a dispute with P&C and formed his own company around 1929.
 
Last edited:
[6]
[5] [7]
Top