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They do not make things like they did before

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tq60

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#1
We had a craftsman RAS with DRO that we picked up on clearance many moons ago and it was fun as the DRO was dead on for wood.

Not knowing any better as we were table saw preference it seemed okay.

Over the years the DRO would fail and we would fix it and the carriage seemed a bit loose.

A few months ago we found an older one at an estate sale that per the table had very low is and was made with lots more cast iron and lots more weight and for 20 bucks had to come home.

Good fit and no slop so swap out full saw from base and good to go .

Ordered the recall box and tore it apart and what a cheap build thus reason for this thread.

We can post of comparison of newer to older of same items.

The RAS above both had similar motor units but the older one has a cast iron arm and the carriage has 2 ball bearing wheels on each side that dude on a round rod resting Un a groove in the arm...The older than that one seen at a thrift store had much more cast iron but same arm and just the grooves.

The newer one that was sent away for recall has a rolled steel tube shape with a dodge along the center that 2 wheels ride in then a bearing wheel at each side to support the weight.

A very poor design that once we used the older one the newer one felt like garbage.

They changed over the years and the thrift store one did not have the round rids on the arm as does ours so we thinks the bearings may have been expensive or some other reason to make that change but no obvious difference.

Thrift store one was well used and in the rain priced at 90 bucks so we let it stay.

That is our contribution.

What else is going downhill fast besides craftsman tools.

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wawoodman

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#2

kd4gij

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Stanley bought the Craftsman brand for the lawn and garden line. They own the Proto brand of hand tools, witch I have read the quality has gone down since. So I don't have much hope.
Black n decker bought Dewalt. So don't have much hope for the Craftsman power tools either and I have most of the C3 line.
 

Mikebr5

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#4
My children get old tools for birthdays and Christmas. Next Christmas they are all getting old USA vices. I don't worry about patina- I take them apart, clean 'em up, replace fasteners as needed, some HP grease on the lead screw and wrap 'em up.
I have 7 children, so this turns into a year long project along with birthdays and such.

Combination wrenches... The old ones just feel better.
 

dlane

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#5
Irwin :apologize: also went overseas . Vice grips aren't what they used to be anymore.
 

wawoodman

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#6
Although, I have to admit: even though I've never gone overseas, I'm not what I used to be, either...
 

T Bredehoft

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#7
Time was, you could walk into a Sears tool area with a broken Craftsman tool and they'd give you a new one off the shelf. Now, well the last time I tired, you needed a receipt and if the tool is over 1 year old, forget it. Not only have the tools gone down hill so has their guarantee.
 

wawoodman

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#8
That's because, if an old Craftsman tool broke, it was rare enough to be replaced. Nowadays, they expect it.
 

tq60

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#9
Last ratchet we Tok in they opened a drawer full of rebuilt American ones and offered choice of them or a new one with a wink...

Took an old rebuilt one

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woodchucker

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#10
Time was, you could walk into a Sears tool area with a broken Craftsman tool and they'd give you a new one off the shelf. Now, well the last time I tired, you needed a receipt and if the tool is over 1 year old, forget it. Not only have the tools gone down hill so has their guarantee.
I recently replaced a set of needle nose. No arguments. When I was in my 20's I broke a breaker bar ear off. I got a hard time , the guy didn't want to replace it, he wanted me to buy a larger size unit. I have since had no problems. I avoid Crapsman these days, but if one breaks it gets replaced. They are not quality any more. I have never been impressed with their wood working tools. Their miter slots on all saws are not standard, they are sears size.
 

kd4gij

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#11
Back in the day Craftsman woodworking power tools where made my Emerson Electric. Witch sold there tools under the Ridged name. When Emerson contract to sale through Home Depot Sears drop them and went to Ryobi. And things went down hill. Now HD owns the Ridged brand
 

chips&more

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#12
I frequent the flea market and garage sales so much, that I almost don’t even look at hand tools anymore, especially Crapsman. I will buy Snap On if priced right. And a newer Crapsman power tool, sorry, won’t look at that either. Back in the day yes, today no…Dave.
 

Ebel440

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#13
I try to avoid buying any new tools if I can too. Flea market and garage sale ones are built better and even if they are 50 years old they are in better condition then the new junk they sell these days.
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#14
It would appear that the consumer got what they asked for, namely very inexpensive tools. For every single manufacturer of high quality tools at a premium price there are dozens of other companies that will produce or market a similar product at consumer commodity prices. One will rarely find the quality products at the big box tool stores, this is not where industry buys such things.

This is a fascinating look into the past and economic globalization, a PDF scan of the 1972-1973 Sears tool catalog http://www.blackburntools.com/artic...s/pdfs/sears-craftsman-1972-73-power-hand.pdf If you were to do a web search today you would find the same products for prices similar to 1973, at far lower quality however. I do realize that manufacturing technological advancement has played a large part in this, there were poorly made inexpensive tools 40 years ago as well, they are mostly not around today for comparison.

1" tenth reading micrometer with carbide faces. $26.99 in 1973
Fowler 1" tenth reading mic without carbide faces, $24.93 in 2017 after 44 years of inflation.

Or better yet a set of 4 for $64.95 in 2017, the consumer got what they wanted which is the lowest possible price. Do not blame the manufacturers for poor quality hand tools they just produce what the market wants.

 

tq60

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#15
We picked up a Sioux 1/2 drill motor for 8 bucks at a yard sale.

Heavy rascal and may never use it but it is built well and has a lot of torque.

Our 5/8 portable from way back will throw you without hesitation.

Mag drills common now and very expensive but hard to find portable brute drills anymore.

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#16
I was 15 years old when the 1973 Sears power hand tool catalog came out. I drooled over getting a set of 0-4" mics out of that catalog back then. All I had to work with then was a 0-1" Army surplus mic and a pair of 0-6" Helios calipers! Never got those mics.
 

RJSakowski

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#17
Time was, you could walk into a Sears tool area with a broken Craftsman tool and they'd give you a new one off the shelf. Now, well the last time I tired, you needed a receipt and if the tool is over 1 year old, forget it. Not only have the tools gone down hill so has their guarantee.
That's interesting because I have a toolbox full of Craftsman tools that came with a lifetime guarantee.

I gave up on Craftsman years ago. The last time that I had a guarantee problem, it was a 13mm socket that had split. They didn't have any replacement sockets so I walked out without a new socket. That was maybe twenty years ago. The time before was probably thirty years ago and I had an issue with 3" aluminum C clamps breaking. Some woman working in hardware ( I think that she transferred from lingerie because she didn't know anything about tools or hardware) balked at replacing the broken clamp, saying"if you keep bringing these clamps in for replacement, how are we supposed to make a profit?" I replied that "if you made them properly, I wouldn't keep bringing them in." I told her that I would take the cheaper 3" cast iron instead. I still have that cast iron clamp.

It is a huge fall from a company that was the mainstay of rural America a hundred plus years ago to the pitiful company it now is. IMO, the marketing strategy has been been to transform from a company that could meet virtually any conceivable need to a bunch of boutique departments with the slimmest of offerings. Small wonder that they are in the financial mess they're in
 

RJSakowski

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#18
My wife was a sales rep for Black and Decker in the UK in the '90's. During her training, she was told that their line of power tools was intended for the occasional user and not expected to stand up to every day use.
 

wawoodman

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#19
We picked up a Sioux 1/2 drill motor for 8 bucks at a yard sale.

Heavy rascal and may never use it but it is built well and has a lot of torque.

Our 5/8 portable from way back will throw you without hesitation.

Mag drills common now and very expensive but hard to find portable brute drills anymore.

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I still have an old Craftsman 1/2" single speed that I bought (reconditioned) in the 70s. I used it when I was installing locksets. If that 2-1/4 inch bit caught in the door, it could break your wrist.
 

extropic

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#20
That's interesting because I have a toolbox full of Craftsman tools that came with a lifetime guarantee.

I gave up on Craftsman years ago. The last time that I had a guarantee problem, it was a 13mm socket that had split. They didn't have any replacement sockets so I walked out without a new socket. That was maybe twenty years ago. The time before was probably thirty years ago and I had an issue with 3" aluminum C clamps breaking. Some woman working in hardware ( I think that she transferred from lingerie because she didn't know anything about tools or hardware) balked at replacing the broken clamp, saying"if you keep bringing these clamps in for replacement, how are we supposed to make a profit?" I replied that "if you made them properly, I wouldn't keep bringing them in." I told her that I would take the cheaper 3" cast iron instead. I still have that cast iron clamp.

It is a huge fall from a company that was the mainstay of rural America a hundred plus years ago to the pitiful company it now is. IMO, the marketing strategy has been been to transform from a company that could meet virtually any conceivable need to a bunch of boutique departments with the slimmest of offerings. Small wonder that they are in the financial mess they're in
I completely agree with your comments. We are of comparable age, I think. I started building my Craftsman collection in mid '60s. By the mid '70s the homeowner grade power tools had pretty much taken over and even the CRAFTSMAN COMMERCIAL (top of the line) power tools were very poor performers. The hand tool quality lasted a lot longer, IMO.

In the '70s and '80s Sears had a world class catalog order and fulfillment system in place. I used it plenty. How the company failed to convert the catalog order system into a leading internet order system is a world class booboo.
 

tq60

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#21
Just think about it....

Back in the day it was sears and now amazon...

If sears would have kept the original buisiness and worked towards Internet support they could have easily pulled it off.

They stepped away and amazon was born...

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Twalther

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Last time I was at Sears was in the early 80's I was going to buy a belt / disc sander, when I went to pay they said that they would not take my Master card only a Sears card, I said fine I will get my sander else were. Was never back in that store.
 

tq60

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#23
We often would be dragged to the mall and would mosey through the sears tool area and back in the day the power tools were fun to touch and the assorted power tools and other things often were interesting.

But the last 10 or more years it has got very dull and we have more fun at harbor freight as they often have some clever things that may or may not be well made but fun to look at.

Picked up a long reach vice grip type pliers that can clamp on something through a hole and a ratcheting tap wrench that both seem to work well.

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#24
Craftsman RAS are why RAS got a rep being inaccurate . B&D ran DeWalt down hill in the late "60s. Every single Craftsman electrical tool, except for a shop-vac, I've bought I have regretted buying, and those were from the '70s.
 

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#25
I posted this a couple of years ago but it fits here as well:
There have been a few tool buying dissapointments over the years but the first is always the worst.
I was 18 and very much into woodworking at the time (1980). I saved up to buy Sears Craftsman Router, their top of the line, "2 ½" Hp. with dust collection, built in light and "micrometer" depth gauge. Wow, I thought I was in the big leagues with a real pro tool that would be with me for many years to come... Well the ugly truth reared its head during my first project. I quickly discovered, the "micrometer" depth gauge was almost useless being poorly designed rack and pinion arrangement, executed in cheap plastic. Then I found the base wouldn't square to the tool without several rounds of tweaking. But worst, the base wasn't concentric with the spindle... Crestfallen as I was I managed to work around the routers issues and complete a few projects. Then about a year and a half later, I was using it to cut a dado in some pine for a bookcase When it started making a hellacious sound and sparks started flying out of it. Upon opening it up I found the top bearing had come loose, being held in place by a small stamped metal bracket "secured" by two screws threaded directly into plastic. I managed to temporarily fix it and complete the bookcase but I never used it after that.
 

Downwindtracker2

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#26
I did buy a couple of Craftsman open end wrenches yesterday, at $2 each, in those handy sizes like 11/16 x 19/32 . They are sturdy wrenches, made in the same factory as KD, but coarse finished, raised panel . After using them for a day, you know the a reason wrenches are now made like Macs.
 

seanb

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#27
I will be a contrary voice in the wilderness. i think the reason manufactures made things that lasted was because the materials and technology was not available to make things cheaper. It would have been in a manufactures best interest to make things that wear out quickly, so they could sell another one.

I agree that its sad but most likely the natural progression of things.
 

Jonathans

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#28
I have a few new tools that I am real proud of their quality.
1) Sawstop Cabinet saw
2) Minimax 24" bandsaw
3) Festool router and domino
4) Esteem 2x72 grinder
5) Lie Neisen and Veritas planes.
All of these are fine tools that will last a long time. Expensive? Yes. But you get what you pay for most of the time.
Just goes to show that quality can be had, at a price.
 

dlane

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#29
Planned obsolescence happens where engineering meets capitalism. Products aren’t designed to last; they’re designed for the dump. In this situation, engineers don’t aim to create the best possible machine. They aim for maximum profit through steady sales
 

tq60

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Planned obsolescence happens where engineering meets capitalism. Products aren’t designed to last; they’re designed for the dump. In this situation, engineers don’t aim to create the best possible machine. They aim for maximum profit through steady sales
Back in the day we were a practical bunch and thanks to the depression folks were not wanting to waste but rather buy servicable items.

In Maybury Floyd made a comfortable living fixing things.

Now folks want "trendy" things that look good or in style.

Something flashy comes out and resistance to buy as old one works fine...what to do...?

Design such that item lasts until next style comes along and performance drops such that a new one is needed since it costs more to repair than replace and old does not look as good...

Cheaper to build and easier to sell more as the cheaper one easier to throw in the trash.

Fine for toasters but not for stationary tools or power tools that are expected to last.

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