Craftsman Hand Tools

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  • Craftsman Hand Tools

    A while back I was setting up a tool box to carry in my RV. I started out with a tool box from my drag racing days. A lot of the tools were HF specials that I didn't care if they walked off while I was at the line. I replaced the screwdrivers with a 12 piece set of Craftsman from Lowe's. I've got Craftsman tools older than half the members on this forum. The new ones are made in China and I broke 3 of them in the first month. They went back and got exchanged for a similar set of Kobalt drivers. Unless I have to replace some of the ones in my tool box under warranty there will be no more Craftsman hand tools in my future!
    Don, aka Pappy,

    Wise men talk because they have something to say,
    Fools because they have to say something.
    Plato

  • #2
    Thanks for the note on Craftsman. I was looking at a few Craftsman tools for my son in law.

    I have a 22 year old Craftsman LT1000 mower. I put two new front tires and wheels on it, spent a few hours leveling the blades with each other (dual blades) and leveling the mower deck. After all these years and normal wear and tear, the mower housing was leaning a half in lower in the back and a tad to one side. I raised the mower deck and moved the blades around to see how level they were with each other as they passed. After the tune up, that mower is running sweet, it cuts sweet and smooth.

    Craftsman quality today isn't what it used to be.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah new Crapsman, but my FIL was a Craftsman loyalist from the '50s and when he passed, I inherited a bunch of his tools. I have a handsaw of his that is a delight to use. I also have a set of his Craftsman butt chisels that are my go to. I marked all of the tools with his initials so my kids would know they were his.
      Jim Frye
      The Nut in the Cellar.
      ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

      Comment


      • capncarl
        capncarl commented
        Editing a comment
        I’m glad to hear that you marked FILs tools for the kids. When my father passed away I got all his yard tools. He was real Gardner and had a bunch of wooden handle tools. I cleaned them up and carved his initials in each tool handle, then sanded and varnished them. Now when I use them I know whose they were and give them more care. I’ve already given a lot of them to my kids and they appreciate having some of grandpa’s tools

      • TomTak
        TomTak commented
        Editing a comment
        RE: Craftsman
        I agree, Jim (et al) . I too inherited some of these from my dad. When I became a service tech, I noted that few of my coworkers used them. Over time, I realized that they would show excessive wear and breakage. Yeah, they advertised Lifetime warranty, but what good is that if you are on a job and need replacement? The retail company (MW) I worked for also sold the same tools and had the same warranty guarantee, but Sears had better marketing. The Craftsman brand tools are good enuf and well priced for newbies and infrequent use, but for long term durabililty one should consider the higher
        end equipment such as Snap-On and others. I had a bag of Sears tools that were too worn out for use, but my SnapOn tools I used on Every Job, Every Day and decades later still look and perform like new. You get what you pay for.

    • #4
      Craftsman tools means nothing now. The lifetime guarantee is only honored by the selling store if you have the receipt. After I put a tool in my toolbox I quickly forget which one I bought at lowes, Ace or whatever so that makes it harder to get the guarantee honored.
      When Craftsman was Sears I use to pick up the screwdriver sets they sold for $19.00 and store them in a Rubbermaid tote, always need a spare. After a while I probably had a dozen unopened sets stashed away. I still use them for presents and have opened all the packages up and dumped them in a large tool box. This reinforces my theory that if you have a spare you will never need it because you can’t wear out the older Craftsman screwdrivers, and I have never had one beak… but I do have a spare if they do!

      Comment


      • woodturner
        woodturner commented
        Editing a comment
        FWIW any store that sells Craftsman honors the warranty, you don't have to go back to the selling store.

      • twistsol
        twistsol commented
        Editing a comment
        That has not been my experience. Ace required a receipt.

      • woodturner
        woodturner commented
        Editing a comment
        Ace stores are franchises, so some stores may bend or not follow the rules. Try a different store. We have one store here I won't go to, just because they are so difficult to deal with.

        Any Lowes will honor the warranty, that may be an easier route for warranty coverage. Sears will also honor the warranty by mail if you don't have a local Sears store.

    • #5
      I have several Craftsman tools, probably going back to the early 60's. A few hand tools have been lost over the years, and honestly some hand tools just never panned out as being great, but still most were well worth having. My power tools have all been enjoyable and are still l working fine.

      CWS
      Think it Through Before You Do!

      Comment


      • #6
        The worth of the lifetime NQA warranty on Craftsman tools was in the fact that you could go to a closeby well stocked Sears (they were everywhere once) and get a replacement for a broken or damaged hand tool with no paperwork (the fact that it said Craftsman on it was proof enough) and be back home working again in 45 minutes or less. That and the quality of tools was high.

        Now as far as I am concerned they do still have a lifetime warranty but it involves proving you bought the tool, or mailing it in to Craftsman (cost of postage at least $10) and waiting 2 weeks for it to appear in the mail. And it seems to me the quality of tools is lower; the last ratchet they replaced feels like crap - its not smooth and silky. The fit and finish is poor.

        I have had some success taking broken ratchet to ACE hardware and they replaced it with no questions or proof. But the replacement as I said doesn't inspire confidence. But trying the same at Lowes (hypothetically) they told me I needed a receipt and they would only replace it if they had the identical part in stock. Which is low likelihood because they carry so many brands... (Craftsman, Kobalt, Stanley)

        I think no new Craftsman tools for me. Its now a division of Stanley/Black and Decker they paid $900 million for the name copyright and associated name recognition and positive reputation basically.

        Interstingly what's left of Sears retained the right to use the name as well. There was a lawsuit by Black and Decker against Sears last year because Sears was advertising "Craftsman Ultimate Tools" with the slogan the real Craftsman tools. Sheesh!
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 05-18-2022, 01:35 AM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

        Comment


        • #7
          I have replaced broken Craftsman ratchets years ago. At some point, the replacement process changed from total tool replacement to a rebuild kit that replaced the guts of the ratchet.
          Jim Frye
          The Nut in the Cellar.
          ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

          Comment


          • LCHIEN
            LCHIEN commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, they were doing that at the Sears Hardware store near me a decade or more ago before they closed.

        • #8
          Craftsman today is not the Craftsman I purchased as a young mechanic decades ago. Back then they were durability wise up to par, and in some cases surpassed Snap On, they just didn't have the nice ergonomic handles and such. And even then, they added those nice touches before they went to fertilizer.... Now they are Crafsman in name only....
          Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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          • #9
            Yeah I had heard about the Craftsman quality and Lifetime NQA warranty.

            Of late my experience had been horrible too. I had my trusted Craftsman circular saw that my neighbor abused badly and got it out of alignment by bending the base plate (yes same neighbor whose miter saw handle I fixed last week ). Of course, the power tools don't come with lifetime warranty,

            So I went to Lowe's and bought a new circular saw knowing my damaged one had faithfully served me for ~30 years. I found it had a play in the pivot pin that gave enough wobble to mess up the cut. I went back and got another one - found the same thing. Repeat and rinse, the 3rd one had the same issue.

            Ok I thought may be a bad batch. Went to another Lowe's 40 miles away in another county. Checked the date code and batch no. and bought a saw home. Opened the box and same issue.

            Four saws later, it was very apparent design issue. The pivot pin used was too thin in the sleeve to cause the wobble. A case of saving couple of pennies I guess.

            I called Craftsman customer service - I thought either they would have known this issue or if not, then they would be happy to listen to someone who was pointing to the root cause of it. To my dismay, all they said was take the saw back to the store and get another one or a refund since "we have 90 day return policy".

            As a design engineer myself, I am sure the Craftsman design teams are also interested in a customer feedback from the field, But I think these days the corporate structures and policies and the race to cut corners for pinching pennies, promote mediocre quality.

            - Nicer

            Comment


            • TomTak
              TomTak commented
              Editing a comment
              I completely agree with you. Even though at best the Craftsman brand items were utilitarian in quality at best,there were at times some bright spots in their offerings. Since the downfall of Sears, stores like ACE and Lowes and others are packing the aisles with cheaply produced Craftsman items in the hope of capturing the public in recognizing some value of the old "legendary" standby, and riding the wave of continuance. Unfortunately, the brand is failing along with the parent Sears due to cheap manufacturing. And when was the last time you watched a YouTube video with the host using the orange tools (I know, they are promoting items supplied by their sponsors..) but still.. Not a fan of buying China items, but honestly, the ones I purchased for specific tasks have been of excellent and improving workmanship as they know to compete they have to up their game. Watch out Craftsman...

          • #10
            Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post
            The worth of the lifetime NQA warranty on Craftsman tools was in the fact that you could go to a closeby well stocked Sears (they were everywhere once) and get a replacement for a broken or damaged hand tool with no paperwork (the fact that it said Craftsman on it was proof enough) and be back home working again in 45 minutes or less. That and the quality of tools was high.

            Now as far as I am concerned they do still have a lifetime warranty but it involves proving you bought the tool, or mailing it in to Craftsman (cost of postage at least $10) and waiting 2 weeks for it to appear in the mail. And it seems to me the quality of tools is lower; the last ratchet they replaced feels like crap - its not smooth and silky. The fit and finish is poor.

            I have had some success taking broken ratchet to ACE hardware and they replaced it with no questions or proof. But the replacement as I said doesn't inspire confidence. But trying the same at Lowes (hypothetically) they told me I needed a receipt and they would only replace it if they had the identical part in stock. Which is low likelihood because they carry so many brands... (Craftsman, Kobalt, Stanley)

            I think no new Craftsman tools for me. Its now a division of Stanley/Black and Decker they paid $900 million for the name copyright and associated name recognition and positive reputation basically.

            Interstingly what's left of Sears retained the right to use the name as well. There was a lawsuit by Black and Decker against Sears last year because Sears was advertising "Craftsman Ultimate Tools" with the slogan the real Craftsman tools. Sheesh!
            BTW, there is some split structure in the Craftsman brand. While I was trying to resolve issues with my new circular saw purchases that were bad out of the box (see my post above) vs. trying to find if I could buy spare parts for my older saw and restore it, I was directed to different companies.

            In the first case, (newer tools) it was Stanley/Black & Decker. But they told me to contact a different "Craftsman" with a different phone no. for issues with the older tool.

            Comment


            • #11
              Without fail 100% of Craftsman products used to be just relabeled OEM designs they bought. So there is no such thing as a Craftsman design engineer at least there wasn't before it was owned by Black & Decker. At one time the three-digit number the start of the part number would be used to indicate the OEM supplier. You used to be able to find a table of the three digit number and supplier for Sears, Diehard, Kenmore, and Craftsman Goods.
              314 & 315 were used for Ryobi sourced products.
              Last edited by LCHIEN; 05-18-2022, 01:59 PM.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

              Comment


              • nicer20
                nicer20 commented
                Editing a comment
                Interesting - thanks !

            • #12
              We've gone off of the subject of Craftsman hand tools and onto power tools now. DIfferent animal all together.

              Again, not what it once was...
              Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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