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How things change. Just got off live chat with Vinny at Lowes. As you may have noticed Lowes now has Craftsman products. I have a broken 1/4" drive ratchet and wanted to exchange it. They now only offer 90 day free replacement! I've also noticed that Craftsman product now are produced offshore. Time to move on.
 

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This has been going on for a long time with Crapsman Tools. I had a ratchet break before they started closing their stores and took it back for replacement. They replaced the ratchet with a beat up scratched up "Rebuilt" one. That replacement was a piece of crap that never functioned correctly. I quit buying Crapsman products then and have never bought another since that time and never will again..
 

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When Craftsman was still part of Sears I had a torque wrench fail. It was part of my first tool purchase after returning from Nam in 67. The young fellow at the counter informed me that Craftsman only warrants those for six months. I reminded him that when this tool was purchased every hand tool in the line was a life time warranty. He looked at me funny when I told him the wrench was older then he was. He went away and came back with the manager. The manager looked at the wrench, determined it was indeed older then the kid and told him replace my failed torque wrench. I thanked all concerned and walked out with a new wrench and a smile......
 

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I would agree, the warranty process with Craftsman tools has been changing for years... slowly , surely, worse . With the sell out and new ownership , I do not try to warranty any Craftsman tools now. To be honest as a 5 decade long mechanic I have very little tool brand loyalty any longer.. I have Milwaukee cordless tools. M18 and M12 power.. very happy with them. Never needed a warranty on them ..... yet.
 

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Like most of us old guys who grew up buying Craftsman, they have gone from a respected brand to just another brand. I have no complaints about all the old wrenches that I still use, and many of the old ratchets were well made......but newer ones, especially the 1/4 were crap right from the start. I don't have any brand loyalty anymore and wouldn't ever buy a Craftsman battery powered tool again. One of the lesser known names that I really like is Kobalt. Their lithium ion/brushless tools have a 5 year warranty and their batteries are quite a bit less expensive than the competition and have a 3 year warranty. Thats better than any other brand I know of. I have several of them and they are the best bang for the buck I have seen. I really do like them and recommend giving them a try. You can get a brushless drill and 2ah battery for about $89 on sale......then add a 4ah battery later on sale for $50. If you buy it and don't like it, you can take it back to Lowes with no questions asked and no manager involved..........BUT you will like it. Compare the battery cost to a Craftsman and its about 1/2 and Dewalt is also about double whata Kobalt costs. Both Craftsman and DeWalt ONLY have a 2 year warranty on their batteries. Had DeWalts too........batteries always failed right after the 2 year warranty. Haven't had any problem with any on my Kobalt batteries. So, jus sayin.....give one a try.
 

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I have been turning wrenches now close to 50 years. When I started buying tools I found the USA made Craftsman tools to be reasonably priced, available in any city or town in the usa, and the lifetime warranty. It was hard to look at the name brand tools just to pay for the name when these tools worked so well.

I broke a few over the years and never had a problem returning them. The last few years there were Sears stores around the process became more involved and like some said they would offer "rebuilt" ratchets of poor quality.

Now Sears are all but gone, the tool line is imported and no better then some cheaper ones I see. Pretty sad to see but like old cars things are changing and less are getting involved in the hobby. My 4 rollaways should out last me but it would be nice to walk through an old Sears and see quality hand tools again. I never liked their small power tools too much but the mechanic tools were good.
 

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FYI - There are two companies that make and sell Craftsman tools. When Sears sold the name to Stanley, they also retained the right to continue making Craftsman tools for 15 years. Thus the Craftsman tools you buy from Sears and K-Mart are completely different from the ones you buy from Lowes. If there is a Sears part number on the tool, then Lowes usually will not replace it.

All are nothing like the Craftsman tools that were sold in the last century. Stanley says they will start making their Craftsman tools in the USA, but they have promised no quality improvement.

The Craftsman.com website, owned by Stanly, says there is a lifetime warranty on their Craftsman hand tools. Warranty

Most of the Sears Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty, but there are some that require proof of purchase and might be limited to one year. https://i.sears.com/s/d/pdf/mp-tc/10127537/prod_1652867512


With all this confusion, I stay away from anything marked Craftsman that has been made in this century.
 

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How things change. Just got off live chat with Vinny at Lowes. As you may have noticed Lowes now has Craftsman products. I have a broken 1/4" drive ratchet and wanted to exchange it. They now only offer 90 day free replacement! I've also noticed that Craftsman product now are produced offshore. Time to move on.
A few years ago I asked the local Ace Hardware store owner about the Craftsman handtool warranty and he stated "if it is the same model number in their stock they will honor the Sears Craftsman warranty. I bought a Craftsman tool set(SAE inch, metric wasnt popular yet) (on sale) of wrenches, screwdrivers, ratchet/socket set in the local Sears store when I was 19 back in 74 and I still have them in the original tool box. Since then, of course, I have added to the collection. Back then it was the only place to get decent tools but that has changed. I have old Craftsman 3/8" electric drill, half-sheet vibrating pad sander, 4x24 belt sander and a heavy 9" hand grinder(use it to sharpen my rider mower blades) all still working ,cant get parts for them anymore. I was a fan of Sears & Roebuck, always happy with their tools back then.
 

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Stanley/Black and Decker are building a Craftsman hand tool plant in Fort Worth, TX. Guess we'll see how well they are made, and if they go back to the lifetime warranty. They were originally targeting late 2020, but I think it's now late 2021. Info here: Stanley to Make More Craftsman Tools in U.S.

Wondering which tools brands you guys like the most, not including overpriced Snap-on and MAC. I have some Wiha screwdrivers and nutdrivers, along with several Klein pliers. But the only wrenches I have besides very old Craftsman are GearWrench ratcheting combo wrenches and Crescent adjustable wrenches. Just remembered I have a few Sunex wrenches and sockets.
 

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My gripe is with American brands made in low cost countries then sold back here at made in America prices.

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Exactly!!! Pass some of the cost savings on if you're going to do that! I don't want to pay "made in America" prices for "Made in China" tools! I started to say "junk", but overseas quality has come up over the years and most of it is decent now. It's still a "get what you pay for" world though. Buy the cheapest Chinese/Mexican stuff and you still have junk for the most part. Got to get in the mid range of pricing before you get decent tools. Got to admit though, my last $12 4.5" angle grinder lasted 6-7 years, just replaced it with a $18 one. That's a reasonable expectation for a cheap tool! Of course if I used it every day all day I'd just spend the money on a Makita or something, but for occasional use cheap has been working.
 

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Exactly!!! Pass some of the cost savings on if you're going to do that! I don't want to pay "made in America" prices for "Made in China" tools! I started to say "junk", but overseas quality has come up over the years and most of it is decent now. It's still a "get what you pay for" world though. Buy the cheapest Chinese/Mexican stuff and you still have junk for the most part. Got to get in the mid range of pricing before you get decent tools. Got to admit though, my last $12 4.5" angle grinder lasted 6-7 years, just replaced it with a $18 one. That's a reasonable expectation for a cheap tool! Of course if I used it every day all day I'd just spend the money on a Makita or something, but for occasional use cheap has been working.
All I use for an everyday pneumatic grinder is a cheap HF one. They last for a year or 2. That's impressive for under $15.
 

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When we were growing up, every dollar really mattered to many of us. These days, it honestly isn't worth the effort to try to return most tools. Bought a New Craftsman self propelled mower about 10 years ago. After using it twice, the belt came off and got messed up. That was about 2 hours of use. Since it needed a new belt I returned it to the nearby store I bought it from. Figured it would be a quick fix. NOPE! They told me it would be two weeks because they no longer repaired them locally and had to ship them to Cincinatti and back. I said I needed it more quickly than that as my grass was already needing cuting and it wasn't going to stop growing while the mower was gone. The manager agreed that he would get it back for me the following Tuesday. This was Thursday. Tuesday came and went. The following Thursday went as well. Went back again the following Tuesday.........still no mower. Said it would be back the following Thursday............Hey, thats the same as the original two weeks he told me. So, he was just lying to me.

I told him I had had it with his BS and wanted another mower to replace mine. He stated that the guarantee did not replace mowers but repaired them. So I told him to just give me a refund. He said that they did not refund for mowers that could be repaired. I showed him the back of the receipt where their policy was printed and it flatly stated that they would gladly refund my money if I was dis-satisfied with their product. He hem and hawed for a moment, then told me to go ahead and get a new mower to replace mine.

Turns out that they didn't have the exact one in stock, so they had to give me a slightly better one that had variable speeds.

The point is that I was a very loyal Craftsman customer for most of my life. They ran numerous sales on tools and then didn't even have them in the store when they opened up on Sunday. I asked why they ran things on sale that they didn't have in stock and they said it was a "National" ad and they had no control over it. Duh!

Anyway, as this became more common (virtually every time), I quit shopping at Sears. Guess I wasn't the only one............
 

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My mommy bought me my first set of Craftmans when I was 11, for Christmas. That would be 1970. I still use them daily. Too bad about the warranty.:cool:
 
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