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Beware when buying Craftsman tools

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oldsmobum, Dec 15, 2012.

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  1. oldsmobum
    Joined: Apr 26, 2012
    Posts: 45


    This may be a bit off topic, but since tools are crucial to what we do here, I thought I might say something. Maybe I'm just the last to know, but just in case...

    I was in Sears today with my old man, and we were browsing through the tools. We noticed that some of the wrenches had a really odd profile on the open end of the wrench, like the head was overly bulky. Not usual of these tools that we are all so familiar with. I noticed it was the same profile as the Chinese "Gear Wrenches" they also sell there.

    So after investigating a bit, I discovered that some of the wrenches are indeed made in China, while some of them are not. They are packaged similarly, and presented similarly. But here's the pisser:


    Example: 9 pack of wrenches, USA made: $29.99
    12 pack of wrenches, Chinese made: $39.99

    These tools are almost identical in appearance. The dead giveaway was the funky profile of the open end of the wrench. That will indicate the tool is made on the Chinese tooling. The packaging does say in fine print if you're not certain. The fact that they are sneaking in foreign made tools, without reflecting it in the price, is pure deception as far as I'm concerned. What really kills me, is that their "Deluxe" wrenches (the sleek ones with the polished finish) are also now Chinese, and they want $100 for 12 of them! Why would I pay $40- $100 for a set of Chinese wrenches, when Harbor Freight has them for $20, and they offer the same warranty!

    I know its the way the world is going, but buying American when I can is important to me, and I know it is important to many of you. I don't appreciate the way they have chosen to implement their new business model... And I don't see myself ever buying anything that says Craftsman again. I will be emailing the company as well. Just giving you all a heads up, because it is very easy to mistakenly pay USA made prices for a deceptively marketed foreign product.

    I have pictures of the two wrench sets I mentioned, first should be the USA made 9 piece set, second should be the Chinese 12 piece set.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  2. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,727

    from Hampsha

    Most helpful to mention this. ON-topic certainly.
  3. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    from Chino, Ca

    just typical of Sears nowdays. I have a Kenmore water heater that has been repaired 4 times already and it's only 3 years old. Sears is mickey mouse nowdays. It's no longer the great Sears Roebuck and Company.
  4. hallrods
    Joined: Feb 21, 2012
    Posts: 1,212


    Thanks man I will keep my eyes open when replacing broke or worn out ones
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  5. Falfa55
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 68


    Just another step in the wrong direction that we shouldnt be headed in.Its all gonna build up to something bad in my opinon.
  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,755

    Jalopy Joker

    so, fancy Harbor Freight now?
  7. They'll need to change the name to Crapsman if they're made china.
  8. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,940

    from Michigan

    Thank God mine are all U.S. made....
  9. Hates Chrome
    Joined: Nov 15, 2012
    Posts: 29

    Hates Chrome
    from Iowa

    Craftsmen tools are turning into junk anymore. I wouldn't give away their wrenches as holiday gifts to family members I didn't like.

    I will however use their tools for abusive work where I know I can take it back right away instead of waiting a week for the MAC man to show up, but even then you can't even trust their warranty anymore.

    -Via Mobile-
  10. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,613

    from Canada

    Thanks for the heads up. Always adding tools and it is good to know you have to pay attention to what you are actually getting.
  11. So are mine and they always will be.
  12. hallrods
    Joined: Feb 21, 2012
    Posts: 1,212


    I think sears tried this in the early to mid 80's with japan wrenches everyone complained and they stopped making them.
  13. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,667


    I quit buying anything that has "Crapsman"written on it 15 years ago !!!!
  14. I don't think any amount of complaining will make this stop.
  15. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,747

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Any one remember Sear's motto "Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" that has been dropped along with the quality.They are in the process of closing more Sears/K-Mart stores nationwide,look for more after the holidays to close.
  16. cayager
    Joined: Feb 10, 2012
    Posts: 293


    i noticed this as well while just poking around in the store. if you go to the wall with the ratchets and extentions and things, you'll notice the same. the non usa ratchets look very similar to the us ones except for one thing lacking on the handle is the " FORGED IN THE USA" stamping. i almost threw up. the thing is its all sporatic. some stuff is US and some is not. one with a short handle is different than the same thing in long handle. same with the wrenches some us some not. alot of the advertising claims gauranteed forever but leaves off the made in USA.
  17. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I think a year or two from now Sears will not be around........all the signs are there of a failing company. I'm surprised they have hung in this long.

    A lot of factors have caused this decline, but for us tool buyers the biggest problem is the Craftsman tools we knew and loved have been replaced with cheap copies. They built their tool reputation on "Guaranteed for life" but then they started to change that policy to "Most hand tools are guaranteed but we will replace them with repaired ones or even hand you the guts so you can fix them yourself." :rolleyes: Other things like floor jacks and what they call "non hand tools" only have something like a one year warranty.

    Right now I have a couple of rachets that are slipping and a few sockets that have the chrome chipping away, and I am reluctant to take them back because I know they will give me ones that are even worse qualitywise.

  18. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    Thanks Dad...

    When he died in '94 my Mom gave me his 40 year old Craftsman roll around toolbox full of tools...gotta love old tools...
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  19. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,201

    blue 49
    from Iowa

    I noticed 10-15 yrs ago, when I was looking for a new floor jack, that the Craftsman I was looking at was made in China.

  20. kennkat
    Joined: Aug 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,384


  21. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 226


    I agree... what a shame Sears had to go down the drain on quality. I've got Craftsman tools that I got from my Gramp when I was a kid, & they're still going strong. The wrenches I picked up 3 years ago are loosing chrome and wearing out already. I replace a screwdriver a couple times a year! I'll replace them on warrenty whenever they break, but I'll never buy a new one again
  22. It's really sad to think you'll no longer be able to exchange a broken tool for another US made one by just running to your local Sears store.
    Better stock up on spares from your local garage sales.
  23. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Oh sure. I have one of their $300 aluminum jacks that settled down on it's own from about day one. Took it back and they refused to honor the warranty because I didn't have a receipt (it was a gift). After raising hell at Sears Corporate Office they finally offered me 30% off of a new one. Why would I want a second jack that is probably as crappy as the first one ? :mad:

    Maybe we can pick up some good deals on tools when they have their bankruptcy going out of business sales. Don't ever break one though because there sure won't be any warranty.

    Propwash. We have a lot of Kobalt tools. Everytime we go into our local Lowes they are blowing various Kobalt wrench sets and other tools out so we have loaded up on them. They seem fine, not sure why Lowes is changing over.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  24. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    from Las Vegas

    I have been lamenting the reduction in quality of Craftsman tools for several years. Anyone have any opinion on Kobalt Tools? Just thought of this while reading this thread, so I don't know where Kobalt is made. We need to find a thrifty substitute for Craftsman. I love Snap-On, but I just ACT like I'm made of money. I don't like financing tools, and the truck just doesn't stop by the house or the hangar anyway.
  25. nathan289
    Joined: Oct 24, 2012
    Posts: 51

    from spokane,wa

    I like to hit pawn shops for my tools.. probably buying stolen goods, but there is one shop that will sell a bucket of sockets for $20. I'll usually get a full 1/4 through 3/4 set of 3/8 drive sockets of craftsman along with a bunch of snap on, mac, matco, the remaing china made stuff goes to the metal recycling place where i usually get $10 back..
  26. bigdaddylove
    Joined: Jun 6, 2012
    Posts: 129


    This has been the MO of many US companies for years. For example, Bass shoes closed all of their US manufacturing and went off shore. Of course they citied the usual, "we can't compete" BS. Did the price come down? He'll no. Did the quality go down? Of course. Then I see they are expanding into backpacks, pens, watches and other crap.

    The "competition in a global marketplace" excuse is often a smokescreen for making shareholders happy.

    I always check the package of what I'm buying to see where it originated. It's getting harder and harder to find US made products, but they are out there. You just have to look harder and pay more.

    It is sad to see that Chinese made Craftsman rachets, wrenches and whatnot are more prevalent, but they have been doing this to other Craftsman products for years.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  27. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    Kobalt is made in it on the package at Lowes...
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  28. I'd like to buy Snap-On tools but the only way it seems you can is by finding one of their tool trucks stopped at a shop. Not very convenient and if you need one replaced, that's ever harder. Beware also that they have a line made in china too.
  29. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,385

    from phoenix

    Sad, only real bitch I've had about them till now was the crappy lever style ratchets. I just grab up the old dial types when I see them. Hopefully they might back track a bit if people make a stink.
  30. I don't think Sears gives a rats ass anymore. I've tried to get help from the sales people before and IF you can find one they don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.
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