Craftsman wrench quality

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Is Craftsman worth a damn, anymore? Do they still have the instant replacement guarantee on their hand wrenches?
I'm needing an SAE combo wrench set. Since I'm no longer a professional mechanic, I don't really need to buy pro grade tools. Even the better hand tools like S-K are now prohibitively expensive. Sears has one of their usual tool sales and I need a basic SAE combo wrench set, my pro grade German metric set OK, but an American sized set would make things a bit easier for wrenching my EZGO golf cart.
nb
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notbob,
Yes, they still have and honor the lifetime guarantee. Replaced a screwdriver sometime in the last year. Took about 3 min.
Dave M.
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David L. Martel wrote:

Hi, Now they only give repair part. Not a replacement. My ratchet wrench needed new guts and they gave a bag containing repair kit. Did not replace the wrench. I remember old ones were made by Singer but I think new ones now are made in Taiwan?
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On 9/17/2013 7:39 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

All depends on what's wrong -- and, there's nothing wrong w/ the replacement ratchet "guts" if that's all that's wrong; and, in fact, for most I'd far prefer to keep the original handle over the newer ones as generally the "fit and finish" hence the comfort of the old is better than the new...
But, certainly for things like OP is talking of the replacement is a replacement and is above poster says, is still in force.
For OP; for general use I think they're still more than adequate; the hand wrenches and the like are as near as I can tell essentially the same as have been for ages.
Stuff like lineman's pliers that I had a set replaced a couple of years ago because elder son used them to cut #10 fencing wire and took a chunk out of the cutter are seemingly adequate but finish is much less clean and handles are rough comparatively...
I've bought some also perfectly adequate combo sets stamped w/ Stanley or some other licensed brands at bargain bin prices that also have held up well and aren't that bad to use, too.
If you have one where you can go look instead of mail order, even some of the HF collections are decent and certainly "the price is right" but you need to be able to look and judge/feel...
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On 9/17/2013 8:39 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

I handed the man at Sears a broken ratchet wrench, and he reached under the desk and traded me for someone's "rebuilt" one is less than 15 seconds. The trade was over so quick that I thought it must happen a lot!
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wrote:

Back as far as 1969 if a ratchet failed they provided repair parts - at least in Canadian Sears stores. - unless you managed to break the housing/handle.
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Craftsman USED to be PRO quality. I used them all my carreer and I know quite a few others who did as well. No idea what they are like today but they will be more than adequate for your golf cart. Hazet may be a bit higher quality, for double the price -and they come from Brazil now instead of Germany. Never really liked the finish on them compared to my Craftsman tools. Used Hazet at the trade school where I taught.
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I can't be sure about Shears. I worked for them in 1996, and was totally not impressed with the company.
A couple weeks ago, I got a set of SAE open end and box wrench from Harbor Freight. I used the set yesterday, for some very light duty work. The fit and finish seemed good, and they tightened nuts OK.
Please write back, and let us know what you decide, and how it turns out.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/17/2013 7:13 AM, notbob wrote:

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On 9/17/2013 7:13 AM, notbob wrote:

Last time I looked, theywere mediocre, not as good as the older tools. Probably acceptable for what you need. Consider the Lowe's brand of Kobalt tools if one is near you.
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On 09/17/2013 11:03 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I agree, they are probably serviceable but I'd compare with Kobalt, the Kobalt wrenches feel nicer in the hand and have the same guarantee theoretically (never had to use it.)
I did have a broken Husky socket that I was unable to warrant at Home Depot... nobody seemed to have a clue or really care how to go about it. (not a big loss for me, it was in a lot of tools bought at a yard sale, had it been part of a set I'd have been mad though as individual sockets are pricey.)
nate
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I broke one of these Husky painter's tool last year and took it in to Home Depot for replacement.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-14-in-1-Painter-s-Tool-DSX-G14/202038673#.UjikAmu9KSM
The tool comes with a tiny #2 Phillips bit, but I didn't have it with me when I went to exchange it.
The nice lady behind the counter opened up the packaging on the new tool and removed the bit before she gave me the replacement tool.
Wouldn't that be an interesting way to steal #2 bits. Buy one painter's tool, remove the bit and exchange the tool for a new one over and over again, keeping the bit each time. I'm glad HD is protecting themselves from crooks like me. ;-)
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I forget...I think I used it as a pry bar and broke a tip off of the blade.
I do love that tool. I bought it when I replaced my windows and it sure came in handy for all sorts of tasks.
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I bought a set about 15 years ago and they were not as good as they were years before that. They peobably are even cheaper made now. The old ones are very good quality for the average person. Might pay to look around some flea markets to see if there are any old ones there. I still have a 1/2 inch set of sockets my day had in the 50's. Don't know what he did with the ratchet, but do have the pull handle.
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On 9/17/2013 4:13 AM, notbob wrote:

I had an interesting discussion with a Sears employee.
Turns out that the CRAFTSMAN brand still has lifetime instant, no questions asked, guarantee.
But they have a lower cost brand with lifetime guarantee... BUT To get THAT guarantee, you have to keep the receipt and send it in somewhere for replacement. Funny, it doesn't mention that on the box.
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I noticed that. Two sets labeled Craftsman, one Made In the USA, the other, China.

Screw that. I ain't going thru no receipt/mailing/shipping nonsense over a freakin' broken wrench. Time to start checking the hardware and auto parts stores.
nb
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I bought a T-50 black impact Torx wrench, for brake jobs on my last Blazer. From Napa auto parts. After one such brake job, I noticed the tip was bent. Took it back, the guy swapped it out instantly, no questions or paper work. I'd used a 230 foot pound HF brand electric impact wrench. Not a huge over powering wrench.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/17/2013 2:29 PM, notbob wrote:

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I checked the pawn shop. Nada. Car/Quest and True Value had Taiwan and PRC wrenches, respectively. Napa's MasterCraft wrenches are made in India, but claim on the spot replacement. I may jes go for the Craftsman USA made set, which goes on sale next week. The trailer I jes bought is prolly metric, anyway. I've got several Bonney SAE wrenches, but not a whole set. I was buying them piecemeal when the store discontinued the line.
To the guy that was sniveling about "snap-off", sorry to hear they've gone down the tubes. Snap-On usta epitmize US quality, their 60s-70s combo wrenches the finest money could buy. I'm almost positive they were made by Bonney, now defunct. That's the company that invented the brilliant "flank drive" box wrench. I first noticed Snap-On going cheap with a Chinese oil can. Broke first time I used it.
nb
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This WAS in the sixties!!! They had a few quality problems when they tried to reduce their prices. He bought a "set" of tools - not from "open stock" and it appears they were not the same stuff.
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I'll relate a story I've told on usenet before.
I wuz a neophyte bike wrench doing a top end job on a Puch "twingle". They had square head bolts. I had no square sockets to fit down in between the cylinder head fins, so used a 10mm Snap-On combo wrench, the open end, end-wise down into the fins on the square bolt head. I put a Crescent adjustable wrench on the shank/handle of the SO open-end wrench to provide twist leverage. Three bolts broke loose easily. The fourth did not. I continued applying torque on the SO wrech until the bolt finally gave. The wrench never broke, but the open-end head twisted 45 degrees to the shank/handle. This was a borrowed set, not my own. When I finally reassembled the head, I put excess torque on the wrench equally over the four bolts and managed to twist the open end wrench head back into line with the shank handle. I later told the person I borrowed the set from what had happened and told him if he could identify which wrench I twisted, I would buy him a new one. He could not. That IS quality and Snap-On once had it.
I've snapped the fingers off 2 Craftsman open end wrenches. When I worked as a Yamaha shop mechanic, but lived 100 miles from the closest Sears, failure was not an option and is the reason I've never considered Craftsman tools to be pro grade. I used S-K tools for many years and never had a failure, but this is when you couuld buy an S-K wrench or socket set for $15-25. They now cost as much as Snap-On sets did back in the 60s, i.e. in the $100-150 range. I don't need that kinda quality, anymore, but still will not buy junk.
nb
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A wrench that will cold bend is NOT a quality wrench.
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