Craftsman Quality?

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I have seen many people refer to 'Craftsman' as 'Crapsman' and when I saw this item
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid921754000
referred to in an earlier thread, I must admit to being tempted.
This brand is not seen in Australia, and the US$1900 price tag is a touch too much to take a punt on, so...
Is the 'crapsman' moniker deserved?
Mekon
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Mekon wrote:
> Is the 'crapsman' moniker deserved?
Sears spent over a 100 years developing the Craftsman brand as a very good, affordable, homeowner, light commercial grade of products.
They have spent the last 20 years destroying that image by offering bottom of the line products.
Sears has been in a state of decline for at least the last 10 years.
(WalMart is eating them alive, IMHO)
Today they are owned by the same guy who owns K-Mart and is known as a liquidator of company assets before he closes them down.
Sears is very rich in property (the store sites) which today is their principle asset.
If I were a betting man, it would not surprise me if Sears went out of business within 10 years, 15 at the most.
Lew
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Sears and Kmart are now the same company called Sears Holdings. Eddie Lampert is the majority stock holder (i.e ESL Investments). He also controls AutoZone and AutoNation, among other companies.
Lew Hodgett wrote:

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When Kmart emerged from bankruptcy and issued their new stock, the new stock issue was at $15. My thought was, "nothing has fundamentally changed vis a vis Kmart's market nor competition -- this looks really risky, K-mart's going to be back in bankruptcy soon, and all those people holding the stock will get screwed". The merged company SHLD closed today at $168. Ah well.
OTOH, I called it right when Krispy Kreme looked like the dream stock of the past couple years.

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wrote:

Does Auto Nation still exist? There were 5 or 6 in the Houston area several years ago but have been gone for at least 3 or 4 years.

About 15 years ago a financial advisor told me that Kmart's biggest problem was similar to the American auto industry, too many non productive people getting paid way too much money. On a store level the company was profitable but the profit turned into losses after paying the bloated list of recipients.

Again, Krispy Cream is no longer in Houston. Did you dump their stock?
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wrote:

Never bought it; I considered it when it was heading upward and the company was rapidly expanding. I didn't buy because it seemed to be going up too fast.
They also closed their franchise in Tucson. Apparently their success really was too good to be true -- a few too many sweetheart deals with some of the franchisees as well as just bad luck, the "low-carb" craze hit during their march upward and really hit their sales.
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I think you just hit the nail on the head on all counts. They really started screwing up late 60's early 70's with their better than thou attitude.
RM~ (sears retiree)
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Mekon wrote:

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid921754000
aren't just trying to start a war. So I'll give you my take on it. I'm sure somebody will disagree. A generation ago, Craftsman made tools fit for a professional. In the last 20 years or so, they transitioned to a few high-end consumer quality goods and a lot of low-end homeowner quality tools fit only for the weekend fixer-upper. They traded off of their reputation for reliabilty while appealing to the gadget lover. These tools are often loaded with gadgets that work poorly or don't add real value. They came out with various Rube Goldberg devices that carry a router to carve spiral table legs and signs and 3-dimensional carvings. Think of them as an expensive toy instead of a serious woodworking machine. They often have bushings in places where quality tools have bearings and plastic in place of metal. Most folks on this side of the pond have had a Craftsman tool or three early in their experience but we have mostly abandoned Craftsman tools by the time we get seriously into woodworking. Personally, I would never sink that much money into anything with their name on it. When Bosch or Porter Cable comes out with a similar machine it may be time to think about it.
DonkeyHody "Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then."
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I have a number of Craftsman wrenches which still look new after many years. I have purchased a number of Craftsman products with motors which broke down too soon.
Despite my hestitance about tools with motors, I did purchase the 22144 Hybrid table saw after reading it was made by a decent contractor, Orion, or some similar name. The saw is working well after two years. It does not make me want to purchase any tool with a motor. For example, Sears makes a version of my Bosch 1617EVS router. I am hesitant to buy this since I do not know if they altered any specifications.
My Bosch 1617EVS works very well, except for a well known switch problem and in my older units like mine, oxidation of the magnesium body.
This unit is really the CarveWright with a Sears label. The folks who have purchase from CarveWright appear to like the company and the product.
The CarveWright product is tempting, but it is not a $1900 shopbot. It is a carving system. If this is what you need, then consider this seriously.
Go to the manufacturers site for more information and forum. http://www.carvewright.com /
Dave Paine.

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid921754000
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I still use some of the Craftsman tools purchased before 1990. After that I had problem with their warranty. It appears that they started to outsource some of the power tool to Ryobi and other lowest bidders. I have two belt sanders and one biscuit cutter. The three of them gave me problems. On the other hand the average buyer does not use his tool as often as the serious wood worker. Most of the time the tools are not used much and are stored on the shelves. In this case Craftsman may be suitable.

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The Craftsman name used to be used on a line of pretty good tools. In fact, some of the woodworking tools built during the 50's and 60's were heavy-duty, well made equipment. I run across iron-topped Craftsman table saws in estate sales from time to time and they still get good attention. I own a router and circular saw that was purchased during the mid-70's and they provide good service. My '78 vintage drill press continues to work well. They still produce a pretty good line of hand tools (sockets, drives, ratches), but they are priced at about twice comparable hardware-store items.
Sometime since then they turned their backs on their home-shop customers and started producing (IMHO) junk. During this latter period they also started offering gimmicks instead of good tools. One example is their router-crafter which is a contraption that looks like a lathe and is supposed to allow the user to produce lathe-type turnings with a router (A hot item in the garage-sale circuit for years - many of them on their 4th or 5th rotation). I suspect his carver is another such device.
Sears claims to have stepped back into the "serious woodworking" market during the past couple of years with a group of 'heavy-duty' table saws. They even call one of them a cabinet saw. Being the owner of a cabinet saw, it took one peek inside the cabinet to see what was going on - sheet metal added to what is basically a fairly mundane contractor's saw. This machine is a close cousin to the $289 garage saw I purchased years ago and no longer own. The main difference is they want $1,000 for this one.
Don't be tempted. Crapsman is alive and well.
RonB

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid921754000
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Tough crowd!
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wrote:

And I guess we are getting tougher. We have two things going for us:
1) As old farts we feel a more than a little animosity toward Sears. Years ago, many of us didn't even shop for tools, we just went to Sears because we thought we were getting good equipment at a good price. They betrayed us.
2) I'm reaching that age: "Anybody can have more birthdays; but it takes balls to get old!"
RonB
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Ha!
I remember a time when I was a boy and my parents wanted anything, they went to Sears. Everybody seemed to. During the holiday season, the local store employed a guy that stood on top of the building and directed people to parking spots during the holiday season.
When I got married, wifey and I bought most of our stuff there. When we needed anything, we went to Sears. Clothes, appliances, tools, anything.
Then not long after getting married, Sears decided quality cost too much. Maybe they though they saw Wal-Mart making lots of money selling crap so they would too. Big mistake. People that remember when Sears was really good for everything feel let down. Cheated if you will.
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wrote:

Yep. Mail-order for those in rural areas was a huge draw also. My dad grew up on the Eastern plains of Colorado, several hundred miles from Denver. He said they could fill out an order, put it in the mail one day and receive their orders two days later (one day to Denver, one day to process, one day to deliver).

I grew up in Sears, Penney's and Wards clothes

Yep. Bet you bought some of those "value-engineered" tools before finding out what pieces of junk they were -- a reasonable justification to feel cheated.
The first tools I bought when I got out of college were Craftman. When I decided to get into woodworking, my first thought was to go to Sears. Luckily I found this newsgroup first and learned about the automatic random height adjusting features of Sears routers. In addition, I already had experience with those tools I had bought earlier and was more than a little disappointed with. They weren't like Dad's Sabre Saw at all.
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My doctor say's "getting old ain't for sissies" and I'm inclined to agree. RM~
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Craftsman wrenches, screw drivers, and such without any moving parts are average or above average. I attempted to return a Craftsman hand-screw wooden clamp and a sales man told me that the lifetime warranty does not include items with moving parts. The handle of the clamp became loose, even after a few epoxy attempts. My personal policy is to stay away from Taiwan and China-made tools (baskets, clothes and shoes are okay), no matter what the brand.
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Wrong salesman. If that were the case, ratchets, u joints, pliers, slide hammers, gear pullers, ect would also not be covered.

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Evidently, sounds like he may have been new on the job. I took a 10 year old tree limb lopper in a couple of months ago and they gave me a new one. No questions asked and the new one appeared to be lot better quality than the old one. RM~
PS, My advice would be to go back and ask for the division manager. If it's a non powered tool that says craftsman on it they gotta take it.
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Agree - Wrong salesman. They replaced a ratchet handle that was broken in half for me. Drove over it.
However, that was several years ago.
RonB

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