Let's see--I have the following Craftsman tools WITH moving parts:
1) 9" RAS - purchased in 1973 and still going strong
2) 10" table saw - almost a year old, and it works great
3) 3/8 corded variable reversible drill - about 18 years old & still
works & looks like it's new. It replaced the Craftsman Type 1
drill I bought in '73 that was stolen in '86.
4) Fancy ROS - works great
5) 13.2V Cordless drill - works great after almost 2 years
6) Scroll saw - at least 25 years old, still going strong
7) 7-1/4" circular saw - about 18 years old, still works great.
Replaced another Craftman tool that was stolen.
8) Electric staple gun - works great after 25 years, could use a
new power cord
9) Craftsman Pro Fixed/Plunge router kit - 3 months old and the BEST
router I've ever owned
10) Fixed router - 15 years old, still works good.
11) 4 x 21" belt sander - about 15 years old--still works good.
I got the new Craftsman Pro router because I wanted more power (2-1/4 HP
vs the 1.5 HP the old one has, and the new one will take 1/2" bits as
well as 1/4"
In short, I take exception to Hoyt's implication that Craftsman power
tools aren't any good.
Hoyt Weathers wrote:
On Wed, 09 Mar 2005 10:51:19 -0800, Steve <Steve> wrote:
[extensive list of wasted money snipped]
There are two kinds of wooddorkers: those who have bought Craftsman
power tools and learned from the experience that there are much better
choices, and those who have bought Craftsman power tools and never get
You left out the third category: Those who just can't justify the cost
of the high-end stuff like what Norm has in his shop. The Craftsman
stuff does the job, and does it well, and the prices don't break the bank.
What exactly is it that I don't get?
Well Uncle Jessie and Steve have their opinions and I sure as the
devil will not try to change them...
I purchased my original "set of powertools" over a 4to 5 year time
frame from Sears in the late 60's early 70's...
Today I still use the following...
1. RAS....works fine as a cout off saw...has not moved off a 90 degree
cut in 25 to 30 years...but it can cross cut accurate enough for my
uses...not covered by the recall but worth more then the 100 bucks
they would give me for it...
2. Lathe.... this thing is not all that great..lucky for me that I do
not do a lot of turning..if I did I would junk it in a hurry
3. Stationary 6in belt and 9 in disc sander... well it still works
just fine...belt tracks right on...but I have not had a disc glues on
4. 12 in Band Saw... not really a bad saw...does what I want but I
have gotten the bug to do some resawing that exceeds its limits..so It
will be replaced in the very near future...
5. Floor model drill press... Sorry but this thing has been a
workhorse and I would not trade it even up for a brand new Delta
or Jet ... Its a keeper without doubt
Wow...I did not realize that I had so many Craftman tools still in the
shop... I do NOT use the RAS nor the Lathe much...but the others I use
Does this mean I would buy another Craftsman power tool..
Heck No... too many much better tools on the market at better prices
and that do a better job ...
Remember the newest of my tools are now 30 to 35 years old and all
seem to be built a little "tougher" then the new ones "look" to be..
I say look to be because I just never stop and look as I walk past the
Tool department at Sears...heck I do not even walk into the store all
Well, that may be, but I have my own list:
1960s era 10" table saw. Original fence was a POS. I replaced it with
a '90s Sears fence. Much better, but no Bies. Overall, usable, but
just no comparison to my Uni.
1960s era jigsaw, er scrollsaw they call them now. POS. Oil filled
crank shaft got oil on everything within 3'.
1972 saber saw, er, jigsaw they call them now. POS. Cranking down on
one of the two screws to hold the blade (and you had to) cracked the
casting. Couldn't make a square cut. No comparison to my Bosch.
1972 RAS. Okay, but no DeWalt and won't stay in alignment past a
couple of bumps.
1972 belt sander. POS. Can't wait to replace it--just as soon as I
have a need for a belt sander.
1972 router. The mother of all POS. It's when I discovered the ARHA
1972 drill press. Usable, but developed a vertical slop in the quill
that I cannot fix. No comparison to my Delta.
1974 bandsaw. Underpowered, underweight, undersized. No comparison to
1975 jointer. POS never would line up right. You could make the infeed
table coplanar with the outfeed, OR you could raise and lower the
infeed table, but you couldn't do both. Need I say DJ20?
1980 lathe. Odd size Morse tapers and spindle thread. No comparison to
Last summer my S-I-L bought one of their routers (Ryobi POS). Guess
what? ARHA. I gave him a P-C 690 for Christmas.
That's 0 for 10 or 11 depending on how you score my S-I-L's router.
You don't have to hit me over the head with a 2x4. I absolutely do get
it. The lathe is the last Sears tool I will EVER buy; I don't care who
makes them. I don't even trust that if Bosch makes their jigsaw it's
the same jigsaw as Bosch's jigsaw.
One may ask, "why did you buy so many Sears tools if they were POS?"
It's more or less a fair question, but basically back in the '70s
there weren't any places to buy Deltas or Powermatics. Or not that I
was aware of. Schools and professionals had them, but not us garage
'dorkers. And they commanded more of a premium over the Sears than
they do today.
Shoot, because there was no Norm or Boob or David J. we average DIY
guys hardly even knew those tools existed. We couldn't ask Jon Eakes.
There was no Scott Phillips, no Ron Hazelton, no David Thiel. There
was no Jet, no Chiwanese tools, no Harbor Freight (thank god). A lot
of you guys don't realize how good we have it nowadays compared to
I don't even give the hand tools a pass anymore. Go to the borg and
buy a Klein #2 Phillips screwdriver. Use it hard for a week. Then go
get a Sears and use it hard for an hour. That's all it'll take. The
wrenches are okay, but don't be convinced by the warranty. When Ace
Hardware started warranting their Master Mechanic line of wrenches
with the same warranty back in the '90s I figured it out. It's an
actuarial thing, not a measure of tool quality. Just like rebates.
Practically everyone warrants their wrenches for life, now.
Want to call me a tool snob? Go ahead. I wear that tag proudly. I've
used low end and I've used high end. I may not be able to do better
work with the high end, but I do easier work since I'm not fighting
the tool, and if you don't understand what the simple pleasure of
using a good tool adds to the project there's no explaining it to you.
And probably no point in you buying the tools I buy.
Life is too short for third rate tools. Although in all fairness, I
guess I should acknowledge that if I hadn't wallowed in so much
Craftsman I may never have truly appreciated my Deltas, Makitas,
Bosches, Porter-Cables, Milwaukees, Kleins, etc. when I got them. But
if I could keep just one person from having to learn that lesson the
way I did...
My older Craftsman router did that to me ONCE. I didn't have the collet
tight enough, and the bit started descending while I was routing the
control cavity in a guitar body--the very first one I made, over two
years ago. Cut right thru the body into the MDF benchtop underneath. I
learned to make sure that collet was REALLY TIGHT, and it never happened
again. I assumed it was my fault, and not the tool's. Seems like
experience has confirmed that, since it has never happened again.
This router, BTW, while suitable for light -duty work, was not up to the
heavy load I put on it, and that's why I bought the new one at Christmas
(the Craftsman Pro/Bosch). It cuts deeper and smoother than the old one
ever did, and it seems to do it effortlessly, with the same bits. 50%
more power and a nice rigid aluminum motor housing make quite a
difference in how a router behaves. Very happy with it so far.
Not sure what to do with the old one--any suggestions?
On the topic at hand (the quality or lack thereof of Craftsman power
tools)--I'm not claiming that all Craftsman power tools are uniformly
good--just that in general my experience with them has been positive.
The ones I have work well for my needs, and I see no point in replacing
them unless they break.
For example, in the case of the Radial Arm Saw--Sears offered to buy the
motor from me for $100 (which was only $8 less than I paid for the whole
thing in '73) and I declined. That saw has performed well for me for
all these years, although I haven't used it much since I got the table
saw last year.
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