OK, if not Craftsman, then who?

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Folks,
Noticing the recurring discussions about 'The Fall of Craftsman', I could echo my subjective response to what I see on the shelves of Sears any more. Thankfully, I still have my very first tool purchase -- a Craftsman 3/8" rachet -- still working fine after 45 years. And, my cast-iron topped Craftsman table saw - tooling along after something like 25 years or so.
Presently am gearing up to (finally) build a decent space for a woodshop (circa 1000sf) - and have found some local Grizzly machinery (used, but very little and a decent price) - and am considering additional purchases from them to round out the basics (only really needing a jointer -- thinking of the Griz 8").
But, the discussions re: Craftsman does raise a question -- What (today) would replace the Craftsman of 15 or 20 years ago? I completely understand that this would depend quite a bit on the exact tool in question - and it may be too general (and too emotional) to ask so simply.
I'm aware of the higher end stuff (assuming Laguna and others we see in FineWoodworking, etc) - and that could be an option down the road.
But the question is more related to what has emerged to take the (historic) Craftsman of old - not so much what tool purchases I may or may not make in the near or distant future.
Thanks for any comments...
-- john.
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Ridgid comes to mind. Not throw-away junk, but not quite German engineering either.
DonkeyHody "I'd rather expect the best from people and be wrong than expect the worst and be right."
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I think a lot of the Craftsman power tools were made by Ridgid years ago.
DonkeyHody wrote:

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Years ago Emerson Electric made many of the Sears tools. Emerson stopped making tools for Sears and switched over to making tools for Home Depot under the Ridgid brand. About two years ago Emerson stopped making all tools other than the shop vac in the Ridgid line. I believe the majority of the Ridgid tools are now made by Ryobi.
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Some Craftsman tools are just re-branded from other manufacturers and are exact except for the paint. If you find one of those, buy on price if Sears has them on sale.
I know people that have and like their cordless drills also.
Other than those, there are many brands of tools that are decent value and quality. Bosch, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Delta, Porter Cable, Hitachi, are just a few.
Brands to avoid for quality are Ryobi, Black & Decker and Skil. They are made for the one a year homeowner market, not for a pro.
I too have some Craftsman sockets, open end wrenches, etc from about 45 years ago. Far superior to what they sell today.
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*snip*

*snip*
You know, I like my Ryobi drill press and Skil power screw drivers. One Skil screw driver is on its second motor, and doing ok. They're definately not for a professional drilling hundreds of holes a month, but they're not bad tools. They're like chuck steak as opposed to sauce covered hamburgers and definately not top sirloin steak.
Puckdropper
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Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I hear this a lot about Ryobi. But I'm on my second Ryobi Cordless drill. The batteries on the first went and it was about the same cost to just by a new one. Other then that I would probably still be using it. Plus, I love the magnetic base. Don't think I'd go for the "larger" tools, but the drills are great.
-Jim
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Your experience is far different than mine. I'll never buy another.
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I have a nephew who, when he was about 13 or 14, used to haunt yard sales for used and/or damaged Craftsman tools. He'd then go to Sears and get new ones under their lifetime guarantee policy. He's now in his 40s and still has them.
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Your nephew may be "legally in the right," but I thinks it's immoral to do that.
message

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In what regard? Craftsman tools like squares, levels, hammers, wrenches, etc are guaranteed for the life of the tool, NOT the life of the original purchaser.
Joe who sees nothing immoral about taking them up on THEIR gaurantee
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wrote:

That's how I see it, too.

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If that were the case, there would be no reason for them to replace a broken or worn out tool. As soon as the tool breaks or wears out, it's life is over so the warranty is over too. The "life of the toll" bit was added by other manufacturers in order to appear that they offered a guarantee when they actually did not.

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Sears has been sucking in hand tool customers with their lifetime guarantee story for as long as I can rememeber. And I'm old. I own a set of Craftsman mechanics tools, that have been excellent, for nearly forty years. I have tested the guarantee a few times, including a ratchet handle that had been run over buy a car and busted in the middle of the handle. No questions - just a new replacement tool.
HOWEVER, about 15 years ago it occured to me that I was paying at least twice the cost of Master Mechanics or other store brands offered by major hardware stores (Ace, True Value, etc.) Guess what -- same warranty! The local hardware store owner told me he had customers report that they found a Craftsman socket among Master Mechanics sockets bought in his store.
In addition to gimmics, one of Sears main strategies has been the sale of common tools, at higher prices ON CREDIT. They used to make more money that way - until they started alienating their long-time customers.
RonB
wrote:

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RonB wrote:

Twenty years ago, I was a devoted Sears customer. I bought their hand & power tools, appliances, tires, batteries and even clothes. So much so that I took a lot of ribbing from family about owning stock in Sears. Just about the time I outgrew their power tools, I noticed that every time I left their automotive store, I was mad. I was mad about having to stand in long lines to get waited on, mad about taking longer than promised to install batteries or tires, mad about added charges not previously disclosed, and mad about the surly attitude of their sales staff. Same way with Wal Mart. I took my trade to local mom-and-pop businesses and never looked back. Now, I shop the big box stores like Sears, Wal Mart and Home Depot only when I can't find it at a smaller store. I may be spending more money, but I spend a lot less time steaming.
DonkeyHody "Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate."
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After clocking in at Sears, I used to have to walk past the automotive desk on the way to my department. Hated that trip as there was almost always a long line there and usually a very vocal and mad customer yelling at one of the guys behind the desk. Once a guy was yelling because his new brake job had failed and his wife and daughter almost involved in an accident because of it. I feared that someone would go "postal" as I walked by.
Tom G.
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Tom G wrote:
> After clocking in at Sears, I used to have to walk past the automotive desk > on the way to my department. Hated that trip as there was almost always a > long line there and usually a very vocal and mad customer yelling at one of > the guys behind the desk.
My father refused to have ANY automotive work done at Sears, based on the experiences of his friends who had been ripped off.
He died in 1959.
Lew
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wrote:

What on Earth can you find at a big box that isn't at a smaller store? Everytime I got to WalMart out of sheer desperation because I'm in the middle of something and need supplies at 2am, I get nothing but blank stares and answers like "nobody uses *that* anymore."
The little places are the ones who still have old bits of whatever hidden away on a back shelf. Then again, it's probably me... I'm always trying to make everything myself, and it turns out that that isn't a very common thing to do anymore. If you don't believe that, go try to buy an anvil. :)
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Never Enough Money wrote:

Hey, somebody has to grow up to be a politician....
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Never Enough Money wrote:

Hey, somebody has to grow up to be a politician....
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