Opinions/Flamecatcher - Craftsman Power Tools

Page 1 of 2  
Let me start by saying I am not trolling - I am curious. I am looking for opinions and if the subject bothers you, move on.
We see lots of opinions regarding tool brands here and Craftsman sticks out. It appears as though our opinions on Craftsman power tools run from very supportive to downright venomous. Personally, as I read some of these posts I try to imagine who sent them - particularly in terms of experience and age.
I am beginning to think some of the more disrespectful comments are coming from the older crowd who remember the power equipment Craftsman offered up until the early 80's. In fact some of us older geezers might still have 70's vintage routers, circular saws, sanders or other machines that are still serving us well. A lot of the maintenance on these old machines amounted to replacing power cords and brushes. We also remember when it took three guys to move their cast-iron winged table saws, drill presses or old jointers.
My theory - Much of the venom is coming from older folks who feel betrayed by Sears and are just pissed. Any truth to this?
(BTW - this is aimed at power tools, not hand tools, sockets, etc.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RonB wrote:

I'm not old enough to know about the old stuff but have purchased a few new craftsman tools. I have bought my father 3 craftsman cordless drills in the last 10 years and still use my Makita purchased in 1995. I finally had to buy a new battery for it last year and when the third Craftsman drill dad was using died I wised up and bought a Makita like mine (got it from sears even). My Craftsman Professional router bought a couple years ago was anything but professional and caused much frustration and made me wonder what I was doing wrong when nothing would work right. When I went out and bought a PC router and pulled the bit out of the craftsman and placed it in the PC and it cut so much easier and smoother I was blown away, same exact bit just a different motor made a huge difference.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

=======================I am in my 60's so I guess I am qualified as an older guy.... I ahev also NOT read a single reply to your post...(yet)
I would NOT under any circumstances open my wallet for any Craftsman power tool manufactured after 1975 ....PERIOD !
Having said that I equipted my shop in the mid to late 60's and almost every tool I bought was Craftsman.... (sears Credit what can I say)
Anyway I still have my original floor model drill press and it has absolutely been a workhorse ...replaced the belt once in all that time and more then a few light bulbs...but nothing else...
I still have my original Radial Arm Saw that I now use only as a cut off saw... but its fine ...have not moved it off 90 degress in 25 years or so....
My 6" belt/disk sander still works just fine...although I have had to play with the tracking mechanism more times then I care to admit and I can not remember the last time I even had a disk on the the thing...little or no need for it for my projects...
I also still use my 12 inch Band Saw too....BUT I am not about to claim that it is anything more then marginal at best... does what I want but does need to be replaced with something larger and more powerful...timberwolf blades make it marginal...
Gone FOR years are my original Lathe, Table saw, & Jointer All were marginal at best... (this was 60's equiptment BTW )
I do not feel I was betrayed by Sears....(well it would be nice if they still had repair departments in their stores or would sell you a 3 dollar belt without charging you 15 bucks to ship it... )...
Just my opinion...
Bob Griffiths
.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why not include the hand tools? They are not as good as the older stuff either.
Actually, a lot of tools today are not as well made (durable) as they were years ago. Black & Decker used to be a respected name, Skil made its reputation with the circular saw for the masses; now it is a WalMart supplier. Sears made a decision to sell high volume at a certain price point. Some of their stuff is OK, but a lot is mediocre. Not knowing sometimes, I tend to avoid it all now.
Yes, I remember when Craftsman was respected and used by real craftsman. Right along side B & D and Disston saws. Life changes. .
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ed - I held it to power tools because they seem to get the most comments with the group. I don't think their hand tools have suffered as much but their prices are too high. I get the same utility and warranty from Master Mechanic wrenches at 1/3 to 1/2 the price.
I also agree that the same applies to B&D and others. Seems like Sears takes the brunt.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<< Why not include the hand tools? They are not as good as the older stuff either. >>
Totally disagree. Craftsman sockets, etc. are made by the same company that makes Matco professional tools. Of course Danaher doesn't make all of Sears hand tools, so there could be some compromised quality in certain lines. My nickel's worth.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

stuff
that
Sears
My
That does not necessarily make then as good as the old ones. I have a set of box wrenches and still some of the original sockets that I got about 40 years ago. Bring your tools over and we'll compare them. I bet you'll want to leave with mine!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski did say:

My only complaint with Craftsman hand tools is their thickness. Snap-ons will get into tight places that a Craftsman socket won't. Not that big of a deal for us amateurs, but for pro mechanics it's a real issue. Regarding durability; I think the pro tools are made from better alloys, but since they're thinner are about as durable as the good Craftsmans. The lifetime replacement warranty on any good tool kind of makes it a toss-up for durability.
--
New project = new tool. Hard and fast rule.


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The lifetime warranty is still there, though- so it's not really as important that they are durable as it is with the power tools.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is not very important if you round off the blade of one of your six screwdrivers. OTOH, if you break a socket removing the last head bolt on your enngine, it is 8:30 PM and the nearest Sears is 30 miles away, quality suddenly becomes very important.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I have a duplicate of most hand tools in a tool chest in my garage and stuffed in a tool bag inside my truck so if one were to break I have a spare.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

I have a spare truck. That doesn't make me any happier when something breaks, even if it were under warranty.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
patriarch wrote:

Years ago a local ford dealer was giving away a festiva when you bought a new f150. I suppose you could load up the festiva in the bed and have it for a spare to drive to the parts store if you ever had a breakdown. I have rarely had a craftsman took break, and then its usually a gimmick tool like the extension bar with a plastic quick release button and the plastic button broke so I traded it for normal one, or when I use a screwdriver as a prybar, but I usually don't have any problems with them otherwise.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

.
=============I already posted my comments on Craftsman power tools...
BUT I also restore, drive, and repair old cars as a hobby... I have roll around tool boxes in both of my garages so I too have duplicate wrenches,sockets etc ...and 90 percent of my hand tools are Craftsman...
However every single one of my sockets and swivels etc that I use with my air tools are Snap On.... learned long ago that Craftsman Impact sockets just do not hold up...even with their free replacement warranty you will no longer find any in my tool chests...
A few weeks ago I could not find my 3/8 inch "pair" of line wrenches when I was installing brake calibers on one of my cars and had to run into Sears . needed 2 and paid $18.95 EACH double ouch!..was expecting $ 5.99.... shows you how much I know about tool costs today...
Anyway Son Number two had both of my 3/8 inch line wrenches in his garage ...told me he was sorry that he did not return them LAST YEAR after he borrowed them... Guess what I plan on letting him keep for Christmas this year...
Bob Griffiths
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes but there are other hand tools out there that duplicate the Craftsman life time warranty and 1/2 the price - example is Master Mechanic.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The lifetime warranty isn't about quality; it's about actuary.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I will also add that a lot of us older guys got started with Craftsman because the tools were readily visible and available at Sears. This was before the local borg offered a dozen colors and brands under one roof.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 06 Nov 2004 09:10:51 -0600, RonB wrote:

I noticed the pattern. I agree. If we're not quite so old as to have Depression memories, we do remember the "greed is good" old days when lots of products, not just Craftsman, went down the tubes to MBAs with LBOs. RubberMaid >(
Maybe Craftsman is getting heat generated by disgust at the whole phenomenon.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Clearly not confined to Craftsman. However, in my younger days Sears the borg stores were less common. For a young startup, Sears offered a good variety of tools and in a sense was a woodworking borg.
Granted there were industrial and tool stores available but many of us hadn't discovered them yet..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pardon error

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.