Opinions on Craftex machinery?


Locally in Canada, we have a group of stores called Busy Bee Tools, of which I was not aware until today. They were able to supply me with something that no one else had been able to, so I was a bit impressed with their operation.
Has anyone else dealt with them here?
As well, I follow the machine threads on the Wreck, and see the popular names; Jet, Delta, etc. Busy Bee carries a line I've never seen discussed here: Craftex.
I'd never heard of them before, but the store is chockablock with the stuff, so I figure it must be selling. My untrained eye caught some prices on lathes, shapers, TSs, etc, and the prices seemed about middle of the road, or high middle.
I'd be interested in opinions on Craftex, if you guys have ever dealt with them.
TIA
Tanus
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I have been there a few times as I too live in Canada. The Craftex line is their own brand of machinary. It is all imported from Asia (China?) and as far as I have been able to tell, it is low end import stuff. They charge a pretty penny for it too.
My good friend's father worked in the industrial supply trade and he said their tools are crap.
My advice: steer clear! There is plenty of equivalent priced machines out there by reputable names; why invest in something that may not be fully supported 5 years from now?
MHO
Michael
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I have owned 2 of their jointers and have a used 15 inch planer. The original 6" jointer was replaced by an 8" machine and is still giving good service to it's owner. They are directly comparable to King and General International tools (both Chinese imports) in my opinion. the prices I payed are certainly comparable. You won't buy the equivalent Delta or General for the same money. By the by I've had the planer 4 or 5 years now and it was 9 years old when I bought it. Having actually owned and used their tools I have no complaints. Your mileage may vary of course.
Hal

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They have a few good machines but most of their stuff is low end. I bought a few pieces when I stated and they are so so and from what I have read their products have gone down hill since then. For a lot more input ask your question at Canadian Woodworking Forum. JG
Tanus wrote:

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JGS wrote:

Thanks guys. Since I've been on the Wreck, I've learned to put a great deal of faith in what is said here regarding a lot of things, and machinery is one of them. I wondered why I'd never heard of Craftex on here, and now I know.
Tanus
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Busy Bee...well.. lemme see... before they get vilified by the unwashed...
They are located at a convenient off-ramp from the highway, so I do frequent their London, Ontario outlet often. They carry Makita, DeWalt and many other well-known accessory lines in router-lifts etc. Triton is well represented there as well. Their Craftex router bits are on a par with Freud at half the price. Their 12" PSA sanding discs are pretty good, as is the sander which is Craftex. Then again, it's a motor with a disc... not too complicated.... certainly good value. I have my eye on a 37" radial arm drill-press which will do what I need it to do for the money I'm willing to spend. An acquaintance of mine has a Craftex 12" lunch-box planer (12 years old) and after many years of abuse, he walked in with a shopping list of obscure replacement parts and they had ALL of them in stock, so he was up and running the same day.
The Craftex line is painted in a godawful green with ugly yellow logos and warning stickers (do NOT use their 48" drum sander whilst taking a shower) but their stuff seems well-built, solid and cheap. It ain't Laguna nor pretending to be. After 30 years, they are still being compared to Grizzly by many, so to call their stuff crap is merely showing one's ignorance. You get what you pay for, and some people won't pay for much, yet want everything for nothing.
http://www.busybeetools.com /
r
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Well said.
wrote:

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Simple Canadian/USA comparison:
Harbour Freight = Princess Auto + Busy Bee Tools
'nuff said?
Michael
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Hi Robatoy, Yes, The Trition router they sell is great and at the current price of $299 the best value in routers IMHO. And their bits are good value too. I have their OSS and it too is great. I also have their drill press and band saw. Would I buy either again, no. As to comparing them with Grizzly, other than the original family relationship and agreement I haven't read any real comparison, just speculation. Maybe worth a road trip to PA to check out one of their stores first hand. Cheers, JG
Robatoy wrote:

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If I need a tool and I don't want to spend large on it, I can come back with four for price of the one. I am curious about craftex too. They sell a set of undersized plywood bits, for 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4" - all 1/32" under. Less than a single bit at HD. I love their sales. Fills up the tool box fast.
For home use they are the first company that comes to mind for this.
I bet they are the bread and butter for supplies for some operations.
For the price of a rosewood handled square and chisel guide at LV you could get a square and chisel guide, surface plate, dial caliper, micrometer, feller guages, pitch gauges, scriber, punches, and a box of 50 sheets of sandpaper. I haven't calculated.
I know Mitutoyo make the cheap ind. std. dial caliper (over $100), but I have tested their $22 model with guage blocks and it is bang on, all over. That is what I like.
-
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