Yep. I'm not going to chime in about any Sears power tools, because I
neither own nor use any, but when it comes to chisels, hand saws or
tape measures, they almost always get my $$$. (Well, maybe not in the
case of the tape measure- technically, I only bought one, but it's
been exchanged many times over the years.)
Especially their black handled chisels.... if you haven't looked at
them, I'd suggest doing so. They may not be as good as some
million-dollar hand forged Japanese chisel made by a guy whose family
forged samuri swords for a thousand years, but they're awfully nice
for anyone with realistic expectations- they'll shave your arm hair
after a few passes on an oil stone, and they've got a lot of steel on
them for the money. They hold that sharp edge pretty well, too.
I too have a shop full of Craftsman hand, portable power, and stationary
power tools. Most of them are old and all are pretty good. Some of
them I can remember buying as far back as the 1960's. Some of them I
inherited from my father.
With reluctance, I have come to the conclusion that the current
Craftsman stuff is of uneven quality. Some of it is OK, some of it is
not, and it is difficult to tell one from the other while standing in
the aisle at Sears. So I don't buy much Craftsman stuff anymore.
Perhaps this is why Kmart bought Sears rather than the other way round.
There are a few things still going for Sears. The "if it breaks
we'll give you a new one" guarantee still works far as I know. And you
can get parts for old Craftsman stuff. I was pleasantly surprised to be
able to order a replacement speed control assembly for a 20 year old
variable speed drill and receive it, snail mail, inside of three days.
And it fit. The Sears website has customer written reviews of tools.
You can read some very harsh reviews there.
As far as that computer driven milling/carving machine for $2k, I'd
worry that it would not be rugged enough to last, or that it would not
be accurate enough to be worthwhile. I'd wait a year and see if it is
still offered for sale. And wait for a review in the magazines.
For Christmas this year I (take a deep breath) asked for a Craftsman
combination wrench set. In metric sizes. Yeah, Santa brought one.
They look as nice as the inch size ones I bought 30 years ago.
Sorry to hear about the hand screw problem. Maybe you should go back
with it and talk to a different rep.
I think the same, but nowadays I'll usually choose Husky or Cobalt
over Craftsman, simply because Lowes and HD better to deal with
locally than Sears. Coastal Tool also carries SK, for another option
My local Sears and Sears Hardware stores are the worst run retail
operations on the planet. They truly suck! How they stay in business
baffles me, as I never see anyone buying anything. I really wonder
who does their hiring.
I recently needed some large open-end wrenches to install a BS riser
block, and Sears Hardware (Wallingford, CT) was the only local store
to have cheap versions. So, for the first time in over a year, I had
to go there. The stores employees truly act like they wish you didn't
even come into the store. The wrenches are under lock and key, so it
took me _35 minutes_ and 3 polite requests to get a keyholder to give
me the wrenches. I was one of two customers in the store, there
were 6-8 employees milling about.
Oddly enough, the $60 wrench set, stored securely under lock and key,
had a security device in the package. The device went off as I exited
the store, because the cashier was too distracted with her personal
tale of woe on her cell phone to disengage the device. I was simply
waved on... <G>