Once you've got it up on the site, click the "pick up" button and
enter your zip code then "check availability" and the site will tell
you if it's in stock anywhere near you and if so where--that system is
not completely reliable--if the store's inventory is screwed up then
so is the online inventory--but it's usually right. Can save a trip
if it's not in the store and if there's more than one Sears near you
then it lets you go to the one that has it.
Craftsman open end and box wrenches both come in several patterns, in
different lengths and offsets. The ones you got 40 years ago didn't
have so much variety. So make sure you're comparing apples with
apples and not comparing one wrench with another designed for a
I go to Sears about once in a blue moon... was there the day after
Thanksgiving actually. I think we are perceiving things differently.
I'm not talking about Sears selling Bosch or Makita. I'm talking
specifically about Craftsman.
Do you know the "Harbor Freight Smell"? That's the smell of lead
paint mixed with cheap plasticizers, or something. Anyhow, it's very
distinctive, and Sears didn't have it until a couple of years ago.
The HF power tools have this cheap plastic housing that is usually
orange or something. It actually has a bit of an oily film on it when
you first take the tool out of the box. It might be mold release, or
it might be plasticizer oozing out of the plastic, I don't know. And
they *always* have that strong smell. Then you have the cardboard
box. I keep the old boxes from my purchases. That way I can locate
by Craftsman jigsaw from 1985 quickly, and keep all the accessories
and the manual together with it. Those cardboard boxes are sturdy and
have a real solid feel about them. The new ones feel like a wet
cereal box. I don't know how to describe it, they just do.
The stationary power tools that you mentioned: I just have to rebut
that. I mean this in all good humor, what drugs are you on? The
table saws are just garbage. The radial arm saws are better, but they
are a pale shadow of where they were 10 years ago. You can't cut
corners on a radial arm saw or it will cut corners on you!! The
benchtop saws are pure junk. I have a 3 wheel bandsaw from a while
back that has a metal case, with a metal door, and metal wheels, and a
nice quiet motor. Granted, it still has that *annoying* slotted
aluminum top, but as you say, it does the job. The new ones are
almost all plastic and they are getting more flimsy every single time
I see them. The accessories to all of the stationary and bench top
tools are very poor, unless you are doing something like upselling a
TS with a Bessemier fence. (But then again, Craftsman branded
tablesaws have had very poor factory fences for 20 years). I had my
dad's old craftsman TS, again with the *annoying* slotted aluminum
top, and the old fence. I put an Incra fence on it, and it improved
100%. Then after I used it for a while, I really decided I needed
something better, so I moved up to a real cabinet saw. However the
new TS in the same class as the my old one is half the saw, with
cheaper accessories. My point is that you need to take a look at
those $500 table saws compared to anyone else, and compared to where
they used to be. They are flimsy, compared to say a Jet 10"
contractor saw at the same price at HD. The $200-$500 ones don't even
classify as a joke. They've been going downhill at quite a steep
angle. I don't think they can go much lower.
Wrenches, screwdrivers? Sure, they are still good but they sure are
expensive compared to yesteryear (individual, not in the million piece
tool set). What's interesting is to go to HF and compare the HF set
of combination wrenches, in full polished chrome, with a lifetime
warranty, on sale at $8 a set, to the exact same Craftsman set (with
the name) at the old price. Fit and finish are identical (actually
the chinese set may be slightly superior). I do buy Craftsman
wrenches and screwdrivers when I can get a real deal. Usually I won't
buy 1-2 missing sockets though (that's how they make their money). I
found that some local secondhand stores may have one or two mixed in,
and you might luck out and get them for 50 cents.
I have to say I don't have any experience with their Professional
series power tools, so I bow to your wisdom there.
Do I ever know that smell!
At the bicycle shop, we call that smell "L'essence de China". <G>
It's a mixture of paint, sea container "stank", plastic fumes, and the
sweat of children and forced labor.
Anytime we open a shipment from North America or Europe, the smell is
That 'scent' makes me gag. I have posted to that topic before and
since then (not because of) I have noticed more and more people
complaining about it.
I'm looking for 4 tires for Angela's car, so I poked my head around
the corner at our local WalMart and FN lost my lunch. Tire stores used
to smell GOOD!
I tried a line of solid surface sinks (to be undermounted) made in
China. My distributor gave me a couple to play with. They were
actually well packaged, but a part of the package was a slab
of...mmm..whatshallIcallit...kinda particle board, sorta pressed
horseshit,..but VERY stinky. An oily, pissy, vomity, college-bathroom-
pub-floor (so I been told). The $ 50.00 savings per sink didn't cut
Bonehenge now, huh? Love it!
Until recently their Craftsman Professional jigsaw was a Bosch. Now
it's an Australian made Triton, which may be a brilliant move on both
parts--Triton makes good stuff and they've never had a major US
distributer before. If I hadn't just gotten a new Bosch I might give
it a try just to see if it's as good as other Triton stuff.
The only smell I've ever assciated with anything from Harbor Freight
is that of cutting oil and Cosmoline. I've not noticed such a smell
at any of the Sears in the area.
Every tool I've ever had with a polished plastic case has shown that
"bit of oily film"--it's mold release.
I don't really give a damn about cardboard boxes--if I want a case for
a tool I'll make or buy one. Every time I've used a cardboard box the
bottom has come out of it at an inconvenient time. If they want to
use cheaper boxes that's fine.
Which table saws?
What specific corners were cut?
Aside from a few pricey German models intended for precision miniature
work most of them are, from anybody.
For certain values of "job".
The new ones are
Is the frame plastic? If not then what difference does it make if the
The Orion-built Craftsman saw comes standard with a Biesemeyer fence.
No "upselling", it comes in the box.
How long ago? There was a time when 500 bucks would get you a new
What is "HD"? Ordinarily I would assume "Home Depot" but they
discontinued Jet a long time ago. If you want to say that Sears
doesn't have a decent contractor saw I'll agree with you. If you want
a good 500 buck saw Ridgid is probably your best bet.
This is hardly unique to Sears.
So are hamburgers, coffee, and gas. What of it? It's called
The Craftsman wrenches are also American made. If you object to their
selling American made goods be sure and write them and tell them that
you'd prefer they sell Chinese for a fraction of the price, but don't
come crying to me when they take you at your word.
So you're asserting that the Chinese product is superior to the
Looks to me like you're judging the quality of tools based on the odor
of the store and the quality of the packaging rather than on how well
Interesting... and just when I was looking to pick up a replacement, too.
Anybody have experience with the Triton jigsaws? Is the Sears version simply a
rebadged OEM unit, or are there functional differences?
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Whether there are functional differences is always the question, but
in practical terms it's unlikely as that kind of retooling for a
limited production run generally costs more than just continuing to
make what was already in production. Changing the color of the
plastic and slapping a different label on is one thing, changing the
mechanical design is quite another.
I recall reading a review somewhere but now I can't find it.
Of course if you want to play safe, the latest Bosch from Coastal is
only about 45 bucks more.
I guess my nose is too old to tell the difference...
I tried a HF biscuit jointer to see if that was a tool worth adding.. when made
a few things with it and realized that biscuits were a good thing, I bought the
Dewalt one with the craftsman name on it..
It's been working great for years but just to be safe I better get a neighbor or
someone to smell it..
Please remove splinters before emailing
Agreed. I've currently got a 10" Craftsman Industrial tablesaw, and a
friend has the early production Orion hybrid I used to have. Both are
excellent tools. I've also got a refurb 15" planer, which is very
good. I need to look at the new bandsaws. Currently, a Steel City 16"
draws my praise...it is Taiwanese, I think, and very, very well made.
Trunnions are cast iron (not always the case in bandsaws under 20")
and all is well made.
As a general statement, I think there has been a basic upgrading of
quality in the past two decades, with more and more woodworkers
demanding better tools. A lot of the perceived faults we bitch about
these days might have been overlooked in the '70s, '80s and maybe even
into the '90s. Not today.
Yes, some Chinese/Taiwanese tools are junk, evennow, regardless of the
name on the tool, but an awful lot of that is the fault of the company
providing the specs and inspections. For example, 17-18-19 years ago,
any framing nailer cost upwards of $375, often way upwards. Today, a
decent brand name framing nailer may be had for well under $250. Why?
IMO, a large part of the credit goes to Porter-Cable, which started
getting decent production out of Taiwan by the simple matter of
sending an inspector over there, full time as I was told, with the
authority to reject anything that didn't meet standards.
I also don't have a real problem with Harbor Freight tools. They are
cheaply made, but they are also sold cheap. There's not a whole lot of
BS and artifice in their sales techniques. You pay 25 bucks for a
biscuit joiner, and you get a 25 buck (or close to it) biscuit joiner,
but you have no right to expect anything else, and HF doesn't tell you
On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 12:50:45 -0800 (PST), Charlie Self
Do you remember when people would complain about a body rattle in a
pickup, and be told "It's a pickup truck, who cares?"
_All_ vehicles are better than they were 20 years ago.
Thank Toyota and Nissan. <G>
On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 21:15:00 GMT, "Bonehenge (B A R R Y)"
But sadly, they aren't better because folks complained about fit, they were made
a lot better because (in the case of Japanese cars) the technology for building
them got better..
Please remove splinters before emailing
Same here, but the point I was making is that quality and "made in the
USA" are not always the same thing. In fact, they are not usually the
same thing most of time. Where a product is made should be irrelevant
to what the quality of the product is. A toy made with lead paint is
dangerous whether it's made in China or Chicago. Far too many people
act like "Made in the USA" is a stamp of quality, not location.
On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 20:50:54 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote:
It used to be, anyway... I'm not sure any more, though I hope it still is..
I have a 99 Dodge ram that the VIN says is assembled in Mexico.. it's been a
damn good truck for me..
Better than in the USA? A lot of dodge owners think so..
Folks in Mexico don't have the job security that the US workers have... Screw up
a truck and they're back on the street..
Please remove splinters before emailing
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