questionsis the craftsman brand beyond hope at this point?


That Craftsman article makes me sad for the future of this country. As for the "buy it for life" question it's hard to beat Snap-On or Mac Tools. Klein is also well-respected, but I haven't researched any of the above companies to see where there products are made.


I am mortified...the last line in my previous answer should obviously say "their". :)


@jsimsace: And on this day in 2012, a grammatical mistake went unchallenged for an entire hour.


@rprebel: Yes, thank God it's the weekend!


No, I don't think it's dead. Craftsman certainly isn't what it used to be, but few things these days are. Maybe Sears (read that KMart) will get their collective acts together and bring it up to it's potential.


I honestly had no idea that Craftsman products are now being made in China. These tools are supposed to be made in America with a quality guarantee to match. Making it offshore cheapens the brand and will lead to its demise.


Sears is irrelevant at this point.

I predict Sears' complete demise within the next 10 years. It's operating as if it is still in the 70s, it desperately needs to catch up with the new culture.

It's not even about quality, China can make Macbooks, it can make tools. It's not rocket science. But doing what Sears did without ethical concerns, that I have serious problem with. What's also interesting to note, is that the company that makes the "stolen" design for Craftsman (Apex Tools) and having their tools made offshore? It's being acquired by Bain Capital.



This is America!
That said, if you bought it here, it was probably made in China.

I've got some Klein tools. They're good. Too good. That's why you don't see any for sale, rent or to lend out. You buy it, you keep it.

In the good old days, you broke a Craftsman wrench, you goto Sears and they gave you another one. With a smile!
I bent a 3/8 ratchet wrench. You could see the inclusions in the metal, where it had cracked. I was treated as if I was untrustworthy, led to a back room office, and I filled out a series of forms to get my wrench replacement.
I broke a large socket from Harbor Freight. I walked in and they gave me another one. With a smile!

Same as always. You buy the cheapest on the shelf, you got the cheapest crap. HF does have some good stuff. And cheap crapola. Buy a couple $10 socket sets, and when someone needs to "borrow" something ...


@gidgaf: This is interesting. My father worked in a shop building cotton pickers for Case IH. I remember him telling me, buy Craftsman or don't buy anything.

Now, I look at the build quality of the stuff I buy and wonder .... what the hell happened. Of course, his chest of tools is still kicking and bullet proof. My tools are made god knows where and they are not of the same quality. They do share the same Craftsman logo though ...

It is interesting how much that brand used to mean when it was an American built and guaranteed product. Days of yore ....


I see this a little differently. I'd bet Sears' buyer came to Loggerhead and told them the price needed to be lower to increase sales, and he refused- which is certainly his right. Likely Apex made changes, got the needed patents, and Sears went on their way with a patent pending, now similar but lower priced tool. No laws broken, but now with a lower priced competitor, Loggerhead's sales die. That's not Apex or Sears' fault, Mr. Brown failed to compete. Change or die, he made his own choices.


@havocsback: The patent lawsuit is pending resolution. And Mr. Brown has a granted patent for his invention, which he has every right to defend and be profited from for 20 years.

Whether any law was broken depends entirely on the ruling now, and that will take another 3-5 years easily, unless they settle. The article did not mention if Apex acquired or applied for any of their own patent.

If you read the story, it wasn't as simple as Mr. Brown's "fault". They sold out completely at Sears even at the original price, and since Sears was the exclusive (they required Mr Brown to sign an exclusive) big box store, there really wasn't much pressure to lower the price. The ONLY reason why Sears would want to do that, is greed and an increase in profit margin. It's not wrong to do that, if you ONLY care about money. But if you have any care about the lives of the families of your suppliers, which you should, you should not do that.


I remember working at Sears back in 96 when I was in college. Craftsman was a big seller, and it was american made, life time warranty. It was a quality product then. After the merger with K-mart, not a big surprise that the quality went to pot.


@wisenekt: They've had hand tools made elsewhere in the past too, but more and more of their product line does NOT say Made in USA these days.

So to Sears ... what's the justification now to spend 2x the amount on a Craftsman tool vs. a Harbor Freight tool if both carry a lifetime warranty and both say "Made in China" on them?


@lll0228: The article was short on a number of pertinent facts, remarkably one sided- pretty much an op-ed piece.
I won't begin to debate right and wrong here, but the 'care about the lives of the families of your suppliers' isn't the fault of Kmart, it's the fault of the American shareholder, both as consumers and shareholders, demanding lower prices and higher profits. Your 401K doing well? We're all partly to blame here.
And why has Mr. Brown waited so long before trying to stop this, I wonder? Wouldn't a valid injunction on an illegal product stop the sale and import of the Apex product?


@jsimsace: Snapon and MAC are for professionals and Craftsman is for those do it your selfers or those who don't make a living off of using tools at work. They are also about one third to half the price of MAC and Snapon. You can bring the tools in to any Sears and now Kmart store and they will replace the tool for you versus Snapon and MAC coming to you, if they still do that.


Who make what for whom?

It looks like craftsman tools are made everywhere.