The End of an Old Friend

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Forum topic by papadan posted 01-05-2017 04:15 PM 2007 views 0 times favorited 57 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3584 posts in 4653 days

01-05-2017 04:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

Sears announced they had reached a 2 billion deal. They have sold Craftsman to Black and Decker.

57 replies so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4449 days

#1 posted 01-05-2017 05:31 PM

I’m with you, Dan. I still have a bunch of Sears Craftsman tools from decades ago and some more recent that don’t wanna die. Not to mention my Craftsman RAS that I bought new in 1970. It got some heavy use and abuse, but still performs well and is the most used power saw in the shop to this day. That’s 46 years of one person ownership with no major maintenance required. I did replace the power switch, and made a new, larger table top. I still have the vinyl covered original manual, with no cracks or evident wear in the cover.

I bought a medium size Craftsman machinist vice in 1970 that was used for over 35 years. I replaced it with a larger Craftsman vice just a few years ago. I also have a Craftsman laser distance measuring device and a number of different wrench and socket sets.

A couple of years ago I went to Lowes and bought a Kobalt (Lowes brand) set of small pliers, nippers, and needle nose for my vacation home shop. Upon opening the package, I found the quality abysmal, the jaws not even meeting each other. I took them back the same day. So when I returned them, I looked further at Lowes, and couldn’t find a good alternative. Went to Sears, and immediately found what I needed. The price was nearly identical, but the Craftsman set was in a whole different quality realm, with well finished precision made tools.

...and I really like their packaging of nail gun nails, much better than the alternatives.

I don’t know what they are going to do with the brand, but I hope they continue to make value tools that one can afford that will still perform well.

Happy New Year to you and yours…

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6774 posts in 3594 days

#2 posted 01-05-2017 05:37 PM

Oh horse poop! I didn’t buy many tools there but I did like the mechanic tools.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile


542 posts in 3149 days

#3 posted 01-05-2017 05:39 PM

I for one blame electro-magnets.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


9102 posts in 3862 days

#4 posted 01-05-2017 05:43 PM

View bigblockyeti's profile


7752 posts in 3006 days

#5 posted 01-05-2017 05:51 PM

The service surrounding craftsman’s hand tools has gone downhill significantly in my area at least. Black & Decker assuming the brand is very likely not a good thing from a quality or service standpoint, I sincerely hope I’m wrong but time will tell.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5040 days

#6 posted 01-05-2017 05:52 PM

Well it was bound to happen.

Since the education system no longer feels it is important to continue to have vocational/shop classes there will no longer be anyone who knows what makes a quality tool or how to use them.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View ric53's profile


195 posts in 2805 days

#7 posted 01-05-2017 06:05 PM

I believe B&D manufactured the Craftsman power tools for some time now and put the craftsman name & logo on them. I’ve never been a fan of craftsman power tools.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

View JCamp's profile


1464 posts in 1836 days

#8 posted 01-05-2017 06:09 PM

On the glass half full side of things….. this might not b a bad thing. As already stated the old craftsman tools were better than the new ones. If Stanley (B&D parent company) keeps them made in the USA an continues the lifetime (without receipt) warranty it might b better. Sears cut quality to make more money. Stanley ain’t hurting for money right now. Plus they’ll b able to sell Craftsman almost anywhere now. Walmart lowes an Home Depot will likely hav them. Also since they r uncertain of the USA trade deals with other countries (thank u Trump) stanley has said they’d b opening a $35 million manufacturing plant. That should help with jobs

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View moke's profile


2103 posts in 4061 days

#9 posted 01-05-2017 06:34 PM

I’m with JCamp..
It might be a good thing…..there power tools were made by a bunch of different people anyway…Ryobi, and Rikon being the two big players. Craftsman made a deal a few years back anyway to sell in other stores….I saw them in an Ace Hardware last year. In this article ( I can’t remember where I saw it or I would reference it ), it referenced it wanted to expand manufacturing and keep it in the States…..and it is no secret that Sears has been struggling for years and is closing stores….maybe this infusion of cash will perk them up…at least for while.

While we have seen some mergers that did not work out well for us as wood workers….ie Delta….maybe this one will…the article also did not say the Craftsman was leaving the Sears Market..that would be an incredilble marketing mistake! B&D is a pretty successful company, why would they dump Craftsman after paying 2 Billion for it?
Let’s hope for the best.
Just my .02

-- Mike

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4449 days

#10 posted 01-05-2017 06:38 PM

Regarding Craftsman power tools, my RAS is the only Craftsman power tool I have purchased. I was not overly impressed by the looks of their oriental imports in latter years. Delta was my goto brand for many years in that realm. Unfortunately, none of the brands seem to remain at the same level of quality over the years.

I also bemoaned the degradation of the Sears service over the years. I would buy some Sears products just because of their service. I think many companies look at various parts of their business and evaluate each on the basis of profitability in isolation from any other consideration. But service will always be hard to make profitable, but may serve as an important consideration in customer loyalty and satisfaction. Making the bottom line look great each quarter at the expense of long term success is all too common in the current business world.

Systematic quality oriented business and manufacturing, in spite of the tremendous contributions from the USA in the field by W.E. Deming, was first adopted by Japan. They adopted Deming’s teachings, which many feel led to the astounding rise of Japan from the ashes of war to become the second largest economy in the world by 1960, or thereabouts. Many American companies still haven’t figured it out.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Craftsman brand. I am pessimistic…

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View OSB's profile


147 posts in 1811 days

#11 posted 01-05-2017 06:39 PM

I believe most Craftsman tools are already made in Asia.

They are rapidly approaching the quality of Harbor Freight tools.

I have never been terribly impressed with B&D so that is no improvement.

If you have a 40 year old made in USA Craftsman ratchet that finally breaks, it will be replaced with the new type which probably won’t last 40 years and the “Unconditional Lifetime Warranty” will probably break before that.

It looks like I will continue buying my tools used from garage sales, thrift stores, eBay and Craigslist with some Harbor Freight when disposable is OK.

View fuigb's profile


597 posts in 4243 days

#12 posted 01-05-2017 06:55 PM

Craftsman has long (always?) been a house brand name draped over others’ products si begs the question: what really is being lost here? Nostalgia will be the biggest casualty. All of this heartless objectivism aside: I’m bummed that an old favorite brand (such as it was) will now salute a different flag and likely lose the cachet that long drew me to their tools.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6774 posts in 3594 days

#13 posted 01-05-2017 06:58 PM

Can anyone think of a tool company that sold out to another tool company and the new owner upped the tool quality??

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View HickWillis's profile


115 posts in 1944 days

#14 posted 01-05-2017 07:08 PM

Can anyone think of a tool company that sold out to another tool company and the new owner upped the tool quality??

- AlaskaGuy

Only one comes to mind…when Thomas Lie-Nielsen bought the tooling from Garrett Wade for the #95 Stanley block plane adaption they were making.

-- -Will

View GAwoodworker's profile


37 posts in 2053 days

#15 posted 01-05-2017 07:19 PM

Black and Decker also just purchased Irwin and Lenox Tool. Expect some price drops in Irwin tool before B&D find the niche they want Irwin in. Lenox I think will stay in the blade category but we’ll see what the do with he companies. I hope quality remains the same…... B&D is sure nocking out competition with this Craftsman buy

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