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Craftsman power tools

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Forum topic by cjfarmer posted 03-10-2019 12:45 AM 1036 views 0 times favorited 59 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cjfarmer

80 posts in 100 days


03-10-2019 12:45 AM

I see lots of posts on different sites calling craftsman tools p o s tools. My father and i farmed together over 30 years here and had 1 craftsman tablesaw. We had a shop full of craftsman tools and got decades of use out of them all does anyone else wonder why they are so despised by some?

-- Who is we and where is here? - bullwinkle


59 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3395 posts in 1774 days


#1 posted 03-10-2019 12:54 AM

In the last 15-20 years, the quality of the tools has gone steadily downhill. Not sure if they even make a table saw any more.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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FirehouseWoodworking

736 posts in 3660 days


#2 posted 03-10-2019 01:03 AM

Like you, I still have some Craftsman tools for over 40 years and they are still working great. Which is why I may not fully understand the issue.

Not because I’m a denier or anything like that. More likely because the Craftsman tools I bought 40+ years ago are much different than the ones these youngsters are buying today.

Today’s tools – Craftsman as well as other brands – are not made to the same quality and longevity as were the ones we bought so many years ago.

One just has to look at the tool itself; plastics have replaced steel; push-in electrical connectors have replaced screw posts; wrenches have lost the strength and heft because of different alloys and less of it. The list goes on and on.

Let alone the craftsmanship – pun INTENDED! – of the manufacturing and assembly. Whereas my old tools were built here in America by craftsmen – again, pun intended – who took great pride in what they did and built, today’s tools are most often made overseas by underpaid and underappreciated near-slaves who will never meet the customers who will eventually buy the products they built.

And I strongly believe that that factor of separation insulates the manufacturers from their customers and vice versa. With today’s disposable society, folks don’t buy things to last the 40+ years that we once did.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for our society and our craft and hobby.

But I STILL love MY Craftsman tools!!

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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cjfarmer

80 posts in 100 days


#3 posted 03-10-2019 01:05 AM

Yea the name has taken a beating but i still use my craftsman radial arm saw my oldest brother made off with the sears best craftsman table saw now its long gone and i miss it. I got craftsman drills routers and circular saws that just keep going and a large toolbox full of craftsman hand and air tools drill bits taps and dies all still doing the job here on my farm

-- Who is we and where is here? - bullwinkle

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Cold_Pizza

22 posts in 139 days


#4 posted 03-10-2019 01:05 AM

They sold to Stanley black and decker a while back maybe someone else before that? everything’s been made in china for a while.

The rumor goes Home Depot scooped up their developement team for husky tools.

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MrUnix

7387 posts in 2586 days


#5 posted 03-10-2019 01:07 AM

Craftsman (Sears) has never made tools – they put their badge on other manufacturers products and sell them as their own. The entire consumer tool industry has gone down the tubes, thanks to a myriad of financial conditions both home and abroad. The result has been forced price wars, unfortunately with quality as one of the casualties.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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sawdustjunkie

405 posts in 2104 days


#6 posted 03-10-2019 01:09 AM

The Craftsman Table Saw I had was 25 years old. A 113 model made be Emerson MFG in the US.
That saw worked perfectly the entire time I had it. The only thing I ever changed on it was the Fence and went to a linked drive belt to take out the vibration.
I had the saw for 25 years, paid $250 for it new and sold it for $250, four years ago and got a 3 H.P saw.
Last I heard, they were made in China now.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1349 posts in 1881 days


#7 posted 03-10-2019 01:16 AM

It all depends on which tool you bought and how you want to use it.

Especially with regards to power tools. Example – Craftsman sold many different saws.

Many are inexpensive, small, light weight, and not very accurate; but perfect for cutting 2×4 or 2×6 for home/deck construction. The same saw stinks when you try to machine with 1/16 or better accuracy when making furniture. It is not that you can’t use it for furniture, it is the frustration and fiddling with adjustments that make it a PIA and earn the POS label.

Many of the high end saws sold by Craftsman were very nice. The line of contractor table saw and radial arm saws made by Emerson up until about 2000, were really great tools. They have a few fence/switch idiosyncrasies, but like your experience – they can be used for long time with great success. I used both a Craftsman and Ridgid made by Emersion contractor saw for over 20 years combined. They were both great contractor saws. The primary reason ‘furniture making’ folks call them POS, is that wood working equipment folks (Delta, Powermatic, etc) sold similar non-USA produced saw with biesemeyer style fence that was more repeatable and accurate.

Sears also sold a couple of 1.5-3hp hybrid cabinet saws in the last 20 years that are decent tools. These might be called a POS compared to USA made Powermatic from 60’s, or latest Sawstop; but they work really well.

In summary:
You can only believe half of what you read on internet. Deciding which half is true is the hard part.

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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cjfarmer

80 posts in 100 days


#8 posted 03-10-2019 01:19 AM

If my old sears best had a weak point it was the fence but it had holes drilled so i could mount any size sacrificial fence. We used a dado set and sanding disc to do all kid of rough nasty work and it was still kicking hard when my brother ran off with it . sad part is i dont think he ever used it once. I have burned up a skill brand saw ripping cedar and have recently bought a new heavier cabinet saw and im looking for… U guessed it… A better fence

-- Who is we and where is here? - bullwinkle

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cjfarmer

80 posts in 100 days


#9 posted 03-10-2019 01:25 AM

Im a farmer which means machinist welder carpenter fabricator self medicator mechanic cook bottlewasher and thats before lunch on monday. Working as a homebuilder remodeler and sometime furniture builder i miss the days when quality was built here in the republic and guaranteed or your money back.

-- Who is we and where is here? - bullwinkle

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cjfarmer

80 posts in 100 days


#10 posted 03-10-2019 01:42 AM



Craftsman (Sears) has never made tools – they put their badge on other manufacturers products and sell them as their own. The entire consumer tool industry has gone down the tubes, thanks to a myriad of financial conditions both home and abroad. The result has been forced price wars, unfortunately with quality as one of the casualties.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix


Yeah the danaher tool group made a lot of craftsman they sold out or went belly up awhile back. I got a craftsman air drill that is a chicago pneumatic and a 3/4 in impact thats c p as well but i use them and dont baby anything even a tractor thats older than me and implements made 50 years ago. They aint broke down near as bad as me

-- Who is we and where is here? - bullwinkle

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BattleRidge

105 posts in 603 days


#11 posted 03-10-2019 01:52 AM

In transitioning from a homeowner / general use mode to a more focused woodworking configuration, I have recently began replacing several of my Craftsman power tools – some of which are 30 years old. With an uptick in usage, my saber saw finally died, as did my drill, but after the many years of service I received from them, I am more than completely satisfied. My circular saw is working well with the exception of the trigger that has worn and is a bit uncomfortable and the same can be said of my 1/3 sheet sander. The digital read-out on my radial arm saw no longer functions, but the saw still cuts and works fine and sees regular use. My reciprocating saw runs well, as does a detail sander and engraving tool. I have also had air compressor failure (one tankless and the other with a tank), though each were pretty old and worn. My many non-power hand tools, tool boxes and other items have been great (many of which date back to 1979) and the few items that I have broken were replaced without question, with the same to be said about Craftsman garden hand tools. Last summer my hand-me-down Craftsman / Honda push mower broke with the motor separating from the deck (I’m not sure how old it is), but I really like the mower and after a little bit of welding and adding a few small pieces of steel, it functions as good as new. I have been a well-satisfied Craftsman owner over the years and would consider the value & performance of the equipment I have had to be gratifying.

That being said, my more recent power tools have not been Craftsman. The chaos of the move from Sears and not really knowing of the present quality verses the older days has left me somewhat wavering from the brand, though with Lowe’s picking up the Craftsman line, I might at some point begin to evaluate their tools and give them another look. At the present though, my focus has been more toward each individual item that I am in need of and as such I have looked at each tool and features that I need, and branched out to a multitude of different manufacturers in finding the best tool for my purposes.

Times change and so do many things. My first car was a 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass with a Rocket 350 engine, a make and model that has been left to fade into the past.

View Mainboom's profile

Mainboom

90 posts in 145 days


#12 posted 03-10-2019 01:56 AM

craftsman went to selling a tradesman table saw which I still have one of its my back up table saw which I never use. I have the craftsman impact drivers and the drills. brad nailer 3/4 impact. and a whole slew of wrenches I bought in a kit over 20 years ago.

lowes has now taken over the craftsman brand and I have none of the newest model but the drills etc I bought about 5 years ago are not bad. personally I think its the fact its made over seas most don’t like the brand anymore. but what isn’t made overseas. Powermatic is not made in the usa. dewalt has a few things that are but not tablesaws or anything major. mostly just there drill drivers and some impacts. personally I try and buy what I can made in the usa. if I cant find someone from the usa who makes it. I buy bosch. the quality control is high and I like that.

-- CRANE OPERATORS START EARLY because iron workers need their heros ready when they wake up

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ibewjon

550 posts in 3180 days


#13 posted 03-10-2019 02:00 AM

Sears never MADE anything, except money. David Bradley in Bradley IL made lawn mowers and more for Sears. Then they were taken over by Roper. Then Roper moved mowers and appliance manufacturing to southern Georgia in the 80’s. Then closed up or changed names and moved to Mexico or China. Thank you NAFTA, or as Ross called it shafta. ( shaft us ) And tarriffs won’t bring the jobs back, just raise the prices, as we have seen. I still have my Craftsman tool set, radial arm saw, and many more tools. Old but good tools.

View cjfarmer's profile

cjfarmer

80 posts in 100 days


#14 posted 03-10-2019 02:01 AM



In transitioning from a homeowner / general use mode to a more focused woodworking configuration, I have recently began replacing several of my Craftsman power tools – some of which are 30 years old. With an uptick in usage, my saber saw finally died, as did my drill, but after the many years of service I received from them, I am more than completely satisfied. My circular saw is working well with the exception of the trigger that has worn and is a bit uncomfortable and the same can be said of my 1/3 sheet sander. The digital read-out on my radial arm saw no longer functions, but the saw still cuts and works fine and sees regular use. My reciprocating saw runs well, as does a detail sander and engraving tool. I have also had air compressor failure (one tankless and the other with a tank), though each were pretty old and worn. My many non-power hand tools, tool boxes and other items have been great (many of which date back to 1979) and the few items that I have broken were replaced without question, with the same to be said about Craftsman garden hand tools. Last summer my hand-me-down Craftsman / Honda push mower broke with the motor separating from the deck (I m not sure how old it is), but I really like the mower and after a little bit of welding and adding a few small pieces of steel, it functions as good as new. I have been a well-satisfied Craftsman owner over the years and would consider the value & performance of the equipment I have had to be gratifying.

That being said, my more recent power tools have not been Craftsman. The chaos of the move from Sears and not really knowing of the present quality verses the older days has left me somewhat wavering from the brand, though with Lowe s picking up the Craftsman line, I might at some point begin to evaluate their tools and give them another look. At the present though, my focus has been more toward each individual item that I am in need of and as such I have looked at each tool and features that I need, and branched out to a multitude of different manufacturers in finding the best tool for my purposes.

Times change and so do many things. My first car was a 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass with a Rocket 350 engine, a make and model that has been left to fade into the past.

- BattleRidge


I use air and power tools daily. I have paslode milwaukee hitachi porter cable makita and still some old craftsman i buy what will do the job and if it dont crumble i keep on using it. But literally nothing is made to last a lifetime anymore.

-- Who is we and where is here? - bullwinkle

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MSquared

519 posts in 301 days


#15 posted 03-10-2019 02:18 AM

Well, I’m glad I starting collecting my Craftsman mechanics tools when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s. Rebuilt a few muscle car and sports car motors with them. Chassis, front ends, rear ends, suspensions, body parts, etc. too. They’ve Been faithful to me over the years in everything else since. I still have a few of my Dad’s that are way older. In a word, Workhorses. These days, given my budget, I’d gladly replace my reliable jobsite TS with an old C-Man 113. series when I have the room. From what I’ve read here, an older cast iron one can be tweaked to decent tolerances (fence first, obviously) for finer work.

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

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