Not woodworking-specific, but ... USA-made Craftsman tools -- found.

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Forum topic by ajw1978 posted 12-04-2014 10:06 PM 1547 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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165 posts in 2335 days

12-04-2014 10:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand tools craftsman sears american-made tip

This may very well be in the wrong forum and, if so, I apologize in advance. But … for those, like me, who foolishly still hold some sort of loyalty to the Craftsman brand, I have managed to track down a fairly strong supply of USA-made Craftsman hand tools at a local Sears Outlet.

I’m still in the process of building my first “grown-up” tool box and decided to stock it with American-made basics. The only thing I was having trouble finding were ratchet sets and wrenches, all of which seemed to be made in China. However, while the CEO was wandering some goofy shop, I wandered outside and found a Sears outlet in the strip mall and lo and behold, there they were: wrench sets, sockets, tape measures, screwdrivers, pry bars, chisels, hand saws and even a few miter boxes, all of them made in the USA.

Did a search online and it seems those items are in fairly good supply at the Outlet branches. So if you need a few things to fill out the box … now you know.

Again, I apologize that this isn’t woodworking-specific, and if it’s in the wrong location. But wanted to pass it along to the community.

Now … to go hide my purchases.

-- May the good Lord help me if I ever actually have a shop, garage or basement.

9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5311 posts in 4874 days

#1 posted 12-04-2014 11:28 PM

Not a prob.
Just good to know that there are still some USA made tools.

-- [email protected]

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4236 posts in 4023 days

#2 posted 12-05-2014 02:56 AM

I was astonished that I could find a torque wrench made in the USA (Indiana!) a few years ago, after I lost my old one. Of course, we are now seeing auto parts made in China that are shipped to Mexico first, then sent to the US as “Made in Mexico”. Sick.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 3947 days

#3 posted 12-05-2014 04:53 AM


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2875 days

#4 posted 12-05-2014 05:53 PM

Thanks for the tip, personally, I have vowed to never again buy from Sears due to their horrible customer service so I decided to go looking for other reasonable US made tools. Apparently at least most of the master force sockets and wrenches at Menards are rebranded US made from another well respected manufacturer, Allen apparently.

In the comments here:

View ajw1978's profile


165 posts in 2335 days

#5 posted 12-05-2014 06:18 PM

Tim – I’m with you there. I’ve outlined how I ended up with Craftsman elsewhere on LJs, but I’m so fed up with their service, especially online. And their points system, which is how I fund 80 percent of my purchases, is pretty much a joke. But, for my first real set, I wanted to be US-made and went with Craftsman. All I needed were the wrenches; pliers set and screwdrivers should be under my tree in a few weeks, and I’m done over there.

I, too, just found out recently that a lot of Menards’ home-line hand tools are US made and, I was told by their PR folks, that they will be announcing more offerings early in 2015. Will definitely keep that in mind as I move forward.

-- May the good Lord help me if I ever actually have a shop, garage or basement.

View Matt's profile


137 posts in 2796 days

#6 posted 12-05-2014 06:39 PM

Thanks for the info. My local Sears put a bunch of their wrenches on clearance last year; I went through and bought up the larger USA-made ones they had that didn’t come in the set my Dad gave me a few years ago. I got a couple large Professional-line wrenches for around $5 a pop.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6837 posts in 2635 days

#7 posted 12-05-2014 06:46 PM

I too have been less than enthused by Sears customer service with one store I have found to be the exception. The quality, though made in the USA, does seem to be slipping. I broke a 1/4” drive ratchet and it was replaced without any questions, but the direction lever was plastic instead of metal like the one I brought in. The feel of the ratchet and gear teeth were inferior as well. Now everything I buy new is from Wright and SK Tools.

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

View ajw1978's profile


165 posts in 2335 days

#8 posted 12-05-2014 06:56 PM

I stumbled on a site the other day, Epstein I think? That seems to have a good supply, often clearance and closeout, of US made stuff. Trying to explain to the CEO why it makes a difference, especially when everything else I own and buy—clothes, shoes, tech gadgets … hell, even my dog’s food—are made in China, has been a difficult process. Once this “basic box (hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, ratchet/socket, wrenches, hand saw) is set … it’s mix-and-match the rest of the way. Yes, I have some HFT items in my collection, but those are mainly one-off or “disposable” items (pry bars, scrapers, mallet, utility knives, etc etc etc). And I’m at the point now where if my only Craftsman option is Chinese-made, I’m going to HD and grabbing Husky; same crap, half the price.

-- May the good Lord help me if I ever actually have a shop, garage or basement.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3401 days

#9 posted 12-05-2014 07:17 PM


I use to haul trailers out of Sears Distribution in the Chicago area. (I’ve forgotten which actual suburb).

I would make 50 drops to 40 different stores, (it didn’t make sense then either), mostly P&D of replacement parts and pieces.
Probably 65% was tool stock, 25% was Automotive and the rest was mixed.
A few things I learned.
1.) If the ratchet has a plastic Direction change lever… It was made in China or another Asian country.
1.a) If you take an old MIUS tool in for exchange, you will get the currently available POS tool made anywhere.
2.) Even if it says, “USA” on it, it doesn’t mean it was made in the US, it just means that the letters U. S. A. are forged in the steel. The tool can be made in any of about 20 countries, not just China.
I wish I still had the pictures of the bulk boxes this stuff came in. Each one lists country of Origin, but most tools had ‘USA’ on them.
3.) Oil and Air Filters are contracted from many companies, but those companies do not guarantee that the filters were made in the US.
4.) Car batteries are made by only a few companies in the US and Canada. I guess it is prohibitively expensive to ship lead acid batteries in a container on a ship.
5.) Alternators, Starters, fuel injection parts, ECM’s, etc can come from anywhere in the world. (I had one pig crate that came from Yugo. It carried rebuilt parts for just about everything.
6.) Sears use to make an offset end wrench set with the box ends tilted to about 15°. That set hasn’t been made in 30-40 years. If you break one, good luck finding a replacement. What they replace it with is an offset box end wrench that is flat. It won’t work on many of the old engines without severe modification.

I have a lot of Craftsman old school stuff. Most of the tools were made in the 50’s and 60’s, including some very rare Detroit diesel 2 stroke engine tools that I bought used in the 80’s, but were built in the 50’s.
Sears can’t cover that lifetime guarantee on them anymore, but they get around that by stating in their TOS, ” Any tool that is used for commercial repairs is NOT covered by the lifetime Guarantee.” They take that to mean that if you make your living as a mechanic, your tools have no guarantee at all. I assume that if you make your living with wood the same thing still applies.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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