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Craftsman Tools at Lowes

For everyone who still likes Craftsman tools, but HATES going to Sears or malls (like I do).

Craftsman tools will now be sold at Lowes. Yes I know other stores are carrying Craftsman tools (like KMart and Ace Hardware), but they don’t carry a full line of their tools.

Just about every time I go to Lowes looking for a special tool, they don’t have it and I have to make a second stop at Home Depot.

Home Depot carries Husky - which I like also. The Lowes Cobalt tools - not a big fan of. Craftsman are decent. I have a few Snap-on…but only if you’re a paid mechanic or rich can you justify buying them - I’m neither.

That’s good to know. I have a Lowes just an hour away. We have a home town Sears (small store) in our nearest town (half an hour drive) that carries a pretty good assortment of Craftsman tools. They take up a good chunk of the floor space.

I wonder how much space Lowes is going to give these tools and how complete an assortment…
"Starting in the second half of 2018, a broad assortment of Craftsman products will be available both in Lowe’s stores and online, adding another retailer with national exposure to that list."

Craftsman tools were purchased by Stanley. These craftsman tool are not like the old USA tools. These are the same quality Chinese tools that Harbor Freight sells with an American name on them. Craftsman tools are dead to me.

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Yes I know Stanley purchased them. That was even spelled out in the article I linked.

Unless you’re buying Snap-on or other professional tools…Craftsman is fine. Lifetime warranty helps. Most of my Craftsman tools were made by USA tools some 30 years ago. But the newer ones I have never given me any problems.

I’ve had pretty good luck with the few Kobalt tools I’ve bought. But none of them have been automotive - stuff like a miter saw, so I can’t say for sure that the wrenches/etc are quality.

I do not have a problem with Chinese tools. Chinese factories are perfectly capable of making very high quality products. The iPhone is made there, after all. I’ve got some very good, yet inexpensive, Chinese-built tools. My Wen drillpress is actually incredibly impressive. I wouldn’t bother upgrading unless I got a great deal on a Jet - and I’m talking probably 80% off, because otherwise it just wouldn’t be worth the money to switch.

But Chinese factories will not make high quality products if the tool company tells them to make cheap products, which is what often happens. That’s the problem with judging based on COO rather than individual brand quality. You run into the same problem with the assumption that “made in USA” is equivalent to “high quality.” Old Craftsman made-in-the-USA stuff was great. Old GM made-in-the-USA stuff was crap.

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Same here. I used to buy Craftsman almost exclusively. Now I prefer Kobalt. If Lowes has the two side by side, I will choose Kobalt. They are usually more refined tools in every sense of the word and I’ve never had one fail.

What baffles me is why someone would invest 100-200k of their own money into a Sears Hometown store while corporate Sears is cutting their feet out from under them by selling Craftsman tools at Lowes, Ace, K-Mart, Atwoods (local farm and ranch stores here), and so on along with selling Kenmore appliances through Amazon, etc.

The Sears Hometown store here is like a mausoleum most of the time.

Are any new ones being built? Two closest to me closed years ago.

Ads keep appearing in our local paper wanting somebody to take over the local home town Sears. I have a feeling the present (past?) owners didn’t work out or bailed or something.

I’m not fooling myself by thinking that Sears store will be operating in another year or two.

I dunno but I think the brand itself is ruined so why bother? The Craftsman tools I’ve looked at at Ace were way high priced, like $20 for a wrench, so I just go to the farm store or Lowes for their other brand.

Ace hardware prices are always high.

The Sears Craftsman Christmas tool sale is extremely hard to beat. Rest of the year not-so-much

The Sears Hometown store here opened up just a couple of years ago in a very small strip mall. I never see anybody there and I go by it all the time. The ACE hardware is half a mile down the street.

I agree the Craftsman tools have gone down in quality. The wrenches, sockets, and screwdrivers are not too bad. The breakovers, ratchets, and electrical tools have really suffered quality-wise.
For those who do a fair amount of wrenching, it would be a good idea to bite the bullet and buy Snap-On ratchets. They’re pricey but never fail and always work well to get the job done.

One of my SO ratchets has seen so much use it has long since ceased being chrome. It’s pretty much copper colored all over due to the chrome being worn off.

There are Stanley Black and Decker tools made in the USA. I did a web search and just on the first page I found a plant in Indiana and another in South Carolina. I used to call on the SBD plant in SC.

MAC Tools are owned by SBD. Would you buy them? What about Helicoils or Spiralocks? We use those at work all the time. If they weren’t high reliability items, we wouldn’t use them.

SK and Gear Wrench are good SO alternatives without being as expensive as SO.

I made an interesting observation last year regarding Lowe’s, and it just might apply to Home Depot as well.
I bought some tomato cages at my local Lowe’s. A few days later, I decided that I needed a few more of that item, so I purchased them in a different Lowe’s store ~20 miles away while I was on the road. When I compared receipts, the identical items were priced something like 30% cheaper at the more distant store.

Thinking that I had just missed-out on a sale price at the local store, the next day I returned there and–sure enough–that item was still priced ~30% higher.

So, apparently, there is regionalized pricing–even within a fairly small mileage radius. And, the strangest part of it all is that the difference in average household income between the two towns is really negligible.

Let me be clear. I was not bashing the Chinese made tools. They have evolved over the last decade and make a decent tool. I just don’t see the point of paying a premium for a product that is no longer a premium. They are using the historic good brand name to charge a premium. I personally now buy HF tools. If I am going to get cheap tools I might as well save a few bucks. I have bought many sets of craftsman tools in the past. Started out as a young lad buying the 120 piece tool sets about 20 years ago then moved up to the 400+ piece sets. I carry a tool set in my vehicle, a set on the farm, a set at the house, and a big set in my personal shop. I recently purchased a decent size set from HF for my car. I use it frequently working on various things other than my car. It’s not uncommon to cut up a tool to make a specialty tool if I need one. Pretty much whatever I need to get the job done at the time. Going to a tool store for a specialty tool is about 1.5 - 3 hour round trip drive. If I need to cut up or grind on a wrench, I just do it. I’ll buy another later when I am in town. If I need to weld and adapter to a socket, I just do it. I don’t worry about destroying a wrench or socket if I need it to get the job done. Reasons like this is why I have purchased multiple sets of tools over the years.

I bought a set of HF wrenches for $20. SAE and Metric, long and shorty versions all in one pack. They look nice and shiny but I have no illusions as to the quality. I just wanted a set for the trunk of the car.

I AM going to knock Chinese made tools/products. I’m not saying that they can’t or don’t produce quality, it’s just that you NEVER know. You can’t depend on it. Like others, they ruined their brand and it will take years to recover confidence in Chinese made goods. They made the mistake of allowing junk to be produced while they tried to take over the manufacturing of the world. They thought price was everything and as we know from the school of hard knocks, there is a difference between price and cost.

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You should try growing “free range” tomatoes. :smile:

“So, apparently, there is regionalized pricing–even within a fairly small mileage radius. And, the strangest part of it all is that the difference in average household income between the two towns is really negligible.”

My theory is that this difference in prices had more to do with local competition than household income. They find the “sweet spot” between prices not higher than the competition and prices no lower than necessary to achieve maximum profit.