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kmealy

Lowe's Snags Craftsman Tools

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https://www.consumerreports.org/tools-power-equipment/lowe-s-is-now-selling-craftsman-tools/

 

I have mixed opinions on Craftsman.  Their mechanic's tools are OK, and at one time one of the few alternatives.  Now, everyone has a lifetime warranty -- Kobalt, Husky, Channelock, GearWrench, Harbor Freight.  They're all readily available at the ubiquitous big box stores or corner hardware.  And what used to be Sears'  swap across the counter is now, "Here's your rebuild kit."

 

There are a few decent power and woodworking tools, but I think they've been on a slow decline for 40+ years.  Those who say "Craftsman is the best," are living in the '50s and '60s.  And with the vendor du jour, it's often hard to get replacement parts a few years down the line because they've changed suppliers and no longer carry parts.

 

Let's just say, I have about all the wrenches I'll ever need and don't see myself buying any Craftsman woodworking tools.

 

Heard an article on the radio yesterday about how Sears is on a downward spiral, selling brands, selling real-estate. They remarked that Kenmore was a reputable brand, but as far as I know it's still manufactured by Whirlpool

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Remember Craftsman was sold to Stanley Black & Decker.   They manufacture tools in their own and the original 3rd party factories. 

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40 minutes ago, kmealy said:

Remember Craftsman was sold to Stanley Black & Decker.   They manufacture tools in their own and the original 3rd party factories. 

Don't know how to react to that piece of information. With Craftsman it was hit or miss. With B&D, it's just miss. Don't know who got the better of that deal. It sure wasn't the consumer. 

I apologize if I offended you StanleyB&D fans...if there's any left.

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3 hours ago, kmealy said:

They remarked that Kenmore was a reputable brand, but as far as I know it's still manufactured by Whirlpool

Nope not anymore effective just a few weeks ago. Sears abandoned WP. Rumor has it, Kenmore brand is on the table to be sold similar to what they did with Craftsman...

1 hour ago, Gene Howe said:

I apologize if I offended you StanleyB&D fans...if there's any left.

Accepted...:P Wouldn't trade any my old school B&D corded drills, Pro-series reciprocating saw, Scru-gun, 1/4 sheet pad sander or my (2) 7-1/4" circular saws for new stuff...all were made in the U.S.A.; of course none are newer than the late 1980's;) Guess I"m stuck in "Back to the Future" with Marty McFly.:D

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I guess you really have to check to see who the manufacturer is with the Craftsman brand. My last Craftsman purchase was my 14" BS that was made by Rikon. Probably the equivalent  of Rikons low end BS, but at a price that was under $400.00 it has performed surprisingly well for me. I did have to purchase the fence separately . The Rikon fence workes perfectly on it.

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Sorry, Dave. I guess I got to the B&D party late. Had two sanders and a corded drill. Bought in the early 90s. My experiences with them all were less than stellar. Broke my heart when they bought Stanley. And, just look at the mess the made with what was once a great line of Porter Cable routers. At least their number crunchers have been stayed (for now) from bastardizing Dewalt and Irwin.

 

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9 minutes ago, Gene Howe said:

Sorry, Dave. I guess I got to the B&D party late. Had two sanders and a corded drill. Bought in the early 90s

Just messing with you some:P...yep most anything 90's and beyond is/was pretty much cr@p...I did have a "home owner" version single speed jig saw from the late 70's that wasn't much to brag about. The drills all are from the late 60's to early 70's...still very good tools.

 

Unfortunately pretty much the same story with Skil tools also; Those I bought in the early 1970's are still good tools...they too were all made in the U.S.A. I have a couple of 7-1/4" (non-worm drive) circular saws, a 1/3 sheet sander, and (2) no (3) VS jig/scroll saws from the same era...all still very good. Well one of the jig saws is pretty rough, but I bought it at a flea market mainly as a parts mule...good switch & cord...worth the $5. I also have my grand-father's 8-1/4" all metal, circular saw in the original case...it probably is from the late 50's or very early 60's...it's a beast to lift, but will cut through an oak 4x4 and never miss a lick...cord has been shortened a few times though:lol:

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Until about a year ago, I only owned one circular saw. A Skill 77 worm drive. It's about 40 years old and, I think that beast will out live my heirs. But, I scavenged on to a wee little Skil 5 1/4 at a yard sale for $5. Runs great and saws straight. Handy little guy.

Did you know that Bosch bought Skil then sold it to Chevron, a Chinese concern? 

Edited by Gene Howe

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The thing about the Sears brand tools is that they spec. out different materials on lots of their tools so that they can sell them cheaper. They have always done this back to before WWII. for example my Dad had the Sears metal lathe he bought in the 30's and it was built by Atlas, but instead of cast iron gear sets for the feed screw they were all cast aluminum/pot metal. Also other parts were pot metal on the lathe that were cast iron on the Atlas model. And through the years I have found that has been their trend to do a lesser spec. of the materials to cheapen the cost of the tool.

Herb

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8 minutes ago, Dadio said:

my Dad had the Sears metal lathe he bought in the 30's and it was built by Atlas, but instead of cast iron gear sets for the feed screw they were all cast aluminum/pot metal. Also other parts were pot metal on the lathe that were cast iron on the Atlas model.

True on many models, but they also had some nearly identical in every facet. Dad had a Craftsman/Atlas that had all steel gears, pulleys, motor carriage, steel/cast for the tools holders, steel hand wheels etc...Usually that's where the model numbers would change after the XXX.123456...The XXX would indicate a specific model, then numbers after the decimal would specify the attachments or components.

 

Another example is their 12" BS from the late 70's through the 80's. XXX would indicate a 12" BS, then .123456 would specify, work-light or not, cast iron table or aluminum, 2 spd drive or single speed, with or w/o fence, with or w/o extension table etc. The basic saw was the same.  Many times you would see a really good advertised price for a unit, then come to find out it lacked any/most upgrades. Same on the TS & RAS.

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Had our car in to the dealership for it's 25k check up and got to talking with the old guy who does the scheduling. Until he got arthritis so bad, he was a Ford Master Mechanic. He told me that there are vast differences in the build quality among the lines/models of any brand of vehicle. Different bearings, different grades of metals, etc. He said, if you want to be sure of the quality, always get the top of the line. That probably applies to tools, too. Alas, I can't afford the best...not even Scotch...unless you're buying.:lol:

Edited by Gene Howe

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23 minutes ago, Gene Howe said:

Had our car in to the dealership for it's 25k check up and got to talking with the old guy who does the scheduling. Until he got arthritis so bad, he was a Ford Master Mechanic. He told me that there are vast differences in the build quality among the lines/models of any brand of vehicle. Different bearings, different grades of metals, etc. He said, if you want to be sure of the quality, always get the top of the line. That probably applies to tools, too. Alas, I can't afford the best...not even Scotch...unless you're buying.:lol:

Was that the Telsa?

Herb

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Back in the late 60's/early 70's, if I needed a tool I pulled out my Craftsman catalog, looked it up and then went to Sears to buy it. That stopped in the mid 70's when the better brands started becoming more available. I saw the Craftsman stuff in Lowes this past wekk, and can't help but wonder of the "Kobalt" brand will be discontinued. I did notice the Craftsman (unlike my American Craftsman stuff) and some of the new Kobalt tool boxes looked exactly like the Craftsman tool boxes...event the paint. It's still very sad to me to see what has happened to Sears.

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Speaking of new cars, my car lets me know if there is a bad chug hole up to four miles up the road... Thats the holes that will ruin the front suspension on an auto.. It tells which side of your lane it is on, how deep and the diameter. Then if interested a person can zoom in to check it over for this screen automatically enlarges so a person can see the actual sizes of things....but a person needs to be aware for sometimes a persons view of the roadway will disappear....

  Last week it let us know of a mama duck with 10 ducklings moving north in the fast lane about a mile ahead. It gave their ages and get this, what names the mama had given em.....

Not the Google that most would think is the maker of such high end electronics, the name is simply Earthyist.

 

Hey I got one of those early Sears metal lathes. All cast iron except the gears which are aluminum.....Was wore out when I bought it about 60 years ago and it sat on the shelve unused for 55 years before I plugged it in for the second time. The first time was to see if the motor was good...

  I still have a few of the electric motors Sears was kinda known for. Motors with shaftsIMG_0292.JPG.8915ddae6a53db59fa9f0aeb56d121e2.JPG 

on each end and some have different sized diameter shafts. Most are 1/2 and 5/8" and all are reversible.. this one is 1/2" on both ends.

 At one time every motor in my shop were Sears branded and none ever quit because of the windings in the motor. I did buy a new toggle switch one time.

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1 hour ago, Smallpatch said:

I still have a few of the electric motors Sears

I had a 1945 Sears contractors saw with that same 1 hp motor on it and used it constantly for 35 years and it started to make a noise,so I took it to a motor shop in the 80's and they said that is needed new bearings, cost me $20. When I went to pick up I asked the guy how it looked inside? he told me there was no indication of wear and the field windings looked brand new,and the size of the wire they used on this motor would never burn out. I used it another 22 years and sold it still ran quiet and smooth.

Herb

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