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Went to Lowe's today and noticed they are giving their tool department a makeover.  Looks like they are dedicating a large area to Craftsman Tools.  It appears the Kobalt brand is staying too.  I saw a special section for Dewalt also.  They are nowhere near done with the improvements so we'll have to wait and see what else is planned.

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You really want to feel sick.  Take a look at the Hercules Tool line from HF. They look and feel like a certain black and yellow brand we all know.  Lots of rumors that it just run in different colors.  Which sounds like it wouldn't be to far from the truth.  Don't make spec for high end get repacked as a off brand and they still make money.  That's the rumor anyway.

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13 hours ago, Mijohnson1984 said:

Don't make spec for high end get repacked as a off brand and they still make money.  That's the rumor anyway.

Not so much that they don't make spec for high end, but more like who ordered them. It's hard to tell who made what anymore. For instance compare Chicago Electric Brand sold at HF against Menards Tool Shop line of tools, some of them appear to be identical other than the labeling. 

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1 hour ago, kmealy said:

So, instead of the old "lifetime" warranty, it's become the "taillight" warranty.   You know, when they see your taillight as you pull out of the lot, the warranty is up.  :angry:    This is NOT the way to endear yourself to potential customers (I talking to you Stanley/B&D).

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I have a friend who had a craftsman combination square. The pin on the tightening screw broke. Sears told him he had to replace the whole tool under the warranty. The replacement they gave him had the Sears brand name on it, not Craftsman. I'm sure this in effect, voided future warranty replacements.

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2 hours ago, Woodbutcherbynight said:

It's not like we are all going to buy Snap On all of the sudden.:D

No, maybe not.   But if they think we're ever going to buy Craftsman again...   well there's a saying about doing something up a rope.   There are other companies out there that are now making "lifetime" warranties on their hand tools and if they support their customers (as well as make parts available), they'll get all the business that apparently Sears and Stanley are perfectly willing to throw away.

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On 4/19/2019 at 9:17 PM, Ron Dudelston said:

A couple of months ago I bought a pair of Porter Cable ROS’s and the salesman told me that Lowe’s was phasing out PC.

I got told the same thing down here in Texas. It’s also why PC on there website is starting to show up as unavailable or regional unavailable.  They are also phasing out the poulan chainsaws. Which is a shame I’ve loved having mine. Just don’t turn it it off it acts funny if you try to restart it before it’s had a long time to cool off. Other then that works like a dream. 

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55 minutes ago, p_toad said:

There are other companies out there that are now making "lifetime" warranties

Very true.  Thankfully in the hand tools department I invested many moons ago.  I have expanded a few sets and find amazon or ebay can be good places to look.

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Some tools from Horror Freight, some from Lowe's Kobalt and other places.  However, over the years I purchased Craftsman because of the replacement future thinking that I was making a good investment.  At my age, I usually use a tool a couple of times and don't need the replacement policy, but my son and son-in-law have Craftsman tools and they will have to find those regional stores to replace any broken parts.  And, then things get damaged, destroyed or lost in transit.  Like the ole boy in the video, I did have to walk into the store a couple of times and have a tool replaced.  Yes, Al, when they replace the tool with a Sears, the replacement warranty is over.  Sad. 

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13 hours ago, FlGatorwood said:

Some tools from Horror Freight, some from Lowe's Kobalt and other places.  However, over the years I purchased Craftsman because of the replacement future thinking that I was making a good investment.  At my age, I usually use a tool a couple of times and don't need the replacement policy, but my son and son-in-law have Craftsman tools and they will have to find those regional stores to replace any broken parts.  And, then things get damaged, destroyed or lost in transit.  Like the ole boy in the video, I did have to walk into the store a couple of times and have a tool replaced.  Yes, Al, when they replace the tool with a Sears, the replacement warranty is over.  Sad. 

So right about the tools I buy now . As to the Craftsman deal they have been replacing with Sears now for over 15 years. I had a Craftsman tape and took back about 16 years ago and had to get a Sears.

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https://www.inddist.com/news/2017/01/stanley-b-d-add-us-factory-following-craftsman-deal

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2019/05/16/stanley-black-decker-fort-worth-craftsman.html

 

http://fortune.com/2017/01/05/stanley-black-decker-trump/

 

several news items about this.   now, they can revive the tools.   the real question: will they revive the warranty to help revive the brand?  

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Warranty is a signal.  When I was selling equipment, I found that mediocre equipment quality can be made to shine with good customer service.  In consumer tools, I suspect that less than half of the defective items get returned.  Most of us shove it on a shelf, give it to charity, regift it at Christmas, the usual.  We just go buy something else.  So a sales org (few of them actually manufacture any more) that restricts warranty is telling you that a) they're not very bright and/or b) THEY expect the stuff to be...lousy.  Either way, I find shortest path to door.  The fancy name of old (C-man) will get them some biz, but poor quality will catch up pretty fast.  There are too many ratings systems available for poor quality to hide for very long.

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I am always a bit conflicted because my first professional job was with Sears (1974-6).   At that time, there were no big orange retail giants, no Harbor Freight, no Festool, no local Woodcraft nor Rockler, no Amazon.   It was Sears or some (unknown  to me) professional grade tool suppliers.  I bought a few hand tools as I was just getting my little toes in woodworking, and eventually got a few power tools.  I became disappointed with their power tools.  I gradually went to professional grade, first Porter-Cable, then many years later, Bosch.  One of the problems with Sears power tools, other than their quality, was availability of repair parts, even though the repair depot was about 3 miles from my house.  When they switch to manufacturer du jour, the old parts quickly became unavailable.   Compare with Bosch where I could go to the repair shop and ask for a new pad for my ROS and they'd ask if I wanted the firm or soft one and had it right over the counter.

For many years, Sears was not even on my short list.   I decided to give them a try again about 18 years ago when I started up the business and needed some tools.  I finally got fed up when I went to the store looking for some staples for my old staple gun.   The first salesman saw me with the stapler in my hand and ducked into the back room.   I asked at the sales desk and got the wave, "I think they might be over in aisle 18, maybe 19 or 20."    So I find my way over and locate the bay of staples and have no idea what style I wanted.   I know now that they are the nearly ubiquitous T-50 staples.   But I grabbed a clerk who was walking by and asked him.   He looked at the rack, looked at the gun, they said, "I dunno, you'll just have to look around."  I let out a sigh and when I turned to look at him, he was gone already.   As I'm walking out of the store in frustration, two guys are leaning on the lawn tractor in the next department and one says, "I don't know why no one shops here any more."   Duh.    And my case for my 1/4 & 3/8 socket set fell apart and they could do nothing for me because they didn't sell that assortment any more.
 

In frustration, I wrote a letter to the store manager, expecting at least an apology.   Never heard back, and thus never set foot in that store again.

In the meantime,  M&A put DeWalt and Porter-Cable in bed under Stanley Black&Decker   For whatever reason, DeWalt became the "prosumer" line and Porter-Cable got largely cheapened to Joe Garage level.   Now SB&D bought out the Craftsman name.   It will be interesting to see where they position that.   My opinion is that they will just make existing and emergent product lines under the red and gray label.   And try to rely on the reputation of the pre-1960s Craftsman line, to quote my son-in-law's father, "They make the best."   

But they are bringing some production back on shore, good for them, (not a political comment) https://www.foxbusiness.com/retail/stanley-black-decker-craftsman-production?fbclid=IwAR0kjj142p5Ca6RHqyJe7EztPjG0Rt9ZwprIcZw6GBJA2NRsAx4QZsbNWB0

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