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View Full Version : OT Craftsman brand being sold by Sears



Beazld
01-05-2017, 01:52 PM
It's been rumored for a while that Sears would be selling off the Craftsman brand. Looks like it's official. Stanley Black and Decker is ponying up $900M for it
http://www.inddist.com/news/2017/01/stanley-black-decker-buying-craftsman-brand-sears?et_cid=5764506&et_rid=197075072&location=top&et_cid=5764506&et_rid=197075072&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.inddist.com%2fnews%2f2017% 2f01%2fstanley-black-decker-buying-craftsman-brand-sears%3fet_cid%3d5764506%26et_rid%3d%%subscriberid %%%26location%3dtop

loose nut
01-05-2017, 02:13 PM
Sears is closing 150 stores in the US so maybe they are cash poor and drowning.

Axkiker
01-05-2017, 02:15 PM
I believe Sears just took an additional 500M loan to stay afloat. I think that brings up the loan total to over 800M..

Spin Doctor
01-05-2017, 02:16 PM
Sears is a sinking ship. And what is curious between them and Monkey Wards they basically perfected the business model that Amazon is using. Sears just never adapted to the Internet. What's next Kenmore?

Joe Rogers
01-05-2017, 02:18 PM
If this holding company is related to the Stanley that now owns Mac Tools, Heaven help anyone that has a warrant issue with a Craftsman product.
Joe

Axkiker
01-05-2017, 02:21 PM
Also interesting to see that Stanley is on a buying spree. Also picking up brands such as Lenox etc.

BCRider
01-05-2017, 02:34 PM
Craftsman has fallen so much in recent years that I can't believe that the name is worth that much. But then I'm not in the home of the land that made Craftsman into an icon. Perhaps there is still that sense of quality among enough of the public to justify it. But as far as I'm concerned it may as well be put to rest and forgotten to history.

Frankly I'd rather go down the street and buy some of the whimsically named "Bynford" tools from Princess Auto. At least then I can exercise my sense of humor while buying cheap import tools.

EddyCurr
01-05-2017, 02:50 PM
Also interesting to see that Stanley is on a buying spree. Also picking up brands such as Lenox etc.Well, I suppose a tweet from the POTUS-elect might have an influence on Stanley's present business model.

Sure changed FORD's plans for Mexico and Carrier's before that.

.

Axkiker
01-05-2017, 03:01 PM
I havent been fond of anything new from craftsman in a number of years. Still plenty of older stuff out at fleamarkets. As far as new tool purchases im becoming very fond of Proto

BCRider
01-05-2017, 03:24 PM
I still cherish the nice slim thin and tough Craftman sockets that I have left from the mid 70's purchase. Saying you had Craftsman tools back then was not a far step down from saying you had Snap-On. I don't go hound dogging for more of them at the flea markets or second hand shops. But I can understand those that do.

A few years ago I was working on my truck with the 3/8 Craftsman ratchet when something happened and the circlip spring came out of the groove and the ratchet "exploded". I never did find the ratchet pawl on the drive way. I kept the parts for quite a while in the hope that the pawl would turn up. I finally buried the rest of the parts with a sad heart. That ratchet did a lot of work over a lot of years. It also fit my hand like it matched my DNA. Needless to say the over the counter replacement for a new version was not even a thought given what they had by that time.

Haven't seen a lot of Proto up here. But I picked up a modest size socket set by Stanley to use in my wood shop now that it's well away from the tools in the metal and motorcycle area. They've proven to be pretty decent. Haven't done the "big pipe on the ratchet" test yet but for general use they are slim enough and handy enough to pass muster so far on any realistic level. Not the cheapest but not the most expensive either.

Up this way for mechanics tools Canadian Tire is using the same concept as the old Craftsman line. Decent tools at a reasonable price. The set of wrenches I picked up to go with the Stanley socket set are CT's house brand Mastercraft Maximum wrenches. Got them on sale for a price I couldn't say no to. The intent was occasional and brief use only to save me a few trips up and down the stairs. But they are pretty darn good wrenches in their own right. And they come with CT's life time exchange warranty.

flylo
01-05-2017, 03:46 PM
I buy Williams because no one knows how good they are, owned by Snap-On but not as shiny but I'm told made in the US to fill government contracts or so I'm told. Good tools IMHO.

lakeside53
01-05-2017, 03:50 PM
Proto is also owned by the Stanley Black and Decker. And via Proto, so is Blackhawk. And...

Craftsman went to all heck some time ago. I liked their "Professional" branded wrenches but that's all gone. Now you can get "full polish", Made in China.


I've always liked SK, and still buy them. Made in the USA (for now)

Axkiker
01-05-2017, 04:19 PM
Proto is also owned by the Stanley Black and Decker. And via Proto, so is Blackhawk. And...

Craftsman went to all heck some time ago. I liked their "Professional" branded wrenches but that's all gone. Now you can get "full polish", Made in China.


I've always liked SK, and still buy them. Made in the USA (for now)


Yeah Proto is also made in the USA.... For now

Willy
01-05-2017, 04:28 PM
Sears is a sinking ship. And what is curious between them and Monkey Wards they basically perfected the business model that Amazon is using. Sears just never adapted to the Internet. What's next Kenmore?

I believe both Kenmore and Diehard are on the block.

Fasttrack
01-05-2017, 05:30 PM
I buy Williams because no one knows how good they are, owned by Snap-On but not as shiny but I'm told made in the US to fill government contracts or so I'm told. Good tools IMHO.

Williams and Armstrong. They are both extremely high quality but much lower cost than the flashy names like Mac, Matco and Snap-On. Armstrong is used pretty extensively in the aerospace and defense sector. Walk into any defense contractor that does any kind of high-value assembly and you don't see Crapsman or Snap-On - you see Armstrong.

Toolguy
01-05-2017, 05:58 PM
I have a lot of different socket and end wrench sets. Some are old Craftsman, I don't buy any of the new versions. I am having a very good experience with Kobalt, a Lowe's house brand. To me, they are what Craftsman used to be. They are decent quality, reasonable price, and durable. Not the best out there, but well made, innovative, good usable tools.

kendall
01-05-2017, 06:50 PM
I'm with toolguy, Kobalt seems to be a decent brand, and the very few tools I've returned were handled the same way Sears used to work, quick and easy with no hassle.

Wonder if Stanley/BD will do the same with craftsman as they did with porter cable and turn them into pure junk so their flagship brands look better.

Beazld
01-05-2017, 08:06 PM
Williams and Armstrong. They are both extremely high quality but much lower cost than the flashy names like Mac, Matco and Snap-On. Armstrong is used pretty extensively in the aerospace and defense sector. Walk into any defense contractor that does any kind of high-value assembly and you don't see Crapsman or Snap-On - you see Armstrong.
Armstrong has it's own set of problems. They recently moved one of their main plants to South Carolina. Before the plant could get up and running it was flooded during the deluge last spring. Rumors have it they may not be around much longer. Shame, it is or was a great product.

Mister ED
01-05-2017, 08:19 PM
Wonder if Stanley/BD will do the same with craftsman as they did with porter cable and turn them into pure junk so their flagship brands look better.
Sure they will turn them to crap. Just like many of their current brands ... when was the last time any of you bought a Stanley anything?

What I thought was interesting in that article is the following quote:
"As part of the agreement, Sears Holdings will continue to offer Craftsman-branded products, sourced from existing suppliers, through its current retail channels via a perpetual license from Stanley Black & Decker ..."

But yet in the paragraph before it says:
"The transaction provides Stanley Black & Decker with the rights to develop, manufacture and sell Craftsman-branded products in non-Sears Holdings retail, industrial and online sales channels across the U.S. and in other countries"

So, does that mean there will be a "Sears Store" version of a Craftsman wrench and a non-Sears store version?

Toolguy
01-05-2017, 08:23 PM
That is something I have no intention to worry about.

BCRider
01-05-2017, 08:28 PM
So, does that mean there will be a "Sears Store" version of a Craftsman wrench and a non-Sears store version?

Sounds to me like Sears would be simply one of the many that would be selling Craftsman branded tools. The point is to be able to USE the Craftsman name. But who knows what the actual fine print will be?

Are any of the major names NOT producing part or all of their line in China these days?

BCRider
01-05-2017, 08:32 PM
Back a few years ago when I was working for a living instead of playing for a living I broke one of my older Craftsman sockets. Since the tower I worked at was attached to a mall with a Sears store I went down to replace it. They told me to go select the socket and when I brought it back they mentioned that the new socket came with NO WARRANTY. Not only that but it was one of the thickest walled clunky hunks o' scrap metal with a shiny bit of chrome on it that I'd ever seen. And the card the socket was on had "Made in China" on it.

So from what I saw selling off the brand to Stanley/B&D can't possibly do anything but help out the cause. The products Sears will obtain from S/B&D CANNOT be any worse than what Sears has been selling these past 10 or 15 years. So it's more likely that it'll be step up the food chain. At least as far as hand tools are concerned.

ulav8r
01-05-2017, 09:47 PM
About 10 years ago I visited a shop that rebuilt centerless grinders to finalize specifications on a purchase. They were working on a grinder that was being set up to grind the od of Craftsman sockets. When they asked the customer the specification for taper, the reply was "It has to be shiny." When the asked for tolerance on the diameter, the reply was "It has to be shiny." When they asked for the tolerance on roundness, the reply was "It has to be shiny." When they asked for requirements on cycle time, the reply was "It has to be shiny." They just had to get the wheels specified and speeds/feeds set to produce a shiny finish. They were using 2 wheels mounted side by side. The first wheel ground the od to a smooth finish, the second wheel was cork to polish the finish. Each wheel was about 6 inches wide. They were getting a shiny finish.

tomato coupe
01-05-2017, 10:02 PM
Sears is a sinking ship. And what is curious between them and Monkey Wards they basically perfected the business model that Amazon is using. Sears just never adapted to the Internet. What's next Kenmore?

Two years ago I ordered 21 wrenches (open end, combo, etc.) from the Sears online store. The total price was $400-$500, with a shipping charge of about $30. The wrenches were sent via UPS in 15 separate shipments! It's hard to compete in the online marketplace when you make mistakes like that.

lakeside53
01-05-2017, 10:04 PM
You have been able to buy Craftsman tools at ACE hardware stores around here for several years.

Paul Alciatore
01-05-2017, 10:20 PM
I never did consider Craftsman to be a top of the line brand. Even back in the day they were medium quality tools at top of the line prices. But they did have a good warranty, so I did buy them. I have a Craftsman offset screwdriver that has been replaced at least three times.

If the quality has gone downhill, then they are practically worthless, IMHO.

Case in point: About three years ago I purchased a roll around tool chest. I compared several brands, including Craftsman. I found that the Craftsman models were almost point for point equal to the Husky brand at Home Depot. Same BB slides. Same gauge of metal. Same finish. Very similar handles. Very similar wheels. Etc, etc, etc. I could find no real difference between the Husky brand and the standard Craftsman boxes. I am dead sure they were both made in China. No difference, EXCEPT the price. The Husky brand was priced about 1/3 to 1/4 the price of the same sized Craftsman boxes. That's no exaggeration. Literally 1/3 to 1/4 the price. If Sears wants to know why they are going bust, that's it: their rip off pricing policy.

If they are getting that much for the brand name, they are ripping off the buyer, BIG TIME.

PS: After several years of use, the Husky tool box is doing fine. It is just as good as the day it was purchased and just as good as the Craftsman boxes in the store today: no problems or complaints what-so-ever.

ulav8r
01-05-2017, 10:24 PM
8-10 years ago, many of the Husky tool boxes were made at Pocahontas, AR. Don't know it that plant is still there or not.

J Tiers
01-05-2017, 10:31 PM
Toolboxes are bad for shipping, they are virtually all air. Since they are a container for other stuff, they HAVE to contain mostly air. Not a lot of them per container, especially with regard to weight.

Depending on the cost of a container load delivered, it could be cheaper to make here. Or not.

As for the "it has to be shiny".... just how close on tolerance DOES the OUTSIDE of a socket have to be? Right... it pretty much just has to be shiny (assuming you want it shiny).

Paul Alciatore
01-06-2017, 03:49 AM
Thin wall sockets are desirable for situations where the head of a bolt or a nut is in a tight situation. But thin walls also mean you need a better grade of steel or they will break. So, it is not a matter of tolerances on the outside of a socket, but of making one that can be used in tight quarters and still have it last for decades of heavy use and abuse in a shop.

On shipping costs, assumedly by ship, is it volume or weight that counts? I mean, they stack those containers quite high on the ships. Probably lighter ones on top. Seems like cargo ships are loaded down till they reach their lowest safe point in the water, to the Plimsoll line. That's where they have the least safe amount of freeboard. So weight would seem to count more than density.

And I like shiny.




Toolboxes are bad for shipping, they are virtually all air. Since they are a container for other stuff, they HAVE to contain mostly air. Not a lot of them per container, especially with regard to weight.

Depending on the cost of a container load delivered, it could be cheaper to make here. Or not.

As for the "it has to be shiny".... just how close on tolerance DOES the OUTSIDE of a socket have to be? Right... it pretty much just has to be shiny (assuming you want it shiny).

MattiJ
01-06-2017, 04:56 AM
Proto is also owned by the Stanley Black and Decker. And via Proto, so is Blackhawk. And...



Same with Bahco (swedish brand). Snap-on aquired Bahco some years ago and lots of the tools went WAY downhill.
Haven't seen so thick and soft sockets and crappy ratchets for last 30 years as recent Bacho-snapoff's :p

If the hand tool market seems f*cked up in the US but its way worse here in Europe. Each country has dozen of old domestic brands and nobody knows who actually makes and what.

As a side note HR tools from India have been excellent price/performance, they probably make lots of the actual "brand name" products sold here...

Fasttrack
01-06-2017, 08:14 AM
Armstrong has it's own set of problems. They recently moved one of their main plants to South Carolina. Before the plant could get up and running it was flooded during the deluge last spring. Rumors have it they may not be around much longer. Shame, it is or was a great product.

Well crap. I was in the process of changing my Craftsman tools over to Armstrong. I hope they manage to stay afloat. In my opinion, no one makes a better ratchet handle than Armstrong.

AD5MB
01-06-2017, 08:14 AM
If you are Of A Certain Age and appreciate quality audio gear, you will remember when JBL, Altec Lansing and Bose meant fine speakers in fine hardwoods. if you were privileged to listen to the tunes of your choice on the above brands you walked away knowing you would never hear them sounding better.

now they are meaningless names silk screened on plastic boxes made in Peoples Factory 43, Bingbongbangclang, PRC. Somebody bought the name and ran it into the ground. I do not see the economic sense of buying a thing and devaluing it.

Craftsman will become meaningless. They should alter the logo to indicate post sale craftsman, versus pre sale.

J Tiers
01-06-2017, 10:08 AM
If you are Of A Certain Age and appreciate quality audio gear, you will remember when JBL, Altec Lansing and Bose meant fine speakers in fine hardwoods. if you were privileged to listen to the tunes of your choice on the above brands you walked away knowing you would never hear them sounding better.
....

I do recall, I did have them, and I have heard FAR better sound since. There were a TON of factors, some more important that others, which the makers had no clue about back then. Sold the last JBL Harkness a couple years ago.



Thin wall sockets are desirable for situations where the head of a bolt or a nut is in a tight situation. But thin walls also mean you need a better grade of steel or they will break. So, it is not a matter of tolerances on the outside of a socket, but of making one that can be used in tight quarters and still have it last for decades of heavy use and abuse in a shop.

On shipping costs, assumedly by ship, is it volume or weight that counts? I mean, they stack those containers quite high on the ships. Probably lighter ones on top. Seems like cargo ships are loaded down till they reach their lowest safe point in the water, to the Plimsoll line. That's where they have the least safe amount of freeboard. So weight would seem to count more than density.

And I like shiny.

Nothing matters but the container, really. There may be some adjustment in certain cases, but it takes up space, and they charge for space on ships. There are a few container sizes, and they vary in shipping cost. The container may weigh more than the contents in many types of goods.

The problem with something like toolboxes is how many you can put in a container. You divide the cost to ship that container by the number of units IN the container, and that is your shipping cost per unit. If the unit is big and bulky, you get fewer per container.

Weight is not a big issue unless it becomes a case where weight limits the number of units per container before volume does.

As for the sockets, they obviously do not particularly care about the thickness of the wall. I have seen sockets with the identical model number, and quite different wall thicknesses. With the same number, they are clearly meant to be the same part.

wmgeorge
01-06-2017, 10:19 AM
I have not been in a Sears store for years. Craftsman is no longer the only game in town, back in the 40s and 50's there was not much for tools on the market and that is where they came to fame. Sears will soon be gone like Montgomery Wards they have had their head in the sand for years.

Beazld
01-06-2017, 11:30 AM
well S/B&D may not be offshoring all the Craftsman stuff according to this...
http://www.inddist.com/news/2017/01/stanley-b-d-add-us-factory-following-craftsman-deal?et_cid=5766614&et_rid=197075072&location=top&et_cid=5766614&et_rid=197075072&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.inddist.com%2fnews%2f2017% 2f01%2fstanley-b-d-add-us-factory-following-craftsman-deal%3fet_cid%3d5766614%26et_rid%3d%%subscriberid% %%26location%3dtop
the article says it will be a high-tech US factory, so I guess we will have domestic robots building tools. I wonder if the robots will have green cards...

wcunning
01-06-2017, 12:40 PM
I decided last year that I wasn't going to put up with the holes in every wrench set I owned, and after digging for a couple weeks trying to find a set of combination wrenches that covered every size, Craftsman was the only company making something like that and not charging tool truck prices. So I now have double open-end and double box-end and combination wrenches in every size from Craftsman, and other than some annoyance with their name stampings (too lite on about 5 wrenches in 120 or so), I don't regret that choice a bit. They make some things that I don't trust, and they make some things that I love dearly. Hell, I'd take a Harbor Freight tool box over a Craftsman any day, but I think that Craftsman produces a better product most of the time. The trick is that they don't sell the good stuff in their stores anymore, it's online only.

Defense of Craftsman aside, I think I probably need to get my 5 wrenches replaced with better stamped ones ASAP... *sigh*