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View Full Version : Kmart and Craftsman



Al Willits
09-26-2006, 10:52 PM
Just seen on TV that Kmart is now selling Craftsman tools, my thoughts on Craftsman tools has varied over the years, but basically been pretty happy with them, wondering if Kmart owning Sears is gonna end up cheapening their tool line?

I remember Sears having hand tools back in the 60's and maybe 70's that other than polish rivaled Snap On, since then they seem to have lost their edge, still usable, but they definitely shouldn't see any more loss of quality.

Al

Doug Shepard
09-26-2006, 11:02 PM
I think the line by Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rainman sums it up:


Lets hope they dont suck Craftsman down any lower than they've already gone.

Bruce Page
09-26-2006, 11:20 PM
If true, it sounds like another nail in the coffin for the Craftsman brand.

Charles McKinley
09-26-2006, 11:21 PM
If you go up to the Craftsman "professional" line the finish is still up there with Snap-On.

I'm partial to SK myself.

Jim Becker
09-27-2006, 12:09 AM
Well...the only thing I buy at K-Mart is the Route 66 jeans they sell. (fit me right and last a long time for only a little money) The last thing I bought at Sears was a couple Lands End winter coats for the girls. (Cause I wanted to see them since time frames were short prior to our adoption travel) I can't remember the last time I bought a tool from them!

JayStPeter
09-27-2006, 12:28 AM
Maybe that'll be good. I did need a 36mm socket not too long ago, and Kmart is much closer than Sears. Still think Cman is the best bang for the buck for that sort of stuff. If they actually stock the stuff, I'll be happy. But knowing that Kmart, it's pretty doubtful they'll actually ever have anything I need.

Jay

Curt Harms
09-27-2006, 6:41 AM
I don't think KMart carrying Craftsman stuff is either surprising or a sign of Craftsman deterioration. Prior to KMart holdings acquisition of Sears, KMart's portable power tool offering (B&D Firestorm Stanley etc.) was similar to the run-of-the-mill Craftsman portable power tools. I think Craftsman hand tools would be an upgrade to what Kmart had been carrying. The people that own both brands are just trying to maximize exposure of what they own. The KMarts near me seem to be renovating and trying to clean up their act. I hope they're successful. I would not look forward to a WallyWorld-only discount retail world.

Andy Fox
09-27-2006, 2:03 PM
My advice: Watch for any flashing blue lights near the tool department! :D

Jeffrey Makiel
09-27-2006, 11:58 PM
There probably is a lot of pressure from the hand tools that are sold at Lowes and Home Depot now. Husky, a long time company, is available at one of these retailers.

I never been disappointed with mechanics tools from Sears. However, their corded stuff is another story. I did notice that they carry a lower line now that (I think) does not have the lifetime warranty.

I also don't think it's fair to compare Sears to Snap-On. They cater to different markets.

I get a kick out of Snap-On prices. I often hear folks say "if you use tools for a living, you need Snap-On". These days, if you use tools for a living, you are probably low paid and a simple Snap-On wrench set will put you back two weeks salary. So count those wrenches when you complete a job!

-Jeff :)

Vaughn McMillan
09-28-2006, 1:33 AM
...I also don't think it's fair to compare Sears to Snap-On. They cater to different markets...

There once was a time when the two brands were pretty comparable when it came to mechanic's tools. I don't know if that's still the case.


... I get a kick out of Snap-On prices. I often hear folks say "if you use tools for a living, you need Snap-On". These days, if you use tools for a living, you are probably low paid and a simple Snap-On wrench set will put you back two weeks salary. So count those wrenches when you complete a job!

-Jeff :)
Based on what it costs to repair a car these days, I'd guess a lot of the guys using Snap-On stuff are making a pretty decent living. I think my old Ford Bronco helped put my mechanic's kids through college. :D

Norman Hitt
09-28-2006, 3:48 AM
I have never been disappointed with mechanics tools from Sears. However, their corded stuff is another story. I did notice that they carry a lower line now that (I think) does not have the lifetime warranty.


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You're correct that they carry two lines with different warranties. They started this maybe 10 yrs ago, and I got burned with a small set of wrenches they had on sale. When two of them broke and I took them back and the salesman told me there was no warranty I was a little hot and I wanted to know when Craftsman wrenches quit having a lifetime warranty. He then explained to me that IF it said "Craftsman", NOT "Sears", it would STILL have a lifetime warranty, but the Sears Brand did not.
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-Jeff :)I also don't think it's fair to compare Sears to Snap-On. They cater to different markets.

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You would be surprised at some of the places you will find the Craftsman Brand of tools. When we were unloading our Cargo of Day old Chicks in South Yemen one day, (nearly 20 yrs ago), we also off loaded 26 LARGE sets of Craftsman tools complete with large Craftsman roll around Toolboxes and Top boxes. I commented to the Ground Handler, that they must be stocking a new Sears Store there, and he told me they were for their Airline's Mechanics, and that that was the only brand of tools they used except for the "Specialty Tools" that Craftsman didn't manufacture. I found that really interesting since there was such a Russian/Communist presence there.

Al Willits
09-28-2006, 10:41 AM
"""""""
I also don't think it's fair to compare Sears to Snap-On. They cater to different markets
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I think your kinda right on that, meaning the non professional will usually not track a Snap On truck down to buy tools and more likely hit is local Sears store.
But the comparison I mentioned was with older Sears tools and they indeed were as strong as Snap On, the box end sets had walls as thin and strong as SO and in fact the larger sizes like maybe 5/8" and up were nicer to use than SO as the handles were a bit more rounded than SO and didn't bite into your hand like the narrow SO did.

Not a mechanic by trade anymore, but after trade school I worked in several filling stations and then a VW dealership and I found most mechanics would bounce back and forth between Sears and SO, depending on which tool was needed, also the pay as you go plan SO had many mechanics buying SO because of that.

I haven't had to buy many tools in the last few years, but a ways back wasn't to impressed with Sears anymore, seems they used weaker metals and thickened up the tools to keep them from breaking, it may be differen't now.

I guess we'll see what happens now that Kmart is running the show.

Al

Frank Fusco
09-28-2006, 12:11 PM
I won't buy anything Sears anymore because our local, privately owned, store simply won't honor any warranty. Rude, lousy service.
Back when I owned a Sears franchise store myself (late 1970's) we frequently sold large mechanics tool sets to young guys getting started as auto mechanics. We gladly honored all Craftsman warranties. At that time, Sears understood it was good for business to keep the customer happy. A hassle free exchange on a $10.00 wrench could mean thousands of dollars of regular business over a lifetime.
But, today, even with brands like Popular Mechanics, sold at Wal-Mart and other places, giving unconditional warranties, why buy the high priced variety?