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Thread: I need to replace my ROS, anybody use the Craftsman?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    Lake Forest, IL
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    I need to replace my ROS, anybody use the Craftsman?

    I need to replace my ROS, originally I was thinking about the Bosch, then I read that Fine Woodworking picked the Craftsman as the best value. Does anyone have any experience with it? While I would love to buy the Festool is out of my budget.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Is Sears still in business or is this sold by someone else?
    Bill D

  3. #3
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    Dec 2016
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    Houston, TX
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    Craftsman is now owned by Stanley Black and Decker, so the ROS is probably a copy of the B&D or the PC.

  4. #4
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    I've considered Craftsman the bottom of the barrel since about 1980. A Black and Decker/Craftsman is no different. I've not been impressed with FWW reviews recently. Their last review of wall hanging dust collectors was really a fluff article.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    SoCal
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    Value would presume longevity in a small powered hand tool. I've killed a couple of Craftsman but, am still running the Bosch I bought in 2002; do the math. Now that Lowe's, Ace, and others are selling "Craftsman" I would just look into the warranty. The common Bosch units carry a year.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  6. #6
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    Mt Pleasant SC
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    Just get a DeWalt and add on a speed controller.
    A 500 watt light dimmer mounted in an electrical box works great.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2013
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    Okotoks AB
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    Way back in the '70s, my dad bought a Craftsman router, drill, jig saw and a couple of sanders. They were miserable things to use & within a couple of years of hobby use, every single one of them was dead. Since then I've occasionally had a look at Craftsman power tools, but the quality was always poor. I'd way rather have a Ryobi than a Craftsman.

  8. #8
    My prejudice against Sears is just too great.

    I've owned 2 CPO Bosch ROS's. Both it and the 1617 router I bought can't be killed.

    Get one with variable speed.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2013
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    Black Oak Ark.
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    5" Bosch here , going on 10 years . I'm very happy with it . 2 yrs. ago I bought a 6" Rigid ROS for a specialty need , and it's good also . Only $100 w/ good power , var. speed , DC fine . Balance and vibration fair . I still use it to power thru rough sanding tasks .

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    "Value" is very subjective, but it doesn't mean that they were equal performance-wise. Just that the C-man was good enough for the price. Sometimes a good sale price makes a difference. It also depends on how often and how long you're going to use it. When I judge value to me, I think of how many hours (per week, month, year) I'll actually be using something. Its not worth it for me as a homeowner/hobbyist to always buy the best, or next-to-the best, based on what I do with it.

    Sears never actually manufactured any of their power tools or appliances, they just put their name on it. I've gone through several drill/drivers over the years (P-C, Panasonic, DeWalt), and my current Craftsman Pro model has been the longest performing one of them all. Considering the price I paid for it, yeah, it was the best value.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Atlanta
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    785
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Value would presume longevity in a small powered hand tool. I've killed a couple of Craftsman but, am still running the Bosch I bought in 2002; do the math. Now that Lowe's, Ace, and others are selling "Craftsman" I would just look into the warranty. The common Bosch units carry a year.
    This sounds reasonable, but in the real world things are way more complex.

    I have a Craftsman Industrial 1/2 sheet sander that was my dad’s (from the 60’s) and still works to this day. It’s big , heavy, and not particularly refined. It abrades wood though.

    I also have a Festool EC sander that lasted all of three months before crapping out. Was repaired under warranty. Twice. It’s a darling of the snobby wood butcher crowd , but under your premise, it’s a P.O.S.

    The first sander I purchased was a B&D 1/4 sheet sander. It was/is great for what it’s meant to do. It’s now 35years old and just had the brushes replaced. Does it leave as nice a finish as the EC. Well no, it leaves better sometimes because the EC is in the hospital.

    I agree Bosch sanders represent a sweet spot for performance and cost. I have 2-3 myself. I also agree that Craftsman isn’t a great bet these days. But, I’ll wager they will still have some gems from time to time. Once had a craftsman router that was made by Bosch and was identical except for the red plastic instead of blue. On the whole, I’d steer clear today.

    I will say my favorite sander for finishing is the Festool ets125. It still brings a smile to my face every time I use it, which is often. 200 clams is steep price for sure, but the difference between that and my PC333 & Bosch 1295 is like night and day. Enough so that the xtra cost was quickly forgotten. If you sell on the carrying case to an eager fanboy for $50-75 , the resulting cost is pretty reasonable for what you get.
    Last edited by Dave Sabo; 12-03-2020 at 1:37 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Vermont
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    Have owned a Ridgid 5" ROS since new, going on 12+ years, it's been a bulletproof machine although I replaced the pad once, replaced the dust bag too when I accidentally sucked up in my dust collector and wrecked the bag frame. Oops! I also have a Bosch 3107DVS 5" ROS and the big Bosch 1250DEVS 6" ROS which is a beast of a sander. Also just picked up a Ryobi One+ 18v cordless which is nice but not as balanced or smooth as any of the corded models. Almost everyone makes a cordless 5" ROS now and I would definitely consider those. One less thing to drag around, especially if you connect a dust hose. I'm one of those guys that has enough sanders to just put a different grit of paper on each one.
    Jon Endres
    Killing Trees Since 1983

  13. #13
    In the shop we use pneumatic RO sanders, but in the field we use electrics. We need to be clean and as dust free as possible working in clients home. I almost pulled the trigger on a Festool sander and vacuum, which came to about $800.00 plus or minus as I recall. About the same time, Fine Woodworking did a survey of electric RO sanders. Of course, Festool came out on top but right behind it was the Craftsman. For about $60, I took a shot. The vibration, or lack thereof, is pretty descent and when hooked up to my little Stanley shop vac we use on the jobsite, it is virtually dust free. I can't speak for Sears, since I haven't been in one in over a year, but I believe Lowe's carries the full line of Craftsman tools.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Central New Jersey
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    The first drill I owned was a craftsman many years ago, and it didn't last but a year. I went to Dewalt and immediately could tell the difference. Yes, I know they are now owned by the same company. Craftsman in my view is entry level home-owner grade, not worthy of a hobbyist or professional.

    I now have a Milwaukee ROS that I grabbed from a big box store maybe 5 or 6 years ago. It is flawless except of course vibrates my hand after a while like most of them do. The last power tool I picked up was a Makita compact router and it's smooth as can be. Last year I also got to check out a lot of the Makita tools at a woodworking show and was really impressed. If I was going to buy a new ROS, i'd be looking at the Makita BO5041.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
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    610
    Lot of people on here knocking Craftsman power tools. Sears sold Craftsman power tools from cheaper than cheap to Professional. Every Professional Craftsman tool I have used was very good quality. The cheap drills could be burned up in the first use, mid range would last an hour or two of heavy abusive use., the professional line just kept on going. Black and Decker was the same way back then 1960-1980. 1/2" Craftsman drill paid $60 for it late 1970's run it for hours with a 1" auger bit in wood from 1913. You better hang on it as it wasn't stopping. Had to pull the plug on it more than once when someone else used it and it got the better of them. & 1/4 worm drive saw will cut or kick back at you when it binds no stopping it. Haven't been able to buy Craftsman or Black and Decker Professional line since 1990 or before. My Craftsman 1/2" drill got stolen in 1998 still would buy one if I could find one.
    Ron

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