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Craftsman Hand-Tools Now Made in China

Discussion in 'Front Page Articles' started by SID297, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    Ok, let me start off by saying that this is not an entirely new development. Over the past few years Sears has been releasing new series of Craftsman tools, such as the Evolv and Universal lines, that are made in countries other than the US. Still, Sears continued to advertise "all" Craftsman hand tools as Made in the USA. I suppose they justified that under the theory that their classic Craftsman line was still US sourced.

    However, that is no longer the case. During a recent trip to my local Sears I noticed something troubling. Sears has begun making their standard Craftsman ratchets and wrenches in China and Taiwan. They also haven't lowered their prices from those of their US made counterparts. The non US made tools do not appear to be as high quality of the ones made in the USA. I'm not pleased.

    I've long considered Craftsman tools to be the best tools, both quality and value wise, for the casual mechanic. I no longer feel that way. If I wanted to buy inferior quality Chinese made tools I'd go to Harbor Freight. Now my main concern is breaking one of my current Craftsman tool and it being replaced with one I consider inferior. That will be unacceptable. I think I may start transitioning to Matco, Mac, or Snap-On.


    A Craftsman Universal ratchet, made in Taiwan.

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    Another view.

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    Just look at the back of the packaging to see the country of origin.

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    Here we have one of the standard Craftsman ratchets, which had for years had been advertised as "Made in the USA".

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    Now made in China.

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    Two 3/4 inch drive Craftsman ratchet. Made in the USA on the right, China on the left.

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    You can clearly see the differences in the metal.

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    Another view

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    Two 1/2 inch drive Thin Profile ratchets. Made in the USA on the left, Taiwan on the right.

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    Notice that the packaging is a bit different, but the part numbers are the same.

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    Funny, one appears to be missing the "U.S.A." stamping.

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    Perhaps this is why?

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    Looks like you won't be able to find these in the stores for too much longer.

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    I managed to pick up one of the last old stock sets of Thin Profile Ratchets that were made in the USA.

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    Unfortunately, it appears that this "Made in USA" logo is going to much rarer on Craftsman tools.

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    Please forgive the substandard photos, they were taken with an old cell phone.


    -SID297:beer:
     
  2. SWAMPMODULAR

    SWAMPMODULAR FAIRWARNING Established Member

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    Been seeing that for a while now too. Very sad and since my father and law has some old made in the US stuff, the new crap doesnt stand a chance when you have to put some gorrilla grip torgue on things and they go SNAP!! So I walk down the street and borrow the real one..
     
  3. OhioMark

    OhioMark New Member Established Member

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    Count me out! Time to move onto other made in the USA tools!
     
  4. BOOSTD5.4

    BOOSTD5.4 New Member Established Member

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    This outsourcing is KILLING the US! I will not buy tools not US made!

    This is a result of Lowes and Home Depot kicking the a$$ out of Sears in the tool sales.....

    Too bad!

    Mike
     
  5. Double"O"

    Double"O" N2S come get some Established Member

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    and Kobalt tools are ABSOLUTE JUNK!!!!

    i bought two Kobalt pieces a few years ago a 1/4 drive ratchet and a 12inch extension...i broke them both ont he same day!
     
  6. P49Y-CY

    P49Y-CY Active Member Established Member

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    disappointing!
     
  7. Tispho

    Tispho New Member Established Member

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    Sears going downhill. Quick.
     
  8. me32

    me32 BEASTLY SHELBY GT500 TVS Established Member

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    wow i didnt know that. i always love Craftsman tools because they were great american tools at a good price
     
  9. DSG2003Mach1

    DSG2003Mach1 Active Member Established Member

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    as if sears wasnt in enough trouble, the turn of craftsman to more overseas garbage will hurry that right along, it was the only reason I went there
     
  10. Dirks9901

    Dirks9901 Paint>Vinyl Established Member

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    Noticed this to. Looks like I will be buying more snap on (when I have to). I always loved craftsman for value+quality. Sad..:nonono:
     
  11. stangin99

    stangin99 New Member Established Member

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    I just picked up a new 15" 1/2" drive breaker bar, and made sure it was Made In USA (both on the label and stamped on the handle).

    I may have to stock up on all tools I've wanted to get to make sure I get them before they completely switch.
     
  12. offroadkarter

    offroadkarter Professional S***poster Premium Member

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    So this might be why one of my new 1/4" drive socket wrenches just broke out of random.....

    Thanks for bringing this up, off to sears I go to grab what I can thats still USA made.
     
  13. Badasssapper67

    Badasssapper67 Member Established Member

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    Do what you will with your money, but for me I can never forget what Sears has done for their employees that have been deployed. When I first heard how far they go to help their employees and their families during their deployment I remember thinking, "How can they afford to do that"?
    I agree with the sentiment to only buy American made tools, but I submit Sears isnt farming these out so the CEO can maximise his quarterly bonuses before he bails out leaving the employees all unemployed. What does this mean for us? As for me, I'll support Sears as long as they support our National Guardsmen and Reservists, as well as our military in general.
    Personally, I wish they'd have saved money by having their tools made by prisoners here in the USA, becuase the quality would have still been better than stuff made in China.
     
  14. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    This. Sears is having major financial difficulties and I believe the handling of the Craftsman brand shows one of the many weaknesses of their management team. Sears needs to get back to the basics and focus on quality and service.

    That's how I felt. They were good quality tools for a reasonable price.

    That's basically what I've been doing. I've been buying up any of them that I think I may want in the future.
     
  15. speedsun

    speedsun New Member Established Member

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    Craftsman tools are overpriced IMO at Sears. I can find the same Craftsman tools at the NEX for less than half price what Sears wants.
     
  16. Last

    Last New Member Established Member

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    I think at least 80% of Craftsman customers bought for the sole reason it is one of the few brands you can just go pick up and not have to order. Bad move Sears.
     
  17. PSUCOBRA96

    PSUCOBRA96 New Member Established Member

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    I am not paying craftsmen prices for harbor freight quality, now I know this I will check where it is made and if its not U.S.A guess it is time to move on. I guess I was a big fan of craftsmen, I should have paid more attention. I have a new ratchet in the garage and I bet its Chinese crap.

    So what is our next best bet, Snap on is too expensive for the weekend Mechanic.
     
  18. sunburned

    sunburned I miss my torque Established Member

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    Damn, sad to see. I'll have to check the handles on all my ratchets. Some I've had for a few years, some are relatively new (because they have broken in the past). I stripped a 1/2" drive ratchet by hand trying to get a bolt loose. No breaker bar or tube on the end, just hand torque on a ~15" long ratchet handle. No way that should happen. The last two 1/4" drive ratchets I've had worked for maybe a day before stripping in both directions, and my 3/8" ratchet that's maybe 5-6 years old barely works anymore. Might be time to pay a bit more for better made tools.
     
  19. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    That was definitely one of the advantages.
     
  20. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    I'm working on something with another American tool manufacturer that should be good for everyone who cares about quality and value.

    The switch to foreign manufacturing seems to be a fairly recent development on the mainline series of Craftsman tools.
     

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