Craftsman tools to get new owners? - Chevelle Tech
Tools & Shops Shop Rat HQ

 34Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 16, 1:43 PM Thread Starter
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: Tucson, AZ, USA
Posts: 8,656
Craftsman tools to get new owners?

Apparently Sears is putting some of its brands on the auction block. It will take some really good management to promote Craftsman tools in the light of Harbor Freight's improved quality with much lower prices. Getting away from the high overhead of a Sears store may help to lower prices. I was a bit surprised to see that Milwaukee is owned by a Chinese company. Dang that globalization.

Sears?s Craftsman Said to Get Interest From Black & Decker - Bloomberg
JWagner is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 16, 1:54 PM
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 6,084
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

People tend to talk the talk about imports and supporting local businesses, until they find out they can save .30 cents by buying either from a big box retailer/mail order of a no-name import.

The way Sears is being gutted it was just a matter of time before their "brands" with any following got sold off.

Steve R
Steve R is online now  
post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 16, 3:22 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
JOHN
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: GEORGIA
Posts: 5,807
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

Is Sears still owned by Kmart ? Neither brand means much anymore .
b&b's69 likes this.
FLASHED is offline  
 
post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 16, 3:46 PM
Tech Team
Will
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lagrange, GA
Posts: 88
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

It is amazing to see the quality, or lack there of, in Craftsman tools today vs 10,20,30 years ago. I am 34, and Sears has gone to junk in my life time. I used to think that this talk was just folks reminiscing about the good old days, but you would have to be Ray Charles not to see it now. I have two examples. My dad had a ratchet that was from the early to mid 80's. I was at his house recently helping my little brother with his truck, and it broke. I took it and a 3/8 drive pull handle that was at least 20 years old to swap out at my local sears since there aren't any Sears open close to my Dad's house anymore. It made me sick at the quality of the metal/tooling versus the old stuff. I bet the new ones don't last as long as the ones I just took back, and I know I don't plan on adding anymore new craftsman tools to my tool collection.

The second example is from this past weekend. I bought this wooden tool box from an estate sale of this older gentleman that built cabinets during his retirement, and the contents came with the box. Evidently he built the box himself, and he modeled it after a gerstner. It is a beautiful box. He had a lot of really nice machinist tools that I am guessing he used to calibrate his equipment with in the tool box. It was mostly starrett brand stuff, but there was some older craftsman tools in it. You could tell the craftsman stuff was used more (probably paid less for it and wanted to protect the good stuff), but it was still made very well. All of it had made in the USA on it.

I would say that craftsman earned its reputation as being the tools of the middle class. It was not as pricey as the really nice professional tools, but the quality was not that far off. It allowed middle America to do the job themselves and be able to use quality tools in the process. I don't think that there is a tool line that serves where craftsman did for so many years. I think you have the higher quality professional stuff that is really expensive or you have the cheap stuff marketed to the person at home. Most of the cheap stuff has taken the Craftsman lifetime guarantee to the extreme. They figure they can make 3-5 (or more) for the price of one of the mid tier quality tools, so if you break it, they have plenty more to replace it IF you return it.

I think that all of this is a product of our throw away society and the lack of people doing work themselves. I have decided that I am going to do my best not to buy new tools anymore. Of course I will pick up stuff from time to time when I am in a pinch, but I can find a lot better deals on quality tools in estate/garage sales.
p40 likes this.
yelchevelle is online now  
post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 16, 4:00 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Bill
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sahuarita (Tucson) AZ
Posts: 1,761
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

I agree with Will. I'm old enough that I remember Craftsman tools when they were good, and had a no questions asked lifetime guarantee. When I came home from the Army about 50 years ago, I bought a Craftsman tool box and selection of tools to get me started. I've inherited my Dad's and my Grandfather's tools along the way. The old stuff is much better than the new stuff.
A half inch ratchet that I bought in the 60's failed a few years back. They replaced it all right, but the replacements don't last a year. Quality is all gone.
When I finally built my shop about 20 years ago and got an air compressor, I bought a bunch of cheap air tools from Harbor Freight to get started, thinking that as they break, I'd replace with good stuff. I haven't had to replace anything yet.
busterwivell is offline  
post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 16, 4:01 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Bill
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sahuarita (Tucson) AZ
Posts: 1,761
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

BTW, I think I've seen Craftsman tools for sale at Ace Hardware for a while...........
busterwivell is offline  
post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 16, 9:53 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
JOHN
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: GEORGIA
Posts: 5,807
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

Summit Racing also sells them or did .
FLASHED is offline  
post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 16, 10:54 PM
Team Member
Tony
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 2,046
Garage
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

If the article is correct, Kenmore is also up for sale. Sears appears to be selling all valuable assets in an attempt to pay off debt....and then close.

Very sad.

'69 Malibu 350/TCI TH350/8.2 3.36 Eaton Posi. E-Tec 170s, Lunati 60121HR, RPM Air-Gap, StreetAvenger 670, Pertronix HEI, Hedman 1 5/8" Headers, Moser Axles, PMT 1320R Kit. 12.99@ 105.5MPH
blue_69_malibu is online now  
post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 16, 12:38 AM
Clint
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Athens, Ga.
Posts: 7
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

I worked at a Sears, circa 1999-2000. Part time college job, I went in and said I only wanted to work in the hardware department.

Two issues.

First is that Sears in the way that all of us know it is an anachronism of a retail world gone by. Think 1940, 1960 or maybe even 1980: You bought practically everything at a place like Sears. Clothes, shoes, drapes, tools,washing machines, etc. Heck, Sears sold cars and houses at one point! That's inconceivable now.

Now look at today's marketplace: Much more specialized, more boutique like. You buy cheap jeans at Old Navy, better jeans somewhere else, appliances from Best Buy, drapes from an online vendor like Amazon or Bed, Bath and Beyond, etc. You download all your music, I bought my last suit at Suit Supply, etc. Even without the internet, the old school "we sell everything" retail goliath was doomed and the internet just finished the job.

Second is/was their atrocious management and part of that is just big business' short sighted viewpoint in general. When I worked there (obviously at a very low level, not like I was in the C-suite privvy to the planning convos), they always struck me as a company that just didn't know what to do about the changing marketplace. They just seemed like a bunch of clueless old dudes who couldn't grasp how much the market had changed. They also had a lot of disdain for their customer: it was a lot more important for a person to be greeted 25 times as they walked through the store, as opposed to sales people that actually knew anything about anything. It never felt lie they had a 5 year plan............... it always felt like they were going to cut our hours even more, so this quarters numbers would be slightly better and they could get slightly better bonuses and they'd worry about the next quarter next week.

Had it been me in 1999, I would have done what they're doing now, except maybe twenty years ago it might have been early enough to save the brands.

Now, in everyone's drive to be the best Harbor Freight, they've made Craftsman into Crapsman and no one will care about anyway. Lets face it, all the Crapsman buyers have either moved downmarket into HF/Kobalt/whatever or they've moved upmarket into Snap-On, etc. I have a ton of old Craftsman and as it dies it gets replaced with Snap-on. It sucks, but what are you going to do?
Schurkey and yelchevelle like this.

1968 Chevelle Malibu 307/M20
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2
1968 Baifield M274A5
1987 AM General M35A2C
1987 Turtle Mountain M105A2
armytrucks is offline  
post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 16, 10:31 AM
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 4,613
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_69_malibu View Post
If the article is correct, Kenmore is also up for sale. Sears appears to be selling all valuable assets in an attempt to pay off debt....and then close.

Very sad.
If they are gonna close why pay of debt? File bankruptcy and be done with it. There are two versions of bankruptcy, one where you plan to reorganize and come back which is called Chapter 11 I think. The other version is used when there is no intention to try to come back. IMHO Sears is in the latter category. Its the American way these days.
oman is offline  
post #11 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 16, 10:35 AM
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 4,613
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagner View Post
Apparently Sears is putting some of its brands on the auction block. It will take some really good management to promote Craftsman tools in the light of Harbor Freight's improved quality with much lower prices. Getting away from the high overhead of a Sears store may help to lower prices. I was a bit surprised to see that Milwaukee is owned by a Chinese company. Dang that globalization.

Sears?s Craftsman Said to Get Interest From Black & Decker - Bloomberg
Harbor Freight improved quality...really? I gave up on them years ago. Maybe I need to take a ride to HF and see what they are offering.
VMXRACER likes this.
oman is offline  
post #12 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 16, 11:00 AM
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 4,613
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

A general reply here. First of all I am a Craftsman tool owner and I still have most of the set I bought in 1969 as a "starter set". Part of the problem, PART of the problem, is the fact that most people in America want things to be cheap....we can argue why it is that way forever and absolutely I don't wanna hear it is all Obamas personal fault for hollowing out the middle class. That hollowing has been going on FOREVER. Agreed, Obama and the US Congress has failed to lift one single finger stop it or even to minimize it so lets not go there just this one time please. Leave "Our Leader" out of this thread...please .

People want inexpensive everything and in that sense it is our fault to some degree. People will almost invariably pick the cheapest tool they can find. Professionals and guys like us who remember the good old days of quality tools are different, we still want quality. The average stiff out there has no concept of a quality tool lasting him a lifetime. He wants to install a new light switch on the wall and if he does not burn down his house or electrocute himself he may be done with that screwdriver forever. People just think that way these days. Many kids today (except the kids of folks like those on this board) don't even know what a screwdriver is.

I buy brands like Milwaukee and DeWalt with the following thought process..."I am going to use this tool a lot and I don't want to buy another one". I bought a John Deere lawn tractor in the early 80's, the dealer showed me lower end units that might have done the job...maybe. I told him ..."I don't EVER want to buy another one of these, never ever. I want a machine with more power than the minimum because my lawn has a lot of hills that need mowing. I want that extra power so I am not running the daylights out of it ever time I use it. I want a full flow oil filter and a pressure not splash oil system on the engine, I want.......". I paid $2600 back in 1981 and all I have done to that machine, besides use the hell out of it every year since then, is change the oil and replace a couple of tires and a few batteries. People don't shop that way anymore, they want it cheap and as a result they get it cheap. If we had refused to buy the China junk out there these days it would have languished on the shelves and the business people would have gotten the message years ago. We bought the junk, the business guys took note and now with a few exceptions all we have is cheap China sourced junk to chose from.
oman is offline  
post #13 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 16, 11:08 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Under the hood of some musclecar
Posts: 25,532
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

Yup,back in the day Craftsman was the brand to buy for the guy who couldn't afford Snap On or Matco...bought my rollaway 25+ years ago and many thousands of dollars of Craftsman tools.

Since Craftsman's "quality" vs. price sucks now, Harbor Freight gets my business when I need something. Years ago, I wouldn't touch their stuff.
No complaints on their $99 welder,$159 air compressor or $19 spray guns for painting parts
mr 4 speed is offline  
post #14 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 16, 1:02 PM
Tech Team
Will
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lagrange, GA
Posts: 88
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oman View Post
A general reply here. First of all I am a Craftsman tool owner and I still have most of the set I bought in 1969 as a "starter set". Part of the problem, PART of the problem, is the fact that most people in America want things to be cheap....we can argue why it is that way forever and absolutely I don't wanna hear it is all Obamas personal fault for hollowing out the middle class. That hollowing has been going on FOREVER. Agreed, Obama and the US Congress has failed to lift one single finger stop it or even to minimize it so lets not go there just this one time please. Leave "Our Leader" out of this thread...please .

People want inexpensive everything and in that sense it is our fault to some degree. People will almost invariably pick the cheapest tool they can find. Professionals and guys like us who remember the good old days of quality tools are different, we still want quality. The average stiff out there has no concept of a quality tool lasting him a lifetime. He wants to install a new light switch on the wall and if he does not burn down his house or electrocute himself he may be done with that screwdriver forever. People just think that way these days. Many kids today (except the kids of folks like those on this board) don't even know what a screwdriver is.

I buy brands like Milwaukee and DeWalt with the following thought process..."I am going to use this tool a lot and I don't want to buy another one". I bought a John Deere lawn tractor in the early 80's, the dealer showed me lower end units that might have done the job...maybe. I told him ..."I don't EVER want to buy another one of these, never ever. I want a machine with more power than the minimum because my lawn has a lot of hills that need mowing. I want that extra power so I am not running the daylights out of it ever time I use it. I want a full flow oil filter and a pressure not splash oil system on the engine, I want.......". I paid $2600 back in 1981 and all I have done to that machine, besides use the hell out of it every year since then, is change the oil and replace a couple of tires and a few batteries. People don't shop that way anymore, they want it cheap and as a result they get it cheap. If we had refused to buy the China junk out there these days it would have languished on the shelves and the business people would have gotten the message years ago. We bought the junk, the business guys took note and now with a few exceptions all we have is cheap China sourced junk to chose from.
I agree it isn't a political thing either. I think politics on both sides have tried to capitalize on the emotions of the American people. I truly believe the middle class is still there. I think our society has changed so much in the economic values that we hold dear to our heart. The generations of the great depression, world war II and even up to the Vietnam war saw the value in the quality of the products they bought. They bought stuff to last a lifetime. They delayed buying more so that when they bought something it lasted a really long time. They knew what it was like to be without, and what it was like not to be able to get it.

My generation and younger are so spoiled with the instant gratification that we have come to expect. We expect to start life off where it took our parents years to get. In the mean time, our houses are bigger, we have internet bills, cable bills, multiple cars in a household, cell phone bills, student loan bills, ridiculous medical bills/health insurance ,etc. A couple starting life in the 1950's didn't have most of this. They slowly accumulated stuff throughout their life time, but they didn't finance their life away either. This has bled into the tool industry. Now it is either cheap or expensive. The middle class's wealth is being eroded by the instant gratification and finance charges. If you invested all of the unnecessary wasted money, the compounding of that would be more than enough for a good retirement.

My hope is that I can buy the really nice, well made, used stuff along the way at really affordable prices. I have decided that it is a better investment to wait on professional, high quality tools through private party sales. Nobody even looked at that old wooden tool box that I bought. If you bought all of the tools new in that tool box, it probably would cost you over 1500 bucks. I paid 185 bucks for the box and its contents. That was the price they asked for it. I didn't even make a lower offer, and I couldn't believe the deal I was getting. You don't run across deals like that everyday, but if you keep your eyes open they are there.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	_2.IMG_20161001_113331[1].jpg
Views:	147
Size:	53.8 KB
ID:	392217  
JFS65 and b&b's69 like this.
yelchevelle is online now  
post #15 of 66 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 16, 1:38 PM
Team Member
Mike
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Long Island,NY
Posts: 165
Garage
Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oman View Post
People don't shop that way anymore, they want it cheap and as a result they get it cheap. If we had refused to buy the China junk out there these days it would have languished on the shelves and the business people would have gotten the message years ago. We bought the junk, the business guys took note and now with a few exceptions all we have is cheap China sourced junk to chose from.

In all fairness to sears I recall filling our one of their surveys not long ago(I was bored) where one of the questions was "Would you be willing to pay more for American made items?" If you answered yes to that, in the next question they asked you to pick the percentage premium you'd be willing to pay for said American made item from a range of choices. So the question was on their radar at some point. I suspect they didn't get an overwhelming number of Yes responses to that question, or if they did, not a lot of follow- through when it came time to make a purchase.


I personally buy American made whenever possible unless its something I'm only going to use once maybe twice. That goes especially when it comes to parts for the car,. The idea of having a Chinese made part on my Chevelle just doesn't sit well, even if the fit and function is just fine. Not always a choice though
p40 likes this.
deffmike is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Chevelle Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address. Note, you will be sent a confirmation request to this address.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome