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joshuatree
April 17th, 2007, 06:52 PM
Anyone used Craftsman tools on a regular basis? Any feedback? Better to invest in other tools like Dewalt or Makita instead? TIA

helen
April 17th, 2007, 07:00 PM
What kind of tools? Screwdrivers? Hammers? Pliers? Toolboxes?

joshuatree
April 17th, 2007, 07:14 PM
Guess that would help. :D

Sorry, was thinking more of power tools, a power drill and a miter saw.

Da Rolling Eye
April 17th, 2007, 07:25 PM
Well....they are cheap. :D
Unfortunately, I've owned cheaper that was better. :confused:
Hand tools are great and Sears will honor all lifetime warranty returns on wrenches, ratchets and screwdrivers. It don't work with their power tools.

Btw, I've been using a Black and Decker cordless drill for the past 4 years with no problems. I like the "bayonet" style chuck and the torque limiter for running screws and such.

I've owned Craftsman power tools in the past and they all felt....flimsy, for lack of a better word and all of them fell apart to some degree within a short time. I'm talking saber saws, circular saws, hand sanders and drill motors.

If you can afford them, yeah, Makita, Dewalt, Bosch and others are your best bet for the investment.

joshuatree
April 17th, 2007, 07:34 PM
Appreciate the input. Yeah, I noticed Craftsman power tools were on average, cheaper. Thus I wanted to find out if they are a bang for the buck or better to invest a little more and get a higher quality tool. Sounds like avoiding Craftsman is better if I want tools that last.

blueyecicle
April 17th, 2007, 08:25 PM
I have had a Black a Decker cordless drill for 5 years. Never a problem!

But I have a weird story....Craftsman are warrantied for life...I used to know this old farmer he must have been 80.(4 years ago)
Well he had this very old Craftsman tool....at least 50 years old.
It broke...I wish I could remember exaclty what it was....
anyways, he took it to Sears and they don't make them anymore they only make newer electric ones...it was some kind of hand driven heavy duty drill....

So they gave him a brand spankin new one after 50 years of use! Because it broke..
Can't beat a warranty like that!!

i-hungry
April 17th, 2007, 08:31 PM
Like the Rolling Eye said, the warranty is on the hand tools.

Da Rolling Eye
April 17th, 2007, 09:26 PM
I have had a Black a Decker cordless drill for 5 years. Never a problem!

But I have a weird story....Craftsman are warrantied for life...I used to know this old farmer he must have been 80.(4 years ago)
Well he had this very old Craftsman tool....at least 50 years old.
It broke...I wish I could remember exaclty what it was....
anyways, he took it to Sears and they don't make them anymore they only make newer electric ones...it was some kind of hand driven heavy duty drill....

So they gave him a brand spankin new one after 50 years of use! Because it broke..
Can't beat a warranty like that!!
Hmmm. That's interesting. Sure would like to see what it was.

I came into possesion of some very old Craftsman 1/2" drive ratchets. 3 of them, all rusty and none worked properly. 2 were at least 50 yrs. old. Took them down to Sears and the young man helping me laughed and said he'd never seen ratchets like these before. Told him they were more than twice his age. I now have 3 shiny, refurbished 1/2" drive ratchets that work. Also a couple of brand new 3/8" drive ratchets that I had bought some 25 years ago. :)

Sears is great about the warranty. No questions. Just tell them what's up and they'll tell you to go look for the brand new replacements. Sure do wish that lifetime warranty was good on their power tools as well.

Btw, if you have Craftsman screwdrivers, any type, that are chipped or rounded, they will exchange them for new ones. My whole screwdriver set is now brand new also. :) I be one happy grumpy old fut. :D

blueyecicle
April 17th, 2007, 09:43 PM
I know I wish I could remember. ....He had used it to fix his tractor for many years it was a huge piece. But I can't for the life of me think of what it was.

Hellbent
April 18th, 2007, 12:22 AM
I shelled out $25 the other weekend for a Craftsman screwdriver because I saw a coworker with it. Its very nice.

timkona
April 18th, 2007, 07:22 AM
For handtools, Craftsman are #1, no question about it. The compressors are bullet proof also.

For small cordless power tools, I buy DrillMastr 18v from Harbor Freight.

For larger corded power tools, I like the DeWalt Compound Miter Saw, I like a Milwaukee Sawzall, I like the Makita Cordless Imact Driver for drywall screws and repetitive work like that, a Senco Nailgun, and the trusty old Mag 77 for cutting.. Bosch tools break. So do Porter Cable tools. Hitachi Nail Guns are notorious "double pumpers". Even saw a guy put a nail through his thumb with a Hitachi Gun. Overall, if I had to choose 1 brand, it would be DeWalt.

You gotta break a lot of tools to be as heavy of an expert as I am at the various tools.

cezanne
April 18th, 2007, 07:09 PM
The only powered Craftsman tool I have is my 33 gal compressor. Like said, the warranty on the hand tools is unbeatable. Other than that, the powered tools are Crapsman. My wife bought me a Craftsman router that I've used once...she thinks I use it all the time but she doesnt know that I bought a Porter Cable one to really use:D .

To Josh: DeWalt for drills and cordlesses, Hitachi or DeWalt for miter saws. Just my opinion.

Da Rolling Eye
April 18th, 2007, 08:04 PM
We ended up at Kmart this evening, so I stopped by the tools and checked out the Craftsman power tools. I gotta admit, the new stuff looks good. The feel and heft rival the better brands. The don't feel like plastic toys anymore. I checked out the power drills and reciprocating saws. Nice. The miter saw also seemed pretty solid. All are made in China, so you might want to shop around for American made tools if that makes a difference for you. :)

To be honest, the new cordless drills seemed more solidly made than the B&D I was boasting about. :D

Pua'i Mana'o
April 18th, 2007, 08:20 PM
my husband has had 75% of his tools for longer than he has known me. Back when he was young, single, gainfully employed and living at home with his folks, he developed a passion for Snap-On tools. I am glad he bought it then, when he didn't have bills, and always have admired at such a good "youthful obsession" to develop. His tools are well-used and in perfect shape.

The only other brand of tools he will spend a penny on is Craftsman. Quality!

craigwatanabe
April 19th, 2007, 01:15 AM
For handtools, Craftsman are #1, no question about it. The compressors are bullet proof also.

For small cordless power tools, I buy DrillMastr 18v from Harbor Freight.

For larger corded power tools, I like the DeWalt Compound Miter Saw, I like a Milwaukee Sawzall, I like the Makita Cordless Imact Driver for drywall screws and repetitive work like that, a Senco Nailgun, and the trusty old Mag 77 for cutting.. Bosch tools break. So do Porter Cable tools. Hitachi Nail Guns are notorious "double pumpers". Even saw a guy put a nail through his thumb with a Hitachi Gun. Overall, if I had to choose 1 brand, it would be DeWalt.

You gotta break a lot of tools to be as heavy of an expert as I am at the various tools.


For those interested in free lifetime service plans, you may want to consider the Ridgid line of power tools. Ridgid will also replacetheir cordless tool batteries for life. Yeah...for life. If the battery goes bad even after five years, ten years...whatever years, Ridgid will replace it...FREE under their lifetime service agreement which also is free of charge.

Dewalt is manufactured by Black and Decker and is considered B&D's upscale line of tools.

Hitachi is considered one of the best when it comes to framing pneumatic nailers.

As for impact drivers, Yes Makita is the way to go, now with the 18v Lithium Ion battery packs. These batteries are about the same size and heft as the older Makita 12v cordless impacts but have longer run times and higher power outputs. Lithium Ion also loves to be topped off unlike other types of rechargables.

Milwaukee Sawzall...one of the best if not the best, but if you want cordless reciprocating saw power, get the Dewalt 18volt cordless reciprocating saw. I used one and was able to cut 60-feet of 3/4" galvanized pipe into 14" sections on one battery. Dewalt 18v batteries have long run times

Skill also makes the Mag 77 and is a great 7-1/4"circular saw

Regarding Craftsman power tools, remember, they do not manufacture their own tools, they typically will have a manufacturer place their names on another brand name.

In the TV Sitcom Home Improvement, Tim Allen in real life has begun marketing his own line of power tools sold exclusively at Sears under the Home Improvement label. Those tools are actually Ryobi power tools re-labelled. Ryobi is built all over the world but here in the USA, it is built in the Ridgid plant I think in Cincinatti.

Da Rolling Eye
April 19th, 2007, 06:24 AM
That's some really good info, Craig. Thanks. :)

TATTRAT
April 19th, 2007, 07:13 AM
Rigid makes an awesome line of power tools, but for hand tools, I like Craftsman. Just the fact that everything can be replaced for life is worth it. I have never had a problem with them.

joshuatree
April 19th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Looks like even with power tools, one brand may excel in one area while another excels in another.

TATTRAT
April 19th, 2007, 10:20 AM
That is very true. As far as tools are concerned, i have never put all my eggs in one basket. There a numerous brands, and all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

When it comes to certain things, like long term investments like tools, weigh the options like a financial investment, see what the returns are. Get more bang for the buck.

craigwatanabe
April 20th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Rigid makes an awesome line of power tools, but for hand tools, I like Craftsman. Just the fact that everything can be replaced for life is worth it. I have never had a problem with them.


One word of caution with Sears' return policy. They are getting pretty akamai about abuse and if they see abnormal wear on their sockets, they can reject the replacement. They had a bulletin go out to all Sears Hardware departments nationwide where they illustrated how a standard socket that was returned cracked was improperly used with an impact wrench.

If they see the typical wear-pattern of an impact tool's mark on the drive side of a socket they are authorized not to take the damaged socket in for replacement.

At Home Depot we exclusively sell the HUSKY brand including a limited variety of hand tools including socket sets. HUSKY like Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty. One thing about HUSKY is that because it is sold exclusively at Home Depot, if for ANY REASON you aren't satisfied by their products, you 90-days to return it Hassle free at Home Depot. It doesn't matter if you used it, it doesn't matter if it's pretty beat up. We'll take it back.

One product line I wished we carried is the Kobalt hand tools sold by Lowes. Those are some pretty nice tools.

eatpoi
April 21st, 2007, 04:00 AM
At Home Depot we exclusively sell the HUSKY brand including a limited variety of hand tools including socket sets. HUSKY like Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty. One thing about HUSKY is that because it is sold exclusively at Home Depot, if for ANY REASON you aren't satisfied by their products, you 90-days to return it Hassle free at Home Depot. It doesn't matter if you used it, it doesn't matter if it's pretty beat up. We'll take it back.

One product line I wished we carried is the Kobalt hand tools sold by Lowes. Those are some pretty nice tools.

Are the HUSKY and KOBALT line of tools just as good as Craftsman? I'm basically looking for a set of mechanics tools (sockets, rachets, wrenches etc.).

Da Rolling Eye
April 21st, 2007, 06:45 AM
Are the HUSKY and KOBALT line of tools just as good as Craftsman? I'm basically looking for a set of mechanics tools (sockets, rachets, wrenches etc.).
I can vouch for the Husky brand as they've been around more than Kobalt. Used to use them when I worked at Pearl Harbor Shipyard along with Craftsman and Snap-on. If I had to rate the three in order, it would start with Snap-on, Husky then Craftsman. I don't recall seeing any Kobalt tools in those days probably because it's the new kid on the block?...so really can't say anything about it. :)

TATTRAT
April 21st, 2007, 07:20 AM
Snap-on, FTW.









on a side note, did you know John Wayne Bobbit is the president of Snap-on tools?:D

cezanne
April 21st, 2007, 09:31 AM
Snap-on, FTW.



FTW= For The Wrich? :D

craigwatanabe
April 21st, 2007, 01:14 PM
Craftsman has never been it's own brand. Long ago Craftsman used to stamp their name on Snap-On tools, then for a while it was True Value. I've even seen some Husky power tools rebranded with the Craftsman name.

Sears's appliances are the same. Kenmore is basically Frigidaire, Whirlpool, GE, Kitchen Aid etc.

For a while Sears sold their line of TV and Home Audio equipment under the LXI brand. Basically LXI was some cheap South Korean knock off brand.

If you can afford Snap-On...that is the way to go. Another excellent brand is Proto and is sold by NAPA.

But whatever you do, DON'T buy from Harbor Freight. They sell the cheap knock off brands. My dad thought he was buying some highly discounted Chicago Pneumatic air tools from HF. What he got was some Chinese made products that bore the name CPI. The logo looked remarkably like Chicago Pneumatic's CP logo. Obviously an attempt to misguide a novice tool user.

When it comes to tools I buy locally so if and when they do break there's a brick and mortar store front to return and look the shop owner in the eye demanding action instead of some voice mail system where you log an automatic complaint.

LikaNui
April 21st, 2007, 01:55 PM
Craig (or anyone else), I'm curious what you think of or have heard about the Milwaukee Sawzall.
I just bought one last week to use for same hardcore landscaping projects here, trimming and thinning out huge clumps of areca palms and also cutting back some hau and others that are taking over part of this 14-acre property. I was using hand saws and finally saw the wisdom of using an electric hand saw as sort of a mini chain saw deal. Lovin' it so far. Just curious if there are any opinions from anyone who's used a Milwaukee Sawzall.

craigwatanabe
April 21st, 2007, 02:13 PM
Milwaukee undoubtedly makes the best reciprocating saw on the market.

Spec wise this is what you want to look for in a reciprocating saw:

1) Stroke length - The longer the stroke the faster the cut
2) Strokes per minute - The more strokes the faster the cut

So if you have a reciprocating saw that has longer stroke and the highest strokes per minute you have a winner!

Milwaukee has both.

For pruning the best reciprocating saw blade is made by SKIL under the "Ugly" name. This is a highly serrated blade of varying tooth height (eliminates sawdust packing between teeth) that is Teflon coated.

This combination of varying teeth and Teflon coating allows this blade to make even the weakest reciprocating saw into a powerful pruning tool. It will cut thru Ohia logs faster than any other wood saw blade for reciprocating saws and we sell it in our Hardware department at Home Depot as well as Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Dewalt and Ryobi reciprocating saws. MIlwaukee also sells a reciprocating saw that allows the cutting head to pivot so you don't have to twist your wrist to cut horizontally great for demolishing work.

na alii
April 21st, 2007, 04:57 PM
One word of caution with Sears' return policy. They are getting pretty akamai about abuse and if they see abnormal wear on their sockets, they can reject the replacement. They had a bulletin go out to all Sears Hardware departments nationwide where they illustrated how a standard socket that was returned cracked was improperly used with an impact wrench.

If they see the typical wear-pattern of an impact tool's mark on the drive side of a socket they are authorized not to take the damaged socket in for replacement.

At Home Depot we exclusively sell the HUSKY brand including a limited variety of hand tools including socket sets. HUSKY like Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty. One thing about HUSKY is that because it is sold exclusively at Home Depot, if for ANY REASON you aren't satisfied by their products, you 90-days to return it Hassle free at Home Depot. It doesn't matter if you used it, it doesn't matter if it's pretty beat up. We'll take it back.

One product line I wished we carried is the Kobalt hand tools sold by Lowes. Those are some pretty nice tools.

They're starting to become like Snap-On. I remember the times when it was no questions asked return policy on their lifetime guarantee for both Snap-On and Sears.

LikaNui
April 21st, 2007, 07:39 PM
Extremely helpful response, Craig. Mahalo nui!

:)

craigwatanabe
April 22nd, 2007, 09:24 AM
Extremely helpful response, Craig. Mahalo nui!

:)

If you can afford Milwaukee's new line of Lithium-Ion 28v cordless tools then that's a great set to have.

But if you require long run times and a decent cordless reciprocating saw then go for the Dewalt 18V saw coupled with the Skil Ugly blade. Perfect combination for your kind of work at a decent price.

cezanne
April 22nd, 2007, 10:15 AM
Milwaukee undoubtedly makes the best reciprocating saw on the market.



Word. The Milwaukee corded Sawzall is a beast. It will dismantle a house in no time.

Kungpao
April 23rd, 2007, 05:19 AM
someone mentioned harbour freight. FWIW, Harbour Freight hand tools are also guaranteed for life.

I look at power tools this way. Buy a decent affordable brand according to the jobs that you plan on doing for it. For instance, most of my tools are B&D. Would I like DeWalt tools? Absolutely! Do I plan on doing projects that require the durability of the contractor grade tools? Nope. I'll settle for my less expensive b&d. As for sears power tools, I haven't had any problems with the ones I own.

craigwatanabe
April 23rd, 2007, 10:12 PM
someone mentioned harbour freight. FWIW, Harbour Freight hand tools are also guaranteed for life.

I look at power tools this way. Buy a decent affordable brand according to the jobs that you plan on doing for it. For instance, most of my tools are B&D. Would I like DeWalt tools? Absolutely! Do I plan on doing projects that require the durability of the contractor grade tools? Nope. I'll settle for my less expensive b&d. As for sears power tools, I haven't had any problems with the ones I own.

Harbor Freight can warrant their products for life because their markup is so high it's cheaper to simply replace a defective product that has a high percentage markup. They take a chance the product won't break or if it does the customer won't take advantage of the warranty because of their cheap retail price. But if the product does come back for warranty service, a simple replacement is all that's needed because the initial retail sale probably just paid for the replacement several times over.

Regarding picking the value for the job, I agree. Home Depot sells Ryobi all the way up to Dewalt, Ridgid, Makita and other professional lines of tools. If a customer tells me he's just doing work around the house or a simple addition to the garage, a Ryobi table saw is fine. I have the $99 10" Ryobi table saw and am quite satisfied with it. It'll rip an 8' long 2x4 stud into a 2x3 with no problem.

But if you buy tools because you are a carpenter or rely on your tools for your bread and butter, I don't recommend Ryobi at all. The only time I do recommend Ryobi to contractors is for back up. Many carpenters come in because their tools were stolen at the jobsite while they ate lunch. When that happens, they have to stop work, rush down to a tool store and buy another set while there's still sunshine to work in.

I tell them that the Ryobi cordless combo sets are so cheap (under $250 for a 7-piece set) that they can keep that set in their truck ready to complete a job if their expensive professional brand tools are lost, stolen or break.

When you're out at a jobsite, for every tool that breaks or gets stolen, that's hourly wages you don't earn. If you earn $25 an hour and it takes you three hours to buy another cordless impact drill, that's $75 out of your pocket. You can buy a cordless Ryobi impact drill for under $70 and finish the job and not lose any wages. The standby paid for itself at that point.

I have Ryobi cordless power tools and with that I built a 10x10 cottage in my backyard. Less than $350 in tools total and the job's done plus the tools are still working for the next project.