Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: CRAFTSMAN TOOLS now owned by K-MART
Do you think Craftsman tools have gone down since K-Mart took over? [3 vote(s)]

Yes
33.3%
No
33.3%
I never liked Craftsman
33.3%


OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8381
Date:
CRAFTSMAN TOOLS now owned by K-MART


I figured I would have to do a thread about Craftsman tools given the fact that everyone has at least a few of them.

Craftsman tools was a "Sears" exclusive back in the days and offered low priced, generally quality tools with lifetime guarantees. Back in the day exchanging a Craftsman tool at Sears was a no hassle deal.

While craftsman tools have always been pretty tuff, they are no where near as nice as Snap-On. The quality of Snap-On comes with a price.

I am curious just how a bankrupt company such as K-Mart is able to take over a giant like Sears? Now you can buy and exchange Craftsman tools at K-Mart stores also. K-Mart has done a real fine job of screwing up the Craftsman line. For starters the selection of tools at the K-Mart stores is POOR at best. You would be lucky for them to have a tool in stock to exchange. I also hear the warranty process is a real pain in the ass if you are lucky enough for them to have the tool needed for exchange.

While Craftsman has always had a place in my tool collection (Usually for allowing others to use when helping me wrench), I have serious doubts about the quality of tools that will hit the market now that K-Mart owns them.



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8381
Date:

Well I went to K-Mart the other day to exchange a pump and figured I would take in a few older sockets that had split on me for replacement.

Seems the K-Mart by me anyway, does not sell individual sockets, and thus does not exchange sockets. Pretty frustrating considering they had a nice little craftsman place mat.

Anyway... Guess Ill just have to hold on to them for another year before I finally goto Sears.

__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

Yo SELLC,

All through my years of working on cars and bikes etc, like many of us, we come across all different types of brands of tools etc etc. I have to say the Snap-On is a good quality product, but really over the top on price,- especially here in Oz. I will say that the durability of all their sockets, whether impact, 1/2" or 3/8" drive are just about un-breakable...I've always bought the single -hex sockets, so that 's probably a big plus in its favour...To this day, I haven't broken a Snap-On socket !
However....Possibly the best hand-tools that I've ever had the pleasure to work with, ( open-end spanners and ring-spanners, screw drivers, and pliers etc etc) would by far be a German brand by the name of StahlWille. These tools are simply amazing to use. They won't break,( they're designed to bend when over-stressed ), are the most comfortable in your hand like you wouldn't believe, they look better and shinier as they age ( the frosted silver finish wears into like a chrome finish ), and after 20 years of use, still grip onto fasteners like the day I bought them ! They're also unbelievably light in weight, which makes the larger sizes easier to manage for longer periods of time. If you or anybody else can get them, buy them, because they are by far the best that I've ever used, and you won't think twice about your purchase after you've used them ! (You will probably want to sell your Snap-On tools...No shit !) STAHLWILLE IS THAT GOOD !!!

Cheers,

Rastus

__________________


OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8381
Date:

That's a pretty bold statement Rastus!

Perhaps you could throw together a little Snap-On / STAHLWILLE side by side to back up these claims. I personally think Snap-On has EVERYONE beat in terms of automotive tools but I'll leave you to your proofs.

Nothing out there like a Snap-On, in fact I have been slowly converting my sockets and wrenches to Snap-On. I been buying them one at a time on eBay for a very good price. Almost have my metric wrench set covered then it's on to the 1/2 impact metrics.

Also picked up a nice SnapOn fuel pressure and vacuum gauge on eBay for a fair price. Many people will claim tools are as good as SnapOn but when it comes to automotive tools you can't beat SnapOn in terms of quality and design. I use hand tools every day, and I am a little picky.

Seems Craftsman has gone down hill in terms of quality. Busted 3 17mm 3/8 deepwells in less than 6 months. At some point you have to wonder... Guess its time to buy an impact style 3/8 17mm deepwell on eBay!



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

Hey SELLC,

It would be difficult to put the brands up against each other, as they are both top-quality, and both will have their good and bad points ! But I will NOT take back saying that the Stahl-Wille brand feels so much better to use, especially for your hands. The Snap-On tools have great finish and fit, but when you have to apply a heap of pressure etc to crack-off or tighten a fastener, the "squared-off" edges along the holding section (stem) of the spanner almost "bite" into your hands. By contrast, the Stahl-Wille spanner has large rounded holding / grip sections that will allow you apply a heap more force before your hands give-in to pain ! I can only recommend that you try these amazing tools out. When it comes to using these things on an everyday basis, The Stahl-Wille really shines !

I have a Snap-On 3/8'' ratchet, ( I think the the part number is FN-20 ), and I've put it through hell over the years of ownership, as it's basically a pressed h-beam ratchet ( at least it looks as such) with a small head on it, so it gets into many places that others can't, and it also allows you to easily fit a spark-plug tube socket over its end ( like you find in the boot of a MB's tool-kit ). And after 15-odd years of this type of usage, a tooth finally broke ! Much to my surprise, Snap-On rebuilt the ratchet "no-questions asked", even after all this time. Their warranty service is fantastic !

Good tools are good tools, and you get to appreciate them all for different reasons. I really like the fact that the Stahl-Wille spanners will bend rather break though ! Even their screw-drivers twist in the shaft ( not the blade ) when you approach the proper torque for the size blade-head used. This means that you won't overtighten ( though you still can ) say radiator hose-clamps that fit on to the now common plastic header tanks on radiators, or over-stress the clamp itself or strip its thread etc etc. The little things like this is what I like best about these particular tools. Maybe on-day you'll come across some of them at the right price, and then I assure you that you won't need any convincing !

Cheers,

Rastus

__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

Also SELLC,

I did here a"rumour" that the tools branded "T&E" are also made at the same place as Snap-On...The rumour even went on to suggest that they are the same tools, only re-badged...So if anyone would like to buy Snap-On, but can't afford them, maybe T&E would be an option, as apparently they're the one & the same...I've honestly heard the same statements made by a number of dealers, and it kind of makes sense, as ( here in Oz anyhow), you can only buy "new" Snap-On tools from the Snap-On man who visits you in his service-truck...I probably shouldn't have posted this really, as it's all a rumour, and I only prefer to post about facts, not hear-say, but when you hear the same thing so many times from different people in the "know", there may be some truth in it all. Anyhow, Stahl-Wille will always be the ONLY pick for me as far as spanners etc go.

Also, when you suggested a side by side comparison, what did you mean or want me to do ?

Cheers,

Rastus.



-- Edited by Rastus on Monday 20th of May 2013 04:02:08 AM

__________________


OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8381
Date:

Ok here is one for you Rastas... Since you are a fellow Mercedes guy perhaps you will find some interest in this..

Mercedes-Benz's EPC is run with Snap-On software.

With regards to backing up the claim, I was just hoping maybe you had some photos of these tools. Maybe a side by side of a Snap on 15mm wrench with one of the wrenches you speak of. I am always interested in seeing new things.

I know that Snap-On does not just stop at hand tools, they pretty much offer the full automotive spectrum if you will. Does your brand just deal in hand tools?

Another concern would be the bending of wrenches. I know I'd be upset if I bent a wrench trying to get a bolt loose. Sometimes I double up wrenches so the idea of having one bend is not something that seems like a positive. I personally have yet to break a snap-on wrench by hand but I know I beat the snot out of my wrenches. 



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

Hi SELLC,

Snap-On are a top quality tool ! They're well respected the world over, and since MB's EPC is run with Snap-On software, this would only prove the respect they have from not only MB, but other car makers. ( NB I would bet that Bosch is cheesed-off at this result ! LOL ). The point of the StahlWille tools bending when over-stressed is actually a safety feature so that your tool & your hands etc don't go flying off & injuring fellow workmates or damaging cars etc etc. It's also a tell-tale to let you know that there's something very-wrong, and maybe another way to get the job done has to be sought-out LOL !... ( Another tool & piece of long pipe ! LOL).

At the moment I'm away from my tool-box, however I will be more than happy to supply pics ASAP, but we'll have to wait sorry...Alternatively, I can confirm that StahlWille would probably make just as many different types of tools as Snap-On, & they actually make Specific MB tool-kits ! Should you get a chance, just Google them & follow the prompts, & type in Mercedes Benz in their search-bar, & you'll find a full range of MB specific tools ! They were also at one time the makers ( possibly still are now ) of all the "special-tools" that you need to work on MB's, to get the job done quickly as they're specifically made for the task...- (eg, tappet adjusting spanners for the twin-cams & early V-8's were initially made by StahlWille so that you didn't have to remove the "snap-in" clips etc to adjust your valve-lash etc.) I would nearly guarantee that most Dealerships would have a very-healthy supply of these tools hanging on their "special-tool"board ! There are many other "special-tools" made by these guys that make your life easier & allow you to work quicker. Irrespective of all this, I can't stress enough how good their hand-tools are to use, especially the larger ones because they're so light in weight. I really hope that you're lucky enough to find some, as I know that you of all people would probably come to appreciate them the most, since you work with hand-tools/spanners everyday. It's not so much that they're "better" than Snap-On, it's that they're "nicer" to use than Snap-On...

Cheers,

Rastus

__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

IMG_1614.JPG

IMG_1617.JPG

Hello folks,

Please find a couple of hurried snaps of most of my hand-tools, namely the StahlWille brand, as asked by SELLC. You'll see my favourite & indestructable Snap-On 3/8'' drive ratchet in the middle, with some other Snap-On open-box spanners on the top right. I didn't have time to clean them sorry, but they're still pretty shiney anyhow ! The other shot is so you can compare the beams of the spanners when compared against one-another, & though a poor close-up, you should still see how much more comfortable the StahlWille is to use under full-strength by its much larger & rounded edges. They really are a very-nice bit-of-kit to use !

Cheers,

Rastus

PS Oh yeah, all of the above tools are around 20 years old & going strong, with around 15-odd years of use "everyday", when I was working as a Mechanic for a living...( I still am, but I don't have to take these tools on-board the ships I now work/sail on, though I wish I could LOL )



-- Edited by Rastus on Wednesday 19th of June 2013 08:33:51 AM

Attachments
__________________


OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8381
Date:

I don't know Rastus... Seems the SW lack in the cosmetic department. No chrome, and somewhat plain / industrial looking. I know the real test comes when you hold a wrench in your hand and use it so I can't say just by looking at them if they work/feel better in the hand, but in terms of looks, SnapOn has got SW beat. That's not to say SnapOn is all looks either, as they hold up better than anything else I have purchased/owned in the past. SnapOn feels good in the hand too.

You know Rastus; these tools above have a striking resemblance to the Mercedes Benz wrenches / tool kit that are included with most all W126 Mercedes! The screw drivers especially.

I have found the Mercedes tool kit to be quite handy and pretty good quality too for an emergency tool kit.

I wonder if SW made the tools for the W126 tool kits? They really look similar.

Thanks for the photos! As a mechanic it interests me to learn about different tools, although I have to admit SnapOn still gives me the biggest boner.

 



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8381
Date:

I will agree with you that the SW tools look to have a more comfortable shaft (wrenches) as you have mentioned.

Less of a point to dig into the palm. They also look pretty light weight too.

Can't say I have ever seen any tools like them this side of the pond (except in a MB took kit).



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

Hey SELLC,

It's quite possible that the tool-kits had these tools in there, MB seemed to use a few different brands, as I remember Hazet & Gedore to name a few, but I have seen SW in there kits.
Don't forget though, with the SW being less "fancy" as far as looks go, & from what you say, they're relatively unknown in the USA, this would have to make them a better choice, as potential thieves might over-look them as they're not stamped with the Snap-On name LOL ! I used to have a few more Snap-On tools, but guess what happened to them ?...Though upset, I was grateful that they left my SW's alone, then I would have really been pissed !!! LOL. They're both good tools, & just as some people like Ford, while others like GM, some will like Snap-On, others StahlWille !

Cheers,

Rastus

__________________


OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8381
Date:

I have come to learn a tool is only as good as its warranty. That said, I been breaking a lot of newer craftsman tools lately, which is not surprising considering at least 40% of my tools are craftsman. The good news is that they keep exchanging them no questions asked, plus they are still stamped "Made in USA".

Recently I got the bug to ensure all my broken tools got replaced, and it was quite a few.. From SnapOn to Matco and K- Tool, all the way down to the Craftsman. I'm pleased to say that by the middle of the month (I started at the beginning of the month) none of these tool suppliers let me down! 



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

Good news !!! Nothing better than acquiring nice new tools, & even better when they're being replaced under warranty.

Will these folks replace them again should they fail SELLC ? Sometimes they'll only honor their warranty once, as they then assume tool abuse...

StahlWille don't actually offer a warranty since their tools are designed to bend rather than break...This means you've over-loaded the tool, & just like an air-bag, once it's been used, you have to buy another one !

Rastus

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.



Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard