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Craftsman VS "PRO" Tools (Snap On, Matco, etc)

Discussion in 'Tools and Garage' started by Gabe96Explorer, November 26, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. toypaseo

    toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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    All of my Harbor Freight tools have worked great... well the ones that I have used in my collection so far :D

    • dead blow hammers (I can ruin numerous of these for the price of a single name brand one)
    • breaker bars (I'm too cheap to buy name brand ones)
    • regular and deep impact sockets (a co-worker of mine has yet to blow any of his up)
    • large rivet tool (used to replace Explorer power lock actuator)
    • 3-ton jackstands (super cheap and work fine)

    and other minor tools that I cannot remember at this time...
     
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  3. Anime

    Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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    Craftsmas? Are those special holiday tools?

    Most of what I have is Craftsman, but I usually make it a point to buy "Made in USA" tools. I have quite a bit of stuff from both the professional line and their regular stuff. Lots of ratchets, a full line of sockets, wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers etc. etc. As the manufacturer of the tools has changed the quality has gone up or down, but in general if you know what you're looking for and can avoid the crap, Craftsman or other brands offer about the same quality as Snap-On for way less. Hardcore Snap-On fanboys will beg to differ, but Snap-On doesn't have some magical factory where they make all their own tools, they buy stuff and re-brand it just like everyone else. There was a time when Snap-On and MAC beat Craftsman, but most of the tools these days are just made by a few big companies and a wrench from one is no better than a wrench from any other.

    Thing is, recently I noticed Sears is changing the Craftsman tools so they will ALL be made in China. The professional wrenches and ratcheting wrenches were switched over last year. The screwdrivers are still made in the USA for now, and they apparently have so many sockets they could go for years on what they have stored, but after that who knows. To add insult to injury the prices for the newer China-made versions of the tools are the same. That $99.99 13 Piece professional wrench set is still $99.99, even though it's now made in China with substandard metal, so the wrenches have fatter heads that won't fit in small areas to make up for it.

    I've also usually bought Craftsman for the warranty, being able to just take it back and get a new one has been the major selling point in addition to being able to get stuff at huge discounts, on sale and clearance. But even though the 'policy' has always been exchange with no questions asked, I'm getting a lot more hassle when it comes to taking Sears up on that warranty. Being asked for a receipt, being told the tool I brought back isn't broken, isn't covered under the hand tool warranty, etc. etc. There are of course Sears stores where this isn't the case at all and they will bend over backwards to get you a new tool and on your way ASAP, but really it should be that way at all their stores. I have a set of cheap 'professional' wrenches from Stanley, and they just mail me out a new one if I just call and complain that I bent/broke one. Danaher is doing the same thing with their Gearwrench line.

    My guess is Sears/Kmart and the Craftsman brand in general are in trouble, especially with their hardcore customers who really liked the Made in USA aspect and no-questions-asked Craftsman unlimited lifetime warranty. I'll be surprised if they are still in business without major restructuring and changes over the next few years.

    In the meantime as mentioned, Home Depot has Husky brand tools, and Lowe's has an entire new lineup of Kobalt, both brands of which are made by Danaher, the same as Craftsman. The Snap-On, MAC, Matco, etc. tool truck brands are still out there, but they are really only focused on professionals who work at a garage or service dept and either get a set amount to spend on tools or are willing to pay the prices to have the tool truck service. I can see where that is worth a premium, but for the majority of us, being able to just get an exchange at a store during regular business hours is just fine.
     
  4. guilateen

    guilateen Active Member

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    Anime you know to much. Although some of the tools are made in the same factory there is a difference in quality. The production line changes the concentration of materials for different brands. I have 3 brothers in the automotive field and thats what I've been told. I tried one set of gearwrench screwdrivers. On the flat head the tip broke of while turning. On another driver the handle split in two, in my hands while opening a can of paint.
    My prefernce for ratchets are the Husky brand its very smooth slim head design makes jobs a lot easier. Also the ratchet gears are really tight which is great for those tight spaces when you don't have a lot of room to ratchet back and forth.
    I did recently hear word that Sears will be closing its doors. The only place you will be buying Craftsman brand is through K-Mart. Which acquired Sears a few years back.
     
  5. toypaseo

    toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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    24/7 Wall St. speculates that Sears will disappear in 2012...

    http://247wallst.com/2011/06/22/247-wall-st-ten-brands-that-will-disappear-in-2012/
     
  6. guilateen

    guilateen Active Member

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    I saw it coming the only people I know that shop there drive Lasabres and and still call it Sears n Robuck.
     
  7. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

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    IMO, Craftsman is an excellent tool. However, I will say that in my box at work I have very few Craftsman tools. The Snapon flankdrive plus will take things off with the open end that a Craftsman wrench wouldn't be able to do with the box end. Same with the flankdrive sockets.
     
  8. lounge lizard

    lounge lizard Active Member

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    All I can say that in 35 years i have used most of every brand mentioned.

    I like the cheaper brands because I'm not afraid to alter them when needed to do something that they were not intended for.
    but having a band saw and a welder, I'll make it work!

    I have a 25th anniversary 1/4" drive set from snap on and I like it for taking apart the dash boards in cars.
    small, easy to use, long extensions

    I have easily 1,000 sockets between work and home of all sizes ( lots of triples in sizes ) and in all drives. from all manufacturers

    but most of the drives are craftsman. I have two swivel head snap on ratchets ( these two get a lot of work ) and they all have their uses.

    and when it comes to power tools, I can kill a 4.5" angle grinder in a day working in the garage.
     
  9. snoranger

    snoranger Well-Known Member

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    :thumbsup:
     
  10. Anime

    Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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    It also speculates MySpace will dissappear in 2012. Geez I hope so. And facebook soon after.

    Stupidity closes businesses. Don't listen to your customers and eventually they'll just stop coming. The advertising and promo stuff they have going sounds great, but when you shuffle your core product production overseas and just silently take the "Made in USA" off the packages and keep the price the same, your core customers will notice and they won't be happy about it.

    If anyone at Sears had any sense, they would have expanded the USA-made line and pushed that hard in their advertising. Instead they went the discount route and are now ripping people off, selling a cheaper product for tons more than it is worth. People also aren't too happy about buying a product online that shows a picture of the earlier made-in-USA stamped product, then getting what looks like a knockoff shipped to them with 'made in China' on the package. They are going to be doing major damage control because of this, on everything from the website reviews to people just posting about it all over the internet. Eventually it might get to the point where Sears goes down, but I think someone else will pick up the Craftsman brand, since it's such a highly trusted name, despite recent events. At least I hope someone picks it up and keeps the tools going, so we can still get that lifetime warranty and all.
     
  11. lounge lizard

    lounge lizard Active Member

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    is the kobolt line from Lowe's made in the U.S.A. ?

    and don't they offer a lifetime warranty on their hand tools?
     
  12. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 Yost Offroad Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  13. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

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    I think they do offer a lifetime warranty, but I know I have seen "made in china" on at least a few different Kobalt tools.
     
  14. Anime

    Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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    There were a few Kobalt tools and socket sets that were made in the USA, but a few months ago Lowe's redid their entire Kobalt line, getting rid of all the knockoff Craftsman ratchets, all the Gearwrench products, and offering a whole new lineup of Kobalt-branded everything, wrenches, sockets, ratchets, ratcheting wrenches, etc.

    It's all still made by Danaher, but now ALL made in China.

    They do have a lifetime warranty, supposedly about the same as Craftsman, bring it into the store and 'no questions asked' for an exchange. I think someone at Lowe's found out about what was going on at Sears and they are taking advantage of it. If Lowe's offers all the basic tools, at a better price, and they make sure none of their employees ever give a customer crap about exchanging a Kobalt tool, they might have something.

    Their "Task Force" line is about the same as Craftsman's eVolv, still a 'lifetime' warranty good for refund or exchange, but only if you keep the original receipt.
     
  15. MONMIX

    MONMIX I fix dents Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    there is 100% totally no question in my mind what so ever that Snap-On tools are FAR FAR superior to craftsman.

    I started out with craftsman, I was using s screw driver to remove a mirror on a car one day and could not for the life of me get it to break loose. Another tech observed my struggles and handed me his Snap-On screw driver.
    The screw backed right out with half the effort. If I was not face to face with that situation I would not have believed it.
    Trust me if you wish, its up to you but it really happened as I described.

    Yes they are hella more expensive.
    No the weekend warrior does not need such tools, but I can assure you, life will be just that much better if you do.
     
    Last edited: December 27, 2011
  16. daw00l

    daw00l New Member

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    I have pretty much all craftsman tools, with a few snap on and even some cheapy powerbuilt stuff. I think the craftsman is good for weekend wrenching, and the only snap on stuff i thought of buying was a ratchet, but now that craftsman has the tighter click one im gonna stick with that.
     
  17. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

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    Like I said before, for the weekend mechanic/homeowner, or even the serious hobbyist, Craftsman, Kobalt, etc. are great. The same with their tool chests/rollaways. They make pretty good stuff, but its not the same as the stuff off the tool trucks. The tool truck brands are professional level tools, for professionals. And you will pay for it, but overall its saving you money when you work flat rate, and you can get stuff done easier, which usually means faster, on average. For those of us who do it for a living, Time = Money.
     

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