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Old 09-29-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
JKennedy
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Default The next "Craftsman" brand

So I've been thinking that some other company has to fill the empty void craftsman is leaving in it's wake...

I know some of y'all on here like masterforce and I think that it's a great alternative but I live in north texas and I've never seen a masterforce tool in my life. They can be bought online which is great but still.

I also know SK tools is really coming up and the quality is superb although lacking brick and mortar purchases.

What do y'all think? Which tool brand will be like the next craftsman?
The kind everybody reveres and has in their garage?
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

Quote:

Which tool brand will be like the next craftsman?
There will be no fill in. Only a divide in those who can afford good tools and those that now purchase disposable tools that are Asian made at low prices. There are many "in-betweens" like GearWrench, Sunnex, etc. that are very capable, but which direction they go in, or even hold stable, is an unknown.

The Sears/Craftsman lifetime warranty was not only easy to use but with outlets to replace your tools everywhere, a no brainer.

No tool company nor reseller is interersted in taking that risk on ever.

Tool buyers will still find tools to buy, but have to choose the fork in the road.

Lowes, Home Depot and Ace will likely continue to choose the "bottom line" vs. tool qualaity while Industrial suppliers like Grainger, McMaster , etc will supply good tools but nor for a homeowner price. NAPA will hold firm on quality. Chain auto stores will succumb to more and mre cheaply made tools. Even HF value-engieenrs a lot of it's porrly made stuff.

Thus the chasm.

And it's just gonna get worse.
Trust me.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

As much as I hate to say it, it looks like Pittsburgh tools are becoming as ubiquitous as Craftsman used to be. So many people who purchase tools want to handle them first. That leaves Harbor Freight, Lowe's and Home Depot.

I honestly believe that the Craftsman name is still valuable enough to be sold off and kept alive when Sears fails, but I don't know if the new owners will treat it the way we would like.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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Old 09-29-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

Once Sears finally closes it's doors for good, the next Craftsman will be ................






......... wait for it .............









CRAFTSMAN !

Craftsman has already made deals to have their tools sold in Ace hardware stores, K-mart (which won't be around much longer either), and some other hardware chains. As the brick and mortar stores disappear, they will make more deals to get into other established retail outlets. While Sears slowly circles the drain, Craftsman and other Sears brands will still be available to the homeowner market. The brand will still be in the public's conscience, it'll just be in another "around the corner" store. It won't matter how bad the quality gets, the uninformed will still buy the tools because of the name and because they'll replace other brands on the shelves. Making them the only option at the time of purchase.
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

I don't anything's going to be as ubiquitous as Craftsman once was. Even Craftsman isn't Craftsman anymore. That was a product of a unique warranty and less competition. Now you get that same warranty at Harbor Freight, Lowe's and Home Depot. Between the three, there's probably a store within driving range of everyone in the US, barring those who live on some Alaskan mountaintop. Menard's is close, but they've been receipt Nazis in my experience.

For a lot of the non-wrench/ratchet/socket/screwdriver stuff Craftsman has, people are either going to have to go to Harbor Freight or order online. What sucks is that THAT'S the kind of Craftsman stuff that's US-made. Western Forge/Ideal is going to have some troubles when Craftsman goes. They'll have to start making pliers and screwdrivers under their own name and getting someone to sell them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakemac View Post
Once Sears finally closes it's doors for good, the next Craftsman will be ................






......... wait for it .............









CRAFTSMAN !

Craftsman has already made deals to have their tools sold in Ace hardware stores, K-mart (which won't be around much longer either), and some other hardware chains. As the brick and mortar stores disappear, they will make more deals to get into other established retail outlets. While Sears slowly circles the drain, Craftsman and other Sears brands will still be available to the homeowner market. The brand will still be in the public's conscience, it'll just be in another "around the corner" store. It won't matter how bad the quality gets, the uninformed will still buy the tools because of the name and because they'll replace other brands on the shelves. Making them the only option at the time of purchase.
I reeeeally don't think anyone's going to be running down to Ace to buy Craftsman. I've checked each of the five Ace locations within easy driving distance of me (three different franchises). You might as well buy SK at that price. Craftsman stuff at Ace around here is covered in dust.

I'd bet on whoever buys the Craftsman name dropping the warranty on stuff made before the purchase, too.
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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I'd bet on whoever buys the Craftsman name dropping the warranty on stuff made before the purchase, too.
I'd tread REALLY lightly on that one or else you're going to have a whole lot of pissed off people who were customers, but won't be going forward. I'd factor it into the bid for the name, but buying the name and dropping the warranty will do more harm than good.
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

Craftsman was a unique brand. At first all American, then more American than any other brand. It was/is widely available. It was economically priced and solid quality wise.

There will never be another Craftsman. Chinese tools are as good or better than the entry level American tools Craftsman rebranded.

The American tradition of DIY is dying too. Kids are growing up without fathers or seeing their fathers only on the weekends. Women are raising our sons. Traditions like self reliance and getting your hands dirty just for the fun of it are going out the window.
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Old Yesterday, 12:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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Originally Posted by Parrothead View Post
I'd tread REALLY lightly on that one or else you're going to have a whole lot of pissed off people who were customers, but won't be going forward. I'd factor it into the bid for the name, but buying the name and dropping the warranty will do more harm than good.
I'll bet they keep the warranty, but it will all of a sudden become much more limited in nature. Of course, that all depends who buys it, as not many retailers want to handle an over the counter warranty.

I think HF will replace Craftsman, honestly. Sears used to carry everything, from woodworking tools to serious automotive tools. HF is the only place that comes remotely close today. And we've seen their quality steadily climb in recent years, while keeping prices competitive. I don't think that's going to slow down soon.

If talking strictly mechanics tools, I think that Gearwrench is poised to become the best possible alternative. If you really want USA-made, SK is the next option, but it will be years before you'll be able to warranty them locally.
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Old Yesterday, 12:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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The American tradition of DIY is dying too. Kids are growing up without fathers or seeing their fathers only on the weekends. Women are raising our sons. Traditions like self reliance and getting your hands dirty just for the fun of it are going out the window.
I do think this comes into play a lot when talking about tools. I am 29 so naturally most of my friends are around my age. Give or take a year or two. EVERY one of them takes their car or truck to get the oil changed, brake pads done, tires rotated. All of the most basic maintenance. Nobody is willing to get a little dirty anymore. I would DIY even if it didn't save me a nickel. There is just something satisfying as hell about working on your own things and having the tools to do so.
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Old Yesterday, 12:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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I do think this comes into play a lot when talking about tools. I am 29 so naturally most of my friends are around my age. Give or take a year or two. EVERY one of them takes their car or truck to get the oil changed, brake pads done, tires rotated. All of the most basic maintenance. Nobody is willing to get a little dirty anymore. I would DIY even if it didn't save me a nickel. There is just something satisfying as hell about working on your own things and having the tools to do so.
It's called the feminization of men over the last 20 years and the masculination of women.

UGH!
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Old Yesterday, 12:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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It's called the feminization of men over the last 20 years and the masculination of women.

UGH!
Quite scary isn't it?
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Old Yesterday, 12:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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Originally Posted by Cato View Post
The American tradition of DIY is dying too. Kids are growing up without fathers or seeing their fathers only on the weekends. Women are raising our sons. Traditions like self reliance and getting your hands dirty just for the fun of it are going out the window.
Very true. I don't think any tool brand can reach the iconic status Craftsman did because the circumstances that created itóbeing nearly synonymous with the nation's largest retailer and growing through the rise of the automobile, the middle class, and the DIY culture that went with it allówill never be duplicated.

Furthermore, being made in the USA contributed greatly to pride of ownership, and that's mostly gone at this price point too.
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Old Yesterday, 01:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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Originally Posted by Cato View Post
Craftsman was a unique brand. At first all American, then more American than any other brand. It was/is widely available. It was economically priced and solid quality wise.
Too true. Only a behemoth like Sears-of-Old could have pulled that off. Even JC Puny and Wards couldn't do it. Quality beyond "most" purchaser's needs, reasonable or even bargain prices, wonderful warranty all of which was available over-the-counter for the popular part numbers in any reasonable-sized town in America; and via "mail-order" in the rural areas or for less-popular items.

While there's lots said about Craftsman being "Made in America", I wandered through a Sears store in a major Canadian city...Craftsman hand tools in Canada were made in Canada; at least the pieces I saw.


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The American tradition of DIY is dying too. Kids are growing up without fathers or seeing their fathers only on the weekends. Women are raising our sons. Traditions like self reliance and getting your hands dirty just for the fun of it are going out the window.
I don't know what to make of this. On first blush, I thought this was so obvious that I couldn't understand why I'd never thought of it before. It's one of many unintended consequences of the Welfare State--destroying the family concept of Mom AND Dad; and short-circuiting motivation. Pop out all the kids you want--the taxpayer will feed and clothe and house them (and the parents, too!) and also provide "day care" outright--or disguised as "education" (i.e., Head Start and All-Day Kindergarten.)

On second thought, I considered my own childhood and realized that I own a shitload of tools and do nearly all my own maintenance even though my own parents divorced and mother "fixed" everything with layers of Scotch Tape, while Dear Old Dad in his prime could change oil and spark plugs, but little more. I learned to fix things because no-one else in my childhood could--and there was no money to take my broken stuff to a shop.

The issue is that without tools, DIY skills can't develop. Without DIY skills, tools are useless. The "secret" is to have a mentor who can both teach and supply tools, initially. In The Olden Days, this was some greybeard you knew personally; a telephone call and he (always a "he", correct?) either showed-up--or you hauled your broken stuff to his shop. Today the internet is providing the conduit to "virtual mentors", and Frightful Freight sells disposable crap tools dirt-cheap. The reason DIY is dying has more to do with electronic and mechanical product that are designed to be disposable and/or requiring "Special Tools" not generally available or affordable. About all that's left is home remodeling--paint and twobyfours and plywood and millwork trim. "Level" is still level, nails can still be pounded-in. The Safety Nazis have not (yet) required foam guards on hammer heads so the young and impressionable don't break their thumbs when they swing 'n' miss.

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Old Yesterday, 01:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

I find it odd that people are willing to give up on craftsman so fast. Yes there has been a slide in quality and a lot of offshore crap but isn't that what the customer wants?
HF and Northern Tool are based on the import principal. The local HF is killing it in these parts, small store with only a third of the companies products in stock, everything else has to be ordered. Traffic in the local Sears store is a trickle and the tool department wasn't busy 5 years ago.
Northern Tool switched over to the Klutch brand, I think it is their own in house brand made by others. Pricing is hit or miss as is quality.
Craftsman still has more and better offerings in hand tools than HF IMO.

Mac is sliding some right now and there was a time not so long ago that S&K had some issues. Why not hold out hope and vote with our wallets as we are willing to do for other (S&K Days). Lets continue to buy the Quality made tools from Craftsman, quite a few of them are made by US companies.
Matco, Mac, Cornwell and even Snap-on rebrand tools and quite a few of them come from asia.
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Old Yesterday, 01:20 AM   #16
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I find it odd that people are willing to give up on craftsman so fast. Yes there has been a slide in quality and a lot of offshore crap but isn't that what the customer wants?
HF and Northern Tool are based on the import principal. The local HF is killing it in these parts, small store with only a third of the companies products in stock, everything else has to be ordered. Traffic in the local Sears store is a trickle and the tool department wasn't busy 5 years ago.
Northern Tool switched over to the Klutch brand, I think it is their own in house brand made by others. Pricing is hit or miss as is quality.
Craftsman still has more and better offerings in hand tools than HF IMO.

Mac is sliding some right now and there was a time not so long ago that S&K had some issues. Why not hold out hope and vote with our wallets as we are willing to do for other (S&K Days). Lets continue to buy the Quality made tools from Craftsman, quite a few of them are made by US companies.
Matco, Mac, Cornwell and even Snap-on rebrand tools and quite a few of them come from asia.
I personally am not a Craftsman hater and certainly have not given up on them. I am just a DIY guy so their stuff really works for me. They are not used on a daily basis and not abused. I've never had a single problem with their ratchets that everyone hates. For me, part of it is nostalgia too I guess. My grandfather had a lot of Craftsman stuff so it is what I grew up using since I was raised by him. It was without a doubt the best consumer brand you could get.

I do however enjoy using the good HF tools too though. A good tool is a good tool to me. I don't care where it came from, how much it costs, what name it has on it and I certainly couldn't care less what all the tool snobs think about my tools. I use what works for me. I'm just glad I found this site to guide me in making tool purchasing decisions. I don't like to spend more than I have to and this site has definitely helped me to be a smarter shopper.
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Old Yesterday, 01:22 AM   #17
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

It's not just the lack of positive role models to teach kids how to fix things. It's also the HOA's that won't let you do anything in your driveway or open garage. It's that cars today aren't easily fixed with a flat tip screwdriver and a 1/2 x 9/16 wrench. There's no running down to Thrifty drug to test the vacuum tubes for the TV.
We replace stuff now instead of repair stuff.
I think there will always be a Craftsman brand, it just may not be the Craftsman of old that we long for.
If Gearwrench had a national distribution network (Advance isn't out west and Fastenal blows) they could be the next craftsman brand for mechanics hand tools. SK is great but, you'll never be able to get the pennies on the piece pricing that Craftsman is famous for nor, would I want to cut that many corners in SK quality that I would want to.

However, who cares what the next Craftsman brand will be. There are millions of US made craftsman tools in circulation as I write this. They will be available in the secondary market(used, estate/garage sales, etc) for many years to come.
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Old Yesterday, 01:23 AM   #18
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

The American tradition of DIY is dying too. Kids are growing up without fathers or seeing their fathers only on the weekends. Women are raising our sons. Traditions like self reliance and getting your hands dirty just for the fun of it are going out the window.[/QUOTE]


That is true and our own fault, it is for us to correct it. Shut the TV off and throw that play station in the attic.
What happened to playing outside, fixing that bicycle with your kid. I have meet more 18-25 year old men(?) that can't find the oil dipstick in their vehicle, never mind changing a tire or banging a nail strait through a piece of wood.
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Old Yesterday, 01:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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I have meet more 18-25 year old men(?) that can't find the oil dipstick in their vehicle, never mind changing a tire or banging a nail strait through a piece of wood.
I just read a statistic yesterday that 2/3 of teenagers don't know how to change a tire. I just hope that they polled mostly teenage girls?
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Old Yesterday, 01:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: The next "Craftsman" brand

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The American tradition of DIY is dying too. Kids are growing up without fathers or seeing their fathers only on the weekends. Women are raising our sons. Traditions like self reliance and getting your hands dirty just for the fun of it are going out the window.

These types of dudes are pathetic. What's even more pathetic is that they are enabled by their families and society. I know a dude who never changed the oil in the brand new Honda Civic that his dad bought him. When the engine blew up at 30k, his daddy bought him a brand new Acura. Must be nice to get rewarded for being a dumbass.

A lady who works with my wife was driving around on a compact spare tire on the front of her car for 2 months. I told her it was dangerous and also bad for the transmission. She replied: "oh my boyfriend hasn't said anything about it, so it must be safe." No, your boyfriend is a moron.
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