For you Baby Boomers who grew up using Craftsman tools.....

Discussion in 'General Viper Discussion' started by Frank Parise, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Frank Parise

    Frank Parise VCA Legacy Member - UT/AZ

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    Like most of you other old guys, I grew up with Craftsman tools and for the last 50 years have purchased with confidence from wherever the nearest Sears store was located. Never had a problem returning a broken socket or socket wrench and getting a free replacement under the lifetime guarantee. Well, this past weekend was a little different.

    After 25 years, one of my 1/2" drive socket wrenches failed. The local Sears store where I had originally purchased it is no longer in business. So, I brought it to my local Ace Hardware store that has been selling craftsman tools ever since Sears sold the Craftsman brand to Stanley tools. That's when the stink began.

    As I walk into the store, I am greeted by the store manager. The conversation goes something like this:
    Manager: Hello Sir, can I help you find anything today?
    Me: Yes, After 25 years, this socket wrench finally failed and I'm here to get my free replacement.
    Manager: Sir, do you have your original purchase receipt?
    Me: Sorry, I purchased this 25 years ago, I didn't keep the receipt.
    Manager: Sir, did you purchase this tool from our store?
    Me: Sorry Ma'am, your store did not exist 25 years ago and Ace Hardware did not sell Craftsman tools 25 year ago. I purchased this wrench at the Sears store located in Park Mall here in Tucson, which as you know is no longer open and Sears is bankrupt.
    Manager: I'm sorry sir, but we need a receipt and proof of purchase that you bought this from our store.
    Me: I'm sorry, but I am certain that is not necessary and as a merchant who sells Craftsman tools, you should be able to easily replace this tool for me and get reimbursed from Craftsman. I will take you to your tool showcase and show you where the replacement wrench is and I will quickly be on my way. All Craftsman tools come with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
    Manager: Sir, let me check the part number of your tool in our system....Sir, this part number no longer exists, therefore I cannot replace it.
    Me: Ma'am, the tool is 25 years old and I am certain that Craftsman still produces a 1/2" drive socket wrench. If you come with me, I will show it to you in your display case.
    Manager: Sir, the part number on this new wrench does not match the part number on your wrench.
    Me: Ma'am, I have shopped at Ace Hardware stores in Tucson for over 30 years. I am an Ace Rewards Customer and if you check your records you will probably find many thousands of dollars of purchases under my account. If for no other reason, you should help me out here as a loyal Ace customer. I really don't want to be difficult. If you are telling me that I can no longer rely on the lifetime guarantee of Craftsman tools, then I no longer have reason to purchase them anymore.

    After 15 minutes of more negotiation, she was frustrated, flustered, and just wanted me out of the store. Finally, she said she would do it. I handed her my wrench that was stamped "Forged in U.S.A." and received my new replacement that has no reference to the origin on the tool itself, however the the cardboard wrapping said "Made in China".

    Just thought you would like to know.
     
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  2. ViperJeff

    ViperJeff VCA Legacy Member - UT/AZ Staff Member

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    I saw craftsman at Lowe’s last week
     
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  3. MoparMap

    MoparMap VCA National President

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    I'm in a similar boat. There used to be a Sears local, but it's kept moving around and finally full on closed. Ace just up the street from meet carries the line, but not the warranty as far as I'm aware. I remember walking into Sears with a bag of broken tools from my dad and the guy just told me to grab them off the shelf and leave the bag of broken stuff. I was surprised they didn't have anything to fill out or something, but then again the store was closing so maybe he just didn't care. I think it was open for some time still after that. Not looking forward to replacing any of mine. Thinking there might still be a store in the next town over that would be less trouble.
     
  4. Frank Parise

    Frank Parise VCA Legacy Member - UT/AZ

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  5. white out

    white out Viper Owner

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    Craftsman.com has a link for the warranty.
     
  6. Frank Parise

    Frank Parise VCA Legacy Member - UT/AZ

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    From the Craftsman website on warranties for hand tools:

    Full Lifetime Warranty

    If the product fails to perform for any reason, we will replace it. Return damaged product to a stocking Retail Partner or call 1-888-331-4569 for details. No proof of purchase required.
     
  7. AviP

    AviP Viper Owner

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    Yup. Just take it to Lowes next time.
     
  8. Bonkers

    Bonkers VCA Venom Member - Northeast

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    Given the choice though, if im headed to Lowes anyway, id
    rather buy a Kobalt ratchet. The new craftmens stuff just
    feels too light and cheap to trust... but thats just me...
     
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  9. Shaggy

    Shaggy Enthusiast Staff Member

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    You just should've showed her that and you wouldn't have wasted 15 mins of your life. :)
     
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  10. George Farris

    George Farris VCA Member - South

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    If a tool worked for 25 years and broke, I would just go back the the original store and buy another one ... must have been pretty darn good ...
     
  11. Biff Brown

    Biff Brown Enthusiast

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    Mr. Farris, how are you???... Happy Holidays to my first "fellow Viper owner" and good friend!!...
     
  12. AZTVR

    AZTVR Enthusiast

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    I recently broke an old, MADE IN USA, Craftsman 1/2" drive breaker bar. (Doing something that I know not to do; but, had no other option to get it done with what I had.) My local large ACE Hardware that carries a big selection of Craftsman hand tools were happy to replace it, although they had to order it since they did not stock the same length. I had no issues getting a replacement, although it took a week, and the new one is Made in China and not as substantial looking.
     
  13. ND4SPDLSC

    ND4SPDLSC Enthusiast

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    When they shipped everything offshore, I just started requesting the gear set for ratchets. I'd rather my USA made Craftsman tools.

    And the assholes who ran Sears into the ground are getting a hell of a bonus for putting thousands out of a job.
     
  14. George Farris

    George Farris VCA Member - South

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    Biff!!!! Great hearing from you.

    Hope all is well and you, also, have greta Holidays.

    We surely had good times with these cars ...
     
  15. Tom and Vipers

    Tom and Vipers Enthusiast

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    Re: that old Craftsman ratchet: I had a 3/8 swivel head fail and Sears replaced it with the cheapest one they had - in fact, they had a box of the under the cash register since the cheap ones fail all the time. They do make a premium ratchet that is actually comparable to the old one, however they don't give you that one.

    I wonder if I could have talked my way into a premium replacement?
     
  16. Jim Peffers

    Jim Peffers Viper Owner

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    I had a 97GTS which I sold in order to finish the second floor and add a third floor to the house. I plan to replace it as soon as I recover from cancer and a stroke. I am well on my way as sitting around is NOT an option when you own a horse and livestock farm. (according to the neurosurgeons, hard work is the best thing I can do. The Worst thing you can do is Nothing).
    Craftsman tools are not nearly as good as they used to be. When they off-shored everything to China, quality dropped to the point where I will not own one. I have Craftsman, SK, Husky, Armstrong, and Snap-0n from the 60's time period and they have been used heavily on cars, trucks, 45 - 90 hp tractors, and associated implements and they have never failed. I take good care of them and try not to abuse them but sometimes it is necessary. (I have a SK-Wayne breaking bar which I used to remove the lug nuts from a 85-90 hp tractor. They were put on with an impact wrench; both the breaking bar and the socket were undamaged). My point is that they were made in the USA with very good steel - the quality is evident. I am 69 years old and I have learned a lot. I buy what few tools I need mostly at flea markets. They do not have to be pretty but they do have to be quality and made of good steel. For those of you who do not know, un-plated good steel will take on a fine brown patina but NO pitting. (soft steel or low quality steel will pit heavily). This goes for tools, chains, etc. I have more than 100 feet of hardened 5/16 and 3/8 chain which has a fine brown patina, I have used it heavily but never hurt it (somewhat amazing considering I have used chain binders and that sort of thing). My point of all of this is that when you go to flea markets and auctions, do not be afraid to buy un-plated tools as long as they are high-quality and made of good steel. Hope this helps. - Jim.
    P.S. Note to tractor manufacturers - Build a tractor with either SAE or metric fasteners; do NOT mix them. It is an incredible pain and saves nothing.
     

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