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I'm also in the group with mixed tools. Most of my stuff is Craftsman and for the stuff that still has the lifetime warranty, I've never had trouble getting replacements. I've sheared off sockets and all kinds of other stuff and they've never given me any push-back. One thing I didn't go Craftsman on was my torque wrenches. Since nobody does lifetime warranties on torque wrenches any more, I decided to go and and drop some more coin on really good ones and picked up a pair of CDI Torque Products wrenches. CDI is the company that that makes the torque wrenches for Snap-on, and the quality of mine are top-notch. If anyone wants to check them out, I got a good price and great service from www.protorquetools.com.
 

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Mid price range tools will always do a fine job. Most problems arise from people using the wrong tool for the job ie: ratchets with cheater bars, or screwdrivers as chisels, then complaining about the poor quality of broken tool.
 

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I have always been a Craftsman guy be cause their tools were reasonably priced, US Made, and while not being Snap-on, Matco, or MAC quality, they were good enough for the serious hobbyist. Also they had the advantage of being easily replaced by going to Sears, as opposed to having to deal with a tool truck guy.
Sadly Craftsman appears to be going down the same road as Kobalt. While at Sears this weekend noticed that their latest ratchets are all made in Taiwan. All of the wrenches I looked at with the exception of their standard combo wrenches, and the Professional combo wrenches were made in China or Taiwan. I noticed that the Standard Crossforce wrenches were US made and the Metrics were China or Taiwan. Probably old stock Standards. Sockets, extensions and screwdrivers in their standard line are still US made. Evolv and Universal lines are all import.

There is a pronounces difference in the quality of US vs Taiwan ratchets. Which brings me to the question of the value of the Craftsman Warranty. I would be a seriously upset customer, if I brought in a broken US made Craftsman tool and was handed a Chinese inferior quality tool as a replacement.
This applies to all of you who have quality, older Husky and Kobalt tools as well. If you break those they are absolutely going to be replaced with Chinese/Taiwanese crap. Any thoughts?
I realize this post focuses a lot on country of origin, but in our current economic state I think that supporting US manufacturing is extremely important. And I do think US made tools are of superior quality to those made in elsewhere.
All of this is pushing me to look at reasonably priced, Industrial and Professional brands as an alternative. Armstrong and SK are both pretty readily available on the internet, not too expensive and excellent quality US made tools.
I just returned a 3/8" ratchet that was at least 25 years old to Sears and got the cheap azz replacement made in China / Taiwan or wherever. The Clerk never hesitated just reached down below the counter and came up with the POS Ratchet handed it to me and said they've changed a bit over the years. I looked at it and the black greasy spot it left in my hand and said No sheet.

Very disappointed. I don't believe I will get 25 years of service out of this new ratchet. I am glad I didn't have to buy it though. I also wonder if the one you exchange your broken one for is any different than the one you buy. Seemed kind of odd that he didn't retrieve one off the shelf just reached down under the counter and presto.
 

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I just returned a 3/8" ratchet that was at least 25 years old to Sears and got the cheap azz replacement made in China / Taiwan or wherever. The Clerk never hesitated just reached down below the counter and came up with the POS Ratchet handed it to me and said they've changed a bit over the years. I looked at it and the black greasy spot it left in my hand and said No sheet.

Very disappointed. I don't believe I will get 25 years of service out of this new ratchet. I am glad I didn't have to buy it though. I also wonder if the one you exchange your broken one for is any different than the one you buy. Seemed kind of odd that he didn't retrieve one off the shelf just reached down under the counter and presto.
I havent had the ratchet bust yet, but would they let you return for a better model? Craftsman still makes a bunch in the USA (pricier though), but 25 years ago, their regular line would probably be on par with the upper line today.
 

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I havent had the ratchet bust yet, but would they let you return for a better model? Craftsman still makes a bunch in the USA (pricier though), but 25 years ago, their regular line would probably be on par with the upper line today.
He was pretty adamant about it. I should go back and check with them. I have pretty good stuff. Well except for the 3/8" ratchet.
 

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Not sure if anyone has tried it lately but the Sears hardware near me would not take back my broken wrench- had to be mailed to their main warehouse. I guess they are either getting tougher on people breaking tools to get new ones or trying to discourage theives.
 

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Powertools and set of ratcheting wrench...I would go with snap-on or mac. (auto tech student + military discount , can't beat that)

But for a regular wrench? craftsman and stanley works just fine.
 

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I havent had the ratchet bust yet, but would they let you return for a better model? Craftsman still makes a bunch in the USA (pricier though), but 25 years ago, their regular line would probably be on par with the upper line today.
Looking through their offerings in the store and online, it would appear that the only ratchet Craftsman is still making in the us is their Premium series. I'd pay the difference to upgrade to those. Reviews online report the Craftsman premium ratchets compare well to SnapOn. Never had one in my hands though, they seem to be only available online.
 

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I just returned a 3/8" ratchet that was at least 25 years old to Sears and got the cheap azz replacement made in China / Taiwan or wherever. The Clerk never hesitated just reached down below the counter and came up with the POS Ratchet handed it to me and said they've changed a bit over the years. I looked at it and the black greasy spot it left in my hand and said No sheet.

Very disappointed. I don't believe I will get 25 years of service out of this new ratchet. I am glad I didn't have to buy it though. I also wonder if the one you exchange your broken one for is any different than the one you buy. Seemed kind of odd that he didn't retrieve one off the shelf just reached down under the counter and presto.
I have seen employees at Sears repairing returned ratchets right at the counter. They have a tray of wrenches and parts they keep under the tool counter. I imagine you got a refurbished ratchet someone else had returned.
 

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I have a mix of stuff also. In no way am I any kind of pro mechanic (I am a Pro locksmith but those are totally different tools in some cases). Lately I've been picking up Kobalt tools for the FJ kit and I dont think they are that bad. I do like them better the the Husky stuff I can get at H.D. OK I haven't tortured them yet but I still dont think they are that bad.

I promise Im not trying to be a smart a$$ in any way but its kinda funny there is so much talk about tools no being made in the USA while we drive a Japanese truck. :lol:
 

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My best friend's dad is a store manager for Lowe's, so most of my tools are Kobalt. I have been very happy and put them through a lot. Trail repair, freezing weather, burning hot weather, dropping them in water/grease/oil, etc. I've been happy.
 

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I have been pretty happy with all my Kobalt Tools I have purchased over the years, been really happy. I have tried Husky they aren't bad, not really my favorite , but I not a big fan of Agent Orange and there stores.

I hate to loan my tools because of how people abuse them and use them for something they are not designed for.
 

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I just replaced my total smorgasboard of screwdrivers with a complete set (both Philips & flat head) of Craftsman. They seem like pretty good tools.

When I started my very very meager tool collection many years ago it was pretty much whatever I could afford (gotta love those $5.99 socket sets!). I've since over the years filtered out most all of the "crud" tools and replaced them with quality tools. I don't have any Snap-On or Matco but I think my tools are quality and have served me well. Since I'm a fan of Lowe's, I do have a lot of Kobalt and I find them to be fantastic tools. Happy with the Craftsman stuff too.
 
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