craftsman tool replacement program

craftsman's "lifetime warranty" depends on tool associate's mood consumerist

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Brian tried to trade in some old Craftsman tools, the ones that come with a lifetime, no-questions-asked replacement policy. Unfortunately, the Tool Associate at Sears deemed Brian unworthy of the Cratfsman guarantee and refused him. Thats why hes the Tool Associate.

Whats sad (for Sears/Craftsman) is that once again an overzealous employee has ruined the brand experience for a good customersomeone who actually connects Craftsman to his family history. Check out the letter he sent to Sears after being turned away:

Hello. My name is Brian and I have been an avid proponent of Craftsman tools since my teenage years. My grandfather was a mill worker who used only Craftsman. My father was an electrical engineer who swore by Craftsman. I am an IT professional who prefers Craftsman over any other tool brand. When my grandfather passed away, the one thing I wanted was his Craftsman tools. I have a vast collection of your tools, from sockets to Allen wrenches. Ratchets and wrenches. Screwdrivers and power tools. All said, I own more than 1000 individual Craftsman pieces. There are three reasons for this:

My dilemma begins a few months ago when I relocated to San Antonio Texas from Huntsville Alabama. When I moved, I took all of my Craftsman tools, placed them into my Craftsman tool box, and loaded them into my U-Haul. I drove 16 hours straight to San Antonio, and unloaded my U-Haul the day after arriving. During my trip, it rained and the U-Haul leaked. Fast forward to last week. I had a problem with my Jeep Wrangler and decided to take an afternoon and repair it. I found my Craftsman Tool box, pulled it out, opened it up, and found that my tools, mainly the sockets, had rusted. No problem. I simply brought out some rust remover and a wire brush, and set about cleaning my tools.

Through the last 10 years of using Craftsman, I have always had a special box for damaged Craftsman tools. If a socket slips or is rounded, I place it in the box. If a ratchet breaks, I place it in the box. So on and so forth. Now, I kept that box in the Craftsman tool box that I kept my other products in. So when my Craftsman tool box leaked, the damaged tools rusted right along with all the others.

Today I was organizing my tools in preparation for a new project on the Jeep, and ran across my box of damaged Craftsman products. I decided that today was the day I would take them to my closest Sears store and get them replaced. I searched Google and found the closest store, and then also searched to find a copy of the warranty. I couldnt find a copy of the warranty, but I ran across an article on about rust and Craftsman tools. I am an avid reader of The Consumerist, and put a lot of credence into what they say. They advised that rust was considered a cosmetic defect, and therefore rust was not grounds to have a tool replaced. Fair enough, as long as the tool works, who cares what it looks like. With that in mind, I went through the entire batch of damaged tools, and pulled out the ones I felt didnt meet this criteria. I was left with about 9 12pt sockets that were rounded, a screwdriver with a broken tip, and a pair of vice grips that wouldnt stay gripped. I placed those items into a bag and drove to Sears.

When I approached the counter, I explained to the girl that I had some Craftsman products I needed replaced. She took a look and paged a Tool Associate to the counter. She went and got my replacement screwdriver and we waited for the Tool Associate to show up. When he did, he took a look at my damaged tools and told me that they did not replace sockets because of rust. [This is true. -Ed.] I explained to him that this was fine, as that there were mechanical defects with the sockets. They were rounded and therefore were not usable. He then proceeded to tell me that they could only replace 3 tools per day per customer. That seemed a little odd to me, but once again, I understood. Next he told me that he wouldnt replace the sockets because it was obvious that I didnt take care of them. I felt that came off as borderline offensive. I explained to him that the sockets were in a Craftsman tool box that leaked. He again reiterated that he couldnt replace the sockets because of rust. Tired of arguing, I said that was fine and asked if I could just get the screwdriver and vice grips replaced. He said yes and went and got the vice grips, rang me out, and sent me on my way.

When I left the store, I noticed that above the entrance, in large letters, was written Satisfaction Guaranteed or your Money Back! I had myself a snickering laugh and headed home to write this email. I am writing you to ask what I should do? Does my toolbox qualify for replacement under the lifetime warranty because it leaks? What should I do with the 9 sockets which are rounded and of no use to me?

I am a reasonable man. Ive worked in retail and I understand the reasons you have your Rust policy. But I find it a bit misleading to offer a Full Unlimited Warranty or to say If any Craftsman Hand Tool ever fails to provide complete satisfaction, return it to any Sears store, if doing just what your package says, only results in a denial and an insult. Is there anyway you can help me with my dilemma? Or if not, can you recommend a company for me to buy my tools from in the future?

We like Brians approach: if Sears doesnt want to treat its customers like, you know, customers, then just tell us where to shop and well go there instead. That way everyone is happy, especially the Gollum-like Tool Associate (Mine! MINE!) and his horde of Craftsman products.

what's 'the real home' of craftsman tools? it's not sears anymore, stanley says in lawsuit. - chicago tribune

But Stanley said Sears new line of professional-grade mechanics tools under the Craftsman Ultimate Collection brand, as well as Sears efforts to promote itself as the real home of the broadest assortment of Craftsman, violate the companies agreement, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in New York.

Craftsmans history at Sears goes back to 1927, when the retailer decided to create a higher-end line of tools. According to a company history website, Sears bought rights to use the Craftsman name from Marion-Craftsman Tool Company for $500. The brand first appeared on a line of saws and power tools were introduced two years later, in 1929.

But in 2016, long-struggling Sears announced it was looking for ways to get more cash out of its best-known brands, including Craftsman, Kenmore and DieHard, by expanding their distribution outside its stores. The 2017 sale to Stanley gave Sears an immediate cash infusion and a chance to benefit from the brands growth at other retailers through royalty payments.

As Stanley began rolling out its Craftsman products, selling them at retailers including Lowes and Ace Hardware, Sears defended its ties to the brand. A company blog post in August said Sears still had the largest Craftsman selection of any U.S. retailer. After Sears sought bankruptcy protection in October, in the run-up to the critical holiday shopping season, Sears referred to itself as the original or real home of Craftsman on social media.

Stanley said its agreement with Sears put limits on how Sears could use the Craftsman brand, and that the new Craftsman Ultimate Collection line ran afoul of certain restrictions. Both companies also agreed not to do anything that could tarnish the brand, according to the lawsuit.

Those restrictions still apply now that Sears has a new owner, Stanley said. The retailers former CEO and chairman, Edward Lampert, bought the company including its rights to use the Craftsman brand out of bankruptcy last month in a deal valued at $5.2 billion.

Stanley is asking the courts to stop Sears from using the tagline and Craftsman Ultimate Collection label and remove references to both from its websites, social media platforms and advertising. It is also seeking damages of more than $75,000, according to the lawsuit.

can you exchange craftsman tools at home depot?

In the past, Home Depot had a program offering consumers an exchange of their broken Sears Craftsman or other brand of hand tool for a comparable Husky tool at no charge. This program has since been discontinued.

Subsequently, question is, how do I replace my Craftsman tools? How to Get a Craftsman Ratchet Replaced Under Warranty Use the store locator on the Sears website to locate your nearest Sears store. Take your Craftsman ratchet and receipt or other proof of purchase to your nearest Sears store. Tell a Sears associate that you are returning your Craftsman ratchet and need a repair or replacement under the lifetime warranty coverage.

Return damaged product to a stocking Retail Partner or call 1-888-331-4569 for details. No proof of purchase required. This covers all Craftsman tools that were covered by the lifetime warranty regardless of manufacturer or where they were purchased. It will now cover tools bought at Ace and a receipt is needed.

Craftsman Hand Tools Warranty Information Update. As you are probably already aware of, Stanley Black & Decker now owns the Craftsman tool brand, and are selling them through Lowes. For a replacement, you didn't even need to bring your receipt, they replaced it on the spot with an identical or equivalent tool.

sears clarifies craftsman tools warranty consumerist

Thanks for visiting As of October 2017, Consumerist is no longer producing new content, but feel free to browse through our archives. Here you can find 12 years worth of articles on everything from how to avoid dodgy scams to writing an effective complaint letter. Check out some of our greatest hits below, explore the categories listed on the left-hand side of the page, or head to for ratings, reviews, and consumer news.

Earlier this month, we noted how a reader was having trouble getting Sears to properly honor the lifetime warranty on his Craftsman tools. Now David Figler, a vice president of the company, has responded and said, We stand behind the warrantycomplete satisfactionperiod. Below is his email, and a portion of the memo he sent to Sears stores on the matter.

I work at Sears Holdings to develop and promote Craftsman tools. I am sorry to hear that we did not get it right the first time Brian visited his Sears store for a Warranty exchange on Craftsman tools. Unfortunately, we do not always get 100% execution from all our associates on our warranty exchanges, although we are always striving towards it.

In response to your column, I have worked internally to be explicit on the issues pointed out to make sure we do not disappoint again. Craftsman tools have a heritage of performance and trust. I want to assure you and your readers we stand behind the warranty complete satisfaction period. Though disappointed with Brians experience, Im grateful that I could learn of it and take steps to prevent a similar mistake in our stores for the next customer. An excerpt from the internal communication to our store associates is below.

There have been several news articles and emails regarding customers being denied Craftsman Hand Tool exchanges for reasons that are not part of the warranty. Weve had specific complaints of denied exchanges based on:

The warranty states: If for any reason your Craftsman hand tool ever fails to provide complete satisfaction, return it to any Sears store or other Craftsman outlet in the United States for free repair or replacement. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

Our Craftsman Hand Tool Lifetime Warranty is one of the most important competitive advantages we have in the market. It is crucial that we ensure all of our sales associates are trained to understand all the hand tools that are covered under this warranty.

craftsman 40-piece mechanics tool set review | the drive

Everyone I knew growing up used Craftsman tools. Thats probably because its what their parents used, and it makes sense to put your trust in the tools youve watched others have good luck with. Unfortunately, if youre in my age group you didnt have the opportunity to invest in a brand-new, made in the United States tool set from Craftsman.

Still, youve stuck by the brand because the devil you know is better than the devil you dont. Besides, even if Craftsman quality isnt what it once was, its good enough to tackle the kind of work we do on our own cars. Right?

Knowing the issues many folks have with modern Craftsman tools, it was exciting to hear that the brand was being handed over to Stanley Black and Decker. Stanely promised to restore the brand to its former glory. To the DIY crowd, the idea of having access again to high-quality tools without going broke was good news. Is that what we got out of the deal?

Some time has passed since then, and it looks for the most part to be more of the same for the Craftsman line. Take this Craftsman 40-piece tool set, for example. Theres an updated ratchet design with engraved sockets, and even the case seems to be a lot better than what we grew up with. We know its not fair to take these updates at face value, which is why The Drive is putting this set to the test. We want to know if its any better than what weve had to work with and if its good enough to get Craftsman out of the shadow of its former self.

Opening up the Craftsman tool set was nothing short of refreshing. I won't say it's miles apart from anything in its price range, but Craftsman took the time to help its customers feel like they are getting a better product.

The first thing I noticed is the quality of the blow-molded case. Sure, it's still a hard-plastic case, but it feels a lot more robust than what Ive handled from the brand in the past. I don't suspect the latches will break easily, and it holds all of the tools firmly in place. I'd even say that it almost has too good of a grip on the sockets; pulling them free is a decent workout. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but they aren't likely to come flying out due to a minor bump.

Speaking of sockets, it's good to see that Craftsman didn't get on board with laser-etched descriptors. Not only does each socket still feature its size engraved onto it, but the font is much larger and more legible than the smaller print we've dealt with for years.

This is only a 40-piece set built around the 3/8-inch ratchet, yet you still get a decent selection of metric and SAE sockets. I'd say pairing this kit with some combination wrenches and a 13/16 spark-plug socket would give a person the means to tackle a solid range of general tasks under the hood.

Ill admit that I was skeptical of the ratchet. After all, it's not the 36-tooth Craftsman ratchet I'm used to. This new ratchet has double the teeth, smooth edges, and a high-polish finish that feel almost alien to the brand in a good way.

Ive had Craftsman ratchets skip teeth and send my knuckles into plenty of sharp objects before, but I never hesitated to pick up the tools and get to work. Its not like I really had a choice. The job still needed to be done, no matter what tools I have at my disposal. I didnt want to treat this set any differently. My project Charger needed new shocks on all four corners, so thats what this Craftsman set would be used for.

Since this is a 40-piece set with only one ratchet and no wrenches, Id need to bring along some additional hand tools to tackle the mounting bolts on the shocks. I wont take points off because of that. This is a relatively small set, and Craftsman does offer larger mechanics tool sets for anyone in search of a more inclusive collection.

Overall, the experience was good. Scratch that. These blew me away. Maybe I just wanted to find something good about the new Craftsman, but that ratchet felt amazing to use, far better than anything else Ive used from the brand in some time.

Craftsman doesnt follow in the same footsteps as other tool manufacturers by offering ratchets with round grips. It stuck with the rectangular theme were all familiar with but modernized the design with rounded edges. This simple update makes a major difference. The ratchet felt natural in my hand, and I experienced zero discomfort throughout the entirety of the project.

I wont say its perfect, however. While nothing broke, I did experience some small hiccups during use. I did accidentally bump the direction-selector switch enough times to get me cursing, and I had a 12-point socket slip off the hardware more than once. A little mindfulness about your form should help you avoid those issues.

The warm and fuzzy feelings of believing Craftsman moved up a tier or two in the tool world ended, though, when I took a look inside the ratchet. A little online searching led me to discover that the Craftsman ratchet might share internals with some Stanley ratchets Im not ecstatic about. Opening up the ratchet and comparing it side by side with a Stanley model confirmed that they were the same.

Im a huge fan of the way this tool feels in my hand. It might not have the most aesthetically pleasing design, but it fits my hand more naturally than any other ratchet Ive used. That level of comfort might be enough for me to forgive it for the sins Ill discuss in a moment.

On top of feeling good, the ratchet and sockets did perform well. Changing shocks is a fairly harmless job, but some of my hardware was gummed up enough to require some serious torque to remove them. Despite that, there were no real performance or durability issues.

That 72-tooth mechanism did make a big difference when dealing with the shock mounts tucked into some tight spaces on this car. Seventy-two teeth is pretty standard for todays sockets, and since my old Craftsman ratchets feature just 36 teeth, the change is a huge improvement.

Ive been able recently to put quite a few ratchet and socket sets to the test. The tools themselves hardly pose an issue; its the cases that drive me up a wall. The fact that Craftsmans case is above average is refreshing.

I wont rave too much about it because it is still a blow-molded plastic case. But it is far more robust than what most budget-friendly sets come with. This has nothing to do with the tools themselves, but it is something I think other manufacturers can learn from.

The Craftsman set isnt perfect, and I did run into a few issues while working. The direction-selector switch isnt recessed or protected by raised sections on the back of the ratchet. Its somewhat pronounced, and I accidentally bumped it and switched directions more than once. Thats not a major deal, but it was annoying.

Those two issues are easily avoidable with some careful application, but what really bothers me is whats inside. Taking a look at the inner workings of a Craftsman 72-tooth ratchet, I found that it relies on a single pawl thats pressed into place with a thin piece of metal. That flimsy piece is likely to slide out of place and jam the works. Stanley Black and Decker ratchets have that same design. In fact, the internals of this 3/8-inch ratchet are interchangeable with the Stanley black-chrome ratchet.

This is a step in the right direction for Craftsman. The brand seems to be making an effort to update its line to meet modern standards. Craftsman got a lot of things right, and this set will make a difference in your working experience. Its a great addition to any DIYers collection.

I cant say its the greatest set to put your money towards, however. Even if I have more confidence in the internals after using it more often, I wont say its something Id recommend for heavy-duty work. But the Craftsmans lifetime warranty makes it easy to live with the potential issues Ive discussed.

A. Yes, they do. Instead of having Sears swap tools for you, Lowes is now in charge. Thankfully, the process of doing so is exactly the same, and lifetime Craftsman tool owners dont need to jump through hoops to have their warranties honored.

A. Craftsman has been expanding its production of U.S.-made tools, but plenty are still made overseas. This particular set is made in Taiwan, and I suspect many of its hand tools are of similar origin.

A. Yes, it is. Despite not being as good as it once was, theres no arguing that its a leader of the pack as a manufacturer of tools suited to the DIY crowd. The balance of pricing, selection, and quality make it a tough brand to beat in this segment.

The Drive's Gear section is our brand-new baby, and we want it to grow. To give you, our dear readers, clarity on the process, we want you to know that the products we get in arrive from a variety of sources, including those we purchase ourselves and those we receive from manufacturers. No matter the source, we maintain our editorial independence and will always give you our honest assessment of any product we test.

Were here to be expert guides in everything How To and Product related. Use us, compliment us, yell at us. Comment below, and lets talk, yall. You can also shout at us on Twitter or Instagram. You can also reach us at [email protected]

craftsman chicagology

The Craftsman trademark was registered by Sears on May 20, 1927. Arthur Barrows, head of the companys hardware department, liked the name Craftsman and reportedly bought the rights to use it from the Marion-Craftsman Tool Company for $500.

When Sears promoted Arthur Barrows to West Coast Manager, he hired Tom Dunlap to take over the hardware department. Dunlap immediately upgraded the quality of the tools. America had moved into the automobile age and Dunlap recognized that Sears needed a line of high quality tools to meet the new demand. He threw out the big, clumsy, cast-iron hammers and wrenches, and the soft screwdrivers leftover from the days when farmers were the companys biggest customers.

Tom Dunlap understood the pride mechanics took in their tools and how they meticulously cleaned them each day. To improve the look of Craftsman tools, he added chrome plating to improve the finish, color, and trim on wrenches and sockets. He also added high impact plastic handles on screwdrivers. Dunlaps former boss, Arthur Barrows did not think it made sense to chrome plate a tool that someone would slug the hell out of, but Dunlaps persistence paid off when sales of the full-polish, reliable, good-looking, and easy-to-clean tools increased six times the next year.

The first Craftsman power tools were featured in the 1929 Sears catalog. These power tools were recognized in 1938 for helping to build the largest adobe building which was the Rocky Mountain offices of the U.S. Forestry Service. After this, the Chief Forestry Engineer declared Craftsman tools as a permanent part of the Services shop equipment.

Craftsman lawnmowers were first introduced in 1934. The Sears fall catalog introduced the Craftsman lawn and garden equipment that includes the new rotary power mower in 1948. In 1953, Sears introduced the first Craftsman riding lawn mower.

In 1947, Craftsman razor blades were debut and mark a rare failure in the Craftsman line. The razors publicity campaign fails when razor blades sent to store managers arrive rusty due to faulty preservatives.

If this Craftsman hand tool ever fails to give complete satisfaction, return it to any Sears store or other Craftsman outlet in the United States for free repair or replacement. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may have other rights, which vary, from state to state.

Beginning in 2010, hand tools manufactured for Craftsman by Apex Tool Group such as ratchets, sockets, and wrenches began being produced overseas (mainly in China although some are produced in Taiwan), while tools produced for Craftsman by Western Forge such as adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers and larger mechanic tool sets remain made in the United States.

The hardline mechanics tools (wrenches, ratchets, and sockets) that make up the core of the brand have been made by a variety of manufacturers over the years, including New Britain, Moore Drop Forging, Stanley, Easco Hand Tools, Danaher Corporation, and most recently Apex Tool Group. Screwdrivers have been manufactured by Pratt-Read but are now supplied by Western Forge, who also supply pliers and adjustable wrenches. Many Craftsman portable power tools have been manufactured by Techtronic Industries. Many Craftsman bench and stationary power tools have been manufactured by Emerson Electric Company and DeWalt. Craftsman-branded garage door openers are manufactured by The Chamberlain Group.

On January 5, 2017, Stanley Black and Decker announced it had agreed to purchase the brand in a deal valued at approximately $900 million. Under the terms of the deal, Stanley, Black & Decker will pay $525 million when the deal closes and $250 million at the end of the third year after closing. Sears will also collect a percentage of new Craftsman sales for 15 years after the deal closes. Sears will be able to continue selling Craftsman tools under a licensing agreement, royalty free, for the first 15 years. Afterwards, Sears will pay Stanley, Black & Decker a 3% licensing fee