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Old 01-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #1
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After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

I did a search and didnt notice any mention of this, so I figured I should post up. Apparently Craftsman hand tools are switching to Chinese manufacture.

Click the image to open in full size.

I found out yesterday from a tool forum. I know they have been selling imported supplies and larger items for years, but the hand tool line has been synonymous with Made in USA, and since they have other tool lines, I never thought they would ruin the Craftsman line.

To me this undercuts what I have spent decades buying into as part of their warranty, as they will no longer be able to back up the products I've bought with an acceptable replacement.

Its also very underhanded how they plan to take advantage of everyones assumption that Craftsman = USA. They have apparently been subtly removing Made in USA off packaging on US made tools so that as the switch rolls out, it will be even harder to notice. The tools will come in the same basic shape (although as the link below shows, thicker to make up for lesser quality steel, rougher finishing quality and less gear lube), with the same packaging part numbers and price. It doesnt look to be stamped with its new country of origin, they just removed the USA and leave you to assume its the same tool you have been buying for 85 years.

Just thought everyone should know. To me, its an absolute deal breaker. I only support American made tools.

For more pix/info:
Chinese vs. USA Craftsman RP ratchets (PICS) - The Garage Journal Board
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:27 AM   #2
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

If they are made in China I'm done with Craftsman.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

I havent fully checked this site out yet, but it came up on another forum, providing a list of USA tool manufacturers:
http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/tools.html


And for contacting customer service at Craftsman:
http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/nb_10...NB_CScontactus
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

snap on and mac and matco are china junk too so who cares. go to yard sales and flea markets and buy old craftsman hand tools and you'll be okay!
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:03 AM   #5
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

[quote=Bad AZz Z28;5148347]I havent fully checked this site out yet, but it came up on another forum, providing a list of USA tool manufacturers:
http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/tools.html

According to this link, S&K tools are made in the USA. I have a small number of sockets from them and they seem to be no different than the rest of my entire collection of sockets which are ALL craftsman. Major bummer since there won't be quality replacements if they break. I guess I had better make friends with the Snap On salesman!
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #6
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Unfortunately I heard this from a friend that used to work there selling them. At this time not everything is supposed to go to China but I believe that once they start they will not stop. It is a sad fact that most people will still assume they are Made In America.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

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Originally Posted by 305sbc View Post
exactly.
hope & change *(tm)

same with Barry Grant's shop that had to close down.

Hostess/Wonder-bread has now filed for bankruptcy due to the Teamsters and changes to health-care laws.

I expect to see more giving up and selling out, or whatever it takes to survive.
Only way 4 a company to survive now is to move to another country without so many laws/unions/CEOs/epa/government that strangles the sh-it out of a companys profits and such..
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:22 PM   #8
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderCover89TBI View Post
snap on and mac and matco are china junk too so who cares. go to yard sales and flea markets and buy old craftsman hand tools and you'll be okay!
most of those 3 are USA made, although I hear they have some foreign made as well, its more important than ever to pay attention to country of origin on products. flea markets and estate sales are a great value, but seeking out and rewarding companies that still provide american products is the best, and I feel better about my purchase.

It takes longer to assemble a tool collection that way, but the right deals are still out there. I'm phasing out any of my miscellaneous foreign stuff with a combo of new USA made and vintage Buffalo NY made stuff, but Craftsman is permanently off my list of options.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:42 PM   #9
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

http://www.ehow.com/about_5549766_cr...ools-made.html

Check out this link, guys. It gives you an idea of just where different items off the Craftsman tool line come from. This actually isn't anything completely new.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #10
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

It is very unfortunate to hear that Craftsman has started having their tools made in china. Definitely going to effect my descision making on where to buy my tools from now.


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Go away this is not the place for your racist political agenda.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:15 PM   #11
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad AZz Z28 View Post
most of those 3 are USA made, although I hear they have some foreign made as well, its more important than ever to pay attention to country of origin on products. flea markets and estate sales are a great value, but seeking out and rewarding companies that still provide american products is the best, and I feel better about my purchase.

It takes longer to assemble a tool collection that way, but the right deals are still out there. I'm phasing out any of my miscellaneous foreign stuff with a combo of new USA made and vintage Buffalo NY made stuff, but Craftsman is permanently off my list of options.
well snap on and mac, matco are all junk tools IMO. Your better off paying the cheaper price for craftsman, harbor freight. I use these tools everyday and the quality has went down a ton
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:48 PM   #12
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

I worked at Sears about 5 years ago. It had already started by then. Guys would bring in these beat to hell 20 year old ratchets that had finally quit. I'd offer them the current replacement, a POS Chinese thing with plastic internals, and they'd get pissed and leave.
Word around the store was that they sold the American foundry in the 1990s, and Husky (Home Depot) ran them for a few years. Then Depot couldn't make a profit with 'em, so they were again sold to a smaller name tool co. I *think* they (old American Craftsman) are still in business, but under an obscure name....
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:22 PM   #13
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad AZz Z28 View Post
They have apparently been subtly removing Made in USA off packaging on US made tools so that as the switch rolls out, it will be even harder to notice. The tools will come in the same basic shape (although as the link below shows, thicker to make up for lesser quality steel, rougher finishing quality and less gear lube), with the same packaging part numbers and price. It doesnt look to be stamped with its new country of origin, they just removed the USA and leave you to assume its the same tool you have been buying for 85 years.
It must have the country of origin on there somewhere. Country of origin is required on almost all consumer products.

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Old 01-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #14
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

That may explain why my newest replacement craftsman rachet is a pos
been to lazy to take it back, but the gears inside where all messed up as soon as they gave it to me!!!!!!
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:02 PM   #15
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

My 2 cents.

I love things made in america, i support my country and would love to support its economy by purchasing goods made in america.

However, im no **** to out sourcing(cant spell). If its qaulity material, made elsewhere, i will purchase it.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:26 PM   #16
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Quote:
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My 2 cents.

I love things made in america, i support my country and would love to support its economy by purchasing goods made in america.

However, im no **** to out sourcing(cant spell). If its qaulity material, made elsewhere, i will purchase it.
Same here. But quality seems to be hard yo come by nowadays. Everyone is worried about saving that 2 cents that you just gave.

Also, this is a MAJOR reason why our economy is in the state it is. People would rather buy products made elsewhere, and the American market suffers a major lack in income as a result.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:39 PM   #17
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

what about this thought,


the new camaro is built in Canada if im not wrong. however, the profits go to Americans right?

what about Toyota? they build cars here but the money is going overseas.

who is benefiting in these two? The people getting the money from profit or the jobs the factories provide? which matters more to you?

with that thought, is craftsman's profit coming back to the USA? does this matter? or is it all just an issue on quality? if china made a quality tool owned by an American company for half the price of a quality USA made snap on you would STILL buy the snap on? even if, in theory, it was a $200 difference?*(i used snap on as an example, im not saying it is, or is not better or less/more expensive)

just a thought to keep this going
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:11 PM   #18
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderCover89TBI View Post
well snap on and mac, matco are all junk tools IMO. Your better off paying the cheaper price for craftsman, harbor freight. I use these tools everyday and the quality has went down a ton

I disagree, I had always bought Craftsman because they offered decent quality for a decent price, but after becoming an auto tech were the quality of your tools affects how fast your job gets done, I've switched over to Snap-On, and the difference in quality is like night and day. I've never bought Harbor Freight because their tools are complete poop, but i've had to use it before at my buddies place, just the other day I grabbed a friends HF extension to tighten some lug nuts, and the nut didnt even get to 100ft lbs when the front sheared off the extension, this wouldn't happen with any other brand. Also Snap-On wrenches and ratchets are way better then craftsman, I own both Craftsman and Snap-On ratchets, and the Snap-On is 10x better of a tool, no play in the mechanism, and they use like 80 tooth mechanisms compared to like 36 on the craftsman, so where the Craftsman takes 10 degrees to move to the next tooth, the Snap-On takes 3 degrees, which is awesome for jobs in tight spaces, the downfall for buying Snap-On is the price, which in my field its worth it, but for an average joe who once in a while does the maintenance on his cars at home, the Craftsman will do
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:10 AM   #19
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Im the 3rd generation of owning and using craftsman tools... my friends also use craftsman its nice to return broken tools no questions asked... At the shops iv been at with mac and snap-on they inspected the tool for abuse and 90% of the time deemed it as improper usage and charge you for a replacement... The fact that sears is with in miles from me. (In an example: i can drop in and hand them a screw driver that was obviously used as chisel they just throw it in a bin and give me a new one no questions asked that's whats so great... Some of my friends abuse the **** out of there tools but me i personally don't and iv never needed to exchange a broken tool but its a nice peace of mind...


However im sure most are already aware sears might be headed for bankruptcy... which if you knew it or not sears holdings corporation which has just closed 100+ Kmart stores also controls the line of craftsman tools and equipment. the brand name craftsman is owned by KCD IP, LLC, which was created by Sears Holdings Corporation for securitization purposes. KCD IP, LLC, is a limited liability company. The owners include Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. The IP, which stands for intellectual property, is a legal term for protection of creative ideas, images and designs. In actuality, Craftsman is not made by Craftsman, but by several other companies under agreement with Craftsman. Craftsman is a brand name, not a manufacturer. The tools are sold in Sears, Kmart, and Orchard Supply Hardware stores (all three owned by Sears Holdings), as well as Fastenal, US military Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores, Summit Racing Equipment and Ace Hardware. Sears Holdings Corporations revenue is down $40+ billion.... so it makes since for them to want to move operations over seas however the overseas markets are now starting to get smart and either union up or make a company pay more... I heard in the printing industry it now cost about the same to do stuff in house rather then ship it off. With sears on the the verge of bankruptcy and craftsman warped up so tightly around them it will be interesting to see what happens with in the next few months or years...
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:10 AM   #20
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Business does business the most efficient and profitable way it can. The tax structure and regulations etc. dictate where business is done. If you live in California or New York you can see business flooding out of your state because of the taxes and regulation and flooding out of the US for the same reason. And it's who the people voted for that created the structure. The solution is clear.
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:26 AM   #21
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Problem is China devalues its own currency as well as pays there own people next to nothing. If more Americans would be patriotic and support our own country by buying American products we wouldn't have this issue. Being big bussiness has shipped jobs over sea for 40 years now other nations have strong manufactureing.. When the USA was the manufacturing giant from the late 1800s-1960s the country was on top. After big bussiness has sold us out the only way we will get those good jobs back is if we all work for rice.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:39 AM   #22
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Wow, this is truely depressing. I've spent thousands on craftsman tools, as has my father. They do this and their warrenty becomes essentially invalid, "yea here we'll replace your quality american made tool that you managed to break with this cheap china crap, have a nice day" and snap on asks questions replacing tools you say? Hmmm, now where are we supposed to buy quality tools with a no questions asked you break it we replace it garuntee. That's why I loved craftsman so much, they were one of the last companies to have that stand by their brand, true american good ole fashoned handshake promise quality. Why should I have to buy a tool 10 times (or more) just because it wouldn't stand up to the pressure?
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:55 AM   #23
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

I just think its funny that everyone is so worried about the china tools when Sears Holdings Corporation is on the verge of bankruptcy...
So far 80% of the Craftsman line is produced in the United States, where is the other 10% ? shovels, rakes and some measuring tapes that are made over seas........read my above post... china tools or not good luck on a tool exchange...
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:44 PM   #24
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Precisely fuled soul, that's the other major issue. Felt like I was rambling so I didn't touch on it.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:58 PM   #25
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

I've noticed Craftsman's quality has recently gone down. For example, I bought a brand new torque wrench from them only to brake when I first used it. Replaced it, but still not happy with it.

I also broke my little ratchet doing interior bolts. Replaced it with a craftsman ratchet that was "refubished" in China. Oh well....

I've always bought Craftsman because of their warranty, but have also purchased Kobalt tools recently that are keeping up just as well. Lowes has an unconditional warranty on their tools as well. I'm seeing less and less of a reason to purchase Craftsman.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:02 PM   #26
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad AZz Z28 View Post
I only support American made tools.
Good luck finding any American made tools from anyone other than Snap-On now. I guarantee that once you pay $300 for a Torque Wrench & $200 for 4 crescent wrenches, you'll begin to change that notion. Unless you're interested in spending the next 5-10 years buying a tool set or misc tool here and there from Snap-On.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:15 PM   #27
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

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Originally Posted by TPI-Formula350- View Post
If more Americans would be patriotic and support our own country by buying American products we wouldn't have this issue.
Sorry, but it just doesn't work that way, be it in theory or reality. You can't make the US economy better by spending all earned US dollars in the US economy on US made products. At some point in the line, there has to be an outside injection of cash from some other nation wanting our products in order for the economy to be healthy. And until we start exporting far more than we import, thats not going to happen.

Up until the late 60's to early 70's, America was still the only major industrialized nation on Earth. Sure there was Russia, but the Soviet economy was only the size of what a still rebuilding bombed out Europe was after WWII and there wasn't an industrial base like ours anywhere else either combined or on its own. This is why were the export King up until the late 80's early 90's. In the mid 70's China began emerging as a world power and instead of being stuck in their ways like we still are, they invested in and continue to do so, modernizing and beating the cost out of their industrial base. This is why China is now the world exporter, not us.

For some reason, America thinks we need to have the highest paid and largest labor force in order to be competitive. What we need is the best trained & cheapest labor force with the most modern industrial base to be more competitive. If you've ever watched programs like Ultimate Factories; you'll see, in glaring HD color, that the US industrial base is some 10-15yrs behind in technological development overall, and in some cases its even further behind than that (try 25-50yrs for steel mills and specialty fab centers). Shortly put, the US puts more emphasis on short term gains vs long term returns.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:07 PM   #28
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

doesn't bother me any, i haven't used craftsman to work on cars for over six years now since high school, i like and use snap on and mac. yes mac is owned by stanley but their old and some of their new tools are very good. i have also abused the crap out of my tools and have them replaced with out being interrogated by the mac or snap on guy, if they have a strong franchise and you are a good customer they wont care if you used a cheater bar or used a screw drive as a chisel.if guys are being questioned on tool warranty for almost everything then you have a cheap tool rep who isn't worth doing business with and i know a one or two tool trucks in the merced area that i will not set foot in. personally matco hand tools are junk, i have a box over flowing with matco crap tools because the matco guy around here went bankrupt and im to lazy and don't want to pay to mail them out.the craftsman stuff stays at home for repairs and stuff around the house.

Last edited by amlv20; 01-14-2012 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:16 PM   #29
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

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For some reason, America thinks we need to have the highest paid and largest labor force in order to be competitive. What we need is the best trained & cheapest labor force with the most modern industrial base to be more competitive. If you've ever watched programs like Ultimate Factories; you'll see, in glaring HD color, that the US industrial base is some 10-15yrs behind in technological development overall, and in some cases its even further behind than that (try 25-50yrs for steel mills and specialty fab centers). Shortly put, the US puts more emphasis on short term gains vs long term returns.
Its amazing how well we were doing during the industrial revolution. Yes after WWII we were setup perfect to be the world leader in manufacturing. A man could support his family on one salary. The companys as well as the labor force was at an all time peak. Then big bussiness got greedy and wanted even more profit by cutting out the American worker by out sourcing. They destroyed manufacturing in the United States at the same time building it up over seas.
You saying Americans should be the worlds cheapest work force is pretty sad. This is at a time when the middle class is shrinking and at the same time we have more millionaires then ever,fact. I find it odd that some ppl choice to be a groupie for the rich as they are robbing the average American blind. Big bussiness is pushing us into the poor house and getting Hugh bonus as they do it.
I'm fine with them getting rich, my issue is them doing on the backs of everyone else.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:37 PM   #30
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

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Then big bussiness got greedy.
IMO that is the problem with the U.S. we are way to greedy. we want more, we want the best, we want it all. we dont know when to stop and say this is good enough.it was great and worked during the 1900's up until the greedy american corporations figured out the Chinese are cheap and profitable because they take what they can get.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:49 PM   #31
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

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You saying Americans should be the worlds cheapest work force is pretty sad.
I completely agree with that. It is sad, no questions asked. However; when China has the lowest labor costs of all major industrialized nations, most of Europe/other developed nations is second in lowest labor costs only to China, its kinda hard for the US to compete when we have the highest material & labor costs of any manufacturer on Earth. If we were a close third to Europe/other developed nations, things wouldn't be so bad considering our quality control programs here are over the top great. But were nowhere near that. In fact, I'd be willing to wager that you could do a 25% across the board cut in wages & material prices and still not be cost competitive with even European goods.

As for the socialist/communist ideal of redistribution of wealth/labor getting more of the reward than the people who manage/invent, Abraham Lincoln had this to say about it:

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Originally Posted by Abraham Lincoln
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
BTW, Americas real problem & threat to itself is our attitude of entitlement. When we stop feeling like were entitled to everything at the for nothing price, then we'll be a far better nation than we are now.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:44 PM   #32
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

Actually, the US ranks highest in manufacturing output. We rank 17th in labor costs.
The "outsourcing of American jobs" is mostly low-tech, low pay jobs. I read an article a few years ago that had stats showing that we actually "in-sourced" more jobs than were out-sourced. Design, high-tech manufacturing, medical devices and a few other segments... all high skill and high pay... were the ones that were drawing foreign companies to buy American.

So here is a question, should a car company pay someone $50/hr to assemble a car? What if that laborer can be trained to do his job in a few hours?
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:34 PM   #33
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

[quote=JeepOnRock;5149965]Actually, the US ranks highest in manufacturing output. We rank 17th in labor costs.
The "outsourcing of American jobs" is mostly low-tech, low pay jobs.

That is the problem. People that have attained "high skill" degrees have no problems finding jobs. The unemployment rate in the USA has very little to do with the medical industry or lawyers or *insert specialized field*. it has to do with blue collar americans, you know, the ones that are still chasing the dream. You also ask about paying crazy amounts to build cars, ask yourself this.....How much of that hourly rate is going to unions? Take the union out of the equation and how much would you have to pay that same worker?
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:25 PM   #34
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

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Actually, the US ranks highest in manufacturing output. We rank 17th in labor costs.
The "outsourcing of American jobs" is mostly low-tech, low pay jobs.
That is the problem. People that have attained "high skill" degrees have no problems finding jobs. The unemployment rate in the USA has very little to do with the medical industry or lawyers or *insert specialized field*. it has to do with blue collar americans, you know, the ones that are still chasing the dream. You also ask about paying crazy amounts to build cars, ask yourself this.....How much of that hourly rate is going to unions? Take the union out of the equation and how much would you have to pay that same worker?
And as long as "Blue Collar Americans" think that they can make $50/hour doing a job that a robot can do, or that a replacement can be trained to do in a week, they will remain unemployed.

And union auto manufacturers are paying about 1/3 more than the foreign makes for labor per hour. That would be about $25/hour... Much (but not all) of that is legacy costs.

But then how much does it cost down the line? Is the extra money what makes an American company uncompetitive in foreign markets? Maybe it is the lower productivity of union shops v non-union shops (in 2007, GM needed 10% more labor hours to assemble a car than Toyota... Ford and Chrysler were 25% more).

BTW, there were similar complaints about how farm labor at the turn of the century... all of the jobs were in manufacturing and farm unemployment was sky-high.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:18 AM   #35
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Re: After 85 years of USA Made, Craftsman hand tools now Chinese

very disappointing to hear
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