More About Craftsman Tools

Well we’ve seen how the sale of Apex played out in the Craftsman suppliers. Now almost every tool I pick up at Sears is Made in China. The Made in Taiwan are looking better then them now.

SK was bought by Ideal and they have actually gained in the quality of the products. So if you can find them at an affordable price I would recommend purchasing them.

In all honesty I have problems with the oft repeated advice to buy the older Craftsman tools. Yes they have an lifetime warranty, but what will they be replaced with?

Will it be worth while to purchase them?

Dang it’s been a long time!

Wow I lost this site during a server move. Then didn’t have the time to go and redo all of the configurations file that were messed up in the move.

Finally had some extra time and here the site is again. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep updating the site.


Well the word going around is that Bain Investment Group has purchased Apex from Danaher and Cooper.

How this one will play out is anybodies guess.

SK / Ideal customer service.

The other day I was digging in the trunk of my dads car. In it I found his old SK ratchet he used all of the time before he passed away.

After I cleaned it up I noticed it wasn’t catching right and would slip on occasion. I was on the SK site a couple of days later and decided to ask Customer support if the rebuild kits were still available and how I could order one.

I sent the request form in late Sunday night. At 0845 Monday morning I had a email telling me they were more then happy to send me a new kit under warranty. Wednesday afternoon the new kit was in my mailbox and is now on my desk waiting for me to install it.

This is a refreshing change from the policies of a year ago with the five dollar warranty charges and hassles.

So a definite thumbs up to SK for great service with out even being asked.

This is in stark contrast to Snap On who being asked about warranty for a ratchet that had teeth broken on the pawl gear. Responded with “buy it off of the site.”

Danaher and Cooper to sell Apex?

According to reports in the financial media Danaher and Cooper are looking to sell their joint tool enterprise.

The financial pundits are claiming about 1.5 billion dollars will be realized from the sale.

A big question is, Is this why Craftsman tools are now all being sourced in China. Don’t believe me? Look at the fine print on the back of the packages. Most of the new items say made in China.

What effect if any this will have on the tool buying public remains to be seen. However in my opinion it is another example of a company destroying a once great brand.

Craftsman tools: The beginning of the end?

With even the main hand tools being imported. Where does this leave the Craftsman brand?

One of the big reasons many bought and supported the Craftsman brand for so many years was the fact that they were made on the USA. Now that has largely fallen by the way side.

How many will pay USA tool prices for imported tools? You might as well buy Gearwrenches at least they don’t try to hide where they are made! Trying to find a country of origin on the new packages from Craftsman is a major exercise of your detective abilities.

The new Harbor Freight Pittsburgh line from Taiwan exhibits a better chrome appearance and better machining at a much lower price point.

Now add in the dilution of the brand by the selling of Craftsman tools by every store around.

It all adds up to the end of Craftsman tools as we have known them.

New favorite 1/4 ratchet.

Ran across this Cornwell !/4 flex hard handle. At a very cheap price point. So I bought it.

It has became my current favorite. Despite being a coarse tooth it has the smoothest ratcheting action of any of my 1/4’s. The hard handle is very comfortable and fits my oversized paws very well.

My only complaint is that the head is rather floppy. This has it’s plus and minuses. It makes it easy to lift the handle to clear obstacles. However it requires you to be able to use two hands to get a socket on the end of an extension into a small area. This is due to the head dropping from the weight of the extension and socket.

Cornwell 1/4 flex ratchet orange hard handle
Cornwell Orange handle flex 1/4
Cornwell 1/4 top view orange handle flex head
Top view

SK ratchets?

While I own a 1/2 inch drive SK and love the SK stubbie. I’ve never really been a big fan of SK ratchets.

Recently while going through some of my tools I realized I have a boat load of SK sockets. I’ve bought them and used them for years. In my experience they are one of the toughest sockets on the market. While mine are no show pieces, being well worn and very used in appearance, they continue to give great service.

To me looks means nothing in tools. The one and only important item is the way in which the tool preforms it’s job. When I need it will it do what is needed? From SK sockets the answer has always been yes. I will admit that I have broken a few of them over the years. How ever this has been in situations where other brands have failed as well. I have cracked SK’s and then turned around and cracked Snap on’s on the same bolt. Some times the bolts are just in there too well. This is especially true here in the rust belt. The bolts can rust weld in place and be about impossible to get out.

To get back on subject I have decided that with Ideal now producing new SK tools maybe I need to get some new production ratchets and stress test them. Maybe even start to work on the 74 Jeep I’ve had on the back burner for the past couple of decades. That thing should be rusted enough to be a real challenge for them.