For the second week in a row, we heard from several readers who shared their reactions to the news that Craftsman Tools has been sold to Stanley Black & Decker. – even as we brought you news last week that SKIL power tools is also changing hands, from Bosch USA to Chervon. – Editor
“I, too, find the comings and goings of various tool manufacturers’ products strange and sometimes disconcerting. I’ve been doing woodworking for the last 15 years or so, first in half of a one-car garage and now in two bays of a three-car garage in our home in Hudson, Florida. Most of my stationary power tools are Craftsman, which I find more than adequate for the type of hobby woodworking I do. But, what I really wanted to tell you about is my first tool purchase.
“I must have been all of fourteen years old when I discovered a Sears Roebuck store just a few blocks away on Queens Bvd. in Elmhurst, New York. I would go by the store from time to time and look at all the tools they had there. At the time I did earn a little money with my newspaper and magazine deliveries, so when I had enough saved up I went into the store and bought the hand plane I had my eyes on for the last year or so.
“It was a Sears Dunlap plane which, as you may know, was their less expensive line, as their new line of Craftsman tools were their top line. I’ve had that Sears Dunlap plane for 75 years now and have used it on almost every one of my woodworking projects. I had occasion recently to sharpen the blade using my new Veritas honing guide before using it again on one of my gift projects. So it’s with some sadness that I see my old friend, the venerable Sears Roebuck, go under and another era come to a close.” – Joe Barceloa
“I emigrated from Scotland in 1969 and brought my Britool tools with me. Still have them today! Any tools bought in Canada were always Craftsman. Sooooo sorry to hear they’ve gone! How come nothing lasts? I still have all my tools, and they still work. So sad.” – Brian S. Campbell.
“I learned my craft in a shop with a similar radial arm saw. The scariest parts for me were startup (it sounded like a jet plane taking off) and, with no brake, it took a full half hour to coast to a stop. As to dad’s tools, I had his old Craftsman electric drill. Again, all metal, no plastic, which I used on and off until about 10 years ago. I’m now 76, so you can guess the age of that antique. The motor finally seized and gave up, much like my dad’s motor. Sooner or later we all go. Thanks for the story about mergers and acquisitions. I never like them because, there goes another piece of my life.” – Bob Adler
“It was shocking to hear about this. However, when the Craftsman products began showing up in hardware stores, it made me wonder what was next. For many years, I bought Craftsman products almost exclusively. Their hand tools were great and power tools never failed. Lifetime warranty implied superior quality. I have several Craftsman tools that are over 40 years old and still work (except for the 7-1/4 saw that I cut the cord on).
“I’m sure the competition from all the other brands has been the major factor. A lot of them are being imported and are also high quality. Plus, Sears didn’t seem interested in expanding the line. I refuse to buy any Black & Decker product. It is inferior quality and material, plus made in Mexico products are difficult/impossible to get service or parts.
“Still, it’s sad to imagine Craftsman’s future. Typically, the best products and people are siphoned off and the rest are either resold or retired. I’m afraid the Craftsman brand is done for.” – Pat Monk