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Old December 28, 2017, 19:39   #1
lockjaw
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Apparently I am out of touch... Craftsman Made in China socket set... damn it, man.

I stop in at Ace Hardware to find some grade 8 bolts n' such.

A couple weeks ago, I observed a Holiday sale on Craftsman socket sets. I need another socket set like I need a hole in my head, but I liked the compact 10 PC 3/8" metric and SAE sets. I picked up a set of both.

I finally retrieved them from the console of my truck (sidetracked by the Holidays). I open on of the boxes and pick up the wrench. No mention of USA on it anywhere. I then inspect a socket... hmmm...... looks more like the China or Taiwan crap than the Craftsman tools in my workshop, garage, or the tool boxes in the family vehicles. No mention of "Made in USA."

Then I read the label. In small print, sideways to the main label, "Made in China."

The quality is on par with the socket set that I bought from Harbor Freight for my kid to play with. Damn it, man. I'm more disappointed than I am pissed. Craftsman was always a quality compromise to paying the big bucks for Snap-On or Matco. Sigh....... I feel like my G-Pa.
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Old December 28, 2017, 19:46   #2
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And they're probably cast instead of forged like all of them used to be. Some people on here will say cast is as strong or stronger but I guarantee you it isn't once you load it hard enough.
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Old December 28, 2017, 19:47   #3
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Old news, pal.

I am becoming my grandfathers, too.
They were both good men so I don't sweat it.
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Old December 28, 2017, 20:06   #4
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Yep. 80 percent of my tools and shop stuff is craftsman from 20+ years back. Even Napa had decent crap 20 years ago. I have 2 channelock pliers my dad had that are 60 years old and just spray them down. Craftsman was a respectable compromise from Klein, Snap On, etc. Seems Stanley went Asian and then got craftsman. Most everything I see is junk these days. Too bad all my missing screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and sockets are probably in a pile somewhere with the socks that have disappeared.
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Last edited by meltblown; December 28, 2017 at 20:18.
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Old December 28, 2017, 20:18   #5
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Yeah, back in the late 80's Craftsman went Taiwanese on there bigger stuff, I bought a 3/4" drive socket set and was impressed by the price... 'Til they wouldn't warrantee the ratchet. In the fine print those were not a warrantable item. So I replaced the ratchet with a MAC model that was 10x stronger (6 foot cheater pipe proof). I have replaced 2 of the original sockets with MAC sockets. The 1-11/16" and the 2-3/16", Both sockets held up to a torque multiplier for a lot longer than they should have.
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Old December 28, 2017, 20:21   #6
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And they're probably cast instead of forged like all of them used to be. Some people on here will say cast is as strong or stronger but I guarantee you it isn't once you load it hard enough.
Actually a decent forged socket can be used with an impact wrench when needed for shade tree jobs.
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Old December 28, 2017, 20:32   #7
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Yes they do hold up better. I've done MANY times over the years. Not so much anymore. They're too brittle.
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Old December 28, 2017, 20:37   #8
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And they're probably cast instead of forged like all of them used to be. Some people on here will say cast is as strong or stronger but I guarantee you it isn't once you load it hard enough.
I'm not so sure about that. The last few years the Snap On chrome sockets look like they are Metal Injection Molded. No signs of broaching or any other internal machining. But they still hold up to my abuse on the heavy equipment. Like a 1/2' drive 3/4" 12 point at 330 LB FT with an adaptor on a 3/4" torque wrench tightening Cat headbolts.
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Old December 28, 2017, 21:00   #9
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If it comes from Snap On it's good stuff. Can pass it on to your kids or sell it
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Old December 28, 2017, 21:24   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltblown View Post
Yep. 80 percent of my tools and shop stuff is craftsman from 20+ years back. Even Napa had decent crap 20 years ago. I have 2 channelock pliers my dad had that are 60 years old and just spray them down. Craftsman was a respectable compromise from Klein, Snap On, etc. Seems Stanley went Asian and then got craftsman. Most everything I see is junk these days. Too bad all my missing screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and sockets are probably in a pile somewhere with the socks that have disappeared.
Channellock is still made in USA.
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Old December 28, 2017, 21:30   #11
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If it comes from Snap On it's good stuff. Can pass it on to your kids or sell it
Man if that ain't the truth, Most of the stuff in my shop boxes is from the early 80's-late 70's even. Had to replace a 9/16" end wrench for the first time a few weeks back. Now that shiny thing sticks out like a sore thumb.
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Old December 28, 2017, 22:36   #12
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So, the following article should help explain what all is happening with/to the "Craftsman" brand name:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/08/sear...ern-forge.html

Here are some of the key points to the article:

Sears sold its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker earlier this year, in a deal valued at $900 million. The deal provides Sears the right to sell Craftsman products made by its existing suppliers, royalty-free, for 15 years.

"Western Forge ... is refusing to perform under its current Supply Agreement," Sears spokesman Howard Riefs told CNBC in an email Thursday.



Western Forge was bought by Ideal Industries in 2010. An agreement between the company and Sears was set to expire at the end of April, the Tribune reported, and both Ideal and Sears were believed to have been discussing extending their partnership.


Also remember that K-Mart bought out Sears a few years back.
Like so many well known US brands, it isn't the same company you grew up with.

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Old December 28, 2017, 23:10   #13
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Originally Posted by APEXgunparts View Post
So, the following article should help explain what all is happening with/to the "Craftsman" brand name:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/08/sear...ern-forge.html

Here are some of the key points to the article:

Sears sold its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker earlier this year, in a deal valued at $900 million. The deal provides Sears the right to sell Craftsman products made by its existing suppliers, royalty-free, for 15 years.

"Western Forge ... is refusing to perform under its current Supply Agreement," Sears spokesman Howard Riefs told CNBC in an email Thursday.



Western Forge was bought by Ideal Industries in 2010. An agreement between the company and Sears was set to expire at the end of April, the Tribune reported, and both Ideal and Sears were believed to have been discussing extending their partnership.


Also remember that K-Mart bought out Sears a few years back.
Like so many well known US brands, it isn't the same company you grew up with.

Richard
As I recall Sears only owned the name, Most of their tools were supplied by KD-Easco, Western Forge only supplied the Craftsman "Professional" tools which were a higher grade polished end wrench etc.
Selling the Craftsman name to Stanley/Black and Decker only puts them under the Proto/MAC tools wing with Blackhawk and Armstrong tools. Which kind of explains why my local Proto dealer offers Craftsman tools now.
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Old December 29, 2017, 00:42   #14
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Lord, discussions like this really date some of you kids.

Way back in the late 80s some mechanics were seeing softness in replacement Craftsmen and not much later Snap On lugs and rachets. With the rachets it was new designs but the lugs were just plain crap

Remember one Snap On guy confiding to me in like 91' that most of the tools were Chinese made with American brands in their current kits, by 2000 American manufactured tools were gone for the most part.
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Old December 29, 2017, 00:52   #15
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Lord, discussions like this really date some of you kids.

Way back in the late 80s some mechanics were seeing softness in replacement Craftsmen and not much later Snap On lugs and rachets. With the rachets it was new designs but the lugs were just plain crap

Remember one Snap On guy confiding to me in like 91' that most of the tools were Chinese made with American brands in their current kits, by 2000 American manufactured tools were gone for the most part.
And another of your Know everything posts. Nothing I say can refute your "Know It All" status. Other than being a Snap On buyer for nearly 40 years with no complaints about any of their stuff. I don't give a shit where they make the stuff as long as it works. But you have to come a long and interject you own little bit of bullshit to fugk with everybody else like usual.
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Old December 29, 2017, 01:37   #16
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Bet you a thousand dollars that most of the S&K, Craftman, MAC, Snap-On, Matco tools came out of forging plant in in NW Ohio within the last 15 years.
Ask me how I know. I bought a metric shit ton of the seconds.

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Old December 29, 2017, 04:49   #17
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Jeez -2 3/16" sockets. What are you working on, bolts that hold bridges together? That thing must be huge (and expensive).


Quote:
Originally Posted by 12v71 View Post
Yeah, back in the late 80's Craftsman went Taiwanese on there bigger stuff, I bought a 3/4" drive socket set and was impressed by the price... 'Til they wouldn't warrantee the ratchet. In the fine print those were not a warrantable item. So I replaced the ratchet with a MAC model that was 10x stronger (6 foot cheater pipe proof). I have replaced 2 of the original sockets with MAC sockets. The 1-11/16" and the 2-3/16", Both sockets held up to a torque multiplier for a lot longer than they should have.
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Old December 29, 2017, 07:56   #18
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Channellock is still made in USA.
So are the Craftsman screwdriver sets Ace had on sale for the holiday season.
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Old December 29, 2017, 08:34   #19
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Couple years ago, I had a new Craftsman 18” breaker bar snap in half. (Sent me flying)
I knew I could take the pieces back and get another new POS.
Instead, went on eBay, bought a 1960’s vintage used Craftsman breaker bar, well worn, but made well enough to stand the test of time.
Now all I buy is “vintage” tools, when possible.
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Old December 29, 2017, 08:52   #20
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Glad I don't need to buy any more tools. That is unless I can't find what I already have (this happens too often). I just yesterday bailed my old Bostich finish nailer out from the repair shop. $63 dollars for all new seals and stuff. This is at least the second, maybe the third time I have had it rebuilt. I don't do enough building anymore to justify buying new tools, but I hate doing without or working with crap.

I had a bunch of old-style clipped-head framing nails (8-10-12d) to use up, and no (working) gun that they fit. Instead of getting one of my old guns fixed, if they could even get parts, I just took a $20 off coupon to Harbor Freight and bought a new gun for $60 something bucks plus tax. Check out Clerk tried to sell me the extended warranty for past 90 days. I told him I would either be done with it or it torn up in 90 days! I used up 3 boxes of nails and easily paid for the gun, and it is still working.

But back on topic, there was a time ALL my tools came from Sears. Still have them and am glad of it, when I do find time to hunt them down and use them.
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Old December 29, 2017, 09:19   #21
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Bought a set of Pirelli P4+'s for the car last year.....had one that wouldn't balance right...so I looked close at them after the 3 time trying to balance it.
MADE IN CHINA in very small lettering. Never saw it when purchased and it's not easy to see. They replaced the one as it would not roll true but I would have not bought them had I known at the time......and I did look them over before purchase.....just missed that part.
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Old December 29, 2017, 10:02   #22
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Ok, here is an article that discusses what is happening with Sears "Craftsman" and Stanley Black and Decker "Craftsman". According to this there is hope that my beloved Craftsman forged in the USA tools will be back.

http://toolguyd.com/stanley-black-de...n-back-to-usa/

BTW, Sears Home Stores are not part of Sears Holdings. They still stock a lot of Forged in the USA wrenches and sockets, as well as screw drivers and pliers. I had to visit 3 stores around me to find some of the USA wrenches that were missing from several of the sets I inherited over the years. Also, Ace Hardware has a large stock of Craftsman USA forged hand tools. You just have to look, because they will be mixed in with China tools.It looks like most of their complete sets in my area are China sourced, but the individual wrenches are mainly USA.
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Old December 29, 2017, 11:01   #23
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Sad but true... the made in China part. Craftsman has been on the long spiral down hill for a while and you really have to watch when you do get something replaced, if you have made in USA get a made in USA replacement.

I went to replace a 20yo Dewalt angle grinder a couple years ago (still ran I broke the spindle lock). Was in Home Depot... Dewalt made in china, Porter Cable made in China, Milwaukee made in China, finally I said Bosch made in Germany right? Wrong made in China. Not one of them was under $80 either. So what's a guy to do? Run across the street and buy one at Harbor Freight for $15, I will throw it away and buy another when the time comes but it did have a second set of brushes in the box.

SK went out a few years ago and someone bought the name but I don't know if they ever started making tools again under that name.

Any more i look at a tool I 'need' and decide if it is a few times usage or more of a mainstay of my tool collection. Low usage usually gets a Harbor Freight unless I can fine a used better brand for similar $. The mainstays always get a good name. For cordless power tools it is hard to beat Home Depots Rigid line. Rigid puts a lifetime warranty on their BATTERIES. You have to register the packs which you can do online and they are covered.
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Old December 29, 2017, 11:12   #24
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Any more i look at a tool I 'need' and decide if it is a few times usage or more of a mainstay of my tool collection. Low usage usually gets a Harbor Freight unless I can fine a used better brand for similar $. The mainstays always get a good name. For cordless power tools it is hard to beat Home Depots Rigid line. Rigid puts a lifetime warranty on their BATTERIES. You have to register the packs which you can do online and they are covered.
Agree. If it's a one off job that needs a special socket or wrench. HF or Northern Tool. My issue with tools is they walk off. Cordless tools are great but spending high $$$ on them doesn't make sense. The batteries are going to be the limiting factor. I'll check into your Rigid recommendation for the future
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Old December 29, 2017, 12:12   #25
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My buddy is a Milwaukee dealer. Says it is all Chinese junk now. And they don’t support the old tools. Break a switch on your old sawsall and it’s done.
I look for “vintage “ tools at tag sales and estate sales. Recently picked up a bunch of old Craftsman tools, socket sets and wrenches. Nickel plated, not chromed. Nice stuff!
Larry
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Old December 29, 2017, 12:12   #26
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After WWII, my dad went to a government-sponsored "Mechanic's School" here in our hometown. I still have his tools from those days. I'm not exactly sure how he came to have them; if he had to buy them or if they "came with the classes". Most of them are Plumb and Proto brands. A few wrenches have been broken over the years but most are still good working tools.
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Old December 29, 2017, 12:17   #27
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After WWII, my dad went to a government-sponsored "Mechanic's School" here in our hometown. I still have his tools from those days. I'm not exactly sure how he came to have them; if he had to buy them or if they "came with the classes". Most of them are Plumb and Proto brands. A few wrenches have been broken over the years but most are still good working tools.
Yeah, when my father died, I wish I would have gone ahead and taken his tools. My brother ended up with them after my mother died years later, and he can't work on doodley.
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Old December 29, 2017, 12:45   #28
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SK went out a few years ago and someone bought the name but I don't know if they ever started making tools again under that name.
I believe they are.
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Old December 29, 2017, 13:10   #29
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About 20 years ago I went into the local Sears store with an old 1/2 inch ratchet and explained to the old gentleman working in the tool department that it wouldn’t stay engaged when tightening. The old gentleman looked at me and said sorry I can’t give you a tool of the same quality as that wrench there but if you’d like you can get a new one off the shelf. The old gentleman referred to it as a Star Trek wrench as the selector switch was shaped like the Star Trek emblem.

Still value the Craftsman toolset I got when I was 16 though, still use it on a regular basis too.
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Old December 29, 2017, 14:13   #30
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Adds a different perspective to things.

I have a new appreciation for my "old school" Craftsman socket sets and wrenches.

I feel like this is some kind of twisted rite of passage into the next stage of adulthood. Ha ha.
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Old December 29, 2017, 16:30   #31
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And another of your Know everything posts. Nothing I say can refute your "Know It All" status. Other than being a Snap On buyer for nearly 40 years with no complaints about any of their stuff. I don't give a shit where they make the stuff as long as it works. But you have to come a long and interject you own little bit of bullshit to fugk with everybody else like usual.
yawn...
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Old December 29, 2017, 20:04   #32
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yawn...
And a big fat "whatever" back atcha.
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Old December 29, 2017, 20:09   #33
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Jeez -2 3/16" sockets. What are you working on, bolts that hold bridges together? That thing must be huge (and expensive).
The 2-3/16" is really common on heavy truck driveline yokes, the 1-11/16" kept getting destroyed on a Cedar Rapids rock crusher. Both apps needed a thin wall socket.
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Old December 29, 2017, 22:50   #34
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Ideal purchased SK and Western Forge. All SK tools are 100% designed, and produced using American Steel by American workers. It's the only large tool manufacture that I know of like this. Even Channellock has a mix of Asian tools, and so does Cresent.

Quality wise, I'd place equal to Snap-On for most products, but at a fraction of the price. Most of my new tool purchases have been SK through Circle C Supply, great prices. I've warranted a few things through SK, very easy, just sent an email and had the replacement the following week. Oh, and they have probably the best ratcheting wrench on the market.

Stanley Black and Decker is planning on bringing some Craftsman manufacturing back to the US. They signed a deal with Lowes to sell Craftsman tools in 2018. I'm really hoping they bring back the Industrial or Professional line by rebranding some Proto offerings. I've been pretty satisfied with my Proto tools.

Just wanted to clarify after reading a post above, Western Forge used to make the Craftsman adjustable wrench, pliers and screwdrivers found at Sears, but now they are Chinese made. However, since Ace has its own contract, they may continue to offer the Western Forge products. Also, Apex owns Armstrong and has basically shut down this iconic American made tool manufacture, in favor of pushing their Asian Gearwrench brand. I've been waiting 2 months for a replacement Gearwrench ratcheting wrench, Apex will never see another dime from me.
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Old December 29, 2017, 22:51   #35
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Bottom line, it's hard to compete with slave labor. We can thank our politicians who choose to force us to compete with slave labor.
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Old December 29, 2017, 23:31   #36
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Originally Posted by dean06919 View Post
Ideal purchased SK and Western Forge. All SK tools are 100% designed, and produced using American Steel by American workers. It's the only large tool manufacture that I know of like this. Even Channellock has a mix of Asian tools, and so does Cresent.

Quality wise, I'd place equal to Snap-On for most products, but at a fraction of the price. Most of my new tool purchases have been SK through Circle C Supply, great prices. I've warranted a few things through SK, very easy, just sent an email and had the replacement the following week. Oh, and they have probably the best ratcheting wrench on the market.
Yep. SK is my go to now. Well made and good lookin.
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Old December 29, 2017, 23:40   #37
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Originally Posted by dean06919 View Post
Ideal purchased SK and Western Forge. All SK tools are 100% designed, and produced using American Steel by American workers. It's the only large tool manufacture that I know of like this. Even Channellock has a mix of Asian tools, and so does Cresent.

Quality wise, I'd place equal to Snap-On for most products, but at a fraction of the price. Most of my new tool purchases have been SK through Circle C Supply, great prices. I've warranted a few things through SK, very easy, just sent an email and had the replacement the following week. Oh, and they have probably the best ratcheting wrench on the market.

Stanley Black and Decker is planning on bringing some Craftsman manufacturing back to the US. They signed a deal with Lowes to sell Craftsman tools in 2018. I'm really hoping they bring back the Industrial or Professional line by rebranding some Proto offerings. I've been pretty satisfied with my Proto tools.

Just wanted to clarify after reading a post above, Western Forge used to make the Craftsman adjustable wrench, pliers and screwdrivers found at Sears, but now they are Chinese made. However, since Ace has its own contract, they may continue to offer the Western Forge products. Also, Apex owns Armstrong and has basically shut down this iconic American made tool manufacture, in favor of pushing their Asian Gearwrench brand. I've been waiting 2 months for a replacement Gearwrench ratcheting wrench, Apex will never see another dime from me.
They claim they're all made in Meadville, PA.
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Old December 30, 2017, 00:43   #38
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I used to love SK tools
All the locals quit handling them , I thought they were done

Craftsman can shove their chicom wrenches , although I bought a set of Craftsman tools probably 35 years ago made by the JA pan co ,and still have most of them but the JA pan co usually makes decent stuff

When Montgomrey Wards dropped theirMaster or Power Craft line ( don't remember anymore) , they handed out vouchers for Snap on replacements

I really miss that store

Before I spend big money for name brand chicom I will go to Harbor Freight and get the same crap for 1/3 the price

Craftsman , Mexicanese Blackhawk, Proto and The new Williams can either bring it back or lose my buisness

I do buy some chicom hand tools for work , I have lost more tools to the right of way ,show up break ins and stuff getting carted off in apprentices tool bags to fill up a five axle truck

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Old December 30, 2017, 01:14   #39
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I keep a list in my wallet of various sockets I break or lose in my sets,then scrounge thru the tubs at the pawn shop for the various sizes I need. I can usually get lucky and score U.S. made stuff to replace the lost ones. Same with wrenches.
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Old December 30, 2017, 06:33   #40
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They claim they're all made in Meadville, PA.
Their adjustable wrench is made in Spain, and their socket sets are made in Taiwan. The handles for their Code Blue screwdrivers were also made overseas, but they may have brought that back to the US. I like Channellock, but I feel like they over play their "Fiercely made in the USA" slogan when a portion of their tools are not made here.

An alternative is Wilde Tools, made in Kansas. Their punches are sold at Menards, their pliers can be found under the Tekton tool name, and striking pry bars under the Craftsman label. Quality stuff, and super easy to warranty, unlike Mayhew.

I'm to the point where I'll only buy US made tools if they are available and from those companies that offer an easy warranty (although I seldom need it).
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Old December 30, 2017, 07:17   #41
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I keep a list in my wallet of various sockets I break or lose in my sets,then scrounge thru the tubs at the pawn shop for the various sizes I need. I can usually get lucky and score U.S. made stuff to replace the lost ones. Same with wrenches.
Auction's and estate sales are a good place to find em also.
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Old December 30, 2017, 10:20   #42
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Kudos to Grace USA in Michigan for making quality gunsmithing screwdrivers and punches (among other things) with fantastic warranty replacement.

http://www.graceusatools.com/
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Old December 31, 2017, 15:37   #43
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I have some US stuff, I have some Asian stuff. I just get whatever is available when I need it.
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Old December 31, 2017, 16:00   #44
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Auction's and estate sales are a good place to find em also.
Very good sources. I was at a Government auction in 1998 (Hanford nuclear site) there was a 2" drive impact socket set by Snap On no less, 2" to 5" sockets that sold for $2500. The original price was $1500 PER socket.
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Old January 01, 2018, 14:00   #45
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Originally Posted by dean06919 View Post
Ideal purchased SK and Western Forge. All SK tools are 100% designed, and produced using American Steel by American workers. It's the only large tool manufacture that I know of like this. Even Channellock has a mix of Asian tools, and so does Cresent.

Quality wise, I'd place equal to Snap-On for most products, but at a fraction of the price. Most of my new tool purchases have been SK through Circle C Supply, great prices. I've warranted a few things through SK, very easy, just sent an email and had the replacement the following week. Oh, and they have probably the best ratcheting wrench on the market.

Stanley Black and Decker is planning on bringing some Craftsman manufacturing back to the US. They signed a deal with Lowes to sell Craftsman tools in 2018. I'm really hoping they bring back the Industrial or Professional line by rebranding some Proto offerings. I've been pretty satisfied with my Proto tools.

Just wanted to clarify after reading a post above, Western Forge used to make the Craftsman adjustable wrench, pliers and screwdrivers found at Sears, but now they are Chinese made. However, since Ace has its own contract, they may continue to offer the Western Forge products. Also, Apex owns Armstrong and has basically shut down this iconic American made tool manufacture, in favor of pushing their Asian Gearwrench brand. I've been waiting 2 months for a replacement Gearwrench ratcheting wrench, Apex will never see another dime from me.
Just to be clear the "Apex Tool Group" that owns the Armstrong brand has no connection to "APEX Gun Parts"!

Richard
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