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Old 06-14-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
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Default Anyone else really tired of sears and the crap they sell?

<Rant>
It started with my father back long before I was born, he fell in love with Sears and most of the things they made. Washing Machine, Drier, table saw, radial arm saw, basically every woodworking tool you could imagine he bought. All good quality, all still run perfectly and operate today!

Then he moved to yard tools.. First lawnmower wasn't terrible, bought a vacuum and chipper which have been complete garbage. Another lawn mower and pressure washer just ******* blow donkey ****. Bought a 3000psi pressure washer from Home Depot with a Subaru engine, fires up no the very first pull ANY TIME, EVERY TIME. Also got a lawn mower with a Honda engine, same story. Both have lasted like 4 years now without touching a tool to them other than oil changes!

Now we've moved onto hand tools.. I became obsessed with their pretty good quality tools a few years ago, and now since then its gone way way way down hill. Just got an assortment of metric deep well sockets a few weeks ago and they're complete crap! Loose on the fasteners, etc.

Okay, now I broke one of my ratchets the other day. Go in there and instead of them pulling a new one from the shelf, they give you a ******* refurbished one! Took that home and that **** was broke too!!!

Working on my suspension this weekend I went up there to check out an air chisel. They show one in their catalog for $39.99 and looked like it was okay quality. Went to Sears to see if they had one there I could look at and buy, then discovered it didn't come with any chisels!!!!! The package of 4 chisels was $26.00!!! Only took me TWENTY MINUTES for someone to INCONVENIENCE themselves with trying to help me! I ******* hate going to radio shack and sears because soon as you walk through teh door they're on you like vultures and road kill UNLESS you want to buy something!!

I asked the guy, "You have an Ingersol Rand chisel in your catalog for $54.00 that comes with three chisels. If I bought this thing, which probably won't last me three uses it'll cost me over $70.00..... Does that make sense?? WHY should I buy YOUR chisel?" The only reply he could muster up was, "Well, sometimes they do weird things." Shocked I was, yes. Told the guy he could keep his shitty chisel and walked out the door.

That was pretty much it, I've really had it with their ******* **** poor quality tools, **** *** service, and incompetent employees. Found a business card I picked up from a tool **** from Matco, sounds like they'll be getting my ******* money from now on.

</Rant>



Cliffs: **** Sears, and **** Crapsman tools.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:37 PM   #2
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their quality has gone down over the years I agree
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:18 PM   #3
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I too have the subaru powered pressure washer from home depot. I love it no problems.. Just wish it had a boxer motor in it.

I haven't bought anything from sears other than some gangster timberland work boots. Oh and some swim trunks.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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Companies no longer care about the product that they pump out, all they care about is making a sale and putting money in their pockets. The products are made to last long enough that you'll be willing to purchase their product again when it fails.

I whole heartedly believe that is GM's main problem.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Bastards screwed me out of a $70 mail in rebate when I found a loop-hole in an online ad. I mailed in all the correct stuff they asked for and did so in time, and got a response letter back about 3 months later denying my rebate. Stated that I didn't send them the correct barcode off the box. BS!

I kept it though because it was full by that time.

I still thrash on their hand tools. If it breaks, they replace it. Sears is close enough that even if it's refurbished and breaks again, I'll just go throw a fit and get a new one.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:10 PM   #6
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I've been a Craftsman fan for a long time when it comes to basic hand tools. Wrenches mostly. Anything electric I either buy Milwaukee / Porter Cable / DeWalt / etc. (if it's something I'm going to use the **** out of like a drill press or a cordless drill) or go the cheap route and buy HF if it's an occasional-use tool like a jigsaw or a hammer-drill.

Over the past 15 years or so, I've taken back all sorts of Craftsman tools that have been destroyed as a result of gross misuse. 1/2" socket wrench that I welded to a battery, 3/8" breaker bar that I broke while using a four foot pipe on it, various non-impact sockets that I split in half with an impact wrench, screwdrivers that didn't make good prybars, etc. Every single time they've replaced 'em no questions asked. The socket wrenches are usually refurbs, other stuff is typically new.

I have however recently become a fan of the Lowes' "Kobalt" brand. The build quality is comparable, the in-store "no questions" replacement guarantee is the same, however the prices are generally 25% or so lower, and there seem to be a whole lot more Lowes' stores around, so if I do break a tool (or need one I don't have) it's a much shorter drive to get a replacement.


A funny thing on the subject of pricing, actually. I decided recently (on the advice of a fellow reroute installer) that I needed a set of flex-head ratcheting wrenches. Stopped by Sears on the way home from the airport this afternoon, and checked out their selection. They had two metric sets, one Craftsman, the other a Taiwanese brand called "GearWrench". The Craftsman set was $125, the GearWrench set was $90. And strangely, I found the GearWrench ones to be much tighter-feeling in the gear mechanism, and thinner to boot.

I then went to Lowes, and found the same GearWrench set (in a different package) for $50. I bought them. (These babies will make turning the alternator adjuster lockbolt an absolute dream.)

Why does Sears think they can change $40 for the same set of wrenches? Same reason IBM thought they could get away with charging 2x market rate for commodity hardware in the late 80s I suspect... Anyone seen an IBM-branded desktop PC lately?
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:55 PM   #7
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Yup, only buy craftsman hand tools, nothing else. Their tool boxes are ok, but the drawers can't take much weight, and I haven't been much more impressed with their ball bearing products either.

If they reach in a drawer and give you a refurbished wrench, say "No thank you, I'd like a brand new one." And they'll go get one, it's worked every time for me at least.

Joe, I've had my metric GearWrench set for 4 or 5 years now, and they're amazing, only 5* of rotation before another tooth, very tight fit, handles are very thin to get in some tighter spaces, and they're longer than most wrenches for more torque. Word of wisdom for you though, their open end side isn't terrible good, I've stripped a couple nuts (usually clutch and brake) because of them, that's my only complaint.

I got a set of craftsman ratcheting wrenches (standard) for Christmas a while ago and they suck. They do feel much more robust (heavy), but it takes about 45* for it to ratchet, and every once in a while it'll randomly go into neutral and just spin both directions until I smack it on something or shake it a bit. Occasionally (much less often) my GearWrenches will do the same thing, but it'll just skip a tooth and catch on the next one, it's generally when I try to go from ratcheting to tightening too fast.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:20 AM   #8
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The sears ratcheting wrenches I have ARE made by gear wrench. I've got reversible metric and a set of metric stubbies. Next up will be a set of flex head. Oh ya, only a sucker pays full nut for hand tools at Sears.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:35 AM   #9
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I feel the same way, Joe. I do abuse some of my Crapsman tools and they do replace them without question... I'll give them that.

Not sure I mentioned, went to Harbor Freight and bought an air chisel with 10 chisels.. $11.99. *shrug* Works like a dream, their impact guns are ******* garbage though. I have one brand new out of the box claimed "400#tq reverse" that won't break loose a bolt I tighten with a 3" wrench!

Agree 100% on the Kobalt brand tools as thats what I carry for ALL of the tools I do my job with. Love them, they're cheap and I've yet to even break one. Honestly didn't even know they had a warranty of any kind?

Bought a Milwaukee 2 drill combo set with the Lithium Ion battery cells, has a drill and impact driver. They're THE ****! Best $250.00 I ever spent! While shopping and attempting to decided what I wanted, I checked out what sears had to offer. Their Lithium powered tools weigh about 4 times what the Mil does!

I have 2 sets of metric gearwrenches. LOVE THEM TO DEATH!!! One stubby set, and one full size set. Wish I had more, but they're expensive!
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:53 AM   #10
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After my last big set of ratchets and sockets from Craftsman, and my last torque wrench busting after only a few uses, I also told Craftsman to go **** themselves. I recently for a set of Kobalt ratchets and sockets from Lowe's and like them more than my Craftsman stuff. An actual replacement plan if anything breaks, and they don't give me the run around on stuff. I also bought a Craftsman dial caliper about 6 months ago... ******* JUNK!!! I never used it and they wouldn't take it back, cost me $50. **** them. Even something as simple as a tool box is junk quality. Felt like something from Harbor Freight repackaged with Craftsman name on it. Might be part of the reason that the nearest Sears location closed down a few days ago. Oh well.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:02 AM   #11
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I have to agree that the tool box doenst hold a lot of weight. I have a full set of wrenches/sockets from them, so far none have broke although i havent abused them unlike joe
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:15 AM   #12
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If I could afford it, a full set of MAC tools or what my brother in law swears by, Klien tools, would be in my garage and at work. Currently it's all craftsman though. If you treat them right, they last, if you don't, they break. So no surprise really. Once I break a tool a couple times though, I just go out and by either a higher quality tool, or a real pry bar

There are some tools that you just shouldn't cheap out on. Dial calipers would be one, NAC-6 guy. Files, phillips screw drivers, precision measuring equipment, and dykes are just a few of the tools I've found you don't want to cheap on, for various reasons. If you're going to go cheap on calipers, get some digital calipers, they may look very unprofessional, and annoying if you've been using dial calipers for a long time, but for whatever reason the cheapo digital calipers are way better than the cheapo dial calipers.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:19 AM   #13
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Well for something I was going to use once probably ever, I wasn't going to spend $150-$250 on a decent one. Even for bottom of the barrel, the Craftsman one was a joke. The head wobbled around on the shaft, and I could make it move like .005 with just a very light touch on the caliper head. Might be ok for some things, but not anything needing accuracy on that scale. Dykes for sure don't get cheaped out on... I've found 3 pairs of Klein's on the side of the road over the last 5 years. I don't care how bad of a spot, if I see Klein side cutters, I stop and get them. Those are like $60 a pair. Good thing I didn't pay anything for any of mine, haha. Actually, probably 10% of my good tools are pickups from the interstate. I still kick myself in the *** for passing up a big wad of large chain and a binder the other day. It was on a long bridge though, so I let it pass.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:40 AM   #14
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You find tools on the side of the road? WTF? I see garbage on the side of the road. I kicked up a huge piece of tire onto someone's car the other day...

I picked up my Klien cutters for $40, the professional series, best tool purchase ever.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:53 AM   #15
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We have plenty of garbage, but there are also tools if you look closely. You have to have an eye for it I guess. You will see a lot of tools in intersections where people turn to fast and have them slide off their truck bed or trailer. I found a whole socket set once, plenty of pliers, nice pry bars, chains, binders, saws, ect. God I'm cheap, but if I don't get it, someone else will. Another mans misfortune is my gain. If you're really lucky you won't even have to get out of the car, just slow down with the door open and swipe it as you pass lol.

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Old 06-15-2009, 09:13 AM   #16
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Yeah, when I forst got into using hand tools around the house, I ws always ganking my dad's Craftsman tools. These things are old...20yrs+. I've never had a problem with them either..even his toolbox is a old craftsman unit from ~93and it's construction is much better than todays stuff. So thinking that Crafsman tools are still made with that quality, I bought some when I got my first credit card. Not much stuff though, 3 rachets, 2 sets of metric sockets (short and deep)and some tin snips. I have a random collection of tools though...some from Sears, some from Harbour Freight, some from AutoZone, and some from Lowe's. The big thing that is keeping me from buying more tools is the lack of a good tool box.....i'll keep an eye out on CL for a old well-built Craftsman.
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