klein vs. craftsman professional

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Old 10-31-10, 08:39 AM
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klein vs. craftsman professional

Well I'm looking for a new set of screwdrivers- i've become quite the 'tool snob' and enjoy high quality tools. I also enjoy made in USA tools (so don't want a german brand-I know there are some great ones). So I'm eyeing a klein set (7 piece for $50 at HD) but also looked at the craftsman professional.
1)the price seams somewhat comprable- maybe a little cheaper for craftsman- not a big issue
2)quality- I would imagine klein wins
3)warranty- so they both have lifetime warranty right? My impression is that sears will change out the craftsman forever, no questions asked- just go to a sears and swap it out. Klein tools seem to have a lifetime warranty also- but from what I'm reading it appears it more of a pain- they might deny some claims- not sure if I can return it to the store or have to mail it to klein.
so I guess while would prefer the highest quality tools, having a good easy lifetime warranty might win out (I am a heavy DIY'er who uses and occasionally abuses his tools)

Thoughts? any other tools to consider?
 
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Old 10-31-10, 10:45 AM
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I'd have to suggest staying with the Sears stuff. 10 yrs down the road, HD may not carry Klein. Sears will always have Craftsman (assuming Sears stays viable for 10 yrs).

I WOULD however also say that with screwdrivers...you want to really feel the handles. A minor difference in diameter or taper can really make an impact on the feel in use. Although I have a pretty complete set of Craftsman....when doing electrical work, I'll often reach for some WirePro screwdrivers I bought on an impulse. The handles just seem to fit me well, and the tips are perfectly sized for receptacle and outlet screws.
 
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Old 10-31-10, 11:24 AM
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well my impression was klein tools would replace the screwdriver, while sears will replace theirs. So the question is will sears last longer than klein? I would think klein is more stable, but who knows. Also, I thought sears didn't give much greif over replacing a screwdriver, whereas klein does (making their warranty much less good).
 
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Old 10-31-10, 11:45 AM
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Well, Klein may replace it..but as you stated..if you have to mail it back...that's would be a PITA.

I believe, no matter what, that the Craftsman name will continue..even if Sears goes away. The issue might be if the new owner would still honor the warranty? Though..if they didn't they would lose all credibility.

I probably wouldn't be all that concerned about a screwdriver...ratchets and such are kind of a different story.
 
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Old 10-31-10, 12:31 PM
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One thing more, Klein has specialty tools for the electrical trade, so you may wind up buying some Klein as well. I use their NM strippers for residential work. makes stripping 12-2 and 14-2, sheath and all, a breeze with one tool. I don't think Sears has that. But you use what you trust, bottom line.
 
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Old 11-01-10, 07:03 AM
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If you plan on using them for electric work, either one will do. But if you get into some heavy automotive or restoration applications, there are better screwdrivers.

Both Klein and Sears have the semi-soft composite handles, which, to me, don't feel right when fighting a stubborn rusted fasterner. The material also seems to absorb oil, grease and dirt and is hard to clean. I like the feel of a solid 4 sided polished plastic handle much better.

Also, look at the tips. Anything that is not vapor blasted is a step down - the plating will flake off eventually. Klein may vapor blast; I know for sure that Sears only bead blast their tips.

Bolster nuts for wrenches are a necessity!

Well, there is Snap-on But for the money, I'd get the SK/Facom, forest green handle set. They all come with LT warranty.
 
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Old 11-01-10, 08:11 AM
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I use mostly Kline and Ideal tools. The Kline linesmen pliers pretty much take on anything other then two hot wires and I like their straight screwdrivers because they just fit the parts I work on (electrical) better. I do however go through one screwdriver a year but that is because I beat the CRAP out of it.
I also have one combination Craftsmen screwdriver and it has held up well. (I don't beat on that one)

I'd say that when you get up to the better craftsman screwdrivers with the rubber grip handles, etc. that they will serve you well. I don't really care if they have a lifetime warranty because I don't have the time to bring it back if it fails on the job.
 
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