Craftsman hand tools and Lowes - are you having nightmares like I am ?

Old 06-29-20, 12:06 PM
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Craftsman hand tools and Lowes - are you having nightmares like I am ?

I've been a fan of Craftsman tools for years (I have a 'Craftsman Club' card that says 'member since '1991', which is probably when Sears started that program to get sales / deals....).

And if I had a problem with a craftsman hand tool, it would be no big deal to go to Sears and swap it out at the register with minimal time or paperworl.

Now that Lowes is selling craftsman (I heard they had the exclusive? but then I recently heard radio ads from Ace hardware advertizing Craftsman products?), most times it's a nightmare to try to get a replacement for a damaged / failed hand tool.

Knowing this, I saved up some tools that needed to be replaced to make 1 long trip instead of 3 long trips to Lowes.

Sure enough, this exchange took 1 hour at their customer disservice desk. That was after I picked out the replacement items from the shelves).

1 item was a direct Craftsman replacement so that only took 1/2 hour (a foldable utility knife). The other 2 items - a Craftsman garden nozzle and a craftsman coping saw, took another 1/2 hour. They don't have craftsman made versions of that. so they were stumped about making a substitution.

In that 1 hour, they pulled out a thick 8 1/2 x 11" stack of papers stapled together with a black cover page and 'Craftsman' in white. Then they pulled out a spiral bound smaller book of glossy, thick pages to look at that.

In the process, I dealt with 3 people at customer disservice & 1 assistant manager and it wasn't till I called other stores trying to reach a regional manager while these people lost interest in helping me that the general manager and operations manager came over and made the replacements within 2 minutes.

Me being me, I have to point out flaws in company's systems and avoid this if / when I have another Craftsman exchange and contacted executives at Lowes.

At first they were apologetic and even sent a $50 gift card for my trouble. Then as a follow up,

I wanted to reach out and provide an update on the issue you had with exchanging the Craftsman products you had. Not all Craftsman products obtain a lifetime warranty and the items that were attempting to be exchanged did not. The Store Manager agreed to process the exchange as a one time courtesy due to the issues and inconveniences that you ran into.

I sent them links of the items involved showing that they did have lifetime warranties. What were they basing the no warranty on? Someone at the store trying to save face?) I haven't heard back from them after repeated explainations.

Do you have nightmares with Craftsman tool exchanges? At Lowes? Is there advice you can give?

I know I swore off Kobalt hand tools (Lowe's private lable) because they would give hard times replacing things. They would come out with a set of screwdrivers, then stop making it. So not having a direct replamcent threw them in a tizzy.

I am moving more to Husky (Home Depot) and Harbor Freight tools.

I realized over the years - I would lose more tools than need to get them replaced. So why pay more for the lifetime warranty only to more likely lose it.

Harbor Freight is much cheaper and their replacements have been a breeze.

Old 06-29-20, 12:45 PM
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In the last few years before the last local Sears closed, they were a nightmare to exchange tools with. I bought a cordless drill with a 1yr warranty that failed less than 2 months later. They replaced it but claimed once a craftsman tool is replaced it no longer has any warranty. This was something I had to get straightened out at their corporate office. I've not had to exchange any Craftsman tools at Lowes although a few yrs ago I brought in a Kobalt PVC cutter that had a lifetime warranty. They were discontinued but they did replace it with a better one.

I cracked a HF impact socket that I had bought 30 yrs earlier. I'm not sure it had a lifetime warranty when I bought the set but took it in anyway since the new ones did. They exchanged it and all that was said was 'you've had that one awhile'
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Old 06-29-20, 04:34 PM
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Crapsman tools were the main stream standard for years.

I have a huge tool set that was purchased back in the 80's, I would never but anything Crapsman today, they are now the cheap of the cheap.

Waranty, have not had to address that for years, not sure Im even interested!!
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Old 06-29-20, 05:51 PM
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Unfortunately Lowes is selling Craftsman tools but they are basically just reusing the name,
Craftsman tools are now made by Black & Decker to the same quality standards we've come to know and love.
Old 06-29-20, 06:18 PM
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Its been probably 4 years but I had a Craftsman 3/8 ratchet that broke (wouldnt work) & I too it to the Sears store in the mall. Went to the check out counter & showed it to the cashier, told him it broke. He attempted to work it, then walked to the shelf & handed me a new one. No paperwork, no nothing.... just an exchange.

I'm sure glad yall commented on this because I have always liked Craftsman. If I ever need to replace another tool, I'll go see how my local Lowes handles it.

I've also bought a few HF hand tools to try out. We've only had a HF store here locally for about 4 years or so.

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