Tools: Quality and Guarantees

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  #1  
Old 10-28-13, 06:09 PM
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Tools: Quality and Guarantees

I'm fairly certain Sears won't take it back at this point in the game.
10 or 15 years ago I am sure they would take it back, but today, I seriously doubt they would. I won't even buy Craftsman ratchets or sockets anymore because they just don't stand behind them like they used to. Fluke has some good meters, but you'll also find decent ones from Ideal, Greenlee, Amprobe (owned by Fluke now), Klein and several others too. I think Milwaukee is even selling meters now as well now that they are a Chinese company. Check the big box stores, they have some pretty good deals on meters. By the way, there are just a handful of companies in China that make them all now, regardless of brand.

So.....what about your stereo? What's your next step in troubleshooting that? What kind is it?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-28-13, 08:28 PM
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I have to agree about the decline of Sears standing behind their products. Used to be I could take a broken ratchet in to any store, walk up to any tool center employee, hand them the ratchet and be handed in return a brand new one literally without having to utter a word.
Harbor Freight now warrants all their hand tools for life basically thje same way sears used to but who wants to replace a screwdriver or ratchet or whatever else over and over and over again?
Home Depot still replaces broken tools with a smile and a "Have a nice day!" - so long as it has a mfr's warranty. No skin off their nose and better odds of a repeat customer.
 
  #3  
Old 10-28-13, 11:50 PM
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I haven't bought anything from Sears in about ten years. But even twenty years ago they wouldn't give me a new ratchet but would instead sell me a rebuild kit for my ratchet. The reasoning was the tool was guaranteed against breaking, not from wearing out. On the other hand I used to take air chisels and panel cutters in all the time and got free replacements due to breakage.

These days the closest I get to Sears is the rare occasion I enter a K-mart store, maybe once or twice a year.
 
  #4  
Old 10-29-13, 06:49 AM
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But even twenty years ago they wouldn't give me a new ratchet but would instead sell me a rebuild kit for my ratchet. The reasoning was the tool was guaranteed against breaking, not from wearing out.
That kind of invalidates "Guaranteed for Life". I have always been very careful with my tools. I took a 3/8" ratchet that looked brand new with a failed ratcheting mechanism to a Sears Hardware store for replacement 5 or 6 years ago and they handed me a alledgedly rebuilt ratchet that looked like it had been used as a hammer for 30 years. 3 days later I was 120 miles from home and got that rebuilt ratchet out and the whole mechanism fell out of it before I could use it. I took it to a Sears store on the way home and the clerk went right to the drawer where they kept the rebuilt ratchets. I could tell he was pi$$ed when he didn't have the right one and had to give me a brand new one.

The sad thing is, I have always liked Sears and their tools and appliances, but today I won't go near a Sears store unless it's to buy name brand clothes such as Dockers or Levis. I continue to shop there for those kinds of items because there are no other customers in the store to get in my way. Sad for Sears, they are almost gone because of self inflicted wounds.
 
  #5  
Old 10-29-13, 08:21 AM
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I got my first inkling that the integrity of the Sears warranty replacement on their Craftsman tools might be slipping a bit in the late 1960s. I was working in an auto repair shop at the time. A lot of us used, and liked, Craftsman hand tools.

When Sears introduced micro-adjusting torque wrenches, the boss bought one for the shop. It had the standard "free replacement" warranty statement with it. Everyone got a drill on proper use, and we were careful with it. Regardless, it went out of calibration in less than a month.

Since a tool that relies on calibration to function can't be used if that's not working, one of us (probably the boss) took it, with receipt, to the store where he'd bought it. He was back in less than an hour with the original tool still in hand. They'd told him that since it was "only" out of calibration they would send in back to the factory to be re-calibrated, or rebuilt, or whatever. Estimated time was 2 - 3 weeks.

BTW, we got a brand-new wrench, no charge, still in its original packing and with a brand-new warranty, from that store, within 3 days. But that's a different story.
 
  #6  
Old 10-29-13, 11:24 AM
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Must have accidentally got actually broken.

FWIW, although I still buy Craftsman tools, I don't think they're able to say "Made in the USA; Guaranteed forever" anymore." I say this because I broke one of my small wire cutters a while back and the replacement tool was made in China.
 
  #7  
Old 10-29-13, 11:55 AM
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Must have accidentally got actually broken.
No, the torque wrench was still just out of calibration when the staff at the store gladly gave us the brand-new one to honor - and renew - the warranty. In the meantime, though, quite a few other Craftsman hand tools had accidentally got broken somehow. Like every socket, box-end wrench and ratchet handle in the shop on the first day. There may have been a breaker bar or three with those. And none of them had ever been on an impact tool.

The next day, we took the torque wrench back and asked for a replacement. We didn't get one . We did, however, get all of those other broken hand tools replaced. But there must have been something wrong with that lot, because all of them were broken by the next day. Even stranger, this lack of quality was starting to affect the Craftsman hand tools owned by some of our customers.

By the third day... We got our new torque wrench. And, just as amazingly, every one of the hand tools we got as replacements that day held up. Many of them lasted for years
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 10-29-13 at 01:00 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-29-13, 12:08 PM
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It's been a while since I did it, but I've never had an issue with getting replacements. From a ratchet to tape measures to leaf rakes. One 20 yrs old tape was my Dads and they would have replaced just the tape, but no longer had that size, so I got a new wider, longer one. The other was only about 5 yrs old and the replacement was a Snap-On since they again had no Craftsman of that size. The leaf rake started snapping tines after one winter in the shed outside and the first young clerk tried to not do it. Said it must have been abused. An older guy said "if it has Craftsman on it, we replace it." Even then the kid tried to give me a "Sears" rake the same size and the older guy told him to go get a Craftsman, even if it was a nicer model.

All I have nearby now is a Hometown store, so they don't stock a lot.
 
  #9  
Old 10-29-13, 01:03 PM
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I've noticed, at least with our local Sears, that they no longer carry a lot of the guaranteed forever tools. I've returned quite a few craftsman tape measures over the years but they no longer sell them. The replacement for the last one I exchanged came out of a box under the counter and was told when those where gone, there wouldn't be any more. I have a couple of craftsman gas cans that also have the lifetime warranty, the cans are still good but the spouts are worn out - no replacements available as Sears no longer has craftsman gas cans
 
  #10  
Old 10-29-13, 01:39 PM
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I've noticed, at least with our local Sears, that they no longer carry a lot of the guaranteed forever tools.
That reinforces something I've suspected for awhile. That is, that one reason Sears has backed off from the lifetime guarantee is that, when it's Craftsman, it's all on them. They had that tool made for them and replacing it comes out of their corporate pocket.

On the flip side, that also applies to the willingness with which the folks at HD replace tools. It's all on the manufacturer with them. They just send it back or report it and toss it. I've had a couple of associates tell me as much. At best, it may result in a product improvement. At worst, it's no cost to them (or me, of course) and, either way, it helps boost customer satisfaction.

I once took in a pair of strippers. I wasn't looking for anything under warranty because they got broken when I dropped them in the baseball-size stone drive on the way into the job one morning. I found them at quitting time, after a string of concrete trucks had been in and out. I only carried them into the store because I liked that model and wanted to get the same one. But the associate insisted on giving me a new one off the shelf at no charge.

Another time I stopped in a different HD to pick up a new drill bit. The associate that time asked me if I still had the old one. I did, out in the truck. I wound up walking out with two new bits - I replaced the shorter one too - at no charge. Not bad, considering it would have cost me more than $30 to buy both of them, IIRC. That time, I'd just missed that these tools carried lifetime warranties - I'd always thought of drill bits as disposable.
 
  #11  
Old 10-29-13, 05:58 PM
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Sears i pretty much done. The people that own it are just ringing out the last few dollars still left in it. They do nothing to improve the stores or sales. Just enough to stay in the black until it is dead.
 
  #12  
Old 10-29-13, 08:56 PM
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The obituary for Sears has been written many times. It's never yet been published.
 
  #13  
Old 10-30-13, 03:15 AM
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I noticed Ace Hardware is now carrying Craftsman tools. Does that ring a death knoll for Sears and their tools? Thought it odd to walk in and see "Craftsman" banners in the store.
 
  #14  
Old 10-30-13, 03:23 AM
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I read a year or so ago that Sears was considering selling the Craftsman brand ........ and I always thought that was the main thing that Sears had going for it. I never understood why, when Sears bought out the bankrupt K-mart, they kept the K-mart board of directors and let the Sears board of directors go. It almost like someone was thinking let's see how bad we can screw this up
 
  #15  
Old 10-30-13, 03:55 PM
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That's because K-mart bought Sears.
 
  #16  
Old 10-31-13, 03:27 AM
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K-mart was under bankruptcy - how did they afford the purchace


edit; droo - you were right I could have sworn I read it was the other way around but a search turned up several articles that proved me wrong
 

Last edited by marksr; 10-31-13 at 04:21 AM.
  #17  
Old 10-31-13, 06:44 PM
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Yeah, that's the way I remembered it, K-Mart bought Sears.
 
  #18  
Old 11-02-13, 04:41 PM
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When it happened, I couldn't believe my ears. It shocks me to this day.
 
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