Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Goodbye to Craftsman Tools

Sears is closing a bunch of K-Mart/Sears stores this year.

They're also selling off the Craftsman tool brand to Black and Decker. Probably because Harbor Freight wouldn't pay enough for it.

I was recently in a Sears department store (not one on the closing list). In the entire two-story store, there were maybe three open registers, at least when the sales clerk could be found. The far smaller Marshalls store a couple of miles away had more people working in it.

Here's the Big Lie:
The company said late Tuesday that it would close 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears stores, calling it "a difficult but necessary step as we take actions to strengthen the company’s operations and fund its transformation."
Right. I've never known of a large company that had even a momentary qualm about canning ten thousand or so workers.

Maybe Trump can Twitterize them into changing their minds.



LRod said...

I said goodbye to Craftsman long ago. They had two pitches that worked: a lifetime warranty on wrenches (and other hand tools) and an easy place to buy power tools. It was all glittery and gave access to the masses.

The lifetime warranty, which many/most took to be a testament to the quality of the tools, was, in actuality a simple probability game. When my son, then working at an Ace hardware, pointed out that their hand tools carried the same warranty, I worked it out.

The machine tools (and hand power tools) were another thing altogether. Sears benefited from a huge presence in all of America, as opposed to Delta, Powermatic, and Porter-Cable, all of which needed a pretty large population and specialty dealerships which were a fraction of Sears' presence. I'd never even heard of Delta until the '70s. Now I have a shop full of them.

But the thing that really put me off Sears' power tools was the proprietary gimmicks they employed. Want to use a Delta tenoning jig on a Sears table saw? You can't. The "standard" 3/4" slot on the Sears is the width of the slot, whereas every other manufacturer measures the width of the bar. The slot of each is a few thousandths wider, which makes the difference. You want accessories for your Sears power tools? You get them from Sears.

After I bought my first Delta, and experienced the difference in a serious tool, I started shedding Craftsmans like a snake in season. I still have several drawers of Craftsman wrenches, but they don't break and they're good enough for me (try pricing a Snap-On--I paid $35 for a single T30 extended 1/4" driver--ouch).

If I have a Craftsman power tool left, it's probably a relic from my dad which I've never used. So, no, they won't be missed. When my wrenches start breaking, those Kobalts at Lowe's actually look and feel pretty nice. Same warranty.

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Tod Germanica said...

I found a pretty good tire inflater there last month but they didn't want to sell it to me as much as signing me up for a credit card, a loyalty club and showering me with reams of useless coupons. The men's clothing department was the size of a walk-in closet with only Chinese polyester garments. Guess Amazon ate their lunch like Craigslist killed the newspapers.

dinthebeast said...

So I guess Lampert's Ayn Randian business tactics didn't deliver the results he expected. Fancy that.
My brother was an auto mechanic for Sears for a while, but I don't ever remember him using Craftsman tools.

-Doug in Oakland

Paul Wartenberg said...

My family had a number of Craftsman tools, mostly they were okay, durable for the most part.

There was a rechargeable power screwdriver that didn't last too long, though.

My dad swore by taking the cars to the Sears auto shop back in the late 70s and early 80s, and was buying tires from them well into the 2000s. But they closed the auto shop at Countryside and that was that.

For me, the end of Sears came when they closed down their toys AND sports zones. I blame the Video Game Collapse of 1983.