Buying your tools at sears?

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and yet, you can still buy tools at sears that clearly have "made in usa" stamped right into the metal. it's next to impossible to do that at home depot or lowes. "made in usa" is notably ABSENT from my latest snap-on ratchet too.
Reply to
jim beam
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The article is apparently written with the attitude that you can innovate once and then ride on that for a long time. It doesn't work that way. Innovation has to be constant. One new product after the next. Someone with 30 years developing product should have understood this.
Yes, it sucks that the patent and legal systems are set up for the bigs. The bigs paid good money to get them set up that way. But that is really a side story for competing on innovation. The real story is how this government protection kills innovation by creating this expectation of protection so people don't do the next generation or can't improve upon a competitor's product.
Six years is a solid product life these days. Those who want to make their way innovating need to turn their products faster than that. It's just the way it is.
Reply to
Brent
cheap chinese tools are cheap for a reason. at best, their poor dimensional tolerances and weak metal will merely damage what you're working on. but there's also a good chance they'll break and damage you as well.
always buy the best tools you can - sears "made in usa" aren't the best out there, but they're adequate, safe, and reasonable value for money, especially for occasional users. especially especially when bought on sale.
Reply to
jim beam
When talking about consumer electronics, especially cell phones, 3 months is a long time. Apple and Samsung have been duking it out for a few years now globally in the courts. and its still going on. You could patent how to take a shit these days and sue someone for the audacity of a bowel movement.
Sears tools seem to me not up to what they used to be. When i have had ratchets replaced under the lifetime warranty, the replacements did not seem as robust to me. Not junk, but not as well made.
I was just recently looking at the Maxx Access tools and thought they might be nice to have. The good set is $80 or so. Reading the article made me think twice about it. I ended up getting a more basic set at harbor freight for $16 after coupon and sale.
Reply to
bob urz
[farting part snipped]
that's "make just good enough for satisfying the customer" part
how much was bionic set going for before sears started to cut corners?
Reply to
AD
The max access are relatively new. They were on sale for $69 or so recently.
I also noticed sears started selling the spline looking universal wrenches and such. I wonder if they ripped that off also?
Reply to
bob urz
The spline tools are nothing more than a misuse of industrial spline drive that has been around for years (not a big seller unless you do very specific work). Sears (and others) are telling folks how the wrenches can be used for all the different fasteners. The problem is that while they can be used that way they are not intended to be. The splines have a very nasty habit of stripping the corners off fasteners other than spline drive parts. They are also much weaker than a 6 or 12 point wrench simply by virtue of the lack of metal on the flats.
Sears has used just about every tool maker at one point or another. With many tool makers now having plants worldwide it is harder to tell where the tool is actually made. In reality IF they use a good alloy and quality control it doesn't matter much. The trend of "It's China made so it's junk" is not really true. I have seen tools made in the US that are worse junk than ones made in other countries.
Reply to
Steve W.
Spline tools should be used on spline heads most commonly found in the aircraft and aerospace industries. "Flank drive", on the other hand, is even superior to the best of the standard 6 point sockets.
Reply to
Gene
in theory, with a little bit of chance taking, but there's no guessing involved with harbor freight. and very few made in usa tools, while finish may not be fab, will break and injure you.
that's true enough. i recently bought a taiwanese ratchet that i think is superior to my "dual 80" snap-on of unknown origin. but that might not be a fair comparison - snap-on seem to have really lost the plot. quality is down, they're not prepared to fly the flag that justifies the price, and they've been screwing their distributors - they've lost franchisees all over the bay area.
Reply to
jim beam
I break "made in USA" tools all the time. I have probably 30 Snap-On and Mac tools waiting for replacement. On the flip side I have a junk yard set from HF that I grabbed simply because I didn't want to lose stuff while pulling parts. In 4 years I have managed to break one combination wrench and bent a ratchet. Both were replaced with no problem.
Same here. The tool and storage guys are both gone from my area. Not from lack of spending on my part....
Reply to
Steve W.

FYI for folks who are buying tools/storage through Sears. Join the Craftsman Club. It's FREE and on some stuff it drops a BIG chunk off the price. A $500.00 dollar top box was just on club special for $280.00
Reply to
Steve W.

Very good point, forgot about including that gem in my response. Being an elderly engineer and out of the daily wrenching business for quite a while now, I don't do much of such work anymore and no longer regularly make large tool purchases, but I've heard of the CC and it looks like an even better deal than catalogs alone.
Reply to
Gene
I was looking for a decent chest for the home shop and got one of the 40" units last month. Not built as rugged as the Master series I have but good enough for normal home use. Online shows the regular price as 529.99 With a 423.99 sale price. CC members could get it last month for 265.00
Reply to
Steve W.
We have some Craftsman & MATCO units here, but we prefer Kennedy. Many choices, everyone has an opinion and the applications/ abuse level are often different too.
Reply to
AMuzi
Kennedy makes a good box. At one time they made some of Sears units. Waterloo makes the Craftsman and Husky units these days.
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I have a small Kennedy, a newer Lista and two Master series from Snap-On.
Reply to
Steve W.
dude, what on earth are you doing??? i've worn stuff out, and once split a kd socket, but broken? the only stuff i've broken is stuff i've abused like a 3/4" > 1/2" adapter marked [~] "max 600Nm" and that was when i'd loaded to about 900. it certainly didn't break within its design spec. and so i'm not asking for replacement.
valid point. maybe i should do that. i had a snap-on socket rail go walkies at a junk yard not so long ago and i hate having to replace for reasons like that. but the problem is, h.f. are a crap fit, of highly questionable reliability and you need reliable tools at a junkyard where stuff is usually either neglected or abused.
going back to your 30 replacements, apparently snap-on have recently started to insist franchisees replace breakages from their own stock and wait for factory replacement when they can be bothered to get around to it, thus costing franchisees a bunch of up-front money. with pricing and margins being what they are, the franchisees just had to quit - they were being starved.
Reply to
jim beam
My understanding is that Snap On has been getting its tools from China for several years now. I know guys still wrenching in dealerships that switched to Harbor Freight because they're so cheap, who cares if they break? And they know stuff breaks - they're not worried about getting hurt. They're tools are good enough for most work.
Reply to
Bill Vanek
Harbor freight has a place in the tool food chain. You have to be realistic of your expectations, and know what to buy and what to stay away from.
There sockets and such are generally good. If your not stupid and don't abuse them, they will last indefinitely. I would not recommend harbor for a professional mechanic that uses them every day. But for a backyard wrench, they are just fine for the most part. I got a 20+" breaker bar for the bone yard runs for $9.95. Cannot beat that. It got me some pinch bolts off that i would not have otherwise without issue.
There metric wrench sets have served me well.
Got a 1/2" impact socket set that goes up to 30MM for $19.95
Electric and battery tools are more of a question mark. I got a 4.5" angle grinder at black Friday a few years back for $4.95. It sounded like a bucket of ball bearing slapping around running, but it still works with the limited use its had.
I had a crank type lug nut tool that did break, but it was the exception rather than the rule.
There battery drills and such are cheap, and i don't have much faith in that end of there line
When they have a big sale, you can buy halogen shop light 500W bulbs for $1. Cannot beat that. They might not last as long, but you can buy a lot of them for what a normal bulb cost. And a normal bulb will die just as easy if you drop the light.
Harbor is a carnival for the cheapskate tool junkie.
Yes, i still buy some craftsman on occasion, but at a 4 or 5 to one ratio of my harbor freight buys.
Reply to
bob urz

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