Craftsman/Kobalt/Tekton/Pittsburg Sockets/Wrenches -- General Thoughts/Question

Sberry

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We got a lot of golden arms on the net, only certain tools fit their hands but no one picks thru my stuff to fuss over what brand it is.
 

EddieWalker

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Sears refused to replace a half inch drive ratchet wrench. I was told that I had to have the original receipt. I bought a Kobalt and it's been great. Whenever I lose an old Craftsman socket or wrench, I replace it with a Kobalt. I tried Stanly a long time ago, and the sockets cracked. I have not tried Harbor Freight. I bought a few of their tools when they first opened up here and they where all a waste of money. I need a wrench or socket to be able to deal with a hammer or some other form of force to get stuff apart, and so far, Kobalt has done great. For my extra large wrenches, I've been happy with what Tractor Supply sells. I forget the name of the brand. But I have them from 7/8's up to 1 3/4 inches. I've found that 15/16's seems to fit more things then anything else!!!

I bought a couple of Craftsman steel tapes that where priced low enough for me to take a chance. I lost, they where horrible. Neither would lock into place. Both folded when extended about 8 feet. One broke after a month, and I gave the other one away to a client. It's amazing to me how far backwards a tool company goes when they become Chinese.
 

IndyJay

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This all works well but is cheap stuff. Why worry endlessly about a warranty on a socket with a 2$ value. People pay 2$ for a bottle of water but have a fit if they bust a 2$ tool that is basically a consumable anymore.
Got to wonder, pay 3$ for gas and piss and moan and 16$ a gallon for water.
Yes, many of these tools are $2 each if you are pricing what they may have cost as part of a set. I lost my 16mm Craftsman ratchet wrench, it costs nearly $20 to buy a replacement individually. The 11 piece set it came out of costs $80 bucks. In post #5 of this thread I gave a similar example of trying to buy individual wrenches to fill out or complete a set.

So if I had broken my ratchet wrench instead of losing it I would get a free replacement instead of being out 1/4 of the cost of a new 11 pc set.
Granted, not going to break the bank but now I see where people sell individual pieces on eBay, only certain sizes not available.


 

oosik

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My father bought me the first ratchet & socket set. Proto - 3/8" drive. It was 1965 and me and my new wife were on our way to Alaska. He was pretty sure we wouldn't be able to find such things in AK. I still have that set and think of my father every time I use them.

My Mom & Pop were sure were sure we were a lost cause. Going to Alaska - same as going to Siberia to them.
 

IndyJay

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My father bought me the first ratchet & socket set. Proto - 3/8" drive. It was 1965 and me and my new wife were on our way to Alaska. He was pretty sure we wouldn't be able to find such things in AK. I still have that set and think of my father every time I use them.

My Mom & Pop were sure were sure we were a lost cause. Going to Alaska - same as going to Siberia to them.
I have several Proto tools, well made.
 

PILOON

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A while back, maybe, but these days I doubt if any tools are made in USA, assembled perhaps.

A friend once visited a pneumatic tool facility offshore and observed the brand names changing every so often as the production line spat them out. I.E. same tool, different name, and he said 'from top brand to low end'.

Eons ago I worked for a division of Stanley and discovered they made just about all the 'tapes' for measuring tapes.
 

WADFL

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Stanley/Black and Decker owns the main Craftsman brand.
They are in the finishing stages of building an automated tool factory in the Alliance business park outside of Fort Worth.
The plan is to build hand tools/sockets/ratchets for the US market using the latest automation techniques.

Supporting the pro-American initiatives of SBD is why I buy DeWalt and other SBD products when able.
 

DL Meisen

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Sears refused to replace a half inch drive ratchet wrench. I was told that I had to have the original receipt. I bought a Kobalt and it's been great. Whenever I lose an old Craftsman socket or wrench, I replace it with a Kobalt. I tried Stanly a long time ago, and the sockets cracked. I have not tried Harbor Freight. I bought a few of their tools when they first opened up here and they where all a waste of money. I need a wrench or socket to be able to deal with a hammer or some other form of force to get stuff apart, and so far, Kobalt has done great. For my extra large wrenches, I've been happy with what Tractor Supply sells. I forget the name of the brand. But I have them from 7/8's up to 1 3/4 inches. I've found that 15/16's seems to fit more things then anything else!!!

I bought a couple of Craftsman steel tapes that where priced low enough for me to take a chance. I lost, they where horrible. Neither would lock into place. Both folded when extended about 8 feet. One broke after a month, and I gave the other one away to a client. It's amazing to me how far backwards a tool company goes when they become Chinese.


And look where "Sears" is to day.....

In my tool box I have Thorson, Techtron, Craftsman, Proto, Channellock and HF (impact deep socket set and I beat the bejesus out of them with air impact and they still survive), and a host of not so popular cheap brands, find the more popular brands to be good and rarely break them, if I have a cheap tool and it breaks I just replace it with better quality, as one time I thought warranty and free replacement was important, but over time I learned how not to break tools and warranty became less important....Specially when I broke a Throson metric socket, and no dealer close, BUT I could ship it to cooperate and they would inspect it and if they thought it was covered under warranty would replace it, >>>>> Was cheaper to just replace it from local source than cost of shipping....
 
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DL Meisen

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The thing is with CHINESE MANUFACTURING is they are very good at meeting quality specification of company/cooperate entity ordering products.... So it mainly falls back on product brands...
 
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So I've got a very, very nice set of Craftsman USA made sockets with assorted goodies. Both in 6 point deep and shallow and 12 point deep and shallow in 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch drive. Along with all the 6 and 12 point box wrenches. All made in the USA. My father and I pitched in the early 2000's to basically "build up" this fantastic set of tools. I have never lost a socket or wrench, I've busted a few being young and dumb, but always head on eBay to source USA stamped replacements. Although now that it's starting to get up there in years since Craftsman was making them in the USA, they are harder to find in certain sizes if I do happen to bust one. (Hasn't been recently, cause I've been careful knowing how hard they are to locate!)

I know that the newer Craftsman products are made in China. Has anyone had any issues with sockets or box wrenches failing?

I've also been getting some other odds and ends from Pittsburg/Kobalt/Tekton. Pretty much mostly Pittsburg, because I've broken stuff before and I go right into Harbor Freight and they just allow me to get a replacement. Tekton is mostly made in Taiwan, but some stuff made in China, but I've had to send their stuff in, because Lowes was weird about it.

My question is, was it a mistake to buy an alternate set of Pittsburg (and some of the other brand) tools? Like offset wrenches, extra sockets, long reachers, and odd tools? Or should I have went somewhere else?

I mean they work, and I've never had an issue with HF tools for the most part.

I'm sorry if I don't buy the vanity branded Snap-On or Matco... I can afford it, but with the money spent on the main Craftsman stuff, I've never had an issue. So please don't start a war on that topic/label me...

It's also interesting, I recently tried finding an alternate set of shallow 6 point 1/2" drive sockets, and very, very few manufacturers make them. Everything is all 12 point -- with the exception of impact grade Cr-Mo sockets.

Now I do wrenching for friends and neighbors, but I'm not in it for actual business, like doing it everyday to make it as my primary job. Although, I got two vehicles on yard that are two friends that need brake jobs and some front end work, I am waiting parts for them. Due to cost and job problems, folks are leaning on friends like me to do auto work at a "realistic" cost. So I expect to be wrenching more into the Winter and Spring. With the extra cash I get, I build it into more gizmos and tools to make my life a heck of a lot easier.
Just my 2 cents.

The hardline mechanic's tools (such as socket wrenches) that make up the core of the Craftsman brand have been made by a variety of manufacturers over the years, including New Britain, Moore Drop Forging, Stanley, Easco Hand Tools Danaher Corp., and most recently Apex Tool Group. Screwdrivers have been manufactured by Pratt-Read and Western Forge, but until around 2017-2018 were supplied mostly by Western Forge, who also had supplied pliers and adjustable wrenches. As of 2019, Western Forge no longer supplies Craftsman tools.

If it has a good guarantee I'd give almost anyone a try, but some will wear you out constantly replacing the same thing guarantee or not.
 
 
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