/ Craftsman/Kobalt/Tekton/Pittsburg Sockets/Wrenches -- General Thoughts/Question #31
The independently owned stores are still out there. I stop in at the one in Hamilton MT, anytime I’m headed over to Missoula, just to see what they have on sale. Got a 55-inch top box last year for half price because it had a dent, and scratch on the back. Put it up on a bench, and no one will see the back in my lifetime, so it is good for me.I wasn’t aware that there are any Sears stores still operating?
I’ve been buying Gear Wrench brand stuff of the last couple of years, and it is holding up well enough. I have a pretty good set of Craftsman wrenches, sockets, etc, from the mid 70s. I was still living t home rent free, and going to college, had a part time job at UPS loading trucks, and was making just over $14/hr, which was really good money in those days. the only expenses i had was gasoline to get back and forth to walk and school, so I had quite a bit of spending money. I’d swing by the Sears catalog store, every Friday on the way home and buy tools that were on sale. Had to put some of the more expensive stuff on layaway, and pay it off over a couple of checks. I still have the complete set of wrenches, ratchets sockets etc. Had to replace a few that I lost, but have never broken any.
Every once in a while the local Ace Hardware has the Craftsman wrenches, and sockets sets on sale. And I have bought a set of 3/8 ratchet and sockets, and wrenches with a tool roll for each of he vehicles I drive. For about $25 invested, I can fix most stuff that is fixable on the road.
The Chiwanese stuff varies in quality, because they are very good at making exactly what you ask for. If whoever is having them make branded tools knows how to write good specifications, they will get consistently good to very good tools. If they don’t know how to spec out what they want, they will get inconsistent results. You have to specify anything you want, alloy, heat treatment, Rockwell Hardness, brittleness, tolerances, etc. And the manufacturers will give you what ever you ask for. Better brands, do a better job of defining what they want, pay for what they want, and get top quality tools. Lower cost brands, have less stringent specs, and pay less. So, they can sell for less.