Capt. Mike

If my problems with Mac weren't enough to ruin my day, I ran into the recurring warranty problem with Sears over some Craftsman tools. So this is a suggestion.

When you buy a Craftsman tool, be sure and save not only the paperwork, model info & any parts lists, but also the catalog for that year.

What I'm running into is that I bought the Master Mechanic's set and many individual tools when I outfitted my shop. Well, I didn't bother to save the catalog -- I kept replacing it with the newest edition. Bad move!

What happens is that many of the tools I bought under Craftsman's Lifetime Warranty have been dropped from their warranty program. The other day it was a tap & die tool out of my set. "We don't warrant tap & die anymore."

Hey, I'm sorry, but you can't change the rules after the game has begun. [Ask Al Gore!] You want to change on new purchases after some date, that's fine, I can buy elsewhere. But you can't drop a warranty retroactively.

So I have to wait through 15 minutes and 3 phone calls until she finds someone that has a clue what's going on. She can't access the warranty info on her computer, and finally, after having to explain what the heck "tap & die" is to all 3, she gets one that admits they were warranted 20 years ago when I bought mine. All for a lousy $3.49 tool.

But I know I'll go through that battle every time. Anybody got a copy of the 1978-79 Craftsman Tool catalog I can borrow? I want to photocopy all those warranty promises!
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Capt. Mike

Sears does have a website, where you can browse the tool catalog. It's a pain with pop-up advertising crap and attempts to place cookies, but at least it has pictures & lists prices so you can comparison shop.

I've also sent the above post to them. Wonder what their response will be? Will let you know.

Update: They IGNORED it! Won't answer.

Capt. Mike

Although I rarely buy Craftsman or Sears tools anymore, I have quite a few in my original outfitting set. Recently, I had a socket fracture right down the middle and a wrench start to have it's head retaining pin fall out in use. I took it to my local Sears.

No problem with the replacement. Of course the socket design is changed so it doesn't match the rest, but hey, it's a tool. I was a bit surprised at how high the prices for Craftsman brand had become but I'm sure they are still less than Snap-On or Mac.

What did surprise me was to see, hanging side-by-side, an off-brand version of my wrench. Shiney, pretty; looked like a Snap-On knock-off at half the price. So it appears Sears has started carrying an econo-line. This will probably not have the Craftsman warranty so shoppers should be sure they know which they are getting and the drawbacks. Nothing is free so it probably has lower quality and warranty. In addition, also consider what a broken tool in the middle of a job means -- injury, damage, lost time, additional expense to replace even if warrantied. I think the brand was "Champion".

Sears also sells some of the Armstrong line -- see "Armstrong Tools" topic this forum.