Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sears Craftsman Hand Tools

When I was younger, I liked to work on cars. This meant I needed tools. For just about any job that is done, there is some kind of tool that is needed to do that job. Even a computer could be considered a tool.

Because of their reputation, and lifetime warranty, I bought my first set of tools from Sears. Their Craftsman line was considered one of the best, and had a lifetime warranty. Some people have preferences for tools, for example, they will only buy from one brand name, like Makita.

Those who don't know anything about tools, should always ask questions about what they want from the tools they buy. How is it made and what materials are used? Is it accurate? What kind of warranty comes with the tool?

Tools are made using different materials and specifications. Some lower cost tools can break, due to the type of material/metal/plastic used and it's thickness. And the size of the tool may not be accurate. For example, a 3/8 wrench may not be 3/8 of an inch, it could be +/- some small fraction of an inch.

Tools with Lifetime warranties are made better with stronger materials and tolerances as close to 100% as possible. There are many tools that have Lifetime warranties. One of the better known companies with a Lifetime warranty on their tools is Snap-on.

Sometimes people want to know the difference between expensive Snap-on tools and less expensive Craftsman tools.

If you want to remove a 1/2 inch nut, you would need a 1/2 inch wrench. Both companies make 1/2 inch wrenches in various lengths. If you compare the two, you will see that the Snap-on wrench is thinner and has less material near where the opening is where you would use the wrench on a bolt. Even the shaft is thinner. This means that the metal they use has to be stronger than the metal that the Craftsman brand uses, or else it will fail and break. Also it is obvious that the Snap-on tool is smooth and shiny. That means that after it is cast, it is polished to a mirror shine. This process is time consuming and expensive. These are the reasons why Snap-on tools and others like it, cost more than the Craftsman brand. Craftsman tools are more affordable, and most of the time, they do just as good a job as more expensive "shiny" tools, in my opinion.

Well, I've owned my Craftsman set for over 25 years, adding on more tools here and there. I finally decided to upgrade my wrench and socket sets. There are complete sets of wrenches and sockets available from Sears and I recently ordered them separately. I could use extra wrenches and get sizes that I didn't already have by buying a new set, and the same goes for the sockets. The newer sockets also have special easy-to-read markings.

All was well with ordering the 43 piece standard and metric size wrench set. The socket set cost a lot more, so that was my deterrent to buy it right away. Then, the set was increased from a 299 piece standard and metric socket set to a 311 piece set. Then, it went on sale with free shipping! I placed my order on December 16, 2010.

On December 18,2010, I received an e-mail from Sears, stating that the item I ordered was SHIPPED with a delivery date between December 22-24, and I was given a tracking number for UPS.

On December 20, 2010, my credit card was charged.

I kept checking the UPS tracking number and it said the same thing, “A label for this shipment has been created, but UPS does not yet have possession of this shipment. Once we receive the shipment, the tracking status will be updated.”

After 10 days I contacted Sears about this shipment and was told that it was shipped to me.

I responded by telling Sears that I am aware of that, but I did not receive the shipment, and that there was no Tracking information available for it.

I was sent a follow-up e-mail telling me that the shipment was shipped "from the Warehouse to the store and will take 2-3 more business days before it is shipped to you."

I kept checking the UPS tracking info and nothing changed.

On January 19, 2011, one month after I was told the item was shipped to me, I re-contacted Sears telling them that I still had not received the order but that I still wanted it, even though it now appeared to be out of stock according to the Sears website, and would wait for it to be in stock. I wanted to make sure that they were aware that it was not yet shipped to me.

Sears replied that they would look into it, and see what happened to my order. Another department of Sears wrote back to me stating that I returned the item and they canceled my order right then.

I replied and explained to them what happened, that I never received the item, and therefore never returned it, and that I want my order fulfilled, not canceled.

Their next reply addressed me as “Nasal," mistaking it for my name. And they told me to just re-order it.

I got angry about being called "Nasal," and said that I would not re-order it because it was on sale with free shipping when I bought it, and vow never to buy another Craftsman or Sears product.

They replied explaining to me how sometimes items that show that they are in stock, are not really in stock, due to inventory errors.

However, that point was moot because the item was shipped to me, and upon the first investigation, it was supposedly at a Sears store, being readied to ship to me.

During this time I researched Craftsman tools and found out that Craftsman tools from when I originally purchased them, were made by a company that was replaced in 1994 by another company. The tools that I own were manufactured by the old company, and they now make tools for Home Depot.

So, I no longer need to buy Craftsman tools, as the Home Depot brand also with a Lifetime warranty is made by the same company that made the tools that I currently own.

In fact, I no longer need Sears for anything. No wonder Sears is not doing well.

As a parting note, I wrote this to Sears.

"Good luck staying in business,


Their last reply to me, addressed me as "Nasal" again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I placed an order on a monday. And for three calender days the ups site has given me the same message about “label has been created”. The sears customer rep said it should come today. If it does not then i will never order from sears again.