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Where Are Craftsman Tools Made
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Where Are Craftsman Tools Made

In the recent years, controversy surrounds Craftsman, the brand of mechanic, lawn and garden tools, over a country of origin. Where are Craftsman tools made? While they continue to advertise their tools as America's the most trusted tool brand and display banners saying Made in USA, they start to manufacture their tools in foreign countries, mainly China.

An influence of the changes is seen on a number of reviews of Craftsman products in their website. The funny thing is that you don't see anything about quality of tools in their reviews. Instead, people just complain that products are not made in USA. You can see them in many forum sites, too. Each thread starts a complaint that many products are no longer made in USA, and the discussions escalate to the economy and unemployment issues. In the forums, you cannot see them discussing about quality very much.

For those who cares about a country of origin, Craftsman is the historical American brand. In forum, someone says "I have been using the tools for many years", or "my father and grandfather trust their tools but now...." In forums, it is no problem to express feelings and share the ideas, but in reviews on shopping sites, it is not acceptable. It is not fair to give one star just because a product is made outside of the U.S.

Craftsman keeps creating innovative tools. Since they are innovations, there isn't enough information about them. People need their quality and usefulness. However, most new products are not in the U.S. any more. According to reviews, half of them return the product without using it and give one star.

Not only new product, but some basic and traditional products are also made outside of the U.S.now. For example, you will see a hand ratchet that is made in China in a store. Most Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty. But now, if you break the ratchet, you will get a replacement that is made in China. Recently, I broke my hand ratchet and had it replaced with Chinese one under a lifetime warranty. I thought this was a good opportunity to check the quality. I opened up the head of ratchet and compared with my other US made ratchet (different size but the same grade). Overall designs are slightly different, but I can't tell which one is better. The gears inside the head are also slightly different, but I can not tell which one is better, either.

I closed them up and used it. I feel it is normal. I found Chinese one has less play on the head. That is because it is new, but I also found the switch to reverse direction is a metal while American one is plastic. It has also less play and seems sturdier.

If you need Craftsman tools for normal use, not for collection, you should forget where they are. Try to see the quality. In the future, there will be more products made outside of US, and that happens to not only Craftsman, but also other brands. If you care too much, you can buy fewer tools, and you may miss great innovations.


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