Craftsman will be discontinuing operations at their Fort Worth, Texas facility, where they were working to produce new USA-made hand tools.
Stanley Black & Decker announced the new 425,000 square foot factory in mid-2019, where they planned to produce Craftsman mechanics hand tools, including ratchets, wrenches, sockets, and tool sets.
In late-2022, Craftsman said that the factory was open, operating, and producing tools.
In a conversation I had today with a Craftsman executive, I was told that they expect for the factory to be closed by mid-2024.
Why is Craftsman Closing the New Factory?
Three years ago, Craftsman teased that something new was “chroming soon” and that new USA-made mechanics tools and sets were on the way.
A lot has happened since then, with the pandemic and supply chain issues severely impacting many industries.
When Stanley Black & Decker first announced their plans, they said the new Craftsman hand tool factory would leverage some of the most advanced manufacturing technologies available to optimize productivity and sustainability.
I was told today that the success of the plant required innovative solutions and new-to-world processes to all come together consistently.
They hoped to overcome numerous obstacles, but ultimately could not.
According to the official announcement, this and other actions taken by the company are “designed to deliver $2 billion of cost savings and are reflective of current economic conditions.”
What About the Tools Already Produced?
I was told that tools produced at the Fort Worth facility will be available for sale at existing distributors. Once those tools sell out, they will not be replenished.
What Does this Mean for USA-Made Craftsman Tools?
While this is obviously a major and disappointing setback, Craftsman insists they remain committed to USA production. They strive to “produce as much here as humanly possible.”
Stanley Black & Decker is also transferring operations from their Cheraw, South Carolina facility, to their facilities in Jackson and Gallatin, Tennessee.
According to their website, key products made at this factory include Dewalt and Stanley Black & Decker saws, tape measures, and tool boxes.
The transfer of Cheraw, South Carolina operations will affect 182 employees, with 80 jobs added in Tennessee, and the discontinuation of operations at Fort Worth, Texas will impact 175 employees. Stanley Black & Decker says they are focused on providing a smooth transition and support services for affected employees.