As you might be aware, Craftsman has been working to open a new USA-based hand tool factory.
ToolGuyd readers have been asking for an update as to when the first wave of USA-made Craftsman tools will launch, but unfortunately there’s little new information to share.
Back in May 2022, we reported that Craftsman’s new USA-based hand tools facility was “built and nearing completion,” as had been conveyed to ToolGuyd by Craftsman and Stanley Black & Decker.
I was told that:
The first USA-made Craftsman mechanics hand tools built at this facility are expected to launch by the end of 2022, and will include 59pc, 88pc, and 134pc tool sets.
I was also told that, following the initial launch, Craftsman would be ramping up production and expanding their USA-made hand tools in 2023.
I checked Lowe’s stores and Craftsman’s online retailer partners several times over the past few weeks, and could not find any USA-made mechanics tools SKUs for this past holiday shopping season.
It is now December 29th, 2022, inarguably “the end of 2022,” and it appears that Craftsman had missed their anticipated launch window.
Shown above is a mechanics tool set recently promoted by Craftsman’s social media account, but it appears to be one of their existed imported SKUs.
Towards the end of November, I asked Craftsman for an update, and they said:
Our Fort Worth facility is currently open and operating. We have produced tools at the Fort Worth facility, but we are not yet ready to provide a further update.
This is still positive progress, that their new facility is currently open and operating, and that tools have been produced.
The launch delay could have resulted from unanticipated hindrances, a strategic executive decision by Stanley Black & Decker’s new CEO, or other factors.
But, also keep in mind that neither Craftsman or Stanley Black & Decker has made any concrete announcements yet; all of their updates so far have been via social media teasers.
Thinking aloud, I have been wondering what Craftsman’s long-term strategy will look like. The brand launched premium – and pricey – V-Series tools in late 2021, but I don’t believe they expanded upon those offerings in 2022.
Craftsman V-Series tools deliver great performance, and in my opinion should be more enthusiastically promoted by the brand and adopted by end users. Hopefully the eventual USA-made tools will be promoted by Craftsman and their retail partners with greater energy.
Has Craftsman expanded upon any of their hand tool offerings recently? Have there been any innovations recently? I’m sorry, but no – the paid-entry “innovation awards” Craftsman has been patting themselves on the back for don’t count.
Are we – tool users asking for Craftsman to get back to USA hand tool production – even the target audience for the tools they have planned? How many of us are in the market for mechanics tool starter sets, and how many of us would buy specific open stock tools or tools other than those commonly included in socket sets?
I know that Craftsman launching USA-made hand tools is important to me, but what am I looking or waiting to buy? I have relied on Stanley Black & Decker’s Proto line of professional and industrial hand tools for certain tool and accessory needs.
Craftsman is unlikely to want to cannibalize from their existing pro tool lines. Without further details from Craftsman, and just going by the limited information they shared so far, I’m not convinced that any of their initial offerings will suit my particular needs or wants.
Because of all this, I try to be forgiving of the lengthy delays. It might be a while before there are USA-made Craftsman hand tools that suit my personal tool needs.
Craftsman committed to USA production when Stanley Black & Decker acquired the brand. Here is some of what they said in 2017:
We are committed to bringing Craftsman’s manufacturing back to the United States, using materials from around the world…
Stanley Black & Decker will focus on U.S. manufacturing, using global materials…
Stanley Black & Decker also believes it can bring innovation and investment back to Craftsman…
We’re about to enter 2023.
Despite the wait, there is nothing to suggest that any of these goals have changed.
I expect for Stanley Black & Decker and Craftsman to make good on these claims, and hope it’s just a matter of waiting a little longer.
What will a couple more months of waiting now going to matter 5 or 10 years down the road? All of this will likely be forgotten or forgiven by then. Or so I keep telling myself to stave off my impatience.
Earlier Posts and Updates
2017 (March): Stanley Black & Decker Pledges to Bring Craftsman Tool Production Back to USA
2018 (April): So, the First Wave of New Craftsman Mechanics Tools Are Made in…
2019 (May): New Factory Means More Craftsman Hand Tools will be Made in the USA
2020 (March): Craftsman Tool News: Select Mechanics Tools and Sets to be Made in USA
2020 (December): Craftsman USA-Made Hand Tools – Coming Soon in 2021
2021 (July): Craftsman Tools USA Factory News Update (July 2021)
2022 (March): Five Years Later, Where are Craftsman’s USA-Made Tools?
2022 (May): Craftsman Tools USA Factory Update (May 2022)
2022 (July): Tool Brands’ USA Expansion Updates – Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita