We have received several tips over the past few months, about a new Craftsman V-Series of hand tools that are launching at Lowe’s.
Details are still sparse, but a new wave of product listings just went live, giving us the first real look at what the new Craftsman mechanics tools expansion will include.
Thank you to reader Joe E and Jared for bringing all this to our attention!
Joe E also provided a first-look at the new Craftsman V-Series flex-head ratchet and its packaging.
In my opinion, this ratchet and many of the other upcoming Craftsman V-Series tools look to have a more premium appearance. I would guess that this new line will sit above current offerings in terms of features, quality, and also price.
The new Craftsman V-Series tool lineup will include two ratcheting screwdrivers – at the least.
What’s especially interesting about the new Craftsman V-Series ratcheting screwdrivers is that I recognize their handles as being Facom designs.
Facom is Stanley Black & Decker’s premium brand of mechanics tools. Some Facom offerings are available in the United States, but it’s much more popular and well-known in Europe.
Craftsman’s V-Series nutdrivers also resemble existing Facom tools, or were at least very heavily inspired by them.
The new Craftsman ratchets look to have sealed heads and a new knurled handle design.
Cushion-grip ratchets are also available.
At this time, there are listings for standard ratchets, stubby ratchets, and flex-head ratchets.
Some of the new Craftsman V-Series ratchets are described as having a 4.5° arc swing, which would mean an 80-tooth gearing mechanism. Others mention a 3.75° arc swing, which would mean 96-tooth or 96-position gearing.
The lineup extends beyond ratchets and screwdrivers to also include T-handle hex keys. The hex tips on these drivers feature new X-Tract Technology, and are designed to help remove damaged and partially-stripped fasteners.
This is a developing story, and there have not been any official announcements thus far. We’ve reached out to Lowe’s and Craftsman with questions and will update you once we hear back.
I’m a big fan of Facom tools and designs. Four and a half years ago, when Stanley Black & Decker officially acquired the Craftsman tool brand, I wrote:
If anyone at Stanley Black & Decker is reading this, I have 2 requests: PLEASE bring some of your European tool brand designs to the USA. I love Facom hand tools, and would love seeing some of them under Craftsman branding.
It looks like I’ll be getting my wish, at least in a small way. And, if this proves to be a successful move for the Craftsman brand, who knows what the future will hold.
Shop Craftsman Tools at Lowe’s
Craftsman V-Series Updates
Ooh – there’s more!
Quite a few new SKUs were just added to Lowe’s catalog, including this screwdriver and mechanics tool set.
There’s a new hex bit socket set that also features Craftsman and Stanley Black & Decker’s specially modified tips that ease removal of damaged fasteners.
We also now have our first look at their socket set packaging, which definitely looks to have a more upscale design. The front-and-center emphasis on V-Series branding definitely stands out.
There are actually quite a few socket set SKUs, but no larger mechanics tool set assortments as of yet.
I bet these will be nice tools, but I suspect most people are going to see the Craftsman name, look for the ‘Made in USA’ label, and then write them off as junk when it isn’t there.
Precisely. If this is Made in the United States of America, I’d consider purchasing this. Let other countries take care of their citizens; not my job or bluntly put desire to do so. By the way I am a LEGAL immigrant and PROUD to be an American. We as Americans need to put American’s first and buy American made products as much as possible.
If I want import junk, I’d go to Harbor Freight.
Couldn’t explain it any better.
Spot on correct.
Americans only seem to care about “taking care of Americans” when it comes to buying goods. I know plenty of people that refuse to buy anything but American made, because like you said they want to support Americans. If you bring up something that also supports Americans like universal healthcare, free college, or public assistance (not even going to touch pandemic related topics) those same people will literally spit in your face and wish death upon anyone who supports such ideals. Occasionally they are even generous enough to wish death upon your family as well. Almost like they really don’t care about their fellow Americans at all, they just want to believe that they are the ultimate patriot. And why do American’s livelihoods matter more than anyone else’s livelihood?
Not saying you are one of those people, so please don’t take it that way. My point is the whole “only buy American” mantra has taken on this false sense of nobility. If it makes you feel good about yourself, that’s great, it is. But if you really want to put Americans first, there are better ways than buying a ratchet or two.
Just out of curiosity, for those of you who won’t buy Craftsman tools unless they are USA-made, would you buy a Facom tool?
i.e. I’m wondering if the issue is that you don’t trust the tool will be any good, or if it really is that you won’t buy ANYTHING imported? Or maybe I’m misconstruing the issue – perhaps it is the Craftsman brand that should be USA only?
Do you also avoid Knipex, Wera, PB Swiss, Bahco, etc.?
There was a story on a forum once, maybe 10-15 years ago. A customer at a hardware store was complaining about layoffs at the factory where they worked. They were at the store to buy a shovel, and so the owner of the store showed them two models – one made in the USA and a slightly cheaper imported model. “Nah, that one is too expensive, I’ll take the cheaper model.”
I try to buy USA-made products when possible, personally and as a business, but it’s not always the best option. Sometimes imported products are better suited for my needs, other times the domestic product is just too cost-prohibitive.
USA vs imported is a complicated subject with many shades of grey. It doesn’t have to be a mutually exclusive standpoint. Good tools are good tools no matter where they’re made.
If someone wants USA-made mechanics tools, Proto has plenty of options.
These foreign Craftsman tools should be considered blasphemy. Craftsman is the classic American homeowner tool brand. There’s a market for Amercian made hand tools at the big box stores. DIY’ers are not going to look up the local Proto dealer. People are tired of buying B.S.
Channel Lock can do it others can to. For a slightly higher price, no, imported products are not better suited for the job.
Replying to Brad.
I think you raise an interesting component of the made-in-USA debate – that point being that “supporting American jobs” and “quality” are often conflated. When that happens, it seems to skip over the reason so few tools are made in the USA (or at least that’s how I’m interpreting your comment: “For a slightly higher price, no, imported products are not better suited for the job”).
I.e. people buy a US-made tool ostensibly to support USA production, BUT also expect it to be superior to the imports. US production is more expensive than making something in China or Taiwan. If that is the case, shouldn’t someone buying US-made be willing to pay more for a tool that is only as-good, or maybe a little worse?
Consider what that would look like. Imagine Home Depot had two Husky water pump pliers side-by-side in the aisle. The pliers are visually identical, made of the same materials and indiscernible except one bears a USA flag on the packaging. The Asian import is $15, the USA version $30. How many people are spending more for the identical product?
I’m not suggesting there shouldn’t be premium USA tools too, but when production costs are higher and customers also expect a superior product, it seems like they aren’t supporting American production as much as expressing a willingness to spend more to get more.
I think the American tool companies know few people are actually willing to spend more to get the same or less and therefore intentionally skew to “premium” and “pro” tools so the higher costs are more easily hidden. E.g. they’re counting on customers to spend quite a bit more to get a modestly better product.
Maybe the Husky pliers are $15 and the Channellocks $30 – but the Channellocks are also superior. Perhaps Channellock could move production overseas, make a similar quality product and pocket higher profits – but then they lose the USA marketing edge.
It’s murky waters.
I totally agree with the sentiment, but after seeing how manufacturers are making such items in a heavily automated environment with large stamping presses I wonder how much labor is still involved. Personally i can see such low labor intensive products move oversears and rather keep higher tech manufacturing here. But as we have seen with automakers we have seen many of them offshore jobs in a heartbeat. I think if the pandemic has taught us anything it is that there is a real danger in being too reliant on overseas manufacturing now.
A “false sense of nobility” really sums that mentality pretty perfectly.
If I recall correctly, Stuart’s post a while ago examining the salaries of the new craftsman factory show pretty pitiful amounts but would the majority of those so called patriots support a higher minimum wage thats needed for american manufacturing on a larger more permanent scale? Somehow I doubt it.
Companies have to pay attractive wages today to attract talent. Minimum wage jobs are pretty much a thing of the past. The real min. wasge today is about $12.00 per hour (in the mid-west). It is more like $15.00 if you want them to stay.
I (and I suspect my former business partners too) consider myself lucky that we did not produce goods or services to be sold at WalMart, Home Depot, Lowes or the like. When your customer is the buyer at one of these retail giants you just might find yourself no longer able to manufacture where you used to or want to do. The inexorable drive to produce goods that can be sold at lower price and higher profit margin can be a hard taskmaster. The iconic brand/company Rubbermaid learned that lesson – as I suspect so many others did too. Not every US tool manufacturer that has gone out of business has done so solely because of mismanagement – production costs and customer buying habits likely also played a big role. Many that have survived have moved production to places (mainly Asia) where production costs are lower. We (USA companies) are not alone in this – as you see European tool manufacturers also shifting production outside the EU. While corporate profits and profitability have a part in all of this – a consumerism that focuses on low price is not without guilt.
SBD has been profitable and growing – I suspect because they know their customer – and in this case it may be the tool buyer at Lowes rather than the end-user. While the Buy_America sentiment seems to be on the rise – there may be a disconnect in what’s blowing in the wind and what Lowes sees in the behavior of its shoppers.
SBD is also on the rise because they are buying many of these failed brands. They are large enough that HD and Lowes can’t bully them around and demand cut rate products. You see that a lot with a high end brand like Kholer. “exclusively sold at HD/Lowes” is just code for “this is shittier than what we sell in a real store. That is just Kohler’s way of fitting the price that HD/Lowes wants them to be .
Now on the flipside, The customer starts to suffer when a company like SBD gets too large and can start to dictate the market. Luckily, I don’t think TTI, Bosch Group and Makita will ever let that happen.
That’s because many americans believe in working for what you want instead of hand-outs. Hand-outs are what got us into the problem we have today where everyone feels entitled but nobody wants to do the real work.
Healthcare and education should be provided to those with legitimate hardship but universally it just discourages people from contributing to society, kids sit on their butts in free colleges then feel overeducated to take the jobs that we need done in order to pay off their student loan debt. Believe it or not, things evolved the way they did for good reason.
If you want to put america first, do not subsidize people leeching.
No, buy american is not some false sense of anything, is absolutely required to take back manufacturing and keep from pouring money into China who pollutes on a massive scale while we throw money away trying to be “green” to compensate. I won’t even go into how massively those container ships bringing the goods, pollute. Hint: EVs are nothing compared to them, yet we are requiring EVs now or in the near future, laughable, political, brainwashing, nonsense.
Agreed. Universal healthcare and the like is a false equivalency.
I know Stuart wants to keep things focused on tools, so my apologies. 😉
I buy american made products whenever I can to encourage domestic manufacturing,*if* the products are high quality. I’m not going to buy american crap just because it’s american.
IMO, we have financialized and gutted the country looking for a free lunch, and we are reaping what we’ve sown.
If Ohio had the labor practices of China, we’d never allow them to do business. But we have no problem doing business with China. We should be consistent. If we have minimum wage and labor laws we expect Americans to abide by, then we should only do business with countries with >= our standards. Otherwise we’re are just importing hypocrisy.
You want to help the average joe? Give him/her a level playing field for once. Jobs, a productive life, and some meaning. Not handouts.
100% agree with Dave9. As a black man that grew up very poor in the projects you can improve your life if you are willing to hard work. Hand out’s are a hindrance and prevent complete independence as you aren’t willing to work as hard and make the changes you want to see in your own personal life.
Domestic job creation is more than buying tools; this can fundamentally change a person’s life for the better. I’ve known many people that have a rough life and made some mistakes, only to be able to get past that as they were given an opportunity for careers that were made possible because of domestic manufacturing. They entirely changed themselves for the better. No more bad influences and their mindset changed from being a perpetual victim to a independent happy well adjusted American.
Buying American is definitely NOT a false sense of anything in the very least. This means to improve not only the best and most freest country in existence where anyone can come from a very poor background in beginning and end up as successful individual if and only if you are willing to put in the time.
As others have said, let other countries take care of their people and because of the freedom we have, if you wish to support these other countries first and foremost, you have that option. These other countries don’t put America first so in my opinion it’s not my job to put their countries first when my fellow Americans need careers and jobs. No one here or anywhere is stopping you from buying imported products; it’s your money do as you see fit.
Speaking only from decades of experience and again someone that grew up in the projects the only way to realistically improve the lives of ALL Americans is to put America first and buy American. Just makes sense in America to have the mindset of America first.
Big Richard is NOT saying that buying made in USA products has “taken on a false sense of nobility,” but that the mantra has.
Let’s be real. If you have 10 Americans, how many will say that buying USA-made products is a good thing? Probably 10 out of 10, right? Now, how many of those people will actually spend more for USA-made products if and when they have the means to do so?
A lot of people say they want more USA-made products, but not everyone is putting their money where their mouth is. What people say does not matter as much as what they do.
There are definitely people who will advocate for USA-made tools and then try their best to back it up with their purchasing decisions. But, there are also very many people who pat themselves on the back for being very vocal about this stance, at least until it’s time for them to vote with their wallets.
I get what you are saying, you have a right to your opinion. We’ll agree to disagree. That’s the beauty of freedom we can agree to disagree. With that being said, would you rather support China? Buy Chinese made products than American? A regime that locks up it’s own people? Puts it’s citizens in camps for simply complaining or going to church. The most surveillanced police state? I came from a former Soviet Country, grew up in Ukraine as a kid. Those very issues you covet are very Marxist principles. From what I remember it sucked. I was 5 when Chernobyl happened. Giving the government more power is dangerous. I find it shocking that people in western countries support these things. I get leftist want to improve society. No matter what you do it turns to crap. Man will always be man. No system is perfect. The very word Utopia means non existent. You have to remember the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. People take their freedom for granted. Never give that up. These Qanon idiots are just as bad. That’s another can of worms, another rant, another day. I earned my citizenship to the USA. I served our country. Blood, sweat and tears. That’s politics mate nothing personal. At the end of the day, no matter what you believe we all appreciate quality tools to earn a lively hood. I have no problem buying foreign tools from western countries. I know FACOM they make quality stuf same as Proto and MAC. I would like to see American manufacturing return. Our manufacturing base was what built this country. I’d like to see our next generation learn trades and do things with their hands.
Having manufacturing in your country is vital for its existence and ongoing growth. By the way, it’s one of the easiest things to “steal” (using that word lightly) from one’s country. My parents moved back and forth from the USA back to Europe (after WWII, so half the family was born overseas, the other half here in the states. Buying made in the USA doesn’t mean every aspect is perfect in the States. I wish that Apple (a $2.4 trillion company) would manufacture as much in the states as possible. So their profits would be a little lower, but I would say that their wealth is made from two areas (cheap day labor and expensive phone pricing ). The USA has supported most of their success (50/50 iPhone in the USA were in the rest of the world its 85% android 15% Apple when taking out the sales of Apple in the USA.
So yes, more manufacturing allows all levels of society to participate in, say, if Apple was manufacturing in the states and not Foxconn.
We also help the most, give the most, and help protect the most than another country in the world.
Let’s support here as much as possible, and I also understand if you don’t desire that approach.
With Apple, they simply cannot make most of their products here. There’s no USA source for displays, batteries, or processing components.
It’s similar in the tool world. Maybe 10 years ago I asked a tool brand why their screwdrivers are imported, and they said it would extremely cost-prohibitive for them to set up their own factory. Since then they have contracted with a USA OEM.
With the Apple example – I understand that they can not even source their semiconductor chips here. Intel once the world leader in chip design and manufacturing has fallen behind TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) in both size and know-how. Sad that they are now in a catch-up mode.
Well, one is capitalism and one isn’t. I don’t see the contradiction there at all.
On topic, the Facom connection is interesting. Wasn’t really interested before but that definitely got my attention.
Providing more entitlements isn’t necessarily putting Americans first. Providing opportunity for achieving success through hard work should be the goal. As a recently retired physician I have been in favor of a nationalized health care delivery system since my medical school days in the 80s. However, the 50% or so of the healthcare that is already managed by the federal government is generally poorly administered and miserable to work with. Trusting this current government, the one that has put us 30T in debt, and generally shown massive incompetence in just about every other aspect of governance, with the rest of our health-care system at this point seems like a bad idea. So to bring this back to the topic of domestic production of tools and other goods, when we get our government under control (term limits, getting rid of lobbyists, etc, ) a lot of our problems are going to improve.
The term “entitlements” is disingenuous and needs to go. These are services that are funded by taxes which we are due to receive because we paid for them.
I believe the use of “entitlements” is appropriate here as this topic is not stated to be a function of the Federal government in the US Constitution.
I agree with TJ here. In my roughly 30 years as an adult voter, and having experience dealing with with the US government on many levels, including a business relationship and an unrelated academic research partnership, I can only conclude the government is incompetent at nearly all levels and the fewer pies it has fingers in the better. And that goes for both sides of the political fence. Government involvement invites waste, corruption, red tape, and “not my job” attitudes. The government is above the law and cannot be sued the way a business can when they screw up. So no, I don’t want them involved in healthcare.
I also have knowledge of the alternative: I have family in Denmark (I have lived and worked there myself, for a time) and in England so I have plenty of knowledge of how those systems dysfunction as well. The British NHS essentially killed my uncle due to red tape delays. I could write for pages about the problems my family has experienced with the Danish system, despite Denmark often topping the charts of the “Happiest Country on Earth” and being famous for it’s advanced socialized medicine.
Now I’m not arguing the US system is great, far from it. But in my experience those problems are the result of government involvement, and the solution to the problem is to excise the cancer, not to allow it to take over more than it already has.
And yes, this is far more than just a healthcare issue. I firmly believe that a lot of the reason why American industry has lost out to foreign completion in so many sectors is because of government meddling in private business, as well as union policies swinging the pendulum too far the wrong way. If those policies can be reversed then it becomes more financially attractive for companies to produce tools, electronics, etc, here.
Yep, it’s selective flag-waving when personal cost — and politics — aren’t a factor. It’s just another form of hypocrisy.
I hear you and I’m willing to make the effort, but there’s one thing I hate more than buying foreign made goods and that’s paying 5x for something from an American company and 90% of it going to the CEO and other executives while they pay their workers poverty wages. And when they manufacture overseas anyway, that’s just adding insult to injury. I’ll definitely take a pass and buy straight from overseas.
I often see this argument made but I’m curious where the numbers come from to back it up?
I realize this is a bit of a strawman but it’s a field I happen know the numbers for. Many people talk about how it’s unfair that fast food companies pay their employees so little while management is supposedly rich. It really doesn’t work that way: yeah, the CEO may be a millionaire but when you do the math his wealth is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the number of employees the company has.
For example here. McD’s has approx. 205,000 employees and the CEO is worth approximately 20 million. If he liquidated every cent he owned and put that money towards his employees instead they’d get about $97 each, before taxes.
What tool company’s CEO earns enough such that he could take a pay cut and use that money to give a meaningful raise to his employees? Got any numbers?
In 2020 McDonald’s CEO made nearly $11 million including stock and options. McDonald’s disclosure states this is 1,189 times the median employees pay. Now add in the rest of the C Suite and don’t forget the company credit cards that pay for all daily expenses
Even if the CEO’s & his cronies wealth was 100 times higher it’s still a drop in the bucket. Let’s say everyone gets 10 grand instead. That’s a fraction of a year’s pay even at low wages. The money is gone in 4 months. Then what?
I’m still curious if anyone has numbers in the tool industry, by the way.
Here’s what I could find for the big tool producing company CEOs compensation in 2020:
TTI – Horst Pudwill $17.9 million , Joseph Galli $16.6 million
SBD – $12.5 million
Emerson – $15.3 million
Fortive – $14.1 million
ITW – $13.3 million
SnapOn- $7.7 million
To be fair it’s everywhere, not just tools. We are the land of greed.
More billionaires in China than in the USA – so if its greed that lets one accumulate that sort of wealth – then they have moved ahead of us.
I’m proud to be American, too, but we live in a interconnected, global, marketplace where we sell our products (soybeans anyone?) world wide and buy from the people who buy our products. Doing so brings overall efficiency and makes us all better off.
Agree with Zinsky, if there were USA made I would be a customer.
If they are Made in USA I’ll be the first to buy, however if I’m going to buy something made in China/Taiwan especially a these prices. I’ll spend far more money for quality made in USA tools. Really don’t understand why Craftsman keeps teasing made in USA hand tools only to disappoint.
Technically you are still supporting Americans buying the tools. Considering the majority of craftman employees are in the US and when you buy the tool the majority of that money isn’t going to China. Did you return your car? Nope. The comment just sounds ignorant. Funny that you say countries should support themselves, but I bet you have zero issue with other countries buy goods. America first doesn’t mean “Only buy American” which obviously you don’t do.
I hope not, but you might be right.
I’m curious, will these be Facom-inspired designs made in Taiwan or China to hit a lower price point? I’m no COO snob, so if the tools are well made I don’t much care. I just think that would be an interesting move.
Maybe, but some Facom tools are made in France, others in Taiwan and possibly China as well.
I don’t think they’re going after the entry price point with these, and so there’s less pressure to hit lower price points.
Strategically, there’s more of a need for them to hit the mid price point and even mid to high pricing levels.
Keep in mind, Lowe’s is the customer here, and we are the end users. What does Lowe’s need? They’ve got plenty of Craftsman and Kobalt tools at the entry price point, but what do they have to combat Home Depot’s more premium Husky, Gearwrench, and Milwaukee Tool offerings?
Craftsman has to sell the idea to Lowe’s before they can sell it to end users, and what Lowe’s needs is a higher tier of mechanics tools.
Hmm! I didn’t know that. I assume Facom was basically made in France. I only own a handful, but I’ll admit I didn’t even look.
These prices look ok to me. No “bargains” per se, but nothing spectacularly out of proportion either. Just making Facom stuff more available here under a different label is a positive move in my book.
They stopped making sockets and wrenches at Facom factories. Ratchets are out of the Italian USAG factory now. Those were the most major changes. Screwdrivers (except ratcheting bit holders) and most pliers are still out of the Bost factory. I actually have newer Stanley screwdrivers that say “Made in France” on them. Most ancillary stuff is outsourced (from everywhere). SBD has done a good job of “keeping it in the family”, leveraging their factory assets to to self manufacture across these brands. So USAG, Facom, Proto, MAC, Stanley and etc are all making tools for each other.
That’s pretty much my feeling about it. I needed a cheap socket set for work that could get beat up and lost, I picked up a craftsman set and the ratchet siezed up the first day I used it (not doing anything strenuous). The stuff they’re selling now is made-in-china junk with a premium price, and now they’re introducing a new line of more expensive made-in-china junk?
I’m willing to give them another chance if they take quality seriously and either start manufacturing in the US (like they say they’re going to) or make quality tools in places like Taiwan the way Tekton does. But instead they just focus on giving the appearance of a quality tool and relying on the brand name.
Every tool I’ve bought that was made in Taiwan has been excellent quality. I can’t say the say about USA made tools. I work in the HVAC controls field. Some USA made controls parts are good, but a lot is really bad (with an American flag slapped on it. They depend on that flag to sell their junk!
I will agree with you there, just because something is “Made in America” doesn’t mean it is necessarily any good.
Personally I consider two well-known American tool brands to be garbage that I avoid at all costs: Vermont American and Hanson. The ironic thing about Hanson was that when I started out working in a hardware store those were considered the “premium” brand of taps and dies yet if you take those to a machine shop get prepared to be laughed out the door. And there are many other brands that I consider solid but overhyped and overpriced, including much of the Cooper Tools umbrella as well as Klein.
And Tekton is interesting. I recently bought some 3/8 Crowfoots from them to fill in some holes in my set. Their advertising hyped how they were made in America. There were no major issues with any of them, but the deburring was sloppily done and the engravings where the sizes are marked on the some of the tools was also sloppy, it had the appearance the tool moved in the fixture while the machine was engraving the numbers. While I’m sure there is no problem with the steel or the heat treat these don’t exactly scream high quality.
Tekton is leading the way in quality tools and customer service. I use Tekton tools every day. Just email them about the issue.
Any idea where these tools are made?
I picked up a brand new unopened USA made Craftsman 23 piece large size tap and die set at an auction recently. What a great find. I like it so much that I don’t want to break the seal and open it! Is that silly?
While I’m generally not a fan of the sealed head design, the 1/4” flex I found above is definitely a step above Craftsman’s current ratchet offerings. I has a premium feel to it and is made with better quality materials. I’m
excited to see what else they may have coming down the line. New product is always refreshing.
So where did you come across this?
It popped up in one of my saved searches on eBay. The seller had two of them and I bought one for $30. No idea where he obtained them.
Facom – founded as Société Franco-Américaine de Construction d’Outillage Mécanique (Franco-Amarican Mechanic’s Tool Co.) at one time was Europe’s largest toolmaker. When Fimalac acquired them by hostile takeover (just around the turn of this century) they listed Stanley and SnapOn as their arch rivals. About seven years later their arrch rival bought them out for a mere €410million.
Anything that gets more Facom stuff on the shelves makes me happy. The few Facom things I’ve used, I’ve liked.
I’ve been buying Facom ever since Griot’s Garage started carrying the line in the mid 1990’s. Before that maybe(?) Garrett Wade had some earlier but I can’t really remember.
Never had a bad experience.
Intriguing. I must say that I like several of those tools and if they are made to good standards, then I hope they find a market.
The brand needed a makeover. Most of their product lines regardless of where they were made, were outdated. You have to innovate or get left behind.
Let’s hope this is just the beginning of a new improved Craftsman Tool Brand
Searching online for more info, and happened upon the V thing, I guess older craftsman tools up to the 80’s that were stamped either =V= or -V- are considered to be better quality then many others and apparently a bit more desirable to collectors.
Seems a bit to inside ball for a modern naming convention.
That’s a good point. If they released this as a new “Craftsman Professional Series”, that would have had much wider market recognition. The nod to the old “V” stuff is somewhat niche.
I would guess there’d be hesitation that “Craftsman Professional” might encroach too far into Proto and Mac territory. Or, maybe they’re saving Craftsman Pro for a higher-even line of tools.
Sears might still own the rights to Craftsman Professional. Could be why SBD didn’t go in this direction.
Guess we won’t know until you get more info..
I have quite a few Craftsman Professional hand tools. Every one of them is USA made, but not sure if the whole line was or not. I do know I got them at Sears when the regular Craftsman wrenches went to China production.
I have quite a few of the Craftsman Pro line myself. I chose the line for tools I wanted a bit nicer than standard but I didn’t need to use often enough to warrant paying MAC or Snap-On prices. I don’t think they are as nice as those brands but they absolutely are great quality and were good value for money too. I wish they were still around.
There are now V-Series socket sets posted on Lowe’s website as of this morning.
I was just looking at those! Sign me up!
These better make their way to a Canadian Lowes soon. When they do, I am buying a set to try – more if I like ’em.
Interesting socket rail system. I like the Ernst rails Tekton uses a lot – this is different, but perhaps clever. Should fit more easily in assorted tool boxes.
Link if anyone is curious: https://www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-CM-12PC-3-8-In-Dr-SAE-Socket-Set/5005338099
It looks good to me! I like the extruded aluminum rail with a magnetic backer.
I’m excited! Seems like there’s not much love for the SBD Craftsman launch so far – but this could be a chance to turn it around. Some actual “premium” hand tools would be great.
Facom makes nice stuff – if SBD wants to reproduce it under Craftsman branding I’m all for it. This seems more like the “old days” of Craftsman where Sears would have some pro offerings sourced from other companies (e.g. Vessel ball driver). I really hope this isn’t a flash in the pan – Craftsman NEEDS some high caliber tools in the lineup to assert some differentiation from Stanley, Husky, Kobalt etc – and regain some of the enthusiasm the brand used to have.
From the offerings so far, I’m sure I’ll get one of the ratchets at least. I like the look of the screwdriver – but I just don’t use ratcheting screwdrivers much and I know even if it was good, this would be the same.
I’ll stick with eBay for my Craftsman Made in America nostalgia purchases. Lowe’s being the main reason for my disinterest.
Are these not made in USA? Why is Craftsmen ignoring the “Chroming soon” topic that they committed to 3 years ago? I thought we would have USA hand tools by now? What gives?
Pandemic. Those tools are still coming, they’ve just been delayed.
None of this of course, excuses the lack of communication.
Until they have a firm ETA, or any new developments, there’s nothing really to announce.
Bummer, I was hoping this would be the new made in USA line when I read the post headline. Making the USA line a premium tool could take off some of the pressure to compete at ultra low price points with the cheaper Asian manufactured competitors (even their own outsourced lines). Now, it could get even more complicated, they may have their current Asian sourced entry line, these new V series tools, then the USA made line?
Sunny leveson jones
They have tools moving down the line for their USA plant not clear if it’s still in testing or their actually ship able
I was a fan of the old Craftsman tools in the ’90’s and early 2000’s because they represented excellent value for money and they had, at the time, a better than average warranty. The vast majority of my mechanic’s tools starting out were Craftsman and I still have many of them today. But I’m at a point now where I either have an equivalent or better tool already, or they don’t make what I need.
New ratchets? Nice to hear that they’re putting some money back into the brand, but I long since replaced my old Craftsmans with Snap-On so their chance of selling me a ratchet is virtually nil. I am in the market for a 1/2-inch drive Crowfoot wrench set but Craftsman doesn’t make those anymore.
You wouldn’t pick up a ratchet just to expand your options? E.g. perhaps a stubby flex 3/8″ or an XL comfort grip flex 1/4″?
Am I the only one in danger of someday having more ratchets than sockets?
Oh, it’s not that I would avoid them out of principle or something like that, Rather I have a broad assortment of ratchets already so it’s simply unlikely they’d come up with something that I would want but didn’t already have. In 1/4 through 1/2 drive I have stubby flex, standard, long, long flex with bent handle, and extra-long comfort grip in both standard and flex. Plus in 3/8 drive I have one with the multi-position head. Those are all Snap-on. I suppose that if they came out with something that looked useful that I might try it–never say never, after all–but I think the chances of that are slim. I’ve also gotten to the point where I’m really picky about the quality of ratchets so if it’s not top-tier I’m not buying it. I’ve busted my knuckles and been frustrated by less-than-stellar return policies too many times to mess around with that anymore.
As for sockets things are very different, there are a few sets I’m looking for since I’m finding myself doing more and more mechanic work these days and I’d gladly buy most of those from Craftsman…but they discontinued most of those things years ago.
For Crowfoot (flare nut/ring style) wrenches – we had many from Martin Tools – made in the USA. I’m not sure if Amazon prices are even competitive on Martin – but here’s a link:
Your argument doesn’t really make sense, because if there’s no point in Craftsman releasing ratchets, there’s no point in any other brand having any either so ratchets should just cease to exist and never be sold any longer?
The world’s population continues to increase, old tools fall by the wayside or are over-collected, new tools will still be needed. It’s wasteful but the younger generation often wants shiny new things, then later realizes what they settled for and end up upgrading.
I wasn’t making an argument. I was stating that Craftsman’s new line has little appeal *to me*, and then I explained why.
I’m sure there are plenty of people who these might appeal to, but I am not one of them.
I’ll look but I’m not that hopefully. If that new ratcheting driver has a removeable shaft setup like the Snap on had I’m intrigued.
I have liked the FACOM stuff I’ve used – I think they also make stuff in spain as well as Taiwan.
But if made in china – then I’m not going to consider any of them. no reason to.
While I like they are putting out something better I’m not compelled to buy it if it’s still going to be made in china – there are plenty of other alternatives out there that might even be cheaper.
I was thinking back to the recent post about the “Craftsman Club”. I signed up because I wanted to “Get the latest news, updates, and deals as soon as they’re available.”
Where was my heads-up Craftsman?! You would think that someone excited for new premium Craftsman tools who went to the trouble of signing up for your “club” would want to know about something like this.
On the other hand, still feel free to ask me to “Provide honest feedback through product sampling campaigns.”
I’m sure they’ll share more as soon as the tools are available and ready to be purchased.
As mentioned, this is a developing story.
The dominos are still being set up. I always like this part, and assume many of you share in that.
Fair enough. I’m just excited and want to hear some details.
Maybe this is how it usually works, but I would prefer Craftsman to tell me something was coming before it started appearing on a retailer website. I suppose the counter-argument might be: “You want to hear about it when you can’t even buy it?”
Am I the only one picking up harbor freight icon tool line vibe via the packaging? The knurled ratchet look interesting.
no I thought something simlar too. color scheme – fonts – etc.
Made in USA I am all over those products. I suspect they are not. One more non selling item cluttering the Lowe’s shelves.
With all due respect, I will bet that Taiwan-made Facom-rebrands will sell rather well.
The new line definitely isn’t entirely made in the USA. First, if they were, I expect that would be written very conspicuously on the packaging. Second, the new USA factory is just getting up and running, so I doubt SBD had capacity to do that yet.
The only packaging photo I’ve seen so far indicates Taiwan is the COO: (https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/attachments/8447fd6f-27bb-4250-b981-340106012fe4-jpeg.1495899/).
I don’t know if that’s true for all the new “V-Series” tools though. That was from a ratchet – and the ratchet doesn’t look to be a Facom-borrowed design like the screwdriver and sockets.
Interestingly there’s some chatter that the T-handles and bit sockets with the new “X-Tract Technology”, might be copied or inspired by MAC “Rounded Bolt Removal Technology” (usually just referred to as R.B.R.T.). Proto also has some bit sockets with RBRT, so it wouldn’t be the first time SBD cross pollinated that tech.
Could SBD be borrowing anything else from MAC? MAC is a pro truck brand, but doesn’t make everything in the USA either.
The V-Series ratchet I have in the pic above is made in Taiwan.
I was looking on their website yesterday. When these popped up, thanks for covering them Stu!
I’m free to make my tool purchasing options. I imagine that I’d go to jail if I didn’t pay for universal healthcare, free college, or public assistance.
False equivalency much? Perhaps you meant to say if you didn’t accurately file and pay income taxes? Just curious.
Not false at all, big difference between deciding how to spend the money you earned and having it taken from you to pay for what someone else wants/benefits from instead of earning and paying their way themselves.
Freedom of choice is very underrated.
It’s called “representative government” for a reason in my understanding of America. That’s why I’ve never missed an opportunity to vote.
I’m just not aware of any other form of government here. Did I miss something?
Read through this thread.
So putting aside the jingoism for a minute- where are these tools available ? Lowe’s ? Amazon ?
The title says it all.
They’re not available yet, but they will be available at Lowe’s.
They will get some of my money even if they’re made in Taiwan. The pocket sized 1/4 drive set will probably be first on my list followed by a few ratchets in assorted flavors. I like that they’re using the ears on the ratchet head design from Proto precision 90 and MAC axis series. I don’t like that you can’t disassemble the ratchet for lube/cleaning. I like the knurled bands on the ratchet handle/shaft.
Craftsman messed up on the nut driver set though, they left out 5.5mm and 7 mm.
I think the V series line will largely consist of Taiwan made versions of Facom & USAG designs which I’m ok with. Looking forward to some Black Friday Craftsman V series goodness. Perhaps the Craftsman booth at the upcoming SEMA show will have the V series on display.
That sounds like a “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” … good luck in your quest!!!
We need a battery powered Carton Stapler to close the shipping boxes. An air powered stapler is noisy and you need an air supply. Mechanical staplers are OK, but are “sorta lame” in closing the cardboard carton, unwieldly!
Best solution is a battery powered carton stapler. Bostitch used to make them, but not now.
Is anyone listening? Ryobi would be best suited to make these.
I would buy 1 or 2 staplers right away.
Luckey Dodge (Huntsville, AL.)
There is the Josef Kihlberg which has a very good reputation – but comes with a steep price and different battery platform:
At least it accepts standard Bosch (AKA reasonably priced) batteries.
Hi, yes, I know about that brand. Just too expensive………….If Ryobi made one (lower price) and did some marketing, they would sell.
There are so many home businesses that could use it.
I’m guessing that even if Ryobi had one the price would have to reflect their perception of the market size. I’m not sure why Bostitch discontinued their DSC-3219 (sold for $349) – but my guess is that it did not sell well enough to justify continued production. Their are 3 models of the JK – but the cheapest at $970 – probably does indeed put it out of the price range for most small volume users.
Ryobi already has a “stapler” and they could easily change the hardware on it to fasten the larger Carton Staples……..Then they have a new model!
We had a carton stapler in our fabrication shop. As I recall the mechanism – it was quite a bit different from construction stapler. A claw both drives the staple into the carton and then pinches/crimps the wire of the staple together forming the seal. The shape of the tool, carriage for the staples and driving head were quite different than a construction stapler. So While I’m sure that TTI could produce one – it might take more than just slapping a different nose piece on an existing model.
Yes, your comments are correct…………I am just hoping to get a manufacturer started on this project.
We use parts from China and tooling is so reasonable, it is hard to not buy in China.
I dread the future however………….
If I tool up for my parts in USA, they want thousands of $$ for a single tool. Now my tooling for my parts is usually less than $ 50.00 per item. How can i not buy in CHINA?
I think this could be a welcomed line of Craftsman tools if the price is right. It these tools are similar quality to gearwrench and are of similar price to gearwrench than it may do well. The initial launch of Craftsman tools seemed to be over priced for quality offered i.e. Craftsman ratchets. I have a feeling the V series is going to be expensive.
This is interesting- I’m in my early 50’s and I remember the V series craftsman stuff. Of course this also means Sears “could” market a “Sears Craftsman” v series if they wanted tho I don’t understand why they don’t at least offer sbd craftsman via their website even as a dropshipper sale. Strange.
I don’t think they’re creating much since Sears sold the brand to SBD and have less than 25 full-line stores in the US.
If you go to the Sears website, they don’t even have very much in their own Craftsman tools, and Sears does list SBD Craftsman on their website, however all of it is sold by third-party vendors.
I like the little details like the triple line V on both sides. Originally it was a double V from the 40’s to the 60’s, then a single line V until the 80’s……..so now they have the triple line. I am also interested in the socket holder in the pic above…..is it magnetic?
Someone above(?) said it was an Ernst design. Likely still “Made in Oregon” if so.
Doesn’t look like Ernst to me. Ernst doesn’t have any extruded aluminium socket rails like that (Ernst IS really good though). They’re all plastic.
I tried searching to see if I could find a match – no luck yet. There’s an existing Craftsman single-wide rail socket holder that’s kind of similar – maybe they copied themselves and doubled-up?
They’re not the first to have a metal ball detent in a plastic square socket holders -or to mount plastic socket holders in an metal rail. But I like how it looks too. Other photos show a magnet on the bottom.
I thought they would have applied the “V Series” branding to the USA tools, this is a surprise, bringing some of their higher end European tools to the US this way. Interesting. Personally I don’t need to upgrade to any of this stuff though.
I buy what ever tool fits the job I’m doing regardless of where it is made. Some of the best tools I own are Facom from pre-SBD days when they were the tool of choice for the F1 circuit especially Ferrari. I own a ton of USA sourced Craftsman, some Proto, some SK, some Plvmb, some Gearwrench, some Stahlwille, some Hazet, a lot of Klein (being a retired electrician) and some HF tools. I also own some Beta tools from Japan and even some from Snap-On, Mac and Matco. Country of origin doesn’t matter to me as I prefer and only own European cars anyway. Freedom means freedom of choice. I am looking forward to trying out some of the V-Series.
I’m excited about the form factor. I love woodworking and fixing things and generally love tools. Like most readers here, I will buy more than I need to get a better experience.
However, IMO, the most underserved market is people who love doing things, but don’t have a ton of space. I love those compact kits. Nearly every socket set has an oversized blow mold case that won’t fit in a toolbox or bag easily…or they’re specialty European tools or bicycle tool sets.
I wish toolmakers would wise up and sell full tool sets in very compact, space-efficient packaging. When I have to build something or fix something, I want to carry everything I need in 1 heavy box or bag…not make multiple trips…oh, need a deep socket @#[email protected]#$#@…need to go back to my basement and grab some…oh, a torx screw or extra large flat?…@#$#@[email protected]#…another trip. As it is, I can barely find anything in my oversized toolbag.
Packaging like their socket packaging and that nice screwdriver socket set would be really helpful. I’d buy an extra set for my office in case I need to repair something there or use it as a deluxe bike maintenance kit.
At one time metal boxes, trays and tool rolls were the norm for sets of mechanics tools. Metal cases came with most quality power tools – and the cases had room for lots of accessories. Then – to save some money – manufactures switched to the hated (IMO) blow molded cases. At least. Systainers, LBoxxes. Packout boxes and some of the newer crop of modular toolboxes seem better. But some manufacturers still package mechanics tool sets the old fashioned way – but that comes with a price. Here are 2 examples:
In my opinion tool storage is a very personal thing. I had an old Super Sawzall and Hole Hawg that came in metal cases. I also have a lot of 90’s Dewalt corded tools which came in large plastic boxes, though not blow-molded. I threw out the majority of them. The only ones I kept were for a router and a rotary hammer–tools that I have a variety of bits for, but also use rarely. For most other tools I found that the case only got in the way: either it took up an unnecessary amount of space as there were few if any accessories that needed to be stored with the tool, or the tool was used so often that I didn’t need a storage box at all. The wealth of information on the internet made keeping paper manuals pointless. But I’m sure that others in a different situation than I got great use out of their boxes.
With respect to hand tools I love a well-thought-out toolkit that has everything necessary, nothing extraneous, with a nice carrier of some kind. I love rolls; compartmentalized containers and bags are nice too. But I’ve never found an off-the-shelf tool kit that I thought was perfect. There was always something extra and/or always something important missing simply because everyone’s needs are different. For that kind of thing I’d rather buy the individual tools I want, perhaps building off an existing kit, and then finding a container to suit it. And these days there are lots of options, especially with the newer modular cases like packout and toughcase, etc. There are also the classic plastic cases commonly used for tackle boxes which are great for making small and medium portable toolkits.
andres solis castillo
who the heck controls the lowes website? just looked at all the new V stuff, boy do they have some ridiculous prices on there. lowes is pathetic, not sure how the heck they haven’t gone out of business. SB&D is confused, they have zero idea where the CF brand should be position(midtier in my opinion)
LOL 1.7k for a set of ratchets.
The tools haven’t launched yet. Might just be a placeholder. On the other hand, according to SBD’s chart, they want Craftsman to span the categories from homeowner to pro. Of course that price is higher than Mac and Proto, lending credence to a price error situation. There’s other V series XL fled head ratchets for a lot cheaper.
Or maybe the prices are set where they are – so when they actually become available at the real price Lowes can “honestly” claim some whopping big percent off the original price
andres solis castillo
I know they are placeholders, just making fun of lowes. they should really stop giving 3rd party access to vendors on their website. you can deff expect the prices to be up there as these are targeting higher quality. At least with the majority of the v line, they are rebranding good Falcom/usag tools.
But I feel it’s still a missed opportunity and supports my opinion on SB&D not knowing what the heck they are ding with CFM. This marketing should have been used with the return of USA-made tools, its what the V is know for.
Any dates on this series being available?
High & Mighty
That wouldn’t surprise me. But unless they substantially mark it down to say, 80% off, then these tools are going to collect dust just like the craftsman tools that are currently in stock. But I’m afraid that even if they did mark it down, it still wouldn’t spark much interest.
Sb&d were fully aware of the expectations that needed to be met in order to spark interest in craftsman when they bought the brand from Sears.
They dropped the ball. Hell, they dropped it and then they lost it. On purpose. They picked up right where Sears left off. Sb&d craftsman might as well be Eddie Lampert’s Sears craftsman. Everything done so far seems to have been taken directly from the pages of Eddie Lampert. They knew what was expected. They even pledged to make it right. Turned out that it all just a big dog and pony show. And to think that sb&d was actually going to do right by someone other than Dewalt. Not a chance.
And now, this. Not only have they managed to bring even more shame to the craftsman brand, but they’re now going after a specific series of craftsman tools to ruin. I bet they’re hoping that nobody remembers the original v series. Yes, it was a long time ago when Sears originally released the series. But that doesn’t mean that
it’s reputation is fair game for destruction just because it’s under new ownership and they’ve decided to re-release it to gain some sort of credibility as if it were their own ideas.
What’s messed up about this “v series” release is that sb&d is trying to re-release something that Sears did decades ago. So this isn’t new. It’s a cheap facade to make it appear as if it’s new. Quality was well established when craftsman released the original v series. In fact, Sears designed the entire line themselves for the purpose of brand identity. Not to make an attempt at establishing quality. And they didn’t borrow designs from a different brand just so they could pass off the facade of their brand’s tool’s quality. The original v series didn’t manufacture screwdrivers either. The fact that sb&d is ripping off one of their own brands in the first place cheapens sb&d craftsman even moreover. The original v series was designed from scratch. Yet sb&d can’t even design an original screwdriver handle. This is a slap in the face to the integral effort put forth by Sears when they originated the v series line of tools. What a disgraceful disservice on behalf of sb&d.
And whether these are made in Texas using global materials imported from Taiwan or if they’re made in Taiwan makes no difference. That’s not what people expected. We’ll likely never see another craftsman tool that is 100% American made. They should have gone down with the ship when Sears fell. And now Lowes is stuck with having to sell this sb&d craftsman facade. They should have said NO. But when you’re desperate to try to catch up with number one it can translate to poor judgment and bad decisions.
I’m also still waiting for USA tools and growing more irritated with SB&D as time goes by. Update us, give us something… they ignore questions on social media. Their PR department is a joke.
That compact set with the spinner and ratchet looks tempting.
If it doesn’t have the “MADE IN USA” label, I’m not even going to bother picking it up off the shelf. Hopefully SBD gets the message.
HF pipe wrench $20. Ridgid Pipe wrench $129. If I need it to last forever, Ridgid. If not….. I’m willing to pay more for American, but not over 10 times. (now if I find it at a garage sale for $10…..)
All of the rhetoric about buying American comes down to 2 very different motives. If you’re doing it to support American interests, jobs, businesses, etc, that’s fine and noble. If you’re doing it because of the notion that American products are supposedly superior by sheer virtue of being American made, that’s misguided on the best of days.
While some of the stereotypes hold true, none of them are etched in stone. The fact that something’s made in China, Thailand, etc, doesn’t automatically make it junk. In like fashion, the fact that something’s made in the USA does not automatically make it quality. Far from it. We as a nation definitely make our fair share of junk. Some of the “junk” from places like China, are items made to specific American specs, and even under occasional direct American supervision. Our arrogance as a nation is a huge contributing factor to why we’re in the current shape we’re in. A lot of folks need a reality check.
I look at it this way: if a product is Made in America it’s fairly likely to be well made, but there is absolutely no guarantee of that. I’ve certainly bought junk that was marked Made in USA Before.
But imported products tend to fall into one of two categories:
1) Premium products whose importation costs are justified because the products are honesty great and customers are willing to pay a premium for them compared to the generic alternative. I.e. Knipex and NWS pliers, Halder mallets, Two Cherries gouges, Hazet sockets, Mitutoyo calipers, and so on.
2) Generic products which are outsourced in order to cut costs.
COO seems to be a great proxy for this. Tools made in China, Brazil, Thailand, etc, are nearly always in the latter category, while tools made in Germany, Japan, England, etc tend to be the former case. It’s not that tools made in China, etc, are necessarily bad, but the fact that they were outsourced to cut costs suggests that price point is driving the design and manufacture of the tools rather than performance.
Sure countries like Germany, Japan, England, etc, have made cheapo tools too but nobody is importing those when importing cheapos from China is even less costly.
New Torx t-handles with “X-tract” technology: https://www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-Craftsman-V-Series-7pc-X-Tract-8482-Torx-174-T-Handle-Set/5005537535
Hex version was posted earlier. I am very curious to see how these work on new or good condition fasteners. I assume this is Mac/Proto-inspired RBRT tech, but like half as aggressive?
I sure home they have good-quality tips.
Made in USA doesn’t mean anything anymore as far as quality. There are so many amazing quality tools out there that come from Germany, Taiwan, and even China. I don’t see any point in buying domestic with the notion that it’s a higher quality tool because of it. I’m a current automotive technician and love my Chinese craftsman sockets that I got years ago. I abuse those things and haven’t broken a single one. None of them have been disformed or anything of the sorts either. You know what sockets I have broken? My made in USA snap on sockets.
I am very happy with my Tekton sockets and Klutch ratcheting flex wrenches. They are both made in Taiwan. I don’t know of any USA made equivalent that I could have bought. USA made does not always equate to high quality. I found this out from my job. I am a HVAC/Controls tech. I always buy Life/Safety (Fire and related systems). products based on their quality not on where they are made. The quality is the most important thing for building occupant safety.
Hope they are planning on making a V Series Tool-chest and carts !!!!
I would love to see a V Series “tool trolley” be a US made Facom Jet (or USAG 516/518/519 series) tool box. These would accommodate the large assortment of tool module sets. Here’s the color coded screwdrivers in the foam module trays …. https://www.ultimategarage.com/Facom/jetdrawer-4-screwdriversa.jpg
Just found out about the new Craftsman V-series line of tools today and my first thought was……. Lowes is going to put me out of business. As the largest stocking dealer of Facom and USAG tools in North America, I’ve been aware over the years of the Facom engineered items making their way into the Mac and Proto lines. But Craftsman at Lowes with their deep holiday sales is going to really devalue some of my inventory. But then I looked a little closer.
Products are fairly limited at this time and as others have mentioned, unless consumers start seeing 25-50% discounts, they’re going to think twice about paying that much money for a Craftsman branded tool or set. There is still plenty of value here once people get past the country of origin.
A few observations……..
1. Screwdrivers appear to be the new “soft grip” Facom Protwist series. Strange 8pc set with 4 slotted and 4 phillips. Not sure why they included a PH#4 in the set…..I would have gone with a #0/#1/#2/#3 or simply 6 slotted and 2 phillips (#1/#2). No color coding on the tips like Facom and USAG (red is slotted, yellow is phillips, green is torx, etc).
2. Tool sets are using the popular Detection Box cases for the larger sets and the NANO cases for the 1/4″ drive sets. Sockets and accessories appear to be rebranded Facom. They are not using any of the European ratchets (USAG/Facom 161B series). Ratchets appear to be the fine tooth 181’s which have not been very popular in Facom (they are not even available in USAG). They appear to be staying away from the larger MBOX cases which leads me to assume they won’t be offering any tool module sets.
3. Wrenches are Facom 440/467 series (USAG 285’s) and excellent quality. Good value here although you might have to source the missing sizes from Facom, USAG or Mac.
4. T-handle Hex and Torx…….the best value here will be the Craftsman SAE hex keys. Expensive in Facom and USAG and with Craftsman versions available, I’ll steer clear of bringing these in. Limited sizes in torx and hex and no spherical tip versions. The best in this series is USAG’s heavy duty T-handle hex keys which were just introduced last year.
Interesting to see if they grow the line or are just testing the market going into the holiday season.
Thank you for sharing your insights!
I have quite a few V-series tools in-hand, mainly wrenches, sockets, and ratchets, and there are subtle differences.
There’s the potential for this lineup to cannibalizes some of your sales, but it could potentially bring new sales opportunities as well.
If users get a taste for Facom/USAG designs, but then find that Craftsman doesn’t have open stock or certain other tools, they might seek to source them from you.
Totally agree. Also a proud American and a legal immigrant. I want to see Made in America labelling on Craftsmen tools like they used to be, or no sale to me. I will buy other brands like Wiha tools, Made in Germany if no Made in USA tools are available. All this Craftsman marketing is for naught if this is just more Chinese junk.
it seems american people are much more patriot than companies owners .. if american companies owners where as patriot as people even immigrants then america today was first producing country in the world like fifty 60 years ago that one third of all products in the world were made in usa …. its a shame .. im not living in america but made in usa is my first choice when buying
There are plenty of torque wrenches are available in the market today, whereas Craftsman torque wrenches are easy to use and doesn’t need electricity required to work . so this tools are well made I don’t much care. I just think that would be an interesting move.