Matt wrote in, asking about a new Craftsman VersaStack mechanics tool set he saw on their website.
First off, love the page. Always great info and well written. Second, have you heard anything about the new Craftsman Versastack socket set CMMT99206? I see it on the craftsman website, but they don’t list any retailers for it, brick & mortar or online. The price is great at $149 and I’d love to get one if I could find it for sale. Also, there are 6 reviews on their site for it but how can there be if no one sells it?
Thank you Matt for the kind words!
Yes, and no. I have seen the new Craftsman VersaStack mechanics tool set, via an influencer’s Instagram page. Craftsman has not officially announced it (at least we haven’t heard from them about this yet), and Lowe’s stopped sharing new tool developments with us a while ago.
October releases are usually timed for the winter holiday shopping season, but I’d think that the VersaStack case could make it a permanent part of the Craftsman lineup. At this point that’s just a guess.
We probably won’t see a press release for something like this, since it’s a repackaging of existing Craftsman tools. Maybe Lowe’s will include it in a “holiday gift guide” type email or holiday deals notice. In other words, we’re completely in the dark, and don’t know any more than the little that is publicly visible.
Craftsman’s website says this is a 216pc set with 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ drive ratchets and sockets. The set is said to have 12 drive tools, 5 extensions, 111 sockets, 3 ratchets, and 14 wrenches. The other 71 pieces are… I don’t know, they don’t say. Mechanics tool sets like this usually include a number of basic hex keys, screwdriver bits, and other such accessories.
Right now there are actually 10 user reviews on Craftsman’s website, and they’re “received free product” reviews sent to select end users or consumer reviewers. That has become the norm.
There looks to be a mix of 6pt and 12pt sockets, although I can’t find a full list of what you get.
The big selling point is the customized VersaStack tool box, which looks to have pull-out drawers and built-in accessory box docking positions. Maybe we’ll see this Craftsman VersaStack tool box with different tool set configurations in the future?
Travis (@toolsbydesign) has a good preview of it here:
From his photos, the VersaStack tool box can fit Tough Case accessory boxes on its sides. It looks like the 3/8″ and 1/4″ sockets are 6pt, and the 1/2″ shallow sockets are 12pt.
It’ll be available at Lowe’s, and possibly Amazon as well.
Barring any terrible reviews, I’d definitely buy this to throw in the truck box. Seems perfect. I’d prefer if SBD would keep to their manufacturing promises, and find out that this sweet box is to be stocked with US made Craftsman, but it’s not a deal breaker.
I just saw this product at a local lowes of mines. They had two at the time. Looks pretty convenient. Though like you said, hopefully they’ll come with different config options in the future.
“Lowe’s stopped sharing new tool developments with us a while ago.”
I’d like to comment on this statement.
As it totally aligns with my deep and almost continuously reinforced view (via the occasional visit and following their corporate governance) that they are nearly rudderless. At least in comparison to HD.
Weird “consumer*-centric” (*housewife?) displays to a profound mishmash of brand’s and product depth.
Their only marketing positive in recent years was acquiring and expanding Orchard Supply and then abandoning the entire business entity upon a CEO change.
And no I don’t much love HD either. But here we all are.
As much as I might feel compelled to goad them further, they’re not the only ones. These days, a lot of tool brands and retailers would rather pay social media “influencers” for coverage than issue traditional press releases or announcements. Lowes and Home Depot have both been very inconsistent in their communications with us.
Well as far as influencers go I make a lot of my new tool decisions on info I get here and garage journal because they are informative and nom biased.
This is a strange world we’re in today. The “influencer market” is changing things, not always for the better. Recently, a company was more willing to send me $1000+ in tools than the information I requested. Another company wanted send me a new $400 tool box but couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me how it was any different than the same style box they came out with a decade ago. It’s crazy.
You are spot on!
Im intrigued. Probably won’t buy it but I like seeing the offering. Would be nice if you could buy the box and the inserts alone – even if say online only. I have ratchets and sockets for this – probalby all the other tools too. but I like the idea of that box setup.
Agree that I’d like to buy just the box. This would be a fantastic housewarming or groom gift for those who don’t already have a good set of tools.
This is ducking amazing, I want a Toughsystem version of it. No photos of interior?! This is something I would say wow for.
Checkout Toolsbydesign instagram. He has a video that shows the innards
Thanks, I saw some more photos.
I have a kobalt set like this I’ve had for a few years that I keep in my Jeep. It was $100 and lately I’ve seen it for like $80. I’d rather get that and use the extra money for some pliers and other missing tools before spending $150 on this just to stick it in my truck. I do like the versastack though
This about the versastack but, what I’d really like to see is the Dewalt toughsystem version I found Home Depots website.
Saw them at Lowes on Tuesday. $149
Yes if I could get that box empty I would take all my sockets and probably wrenches etc out of my rolling trolley – put them in this box – and the box could live on the top of the trolley. best of both worlds.
and now I’m going to ask for too much.
Even better would be if those drawers could come out of the box lidded and enclosed like a tool cassette. SO if I’m about to do something and I know it’s light enough duty to be a 1/4 drive only sort of job, etc. Then I could pull that cassette out – and cart it by itself upstairs.
or maybe the Tstak-toughsystem upgrade model is 3 thin like cases that are sized similar to these drawers with inserts for these sort of tools.
Yes I know I’m asking too much.
You mean like a toolbox version of this?
Agreed — I’ve been arguing for that sort of thing for a long while.
Sort of working on something similar with:
Put the pictures in a gallery, but they’re unfortunately out of order: https://imgur.com/a/BLS5QJM
Those are some gorgeous chisels! Let’s talk about those!
The chisels are modest Korean chisels I bought on eBay. Geumhwa brand. They sharpened up nicely, but haven’t used them as much as I’d like.
By the way the craftsman.com website has a few other pictures of this kit – one has the drawers partially open.
Yes, but it doesn’t really show you anything.
I guess I could/should have added that image in and let you decide. Travis’ images, with the IG post embedded above, are far better.
Really like the idea of this set. Surprising how much focus has gone into this *Stak system than their Toughsystem.
My one reservation would be how well the drawers hold up to the weight of the tools. Looks like the drawers were designed with pretty tight clearances above and below. Any sagging and the ease of opening/closing the drawers start to become annoying.
The locks at the front seem like they anticipated the drawers opening if the box tilted forward for any reason. I’m interested to see what they did to combat sagging.
I have been using the system for years. I have never had the drawers open on their own, even bouncing mightily in the back of my trailer. As far as sag, the only trouble I have is the one chock full of screws. It definitely drags on the case, but functions fine if not smoothly.
If like the other versastack drawer unit – then it has ball bearing slides for the weight.
ALso craftsman doesn’t have a tough system counterpart just the T-stak counterpart.
By the way, the double-drawer TSTAK is “available” at an amazingly low price on Amazon right now. But you’ll have to wait up to a month for it actually delivered.
Negative. No ball bearings. Just plastic on plastic. I bought one for my shop lead last week and i’ve played with it a little. The drawers are probably designed to come out and stay out as more of a tray than a drawer. However they can be used as a drawer just not as smoothly as the ball bearing drawers.
Already available in my Lowe’s. (S.W.austin on Brodie)
I snapped some photos including the Lowe’s sticker in case the info helps anyone
Wonder if it’s available without the tools?
I keep going back and forth trying decide between the Milwaukee and Craftsman storage systems. They both keep coming out with awesome additions to the lineup! They are both amazing, so I can’t decide!
Have you looked at the price and size? Milwaukee is bigger and heavier duty, and easily twice the price. I absolutely love the Packout system’s design but it’s soo expensive.
I have looked at the Craftsman in person, but only looked at the Milwaukee online. Of course I seen it at Home Depot, but only in walking by it. Thanks for heads up. I just assumed they were similar in size!
Personally…. i LOVE milwakee, that said… for me the tstak/versastak system I believe is a better size. I love the drawers, i do wish that the versastack had the larger single drawer though. But i also wish that milwaukee had a deeper half size packout box that could fit some taller tools like a- grinder, jig saw, band saw etc… I was hoping that with the packout i could make job/tool specific boxes BUT the above mentioned tools do fit in a half size packout box.
Currently I have ridgid boxes, packout boxes, Tstack boxes and verastack drawers. In other words i’m a whore for organization… lol
It is at Lowe’s where the versastack stuff is
Stink just got the 224 piece last week would have gotten this instead. I was impressed with the set, minus the few box wrenches they are awful. Biggest gripe I saw online was the sockets were not finished on the inside and rusted. Mine are finished.
Wishing it was a Stanley Black Chrome set…That’s GORGEOUS packaging to me… Just wish it wasn’t Craftsman.
I boycott Lowe’s here in Canada. They came in and decimated a Canada-Founded, Canada-Run family business in order to have less competition, and more properties.
But Stanley is found EVERYWHERE here. No Lowe’s exclusives allowed. I’d LOVE this in a Stanley Black Chrome set. I’d upgrade my little Stanley set in a heartbeat!
that black chrome stuff is handsome
BTW, the (presumably paid for) reviews on the craftsman site have more pictures…looks like a cheap generic tool kit to me: https://www.craftsman.com/products/216-pc-versastack-3-drawer-mechanics-tool-set
Not my pics:
I like the idea of a ratchet/socket box that integrates with the larger organization/storage system, but it kinda sucks that the shallow sockets are just loose in smaller compartments and nothing was done in order to keep them from knocking around. That’s going to be a noisy box whenever it moves, especially when the sockets inevitably tip over and start rolling around in addition to sliding.
Foam seems like it might be a good solution, though it’s not really easy to get holes perfectly sized to each socket, but spending the time to get the foam and cut the holes by hand might be worth it over hearing the clatter everytime you move it.
Like I need more wrenches and ratchets, but this set awesome! I love that there is a catch all on top and side storage bins, fantastic! Love the depth of thought that went in to the organizer. The only thing that I saw that I didn’t like was the pile of wrenches. I mean, I get it, it takes a lot of space to organize wrenches, probably an entire drawer. I actually did custom make a wrench drawer, but it would be better to have in the T-stak
There’s a toughsystem version on Home Depot but it’s not available as of yet.
I don’t want a fourth storage system!
Pretty good for a first run, if limited by just having sockets.
For a mobile setup, at a minimum, I think, people are going to want an extra set of drawers that is customizable for additional extensions, pairs of wrenches, pliers, …
If better executed, more complete and still adaptable to extra tools, I’d love to have a fair grade ( not bargain, not pro or top of the line ) mobile mechanics set, and would probably relegate my six drawer garage cart to other use …
Because invariable something needs a repair and it is not located in the garage, cars are in the way, a quick field strip or repair is the fastest … but small portable sets are always lacking something one has in one of the garage cart drawers. Either way ends up taking more time than it should.
If one has an idea for a product, pitches it to a brand and they make it, do they give you a sample free of charge? 😉
For additional drawers, I guess one could use:
(probably have to cut out some of the dividers though)
If our Sears, literally <5 min away from my old house had not been … such a poor and depressing example of a chain store and an overall underwhelming shopping experience; I would have owned a lot of craftsman stuff and likely their storage solutions. My wife even promoted them, based on old family values and experiences, … to me, it was like why the heck would I even shop there?
Spent many a $1k on outdoor equipment, and trying to get out the door with what you bought? … it was just like you bought a pack of gum, and wanted it gift wrapped.
I think it’s pretty awesome but I’d like to see a tough system equivalent from Craftsman. More heavy duty… We have Versastack and love it! It’s not something I throw in my work truck though. It is however perfect for home use and for my wife to take places for her work. She’s a lot more gentle on things. I would buy this in a heartbeat if it were in a tough system type casing and filled with USA tools. That to me is my idea of Craftsman. USA, heavy duty/Industrial and built to last.
I am with you about this idea, Craftsman Toughsystem in red colour.
You are amazing, Aaron!
It looks like my versastack box will be getting a little higher… Not that I need anymore mechanics tools but I’m transitioning away from the Makita MakPak boxes and this will fit nicely in the back of my Suburban.
Looks like this would pair well with this 2 drawer storage box ($30):
I like it overall. There seems to be some wasted space on the short sockets. Could consolidate and have more room for extra compartments or better wrench storage.
On a side not I would buy it full of tools if it was USA tools. Not going to buy any craftsman anything untill they start producing domesticaly again.
*sorry half asleep here ment to say:
I would buy just the organizer itself as it integrates with my tough system stuff.
On a side NOTE I would buy it full of tools if USA made…
DeWalt should come out with this as a bare toolbox. I’m sure MANY persons would go for this. Maybe as yellow (or black) flat lactic ribbed trays instead of the pre-molded. I’m also sure a lot of us already have socket sets.
Still waiting for the TS 3-drawer to come out.
Yesterday I was down in Jersey so I stopped in to the Lowes in Newton, Mount Olive and Flanders but nobody had them.