The other day, we shared what we saw on Lowes’ website, an announcement that Craftsman tools are coming soon – April 2nd to be precise.
Well, it’s April 1st, and some new Craftsman tools just appeared on Lowes.com.
As of now, we’re leaning towards the belief that the new Craftsman tools will only be available online, at least for the time being. All of the previous announcements indicated that the new Craftsman brand will kick off in the second half of 2018. We’re still a few months away from that, so the new launch will likely either be online-only, or in stores in a limited “teaser” capacity.
Umm… These Tools Look Familiar
First up, a 95pc mechanics tool set, CMMT82329, with a $60 price tag. There’s a “new upgraded ratchet for higher accessibility.”
These tools look a little familiar.
Here’s the 118pc set, CMMT82330, priced at $70.
Now here’s the 118pc Craftsman tool set at Sears, currently $45.
Are these the same tools? Looks like it to me. This was to be expected – Stanley Black & Decker likely had no choice but to lean on Sears existing suppliers while they get the Craftsman brand fully integrated, and while they worked on getting in-house production set up.
I can’t help but feel a little disappointed.
This is More Like it!
There’s also a new 51pc set, CMMT82334L, with new long-handle 120-tooth full-polish ratchet, is priced at $70.
The new ratchet looks sleek.
And here’s the 81pc set, CMMT82335L, also featuring 120-tooth ratchets, priced at $100.
Here’s a product image of the fold-flat case inside USA-made Craftsman tool storage cabinet.
With a little Google magic, I came across a photo of the front of the 81pc set’s carrying case.
There’s mention of the gunmetal-colored chrome, the Full Lifetime Warranty, and what looks to be “3X greater access,” which would refer to the high tooth count and small swing arm.
Hmm, are these 120 tooth ratchets, or 120 position ratchets? Gearwrench has had 120XP ratchets for some time. If Apex is supplying Stanley Black & Decker and Lowes with the 95pc and 118pc mechanics tool sets, maybe they designed and manufactured these 51pc and 81pc sets for the new SBD Craftsman brand, too.
But WAIT. Let’s not make assumptions yet.
Stanley Black & Decker has plenty of hand tool manufacturing capacity, and so perhaps these were designed and produced in-house. Remember, Stanley Black & Decker has multiple mechanics hand tool lines, such as Stanley, Dewalt, Blackhawk, Proto, Mac.
Here’s a recently released Stanley 120 position 3/8″ drive ratchet, priced at $20 via Amazon.
The new Craftsman 120T ratchets aren’t clones of the Stanley. But I don’t see why they couldn’t have come off the same factory production line.
Either way, the Lowes product descriptions mention “120 tooth” too many times. If these do have 120 teeth, that’s a new development. If they have 120 positions by way of stacked pawls and 60-tooth gearing, somebody needs to update the product descriptions.
What’s missing on the front of that red tool box cover? “Made in USA.” We can’t see the back, so we don’t know for sure, but I also didn’t see any “USA Made” claims for any of the tools. There’s not one “USA” in any of the product images, at least not that I could see.
Stanley Black & Decker has made big promises about their return to USA manufacturing for Craftsman tools, at least where possible.
Wouldn’t these product images and descriptions have mentioned USA origins of the tools were made here?
To be frank, even if these are sourced elsewhere, I won’t make any judgements, at least not yet. Setting up new production takes time, if they want to do it right.
Besides, I don’t need a new mechanics tool set right now. For those that are in the market for new tools, how many care about country of origin? Getting something to market now, ahead of Father’s Day, is a reasonable business decision.
So, as of now, or at least soon – I’m seeing April 26th, 2018 home delivery and “ship to store” estimates – we have 4 Craftsman tool set options. 1 looks to be identical to a Sears Craftsman offering, 1 looks like it could have been a past Sears Craftsman set, and 2 look to be new sets, potentially made by Stanley Black & Decker.
Yes, I wish that Craftsman launched with all-new USA-made offerings, but I’m also just really happy to see the ball start rolling.
Next, let’s see some of those new 120-position ratchets sold separately! But only if they offer something different from the new Stanley ratchets, such as USA manufacturing origins.
Lowes.com also has listings for Craftsman 137pc and 165pc sets, which also feature “raised panel” style ratchets and old Sears-Craftsman set appearances – CMMT82331 and CMMT82332, but they’re inactive at the moment.