Over at Lowes, there’s a new Craftsman tools page up, advertising that the brand is coming to Lowes on April 2nd.
What kinds of Craftsman tools are coming to Lowes?
From automotive restoration to home DIY projects, stock your garage with Craftsman power tools. Looking for the perfect place to store your tool set? Lowe’s has you covered with Craftsman tool storage. Transform your workspace with a Craftsman upright tool storage chest, or go where the job is with a Craftsman portable tool storage chest. Or keep a set of Craftsman mechanic tools in your car for every roadside job.
So… a lot – power tools, tool storage, mechanics tool sets.
There’s an image of a new ratchet design, and it looks decent.
Here’s word about the Craftsman warranty:
Generation to Generation: A Craftsman Warranty*
The Craftsman warranty is a dedication to a lifetime of quality and service for every Craftsman customer, generation to generation.
For more information, call 1-888-331-4569.
*Warranty varies by Craftsman product.
Lowes also has a new Craftsman tools email list, where you can sign up to “get the latest Craftsman news and developments at Lowe’s, including promotions, dates and events.” That’s a good thing too, because nobody else has been telling us about Craftsman developments.
In our last Craftsman Tools pre-release update, I relayed the expectation that Craftsman tools would first hit store shelves in the second half of 2018. That puts this “coming April 2nd” announcement ahead of schedule by several months. We also haven’t heard a peep from Stanley Black & Decker about their Craftsman launch.
I’m just guessing, but I think this is what we’ll see: a new Craftsman cordless drill, or cordless drill and impact driver combo kit, one or two mechanics tool sets, and a large tool storage product of some kind.
Father’s Day is coming up, and I would think that any 3Q release at Lowes would be in support of Father’s Day sales. A soft launch of promo tools leading up to a bigger launch makes sense. Plus, with Amazon also set to sell Craftsman tools, an early limited launch at Lowes has added marketing benefits, beyond putting a high-interest brand in front of Father’s Day gift and deal shoppers.
The nearest Lowes store from me is ~25 minutes away, and they never have new or seasonal tools on display. A much better Lowes is maybe 50 minutes from here, without traffic. I likely won’t be able to see what hits the shelves next week.
I wonder if the new releases, or whatever Lowes means by “Coming April 2”, will be available in stores or online only. What do you think?
With April 2nd as the big day, at least we can be reasonably certain that this isn’t an April Fools Day joke. Right?
More Info(via Lowes)
Rock Hound - (J.Sutter)
I am sorry if you brought this up before and I missed it, but do we know if the old Sear Craftsman Tools are going to be replace for the new ones from Lowes or any of the other retailers if they are damaged?
There has been talk about commitment to the Craftsman guarantee or warranty, but no details yet. And regardless of what is said, it remains clear how any policies will be treated at different stores.
SBD has not been very vocal with the media about Craftsman happenings. When they’re ready, that will be one of the first things I want to ask.
Today 12-11-2018…Lowes does not honor Craftsman Warranty on hand tools unless they are purchased from Lowes. So if you always purchased Craftsman in the past ….? I was told by Lowes staff that this is a Craftsman policy.
They will not reimburse or replace the item for Lowes. You have to call a terrible toll free number (mis-named Customer Service) Then a recording tells you go to the place you purchased the tool! Obviously this is not a Craftsman Warranty, but a store specific warranty. If Sears goes out of business or continues to close stores, consumers that have always purchased and trusted Craftsman are screwed…
It bugs me when I find a “lite” version of a big box store. Especially since what I’m looking for is always never there.
I hear you. This is my situation with Home Depot. The local is much smaller than their version about 25 miles away. Inventory in the tools section is poor. A prime example is the sorting boxes by Milwaukee and DeWalt. The ones that are about 20 dollars each. Always sold out. One day at the bigger store I noticed about twenty of each brand.
On topic, I really hope this Craftsman deal works for everyone. Warranty will be huge. Let’s see what happens.
That seems like the definition of every Lowe’s in the San Diego metro – they’re outnumbered at least 5-1 by the Depot (I checked and I’m lying, it’s more like 3-1), and even the worst Depot seems on par with the best Lowe’s we’ve got. Makes it hard to get excited about Lowe’s exclusives, but I’m guessing the situation is reversed in other parts of the country…
doug in GA
Athens GA here, two Lowes, one HD.
The HD was a few years ago a “never a clerk around, lets block off the aisle for the forklift then move the inventory after lunch” type place. I gave up on them and rarely go there. seems like when i do go there, they are getting a little better.
One lowes sucks, never a cart around, clerks slow, generally seems like they wish i wasn’t there.
Second Lowes, great!! always staff around, the right type cart in the right area (lumber carts in the lumber, the high flat ones in the plywood and sheetrock sections. etc).
all the HD’s and Lowes, the prices are with a buck or less, the staff gets paid the same, the layout pretty identical. The difference is all because of the manager of the store. How he runs the place and his staff is what makes a store “good” or “bad”. (some tool brand difference i will admit. got to go to HD for the Milwaukee and Makita, Lowes for the Hitachi and Bostitch)
Apologies, got off thread and on a roll 🙂
So, do we run with the fact that they’re saying DIY projects in regards to their power tools? And in doing so assume that their power tools will be targeted to that market?
That’s the audience they were targeted at before. Were you anticipating a change in audience focus?
Not at all. Your response is actually what I had anticipated to provide the basis for my next question.
Now that Lowe’s will be stocked full of DIYer power tool platforms (black and Decker, kobalt, porter cable) and each, with the exception of Kobalt, being parented by SB and D, what can we expect to see from these other brands? Won’t each steal attention from the other creating competition in the proverbial womb? At least between PC and Craftsman as black and deck seems to have solid footing in the ” I want cheap plastic paper weight drills to use one Saturday as I strain to put my kids playhouse together” catergory.
Will we see Porter Cable diminsh in shelf presence? Will there still remain a niche market even though Craftsman and PC are seemingly the same power tool with the same bloated nostalgic history and capability? Is it possible that we see Porter Cable sold? A Hitachi/Metabo-esque deal where a failing tool brand’s resurgence into a pro worthy foundation equals promising potential? But then who would purchase PC(Southwire? EGO? Bosch?)
Far fetched food for thought.
You’re wrong. Craftsman has been primarily a DIY/Home Shop brand for many decades.
I think the big question about power tools is are they going to launch a new system, or is it going to be compatible with C3 or Nextec?
Short term? Hard to say.
This is great news. I always forget about Sears still operating in the Phoenix Metro Center mall that is about as dead as you can get. But I hit up Lowes quite a bit . I can’t wait to be able to choose from craftsman tools and get materials in one stop shopping.
I can’t wait to go to Lowe’s next week and see what’s up… You’d think they’d be gearing up heavily in Craftsman outdoor power equipment and mowers. Or are they carrying that line? I’d assume so. I’m still hoping for a Craftsman pro-grade (professional/industrial) cordless power tool line with a new battery platform sometime soon.
I also saw some new Craftsman cordless outdoor power equipment on youtube a couple weeks ago. I’m curious to see if Lowe’s stocks this too. Though it didn’t look like the batteries would be compatible with any sort of hand tools like drills.
Honestly. I wish craftsman would ditch their power tools and stick with hand tools and toolboxes/chests.
Yes. Concentrate on “something”. Anything.
Kinda have to agree eith this. The days of Craftsman lawn mowers, tillers, and recip saws aremall but done. Hand tools is really where their lore was built.
I totally agree. I find it bothersome the way nearly every tool company/brand tries to make everything. It makes even less sense with sbd’s multiple brands to have everyone make both power and hand tools. Unless you’re actually catering to legacy products with compatible parts and accessories.
Unfortunately it’s all about $$$. If brand X sees Brands A, B, C and D all making powertools and selling lots, Brand X wants to hop on that train to make that money. (Also I could see where brand X wants to take away brands A, B, C, D, customers, but again that brings it back to Brand X wanting to make money the other would have otherwise made.)
Some brands can pull this off well, Dewalt and Milwaukee make great powertools and great hand tools. Snap-on makes great hand tools but their powertools are, from what I’ve seen, meh. (Especially for what you’re paying for them) craftsman is the same way. Husky is one of the brands that doesn’t focus on powertools. Except compressors and air tools. Even kobalt has made their own line of power tools. And from I’ve seen they’re great tools especially for the price. I’m pretty happy overall with Kobalts hand tools although I’ve had a few iffy products.
A lot of these tool shootout videos rarely feature craftsman’s products in their testing line-up. Not sure if it’s the testers rejecting the use of craftsman tools or craftsman declining to send their tools out for a performance comparison.
Ok, I really don’t know what I’m talking about, his is more of my personal ideas that I felt like I would share)
I would hope that giants like SBD and TTI have marketing gurus, use focus groups and employ algorithms to check demographics and sales figures/trends. That doesn’t mean that they can’t get it wrong and stumble. The old GM sales model seemed to morph into having less and less brand distinctions among lots of brands – so a small Cadillac might just be a Chevy with some upgraded features and trim. That seemed to backfire at some point – and GM now has fewer brands (killed off Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer) – and perhaps (??) more brand distinction.
Anyway, having run some businesses, I’m a fan of sticking to your knitting, knowing what you do best and not overreaching into areas where you can not be effective or profitable. Rather than try to grow a new business area organically, I thought it better to buy out another entity that was profitable in that area and represented a good fit with potential for post merger economies.
There is also an issue of allowing one subsidiary business to cannibalize part of another subsidiaries’ business. Does competition among subsidiaries really work to make them stronger or ward off outside competitors ? Maybe the thought is that rather than just dividing up the pie (market) differently you can actually make both the pie and your collective share of it bigger.
But hey, I did not run a billion dollar enterprise – so what do I know.
From about 2007 to-a couple years ago craftsman did a huge expansion to its brand and even tried to do the tool truck thing and they opened one concept store called the craftsman experience. Sears pumped a lot of cash into this idea but failed because my guess of piss poor marketing and being that it’s still sears.
But during that time you could get just about any kind of tool you could think of with the craftsman name on it with many available in the professional lineup.
Craftsman Experience wasn’t a store, it was a studio. Then it was scaled back into a joint-branded studio. And then it closed.
I was pulled into a call about it before it was open, and I was an instructor at a “blogger summit” there.
It was a good idea, and with potential far greater than the heights its execution allowed it to reach..
I will give them a shot. Hopefully they will eventually let us warrenty all of our Craftsman stuff there as sears stores exist within 100 miles of me anymore.
I live about 2 miles as the crow flies from Lowe’s, I’ll poke around, take some pictures and post em in the discussion forum
I work at Lowes
I’m pretty sure that the April 2nd launch is online only, with the nationwide rollout in stores on May 14th. It will be mostly tool storage and mechanics tools, with handheld power tools coming later in 2018 and the full line of outdoor power arriving in 2019. The full line rollout will take place over the next 12 to 18 months.
Thanks for this info.
I stopped by Sears yesterday, since I was driving right by it. The shelves are so bare. What I thought they might have, armor auto-adjust clamps, there was no sign of. Most of the tools are gone, but there are tons of wrenches, mostly crafstman, their storage/bench units, automotive stuff. Nearly all of the power tools, corded and cordless are now craftsman. A few dewalts. Nearly all things were full price. Does this mean anything? Don’t know. Still plenty of craftsman stuff at the local Ace stores. All this is the old Craftsman line, not the new. It will be interesting to compare this with Lowe’s.
I feel like sears is just trying to slowly get rid of its tool inventory before it goes out of business. Lots of empty shelves and full prices on everything at my local sears.
All that remaining inventory is going to eventually wind up on ebay after it is sold in lots at a bankruptcy auction.
Stuart, do you know where these tools are made?
No word yet, hopefully USA.
I have heard that the initial rollout of mechanics hand tools will be coming from the same factory in China where the current Craftsman Sears product is made. SBDs current Mechanics tool production (Stanley, Dewalt) is in Asia as well.
That would be unfortunate, but acceptable if it gives them time to continue with progress towards USA production.
I agree and I find it very likely they’re going to be Chinese made at first. If they were USA made I think it would be all over the images.
It also probably made it an easier pill to swallow for Lowe’s in regards to Kobalt, which just had a ratchet changeover (No longer premium ratchets made by Toptul but a different Taiwan OEM). Check out those Kobalt mini-heads, those are very nice.
if that new ratchet is us made i will buy one on the spot. it looks cool and if this whole thing falls apart it will be a collectors item.
that quick release actually looks like the ones on the extreme grip now offered.
I will buy one on the spot as well if they’re USA made. The top banner seems to indicate that the basic raised panel brand identity will remain intact – though I already have a full set of USA made wrenches.
When I shop in Sears nowadays, I flip it over to see where it’s made. Not that all Chinese made stuff is junk, but it seems to be the trend that for the first 3-5 years of offshoring production, they are. So the China/Taiwan ratchets nowadays are actually OK quality if you get them on sale, but I’d steer clear of anything recently offshored. It’s darn tricky, sadly.
I’ve been kinda watching localized Facebook buy/sell Groups to see US made Craftsman wrenches. Had some luck too. Good resource if you’ve got such a page where you live.
Oh. And complete blow boxes full of nearly if not totally new/unused US made socket sets etc.
Like a relative died and by gosh they’re literally unused. Twice now actually.
My local Lowe’s has been constantly doing “resets” for months. Set a display, tear it down and move it the following week, reset it the next week… The cycle continues weekly. Wrenches, sockets and sets have been shuffled around and back. I guess bringing Craftsman in gives them an excuse to reset the department once again. I’ll check out what they have and where it’s made but highly doubtful that Craftsman will see another cent from me. Having lost jobs due to outsourcing leaves a bitter taste. If…IF they’re USA made, I wish the manufacturers well.
The selector switch on that ratchet looks like the mac axis ratchet so maybe it is USA!
If done right, this could be a big comeback for the Craftsman brand. I think part of the problem was that Sears didn’t sell the materials & supplies that HD/Lowes/Menards/etc. sell. Those places became the one stop shop and sears suffered (amongst other things). I will certainly be checking out Lowes in the future.
I stopped by my local Sears today and all the Knipex stuff was gone. Don’t know if that means anything or if another supplier has cut there ties to Sears.
I only hope that every tool they release is made in the USA and stamped so.
It’s nice to see Craftsman survive the impending implosion of sears.
I was thinking that Lowe’s may be discounting some other lines, in store, to make room. From the Lowe’s employee comment above I now doubt that. I will try and pop into my local Lowe’s soon though just to see.
SK has replaced most of my Craftsman stuff but if Lowes craftsman is US made and quality I will start buying it again
Me too, SK has been totally worth the money.
Quality made in USA.
I hope Stanley doesn’t do to craftsman like they did to porter cable regarding the power tools and make it another zombie brand. We already know that they aren’t going to make them as good as their flagship brand dewalt so where in the lineup does craftsman fall? Hopefully more the prosumer then bargin brand, only time will tell.
Dean in Des Moines
What I want to know is, will I be able to take my old guaranteed-forever Craftsman hand tools into Lowes and get them replaced/repaired? I hate going to Sears – it’s too much like the DMV.
“CRAFTSMAN is known for its competitive warranties which will also be honored at Lowe’s, providing customers a guarantee promise. If customers have questions about the warranty, they are encouraged to call CRAFTSMAN’s Customer Care Hotline at 888-331-4569.”
quite a few weeks ago I saw a real old man and his old wife at Sears – he had a bunch of wrenches rolled up in towels to bring back and he was taking up Sears on their warranty. The sales associate was definately going to accomodate the warranty no problem, but I was thinking to myself – thats kind of sad for some reason. Good for the old man for getting some new wrenches but the whole sight was sad. I cant put my finger on it.
I too have been replacing with SK, but Craftsman is still on my radar. If the come back to US made I’ll definitely give them a try. SK is expensive but the quality is amazing, my Dad used both and I d be willing to also if the stop making plastic tool boxes and get back to made in USA quality.
But the price and warranty has to be the same as it was before, if I want to be paying high prices, I might as well get SK or Snap on Ratchets and wrench sets. Craftsman has a new 84 tooth Ratchet that looks decent but it’s got a rebuild clause in the warranty at Sears. If SBD just goes back to how it was , Craftsmen could blow up and thrive again. I hope the do. Lowes stuff looks good but it’s a bit overpriced for still not being made in USA.
Took some Craftsman Tools to a local Lowes this past weekend. A Lowes Sales Associate told me they would not warranty Craftsman Tools purchased at Sears and I had to go back to Sears. Well Crap, Our Sears was one of the many that has closed. Tried to call Craftsman after getting their phone number online to see what I could get in writing to show Lowes about any warranty proclamations that may have been made by Stanley about Craftsman Tools representation. After being transferred to 5 people at Craftsman, who were clueless about what I was asking and trying to get, I hung up. Not sure what any one else is experiencing on warranty with Craftsman and Lowes but this is BS. Guess I will need to go a different tool line. Stanley needs to step up on this warranty stuff or their acquisition of the Craftsman line will be a useless business venture. I’ll sure think twice before I buy the name again!
An update to my previous post about going to Lowes for warranty…
Found a Kmart to go to to try to replace my broken Craftsman hand tools. The Kmart Sales Associate informed me that I would have to take my Craftsman tools to Sears for warranty since I had purchased them from Sears. Same answer I had received from Lowes. The closest Sears is 80+/- miles away since ours closed. Guess it will be awhile before I will be able to get them replaced. This is very frustrating. Good luck to those who own Craftsman tools. I hope Stanley will modify their warranty considerations to accommodate those of us with no local recourse. For new buyers, better take these type events into consideration before purchasing.
Years ago, before the switch to Chinese production, I bought Craftsman hand tools almost exclusively. There was a Sears close by, you couldn’t beat the warranty, and they were pretty good quality. I couldn’t justify the cost of Snap On, Mac, Cornwell, etc. At the time, cheap tools were junk and generally not worth using.
Then my local Sears store began to get picky about what they would and wouldn’t warranty (they wouldn’t warranty a cracked socket I had because there was a .25″ square rusty area on it until I spent 45 minutes escalating it to the store manager). Warranty replacements became a hassle. This made the legendary Craftsman warranty less of a factor for me.
Then production went to China and I noticed a quantifiable drop in quality. The steel was inferior so the tools became thicker. This was very noticeable on box end wrenches.
By this time the quality of Harbor Freight’s hand tools had improved considerably and they averaged a third of the price of Chinese made Craftsman. Since they were both Chinese made I saved the money and started buying HF.
Then Sears stores began closing.
Now the only Craftsman tools that I will buy are used Made in USA ones that I find at auctions or antique shops etc. I no longer care about the Craftsman warranty because there will shortly be no more Sears stores.
When I need a tool that will stand up to hard use or abuse I buy used or very occasionally new Snap On. I do use my HF tools as hard as I use my USA Craftsman tools and, with a few exceptions, they’ve held up far better than I expected. Their lifetime warranty is pretty easy to use at my local store. Generally when I break a HF tool it goes in the scrap barrel.
I’m a home mechanic/DIYer. My cousin is a professional mechanic and there are more HF tools than you would think in his Snap On box.
I never bought many Craftsman power tools since I always saw them as over priced B&D.
Unfortunately Craftsman as a brand is basically dead to me. If they bring production back to the USA that might change but I assume the price will be too high to justify.
Very sad since I have Craftsman hand tools that my grandfather bought new in the 50’s.