(Sears) Craftsman has come out with several new tool storage products, including new “SHD” tool chests. A few seconds with Google turned up that the same products are being sold under International branding at significantly lower pricing.
The SHD (super heavy duty?) chests caught my attention. Actually, several things caught my attention.
First, there’s a unique-looking top lid handle, and I don’t recall seeing anything like it before. Second, there is an “integrated latch system” that looks like Craftsman’s GripLatch drawer retention system.
Third, one of the product images shows a “made in Canada” sticker.
Features include 120 lb drawer slides, reinforced corners, and heavy duty gas struts for the lid. This 35″ 5-drawer top chest is currently priced at $1600, plus a $140 oversized shipping charge.
Buy Now(via Sears)
Made in Canada? A quick search turns up that International is selling this under their own branding as well, for $883-$920 at Home Depot. The black is least expensive, and blue the most.
There are also matching bottom cabinets for $1086-$1154.
Maybe Sears’ price will come down at some point? If not, are they basically slapping a Craftsman label on the boxes and increasing the price by 60%? Why buy the Craftsman version for $600-$700 MORE?
I am not inclined to buy anything from Sears anymore, due to recent poor experiences with their customer service. Maybe you’ll have better luck? The SHD chests caught my attention, but they’re available at other retailers under the OEM’s own branding for a LOT less money.
Why mention Sears at all? Mostly because I wouldn’t have learned of the International SHD series if not for the new Craftsman listings.
But also, I wonder if the new chests’ integrated latch system infringes on the Waterloo-made GripLatch design featured by many past and current Craftsman tool storage chests and cabinets. Or has Waterloo or Craftsman’s protections (wasn’t it patented?) expired? Was it licensed to International? I don’t recall seeing other brands with any similar latching system.
I find it curious that Craftsman is selling tool chests with similar/adapted/licensed? technologies. Does this say anything about their Waterloo relationship? Or am I thinking too much of things? Sears has had a number of issues with some tool suppliers in recent months, and so it’s not unexpected for me to think about these things.
(Do you see the similarities between GripLatch and “integrated latch system” functionality?)