hand tools

Craftsman (tools)

Craftsman is a line of tools and lawn and garden equipment, owned by KCD IP, LLC (Kenmore Craftsman DieHard Intellectual Property, Limited Liability Company). The tools are sold in Sears, Kmart, and Orchard Supply Hardware stores (all three owned by Sears Holdings Corporation), as well as Fastenal, and US military Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores. The mechanics hand tools have been made by a variety of manufacturers over the years including New Britain, Moore Drop Forge, Easco, Stanley, and most recently the Danaher Corporation. Consumers have ranked the Craftsman brand second (surpassed only by Waterford crystal) in terms of quality. In 2007, Craftsman was named "America's Most Trusted Brand" and brand with "Highest Expectations". Since 1927, Craftsman has sold more hammers and other striking tools than any other brand. Craftsman is also the official tool of NASCAR.

History

Sears has sold its top-of-the-line hand tools under the "Craftsman" name since 1927. With their secondary line of hand tools being called simply "Sears", and according to many consumers they were of above average quality. The "Sears" tool line was discontinued around the late 1980s and replaced by the "Companion" tool line. In recent years, a subset of the Craftsman line, known as "Craftsman Professional" has been introduced as a highest quality line under the Craftsman logo, and they are billed as Only The Best as a part of the Sears/Craftsman advertising campaign. In 2007, the Craftsman Brand team led by Mike Cassar introduced the new tagline "There's A Craftsman In All of Us" changing the previous marque of "Craftsman makes anything possible".

Warranty

Craftsman hand tools have an unlimited lifetime warranty. This lifetime warranty program was instituted by Sears when they began selling the Craftsman line in 1927 and was one of the fundamental reasons for the early financial success of the company. This warranty program requires no receipt or dated proof of purchase. The owner has merely to bring the item into a local retail store and it is replaced free of charge. The unlimited lifetime warranty is voided if the tool is used in an industrial or commercial environment. For these situations, there is a special unlimited warranty program.

A common misconception among consumers still exists that the lifetime warranty includes Craftsman power tools and precision hand tools. Craftsman portable power tools, bench power tools, air compressors, powered lawn & garden products and other powered items carry various warranties while many specialty hand tools such as torque wrenches, except beam-type torque wrenches which carry a Lifetime Warranty, and work lights carry a one year warranty. Sears offers Merchandise Replacement Agreements and Master Protection Agreements on most of their tools that extends the basic warranty. Master Protection Agreements also include yearly maintenance checks that may take place either in the home or at a local Sears repair center depending on the portability of the item. Repair Protection Agreements are available exclusively on powered Lawn & Garden products and are nearly identical to the Master Protection Agreements except lack the yearly maintenance checks.

The hand tool lifetime warranty is also in effect on many Craftsman Lawn & Garden products including rakes, shovels, clippers, brooms, trowels, pruners, hoses, sprinklers, hose nozzles and other small gardening hand tools.

In 2003 Sears removed the lifetime warranty from Craftsman flashlights. Another limitation to the warranty introduced in 2003 Craftsman tape measures carry a lifetime warranty on all parts except the blade itself. Replacement blades, however, were made available for purchase from the stores to offset this policy.

After the merger, Kmart began selling Craftsman products; Kmart stores will also honor the lifetime warranties on any hand tools.

The Craftsman Unlimited Lifetime Warranty Policy is as follows:

* The words "hand tool" are often replaced on the product's packaging with the actual name of the tool. i.e. wrench, hammer, or shovel.
** On certain products, there is an additional sentence added into the warranty noting that it does not cover expendable parts such as replacement blades for utility knives or the tape on tape measures.

Legal Battles

Craftsman tools came under fire in 2004 in a lawsuit accusing Sears, Roebuck and Company of false advertising and consumer fraud for questionable use of the "Made in USA" slogan. While most Craftsman hand tools are manufactured in the U.S., many power tools and accessories have components that are manufactured in China, often with just the final assembly taking place in the U.S.

References

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