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I’m not terribly handy. I wish that I were. I like to think of myself as a do-it-yourselfer. Too often though, I find that I am a start-it-yourselfer and then realize that I am in over my head and call a professional. Give me time. I’m coming to terms with this.

My faithful 1972 VW Beetle

When I was in college, I decided that I wanted to teach myself basic car mechanics. I did this by intentionally buying the simplest car that I could afford. I ended up with a wonderful 1972 VW Beetle. To make a long story short, I got myself a copy of How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot, by John Muir and a some tools. Among those tools were a set of Craftsman wrenches.

Craftsman was started as a division of the Sears hardware department in 1927. The early success of Craftsman tools can be attributed to Tom Dunlap. As head of the Hardware Department, Tom recognized that America was quickly moving into the Automobile Age and that average citizens would have a need for high quality tools. Despite protests from within the company, Tom added chrome plating to many of the hand tools. Meticulous mechanics everywhere appreciated these handsome, easy-to-clean tools, and sales began to soar. Over the years they have introduced products such as rotary mowers, riding mowers, and ratchet wrenches. In the past ten years, they have been rated amongst the most trusted brands for quality by Harris Poll EquiTrend®.

I wish that I could take credit for purchasing the wrenches. I remember getting them as a gift from my dad and his going on about lifetime warranties or something. It didn’t seem important at the time.

As I get older, I appreciate the warranty. It’s called a lifetime warranty, but it’s really a warranty for anyone who claims ownership of the tool. It requires no receipt or dated proof of purchase. I’ll bet I could fish a Craftsman wrench from the bottom of Crater Lake, walk it down to Sears, and they would replace it. The only problem is, there would likely be nothing wrong with it.

The only exception to this rule is the new Craftsman Evolv series (formally known simply as Sears Tools). These tools carry the same warranty, but you need to have the receipt. All power tools also come with simply a one year warranty as well. If this short-term warranty concerns you, check out the “scientific” experiments the “experts” are running at “Craftman Labs” to help you rest easy.

Craftsman has come under some fire for suggesting that their products are entirely made in the USA.  The details are fuzzy, but it seems that the components of many of their power tool are manufactured overseas and shipped to the United States for final assembly.

Some day I would like to get another old car. Maybe when I retire and have some grandchildren who can crawl under the car whenever I drop something. I’ll still have my wrenches, and I have no doubt that they’ll be as reliable as the day I got them. Thanks, Dad.

Craftsman Tools