If you are looking for a good tool brand for all of your needs, whether for hand tools, mechanics tools power tools, outdoor lawn and garden equipment, or anything in between, there are so many brands out there that it might just make your head spin.
One of the most popular brands out there right now is Craftsman, a very well known and reputable brand that countless people swear by. That said, before you start investing money into tools, you probably want to know everything there is to know about this brand, and that’s exactly what we’re here for today.
Craftsman as a brand was first introduced in 1927. Arthur Burrows, who was at the time the head of the Sears tool division bought the Craftsman name from the Marion-Craftsman Tool Company for just $500. It was intended to be the house brand of tools for the retail giant, Sears.
Besides the fact that Craftsman was bought and is now still owned by Stanley Black & Decker, the history of it is not too exciting. However, one interesting fact is that Craftsman is the official tool brand of NASCAR.
Craftsman Tool Quality Overview
Generally speaking, Craftsman tools are regarded as being above average. Now, they are not really considered to be super high-end tools, or really high-end tools at all. We would say that they fall somewhere in between the middle of the line and the high end, which is pretty good, all things considered.
For the most part, Craftsman tools are seen as being comfortable to use, typically lightweight and ergonomically designed, easy to use and maintain, and very functional too. The only complaints that you might find about Craftsman tools is in terms of their durability, and more so their longevity.
On that note, most people would agree that Craftsman tools are excellent choices to go with for homeowners, DIYers, and people who do small repairs and general projects.
That said, due to somewhat limited durability, they are usually not recommended for daily and heavy-duty use, so they aren’t products that a big-time construction firm would usually go for. However, the other reason why Craftsman tools are so popular is that they are affordable. Here, you get decent tools for decent prices.
People seem to be quite fond of Craftsman power tools, particularly things like their drills, drivers, impact tools, grinders, small saws, and other basic power tools. The other product category that people seem to be very pleased with is the outdoor tool and equipment category, such as chainsaws, lawnmowers, snowblowers, and all of that other fun stuff.
Something that you may not appreciate about Craftsman is that virtually all of their products are made in China. The reason for this is because Stanley Black & Decker owns Craftsman, and SB&D does make the vast majority of their products in China.
This is why most of the products come in at low prices. Surprisingly, most people would agree that although Craftsman tools are not top of the line, considering that they come out of Chinese factories, they are still quite impressive.
That said, there are a select few things made in the USA, particularly when it comes to the lawn and garden tools. There is also more good news here, which is that Craftsman appears to be slowly moving some of its production back to the USA.
Craftsman does also offer some good warranties on their products. For instance, the mechanics tools feature full lifetime warranties. Hand tools also feature a full lifetime warranty. Electronic measuring tools feature a limited lifetime warranty. Most of the products in the tool storage category range from one- and three-year limited warranties with some having five-year limited warranties, and a select few have ten-year limited warranties.
As for power tools, they either feature one- or three-year limited warranties.
The warranties for the outdoor tools and equipment really depend on the exact product. Here you will find everything from one-year, three-year, and five-year, to ten-year, fifteen-year, and limited lifetime warranties.
Craftsman Product Portfolio Overview
One of the things that can be said about Craftsman is that the product portfolio is really nothing short of amazing. Tool quality aside, the fact of the matter is that this brand has one of the absolute best selections of tools around, and this is true for the types of tools they make, as well as the number of tools within each type of category.
Craftsman is the kind of brand that produces a wide variety of tools that are ideal for homeowners, for DIYers, for professional use (to a certain extent), for automotive repairs, for lawn and garden work, and more. Let’s take a look at the various product categories that come to use from Craftsman.
First and foremost, Craftsman produces an exceptional variety of power tools, with one of the big categories being woodworking tools. Here you will find a decent selection of planers, jointers, and various types of sanders.
Another big-time category for Craftsman is saws, with a wide variety of chop saws, circular saws, jigsaws, miter saws, oscillating saws, reciprocating saws, scroll saws, table saws, and tile saws. On the Craftsman site, you will also find a good deal of combo kits, nailers, drills, grinders, heat guns, impact wrenches, impact drivers, oscillating multitools, and more.
Now, in terms of cordless vs corded power tools, many Craftsman tools are cordless, very many of them in fact. Generally speaking, you will find way more cordless power tools than corded ones. However, it does of course depend on the specific tools, as many of the larger machines, especially the big saws, are going to be corded for practical reasons.
Another product category where Craftsman has quite the good selection is in the air tools category. Craftsman produces quite a wide variety of air impact wrenches, air hammers, air ratchets, air grinders, cut off tools, sanders, staplers, nailers, and more.
Yes, Craftsman also produces a variety of pneumatic tools. To power the air or pneumatic tools, Craftsman also produces a variety of air compressors. At the current time, you can find nearly ten different air compressors on the official site.
As previously mentioned, Craftsman is the official tool brand of NASCAR, so yes, they produce many different automotive tools. Not only does this brand make many different automotive tools, but they are also regarded as being fairly high in quality.
Just some of the biggest subcategories within the automotive tools section include inflators, lift equipment, jacks, mechanics tool sets, oil filter tools, ratchets and sockets, rivets and riveters, wheel chocks, wrenches and wrench sets, and more. It’s a good brand to consider if you are a mechanic or do work on your own vehicle.
Yet another good category that Craftsman seems to excel in is hand tools. If you need solid hand tools at decent prices, it’s a great brand to consider. Just some of the categories of hand tools that Craftsman provides an amazing selection in includes cutters, snips, finishing tools, hammers, demolition tools, hand saws, hex keys, knives, blades, measuring tools, layout tools, pliers, ratchets, sockets, rivets, riveters, screwdrivers, staplers, tackers, wrenches, and more. Moreover, the selection within these categories is quite wide as well.
Yeah, we are still going! Craftsman has so many different items available, and yet another category that they produce a massive amount of products in is outdoor equipment. If you check out the outdoor equipment section on the Craftsman site, you will find a massive selection of chainsaws, chippers, shredders, generators, heating options, hedge trimmers, lawn edgers, lawnmowers, hoses, various handheld gardening tools, leaf blowers and vacuums, outdoor lighting, log splitters, pressure washers, snowblowers, tillers, augurs, cultivators, and string trimmers.
The final product category that we want to look at today from Craftsman is storage and garage. Within this category, you will find a great selection of fans, garage door openers, garage flooring, outdoor storage (sheds), sawhorses, shelving, stools, storage bins, toolboxes, tool cabinets, tool chests, stackable and portable tool storage, workbenches, and more.
Is Craftsman a Good Brand?
Overall, we would say that Craftsman is indeed quite a good tool brand, and it certainly has a massive selection of tools spanning many different categories. This versatility is what many people love about Craftsman.
When considering the negatives, the downside of Craftsman tools is that they usually aren’t overly durable or long lasting, which is why they usually aren’t ideal for heavy duty and continuous use over a long period of time.
People love Craftsman due to the reasonable prices that all of their products come in at. If you are on a budget and need decent tools, it’s a perfect brand to consider. There is also the fact that Craftsman makes hand tools, automotive tools, corded and cordless power tools, storage solutions, equipment, accessories, and outdoor tools too. It’s just a convenient brand because you can get everything you need from one place.
How Does Craftsman Compare with Other Brands?
If you are not convinced Porter-Cable is the right brand for you, make sure to also read my detailed comparison putting it side by side with other popular brands:
At the end of the day, although Craftsman doesn’t make top of the line products, they are still above average in terms of quality, and the prices are great too, not to mention that their selection is absolutely massive!