If you are planning to buy some new tools, whether hand tools, power tools, or mechanic’s tools, you are probably trying to focus on a few specific brands.
Two brands that you might be thinking of purchasing from are Husky and Craftsman. Both are relatively well-respected brands, but that said if you had to choose just one, which one should it be?
A Brief History of Husky and Craftsman
Starting off with Husky, this is an American manufacturer of tools, mainly hand tools, pneumatic tools, and storage tools. A Czechoslovakian immigrant named Sigmund Mandl moved to the USA in the early 1900s. It was him who, in 1924, created the first Husky wrench, a special wrench designed for mechanic’s toolsets.
By 1928, Mandl and the Husky brand had created quite a large collaboration with the J.H. Williams Tool Group. The latter started distributing the Husky wrench in its own mechanic’s toolkits. In 1929, the Husky name was then sold to Olsen Manufacturing Company, based out of Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA. At this time, the company changed its name to the Husky Corporation. At this time, Mandl parted ways with the brand.
By 1932, the Olsen Manufacturing Company sold the Husky name to the New Britain Machine Company, based out of New Britain, Connecticut, USA (which itself was purchased by Litton Industries in the early 1970s). In the 1980s, Litton dissolved its hand tool line, at which time Husky was sold to National Hand Tool. Then, in 1986, Stanley Works purchased National Hand Tool and the Husky brand with it.
By 1992, Husky began supplying an array of tools exclusively to The Home Depot, and eventually transferred the rights to The Home Depot. Husky is a fairly decent sized company, although not huge.
Next we have Craftsman, a brand of tools originally created by the giant retailer, Sears, all the way back in 1927.
What is interesting to note is that Arthur Burrows, who was at the time the head of the Sears tool department, purchased the brand from the Marion-Craftsman Tool Company for just $500. The intention was for Craftsman to be the mid-level line of tools for Sears and was indeed quite successful.
Due to the fact that in the past decade, Sears ran into massive financial problems, it sold the Craftsman name to Stanley Black & Decker which still owns Craftsman to this day.
Although Husky is no longer owned by Stanley Black & Decker, it is interesting to note that both brands being compared here today either were or are owned by this massive parent company. At this time, Craftsman has roughly 1,000 employees with estimated annual revenues of 600 million dollars.
Husky vs. Craftsman: Which Offers Better Quality?
In terms of overall tool quality, Husky is known for being fairly average, quite mid-level in the grand scheme of things. Now, there is a notable difference between Husky hand and mechanic’s tools, and the power tools which they produce.
To start off with the power tools, these are seen as being OK, maybe a bit better than that. They are definitely seen as being more than fine for general home and DIY use. They are comfortable, lightweight, and durable enough to withstand light work. That said, Husky tools probably aren’t the best choice to go with for heavy-duty and professional work.
However, when it comes to Husky hand and mechanic’s tools, which is what this brand is mainly known for, these are seen as being fairly high in quality. Most would agree that Husky hand and mechanic’s tools rival the best brands out there in terms of quality and functionality and that they are ideal for professional use.
What does need to be said about Husky is that there are several other companies that make their tools for them. Exactly what companies make which tools is very difficult to decipher. However, we do know that Stanley Black & Decker, Western Forge, Apex Tool Group, and Iron Bridge Tools are all involved in one way or another. While many Husky tools were originally made in the USA, the vast majority of them are now made in China and Taiwan.
When it comes to Craftsman, these are also seen as being average or mid-level tools, nothing bad, but also nothing overly special. Just like with Husky, Craftsman products are seen as being ideal for lightweight and occasional use, for homeowners, for light repairs, and for DIY work. However, for the most part, Craftsman tools are not recommended for heavy-duty and professional use.
Moreover, keep in mind that while Husky hand tools may be highly regarded, Craftsman hand tools are about on the same level as their power tools. Of course, this does also mean that Craftsman tools are very reasonably priced. Just like with Husky, the majority of Craftsman tools are also made in China.
However, Stanley Black & Decker did recently announce that they are aiming to move a lot of production of Craftsman products back to the USA, which is a good sign in terms of tool quality in the years to come. When it comes down to it, we would say that Husky and Craftsman are about on par in terms of overall quality, with Husky having the better hand and mechanic’s tools.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
Husky provides lifetime warranties on its hand and mechanic’s tools. Most power and jobsite tools feature 2- or 3-year limited warranties.
Craftsman tools are sometimes covered by limited lifetime warranties (although rarely), 2-year limited warranties, and 1-year limited warranties, with some exceptions.
As you can see, it does appear as though Husky has slightly better warranties, particularly on hand and automotive tools.
Husky vs Craftsman: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
What needs to be said right off the bat is that Husky focuses on hand and automotive tools, and the selection across these categories is quite extensive. Husky also makes various other products such as tool storage options, workbenches, tool bags, and other such things.
However, Husky doesn’t make almost any power tools, nor does it make any outdoor lawn and garden equipment. Therefore, if you want lawn and garden tools or power tools, you will need to pick Craftsman.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Wrenches and Sockets?
When it comes down to it, seeing as Husky focuses on mechanic’s sets and hand tools, you can rest assured that it is the go-to brand for wrenches and sockets. The selection is way better than that of Craftsman.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Tool Boxes and Cabinets?
When it comes to tool bags, tool chest, tool cabinets, and tool boxes, Husky is also the much better brand to go with in terms of selection.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
The decision here is really quite simple. If you need hand tools or mechanic’s tools, Husky is the way to go. However, if you need power tools and outdoor lawn and garden equipment, Craftsman is the only option out of these two.
The bottom line here is that both Husky and Craftsman are mid-level and affordable brands to consider.
Neither is super fancy, but both can get the job done. Just remember that Husky is all about hand tools, mechanic’s tools, and tool storage, whereas Craftsman focuses more on the power tool and outdoor tool side of things.