Sears/Craftsman USA

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XX Case XX
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Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby XX Case XX » Tue May 15, 2018 2:51 pm

As far back as I can remember, all of my fathers tools from Sears were labeled "Craftsman" not Sears. So imagine my surprise when my father-in-law asked me if I wanted this Sears vise. It's huge, almost a foot long and weighs about 20 lbs. There's also a big #4 on both sides. It also has the numbers: 391.5164 on the sides. I can't imagine that's a phone number.

So here's my question: I can't remember seeing any tools from Sears that actually say "Sears" on them. Does anyone here have some kind of idea of how old this thing might be? I'm definitely going to mount it and use it but I'd sure like a guess as to it's approximate age. Anyone?

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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby jerryd6818 » Tue May 15, 2018 3:21 pm

XX Case XX wrote:It also has the numbers: 391.5164 on the sides. I can't imagine that's a phone number.

So here's my question: I can't remember seeing any tools from Sears that actually say "Sears" on them. Does anyone here have some kind of idea of how old this thing might be? I'm definitely going to mount it and use it but I'd sure like a guess as to it's approximate age. Anyone?
_________

That number is a catalog / stock number. I believe the 4 means it's a 4" vise (This measurement is the length of the jaws from end to end and is maximum amount of contact your vise has with the workpiece.). There have been tools marked Sears and I may be wrong about this but I think they were second line tools that did not come with the Lifetime Warranty (Which on August 2, 2012, was reduced to 25 years).

Waiting for more input.
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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby tongueriver » Tue May 15, 2018 5:14 pm

From Wikipedia: The Craftsman trademark was registered by Sears on May 20, 1927. Arthur Barrows, head of the company's hardware department, liked the name Craftsman and reportedly bought the rights to use it from the Marion-Craftsman Tool Company for $500.The brand's early customers were mostly farmers. Barrows' successor, Tom Dunlap, upgraded the quality of the tools and added chrome plating to them as America moved into the automobile age.

Sears' tool line, like many of its other product lines, uses a "good, better, best" pricing structure,with the "Craftsman" brand as the middle tier and "Craftsman Professional" or "Craftsman Industrial" as the highest tier. Craftsman Professional and Craftsman Industrial are marketed as being comparable to brands like SK, Snap on, Proto, Mac, and Matco. The standard Craftsman line is marketed as being comparable in quality to other mid-price brands including UltraPro (NAPA), Westward, Gray, Husky, and Kobalt. Sears also marketed a "Sears Best" line of hand tools for a time.

The lowest tier was originally branded "Sears". The company also used the "Dunlap" name for its lesser quality tools from the late 1930s until the late 1950s.The Sears tool line was discontinued in the late 1980s and replaced by the "Companion" tool line.
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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby doglegg » Tue May 15, 2018 6:37 pm

That is it. Worked for Sears in the mid 60's and if it said Craftsman and broke we would replace it, if it said Sears and broke well, you better go buy a craftsman, no guarantee.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby Old Folder » Tue May 15, 2018 7:18 pm

Interesting post Mike.
Like most of us here on aapk, I have many "Craftsman" and Sears related tools.
Only found two with "Sears"
Pics below.

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I purchased the 4 Amp Battery Charger and the 1/3 HP Bench Grinder in the late 70s or early 80s. The Batt. Charger came with a 6 Month warranty only and could be returned to any Sears store for replacement.
The Bench Grinder is the same age as the Charger. I have used both items this week, 40 plus years old and still fully operational.
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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby XX Case XX » Tue May 15, 2018 8:33 pm

Old Folder wrote: I have used both items this week, 40 plus years old and still fully operational.

Sounds good to me. I like the V6 Toyota too!! ::tu::

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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby OLDE CUTLER » Wed May 16, 2018 2:10 pm

doglegg wrote:That is it. Worked for Sears in the mid 60's and if it said Craftsman and broke we would replace it, if it said Sears and broke well, you better go buy a craftsman, no guarantee.


Unfortunately this guarantee varied from store to store based on the store managers judgement. Our local store back in the 1970s had a manager that had to review each broken Craftsman tool before HE decided if it was replaced under warranty. One time I broke a socket taking a tie rod off a truck out at a local junkyard. A piece broke out from the side of the socket and went flying out into the weeds. I took the socket back to our local store and even though you could read Craftsman, the item number, and the size on the piece I had in my hand, the store manager refused to replace it because I didn't have the other piece that broke off. He said I would bring the other piece back and get another (second) free socket. He also would NEVER replace a broken Craftsman ratchet if any of the internal parts failed. He would hand you a rebuild parts kit and YOU had to install it.
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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby doglegg » Wed May 16, 2018 2:30 pm

OLDE CUTLER wrote:
doglegg wrote:That is it. Worked for Sears in the mid 60's and if it said Craftsman and broke we would replace it, if it said Sears and broke well, you better go buy a craftsman, no guarantee.


Unfortunately this guarantee varied from store to store based on the store managers judgement. Our local store back in the 1970s had a manager that had to review each broken Craftsman tool before HE decided if it was replaced under warranty. One time I broke a socket taking a tie rod off a truck out at a local junkyard. A piece broke out from the side of the socket and went flying out into the weeds. I took the socket back to our local store and even though you could read Craftsman, the item number, and the size on the piece I had in my hand, the store manager refused to replace it because I didn't have the other piece that broke off. He said I would bring the other piece back and get another (second) free socket. He also would NEVER replace a broken Craftsman ratchet if any of the internal parts failed. He would hand you a rebuild parts kit and YOU had to install it.

OC, you got a looser there. At our store we took every thing back, probably some we shouldn't.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby Mumbleypeg » Wed May 16, 2018 3:40 pm

In the late 1970s my sister worked in customer service for a Sears store in Ft. Smith, AR. She has many stories about the things people returned to the store for full credit or replacement. The only question asked they asked was did they want a replacement or theIr money back.

She had one customer who purchased a new lawn mower every spring, and brought the well used mower back every fall, saying they didn't like it. They got their money back. Next spring they bought another new one, and repeated the cycle.

I always assumed that was the company policy. I'll have to ask her if it was optional by store. ::shrug::

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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby TwoFlowersLuggage » Wed May 16, 2018 4:18 pm

You probably never saw tools that just said "Sears" on them because your father knew to only buy the Craftsman and never the plain Sears! My Dad was the same way, although he had a mishmash of every brand under the sun - Craftsman, SnapOn, Mac, Matco, Crescent, Proto, you name it, we probably had some or lost some. Wrenches lived a hard life on our farm. Tractors would have a 5 gallon bucket wired to the side to hold the most critical tools so you could make adjustments out in the field. "Critical tools" often included a big adjustable wrench, a ball-peen hammer and piece of pipe that fit on the wrench handle to use as a cheater.
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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby XX Case XX » Wed May 16, 2018 4:48 pm

TwoFlowersLuggage wrote:You probably never saw tools that just said "Sears" on them because your father knew to only buy the Craftsman and never the plain Sears!

Now that I think about it, you're probably right. Very astute observation Sir. ::tu::

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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby knifegnome » Wed May 16, 2018 11:09 pm

I worked for Sears for 20+ years.Most hand tools marked Craftsman were lifetime warranty.Power tools,mowers ,2 cycle equipment were not lifetime.The first three numbers before the dot was the manufacturer of the tool.If someone insisted on a new ratchet we would give them one,the cost to Sears for the rebuild kit was only a penny,we would rebuild 20-30 ratchets for quick replacement to save costs.The words "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back" over the door invited lots of scams.People would buy tillers,generators use them and then return .Also buy the largest big screen TV and then return it after the super bowl,buy a complete camping outfit and return after the vacation is over.I have seen it all.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman USA

Postby mrwatch » Thu May 17, 2018 12:35 pm

I worked in the Sears Auto dept. for a few months. Around 1974 I bought a Sear riding mower with a rope pull. About every time you pulled the rope something broke in the assembly and a service man made like three calls to the house. Next time I put it in the pick up and took it back for a refund. Man started to say we do not do that but I was ready to point to the big sign. I then bought a push mower. Next time at the store it was sitting out tagged as repossessed! ::td:: I never told them that it was my son trying to start it like that should matter anyway. ::sotb::


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