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Any thoughts on the new SBD Craftsman lineup?


Rory

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I gotta say, I was impressed with their showing. They're definitely committed to the "Made in USA" label, even if that is with the caveat of "from global materials" like their DeWalt line. Was discussing it at Toolguyd.com as well and my gut feeling is this means some major changes for Porter Cable. I feel it makes most sense to go for a 3-pronged approach:

Entry level - Black & Decker

Homeowner/DIY - Craftsman

Pro - DeWalt

 

PC has a history, but I feel like they're also the weaker of the 4 brands. Plus a lot of the new Craftsman stuff looks like they used the PC aesthetics as a base with slight tweaks and colour changes.

 

I'm interested to see more in their hand tools though than the power tools. Hoping they can strike the right balance of quality/price to do well in the market.

 

What do you folks think?

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I was kinda disappointed to be honest. Did Craftsman have new products for what they are known for (ope, tool storage, mechanics tools) yes but they also had a bunch of other stuff we have seen with other SB&D brands. For example, why do we need a bunch of new cordless drills and nailers when we have already seen multiple iterations from other SB&D brands. On top of that there was a 20v battery and a 60v battery introduced and once again neither are compatible with any other SB&D brand. I would like to see some products from the SB&D brands be consolidated into only one brand so we don't have the same thing offered by 5 different brands. Also all pro level brands would be compatible and all pro level battery powered tools would be powered by DeWALT then all diy brands would be compatible and powered by B&D batteries.

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Maybe you guys are remembering a different Craftsman than I am. I felt CM tools were always geared towards homeowners/DIY market with the slight exception being some of their mechanics Craftsman Pro stuff. 

 

I guess part of the reason I'm impressed is that my expectations were way lower? I was expecting this to be like B&D level stuff, but it looks more like just below DeWalt in a PC inspired casing looking at the stats.

 

The real question is still on the hand tools and the warranty on them. I'm hearing it's still a lifetime warranty, but now proof of purchase will be required.

 

On 8/17/2018 at 6:21 PM, Jronman said:

I was kinda disappointed to be honest. Did Craftsman have new products for what they are known for (ope, tool storage, mechanics tools) yes but they also had a bunch of other stuff we have seen with other SB&D brands. For example, why do we need a bunch of new cordless drills and nailers when we have already seen multiple iterations from other SB&D brands. On top of that there was a 20v battery and a 60v battery introduced and once again neither are compatible with any other SB&D brand. I would like to see some products from the SB&D brands be consolidated into only one brand so we don't have the same thing offered by 5 different brands. Also all pro level brands would be compatible and all pro level battery powered tools would be powered by DeWALT then all diy brands would be compatible and powered by B&D batteries.

 

I think there's a market to do the 3 pronged approach: Good, Better, Best. In this case I would think you do B&D as your entry level, Craftsman as your mid tier DIYer level (for those who want better than B&D, but not willing to pay pro prices) and your pro level aka DeWalt. I agree SBD can definitely do with streamlining their power tool offerings, but I think if they phase out PC this is how they can go about doing it.

 

I imagine it will take awhile for them to ramp up everything to "Made in USA with Global Materials" with opening new factories and all that, so I expect some of the lineups to grow over the next few years specifically the mechanics tools, OPE stuff etc.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
I gotta say, I was impressed with their showing. They're definitely committed to the "Made in USA" label, even if that is with the caveat of "from global materials" like their DeWalt line. Was discussing it at Toolguyd.com as well and my gut feeling is this means some major changes for Porter Cable. I feel it makes most sense to go for a 3-pronged approach:
Entry level - Black & Decker
Homeowner/DIY - Craftsman
Pro - DeWalt
 
PC has a history, but I feel like they're also the weaker of the 4 brands. Plus a lot of the new Craftsman stuff looks like they used the PC aesthetics as a base with slight tweaks and colour changes.
 
I'm interested to see more in their hand tools though than the power tools. Hoping they can strike the right balance of quality/price to do well in the market.
 
What do you folks think?
Made in USA is largely a promise at this point. The plants that will make the tools from "foreign and domestic parts are not here yet so SB&D Craftsman is mostly still an import.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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  • 4 weeks later...
On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 12:43 PM, Rory said:

Maybe you guys are remembering a different Craftsman than I am. I felt CM tools were always geared towards homeowners/DIY market with the slight exception being some of their mechanics Craftsman Pro stuff. 

 

I guess part of the reason I'm impressed is that my expectations were way lower? I was expecting this to be like B&D level stuff, but it looks more like just below DeWalt in a PC inspired casing looking at the stats.

 

The real question is still on the hand tools and the warranty on them. I'm hearing it's still a lifetime warranty, but now proof of purchase will be required.

 

 

I think there's a market to do the 3 pronged approach: Good, Better, Best. In this case I would think you do B&D as your entry level, Craftsman as your mid tier DIYer level (for those who want better than B&D, but not willing to pay pro prices) and your pro level aka DeWalt. I agree SBD can definitely do with streamlining their power tool offerings, but I think if they phase out PC this is how they can go about doing it.

 

I imagine it will take awhile for them to ramp up everything to "Made in USA with Global Materials" with opening new factories and all that, so I expect some of the lineups to grow over the next few years specifically the mechanics tools, OPE stuff etc.

 

 

As a broke young soon-to-be father when I got my first job turning wrenches some 21 years ago, I viewed Craftsman as "good enough" for professional work but tailored for the DIY sort.  My older brother had been a mechanic for a number of years and swore by Snap-On and other truck brands.  My father was a life-long trucker who had his share of Craftsman hand tools.  I took his approach to retail priced tools while slowly amassing some truck brands that had been either repossessed or traded in to the dealers.  In the dying years of Sears' omnipresence, I was in a Hometown Store around the holidays.  An older gentleman (I'd guess to be around 70) was chatting with a clerk about all the holiday sales and how "you can't beat [the quality and value of]Craftsman tools".

 

More recently, and pertaining to attitudes about modern cordless tools, a former coworker and I were talking tools.  He's exceptionally intelligent and, seeing how much I talked about new tools he kept asking me if I were a "Dewalt Guy".  When I started talking more about my Ridgid and Milwaukee tools, he admitted to knowing little about tools and that, when in need of a drill, he has a lone Porter Cable drill.  It was cheap, he knew little more than that Black & Decker markets to entry-level buyers, and he decided to go with a brand that carries a bit more weight.

 

Subjectively speaking from my own opinions and those conversations, I think that Craftsman or Porter Cable could fill the same niche, but that continuing both will only confuse uninformed buyers.  Given the decades of brand familiarity that even the younger consumer has with Craftsman, I feel that Porter Cable would gradually slide into obscurity.  After all, Craftsman is what my grandfather owned, and what today's generation (I have adult children) recognizes as what "Dad" uses.  I've said it before, but a close friend even bought into the 19.2v line because of the "Die Hard" batteries.  My generation watched Sears' dominance rapidly fade, but we still remember when Sears was the place to go for tools, batteries, and appliances, leaving a lasting imprint which I feel would motivate us to pay homage to our forebears, so to speak.  Unless our parents were die hard (no pun intended) woodworkers or such, however, Porter Cable was rarely seen...at least in households I grew up around. 

 

In short, I agree with the three-tier approach.  If they insist on keeping all the brands, then so be it, but they should specialize certain brands and offer compatible batteries.  Every brand might offer the basics (drills, drivers, and maybe saws), but leave more specialized tools to certain brands while selling only one brand from each tier in most stores.  For example, they could keep the Wal-Mart Bostitch and Black and Decker but have interchangeable batteries between the two.  Craftsman could specialize in automotive tools and saws while Porter Cable could offer routers and sanders.  In a sense they already do this, as Dewalt and Mac use the same batteries; even so, Mac offered more options for automotive tools until recent years while never releasing things that a typical mechanic doesn't use professionally.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw a post about the new Versa Stack. It is Craftsman's Tstak clone. I noticed that the latches have been updated. They have a similar update to what Tough System is getting. The pins are now metal instead of plastic. I think this improvement is a step in the right direction.

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  • 5 months later...

Crap. Lots of China crap..fit and finish is horrible,Kobalt is better. I understand lots of Dewalt tools are made in China, but...Craftsmen was all about American made,American jobs. Pumping out a bunch of China crap is BS and will Not bring back loyal Craftsman users.

....I hope SBD expedites making Craftsmen here or I hope the V20 line fails miserably.

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