Craftsman: Back In The USA?


For decades Sear’s Craftsman was a staple in the garages and shops of America. Found in the hands of DIY guys and professionals alike, Craftsman became the standard by which all other brands were gauged. In the eyes of many, anything better was a professional tool and anything less was inferior.

For nearly 90 years Craftsman’s combination of American made quality and legendary warranty ensured it’s perpetual popularity, but a couple of years ago that began to change. In an attempt to return the struggling retailer to profitability, Sears began conducting Craftsman focus groups and in doing so, concluded that the American consumer was more concerned with lifetime warranty than American manufacturing. By the end of 2013 nearly all the Craftsman mechanic tool line was being sourced from China.

I’m not here to debate economics and world trade theories, but I was completely disgusted by the move. At that point, Craftsman became irrelevant    to me. Instead of being an affordable American made option, they were (at least in my mind) just another Chinese tool. It looks like there may be some light at the end of the tunnel though.

Return Of Craftsman Industrial?

Sears has had an Industrial line off and on for years. Sometimes called Industrial, sometimes called Professional, it offered upgraded tools compared to the standard Craftsman offering. While I wasn’t there, they apparently had a booth a SEMA and this flyer floating around online makes it pretty clear it’s in the works:

Craftsman flyer copy

There’s little info available beyond “Coming In 2016”, but it is a compelling idea. There’s no doubt Craftsman is aiming more for the industrial market than the consumer market, but the return of the Industrial line would be a great option for the Craftsman faithful not satisfied with Chinese tools and willing to pay extra for American quality.

Past incarnations of the industrial line weren’t always widely available in retail stores, but maybe this time will be different…….maybe.

Stay tuned to TIA for more info and be sure to check out the full release on the Craftsman website





  1. That’s exciting to see, I have mixed us and Chinese ratchets and sockets, i grew up seeing crafstman everywhere and now they struggle just to stand.

  2. Nice article I am glad to see at least some Craftsman tools are going to be made over here.I always thought Craftsman was a good quality tool back when they was made in the USA for the money but now If I am going to buy a Chinese made tool I am going to go with the cheaper brand than Craftsman like Tekton with what I believe has the same quality and just as good warranty as Craftsman.TIA crew..

  3. Interesting. After alienating many potential and former Craftsman tool buyers, they’re bringing back the very items that everyone went to Sears for. Unfortunately, it may be too little, too late. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, dated Dec. 3, 2015, “Sears’s Retooling Can’t Fix All”, it appears that Sears Holding Corp., the company’s owner, has been playing games with the stock price. They’ve sold assets to bolster their cash position and undertaken other ruses to keep the company afloat. It may now be just a matter of time for what once was the world’s largest merchandiser.

  4. I still have a bunch of old school Craftsman tools I bought when I was younger,they are still good tools to this day.

    There is so much to choose from that is good for a decent price I dont think id go back to Sears.

  5. Great news to hear I hope they bring back the craftsman name fully back to the states I would definitely add some more craftsman to my tool line! Great article Travis! T.I.A#1!!!!!

  6. All my Mechanics tools are USA made craftsman/craftsman professional, I love there wrenches and screwdrivers. I too was sad to hear Craftsman was now made in china, I bought a kit a few years ago and was highly disappointed as the quality changed, the ratchet was different along with the sockets.

    I hope they do bring back all there tools to the USA, I was loyal to them because of this, now I buy what ever is cheaper and fits my needs, that lately has been Pittsburg tools from harbor freight.

  7. I have been buying Craftsman tools for nearly fifty years, and have always said, they were the best value. I own a few of the China made ones, and honestly, I can’t call them “junk” but there’s something about seeing that good ol’ U.S.A. stamping, or if it’s not stamped, at least knowing it’s American made, does me a lot of good. If Craftsman ever does wear the American name again, may we all trade them in when they really need to be traded in, and pledge not to abuse that wonderful Craftsman warranty.


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