93gsxturbo New Reader
1/3/09 9:58 p.m.

So I was putting a DSM back together today (surprise surprise) and I had a rather dissapointing experience with two of my Craftsman 1/2" drive sockets. Both sockets lost considerable amounts of the chrome plating during use. The use was not what I would consider extreme.

These were both the newer laser etched sockets (which I hate). I have very few of the laser etched sockets. Are these all junk or did I just get a few bad ones.

Im gonna go back and bitch a lil bit and exchange them.

I was a die hard Craftsman guy for quite a while now, but I might have to go to Snap-On if crap like this keeps happening.

joey48442 Dork
1/3/09 10:07 p.m.

Ive run into that a few times myself. I don't think they will replace them, though. They usually say that the finish is not warranted.


93gsxturbo New Reader
1/3/09 10:17 p.m.

i warrantied one out today with flaking chrome and the replacement flaked worse!

If I gotta I can break them but they can save me the trouble and exchange them out. Flaking chrome is a real issue when doing internal engine work or hydraulics work and I can not use these sockets as they are. I technically should get some black oxide finish tools for internal work, but non-flaking chrome doesnt do me wrong.

jrtech New Reader
1/3/09 10:45 p.m.

Yep I noticed the same after I bought their "Next Generation" ratchets. All three in the set flaked soon after purchase. Their durability and quality of use rivals the big tool trucks. I'm pleased as punch with them. Only thing I boogered up was the pawl switch on the 1/4" when I was removing Taurus front sway bar links. But I've stripped GearWrench 8mm Ratchetywrenches doing that too. So yes it was abused, but it hasn't spit the spark of death yet.

But yeah all my newer stuff has flaky plating.

HappyAndy Reader
1/3/09 11:15 p.m.

in my experience craftsman tool quality has been dropping for a long time. I used to have a set of craftsman sockets from the seventies, which sadly were stolen, but the quality of those rivaled snap-on. since the mid ninties the strength and plating have been weak and getting weaker. I have actuly purcased better sockets at HF! (pittsburgh professional series, the ratchets suck, but the sockets were actuly respectable).

Varkwso Reader
1/4/09 9:18 a.m.

I have had quite a few of the later sockets flake on me - they have replaced them all. I am on number 4 on the Craftsmen aluminum floor jack.

joey48442 Dork
1/4/09 10:28 a.m.

Really? I didnt think they would replace over the chrome. I have some returning to do!


93gsxturbo New Reader
1/4/09 10:30 a.m.

All ya gotta do is ask, bro.

aussiesmg HalfDork
1/4/09 12:36 p.m.

Can you say "Stanley" available everywhere Wally World is, lifetime warranty and ridiculously inexpensive

DrBoost Reader
1/4/09 12:38 p.m.

That's why I have avoided Craftsman tools for the most part. For the guy (or girs) that doesn't need to make a living with the tools I suppose they are ok, but after a whole day of wrenching my hands can tell the difference. And I have never had any of the "big truck" brand sockets flake on me.

ww Dork
1/4/09 4:36 p.m.

Agreed. I have a set of Craftsman hand tools that I inherited from my father in law who was a professional mechanic back in the 60's and 70's. They are absolutely awesome compared to the current Chinese manufactured junk.

I do have a set of HF sockets that are nearly indestructible and seem to have great reliability even though they're also made in China. Their socket wrenches are junk, but the sockets themselves are seriously over built. The only drawbacks seem to be that they have very thick walls that will make it difficult to get them into tight places and their "precision" is not so great.

The difference between a Snap-On, Matco, MAC or even Cornwell from the "modern" Craftsman tool is night and day.

foxtrapper SuperDork
1/4/09 6:53 p.m.

Though I've had a lot more snap-on flake chrome than any other tool maker. And their chrome seems especially sharp, slicing your fingers and palm quite nicely.

bmw327 New Reader
1/4/09 7:16 p.m.

I like S-K's. Nicely made and not Snap-On expensive.

CoryB Reader
1/5/09 7:42 a.m.

I've split a few of my old 70's era Craftsman sockets and they've been replaced with the new laser etched ones. So far I've had no chrome flaking problems with them.

My wrenches are a mix of Craftsman and Snap-On. The Craftsman wrenches still look like the day I got them. The Snap-On wrenches all have peeling chrome. The Snap-On wrenches feel a lot nicer though.

The biggest thing for me is that, since I'm not in the industry any more, it's a pain to get the Snap-On stuff warranted. With Craftsman I can walk into a Sears store anywhere and get something replaced.

I've recently been looking longingly at the Husky stuff at HD. Anybody got experience with that?

foxtrapper SuperDork
1/5/09 8:56 a.m.
CoryB wrote: I've recently been looking longingly at the Husky stuff at HD. Anybody got experience with that?

Yep. Wouldn't recommend them simply because of the clerks at HD. You will get a rant of grief for broken tools with them insisting you've abused them and such. Figure it's going to take you a good half hour to get a broken one replaced.

Quality is well down from what Husky used to be decades ago. I've actually broken a breaker bar by hand, no cheater pipe involved. The handles on the breaker bars and ratchets are shorter and thinner than they used to be.

DWNSHFT New Reader
1/5/09 9:24 a.m.

Kobalt brand at Lowe's. Supposed to be equal to or better than Craftsman quality, with the same lifetime warranty for replacement at any Lowe's. I've only bought a few Kobalts but I've had no complaints at all so far.


jwdmotorsports Reader
1/5/09 9:38 a.m.

As far as getting tools replaced I noticed that just because one Sears will replace a tool doesn't mean the one up the road will replace the same tool.

pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/5/09 10:01 a.m.

+1 for Lowes over Home Depot...for anything. Better quality, better service. I have a few Kobalt tools and they seem to hold up well.

I have replaced one of my older, cracked Craftsman sockets with a new laser-etched one and it has not flaked yet. That would really bother me!

Just got a complete set of HF wratcheting wenches for Christmas. They certainly look the part in tough, black-anodized finish and feel quality to the touch. We'll see how they hold up under light duty use.

jwc38 New Reader
1/5/09 10:09 a.m.

Some friends have flaking craftsmen tools and I always wondered what they were doing differently, mine have never flaked. Guess I just got lucky.

93gsxturbo New Reader
1/5/09 12:17 p.m.

I have never gotten any static for exchaning tools, just read the gaurantee. It says "Any Reason" and flaking chrome is a definite reason.

Exchanged another one yesterday.

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/5/09 3:20 p.m.

I sliced my self really bad on the chrome that was flaking off one of my 1/2" drive extensions. It just come off in one big spiral sheet. I was so pissed off at sears I took all my 1/2 drive stuff (while I was still bleeding) and went back to sears with it. I demanded black oxide stuff as a replacement on the spot.

The were very helpful as I dripped blood on there counter in front of other customers. I got all new black oxide stuff and where they could not replace it I got cash. A manager helped me out personally. They were O so nice. I then got stitches (yes it was that bad) It will slice you like a razorblade if you are not careful!

Stanley or the Ace hardware brand seem to be rather good. I also really like the Husky professional line of tools. It feels exactly like Snap-on.

Blindfolded I am not sure I could tell the difference.

jde Reader
1/5/09 8:57 p.m.
DWNSHFT wrote: Kobalt brand at Lowe's. Supposed to be equal to or better than Craftsman quality, with the same lifetime warranty for replacement at any Lowe's. I've only bought a few Kobalts but I've had no complaints at all so far.

A Snap-On division originally made their product, but my Google-Fu shows that apparently hasn't been the case the past few years. Not as up on tools as when dad was a Mac dealer.

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