Craftsman is one of the most famous lines of tools that had initially started under the banner of Sears. This tools’ line undertakes a wide array of products, including hand and power tools, lawn equipment, toolboxes, and numerous other types of tools that come in handy.
Though Craftsman tools were sold under the house brand of Sears, the tools were never manufactured by the company. Only the company’s ownership hired various contractors to make these tools. As one might expect, the Craftsman brand must have been started by a passionate and hardworking handyman – a perfectionist wanting to nail every screw correctly.
However, this is not how this brand was born. Yes, there was a visionary who envisioned manufacturing an extensive range of tools that fulfilled every consumer’s need, and his name was Arthur Barrows.
History of the Craftsman Brand
When Sears ventured into marketing and selling various types of tools, it hired Arthur Barrows in 1927 as the head of the hardware department. It was Barrows’ idea to come up with a brand name that would set Sears apart from other brands in the tools industry.
The name “Craftsman” was already in use by Marion-Craftsman Tool Company. The name clicked with Arthur, and he was ready to pay anything to the company to obtain the brand name’s rights. Few of the initial tools produced by Sears under the name Craftsman included the saws.
Since the beginning of the brand, all the manufactured tools had to go through a strict quality check before the Craftsman seal was marked. The standards of Craftsman tools are unmatched in quality and reliability, even in this time and era.
The Craftsman tools initially focused on designing and manufacturing tools for the farmers. It is why the tools produced at that time were made of cast iron and not hardened. The initial batches of the Craftsman tools would lose shape quickly as they were made with a low-budget costing so that the farmers could easily afford them.
In 1929, Craftsman marketed their first-ever electric drill, which was quite powerful. It was widely used in construction and was one of the most efficiently handled drills. Soon after the brand’s launch, Arthur Barrows was replaced by Tim Dunlap. It was a time when America was coming at par with the leading automobile giants and manufacturing powerful vehicles.
It was an opportunity cleverly picked by Dunlap as he saw a niche for manufacturing automotive and mechanic tools. The quality of Craftsman tools increased sharply as the tools now had chrome plating added to them. It was an instant hit with the mechanics as chrome-coated tools are easier to wipe clean.
The Craftsman produced its first thinner and more powerful wrench that beat all the previous ones. Its 50% less weight increased its ease of use while never compromising its strength. After doing a thriving business for more than ten years, Craftsman opted for an effective branding strategy based on the price reduction and launched a range of low-priced but high-quality lawnmowers.
It was also a time when this brand gained immense popularity and awareness when Colleen Moore, a silent movie star, built a fairy castle by using the Craftsman tools. The project took approximately seven years to complete and was budgeted over $500,000.
In 1938, the power tools by Craftsman were used in building one of the biggest bricks building, called the Rocky Mountain. It was built as the office of the US Forestry Services. The construction of this building was one of the peak moments in the history of the Craftsman brand as it was then declared the official tools company for the US Forestry Department.
After introducing and selling power tools for several years, Craftsman expanded its horizon and ventured into lawn and garden equipment. It introduced the state-of-the-art rotary power mower in 1948 and the first-ever riding lawn mower in 1953.
Life-Time Guarantee of the Sears Tools
One of the trademark characteristics of the Sears Craftsman brand is its lifetime warranty. Each tool comes with a lifetime guarantee that owners can claim at any point in their lives. It is marketed that if you are, in any way, unsatisfied by the Craftsman tools, then you can easily return it to any Sears or Craftsman outlet in the country. You can either claim repair or a replacement.
Sears Craftsman Tools
Like any other tools company, Craftsman also relied on a pricing strategy based on three tiers of quality of their products – namely, “good, better, and best.” Craftsman was the middle level, while Craftsman Professional or Industrial was the highest one. The lower or third-tier was mainly sold under the name Sears or Dunlop for a short time.
The Craftsman tools are very reliable and incredibly useful. They are also the official tools used by NASCAR. These tools are sold in numerous brand outlets, K-Marts, Orchard Supply Companies, and several US military, army, and Air Force Exchange Service Stores.
Following the late 1980s, a new tool line named Companion was introduced. This line of tools also got discontinued in 2008 and was relaunched as Evolv, focusing on homeowners and DIYers. In 2017, Stanley Black & Decker bought the Craftsman brand up-front for $525 million and $250 million in 2020. The Craftsman brand logo also underwent a massive change in 1997 and became the brand’s new identity. The company had no issues in making its customer familiar with the new logo as it was easily understood and accepted.
Powerful Craftsman Tools
Following is the list of some power tools by the Craftsman brand:
It is one of the top 5 nail guns in the industry right now. The appreciated part about this product is that you do not need to drag the cords or compressors down with you to the site as it is fully cordless. The nail firing is consistent throughout the use, and it is designed for optimal balance and ease of use.
It is the most holistic mechanic tool kit ever as it comes with 102 useful pieces, including a slip joint, long nose pliers, and the groove joint. The hammer in this toolset is made of fiberglass, which enhances performance without putting pressure or strain on the user.
All the tools in this set are polished with a durable finish, making them corrosion-free. The whole kit is assembled in the assigned slots for better storage.
With this screwdriver set in your tools arsenal, you can overcome any commercial or domestic project. The screwdrivers are made of alloy-based blades that are quite durable and strong. The user’s comfort is a priority at Craftsman, which is why you can efficiently work in low torque conditions with this toolset.
Additionally, the set comes with a lifetime warranty.
Being powered by an efficient lithium V20 battery, this powerful cordless drill has everything you need to keep going. The drill is powered by a powerful motor that allows you to control the speed as per your requirement. It is most suited for heavy-duty construction and repair works.
This cordless circular saw is one of Craftsman’s finest and most convenient power tools. It is sourced by a solid and reliable motor running at about 4,200 RPMs for the most aggressive cutting. However, you have to buy the charger and battery separately because it doesn’t come in the package.
Even with the name and company changes, the Craftsman tools remain one of the industry’s most reliable and valuable tools. The name has become synonymous with reliability and strength. Undoubtedly, people who still own the original Craftsman tools from the past keep them as a treasured piece in their workshop.