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Alright, I have read bits and pieces of postings about Craftsman shop tools. However, Have not really seen any pros and cons about them.:huh:

I see lots of Craftsman shop tools for sale like on CL and Fleabay. So my question is, what do you guys think about the quality of Craftsman these days.

I know their older equipment was good but I see lots of cheapness in them today.:thumbdown:
 

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Wood Snob
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There is lots of cheapness and dumbing down with all tool companies. It's a sign of the times. By that I mean, too many shop at box stores and Harbor Freight. Craftsman has always been on the affordable side and they seem to know how to make them desirable. They seem to go in waves. A few years they were okay to buy and use and then they went to stamped metal and pot metal plastic parts. Their made for a nitch in the market and serve it well.

I do woodworking in furniture and sometimes cabinets. I'm not a carpenter or remodeler so light weight portable tools don't appeal to me. Craftsman makes an affordable tool. Not the best or the worst. I would say if your wanting something that works well for a long time with years of frequent use. Buy something else. If its a hobby go for it.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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That's a great question. I just received an email from Craftsman about some incredible sales they have on router tables and table saws. The low prices really caught me off-guard. I was wondering the same thing. I don't own any woodworking tools from them, just a couple wrenches and screwdrivers. I'd be interested to hear both sides of this debate.
 

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where's my table saw?
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my newest Craftsman is a 2007 Hybrid TS

http://www.finewoodworking.com/tool-guide/product-finder/craftsman-22124-hybrid-tablesaw.aspx

I think from what I have seen in the stores lately, the quality is not as good. There are some granite top saws, stamped steel extensions, cast aluminum tops and so forth. If I were in the market for shop tools I would first search the Grizzly site and compere prices and features with any others. I have several Grizzly tools and I am very happy with quality and performance:

http://www.grizzly.com/featured/woodworking-machines
 

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Old School
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Alright, I have read bits and pieces of postings about Craftsman shop tools. However, Have not really seen any pros and cons about them.:huh:

I see lots of Craftsman shop tools for sale like on CL and Fleabay. So my question is, what do you guys think about the quality of Craftsman these days.

I know their older equipment was good but I see lots of cheapness in them today.:thumbdown:


What tools are you referring to? Hand tools, portable power tools, or stationary tools?






.
 

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No Longer Here, BY CHOICE
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Alright, I have read bits and pieces of postings about Craftsman shop tools. However, Have not really seen any pros and cons about them.:huh:

I see lots of Craftsman shop tools for sale like on CL and Fleabay. So my question is, what do you guys think about the quality of Craftsman these days.

I know their older equipment was good but I see lots of cheapness in them today.:thumbdown:
Depends on what your looking at. They have a couple of table saws that are really good. All of thier portable table saws are junk IMO.

I have a bench top drill press and a belt/disk sander that are just as good as anything available.

I have a CMS that is decent. I wouldnt compare it to a Bosch or a Hitachi but its a chop saw so I dont expect alot out of it other than "chopping" my stock to rough size. It does that well.

I have a router and router table that are both complete junk and believe it or not I just bought a brand new router last week and decided to get another Craftsman. The difference is this time, I purchased one of thier high end models that gets good reviews everywhere and is highly regarded on this site vs. the cheap model I got the last time.

I also have 2 old Emerson made table saws and an Emerson made jointer. The saws are currently under rehab because one of them spent its life being misused. The other is as perfect as it was in 1981.

I dunno when my jointer was made, probably sometime in the 70's. Yeah, Id prefer a long bed jointer but this one works exactly as it should and I really have no complaints.

I grew up working in Grandpas woodshop. My Grandpa was an incredible craftsman and he refused to buy anything but Craftsman tools. Stationary, portable, hand, it didnt matter. If it didnt come from Sears, he didnt want it. They sold quality back then. Now you just have to be a little more selective.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Contrary to what some would have you believe, there are some very good craftsman woodworking tools available still. The top two table saws, 22116 and 21833 are excellent saws in their class....now they don't compare to 1500 or 2000 dollar saws, but in their price range they're among the top in their class. They have one good portable saw...although the number eludes me right now.

There routers are excellent...especially the craftsman pro at 150 bucks for a 2.5 hp fixed/plunge combo.

There chisels are really good....USA made and they hold an edge well.

I'd skip the sanders....I'd skip the drills with the exception of their 12v Nextec line. I'd look elsewhere for a planer, although the 3 knife model isn't terrible, just not a great deal.

Their dust collector is decent....

Their higher end circular saws are decent....

They have a 6 inch jointer that's ok...but nothing special.

The drill presses are fine....but not a particularly great value

Their miter saws are no better or worse than store brand saws (ridgid or kobalt). I'd put them a step below hitachi, Bosch, Makita or dewalt.
 

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You've got to address each tool specifically in order to get valid feedback....there's no accurate way to generalize an entire line of tools. They've got some competitive tools and some lemons.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I am looking to buy a band saw and a table saw. I have a Delta table top saw and it is junk. As far as a band saw, a 12 to 14 inch should take care of me.

While remodeling my home several years ago, I had Craftsman table saw and band saw. They were built like a tank. Very heavy. Now I am sacred to buy Craftsman. Jet is too expensive, Grizzly is pricey but looks decent. Harbor Freight? Was only in their store one time and not wasting my money.

So does Craftsman have different levels of tools? (hobbyist, intermediate, professional) Our local Sears closed so want to know before driving all the way to visit nearest store.
 

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Trying too do a brand to brand (in general) of any tool is pointless. That is like trying to ask people whether or not they prefer and ice cream Sunday or a Milkshake. Be wary of the person who wants to make one general comment about any specific tool (or automobile, or household appliance, ect) brand.

When asking for comparisons of a a tool(s) you have to be specific.

The large tools in my inventory are all Craftaman. Why? Two reasons. The first is that when I was ready to purchase those tools the only merchant town that carried large woodworking tools was Sears/ The second was that I had always had a good experience with Craftsman.

Availability is a major factor in my shopping. I will not shop for something that is going to cost me hundreds of dollars without first being able to have a hands on encounter.

George
 

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If your looking at band saws and table saws craftsman has great choices in those. The 14 inch band saw they have is built by rikon and is very well rated...and a few hundred cheaper than rikon. The table saws, provided you look at the 21833 or 22116 are both excellent choices for the money. Well built and packed with good features.
 

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I enjoy my Craftsman 10" sliding CMS...been using it almost daily for the past 6 months and no problems at all.

Same with my 1/2" corded hammer drill...believe I bought it for around $60...and has helped me redo 2 bathrooms and countless other projects. Craftsman wet/dry vac has also been a workhorse for me.

I have a router/router table that was fairly cheap but for the little I use it, it seems to get the job done.

I prefer to shop at Sears over a big box store...seems they have alot more to offer as far as tools go. I will usually purchase the 3 year agreement plan on most of them as well.
 

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The 22116 is a hybrid saw made by Steel City. It has cabinet mounted trunnions that are easy to reach and align, a nice fence, and a granite top that won't rust, is very flat, and heavy, but is obviously a bit more brittle....it typically sells in the $950 to $1000 range. The Grizzly G0715P is also a good choice in that class and price range.

The 22183 is their modern style contractor saw. Steel wings, aluminum fence, cast iron table. It's very similar to the Ridgid R4512....both of which have some history of an alignment issue with some of them, but not all. That'd be something to check for before leaving the store.

They also have an updated version of the Ryobi BT-3100 in the 21829....it's smaller and not for everyone, but it does have a large following.....you can learn more at BT3Central.com.

The Rikon made 14" BS has a good reputation....many folks complain about the guide bearings, but that's an easy and cheap replacement. I'd also look into some of the Grizzly 14" models.

The old full size Craftsman contractor saws can be worthwhile if you find one used on the cheap. Theold Emerson fences were terrible, but can be upgraded...some of the newer TTI/Ryobi made Cman saws already have an updated fence.
 

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Alright, I have read bits and pieces of postings about Craftsman shop tools. However, Have not really seen any pros and cons about them.

So my question is, what do you guys think about the quality of Craftsman these days.
Craftsman tools are made by other companies for Sears - Sears does not manufacture them. As a result, some are good, others not so much.

For example, the Craftsman RASs from the mid to late 1980's were made by Emerson aand were essentially impossible to align. The table saws from the same period were better.

The 21829 is a great table saw with features you usually don't find in that price range. It's made by One World Technologies (who also makes Ryobi).

The Nextec tools are surprisingly good, as well as inexpensive. I have several brands of oscillating multitools, but the Nextec is the one I consistently take to the job site.

I'm not sure one could legitimately make a broad statement about Craftsman being "good" or "bad" - I think you have to evaluate each tool on its merits.
 

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22116 craftsman QUOTE: The rip fence can be set within 1/64 in. of perpendicular to the table

**********************************************
What in the world are they talking about. I want mine perfectly perpendicular.
 

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SandburRanch said:
22116 craftsman QUOTE: The rip fence can be set within 1/64 in. of perpendicular to the table ********************************************** What in the world are they talking about. I want mine perfectly perpendicular.
I have that saw....and my fence is set to .0005 or less....that's the accuracy of my dial indicator.

I think what you have there is someone writing specs that said....wow....1/64 is a tiny amount.....let's use that....
 

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In my experience, it's been hit and miss, and more importantly, a learning experience. I have the 21833 table saw and it's been great. I also have a number of their hand power tools. As far as belt sanders and palm sanders, only buy the professional or industrial line, all others are crap. I had a belt sander from them and it kept acting up, so I took it apart and saw a flat spot on the rotor. I now use a 4x24 craftsman belt sander from the 60s. I have their router combo and it's been great as well. My table saw was made by Dayton/Steel City, who also make the Rigid 4512 and other table saws.
 

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You have to be careful making decisions based on what you see on display as well. I was at my local Sears last week and while I was waiting for the guy to go in the back and get my router I was checking out the 21833 they had on display. Apparently there isnt anyone at my Sears that knows how to assemble a saw. If I didnt know any better and was shopping for a saw, based on the way that one on display worked, Id call it junk.
 

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Wood Snob
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Just walked thru the Sears store. Neat Idea of them to plant other better tools with higher prices next to the Crapsman tools. Plays right into the selling features. They are less money, what a deal.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 
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