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Lowes, new home of Craftsman
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Posted 12/7/2018 08:18 (#7154954 - in reply to #7154352)
Subject: RE: Lowes, new home of Craftsman

Madison Co. Virginia
I was in Lowes two days ago, and noticed the huge Craftsman section going in. I talked to the tool manager, and asked him the warranty question. He said yes, they will still swap out a broken tool for an equivalent in-stock one. If a broken tool comes in that they don't have a stock replacement for, there is a protocol in place to let you mail the tool in and receive a new one by mail; no shipping cost. I did not ask, and he did not mention, anything about requiring a receipt. Sears has not required that, and I think this manager had ample opportunity to mention a change of policy if it existed.

Honestly to me, this feels like a win. Lowes is 15 minutes away, whereas Sears was 30 minutes into the "big city"(Charlottesville). From appearances, this Lowes will be carrying a larger total tool selection than Sears did, and coupled with the Kobalt tools, I think choices should be good enough for me.

About quality, Craftsman may have dropped off some, but for most of the tools I use, I can function quite fine with a cheap tool. Particularly if they offer to replace it without hassle. I would classify Craftsman on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but probably more consistent than random walmart, harbor freight, and dollar store tools.

There are some tools I would like to find some better ones. Screwdrivers and open-end wrenches seem to be two categories that would actually be worth buying fancier tools. Vice-grips too, are easily plagued by poor quality. Not everything needs to be snap-on quality. An example of a tool that's completely fine being cheap, is a 2" three-quarter drive socket. At that kind of size, precision is not as important, there's plenty of room for extra beef in the socket so high quality metal is not as critical, and it's possible to weld them back together if they break.
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