When it comes to tools, few brands are more synonymous with quality than the Craftsman brand. For nearly a century, Craftsman tools have been indispensable to tradespeople and DIYers alike.
Wondering if Craftsman is a good brand? Read my full review to find out!
Craftsman has been manufacturing high-quality hand tools, power tools, lawn and garden equipment, storage solutions, automotive tools, pneumatic tools, and related accessories for nearly 100 years. All of their products are made in America and it’s a quality brand that I highly recommend. While they aren’t quite the same quality as Milwaukee or DeWalt products – they’re great for homeowners and DIY fanatics.
Why I Like Craftsman Tools
I like Craftsman tools because their tools are not only long-lasting and easy to use, but affordable as well. You can often find these tools priced lower than brands like DeWalt but at a similar quality.
Plus, their tools come with some pretty solid warranties, and since they’re sold at so many stores near me, it’s easy to purchase something I don’t have when I need it.
I also like that they manufacture their tools 100% in the United States. They’re employing thousands of American tradespeople, and in some of the country’s most impoverished places.
History of Craftsman Tools
Craftsman’s story begins in the late 1920s, right before the United States entered the turbulent period known as the Great Depression. At the time, they were manufacturing hand tools and electric drills. By the 1930s, they were making lawnmowers and wrenches too, and their products were starting to get a reputation for being durable yet affordable.
In the next decade, Craftsman tools would help the United States fight WWII. Specifically, repairmen across all four branches of the military were trained with Craftsman tools, as they were reliable, easy to use, and easy to get a hold of.
In the 1950s, salesman Ed Faulk would travel across the U.S. selling Craftsman tools out of his “mobile store”—his car. Also in the 1950s, Craftsman tools would be used to construct the famous Levittown settlement in Levittown, PA.
By the 1960s, Craftsman had already become a household name, so the company focused on marketing to commercial clients, specifically those in the automotive industry. Then, in 1977, Craftsman would celebrate its 50th anniversary. In the 1990s, Craftsman would become the official tool supplier of NASCAR, and by 2012 the brand was 85 years old.
At present, Craftsman is one of many brands under the Stanley Black & Decker label, and 2022 marked 95 years since Craftsman’s inception back in 1927. Today, Craftsman’s reputation for quality is still unblemished, and they’re able to compete with other leading tool manufacturers, like DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, and Dremel.
Wondering about other brands? Check out my Metabo review to see if Metabo is a good brand!
Types of Products Craftsman Makes
When Craftsman first started out, they mainly manufactured hand tools. These days, in addition to making high-quality hand tools, they’re also a leader in power tool manufacturing. They also manufacture pneumatic tools, landscaping equipment, automotive tools, storage solutions, and numerous accessories that boost the effectiveness of their tools.
The Craftsman brand manufactures numerous hand tools, and these are built to last, easy to use, and affordable. They manufacture:
- Finishing tools
- Hand saws
- Hex keys
- Demolition tools
- Measuring tools
- Layout tools
A lot of their hand tools are sold in multi-piece sets, but you can purchase most of them individually as well. For example, this 450-piece mechanic’s kit comes with ratchets, drives, wrenches, screwdriver bits, and hex keys.
While Craftsman manufactures a wide range of tools, these days the brand is best known for their line of power tools, especially those which are commonly used in woodworking.
Whether you’re a veteran woodworker or someone who’s just getting the hang of woodworking, it’s likely you’ve come across Craftsman sanders, jointers, planers, and saws, and other cordless power tools before.
Their saw collection, for example, includes oscillating saws, table saws, jigsaws, scroll saws, reciprocating saws, circular saws, miter sauce, chop saws, and tile saws.
In addition to their wide variety of saws, you can also find heat guns, impact wrenches, impact drivers, oscillating multitools, nailers, drills, and grinders that are made by Craftsman.
Most of the Craftsman power tools being manufactured today are battery-operated, though some are corded. Their stand-up saws and sanders, for example, are corded since they’re larger and require more power.
As far as batteries are concerned, most of their current models utilize the V20* 4.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery pack, which lasts three times longer than the 20V MAX* lithium battery their tools were running on prior. In addition to holding a charge for longer, these batteries are also stronger than the batteries Craftsman power tools relied on in the past.
Pneumatic Tools (Air Tools)
Pneumatic tools, otherwise known as air tools, are tools which are powered by pressurized air. Craftsman makes a variety of pneumatic tools, including:
- Air hammers
- Air grinders
- Air impact wrenches
- Air ratchets
- Cut-off tools
Craftsman also manufactures a range of air compressors and related accessories, and these can be used to power their pneumatic tools as well as those made by other manufacturers.
It’s true that Craftsman tools are often used to create fabulous interiors, but did you know their line of landscaping equipment is also sought-after? Specifically, they manufacture:
- Lawn edgers
- Hedge trimmers
- Lawn mowers
- Log splitters
- Leaf blowers
- Snow blowers
- Pressure washers
- String trimmers
And for those who have an outdoor space for entertaining—whether it be a veranda, deck, or patio—Craftsman makes generators, portable heaters, outdoor lighting, and bug zappers.
Woodworkers and landscapers aren’t the only tradespeople who swear by Craftsman tools. Many mechanics also swear by Craftsman’s range of automotive tools, which in part explains why Craftsman was once the official tool supplier of NASCAR. Specifically, Craftsman manufactures:
- Lift equipment
- Oil filter tools
- Wheel chocks
In addition to these automotive tools, Craftsman also manufactures the hand tools that mechanics use every day, many of which are included in the “Hand Tools” subsection above. Generally speaking, Craftsman hand tools are durable and easy-to-use, two qualities that are extremely important to mechanics.
Craftsman doesn’t just make high-quality tools—they also make storage solutions to house these tools. Specifically, you can get sheds, shelving, storage bins, tool boxes, tool chests, tool cabinets, and workbenches from Craftsman.
Additionally, they manufacture garage equipment, such as fans, garage door openers, and garage flooring. In short, whether you prefer stackable storage solutions or those that are portable, it’s likely Craftsman has something that can safely and conveniently hold your tools and other important belongings.
To make their power tools and hand tools more effective and versatile, Craftsman also manufactures a wide variety of accessories for each tool class. Specifically, there are:
- Cutting and grinding accessories for grinders
- Sanding accessories for sanders
- Drilling accessories for drills
- Sawing accessories for saws
- Fastening accessories
They also manufacture battery chargers, battery carrying cases, and other battery-related accessories.
You can purchase these accessories individually or purchase them as part of a kit. If you purchase a Craftsman kit, you’ll not only get the main tool (or tools) but also the accessories that are commonly used with that tool. Plus, purchasing a kit is almost always cheaper than purchasing all these items individually.
Where You Can Buy Craftsman Products
You can get Craftsman products at big box hardware stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Sears.
Used and older models can be purchased at second hand stores, either in person or online.
You can purchase Craftsman products through Amazon as well, but since both licensed dealers and second hand sellers use this marketplace, you may purchase something you don’t want if you’re not careful when shopping here.
Craftsman tools are also sold at Ace Hardware, Walmart, and AutoZone. If you’re not sure which kind of Craftsman tools you need for a job, you should visit the nearest licensed Craftsman dealer, as it’s likely a sales associate there will be able to help you find what you’re looking for.
Check out my Craftsman vs DeWalt comparison to find out which tool brand is best for your needs!
Where Are Craftsman Products Made?
Craftsman manufactures their tools in the United States with globally sourced materials. Recently, they opened a plant in Fort Mills, South Carolina, and at this facility select V20* Power Tools are manufactured. They also have facilities in the following states:
Craftsman isn’t the only tool manufacturer that can boast the “Made in America” label, but regardless this quality is one of the reasons why so many American tradespeople swear by this brand. On the Craftsman website, it says one of the company’s goals is: “Bringing job opportunities and pride in craftsmanship back to America.”
Craftsman Warranty Info
Craftsman boasts that their warranties are the most comprehensive on the market.
If your Craftsman warranty entitles you to free repair or replacement, all you have to do is bring the product to the nearest dealer and they’ll either send the product off to get repaired or hook you up with a replacement.
There are a range of warranties available, and the terms of a warranty are largely dictated by the type of tool it’s covering. For example, most of their hand tools come with a lifetime warranty, in part because the cost of replacing these tools isn’t major to the company. Their power tools, on the other hand, come with more limited warranties, since these become more susceptible to issues after so many years have gone by.
Their pneumatic tools, on the other hand, come with a three-year warranty. To know all about which warranties apply to which tools, visit Craftsman’s warranty page.
Craftsman Tools Pros and Cons
It’s been said numerous times already, but it can’t be overstated just how good Craftsman’s tool quality is.
These tools are built to last, and they incorporate highest-quality materials as well as cutting-edge tech. Moreover, they’re designed to be efficient and easy to use.
Craftsman tools are often regarded as being both durable and long-lasting, two critical qualities when you’re talking about power tools. After all, if you have to pay a high price for a power tool, it better last a long time.
Craftsman has an expansive line of tools which is another quality that makes this brand attractive.
They manufacture tools for tradespeople across industries, and in every industry their tools are regarded as first-rate. In short, if it’s got the Craftsman label, there’s a very good chance it’s a dependable tool no matter what type it is.
Moreover, since they have such a wide selection, you can adopt a “Craftsman only” policy and never find yourself in a situation where you’re without a necessary tool.
One benefit associated with adopting this policy is you’ll be able to swap out batteries easily, as you won’t have to deal with compatibility issues. Also, you’ll get to know Craftsman warranties inside and out.
Craftsman tools aren’t the most expensive tools on the market, but they’re not the cheapest either.
That said, when you consider their quality, it makes sense that they come with a higher price tag attached. Therefore, if you’re not going to use your tools frequently, consider going with a cheaper brand.
If you’re wondering “is Craftsman tools good?” the answer is a pretty simple “yes”.
I would put them as a medium tier tool brand that offers great prices with decent tools for any job.