Our Experience with the Sears Craftsman Lifetime Guarantee

March 20, 2009 | by Fred (email) |

Last week I dug up six bushes that lined the front gardens of our house.  Unfortunately, the bushes came down with crown gall, an incurable disease that attacks some types of plants (see Green Gardenista’s article on identifying crown gall for more information).

I grabbed my Craftsman fiberglass shovel from its hanger in the garage and started digging around the roots of the first bush.  In an attempt to gain extra leverage, I wedged the shovel between the bush and our concrete porch and pushed down sharply, only to have the fiberglass handle buckle, and subsequently break in two.  I was forced to finish the job, carefully, with an old wooden-handled spade shovel.

A few days later I scooped up the remains of my Craftsman shovel, loaded them into the back of the Corolla, and headed down the road to the local Sears.  My shovel bore the signature Craftsman Forever Full Warranty sticker, a promise that this shovel will be replaced, no questions asked, at any Sears nationwide.

The Forever Full Warranty Put to the Test

Severed shovel in hand, I walked into Sears and found the nearest sales associate.  He saw my pitiful shovel, yelled “broken shovel, Leon” across the room, and told me to go grab a new one off the rack in the back.  I walked back and found that my version of the shovel had been discontinued and replaced with a newer red-handled model that looked a bit sturdier.  I walked back to the front of the store and stepped up to the register.  Leon greeted me.  “Just one second and we’ll have you squared away.”  I noticed he rang up my new shovel for $0.01, and credited me $0.01 for my broken shovel.  As we finished up the checkout, Leon handed me the receipt with a coupon attached – free shoes.  I don’t need them, but a nice gesture nonetheless.  Here’s the new shovel:

I was in and out of this Sears in under 5 minutes.  The Craftsman warranty rocks, and here’s why:

Why Sears’ Craftsman Manual Tools Warranty Rocks

Sears Craftsman hand tools warranty is everything a warranty should be:

  • The warranty covers manual (non-power) tools for the life of the tool (not just the life of the original owner).
  • Fully transferable. If you sell the tool, the warranty goes with it.
  • No receipt/proof of purchase required.  You only have to bring back the pieces.
  • No hassle / no questions asked. It doesn’t matter if you broke the tool doing something with it you shouldn’t have been doing.  If you have the pieces, you can get a new tool.
  • On-the-spot trade in. You don’t have to “send it to the factory.”  You can walk into any Sears, find the tool, and make the trade instantly.
  • Free upgrades to newer models. If the broken tool is discontinued, you get the latest model of that tool instead at no additional cost.

What do you think? Have you had a good (or bad) experience with Sears’ Craftsman Warranty?  Tell it here.

94 Responses
  1. Ryan says:

    I have had several positive experiences with Sears…

    I once stripped out the gears in a ratchet wrench. Walked into Sears, showed how the ratchet wouldn’t hold and they gave me the gear replacement kit. Got it home, took about 5 minutes to swap out the damaged gear and it was good as new.

    Another time, I brought in an old Craftsman power drill. My Dad passed it down to me after using if for maybe 15 years. The only trouble was that the manual chuck was worn out. After my experience with the ratchet I walked into Sears and inquired about a replacement chuck. The sales man was very friendly and even offered to change the chuck from me. I agreed because I had previously studied the drill’s construction and knew the chuck was riveted to the motor shaft. I thought there was a trick or something to getting the chuck off.

    The salesman was convinced that it was screwed to the shaft even after I explained that if you look down the chuck you would see the rivet. Well, the salesman finally resorted to jamming a screwdriver into the motor to stop it spinning and started to swiftly bang on the chuck with a mallet. I knew the motors shaft was going to break but stayed silent since maybe he was right and the screw was below the rivet. He claimed to have changed several of these before.

    Next thing, the chuck and shaft are broken clean from the drill. You could plainly see now how the chuck was riveted to the shaft. Now it was junk. The salesman offered me any drill as a replacement for 80% off. Got a great new drill for $20.

  2. Carol says:

    Wow! What great customer service. I will make sure to remember that if any of our Sears Craftsmen tools break.

  3. Paul says:

    I have used the craftsman lifetime warranty one two occasions… once I broke a 9/16 box wrench using a “leverage extender,” the other time it was a pair of pruning shears. Both times no questions were asked and it was a quick and simple exchange.

    That’s why if you look in my tool box you will see all craftsman hand tools.

  4. Fred says:

    Ryan & Paul, thanks for the stories/confirmations. There are a few folks out on the blogosphere who have had a hard time, but I think it was due to undertrained staff in their particular store. Paul, I’m slowly making the move to all Craftsman tools for the same reason. You just can’t beat the lifetime guarantee.

  5. Andy says:

    Sears changed their warranty on tape measures. The warranty is more restrictive. If you break the measure part it is NOT covered anymore. If you have an old yellow one you can exchange it still but now they will give you a red one that doesn’t carry the full warranty.

    • Clay says:

      This happenned to me with more than one tape measure. I got them to give me a free Stanley MaxSteel each time. because stanley will still stand behind their tape measures…even though most people don’t know it. There is no point in exchanging a guaranteed tape measure for one that is not guaranteed. So when my last craftsman tape fails..I am going to have another Stanley Max Steel. When I need a max-steel replaced. Sometimes the home depot (or Lowes) clerk doesn’t know it’s guarateed lifetime. But I just tell them to get the store manager,…and then tell the store manager to call stanley. So far………… good.

  6. TB says:

    Works great, except for precision tools.

    Had a nice torque wrench from Sears. If you know about their plastic handled ones, they have a little “ring” that locks it at the setting you want.

    Well mine broke. Took it back to them and its not covered outside their 90 day warranty, and a fix would have been a new one.

    The wrench still works ok, just a PITA to use.

    $20 torque wrench from Harbor Freight, all is good now 🙂

    • GERALD ZUCKIER says:

      Same exact experience. (Except buying the Harbor Freight). Ironically, wrench still meets specs without ever being recalibrated, just PITA as you say.

  7. John says:

    I worked at the sales counter in the tool department in my local Sears several years ago. When I worked there it was any “hand tool” screw drivers, pliers ratchets etc. It does not cover “power tools” or torque wrenches. Everything that does not have the forever warranty is label to have a 90 day warranty.
    If your looking into buying Craftsman tools I don’t know if they still do it but you can sign up for the Craftsman Club and they would send you a sale paper just for the members and I think you could get a discount off anything but I cont remember. But it was only 1 week a month.

  8. PJ says:

    Friend of mine had an old (1950s I think) Craftsman ratchet and socket set. One day he stripped out one of the sockets. took it to Sears, they gave him a new socket, no problem; they even remarked that “well, we don’t make that style of socket anymore” (it had a kind of decorative knurled ring around it) so he should just “keep the old one; it would be a shame to break up the set”.

    Very cool.

  9. Sandy says:

    Even though I am not fond of Sears, their tools are top quality. I have taken back ratchets when they have become stripped and had them replaced… no questions asked!

  10. George P Swartz says:

    My son was using my 40 year old Craftsman 3/8 ratchet handle when the bearings fell out of it. He returned to our local Sears and the gave hi a reconditioned, beat up, scared handle that is in worse condition than the broken handle. This is not the first incident I have had with Sears on there tool Guarantee. Last year I was given infer red thermometer for Christmas, it lasted one day, I was given a replacement, and that lasted two days. I went back to the store and requested my money back. The price of the thermometer had changed so they gave only the new price back to me SHORT $2.75. I no longer buy tools at Sears. Sears does not stand behind ther product.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I only buy craftsman hand tools. Period. If they are hand tools, I will only buy craftsman with lifetime warranty. I have never had any trouble with craftsman hand tools. There have been times that I have used the wrong tool for the job, because I was too cheap to buy a longer (more torque) version. When it breaks, they replace it. Sometimes I have replaced the same tool 2 or 3 times in the same day. I have even broken a plastic socket holder stick, and they have replaced it. You have to remember though it is *only* hand tools without any electrical components.

  12. Art Bernal says:

    My experience with Craftsman tools has been great.

    I don’t like to write a lot so I am just going to say this.

    Why in the world would you buy any hand tool that is not Craftsman?

    I don’t even know why there are still other tool companies out there they should be broke.

    For example Stanley, yeah it’s a good brand but if you want to claim your warranty you have to have your receipt.

    And if you have a big tool box who has the time/space to save every single receipt for every single tool in your tool box.

    With Craftsman tools you don’t need that.

    I am proud to say that every Hand tool I own its Craftsman.

    • MAILE says:

      I am sold! Thanks, I going to go and buy 3 tools and all will be CRAFTSMAN!

    • James says:

      Regarding Art Bernal’s comment, “Why … would you buy any hand tool that is not Craftsman?”, well, others also offer the same warranty. I. E. Snap-On, Matco, Klein to name a few.
      I have several sets of Craftsman + Snap-On wrenches and socket sets from 1/4″ drive up to 1″ drive in Metric, SAE and even Whitworth, plus assorted other stuff (China made and other USA made tools). All are good tools for the purpose intended. Obviously some are better than others and you get what you pay for – usually!

  13. Jeff Wood says:

    My past experiences with Craftsman were similar to what I am reading here, but buyer beware … things are changing!!! I took a screwdriver in with a chewed up handle (it spent many long years in my toolbox, but I think the dog got ahold of it).
    When I tried to exchange it, the manager of the store (Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs) told me it wasn’t covered. I used to spend extra on Craftsman just for the no-hassle guarantee. As a small business owner, I don’t have time for this, so it’s goodbye Craftsman, hello Snap-On! I won’t be seen in Sears again!

    • Clay says:

      I’ve had a few problems with them. But mostly not. The big problem lies in the younger guys not recognizing a crafstman tool and then saying they won’t replace it because it’s not a craftsman. I get that once or twice a year. Around 10 or 20 years ago, they started using lazer etching on many hand tools like pliars, etc., Which, in many years…some young clerk is going to say it’s not a craftsman. Which is very irritating.

      • Grant Sanders says:

        Years ago I was working on a copier. I was taking out the halogen lamp assembly and some smarta$$ saw it unplugged and plugged it back in. There were 4 screws to take out, using a 0 Phillips, and on the third one, by the lamp contact it sparked brightly and welded my screwdriver to the screw.
        Well i got all that fixed, and took it back to the store.
        The salesman saw the melted and broken tip (I’d snapped the welded screw off it) and said loudly WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THAT, in a friendly laughing voice..
        I said I thought it was no questions asked, he said oh just curious, and handed me a new one.
        I then told him the story and we had a good laugh..

  14. Charles Manning says:

    I have taken my broken Craftsman tree trimmer to the nearest SEARS store four times with no saisfaction. (36 miles round trip) The first three times they were out of stock and told me to check back, they could not notify me if and when they were in stock. The fourth time, I asked for a credit on a gift card to use to order it on their website. She could not give me full credit without a receipt and offered to make an adjustment when I picked up the new trimmer. I accepted her offer. When I returned home, I tried to order it from their website. It would not let me order it for in store pickup because they didn’t have it in stock at ANY of the stores in this area. I e-mailed my complaint to SEARS. Here is their reply. “Dear Charles Manning, Thank you for your recent correspondence. We are always interested in hearing from our customers, and regret it was this type of situation that prompted you to contact us. We apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced and understand your frustration with your trimmer. Unfortunately, you do need a receipt in order to exchange a Craftsman tool. Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience you may have encountered with your trimmer. We appreciate your business and value you as a SearsHoldings customer. We certainly hope you will continue to make Sears Holdings your choice for quality and value. Sincerely, Joanne J. “

  15. Jon Eulett says:

    Always had pretty good luck with the craftsman brand, true some of stuff Sears sells is junk, but their mechanics tools have always stood up to heavy use/abuse on the farm. Half of all the craftsman tools in my chest are over 20 years old, I’ve only had to return a couple of ratchets and a breaker bar under the life-time warranty, and each time the clerk would just hand me a new tool and wish me a good day. But the most compelling reason to buy craftsman is the fact that the majority of it’s hand tools are still made in the USA, that’s a big deal to me.

  16. robert says:

    Hell ya sears rocks….

  17. Lyn says:

    I had a fire in my garage. Most all tools are craftsman. Could anyone tell me if the guarantee covers fire damage?

    • Clay says:

      It should cover ANYTHING. There was a TV commercial in the early 90s, It was so funny. It was trying to make the fact PERFECTLY clear that the reason you want a rreplacement does not matter. So the commercial had a guy bring a tool back in and say that a UFO got ahold of it…etc., And they replaced it. I would imagine very few of these young idiots that work there are even old enough to have seen that commercial. But it did make the point..and I’ve always remembered that.

  18. Fred says:

    Lyn, non-power tools would be covered. Power tools are not (but both should be by your homeowner’s insurance).

  19. Brack says:

    Sears in Jackson Ky would not replace a alan wrench ,a screwdriver bit,and a Scribe ,the only thing they would replace is my ratchet. He said they didnt have numbers to send them back by,I bought all these tools in a set he said if you cant buy them alone and seperate they are not covered.. This is my bad experiance every time i go they do kinda give me a hard time like it is coming out of his pocket..LOL

  20. Ron Weidemann says:

    I have one of my dads Craftsman tools that was broken. I took it to two different Sears stores near me. I explain what the tool was and they had no idea what it was and they had nothing like it. I had Googled the items patent number. That did not help them. I said so can you give me a simular tool, they said they had nothing like it. I asked them what to do next they said to send a photo to Sears. They said they could do nothing for me. It is not a power tool. So I am nowhere. I still have a broken Craftsman tool, no replacement, no one can help me and no free shoes like one of the forums contributors.

  21. Alex says:

    just had a 3/8″ ratchet exchanged, no questions asked! Another happy sears customer

    • calvin cox says:

      Hello, Just yesterday I took a 3/8 ratchet back to my sears store. The c-clip that
      holds the working parts in had come out and I was unable to get it back. It
      would not stay in the grove made for it. In the past I had another 3/8 rachet that
      had broken, replaced no questions ask. This time sears said they would gave me a repair kit and I could repair it. That not what the warranty said.It said that
      the tool would be repaired or replaced. I talked to the owner and said that he would replace it, but next time he get his repair man to fix it. Satisfied I left.
      If you compare a 3/8 rachet to a rachet made 25 years age you will find that,
      like everything , sears rachets are not the tool they once were. The owner said
      it is to expensive to replace the complete tool. That being the case , maybe they
      should the warranty on thier tools.

  22. Zeigh says:

    New Sears return policy violates personal privacy and is a security risk…

    I just tried to return a hand tool under the lifetime warranty that has prompted me to solely purchase Sears Craftsman products for years. Before I left with a new tool, I had to surrender my name, address, phone number, and drivers license number. This is a new policy that just went into effect as of 2010.

    What is the big deal you ask? In 2001 Sears sent me a letter stating that their customer database had been breached and that all of my personal information and credit card numbers had been stolen. Two years later, I had lost a total of $13000 with multiple identity fraud incidents. All the proof that Sears should require for their lifetime hand tool warranty is the old broken tool.

    It saddens me to realize that my business relationship with Sears has now ended. This latest issue was the last straw and I have been enduring failing customer service and over-automated contact for years. There is no loyalty in business for the average American consumer any longer. Buyer beware.

  23. Jesse Pittman says:

    I hear a lot of people complaining about trivial stuff, Like They wouldn’t take back my hex key, or my screw driver i let my dog chew on , or my single drill bit … You guys need to understand they are a business, If you cant prove that your unmarked hex key is a craftsman , why should they take your word for it? or a single drill bit that probably has no markings on it at all. And if you noticed on the package when buying there is probably no mention of the forever warranty… Not all things are covered, Such as things without labels or other small pieces… If you let your dog chew on your screwdriver , it probably sat out side for a while and picked up some rust, Besides the fact if you dont care enough about your tools to let your dog chew on them , why should they swap it out?

    I keep my tools very clean and oiled , I have had 1 craftsman rachet fail in 15 years, Ive never had a socket strip or a wrench bend or anything like that, Although i own the correct tools for the job , if i know the tools going to snap if i try to do something, Such as people complaining of a screwdriver bending or breaking when they use it as a pry bar, get a freakin pry bar man, what do you expect? even if it does happen to snap from your own disregard, if you have kept it free from rust and didnt use it as a chisel with a hammer and have a super banged up tool., they will STILL replace it.

    Also when they give you a “refubished tool” such as a rachet , that is in worse cosmetic condition than yours , you can decline their offer and ask if they have a better refurbished tool, and if not ask them if you can have a brand new one. When i did that, they said sure no problem….

    Craftsman tools are the absolute best quality for the money, I think its hilarious when people complain about their power tool warranty(or lack there of) … Find a power tool with a forever, no questions asked warranty and ill start buying those instead of craftsman…. untill then ill just go ahead and realize the powers tools i buy will break regardless of brand , craftsman power tools i have had last as long as the dewalt and Milwaukee , cool thing is when a craftsman battery goes out , you can buy a new one for $30 .. If your dewalt or milwaukee goes out, get ready to shell out $75+… And they both last equally well from my experience.

    Buy craftsman tools once, and you will never have to spend money on another hand tool of that sort ever again so long as you dont loose it, Leave it out in the rain , and keep it from thieves. People are silly to spend 3 or 4 times as much for mac or black hawk , they all come off the same assembly line as Stanley… or pay 5 or 6 times more for snap-on, which you need to deal with dousche bag snap-on guys , and pay middle men all the money on the pyramid scheme of the tool world…

    • Clay says:

      You are incorrect. I’ve never read any part of their warranty that said you had to prove it was a craftsman tool. But……………I do remember in the last 20 years or so…they are very sneekily not stamping their name on a lot of things very well. Brooms, etc., were the first things they did this with. I remember the first one that happenned to me,..I had kept the packaging because I didn’t trust a craftsman broom that didn’t say craftsman on it. When the handle broke, they refused to replace it. I warned them that I would be back with the original packaging and make sure I waited until they had a LOOOOONG line of customers at the counter to raise hell. I did,..and boy…did they want to replace that broom quickly. I noticed that it seemed like the tools that they started importing from foreign countries..were the ones that didn’t have craftsman stamped in them.

  24. Charles Fields says:

    I went to Sears today with a broken Framing Hammer. They didn’t Offer to replace it. They said we don’t make that hammer anymore. We will give you $20 twards the purchase of a new $40 hammer. I asked for the Manager. This little 20 something girl said it was Craftsmans policy. If they don’ make that tool they don’t offer the upgraded replacement. Just $20. I won’t be buying anything from Sears for a long time!!!

    • Clay says:

      I do have one of their framing hammers. It appears that it was made by vaughan, and was the craftsman version of the california framer. if that handle brakes,….they will be giving me a new handle or else.

  25. aj says:

    hey, i have never had anyissues, i had a flat blade screwdriver that was my dads when i was a kid , passed on ot me , it was dirty , had all kinds of holes drilled thru the hanle, the end broke off and was grinded back to a flat blade many times, and when i finally brought it to sears it was simply ” go grab one” and 2 minutes later i was walking out with a brand new flat blade!! no issues with all the abuse it had on it , lol

  26. aj says:

    adding on , my screwdriver was also dog chewed and rusted a bit !!! hoo ra for a good sales associate!!!

  27. not so fast says:

    Brought back a broken Craftsman Torc Wrench today. Sales rep refused to replace it. Said they thought it could be repaired and told my wife there would be a charge to repair it. My wife, trying to get me what I needed puchased a new Torc Wrench off the shelf. I am a bit disappointed in the handling of this. Could be a mis-understanding on my part… but I bet there are several other readers who misunderstood the same thing.

    • Jeremy Birdwell says:

      Torque Wrenches are precision tools. They have never been covered under the lifetime warranty of hand tools.

  28. Nancy Smith says:

    Bought a 3/8″ ratchet, used it 5 times and the left-right selector broke, went to Sears and got a new one. Brought it home and it broke again. Went back two more times and it broke. It’s broke again and I’m getting tired of returning it! It cracks and breaks off after moving it back and forth a few times. I had one for 30 years and never had this problem. The new tools Sears sells are junk!

  29. Zeke says:

    I have never had a problem returning an item at Sears. I’ve even returned an old rusted socket that I found in my yard right after we moved here.Our water pressure at home is very high and had blown out any number of hoses. We purchased the Sears rubber hoses and they replace them each time they blow out, which isn’t often. They even replace them when I run them over with the Bobcat. They take my word for what size it is. Also, we purchased a number of 50 foot hoses with a bonus 10 feet. When they burst, they don’t have them anymore, so they give us a 75 foot.

    Has anyone heard that the guarantee is going to stop? I had heard that someone else purchased them and they would no longer honor the guarantee.

  30. rds says:

    Took my approsimate 25 year old Craftsman water hose back today to get a replacement. The clerk argued with me that since it had brass fittings on it, it was not fully guaranteed. Had to argu and ask for mangera assistance before they finally replaced it

  31. leo curcio says:

    I have a craftman 1/4 inch ratchet that broke. the button that reverses the ratchet fell off and the cog from the inside fell out . Is the ratchet replaceable under the sears guarantee at no cost .

    Leo Curcio

  32. steven pope says:

    i have had numerous craftsman hand tools throughout the last fifteen years of being a mechanic. i was always pleased that even i f i broke a tools on the job, it was free to replace. i would typically amass a box of sockets and or ratchets and go to sears for one fell swoop of replacements. however in a recent event i was told by a manager (who even went out of the way to register me for the craftsman club which has gotten me absolutely nothing but junk email) that my tools lifetime warranty had been replaced with “LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY” and that THERE IS NO GRANDFATHER CLAUSE. I was very distraught as he recorded my license into his computer telling me that if these particular parts had broken again, he would not be able to replace them. since that experience, i have not gone back to that store and i do still buy craftsman. i would however really like to know if there is any truth to that managers statements, and why he took my license number. as a student, i have traveled across the state buying every craftsman ratchet i could find at tag sales and what not to aide me in building my necessary tool library. i would feel very cheated to have the return policy suddenly change without including purchases made prior to the change. please contact me asap as we have been discussing this in class daily with no true resolve (i am a gateway community college asep student in new haven CT. 06511)

    • Clay says:

      At some point there will be a class action suit,..because when you bought your tool,…you were actdually buying the warranty. They cannot unilaterally change that. At some point a law firm is going to latch onto this one and do a class action…because it will be worth millions of dollars. Then sears will be wishing they weren’t trying to change their original terms.

  33. Neil says:

    I had a Craftsman 3/8″ breaker bar damaged beyond use 6 or 7 years ago, returned it to the local Sears Store and had it replaced in just a few minutes. End of story.

    However, I recently attempted to replace several pieces together. A punch that is almost as old as I am, originally purchased by me dad and a thumb-bit driver I purchased 4 or 5 years ago. Associates at the store could not find the proper replacement for the former and the latter seems only to be sold now in a multi-pack. Store personnel told me to contact Sears online. I have done so now on no less than 4 occasions and to date I keep getting emails back telling me to go to the local store… even though I’ve repeatedly told them the local store was unable to help me.

    The cost of these items is probably a total of $5 or $10, so the money isn’t much of an issue. The poor customer service, however, has completely soured my own 35 year relationship with Sears and Craftsman Tools. If my current reply yields no assistance it will be my last purchase from Sears.

  34. JAQUEBAUER says:

    I stopped buying Craftsman tools many years ago after a tool department manager refused to exchange a Craftsman ball peen hammer that had a split wood handle where the wood enters the hammer head. The manager refused an exchange, or a replacement handle, that I would use to repair the hammer. No, no and hell no were his answers stating that I had to have “abused” the hammer for the wood to split.
    Prior to this event, we were a Sears family, buying appliances, Furniture, vacuum cleaners, Carpets, and lots of tools. We probably spent over $50,000 at Sears up to that point. I trashed their credit card and never looked back. That was in 1975.

  35. JackbNimble says:

    As a tool consultant for Sears for the past 2+ years I was reading through these comments and figured I’d post from our perspective.

    A: There were a few issues in the past on whether or not rust/abuse/misuse were covered. Some stores were swapping them out, others weren’t. The stores that weren’t were flat out wrong. Straight from Steven Light (our Senior Vice President for the Tool Department), those three things ARE covered. The only thing not covered by our lifetime warranty is fire damage, which you should go through your insurance company for (once again, straight from Steven Light).

    B: Not all Craftsman hoses were/are lifetime warranted. Some have a lifetime, others have a 7 (I believe) year with receipt. That might be why you had the issues.

    C: When bringing in a ratchet, we have a few options. Rebuild yours if possible or swap it out with an already rebuilt ratchet. If you want a new one, request it and we will give you one. However, the stores DO get rated on how many new ratchets they give out and if it’s too many, then we get yelled at. So please don’t do this :-). When we rebuild a ratchet ALL the internals are swapped. The only thing re-used is the metal shell itself. Also, some people comment on how the ratchets don’t hold up like they used to. Part of the reason is because the current style has more teeth on it than the old styles. This means that you need less room to ratchet and get to the next tooth, but it wont withstand as much torque. Either way, if you use it the way you should (i.e. not as a breaker bar with a pipe on it), it shouldn’t strip.

    D: The warranty on torque wrenches has been the same for years. 1-year on the wrench itself, 90-days on the calibration. I don’t understand why you are upset with us for not swapping it out?

    E: The man talking about the allen wrench may have been one of my customers. I have had quite a few people try to bring in allen wrenches that were not Craftsman. All of ours have Craftsman engraved into them and are two specific lengths. We can tell immediately if it is one of ours or not.

    Hope this clears up some common misconceptions.

    • Clay says:

      There are (and I believe always have been) TWO different options with rrespect to ratchets. The fine tooth one and the regular one. I know,. I’m near 60,..and I own nearly both types of all of them. Are you telling me they discontinued the regular one and now only carry the fine tooth one????? It’s been a long time since I bought maybe things have changed..

  36. John says:

    This very interesting…. my son brought back a box of tool to Sears (he is 20 , and looks younger ), the store would not exchange these tools for him. when i went in with him they sang a different tune. The store manager told an employee that they were opening a loss prevention case on my son That blows. i am not very happy with Sears right now……..even though i just spent over $15,000 on new tools ( yes that amount is correct ). i gave my son all of my old tools. He just wanted a few replaced, now these jerks are giving him the run around…….

  37. VAN says:

    I have had great luck with returning worn out Craftsman tools.
    One story is I had a busted pair of Craftsman vice grip style pliers. My wife was heading up the the local Sears store and asked if I wanted to go. I said sure that I need to trade out this busted tool. She would not believe me that they would replace free of charge. After all I did not buy this tool as it was given to me. I walked right in and they replaced it from a set since they were out of the single set of pliers. Opened the package and handed me the tool.
    Second story was I was discing a garden that had not been disced in some time. As I was pulling the disc from the tractor I heard a load PING. Got off the tractor to see a large piece of rusted metal. It turned out to be a large wrench (the kind used on heavy equipment). I cleaned it up and you could barely make out “TSMAN” on the tool. I decided to try an exchange and they replaced it without question.
    I ONLY BUY CRAFTSMAN for this very reason. I hope they stick around. Sears was once a great store and hopefully they can make a strong comeback in the upcoming decade.

  38. larry dukes says:

    I have a craftsman 14.4V battery operated drill and skilsaw set. The batteries no longer charge the drill for more than a few minutes and the saw for under a minute. Is there a set of new batteries available? The charger light still operates (red and green) but the tools are virtually useless with having a sufficient charge (to the batteries.

    I am a lifetime Craftsman tool owner and so I wonder if any warranty can be enforced although I would happily purchase two batteries. Please respond with all possible haste. Thank you.

    respectfully, Larry Dukes

  39. Fred says:

    Larry, you should be able to take the tool to sears and ask, or search online with the model number and find compatible batteries.

  40. angela says:

    Well what about the craftsman snowthrower?? Never again will I purchase one. Bought one last year and 4 out of 5 storms I cant use it. Called sera and they want to charge me to send it out and be repaired. What a crock of crap the no worry no hassle return policy is. They Lie!!

  41. TOM FISH says:

    I have a Craftsman lawn mower. I have had nothing but trouble with it. Went for tune up recently, and was told that the motor mounts were cracked and it is not safe to repair and run. Does the craftsman guarantee only apply to non motorized hand tools, or is there also a pro-rated policy on yard machines?

  42. Fred says:

    Tom, this warranty does not apply to power yard machines. I believe they are usually warranted for 1-2 yeas for parts, but not for labor. You can buy service plans for them. Sorry to hear about your situation.

  43. Gary L. Cortez says:

    First let me start I have been a loyal customer ever sence I got married, because of my mother having all your apliances. Which I started to by, all and every appliance, Tires, tools, a three tier craftman tool box, and thank you for all your services. Now to my question I bought a good utility knife 35 to 40 years back at sears in Milwaukee on Forest home ave. which is gone now. Ive used it for alot of things. the blade itself now moves around so much hard to get a good cut. Now this is a hand held tool, I brough the knife which says craftman on the handle to a sears store in Minocqua wi. upnorth. a fella named Bill was kind of un decided and didn’t know what to do. So as of now Iam waiting to here from him? Now ok Sears do I get a replacement on this had held craftman utility knife or not. thank you…Gary L. Cortez

    • Ethan says:

      Hi Gary, Thanks for your comment, but this site isn’t run by Sears. We have no say in what will happen with your utility knife- sorry. I’d suggest getting in touch with Sears directly. Hope they take care of you!

  44. Jim says:

    Yes I have a Sears Craftsman Automotive timing Light which quit working .Is it covered buy the Craftsman Guarantee ?

  45. fred lutz says:

    I have a CRAFTMANS torque wrench! The darn thing has ben used three times the third time it was used it quit working. I took it back to the local SEARS store and ask the store manager to have replaced or repaired. She informed me that SEARS does not honor their lifetime warranty any more! It is for darn sure I will not ever buy anything with sears name on it again! This store is in Klamath Falls,Oregon. Located on South 6th street. My name is Fred Lutz and you can publish this message! Thank you.

  46. JustME says:

    Hubby and I love our Craftsman tools and so far have only to replace on thing, his tape measure, which like with your shovel it was pretty much a walk in grab the replacement and walk out. Well except I decided I needed my own Craftsman tape measure to replace the little Stanley my hubby recently broke of mine. Had that little (twelve foot mini neon green fit in my purse size tape measure) for well over a decade until hubby got ahold of it. Oh well, he made good on it for me. :^D

  47. ken says:

    I have 2 knifes 1 sear&1 craftsman with broken blades I took them back to sears and was offer 2 cheap utility knifes which I refused they cost 25.00 to 30.00 when they were new -don’t like the warranty would like the knifes replaced. please HELP.

    • Kim says:

      If they don’t make your specific knife anymore they are supposed to give you a similar product. If they don’t make a similar product they’re going to give you the next best thing. Your best bet for getting the replacement you want is to identify the specific knife you want them to give you as a replacement. You might also want to try a different Sears stores, as they all deal a little differently.

  48. bARRY says:

    Sears lifetime Craftsman tool warranty is not what it used to be. About six months ago I returned a 3/8″ ratchet that would not stay locked. They said they could only replace it with a rebuilt ratchet which was OK. However, all the rebuilt ratchets were imbedded with dirt and grease and were not in the excellent condition I keep my tools. They rebuilt my ratchet while I waited but kept me waiting a very long time. A few days ago I returned a pair of diagonal cutters with a broken jaw. Sears told me they could not replace it because they no longer sell it as a single item and they will not break up a set. I complained to Sears corporate as not honoring the lifetime tool warranty is unthinkable. Corporate told me Craftsmen, although owned by Sears Holding, is now considered a separate business and they must be contacted for all tool warranty claims. The gentleman I spoke to readily admitted they receive a lot of complaints about this major change of policy. Buyer Beware – It ain’t what it used to be.

  49. john dalton indiana pa. sears store says:

    recently went to use my tailpipeexpansiontool and one segment explodedinto pieces. took it to sears in indiana pa. they would not exchange it … what happened to the lifetime warrenty? I,Mhaving alot of problems with this store lately in the last couple of years i have spent severalthousand dollars in sears for hand tools but if this keeps up someone else will be gettin my hard earned money I just wonder what craftsman tools will do about this problem john dalton clymer pa.15728 PROBALY NOTHING!!!!!!!!!

  50. HANDYMAN51 says:

    Not a large Sears store in our area, but it sounds like getting handtools there, if not immediately neede, would be the way to go.

  51. Todd says:

    I was digging up my vegetable garden today, preparing for spring planting, when my Craftsman shovel broke right where the handle connects to the blade. I took it to my local Sears, walked in, and right away the salesman said “shovel exchange?” I said yes and he exchanged it immediately with a brand new one. I’m not even exagerrating, I was in the store for a total of 3 minutes max. I didn’t have a receipt. I didn’t even have to tell him my name. It was awesome.
    My experience couldn’t have been better and Sears/Craftsman will still be getting my business in the future.

  52. Marcus Blue says:

    Returned sockets after my father in law passed away. They were rusted and corroded. He had them for years. They replaced them no quesions asked. I have returned rakes, shovels, an axe, sockets, screwdrivers, wrenches and a toolbox. No questions asked. Because of that, I have purchased levels, power tools, drill bits, an impact wrench. Also 2 water softners and a washer dryer set. When you take care of the little things, the rewards can be profitable.

  53. Dale says:

    The Ace Hardware company will probably deny you a replacement Craftsman tool, unless you bought it there.
    As I found out in Winnemucca NV., you are better off buying another brand that is under warranty locally or drive 170 miles to Reno.
    Save yourself some hassle and avoid buying Craftsman tools unless you live pretty close to an actual Sears store.
    Craftsman tools are higher priced for a reason, in that they are probably not any better made now days, but they can cover the expense of honoring their legendary Lifetime Guaranty with a free replacementin it fails to give you complete satisfaction.
    It was sort of sneaky for Ace to get involved if they were going to fly the Craftsman flag and not honor the Craftsman warranty, but at least I can try to warn others of this stratagem of theirs.

    • Meredith says:

      As far as the Ace Hardware returning Craftsman Tools goes, we will honor it if it is purchased at an Ace Hardware Store. Sears and Ace Hardware carry different items so that we don’t compete against each other. We can’t exchange something from Sears, because we simply don’t carry it. Sorry!

  54. Pete Koch says:

    I bought a Craftsman pruner/lopper years ago. It had wooden handles, one of which separated from the metal cutting part. I took it into my local Sears Hardware store. No questions asked. Within 5 minutes, I walked out with a new tool with extendable, fiberglass handles (they don’t make them with wood handles any more). And the replacement tool is much more heavy duty than my original tool.

    No more Loew’s or Home Depot for me. If I can get a Craftsman, that’s what I’ll buy.

  55. Edster says:

    What sounds crazy to me is that people confuse “lifetime warranty” with the impression that it means a “lifetime supply”. Tools wear out. Tools get abused. Get over it. I was recently in Sears and some old farmer exchanged a worn-out (rusty) shovel for a brand new one. That’s not a warranty issue, in my opinion.

    I am a Craftsman tool fan and really can’t remember having a tool problem…even with my three torque wrenches.

    I’m dismayed that Craftsman is largely Made in China, but their lifetime warranties and the people that abuse them probably contributed heavily to their demise.

    • Clay says:

      Did sears change lifetime guarantee to lifetime warranty???? When did this happen.
      Probably around 1990…is my guess.

  56. Gail says:

    Will Craftsman warranty cover a broken pocket knife? We have brought broken tools into Sears for over 20 years now, but never a knife…

  57. debbie garrett says:

    we carried 4 screw drivers to a sears in Corsicana,texas to be replaced because they were worn and they gave us one of then then and said they would have to send the others. It has been several months and when I go by and ask about them they ask me if they had called me and I tell them no. How long does it take to get them back?

  58. HP says:

    Ocala, FL Sears also threatens “Loss Prevention” while trying to return lifetime warranty tools and said they need the receipts to return them after 15 years of returning the same exact broken tools. If this isn’t supposed to be happening maybe they can fire the managers and sales people who don’t know what they are doing… but it seems to be part of a new training program and policy which is to return as little tools as possible or maybe corporate greed has taken over. Either way, more reason for me to save more money and get a better lifetime warranty with pittsburg tools. Yes and the 90 day craftsman warranty for the torque wrench is rather annoying just read the fine print and ask before you buy any hand tool, not all are lifetime, nor are the soft tool bags, or the metal tool boxes.

  59. al stagg says:

    sears stinks and so does there tool guarantee I tried to adjust my brakes with one of there tools and tool broke

  60. I was just at Sears in Heath, Ohio. Refused to honor your tool replacement on screwdrivers. Because of Angie and Carla Store Managers you just lost a 22 year customer because a screwdriver had rust on it. Six months prior you replaced six tool replacement no problem. I would be ashamed of your company to allow your products in thier stores .i would be looking for a new Retailer to supply your tools.If sears had givens us gift card instead for screwdriver that would have been acceptable in stead sorry cant help you. Lost a 22 year customer

    • Chris Noak says:

      Same here. Walked in the 15 screwdrivers we had been collecting on the farm to take in, our tool stock is extensive. They would not trade ANY of them, NONE. They said they were all signs of neglect, surface rust or paint. Some screwdrivers were bent too. Too bad they said. They will not trade ANY of them. Been buying Craftsman for over 50 years-ENDING TODAY, 09-11-2018
      We went over to HomeDepot and bought several hundred dollars of their Husky Screwdrivers. HomeDepot has a no questions asked warrant!

  61. TOM STEWART says:

    Does it apply to the Craftman flashlights????

    • Clay says:

      Not anymore.
      I have owned craftsman flashlights for 30 or more years. I believe originally that they were covered except for the batteries and light bulbs. I got into a big arguement about 15 years ago with a store manager about that. I’ve never bought another craftsman flashlight ever again… And now that many of their hand tools are not american…I have second thoughts about buying those.

  62. Steve says:

    About a year and a half ago I purchased a new tire from my local Sears store tire department (Eureka, CA). The reason I bought that particular tire is because it was being advertised with a large display as being “very quiet.” One of the things I appreciated about my car was the extremely quiet ride. Since the tire was installed the car makes a loud obnoxious “tire noise” starting at around 35 mph and quieting at around 65 mph. Every passenger that rides in my car can’t help but notice the loud noise. My car is now annoying to drive (Thank you, Sears.). I have not contacted Sears about their false advertising, but I will never buy another tire (or anything else of any value) from them again.

  63. john carter says:

    I bought a sears craftsman timing light many years ago. I have used it many times setting timing on cars, trucks and motorcycles and have always stored it inside and in the original box. Recently I needed to check timing on a motorcycle that I have used the timing light on in the past. The light would not come on. Battery cables and wire that clips around #1 spark plug wire are still in original condition and I made sure battery cable wires and spark plug sensor wire were installed correctly. I have never abused or dropped timing light. Is it covered under the Lifetime craftsman tool warranty? Please advise. Thanks, John

  64. Joe says:

    Sears seemed to change their policy on hand tool replacement. Now it is not “replace” but “refurbish”. They used to say “On-the-spot trade in. You don’t have to “send it to the factory.” You can walk into any Sears, find the tool, and make the trade instantly.
    Free upgrades to newer models. If the broken tool is discontinued, you get the latest model of that tool instead at no additional cost.
    Now they argue with you saying that they will fix it. I have bought Craftsman tools nearly all my life. Every hand too I have & all my power tools tools are Craftsman. If I have to settle for a repair instead of a replacement, I guarantee you, that will me the last time I will buy Craftsman tools. It is no longer “repair OR replace”. It is repair we will NOT replace…….No wonder Sears is going down the tubes……

  65. Jeremy Birdwell says:

    An old ratchet body that has been refurbished is better than any of the new stuff on the shelf. If you like your old ratchet(which probably has a lot better fit and finish than the new stuff) then take it in and ask for a rebuild kit. Either they will do it or you can take it home and it’s a 3 minute operation to DIY. All you need is a snap-ring plier and a few drops of 3-in1 oil.

  66. y_p_w says:

    The ratchet rebuild kits have been around forever. When I bought mine I noticed the kits hanging from pegs. They were listed as costing 1 cent, but I believe if one brought on in for a warranty issue they would have been provided for free.

    Things might have changed though over the years. Sears no longer owns the brand, so how the new owner (Stanley) handles warranty claims may be different. It’s kind of odd because Sears still included a 10-year contract to still sell them and ostensibly still be the primary means of warranty replacements/repairs.

  67. Smelly Geezer says:

    You’ve been duped! Craftsman isn’t owned by Sears anymore and with that change has come changes in the warranties. On the broken shovel in the OP photos, there’s a method to their madness. The yellow handled shovel, when you bought it, it had the lifetime no hassle warranty. It breaks, you bring it in and they give you a new one, no questions asked. But, when they gave you an “upgrade” version of the same shovel, the NEW warranty applies. They charge you the penny so you BOUGHT IT and the new warranty applies. In order to receive the warranty on it, you have to provide proof of purchase, And they know the date those shovels first came out so, if you bring one in, they automatically know you need proof of purchase in order to get it replaced. They ACT like they are doing this wonderful thing for you but really, they’re screwing you with a smile on their faces.

  68. Tony says:

    2018 Crafstman Warranty update, issue now with Sears Stores closing is ACE and LOWES will not honor the no receipt lifetime guarantee on Craftsman hand tools. If you are fortunate to have a Sears store within 50 miles you will find they have stopped carrying many of the Craftsman tools and are replacing them with lower quality Craftsman as the only comparable tool available or “Limited Lifetime” Stanley tools, What has been a wonderful Waranty for over 100 years is now severely compromised.

  69. Tony says:

    2018 Craftsman Warranty update, issue now with Sears Stores closing is ACE and LOWES will not honor the no receipt lifetime guarantee on Craftsman hand tools. If you are fortunate to have a Sears store within 50 miles you will find they have stopped carrying many of the Craftsman tools and are replacing them with lower quality Craftsman as the only comparable tool available or “Limited Lifetime” Stanley tools, What has been a wonderful Waranty for over 100 years is now severely compromised.

  70. GERALD ZUCKIER says:

    That “Free upgrades to newer models” is the kicker. Should read “Free downgrades to newer models”.
    Bought 72 piece Craftsman tool kit in the 70s. Most of the pieces still fine, despite serious use. The few cracked sockets or whatever replaced without question, replacements equally great quality.
    Until a year or two ago. First sign of trouble: 1/2″ broke through the hole for the little springloaded ball. Still worked, but no longer held socket securely. Sears store replaced with new extension… made in China. You know how a lot of Chinese tools seem to be made out of Velveeta? I can’t imagine the Chinese military has to use steel of that quality. Anyway, extension twisted with 80 ft-lb torque wrench (Craftsman!) removing lug nut, first time, until it looked like a Twizzler. Took it back, got replacement, identical problem. Gave up. Big deal, new extension is cheap.
    Then, 10-12 year old wooden handle Craftsman digging fork broke. No longer available, Sears replaced with nice looking red fiberglass and chrome fork. Tines on new fork stamped “China”. Uhoh. Despite nice diamond shaped cross section to enhance rigidity, they bent under first attempt to move forkful of clay soil. Store has no remedy but to give me another of the same, no thanks.
    Post mortem shows that wooden insert inside ferrule that tines attach to only extends into hollow fiberglass handle a couple of inches, so if tines actually stood up, fiberglass would break right at end of wooden insert anyway.
    With good steel tines and wooden reinforcement inside handle a foot longer, this would have been nice fork and valid warranty replacement.
    Ironically, I’d have been happier if the original fork had just broken after a ten warranty, rather than annoying me with a retroactive bait and switch.
    On another note, I ended up buying an Ames wooden handle fork (tines stamped “Austria”) which was equivalent to the original Craftsman with a 15 year warranty, and when it broke Ames honored the warranty based on my emailing them a picture. Guess where I shop for tools now.

  71. Dale says:


    Replaced my rusted 6 inch Craftsman adjustable wrench at a Tyler, Tx area
    Ace store this week, under Craftsman’s
    lifetime warranty. No hassle, no receipt

  72. Larry Russell says:

    Took a broken vice grip into Sears ( Lansing MI.) today was told that they WERE NOT under any warranty, they didn’t have a replacement set in the store after things got heated this stupid woman called the store manager, this woman said they were under a warranty, and offered me a 17.00 dollar gift card, no way in hell will I take a 17.00 dollar payoff, I think their worth about 35.00 dollars, I kept them. this store is about to close for good so service really sucks

  73. Carl Finkle says:

    We should be Grand Fathered in and not have to produce a receipt. Just because they’ve changed the rules in mid stream. Plus put a 15 year warranty now on all shovels. If you try to contact Black and Decker they’ll just push you back over the the Sears Craftsman Warranty People who are no help at all!

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