Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:00 am

Does anyone have experience returning a very old Craftsman hand tool to Sears for replacement? The warranty states:
“If for any reason your Craftsman hand tool ever fails to provide complete satisfaction, return it to any Sears store or other Craftsman outlet in the United States for free repair or replacement.”
I feel a little awkward returning a 30+ year old socket ratchet wrench, but the mechanism slips when you attempt to tighten a nut or bolt.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:06 am

Everything I've ever brought back to Sears has been swapped out no questions asked. For ratchets and ratcheting wrenches, they may have a drawer of units that have been rebuilt for exchange. If you bring in something that they don't have, they'll give you the next closest item.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:16 am

Last time I had an exchange at Sears, it involved giving them your old tool and they shipped the replacement :( No direct "across the counter" exchange :evil: Have not been to Sears since.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:18 am

Just bring it back and they will replace it. Like Raymond said, the last ratchet i brought back they gave me a rebuilt one but works just fine. They will not warranty hand tools marked SEARS only Craftsman

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:24 am

Same experience as Raymond's with Craftsman tools at Sears, direct exchange.

There are other brands of tools that carry a life time warranty. No problem getting a replacement from the retailer.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:15 am

Thanks for the quick replys. I'll let you know how I make out.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:27 am

I have also returned many Craftsman hand tools over the years, often times because of abuse by me :oops: . I have experienced a couple incidents where the tool was not available, and as previously noted, a substitution was suggested, but of a lesser tool, but when challenged, they moved to a better option. Also have returned ratchets when they attempted to give me a rebuilt one, in much worse looking condition than what I brought in (again challenged and was resolved).

You do run the risk of returning a USA made tool and getting overseas version, but I guess you have to accept that. :(

Good luck,

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:44 am

Years ago my cousin took one of my Craftsmen screwdrivers and burnt the corner off the tip by trying to cross start one of our bulldozers. I took it back to Sears and the salesman said they could not replace it because it showed signs of obvious abuse. Before I could say a word he went to a vice on display and tightened the tip in the jaws. With a quick yank he snapped the tip off and said it now looked broke to him. I left with my free replacement.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:53 am

I returned the wrench to the Sears rep in the hardware department and he looked in a drawer for a little while. When he couldn't find a replacement that had been rebuilt, he told me to go and pick-out a new one. What a refreshing experience (even if the new one was made in China). I believe their premium wrenches are the only ones still made in the USA.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:49 pm

Up here Sears no longer warranties Craftsman tools. You buy it, it breaks ... tough noogies ... which is another reason why I do NOT buy tools from Sears anymore unless I absolutely have to. Last thing I bought was actually from cause I couldn't even get it at Sears is no longer the establishment it used to be since the ownership has been changing. Service is spotty and not exactly what one expects. The only thing I like about Sears now is their Appliance Maintenance Program .. it is really expensive though but does save us money when parts break. But we pay for that -- and the service ain't what it used to be and it is going down hill because our service tech (the only one allowed to touch our appliances retires in June :cry: )

Oh, the one exception has to be their screwdrivers - the Craftsman line is the only one I can use comfortably with the severe peripheral neuropathy in my hands. It is the shape of the handle that does it, so whenever I am at Sears or at the Service Center I pick em up especially when they are on sale :D

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:04 pm

I heard (but have not actually experienced) that someone else who took a Craftsman hand tool back was offered their other brand as replacement (gear ??, forgot the name). Problem is, that brand doesn't carry the same lifetime warranty of his original Craftsman, so the chain would have been broken right there. Story has it he politely refused, and was given a Craftsman after all.
Cannot verify the truth of this, but I would say beware and check it out carefully. I haven't taken one back in years, but I have two ratchets I need to take back, so I will be interested to hear your experience.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:20 pm

Don't get me started on Craftsman tool warranties. When I take in a broken ratchet they will try to replace it with a cheap throw-away replacement with no brand name on it. When I break that one, I'm done with the warranty. I have to be belligerent with the kid or gal behind the counter and insist a direct replacement which they will have to order for me. If I break a Craftsman tape measure, it will be replaced with a Stanley and my warranty is done. I'm sure many other items are equally handled the same way.

I won't buy Craftsman wrenches, pry bars or any hand tool that is chromed either. I get tired of the "chrome" that is painted on flaking off the first time it's used. I've cut myself with the ragged edge of the chrome. Years ago, Craftsman tools were as good as you could get. Today, Harbor freight has better tools in my mind, at least the chrome doesn't flake off and they are warrantied for life too. The only reason people buy Craftsman tools is for the warranty but when they are trying to screw me out of it, I'll take my business elsewhere.

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:01 am

I have always been handed a new, comparable quality tool. I have never been handed a "non-craftsman" tool to replace a broken craftsman. I have used the warranty on the following items:

1 screwdriver - tip twisted
1 screwdriver - tip broken off
Crescent wrenches - broken jaw
18mm open end wrench - bent
3/8" ratchet - stripped gears

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:46 am

Last fall I took 19 screwdrivers, 4 ratchets, 16 sockets, 2 awls, and 3 socket extensions to see if they would replace them. 44 pcs. All were picked up from junk piles and yard sales dirt cheap over the years. The guy at the counter said " I don't think we can replace all of these". I asked for the manager and she came out, looked at the pile and told him "if they say craftsman, replace them". He asked me to come back in an hour so I did and he had most of the tools replaced. He asked for my phone number and 4 or 5 days I went back and picked up the rest of the stuff. All were craftsman. I can't complain at all. I've only had the chrome come off of 1 wrench and It may have been the one I heated up red hot trying to get a nut loose and heated both. Grump

Re: Sears Lifetime guarantee

Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:26 pm

I picked up a broken (on purpose) Snap-on 3/8" drive socket at a local pawn shop. They sell used sockets @ 50 cents a piece. The broken socket was with my other sockets. The counter man gave me the socket because it was broken. The first Snap-on truck I saw I followed a couple of blocks to his next stop. Went to the truck and handed him the socket, he handed me a new socket and thanked me. I do like the Snap-on tools, however, the price is intimidating. :)