Thursday, September 23, 2004

Craftsman versus Companion

Spending the weekend on running errands is nobody's idea of fun, but at least one will be brief. At Sears, if you buy a Craftsman-brand item and it fails, it can be returned with no questions asked. And the entire process takes just seconds. For decades, the grass and edging shears of choice have been a self-sharpening item from Sears. Perhaps because I'm left-handed, the aluminum casting that constitutes the bottom handle always breaks after about five or so years of constant use. It always breaks in the same place. The stress must come from edging, not trimming. Better for edging is a set of shears with the blades turned at a right angle to the handle, but these shears feel flimsy, perhaps because of the plastic handles. The plastic-handled set hasn't ever broken but, if it were to do so, it could not be replaced for free, because its a Compansion-brand item. When Companion was introduced, I'm not sure. It used to be that all tools were Craftsman, all tools had that great guarantee, and that was that. Now, there's Companion, probably made in a back yard somewhere in east Asia, and another instance of modern-day decline.


At 3:47 PM, September 20, 2010, Blogger Hos said...

Sears has always had a 'good, better, best' line:

From wikipedia:
Sears' tool line, like many of its other product lines, uses a "good, better, best" pricing structure,with the Craftsman brand as the middle tier and Craftsman Professional as the highest tier.

The lowest tier was originally branded Sears. The company also used the Dunlap name for its lesser quality tools from the late 1930s until the late 1950s.[21] The Sears tool line was discontinued in the late 1980s and replaced by the Companion tool line.
The Companion tool line was itself discontinued and replaced by the Evolv tool line in 2008,[22] with a focus on homeowners and DIYers. Evolv tools also have a lifetime warranty but require that the customer have the original dated receipt to enact it.

So while there's no arguing that some brands have gone the "cheap and Asian" route to better bottom lines, this is not one of those cases, but rather meant for those not serious about their tools outlasting them!


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