Craftsman make tools for industrial use, farmers and the average DYI handyman. Although they are an American Firm, they don’t make all of their tools in the U.S, many parts of the tools are made by third party manufacturers located in China. There are several reasons why the company decided to make this change.
Read this article to find out more about Craftsman, why they don’t make all of their tools in the U.S. and if they are planning to make any changes to their manufacturing in the coming years.
What is The History of Craftsman’s Manufacturing?
Craftsman used to make all of their tools in the U.S either using their factories or third party American companies. This was until Stanley Black & Decker bought the business back in 2017 from Sears Holding Corporation. Shortly after the manufacturing of the tools began to be forwarded to places in China. This was shortly after the Trump administration raised the U.S duties on components imported from China to 25%, quite a sharp increase compared to the original 10%.
How Many Tools are Being Made in the U.S Now?
The directors of Craftsman say that currently 30% of their tools are being made in the U.S. However, they do state that within a few years they want to see that number at 50% and rising. This is so they can secure a brand here in the U.S once again and restore the faith of the American Citizen that they do in fact care about the economy here.
Why Did the Manufacturing Move to China?
Stanley Black & Decker argue that this was done because of the rising costs of manufacturing in the U.S, but in China, it’s always been much cheaper. They declared this meant that they could keep the consumers happy as they didn’t need to increase the price of the tools, as they would have had to do if they kept the manufacturing in the U.S.
Which U.S Companies Make Tools For Craftsman?
There is a company in the U.S called Western Forge and they made the screwdrivers, adjustable wrenches, pliers and mechanical toolsets here in the U.S. There are other companies too such as Dewalt which made their hand-powered tools, Waterloo Storage which make toolboxes and Tetronic Industries which make portable hand-powered tools. All of these are still being made in the U.S by these said companies.
Is Craftsman Honest About Manufacturing?
Unfortunately many argue that Craftsman isn’t 100% transparent on where their tools have been made, it’s often nearly impossible to find on their website where a particular tool has been manufactured. This is believed to be because they don’t want to get criticism for taking jobs away from the U.S and providing them to China instead. Stanley Black & Decker received a large amount of abuse from the manufacturing economy when they began to move production outside of the country, but being secretive about where things are being made doesn’t give the right impression.
How Can You Find Out Where a Tool Has Been Made?
The best way to find out where a tool has been made is to call your local supplier or store. You may be able to find out information in-store if you can’t online. However, it might take a while for you to be able to find the right person to speak to in-store. Often, the average salesperson wouldn’t know where every single tool has been made so always ask to speak to a manager to get the best information.
Is Craftsman Making a Change With Their Manufacturing?
In recent years Stanley Black & Decker have been bringing some of the manufacturing for Craftsman tools back to the U.S from China. The main tool that they have brought back to being made in the U.S is the wrench. In 2020 they opened a site in Texas and employed 500 workers to start making 10 million wrenches and rachets. This was delightful news to the American citizen, finally a brand that cares again about the unemployment number in this country.
Why Did They Move the Manufacturing Back to the U.S?
The company themselves state that it was because they wanted to improve the American economy, help with job unemployment while fulfilling a dream; An American company, manufacturing in America with American workers. However, economists believe that the only reason they brought manufacturing back here is because of the rising costs to import from overseas. It is still undecided what the real reason was and it is doubtful that Craftsman/Stanley Black & Decker will ever admit it was purely economic.
Do They Use Machinery?
In the new plant in Texas, there are several highly powered robots and fast forcing presses that can make an impressive amount of wrenches and rachets in next to no time. This has boosted the output to be 25% more than what it was when the manufacturing was in China. There, they were using old forcing machinery. These new technologies mean that production costs are equal to the same as what they are in China.
Have Other Companies Mirrored This Change?
You may be glad to know that over recent years other large companies have decided to bring their manufacturing from China back to the U.S and into more automated factories. Whirlpool Corporation used to make the majority of their products in China, but they have now moved several things back to the U.S. Catapillar has also moved the production of excavators and bulldozers back to the U.S from Japan.
Where Can You Buy Craftsman Tools?
The majority of tools can be brought on Amazon, and other home improvement sites like Lowe’s Cos. and Ace Hardware. You can find the odd thing in Home Depot stores but not much, as Stanley have their own tools in store there and want to avoid competition between their own brands. Also, the previous owner of Craftsman, Sears, continue to sell the tools and as part of the purchase agreement, they get to keep the profit too.