I recently wrote about Craftsman’s new V-Series tools that have popped up on Lowe’s website. Since then, even more new Craftsman tools have appeared, with some bearing resemblances to Facom products.
Facom is owned by Stanley Black & Decker, and they have substantial presence in Europe.
If you’re not familiar with the brand, you might be asking “well, why should I care?” Bottom-line, Facom tools are good quality, and they also have quite a few unique tool designs.
For instance, I am quite happy with my Facom combination wrenches, which are darned good tools. In my experience, Facom tools are reliable and well-made. They can be pricey, but seemingly proportional to their quality.
As a pro-oriented and industrial brand that caters to a lot of different user needs, Facom tools tend to be more solutions-focused.
The frustrating part is that Facom does not have a very strong presence here in the United States. They’re great tools, but for whatever reason, they’re not widely available here. Maybe this is because Facom tools might not mesh well with Stanley Black & Decker’s Mac Tools and Proto brands?
Alright, so with Facom offering innovative and high quality tools, what about Craftsman? How does this all fit together?
Not to mince words, Craftsman’s current hand tools are boring and generic, seemingly designed around consumer-friendly price points. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just how things are.
Craftsman hand tools are like “hardwood,” while Facom is like “hard maple,” or like a “steak sandwich” vs. “sliced sirloin sandwich.” They fit a need, but without distinction.
I have purchased a couple of Craftsman hand tools ever since Stanley Black & Decker acquired and relaunched the brand, but mainly for ToolGuyd-related purposes. I have purchased wrenches, screwdrivers, ratchets, and sockets over the past few years, but not from Craftsman.
Oh, Craftsman mechanics tools are perfectly fine, but what sets them apart from other brands’ like-priced offerings?
There’s nothing wrong with this – most of Craftsman’s hand tools are aimed at less discerning and demanding shoppers.
A lot of enthusiasts and more demanding tool users have been waiting for Craftsman to up their game. While Craftsman is set to deliver on their promise for more USA-made hand tools, there could be more, right?
So, here we have a new Craftsman ratchet and socket set, and it’s basically a Craftsman version of Facom’s kit.
I am absolutely THRILLED to see this. Are the tools and components of similar quality? I hope so.
It is hard to judge without testing the tools or at least examining them in person, but there’s the suggestion that these tools are comparable to Facom’s. For instance, the Craftsman set comes with locking extensions that appears to be a rebranded Facom tools.
If you’re wondering about the unusual case, Facom’s “Detection Box” is designed to help prevent FOD (foreign object damage) by making it easy to see when a tool has not been returned to its proper place.
There is also a new Craftsman V-Series screwdriver set, with very Facom-like screwdriver handles.
I ordered a new set of Facom screwdrivers a couple of months ago, and really love them so far.
Let me ask you – do you own any Wera tools? Wiha? NWS? Knipex? Felo? Facom is in good company with these European hand tool brands, offering high quality and distinct designs.
If Craftsman V-Series tools – and the brand still hasn’t shared much details about this lineup – will be Facom-like in design and quality, they might very well find their way into more demanding users’ tool boxes.
It has been a long time since I’ve been excited about Craftsman hand tools. Earlier today I wrote about a new Craftsman Pliers Wrench. That’s interesting to me, but I’m not excited. Craftsman came out with swivel-head ratchets. These are good staples, but what’s special about them?
I bought Facom wrenches for their unique shape, angled socket wrenches because they proved to be convenient over the years, screwdrivers because they’re comfortable, and various other tools and accessories for similar reasons.
Currently, are there any Craftsman tools I could describe in the same way? No, except perhaps their Facom-like adjustable wrench.
Are Craftsman V-Series tools going to be a better class of tools for more demanding users? Based on the number of tools that resemble Facom products, maybe, or I certainly hope so.
But will all of these new Craftsman V-Series tools match Facom’s quality? And if they do, will American consumers and pro users be willing to pay for it?
Details are still sparse, but this is definitely a new and big development for the brand. It has been a while since I’ve been excited about new Craftsman hand tools, and I only hope that they don’t let me down.