Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Edged Weapons and Tools

Utility Knives, Box Cutters, Razor Blades: What do you like to use?

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FreeLancer:



I just got these Stanley 99E clones from Amazon today:  https://www.amazon.com/CRAFTSMAN-Utility-Retractable-2-Pack-CMHT10382/dp/B07R7XTC73/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=6WT6ZF0D5VFF3DFP05KS

I don't know what's going on with Craftsman these days, but I see the brand is being sold at Lowe's now.  For some reason Amazon is selling this 2-pack for $5 while Lowe's is charging $12.

It's such a close copy that I was able to take one half from the 99E and screw it to the matching half on the Craftsman with the blade mechanism still fully functional.  It's a noticeably lighter alloy, fit and finish is a bit rougher, plus the cast-in traction zones and the gritty red powder coating make it feel different than the smooth silver of the Stanley.  To someone used to the heft and texture of the 99E, this feels like a different knife and that's a bit off-putting to me, but I don't see it as a deal breaker.

Ignore the bulk of the bad reviews on Amazon about the blade holder/retraction mechanism being defective, it's not.  After fiddling with it for a few minutes I realized that it's designed slightly different from the Stanley and that requires making sure you insert the dull edge into the top of the holder mechanism first before the sharp edge will seat properly at the bottom.  It's a tad more fiddley, but not a big deal once you realize there's some extra metal tabs that hold the blade more securely so there's less play.  For comparison sake, I went to the Home Despot and got a new 99E for $5 (they had 2-packs for less than $8) to make sure they hadn't changed the mechanism like this clone.  They haven't, it's still the same old same old it's been for decades.

At this point I wouldn't be willing to pay more for this Craftsman clone than I would for the Stanley 99E, but at half the price I think it's probably money well spent. 

I do like the fact that the red paint makes it easier to spot on the work bench.  A newbie, with no history using the original, won't know the difference and would probably prefer this one over time.

FreeLancer:

--- Quote from: FreeLancer on January 02, 2020, 09:07:46 PM ---I don't know what's going on with Craftsman these days, but I see the brand is being sold at Lowe's now.  For some reason Amazon is selling this 2-pack for $5 while Lowe's is charging $12.

--- End quote ---

I decided to get a couple more of these $2.50 spares from Amazon, which were just delivered, and this time I looked at the packaging more closely and found: "CRAFTSMAN is a registered trademark of Stanley Black & Decker, Inc."  I guess that explains a lot, but maybe not why Stanley changed to a different blade mechanism for these 99E clones.

Unfortunately, Amazon now has these listed as:  "Currently unavailable.  We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."  So, I guess if you want a lighter, grippier, redder, fiddlier, and possibly cheaper 99E you'll have to watch Lowe's for sales.

Carver:

--- Quote ---I don't know what's going on with Craftsman these days, but I see the brand is being sold at Lowe's now.
--- End quote ---
The Craftsman brand has been gutted having been sold by the corporate raider who ran Sears. The quality is no longer guaranteed by their historical lifetime promise to replace. Craftsman hand tools used to be one of the best but anything with a cord or a battery is to avoid. Exceptions to these harsh generalities are acknowledged.

FreeLancer:

--- Quote from: Carver on January 08, 2020, 09:22:36 PM ---Craftsman hand tools used to be one of the best but anything with a cord or a battery is to avoid. Exceptions to these harsh generalities are acknowledged.

--- End quote ---

True.

I remember trying to talk my old man into springing for a Porter-Cable router like we used in shop class, instead of another crappy Craftsman. 

David in MN:
Ed Lampert destroyed Sears, K-Mart, and the Craftsman line. As a guy who uses hand and power tools almost daily I get real skiddish around the Craftsman brand. Particularly with power tools where for a few bucks more I could be in the Porter Cable, Milwaukee, or Bosch range and every time I use it thank my lucky stars I made that choice. Same with hand tools. Stanley Black & Decker just makes the industry standard. From the 99E to the 28-500 to their anti-vibe hammers or the ubiquitous 25 foot tape measure they deliver unless you need a wrench so you buy Crescent.

Even where I thought Craftsman shined (like the old ratchet sets) the quality has diminished. It's been really sad. I refurbed my grandfather's 100 year old Craftsman bench vice and it works like a champ. Not sure the new ones could hold up that legacy.

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