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Sadly, Ace has closed most of their hardware stores near us over the last few years, so we don’t get into the stores much.  (We miss them, too.)  That’s why it tool TM reader Todd’s email to clue us in to this interesting practice: Ace carries Snap-on branded flashlights and gloves, but Todd says the tools don’t appear to carry Snap-on’s “Made in the USA” logos or Snap-on’s legendary warranty.

I suppose this is to be expected, as Snap-on wouldn’t be the first to make an extra buck by treating their name like a non-SKU’d catalog item.  But it still surprised me.  It didn’t surprise me that we couldn’t round up any press releases or other notices from either company talking about the deal.

We’ll look into this and report back when we have more information, but I thought it worth mentioning anyway.  Of course, if you know anything about the deal, drop us a line.

Snap-on-Branded Tools At Ace [Ace Hardware]


13 Responses to Lower Quality Snap-on Branded Tools At Ace Hardware?

  1. Steve Thompson says:

    Doesn’t Snap-On have their “Blue-Point” line of tools to address the lower end of the market? From the looks of these flashlights, Snap-On has gone the licensing route of Winchester, Harley-Davidson and others. The brand is just as for sale as the real products.

  2. Harry says:

    I thought we already tallked about these items awhile back. Anyway, if you go to the Ace website, shop by brand, there are two pair of gloves, and 6 flashlights listed. These items aren’t really mechanics tools and I still don’t know why Snap on seeks exposure through Ace hardware.
    Snap on has expanded the Blue Point line of basic hand tools recently to offer Chinese made lower price alternatives to techs. The tools even come with a lifetime warranty too. Blue Point has meant many things over the years. It often was the brand label attached to a product that wasn’t made by Snap on, like alot of those patented (by someone other than Snap on) vehicle specialty tools. Imported air tools also got the Blue Point tag. Hopefully, Snap on will not go the way of MAC and instead reserve its brand name for quality US made mechanic’s tools. Otherwise “There won’t be a Difference”.

  3. Phil says:

    I saw these in person about a week ago. The flashlights are imported (China) and the packages reads “Product officially licensed by Snap-On” or similar. While the lights themselves look decent, they arent much different than something made by Dorcy.

    I’m afraid these items exist to make the Harry Homeowners of the world feel they are getting the real deal and be able to show off to his friends that he’s in with the big dogs. However, if this licensing deal goes too far, it will dilute the standing Snap-On has with those hard-core users of the real thing.

  4. Arbyn says:

    I manage our local Ace Hardware here in Coon Rapids Minnesota. We are now stocking three different flashlights and the gloves lable as “Snap On official licensed product” . The flashlights do have a lifetime warranty and are manufactured by JS Products Inc http://www.steelman-js.com
    The gloves are manufactured by Fortress Products LLC out of Pakista. http://www.fortressproducts.com

  5. Mike says:

    This is only the beginning….. Snap on has to survive in the new competitive world of discount distributors and internet sales. The economics of a driver and a truck full of overhead delivering tools door to door is a very unfavorable competitive mismatch. Mak Tool, Matco, and Cornwell all face the same reality.
    Quality and brand equity still matter, but so does market share to the suits at Snap on.

  6. STEVE says:

    SNAP-ON is looking to the bottom line for the stock holders and not to its dealer force. The value of “Snap-On” the name is dropping. The company is ripe for a take over and wouldnt surprise me to see it. Snap-On needs to get off its ass and start being proactive. like it used to be. Mac and Matco are comming up fast and may pass Snap-On. Watch out!

  7. Darcy says:

    I don’t know everything that Snap-on owns, but they do own JH Williams (their industrial hand tool division) and Bahco, which now includes the Sandvik line.

    If you check the latest Willliams catalog, you will see a lot of Asian tools for the first time, more so that in the Snap-on catalog. It’s a scary time for hand tool manufacturers, and it will get worse before it gets better. Someone I know who works for a major US hand tool manufacturer told me that it costs 40% less to make the same item in Asia. Also, in a survey I read that was in Tools of the Trade, I think, it was shown that tool buyers, especially younger ones, are more concerned with price, and ‘American made’ does not mean much to them. Everything is about price since they have grown up with the Wal-Mart big box mentality.

    The tool truck delivery system is a very expensive way to buy tools, even more so with top quality similar tools available online now. Also, many auto mechanics are hispanic and this seems to be growing very quickly into a typical employment path. Don’t believe me? Just look at the cover of the latest Mac catalog and count the hispanics. These people don’t have big money to spend on tools, and they have no loyalty to buy American. They’re not Americans. Asian tools are good enough for them.

  8. Jake says:

    I just came back from Europe doing contract work for Uncle Sam and found it interesting that Snap-On is sold in retail stores at a fraction of the price that I was once paying on these trucks. The US apparently is the only place where the mobile tool industry is still surviving…but still on a steady decline.
    I’ve noted all the tool companies now have online stores, sometimes at prices (with free shipping) that undercut their truck sellers.

    Yet I still find it ironic that when it comes to buying Made in the USA items, mechanics have no quams when buying their computers, cell phones, clothing, and other electronics on where their manufactured, but get their panties in a wad when it comes to their tools. I guess it makes us feel patriotic knowing that tool is made in the USA even though we’re installing foreign parts on those Chevy’s and Fords…

  9. Alex says:

    I bought one of these at Costco last week. The big 3d flashligh got droped from about 2 feet and no longer works. I used it about three times and the light was not bright at all. If i still had the packageing i would take it back. What crap it was. Paid $14 for it.

  10. Buck says:

    I bought a snap on flash light at home depot two years ago, put it in the pantry incase of a power outage.This was not a cheap light $15.00 + dollars, used it twice and the switch broke! No more snap on junk for me!

  11. Paul says:

    Not related to the discussion above but a piece of good info. Bought the top flashlight pictured above and put it in the door pocket of my SUV for emergencies. After a couple of years, the reflector was useless. Searched and searched and finally found a reflector intended for LED flashlights that is almost a perfect replacement. The SST-50 Smooth Aluminum reflector available from FastTech.com costs less then $5.00. A minor enlargement of the hole for the bulb to poke thru and I have a good as new flashlight.

  12. Bart says:

    I ordered a flashlight along with another that looked very much like a Mag (only much more expensive). Both flashlights failed in no time, I’ve waited just less then 4 months for replacement. Replacement #1 was a Mag light that I can pay $15.00 for. The second just arrived, a Streamlight 4AA. I paid $120.00 for my initial flashlight and this non Snap on was on line for $43.00. To say the least I’m ticked…Now I simply want my money back and will shop at Sears where at least I can simply return a damaged product the same day – no questions asked. When my customers ask if they can speak with my snal on dealer I’m sending them to Sears as well. Shame on you Snap – on

  13. Tet Medina says:

    How do you change batteries? Sorry i dont know where to open it…

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