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Craftsman Tool Invention Project

Aptly named after American inventor Thomas Edison, the Edison Project is Craftsmans answer to other tool companies’ more active means of finding new ideas for hand tools, power tools or garden tools. They want you to bring your ideas right to them!

Craftman says they want to either pay you royalties for your idea or develop “it turn” make it into a Craftsman tool. They say it doesn’t matter if you’ve patented your invention or not — though we’d advise you to at least apply before showing the idea to a major tool company.

Maybe I should submit my idea for a ray gun that turns standard fasteners into metric. And maybe they’ll treat inventors right this time ’round — better than they treated the AutoWrench inventor when he first spoke with ’em.

Project Edison [Sears/Craftsman]
Sears Policy on Submitted Ideas [Sears/Project Edision]
Terms of Submission Agreement [Sears/Project Edision]


32 Responses to Craftsman Seeks Innovative Tool Ideas

  1. Rob [C.H. Hanson Rep] says:

    C.H. Hanson has been doing this for years and doing it well. Here is a list of those tools that have been introduced into the marketplace when inventors worked directly with Hanson, oftentimes when other “major” manufacturers wouldn’t give them the time of day.

    Pivot Square
    Angle Snap
    Slide Square
    Pencil Boy

    They also provide a great primer and information for those who would like to submit product ideas:

  2. Chaon says:

    From their Terms of Submission Agreement:

    The Submitter agrees that:

    (a) the Submitter’s ideas are submitted gratuitously
    and without expectation of compensation and will automatically become the property of Sears without any compensation to Submitter; and

    (b) Sears can use the ideas for any purpose and in any way and may provide the ideas to third parties without any obligation or compensation to Submitter whatsoever.

    Gee thanks guys, but I think I’ll pass.

    • Eric says:

      I totally agree, not much protection for anyone to submit any idea. I also like the fact that they say that their employees might have already come up with the idea, and could already be working on it. Does not sound very trust worthy. Not to mention most of their tools and products are made in China, they must be the third party!

      • Thomas says:

        Most of Americans wish to pay less money, so China is a first choise. It’s better than a third party like India at least! Everyone knows made in Germany is good, but you’ll have to pay 5x. Help me to license this great tool to a manufacturer in US, then you’ll feel good.


  3. Kif says:

    No kidding!

    The Terms of Submission Agreement is accompanied by a Sears Policy Statement wherein the second paragraph opens with “Sears wants those individuals submitting an idea to protect his/her interests before
    disclosing an idea to Sears.” The second paragraph finishes with “For this reason, Sears will not consider any idea submitted to it unless it is
    submitted subject to Sears Terms of Submission Agreement.”

    I interpret this as “if you have ever heard the term ‘intellectual property’, get lost!”

    Given the recent trend of Sears hyping gimmicky tools around Christmas, they expect a lot of their bread and butter for free. Maybe it will only be a matter of time before the Dateline exclusive “I was the real genius behind Robogrip! ….and wait ’till you here the tawdry happenstance that gave me the idea!”

  4. Charlie says:

    I was speaking to an inventor about this specific issue today and the one-sided nature of their terms. They mention a $5,000 payment (if the idea is used), a 1% royalty for 3 years and Sears owns everything.

    Generally a fair license agreements should run for the life of the patent (17 -21 years) and include any continuation products that come from the original patent. What’s the sense of investing in a patent if you only benefit for a short time? There’s usually some negotiation on these terms based on the value of the patent or intellectual property.

    The fair, ethical and moral thing to do is allow everyone involved in the process of developing new and innovative ideas to benefit. Not exactly what their trying to accomplish with this policy!

    Charlie (Product Manager – PennTek Tools)

    PS. We personally knew the original patent holder for “RoboGrip” (he passed away a few years back) and I’m sure his deal was much different than their current policy.

  5. tooler says:

    I would never get involved with Sears. They will screw you if they can, like most large corporations. An inventor named Peter Roberts went to Sears with an idea for a quick-release ratchet. Sears said it was just an OK idea, but bought the rights for it anyway. The next thing you know, they are selling a ton of quick-release ratchets, more than the conventional ones by far. It’s the very mechanism we are all familiar with. It was a great idea, but Sears deliberately misrepresented the value they saw in it.

    Roberts went to court and eventually won. I think it was a story on ’60 Minutes’ or a similar program. You can find hits on the web by Googling something like ‘Peter Roberts ratchet Sears lawsuit’.

    • De Witt Dunn says:

      Why haven’t you contacted me I gave you your best idea and where is my money

      • De Witt Dunn says:

        I told you how to put the button on the craftsman ratchet back in 1954-55 when you working at sears on wayside we were at Edison Jr high and you said you needed an idea and told you drill a hole one middle of the ratchet an put a little rod with a shoulder so it would stick up and not come out with a spring so you mash it with a notch for a b b and drill a hole thru the side so the b b could stick out and go back in when you mashed it. I drew a picture so your dad the machinist could make it.And I asked you for money and you said I would get other ideas and I havnt seen or heard from you since that day. DeWitt

  6. Harold Moore says:

    Well, I am trying to get noticed by Sears, but signing a ‘give away’ agreement for our universal electrical power tool cord is not a good thing… For those who read this, please go to Snaplockinc.net and vote for a better tool. Us contractors have had enough of tangled power tool cords, and most battery tools have limited applications for major projects. Hey “Project Edison”, we want a better power tool… This simple modification will save the world over 100,000 barrels of oil per year.

  7. Ralph Hamilton JR says:

    (a) the Submitter’s ideas are submitted gratuitously
    and without expectation of compensation and will automatically become the property of Sears without any compensation to Submitter; and

    (b) Sears can use the ideas for any purpose and in any way and may provide the ideas to third parties without any obligation or compensation to Submitter whatsoever.

    Be afraid, very afraid!

  8. Archil says:

    Whaaattttt???? That means give it to me and “f” off!!!!! Dream f_n shitsrs

  9. Lloyd Nelson says:

    i,m an avid tool inventor i have to date invented at least 10 tools started 20 yrs ago with the wrench snipe checked it said patent applied for never did any more about it 15yrs later Mac tool brought it out i now have 4 more automotive hand tools i,m trying to market most of the companies give me the brush of cant afford the patents on them any ideas out there tiered of the shaft.

  10. david leyba says:

    would submmit idea on a gardening tool . i have not seen it anywhere

  11. keith says:

    My new idea puts the new cobalt twist drive ratchet into a more improved ratchet and if Sears buys my patent idea on new ratchet idea will be better then cobalts new twist drive rachet need help to build my idea its a winner

  12. James T Wilcher says:

    If you don’t have Patent pending on your idea do not submit it,and even then until the patent is issued it is not worth anything. When and if the patent is issued then it is valuable. If it is a good idea you can sell or license the Patent. Don’t tell anyone your idea until you get Patent Pending. Just my opinion, going through the process myself.It’s a long expensive waiting game.

    Good luck

  13. Maat Hall says:

    Can someone tell me a better way or place to submit tool innovative ideas for a fair deal?

    This email is a friends since I am not available to check mine as frequently as one might.

  14. walter rodler says:

    I have a re-invention and then some to a tool that is sold today by the millions that is not very user friendly ,causes injuries and not very friendly to the environment . The tool is a log splitter. My system has no wedge no hands no beam half the fuel half the power and many times the portability. No manufacture wants such a tool because my system would make there’s obsolete.!!!!!! Inventor of Debert NS Canada.

  15. Fern barrera says:

    I work for LA County up in the mountains of Angeles National Forest.we sometimes work all night And sometimes when you have to repair something even when you have a flashlight you need that little extra light.so I came up with a little invention that has come in very handy in so many ways and times.people have actually asked me to let them borrow it.I would like to show you this idea to see what you think about it.

  16. Andrew says:

    I have an awesome tool idea mega money

  17. Kevin L Strand says:


  18. Michael Filmore says:

    I’ve designed tools for rusted,locked or cross thread nuts and bolts.I don’t have the money for patents,is your company interested in helping with patents or taking them off my hands?

  19. Guy orabuena says:

    I have been in maintenance for over 15 years,n there is a much needed tool yet to be invented, that No other company has ever thought of . I Guarantee, every maintenance man,would love to add to there tool bag. I would love the sell my idea,it would cut time n cost for companies n user.

  20. Dane Madson says:

    I am a professional inventor of tools. My good friend Mr. Charles Cole / TEXAS USA is the inventor of the INDEXING RATCHETS and SOCKET SETS and the adjustable INDEXING PRY BARS for Sears/Craftsman….it is not as bad as it may seem!
    He originally attempted to go “solo” and then decided one day after many years of having the Patent to “offer” his US Patent to Craftsman.
    He received 8% gross profit on all domestic and international sales of this invention PLUS an argued rate increase at 10% for all NATO/MILITARY sales of this tool series through Craftsman.
    (Excellent rates!)
    I read his Licensing Agreement sitting on his couch.
    I have held the patent in my hand.
    When he passed away at 72 years old a few years ago, the CRAFTSMAN REPRESENTATIVES SHOWED UP AT HIS FUNERAL and I met them also!
    He said “If the US/NATO military is overpaying for all of their contracted supplies, I want a higher rate for all of my sales to them also during the Middle East conflicts too!” and they agreed !
    And, yes, the Utility Patent payment term is until the expiration of the 20 year term with Craftsman, not what you read on their generic “give me, give me” invention submission form spoken about on here!
    No serious/professional inventor would ever allow that to happen.
    This is to let all prospective INVENTORS know that the true basics of inventing are still alive and well as long as you follow the US Patent Office rules/Laws and doe not give away a brilliant idea for free…
    DO NOT discuss the basic “principles” of your ideas on here or share them without Patent Pending protections in place!
    US Federal Law as of last year now has the “America Invents Act” signed into law…which eliminates all Federal lawsuit filings for issues involving “first to conceive” of any invention, as the newly mandated Law now states only “first to file” will legally apply.
    So, you are not even allowed to take a dispute to any Federal Courts over theft of an invention PRIOR to any patent pending filings or a disagreement over just WHO invented the new widget!
    STOP, DROP and ROLL!
    TEXAS USA “General Patent” (Ret.)

  21. Jason says:

    I have invented a wrench breaker bar anyone who sees it says its the greatest tool that you cant find in stores.

  22. Javier28NYC says:

    Hello, I reinvented the wrench. I made a wrench into a drill attachment. I currently have patent pending status. I am the inventor. I am a NYC union Sheet Metal Worker/HVAC Mechanic. This tool is needed in the field!
    Contact me at PowerGearWrench@gmail.com for any more info. This is a whole new type of drill attachment that doesn’t currently exist in the market. It can be used for many applications. I am currently in the process of submitting proposals to tool companies and could use any tips on getting my tool in the right hands.

  23. Mans says:

    I have innovated two types of general wrenches. one of them is similar to ratchet socket wrench, but with the different mechanism and performance. in this invented new wrench has not been used any pin that is weak, but I have another designed method that the wrench can works as the fixed handle of socket wrench. This allow it to be able to tolerate a high pressure and thus the user is able to lock strongly every steely nut or screw without worrying of breaking the pin that has been used in the ratchet wrench. I have received its patent in Iran but didn’t present it to any company yet.

    I also designed a new flat wrench the days ago and I want to introduce it to an oversea company in the first step, while it hasn’t any patent. Which company is secure for this introduction and dealing? Can do I receive my money in a short time after approving the wrench by the experts of the company?

    If the dealing of the second idea was successful, I would present the first idea to the same company that is a type of excellent variable socket wrench.

  24. Wayne A. Davis says:

    I have several ideas that are both tool & automotive…

  25. Dave Hildebrand says:

    I have one of the most litigated tool patents in the Country. Look up Hildebrand v. Steck. After 15 different federal cases (with 75 different defendants)….I can assure you to proceed with caution. Most of those losly written “submit your Idea forms”….are worthless. My advise would be to remain silent until you get a patent, and do not share it with anyone until then. I’ve won alot of case’s,mostly pro-se, and have injunctions against the biggest (including Snap-On)….but it came at a high cost both financially and personally. BEWARE. Look up all the defendants Ive had in court, including Snap On, Matco, Mac….and dozens of others. NONE did the right thing without being sued, (and even then they do there best to hide from the court there actual sales, putting the “screws” to you further). Good luck out there fello inventors, just be prepared for some BS to occur.

    D.L. Hildebrand.
    Owner of U.S. Patent #5,737,981

    ……kinda like the little old lady on the commercial with the hot sauce says…..”They use my tool on everything”. LOL

  26. Frank Trucchio says:

    How do I submit my new tool idea to Craftsman

  27. Richard A. Soper says:

    i want a small tool that holds the nut then it will hold a bolt on the other it will line up with the nut and you hold to the hole your working with and when you push the bolt threw hole it will spin it rite into the nut on other side so in tight places on small engines dont have try holding nut and lining bolt up

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