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Craftsman’s Max Axess hand tools: I know they’re Gearwrench and you know they’re Gearwrench — no secret there. We all have eyes and can understand that the 51-piece toolset Sears is touting for Father’s Day is exactly that — Craftsman branded Gearwrench. It’s a smart move: take one of the best handtool systems in terms of innovation in the last ten years and put a Craftsman warranty on it. Step three, profit.

Even though GW already had a great warranty. Even though many DIY mechanics already have this same gear with a different moniker on it. When any hand tool has the word “Craftsman” bestowed upon its shiny spine, the backing of that famous warranty ensures things are going to go well. None of that matters when gleaming kits by the thousands leave the store bound for shade-tree dads everywhere this week. But we can’t really blame them for it.

At $60 per kit and with the solid rep we’ve seen Gearwrench and Craftsman earn over the years, it’s an okay deal — even if we say so through gritted teeth when the guy next door holds up the tools proudly and proclaims, “Look; they’re Craftsman!”

Max Axess [Craftsman]
Street Pricing [Google]


13 Responses to Craftsman Max Axess

  1. Mike Lee says:

    Well, I won’t buy the craftman brand, because I brought the gear wrench years ago.

  2. Scott says:

    Do we not like Craftsman? I buy their screwdrivers because of that famous warranty (and I use them as chisels and prybars on jobsites) just as my dad and grandpa did.

  3. Jonathan Smith says:

    I bought one of these about a month ago, and I would be interested in other reader’s review of the product. The 3″ 1/4 extension fits very loosely in the hollow shaft handle. It falls out with such minor jiggling of the handle, that I am hesitant to use anywhere but my workbench for fear of losing it and the bit attatched. Anyone else have this issue, or did I just luck out and buy a defective hollow shaft handle?

    • I_Write_Code says:

      Yes, I’ve seen the same issue in my set. I wonder if Sears would replace or fix it?

      • Fabrizio_de_la_Fabrice says:

        The length of the extension makes it feel more wobbly than the socket, but it doesn’t add to the wobble angle, which is the same as the socket. The extension on mine is firmly retained, so it’s not a design problem. However, the ratchet locked up in one direction; at first it was immediate, but after working a few minutes, it may be cured. If it’s not ‘full-up’ by this evening, I’ll stop by the store for a replacement.

  4. ryuohki says:

    I won’t buy craftsman anymore, the quality has really gone down. Their screwdrivers tips are soft and i have had several pairs of pliers snap at the jaws or rivet. I have been told that sears changed manufacturers years ago and the people who used to make their hand tools now make Kobalt and Husky which honestly do seem to be better quality now.

  5. browndog77 says:

    That Craftsman warranty won’t be worth spit if Sears bites the dust. They have been circling the drain for a few years now.

  6. Adam says:

    I’ve had crafstman hand tools (mostly metric wrenches) for a long time now and I think the quality is still there with the basic stuff. I’m not sure how much I like the tool boxes or the power tools, but the sockets, wrenches, drivers, and adapters still seem up to snuff.

    One thing I’m really not loving is the newer ratchet wrenches. The old style had a rounded handle that was easy on the hand. The newer squared-off style really hurts when you’re on it hard. The flippy handle to change directions also seems less durable than the old style, too.

    Time moves on…

  7. Toolfreak says:

    I’ve seen these in the stores and tried them out. I’ve also tried out the Gearwrench version, which went on clearance at Sears for half the price. The earlier GearWrench version with the flex handle is better, quality wise.

    Overall though, this whole China-made Craftsman tool thing sucks. Even if this set was any good, I wouldn’t be buying it. Every single Craftsman ratchet in my local Sears store is now made in China. The full polish wrenches are too. The quality is not there, they are much, much worse than the USA made Craftsman tools of just a few months ago and they are priced the same.

    Circling the drain? More like circling the bowl and headed down the toilet. It’s almost unbelieveable that a business in trouble would do something so stupid and turn their own loyal customers against them. We’ve been buying USA-made Craftman tools for years. We expect they will be backed up with USA-made Craftsman tools when we need a replacement under that famous warranty.

    Sears may not know it yet, but when their stores are all out of the old stock of the USA made tools, their sales are going to take the sharpest dive ever.

  8. Pete in Elma WA says:

    Any more I find the HF hand tools as good. I recall the times when Craftsman where the “gold standard” along with Snap-on, But I don’t even go into Sears anymore.

  9. Dang says:

    Listen CEO, if we wanted cheap chinese tools, we would buy Harbor Freight tools. We want made in USA.

  10. Engine 501 says:

    Sears steals ideas from US companies and inventors, farms it out to china, then sells them under their brand. Axess Wrench is the Bionic Wrench developed and produced in the USA untill Sears got ahold of it. Good job putting Americans out of work to make a higher profit. Research Bionic Wrench, you’ll see what Sears is good for.

  11. Louis L. Howard says:

    just bought a Craftsman large max access set. i put a clear sewing machine oil on the rachets and the sockets which makes them slid in easier. so far, so good. harbour frieght tools are junk, not worth buying.

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