My Thoughts On Tekton vs Craftsman Tools

by | Comparisons (Tools)

My first more serious step in the DIY world were sockets. As a logical continuation ratchets followed shortly.

Back then, Craftsman was in its old glory – a brand that was dominating over all other competitors.

Sadly, the current state of the brand is a pale shadow of its former self. Which prompts me to do a Tekton vs Craftsman comparison.

Sad as it might be, I have to admit that currently, Tekton is way better. A prime example – this 1/2″ drive socket set.

Onwards to my impressions.

Tekton vs Craftsman:
Looking at their sockets

OK, we’re talking about sockets.

And Tekton simply steamrolls over Craftsman with their chrome socket sets. Great Taiwanese manufacture, tougher vanadium steel construction, and nice a price tag.

What more could you want?

Tekton sockets also have a very foolproof 6-point design. It embraces the flat side of any fastener, instead of aiming for the corners.

Which means you won’t see any rounding off with them. That’s a huge improvement on other Walmart-level sockets you might have the…err, displeasure working with.

Craftsman’s strong point is that their sockets are very easy to read. That might come handy with extra huge tool kits, but I still prefer Tekton due to Craftsman being mainly produced in good old Chinese factories.

Which brings me to the core problem of this comparison.

Yes, we’re talking about manufacture.

Production quality:
Same old, until it’s not

Man, I remember the old times. Craftsman’s popularity was to a big extent because all of their tools were made on American soil.

Ultra-durable, high-end steel manufacture that would last you for generations.

Things have changed since then, and for the time being production has been outsourced to far-away China. There’s a tangible difference in quality that’s been widely discussed in DIY online communities.

You can see some similar sentiment among Amazon reviewers too.

One of the main reasons I’d vouch for Tekton right now is their Taiwanese manufacture.

But, Alex, isn’t that practically the same thing?

Well, nope. Taiwanese facilities stick to higher standards, so any manufacture in them usually means you’re getting better quality than mainland China counterparts.

The Tekton vs Craftsman formula is simple: Tekton mainly produce their stuff in Taiwan, Craftsman relies on Chinese manufacture.

Hence why in most cases, when it comes to both sockets or ratchets, Tekton just brings better tools to the DIY table.

So is it Tekton all the way?

Generally, yes – but as with many other things, there are some exceptions to the rule.

Some of you, the people reading this post, might be considering an entry into the DIY world. In other words, you’re a total rookie who needs an affordable, diverse set of tools.

For cheap beginning with comprehensive toolkits, Craftsman offers more options. They have huge kits with 200+ tools on very lucrative prices.

Check this 230 piece set, for example. It’s a total bargain.

Tekton’s portfolio is more limited and their kits usually lean on the smaller side of things. You won’t have the bulk discount effect to the extent of grabbing Craftsman.

Some thoughts on the future of Craftsman

I’m yet another soul who’s slightly sad to see how Craftsman has been faring over the past few years.

However, there are some good news on the horizon. Black & Decker bought out the brand after the Sears fiasco – another symbolic brand in modern American history falling down.

The guys over at B&D seem to have some revitalization plans for what Craftsman embodies. I’ve heard that they’re redirecting some of the production back to the US, or at least switching to Taiwanese facilites like Tekton and other competitors.

It’d be great if the current struggles Craftsman has are only a temporary setback. While I don’t have anything against Tekton – I mean, their sockets and ratchets are KICKASS…

…Well, a part of me wants to see Craftsman rise again. I’ve had so much fun tinkering around with their tools. Looking forward to repeating that, hopefully.

Founder of ToolingFun. Couldn't even change a lightbulb in my teenage years. Discovered the joy of DIY projects during my 2nd year in college. All about tinkering around, trying fun tools and projects, and giving my opinion on industry brands!