Clarification: Craftsman Lifetime Warranty Doesn't Apply To Rusty Tools

We asked Sears about their warranty policy on rusty Craftsman tools, and they said the life-time warranty doesn’t apply when the rust is cosmetic.

This is not about “screwing” Katrina victims, or even “torque wrenching” them. It’s that Sears can’t be responsible if you left your tools in a bucket of water, whether that water is from a hurricane or a leak in your roof. Try a little less whining and a little more steel wool and elbow grease.

If Rufus’ tools were rusted so thoroughly they couldn’t be used, then he could dump them on the returns desk and get shiny new ones. Because then that would be a defect in the product, that it can’t stand up a little oxidation.

At the same time, it’s just not right to go around saying “We’ve got a FULL and UNLIMITED LIFETIME warranty! (some restrictions apply).”

Response from Sears, inside…

Please include the following line in all replies. Tracking number: UT20070318_0000000986

Dear Ben Popken,

Thank you for contacting Sears regarding the policy on Craftsman hand tools.

We appreciate that you have chosen Sears for your tool needs. Craftsman hand tools come with a life-time warranty against product defects. If a Craftsman hand tool ever fail due to a defect in the product, simply return the item to the nearest Sears store. Some exclusions does apply which would void or do not apply to the life-time warranty , which include but is not limited to:

The item being altered in any way.
Lost, stolen or damaged by an act of God (such as fire, flood, etc.)
If the item is used for any other reason than its intended purpose, including neglect.
Rust that does not prohibits the performance of the item (most rust is strictly cosmetic and does not justify being classified as broken)
Precision hand tools that includes a mechanism (such as calipers, micrometers, most torque wrenches, etc).

Please contact your nearest store for help resolving your merchandise question. If you would like help in finding the nearest stores, use our store locator at The store locator button is located along the left side of the homepage.

If the hand tool is no longer available, Sears will replace the tool with a comparable item. If no comparable item is available, Sears will provide the customer with their money back.

Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman and Reebok.

Shop now to pick up great products for the season.

Rod N.
Sears Customer Care

Consider our outrage retracted. — BEN POPKEN

PREVIOUSLY: The Softer Side Of Sears: Craftsman Lifetime Warranty Doesn’t Apply To Katrina Victims