Lifetime Warranty

Might be their lifetime, might be my lifetime.

You would think that after so many trips around the Sun that a fellow would have collected every tool ever needed to keep the house in proper repair and life happy. But such is not the case and I’ve been out looking at some new hand tools.

For me, a search like that usually begins and ends at Sears.


The recommendation from a previous generation to always buy Craftsman tools has generally been a good one. The notion of a “lifetime” warranty being what usually seals the deal.

But I wonder if this general rule still applies in the 21st century – are we talking my lifetime or Sears?

The point being that fifty years ago, people had no reason to wonder if a company like Sears, JC Penney’s, or Woolworth’s might one day no longer exist. Large corporations were considered to be ‘forever’ institutions on the American landscape.

These days, companies reorganize and change hands as often as most people change their underwear and large corporations are no less susceptible to change than the mom and pop stores.

I laughed out loud recently when a fairly new roofing company gave me an estimate for work that carried a 35 year warranty. What are the chances this small company will still be around to handle a warranty repair in 2051?

In the end, I purchased Craftsman tools because they appeared to be of higher quality than the lower-cost options. As for the lifetime warranty that came with them, well — I took that with a grain of sand.

Might be their lifetime, might be my lifetime. Who knows?

Author: Jeff Davis