Author Topic: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...  (Read 2757 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4283
A week ago I was helping a friend frame out his basement work room and was using my 20+-year-old, second-hand Stiletto TI14 hammer.  He asked to borrow it to pull a nail that had gone in wrong.  Long story short, the handle broke longitudinally.  The following Monday I tried to contact Stiletto Tool via phone to order a replacement handle and got voicemail promising a return call.  I’m still waiting for that call.  I filled out an online form requesting ordering info for a replacement handle, only to get an email response that I needed to send in the head.  I called again and got a woman that asked if I had a part number for the handle.  Huh?  My response was, “You’re a representative for Stiletto Tool and you’re asking your customer to provide you a part number for a Stiletto product?”  The call was disconnected.  An hour later I called again and got a very nice (and reasonably competent) woman that knew what I needed, but who told me that the handles were back-ordered and were likely due in the next week.  I asked if I could order one.  She told me that they couldn’t take orders against back-ordered stock.  At this point I gave up on this approach and made it very clear that I was completely dissatisfied with Stiletto Tool and their service.  I tried calling local dealers listed on Stiletto’s website, only to find out that those local dealers all hadn’t been carrying Stiletto products for about ten years.  I tried calling on-line dealers, starting with our friends, Tool Nut.  I spoke with a great rep there that said the handles were on back-order and wouldn’t be available for another two months or so.  I then contacted Acme Tool and found that not only did they have handles in stock, but they were on sale, so I placed my order.  The handle will arrive later today, unless FedEx drops the ball. 

It turns out that Stiletto Tool was apparently purchased by Milwaukee Tool about ten years back.  I bought my first Milwaukee tools 40+ years back and have been generally quite satisfied with the products that I have, but have not bought Milwaukee tools in the last 20 years.  I’m not at all clear on reasons for the degradation of service quality within Stiletto and Milwaukee of late.  If this experience with Stiletto, and by inference, Milwaukee, is any indicator, there will be no more of either in my tool room. 

YMMV...

 [mad]
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Dan C

  • Posts: 64
Re: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2022, 11:25 AM »
I wouldn't judge Milwaukee service too quickly.  I had a couple of batteries go bad and they had nearly as good a turn time on warranty batteries as the Festool service did.  I have also had an impact junk out that was handled with very little fuss.  In all fairness, I have 20 batteries so 2 needing service was not a surprise.

If you liked your stiletto, check out Mark's evolution of that design. I love them and have a couple.

https://martineztools.com/product/m1-titanium-handle-15oz-milled-steel-head-curved-grip-framing-hammer/

Offline Bob D.

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 2868
    • My Cordless Workshop
Re: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2022, 02:12 PM »
"I bought my first Milwaukee tools 40+ years back and have been generally quite satisfied with the products that I have, but have not bought Milwaukee tools in the last 20 years.  I’m not at all clear on reasons for the degradation of service quality within Stiletto and Milwaukee of late.  If this experience with Stiletto, and by inference, Milwaukee, is any indicator, there will be no more of either in my tool room. "

The Milwaukee we all knew and loved no longer exists, They were gobbled up by TTI about 15 or more years ago. TTI makes Milwaukee, AEG, RIDGID, and Ryobi power tools. They license the RIDGID name from Emerson which is the parent company of Ridge Tool Co who makes all the plumbing tools still, as well as many other tool names you know well. The RIDGID branded tools with their LSA (Lifetime Service Agreement) are only sold at Home Depot. Emerson used to make some power tools for Sears/Craftsman for decades but that ended around 2003 when TTI entered into the licensing agreement with Emerson.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3719
Re: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2022, 02:30 PM »
Snip.
The RIDGID branded tools with their LSA (Lifetime Service Agreement) are only sold at Home Depot. Snip.
Make sure the machine is registered within the specified period in order to enjoy the lifetime benefit!

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4283
Re: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2022, 06:31 PM »
The Milwaukee we all knew and loved no longer exists, They were gobbled up by TTI about 15 or more years ago. TTI makes Milwaukee, AEG, RIDGID, and Ryobi power tools.

That's really sad news for those that love top quality tools. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline riffin-rich

  • Posts: 30
Re: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2022, 08:55 PM »
That’s why you should NEVER, EVER, EVER loan your tools to ANYONE — EVER!  Even if you’re at their house, helping them!  GRD&H. ;D ;D ;D

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 981
Re: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2022, 11:41 AM »
Snip.
The RIDGID branded tools with their LSA (Lifetime Service Agreement) are only sold at Home Depot. Snip.
Make sure the machine is registered within the specified period in order to enjoy the lifetime benefit!

I recently had a Rigid tool that is no longer made (12 volt multi-head tool) go bad - the switch in the base unit broke and one of the batteries was dead.  I took it to the local (as in 30 miles away local) Rigid/Milwaukee/Ryobi service center and asked for them to honor the LSA.  After 3 months, two trips, and multiple phone calls, Rigid sent me a new 18 volt base unit.  I don't have any 18 volt Rigid batteries, so that was useless.  After another call, they sent me one 18 volt battery, so now it is usable again, but with only one battery.  All of the old heads work with the new switch unit, so after a less than ideal process, at least I have a usable tool.  But between time and mileage, I probably put more into getting the replacement than it was worth.

So I'm torn.  Should I give Rigid kudos for replacing the 12 volt tool with a new 18 volt tool under the LSA, or should I knock them for a terrible process and not quite reaching parity with the original tool?  At least I did not depend on the tool for day-to-day work - it's mostly a tool that the older grandkids can use when I'm not monitoring them.

I'm coming to the conclusion that "lifetime" warrantees are really only good for about five years, and are designed for people who use their tools much more intensively than I do.  I have a basement shop and I'm lucky to spend 10 hours a week in it.  My tool use is pretty lightweight.  When I buy a tool, I want it to last 20 years.  I have multiple tools including a couple of power tools that are 40 years old.  The worst were NiCAD tools because the rate of battery replacement was so high.

I started buying Milwaukee 12 volt tools in 2011 and they have been very reliable.  I was impressed enough with them that I've now got a decent 18 volt collection as well.  Since 2011 I've only had one battery go bad, and all of the tools are still going fine, except two that broke within the first two months.  I was able to just return those to Home Depot.  In fact, every once in a while I have to give one away so I can get a newer model.  My grandkids have a screwdriver because I wanted the new interchangeable head drill :) .

Rigid has been another story - I've had to replace about 1/3 of the Rigid batteries that I have, and several tools, in the last ten years.  I finally gave my Rigid 18 volt tools them to my son as a stopgap while he builds his collection of Makita tools.  Rigid does try to honor the LSA, but I've been through the process three or four times now, and it's never been quick or easy.  I do go through the process, because I think it's important to hold Rigid's feet to the fire on their LSA commitments.

But overall, I'd rather buy reliability and not have to mess with the Rigid LSA.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 12:11 PM by HarveyWildes »

Offline Koamolly

  • Posts: 140
Re: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2022, 01:11 PM »
What tools were you considering buying that this experience will cause you to remove them from your future list of contenders?  After all, your hammer was purchased 20 years ago used and you haven’t bought a Milwaukee tool in last 20 years.  Good luck finding other companies. :) Still there’s no excuse for poor customer service and how important it is to the company.  Maybe it’s just a restarting from lockdowns? 


Offline Dan C

  • Posts: 64
Re: A cautionary tale regarding Stiletto Tool and Milwaukee Tool...
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2022, 04:06 PM »
Just going to leave these here...
https://martineztools.com
https://toolguyd.com/martinez-tools-3-things-to-know/

I see what you did there!  Talk about amazing customer service....  And one heck of a product!