Armstrong Ratcheting Wrenches and Customer Service Part 2

As detailed in my first post about Armstrong Ratcheting Wrenches Customer Service I purchased a new, surplus tool kit that included a good selection of Armstrong reversible ratcheting wrenches. The 15 mm wrench was missing its guts, making it only an open-end wrench.

The surplus USMC tray pieces (NSN # 5180-01-553-6556).

These tools were purchased when I learned of a good deal, and except for the cursory initial inspection, they sat in their shipping box for a few months in my garage. When I continued working on organizing the new kit, I found more defects as I laid out the tools for photographs.

Armstrong obviously has a problem with quality control. In this one tool set I received one wrench with no ratcheting parts, and this 1/2-inch wrench with a substantial bow in the tool. The 5/8 wrench had much less bow, but also was not flat. (I didn’t ask for the 5/8-inch wrench to be replaced.)

Look at the arc in that defective 1/2-inch Armstrong wrench?

Again I called Armstrong’s customer service phone number and explained the situation. Not only had I purchased these tools from a surplus retailer, but also a few months had passed. I offered to return the defective tool, or take it to a local outlet, but apparently I don’t sound like a person trying to get something for nothing. The customer service lady said she would send out a replacement without asking me to return the bent tool. It took more than a week, but little padded envelope arrived in the mail containing a new and flat 1/2-inch ratcheting wrench.

Slightly bowed 5/8-inch Armstrong wrench.

Kudos to Armstrong Tool for being very reasonable and helpful. Though the quality of the tool kit left something to be desired, their response was good, even generous, compared to what one might receive from other companies. It’s also worth noting, that while assembling this new tool kit, I was trying to purchase made-in-USA tools when practical and affordable. Aside from the possible benefits of buying American made tools, I’ve been pleased that every time I called Armstrong I spoke to someone in the USA, working directly for Armstrong/Apex Tool Group.

Copyright © 2012 James Langan