how to date craftsman tool box

How to Date a Craftsman Tool Box?

The Craftsman brand has been a longstanding symbol of quality and durability in the realm of automotive and industrial tools. If you’re the proud owner of a Craftsman tool box, uncovering its manufacturing date can add an extra layer of appreciation and understanding to your collection. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of dating a Craftsman tool box, employing various methods that draw from the toolbox’s unique features and markings.

Methods to Date a Craftsman Tool Box

Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a hobbyist seeking insight into your toolbox’s origins, there are three primary methods to date a Craftsman tool box: using date codes, identifying the manufacturer’s logo, and analyzing the style and design of the toolbox itself.

Using Date Codes on Drawers

The date code is a vital clue hidden on the bottom of each drawer. This alphanumeric sequence might appear as “AB12,” where the letters signify the month and the number represents the year. Decoding this code involves matching it against a Craftsman toolbox date code chart available online. For instance, “AB12” would indicate the drawer was crafted in January of 2012.

Identifying by Manufacturer’s Logo

Craftsman toolboxes often proudly display the manufacturer’s logo or name on their exterior. By locating this logo and cross-referencing it with historical records, you can gain insights into the approximate age of your toolbox. This method also offers a glimpse into the history of the company, aiding in narrowing down the manufacturing period.

Analyzing Style and Design

The evolution of Craftsman toolboxes has resulted in distinctive design changes over the years. By comparing your toolbox’s style and design to vintage photos of Craftsman toolboxes, you can estimate its age based on its resemblance to specific design trends.

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Understanding Craftsman Tool Box Evolution

Craftsman toolboxes have gone through significant transformations since their introduction. From their early days to the present, recognizing the shifts in design, functionality, and manufacturing techniques can provide context for dating your toolbox.

Factors Influencing Production Period

Several factors can influence the production period of Craftsman toolboxes. Changes in ownership, technological advancements, and shifts in consumer preferences can all contribute to alterations in design and production methods.

Case Study: Craftsman Toolbox CM Number

Let’s delve into a practical example. Imagine your Craftsman toolbox features a CM number like “1111122223.” Breaking this down, the first six digits (11/11/22) correspond to November 11th, 1922, indicating the manufacturing date.


In conclusion, dating a Craftsman tool box requires a keen eye for detail and an understanding of the brand’s history. By decoding date codes, recognizing manufacturer logos, and studying design evolution, you can unveil the fascinating story behind your toolbox’s creation.


A: The old Craftsman toolboxes were made by Emerson Electric Company, with historical changes in ownership over time.

A: Craftsman mower manufacturing years can be determined by analyzing the serial number, usually found on the frame beneath the seat.

A: While some Craftsman tools carry a lifetime warranty, it’s important to note that not all tools are covered by this warranty. It’s recommended to check specific tools for warranty details.

A: While many Craftsman tools are manufactured overseas, the brand has shown commitment to expanding its USA manufacturing footprint in recent years.

A: The serial number’s first six digits often represent the month, day, and year of a Craftsman tool’s manufacture, providing valuable dating information.

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