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Maintenance & Workshop Talk The central area for general maintenance, trouble-shooting and modifications ------------ (Other technical forums on the site are model specific)

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Old 12-03-2012, 09:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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its just a shame they done away with the fine tooth drive mechanism.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:11 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by S1loki View Post
its just a shame they done away with the fine tooth drive mechanism.
You may not find them in the stores, but their 'premium' line of ratchets are 88 tooth I believe.

I also think they are the only ones they still make in the US, but don't quote me on that.

Not cheap - the 1/2" lists for $69.99. But it's cheaper than the truck brands. I'm guessing a similar Snappy would be twice that (?)
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:00 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Since I started buying Craftsman hand tools.

In home use. I have broken one socket and twisted the head on one breaker bar. At the same time and involved the use of a 4 foot cheater bar. Worn out and abused an awful lot of screwdrivers though.

In professional use. In ten years, one 3/8 drive ratchet gave up and died. Not to mention the #2 phillips screw drivers that only lasted about a month on average.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by S1loki View Post
Not to mention the #2 phillips screw drivers that only lasted about a month on average.
Seriously, is there any standard hand tool with a shorter life expectancy than a #2 Phillips? I swear they make those things out of melted down Lada off casts or something.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I love walking into a sears store with a bag full of things needing to be replaced...
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:42 AM   #26 (permalink)
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If the whole american made thing means that much then maybe us americans should all be on Harlys?
Nah, that's crazy talk. They should all ride a Victory or an Indian.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:37 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Here's a little data to help decide if you want to ditch Craftsman or not. Since I'm hoping to increase my tool set this Christmas I've been looking. For this example I'm looking for a 1/2 drive quick-release ratchet that's' under 12" total length. Here's some price comparisons. (note: better deals can be had if you purchase this item as part of a set.)

Craftsman (Sears) - $22.99
Husky (Home Depot) - $24.97
Kobalt (Lowes) - $39.97
Snap-On - $149.95
Matco - $124.20
MAC - $119.99

Think I'll stick with Craftsman and their refurb return policy.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:49 AM   #28 (permalink)
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ace hardware now sells craftsman tool too, I havnt seen their warrenty yet.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Junipero View Post
I worked at Sears in the '80s while in college. Even back then we only replaced the internal mechanisms on ratchets. We had kits that we swapped out whenever customers brought in busted ratchets. Wrenches and screwdrivers and sockets were always replaced because you couldn't generally fix them.

This isn't a new policy at all.
I did the same 82-86. We replaced the internals on the spot and it only took a couple of minutes after you did it a couple of times. Drills were similar. If the chuck was messed up we would only replace the chuck althought they only carried a year warranty.

Sounds like they now take your tool and give you an equivalent replacement and then replace the internals on your tool and throw it in the box. I'm sure if you insisted on having you specific handle they would replace the internals.

Check above the door on your way out. I know this was in the store I worked in.



If it is still there point it out to the sales person.
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Last edited by LoVel; 12-05-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:49 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gspivey View Post
Here's a little data to help decide if you want to ditch Craftsman or not. Since I'm hoping to increase my tool set this Christmas I've been looking. For this example I'm looking for a 1/2 drive quick-release ratchet that's' under 12" total length. Here's some price comparisons. (note: better deals can be had if you purchase this item as part of a set.)

Craftsman (Sears) - $22.99
Husky (Home Depot) - $24.97
Kobalt (Lowes) - $39.97
Snap-On - $149.95
Matco - $124.20
MAC - $119.99

Think I'll stick with Craftsman and their refurb return policy.
I too tend to stick with Craftsman. But....


The problem with the comparison above is radically different quality levels between these tools. Roughly you can see that just on the price point alone; the truck brands are far more expensive than the store brands. They are also FAR nicer to use and less likely to break as well. Are they worth it? I guess that depends on your own preferences. A home user who occasionally changes his oil is going to have a different opinion than a home user who does full engine builds and other large-scale projects who will have yet a different opinion than a professional who earns his living with his tools every day.

All these tools may offer a 'lifetime warranty' but that's about the end of the comparison. By that measure you could compare a Hyundai and a Mercedes and determine that the Hyundai is the equal or better simply because it has a longer warranty. Yet one drive is all it takes for you to know the difference.

By the same token, even the base-model Craftsman RP wrenches/ratchets are also out as are the Kobalt (though they seem decent) and certainly the Husky which I find no better than Pittsburgh.

Since you are looking to buy something yourself in the Craftsman range, I would suggest looking beyond the basic RP tools at their higher-end stuff. It does cost more, but they are much nicer. The old RP's are actually decent quality for the money but are simply uncomfortable in the hand and harder to keep clean. The higher end options offer superior feel, full polish, thinner profiles, and higher tooth count. All are worth a few extra bucks in my opinion.

(though as stated earlier, they aren't as nice as they were since the switch to Danahar)

Here's the basic RP 1/2" ratchet you mentioned at $22.99
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...=Ratchetsmv=rr
It's an old stand by. I've had one in my tool box for 20 years or more. But it's certainly not a great tool. Workman-like might be the best description. I can rely on it to do the job, but it's not enjoyable to use.

Here's the next step up at $39.99
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...=Ratchetsmv=rr
I have some of these ratchets as well. They used to be called the 'professional' line, though Sears has changed their naming conventions over the years. It's a much nicer tool in the hand and easily worth the extra money to me. Thinner profile to fit in tighter places; higher tooth count for smoother operations and less swing; full polish for easy clean-up. This has been my 'shopping point' for the last dozen or so years. Not a lot more cost, but a much nicer tool. (though again, not as nice as they were 10 years ago)

And here's their top of the line 'premium ratchet' at $69.99
http://www.sears.com/craftsman-premi...2&blockType=G2
Yet a higher tooth count and a slightly nicer body. Notice it also looks surprisingly like tool truck brands...not a coincidence I think. And still a bargain compared to those truck brands.

If I were shopping for a new ratchet myself I would likely be looking at this tool, but largely because I already have a good selection of the lower and mid-line tools. And I simply take pleasure in the feel of a good quality tool. Will the old RP do the job? Probably. Will I enjoy it more with a nicer tool? Yes. Will I pay more for that? Yes, to a degree.

Of course, if you really want to get serious just hop over to the Snap-On website and you'll find about a hundred variations of ratchet to fit exactly your preferences. And you'll pay accordingly. I won't pay that sort of money for my tools since I don't use them every day and the return policy would be difficult for me to deal with since I don't have a truck stopping by my office every week. Though I certainly wouldn't be above searching craigslist for somebody liquidating their Snap-On or Matco tools if I were willing to take my time and hunt.


<edit>
Some people may not be familiar with the term 'RP'. In Craftsman-Speak, 'RP' stands for 'Raised Panel' - if you look at the basic Craftsman hand tools you'll see where this designation comes from. They've offered this construction for decades and I'm sure it still makes up the bulk of their tool sales. At the price point they represent good value, but they don't offer the bells and whistles of the nicer products.
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If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough - Mario Andretti

Last edited by zelatore; 12-05-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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