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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I done wore it out! It survived dozens of cars and decades of hard work!

Well it didn't really break, the spring that preloads the left/right lock lever must have broken so it won't stay locked for lefty loosen. Crapsman only does exchanges and that ain't happening.

The other choice is to buy a leftover rebuild kit from the Sears days and those are online for about $25-$28 and they're Chinesium.

Which leads to the thought of retiring the old boy and buying new.

Yep, I know HF has mastered the offshore knockoff market but for reasons that are often prattled I'm not going that route so that choice ain't happening.

Which brings us to US made choices. Any decent choices for a 10" 1/2" drive ratchet left? My hardware store stocks SK as it's domestic made brand so I'll have to peruse there.

Do I really want to ask what a Matco or MAC or Snap-on 1/2" drive goes for these days? Are they really "quality" or have they been ho-ed to junk quality like many good names of the past.

Henny Thoughts???
 
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Which brings us to US made choices. Any decent choices for a 10" 1/2" drive ratchet left? My hardware store stocks SK as it's domestic made brand so I'll have to peruse there.
SK is a decent ratchet. Very equal to Craftsman of old.

Do I really want to ask what a Matco or MAC or Snap-on 1/2" drive goes for these days? Are they really "quality" or have they been ho-ed to junk quality like many good names of the past.
For the record. A fairly standard Snap-On 10-inch ratchet is only $188. :)

800659
 
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If this is a raised panel Craftsman ratchet go get yourself something modern and decent!
SK Tools have recently been sold out and will probably be out of business soon. For USA made ratchets Wright Tool makes excellent stuff at reasonable (compared to Snap On) prices. I think Williams (Snap On) is still made in USA and Proto.
 

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I done wore it out! It survived dozens of cars and decades of hard work!

Well it didn't really break, the spring that preloads the left/right lock lever must have broken so it won't stay locked for lefty loosen. Crapsman only does exchanges and that ain't happening.

The other choice is to buy a leftover rebuild kit from the Sears days and those are online for about $25-$28 and they're Chinesium.

Which leads to the thought of retiring the old boy and buying new.

Yep, I know HF has mastered the offshore knockoff market but for reasons that are often prattled I'm not going that route so that choice ain't happening.

Which brings us to US made choices. Any decent choices for a 10" 1/2" drive ratchet left? My hardware store stocks SK as it's domestic made brand so I'll have to peruse there.

Do I really want to ask what a Matco or MAC or Snap-on 1/2" drive goes for these days? Are they really "quality" or have they been ho-ed to junk quality like many good names of the past.

Henny Thoughts???
my cousin works for Danaher tool as a projection person. pretty high up now. anyhoo--all of their tools are now made in CHINA--yuck i say---when kobalt tools was pretty good yrs she claimed they was tooling plants in vietnam to make em there. that lasted a few yrs i guess, been in china for a good while-as her company had sent her over there several times before the covid hit.
i have some of the older kobalt tools and i liked back then a lot. even bought of their tool boxes back then.

oh yeah i used to haul round bar stock from the Missouri side by ST. Louis to a plant in Mass.
they would build craftsman ratchet's out of that round bar. my dad didn't believe me-so the next trip to there-i asked the fella who had been unloading me-if he thought i could get me a blank to show my dad where they was built at----before i pulled out of the bay--here he comes with a box-he showed me what was inside it---he had got me 1/2 and 3/8 ratchets for me and my dad-i set each of polished and the rest of them wasn't polished. i still got the unpolished one on the jd model 50's tool box. i thanked that fella over and over. one of the best gifts i ever got on the road.
 

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You might look at Proto. They are supposedly made in the US. Old line Proto were good tools. We have a few that are over 50 years old and still in use.
 

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USA made proto and Williams. The Williams is the same design as Snap On.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mine is a V series 44985 so it's from back in the US made Moore Drop Forging era. I'll pop the snap ring off and see if I can locate a replacement spring since the rest of the tool is in good shape. Seen a lot of engines, trannys and rears over the years. I don't have the heart to retire it, lol!

I'll have to take a look at the Snap-On/Proto/Williams. Just don't want to be buying a brand name that's now junky since that seems to be the trend nowadays.

Jim, interesting to hear you hauling steel from the Laclede area to Mass - I thought I read that Danaher was going to sell their tool operation and it was going to be produced onshore. That might have been a year or so and of course it was from the 'net so it could be garbo.

Oh, this isn't a bad site for looking at tool archaeology though it hasn't been updated in a few years. Strangely, the Bonney Forge page doesn't list the Deere branded tools.


 

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My old Made in USA Craftsman 3/8" ratchet is holding up fine. I also have a Made in USA Craftsman Stainless 1/2" ratchet that is SAWEET. Every now and then I think about going on eBay and scoring a 1/4" and 3/8" in the Stainless versions but they are proud of them and I don't really need them.
 
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Since Sears closed I have been buying gear wrench, and Dewalt hand tools. Occasionally I buy snap on.

i have a few S-K ratchets. I break the long handle 1/2 drive every few years . I have put new guts in it about 4 times. Still I think it’s a pretty good tool as I put pipes on it and or stand on it to break really tight bolts loose .

I have been a construction millwright for 32 plus years. I started out with a basic set of snap on tools for work, Craftsman at home. I now have a mix of tool brands in my work tool box as my tools got added to and replaced by what ever brand was easy to come by at the time. Some were bought by me. Some was bought by my employer, as at times they will replace lost or broken tools. Most name brand tools with a replacement warranty will work just fine.

It would have been nice to stick with just one brand. But over the years tool supply stores and the brands they carry have come and gone. I don’t know where to get sk or proto tools locally any more. The local stores the sell craftsman seem to only sell full sets today. So when your 9/16” combo wrench goes missing or your 15/16” socket breaks you take whatever brand is Quickly available.
 

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Rule292
Very interesting reading Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
SK Tools have recently been sold out and will probably be out of business soon.
My go-to hardware store, who caters to farmers and industry, has a large SK stock. They go out of their way to have a massive stock of domestically sourced products.

SK's press release confirms that last month they were acquired (by Hangzaou Greatstar who "owns Shop-Vac, Arrow Fastener, and Pony Jorgensen clamps") 😡 The sellout continues.

Wonder if Snap-on or MATCO is still made in the US.
 

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My go-to hardware store, who caters to farmers and industry, has a large SK stock. They go out of their way to have a massive stock of domestically sourced products.

SK's press release confirms that last month they were acquired (by Hangzaou Greatstar who "owns Shop-Vac, Arrow Fastener, and Pony Jorgensen clamps") 😡 The sellout continues.

Wonder if Snap-on or MATCO is still made in the US.
Most SnapOn is US made. I think Matco is outsourced now.
Wright Tool is the only US privately owned tool maker now I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Most SnapOn is US made. I think Matco is outsourced now.
Wright Tool is the only US privately owned tool maker now I think.
God willing, as long as I can afford to I'll seek out and buy US made things. The workman is worthy of his wages.

It's pretty sad that you have to research the "etymology" of the company to see if they are just a part of some holding company.

Snap-on says that their ratchets are US made... though Wright says theirs are not just made in the US but with US blanksl

I'll have to suggest to the hardware store I shop at to consider getting Wright to replace SK... though Wright's web site says they are already a distributor. I can't remember seeing them there so perhaps they're getting set up to replace SK. They practice what they preach when it comes to supporting US workers.
 
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God willing, as long as I can afford to I'll seek out and buy US made things. The workman is worthy of his wages.

It's pretty sad that you have to research the "etymology" of the company to see if they are just a part of some holding company.

Snap-on says that their ratchets are US made... though Wright says theirs are not just made in the US but with US blanksl

I'll have to suggest to the hardware store I shop at to consider getting Wright to replace SK... though Wright's web site says they are already a distributor. I can't remember seeing them there so perhaps they're getting set up to replace SK. They practice what they preach when it comes to supporting US workers.
That’s great that you have a local store to purchase quality tools over the counter.
The bad thing (for toolmakers) is that most tools aren’t something you buy over and over. How many of us on here are using our tools from the 70s,80s,90s or inherited tools that are even older? A Snap On or Wright ratchet will last several lifetimes with a little bit of care.
I will say those US Craftsman raised panel ratchets are some of the worst ratchets you can find. They’re reasonably durable but they are very crude with low teeth count by today’s standards. I’ve had them decide to disengage, lockup or change direction more times than I care to remember when you’re really cranking on them. I still have a drawer filled with them but they’re my last ratchet I go for.
 

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I have two preferences in hand ratchet manufacturers, Snap-On and gearwrench. My Snap-On are my daily drivers and get the most workout. I have them in 1/4 to 1/2 in both flex and fixed head configurations. I don’t have any of the quick change ones with the button, but I have considered giving one a try. All of mine are the sealed head varieties. However, being sealed isn’t maintenance free, so if you go that route, give it some TLC and clean and lube the internals from time to time. Your tool will thank you in longevity. As for my second choice, I feel gearwrench makes a very excellent ratchet for the money. The high tooth count makes for good use in tight areas. However, I too prefer to make US made a priority, so their tools are generally left in the road bag for occasional use.
 
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I don't think anyone has mentioned Gray tools. Before retiring I was in the line trade and our electric utility only bought Gray ratchets and sockets. I saw a display of Gray tools yesterday and while the salesperson didn't mention the country of origin, they said that the replacement warranty was still the same. These tools were abused daily. Mine quite often had a pipe over the handle to improve leverage. They aren't the best tools made but they are tough and priced much better than those other ones. Worth a look.....
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That’s great that you have a local store to purchase quality tools over the counter.
The bad thing (for toolmakers) is that most tools aren’t something you buy over and over. How many of us on here are using our tools from the 70s,80s,90s or inherited tools that are even older? A Snap On or Wright ratchet will last several lifetimes with a little bit of care.
I will say those US Craftsman raised panel ratchets are some of the worst ratchets you can find. They’re reasonably durable but they are very crude with low teeth count by today’s standards. I’ve had them decide to disengage, lockup or change direction more times than I care to remember when you’re really cranking on them. I still have a drawer filled with them but they’re my last ratchet I go for.
I am lucky... my go-to store carries everything from SK tools to Weasler PTOs to Coxreel stuff to a full line of stainless threaded pipe of all sizes... and they're a Stihl distributor and factory repair shop. Their battery powered tools and bulk bolt selection puts any hardware store far to shame. They cater to farmers and industry and make the big box stores look like Kmart. There's a second store by me that I should check out for hand tools. Small, plain family run businesses and they are big on domestically sourced products.

My US Craftsman is certainly homeowner grade but in the past 40+ years of using the same 3/8 and 1/2" ratchets I've had a detent spring break twice. They've been used and used hard as they are supposed to but it does feel good to own something that goes back to the day when the masses could get things that lasted.

The mere fact that we still do drop forgings in the US is amazing given the amount of hand labor that goes into them. Even more amazing that many of these tools for the masses were made in places where the wages were good.
 

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Morning.

All my sockets, screwdrivers, open and box wrenches are Craftsman. Other hand tools too. Purchased 35+ years ago.

My local Menards and Lowes both now stock Craftsman sockets + tools. When I noticed this about a year ago, I asked Menards about the Craftsman lifetime warranty. Manager told me that if they have the single item in stock they will likely honor the warranty. By "single item in stock" he meant if I break a screwdriver, and Menards only has that screwdriver in a package set of 6 - then no. But if they have the single screwdriver on the shelf they will exchange it. Since that time a year ago, they have increased their stock of Craftsman, and I think they have most items in sets, and single pieces. Ratchets also.

However as stated above - if you exchange your tool for a new one - it's perhaps inferior quality to the broke one. And I understand what you refer to about "inferior quality / offshore" tools. But at my age, if I get a new tool today...... if it lasts 10 years that's likely enough. I probably won't be changing my own oil when I'm 80.

Up to you: Watch Ebay / Craigslist for old school Craftsman. Or as suggested above go Snap-on, etc. Exchange to for new @ menards. Look at Gear Wrench
 
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