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Posted: 5/28/2017 5:35:46 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/28/2017 6:52:31 PM EST
[#1]
Consider it read.
Link Posted: 5/28/2017 7:08:18 PM EST
[#2]
Link Posted: 5/28/2017 7:15:58 PM EST
[#3]
I stripped two Craftsman ratchets last summer. I couldn't find rebuild kits for those particular models. I ended up sending them with the wife to Sears. They exchanged them for Chinese.
Link Posted: 5/28/2017 7:20:33 PM EST
[#4]
Link Posted: 5/28/2017 9:09:50 PM EST
[#5]
Very good advice at the end there. I need to disassemble and clean my three Craftsman ratchets really soon. Probably watched the same videos as you because they mentioned using the Harbor Freight synthetic grease (Super Lube I think).
Link Posted: 5/29/2017 9:03:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: K1rodeoboater] [#6]
It may be worth seeing if those ratchets were ever copied or cloned. I know a few people have rebuilt some tools with import copies. 

They were in a similar position. Old ratchet which is no longer supported and didn't want to "trade in" for sentimental reasons. 
Link Posted: 5/29/2017 9:43:12 AM EST
[#7]
Link Posted: 5/29/2017 1:03:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: K1rodeoboater] [#8]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By raf:

Interesting idea.  I wonder how I could find a "clone" rebuild kit.  I searched high and low on the interweb for rebuild kits, using the stock number of the ratchet stamped on the handle, to no avail.
Any suggestions?
View Quote
You buy the clone ratchet and gut it.  It's not an elegant solution but it's one that sometimes works. 
Link Posted: 5/29/2017 3:36:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: OverScoped] [#9]
@raf

do any of these work?  https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=3&campId=5337559805&toolId=10001&customId=j3alpbh99800zk8a00004&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fbhp%2Fcraftsman-ratchet-repair-kit


I'm going to check the numbers on my Craftsman stuff and buy the repair kits now. Mine are 30 years old and see average home garage type use.. I plan on using my tools another 30 years or at least into my 70's.  I dislike buying imported tools.... I'd rather buy used USA made tools, than new Chinese ones.
Link Posted: 5/29/2017 11:54:09 PM EST
[#10]
Thanks for sharing.
Very useful info.
Link Posted: 5/30/2017 1:29:37 AM EST
[#11]
I broke one that I've had for 20+ years.  It sat around the shop for a year of so before I brought it back to Sears for an exchange.  Had I known about rebuilding them I may have tried just to say I did.
Link Posted: 5/30/2017 5:35:32 AM EST
[#12]
Link Posted: 5/31/2017 2:47:58 PM EST
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hoboninja:
I stripped two Craftsman ratchets last summer. I couldn't find rebuild kits for those particular models. I ended up sending them with the wife to Sears. They exchanged them for Chinese.
View Quote


I blow out a 1/2" Craftsman ratchet each time I rebuild an engine.  I can't imagine they would be rebuildable, or why anyone would want to.  

If you want something strong, that isn't the brand you want.
Link Posted: 5/31/2017 2:57:40 PM EST
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wildearp:
I blow out a 1/2" Craftsman ratchet each time I rebuild an engine.  I can't imagine they would be rebuildable, or why anyone would want to.  

If you want something strong, that isn't the brand you want.
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Originally Posted By wildearp:
Originally Posted By hoboninja:
I stripped two Craftsman ratchets last summer. I couldn't find rebuild kits for those particular models. I ended up sending them with the wife to Sears. They exchanged them for Chinese.
I blow out a 1/2" Craftsman ratchet each time I rebuild an engine.  I can't imagine they would be rebuildable, or why anyone would want to.  

If you want something strong, that isn't the brand you want.
The older stuff used to really be just about unbreakable.

Somewhere along the line the financial guys realized they could build it lighter for less since most users never really used it hard.

Instead of it 'did not break' it became 'go get a new one mid-job.'

Those of us that DID use it hard had to switch to other brands.

Around the early to middle 1970s was when  the quality took a sh|t.

I  have some much older stuff and you can see how much thicker the socket walls are than newer pieces.

They then went even cheaper with the 'SEARS' branded stuff with no lifetime replacement warranty.
Link Posted: 5/31/2017 4:09:41 PM EST
[#15]
The ratchets I broke were late 90s manufacture. Of course part of it was me using them with a small cheater pipe (at the time, my only breaker bar was 36" long, wouldn't fit) After many years of use, they had already started slipping from time to time prior to that. Now I use a cheap Kobalt or older 70s Powr Kraft in 3/8. For 1/2, I use an old Giller that feels much stronger than any brand I've personally owned.

I guess its time to look for better quality.
Link Posted: 5/31/2017 4:11:01 PM EST
[#16]
the older stuff really is better.  I have old S-K, Craftsman, Williams, Snap-on stuff my dad gave me... im sure some of it is from the 50's -60's era... none of that stuff ever breaks.

These days when Im at a equipment show that has a flea market, I always hit up the tables for old tools.

3 weeks ago I picked up a set of Craftsman box end wrenches From 1-1/2 on down to 1/2 in 16th and 1/4 increments for $40.
Link Posted: 6/1/2017 5:44:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: raf] [#17]
Link Posted: 6/4/2017 9:38:14 AM EST
[#18]
Some of the older ratchets were also made under similar brands like Easco etc. sometimes you can find kits that way too.

My 60s-70s era C-man are solid as a rock but it's smart like you mention to actually service the tools once in a while.
Link Posted: 6/4/2017 12:45:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: brickeyee] [#19]
I have a J H Willimas S-51 THE "SUPERRATCHET" drop forged made in the USA that is STILL going strong.


It is only about 10-3/8 inches long and weighs a solid 1 LB. 5.6 oz.

It is just heavy for it size.

It is old enough it has no eject function but it is not that hard to remove a 1/2 inch drive socket.

It is built like the proverbial 'brick sh|t house.
Link Posted: 6/4/2017 1:05:07 PM EST
[#20]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By raf:
Thank You! 1 each kit for my 1/4" ratchet and my damaged 3/8" ratchet on the way.  Looks like these things come and go fairly rapidly, as I had scoured e-bay and other places only a couple days ago with no hits.
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Originally Posted By raf:
Originally Posted By OverScoped:
@raf

do any of these work?  https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=3&campId=5337559805&toolId=10001&customId=j3j0pdogyr00zk8a00004&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fbhp%2Fcraftsman-ratchet-repair-kit


I'm going to check the numbers on my Craftsman stuff and buy the repair kits now. Mine are 30 years old and see average home garage type use.. I plan on using my tools another 30 years or at least into my 70's.  I dislike buying imported tools.... I'd rather buy used USA made tools, than new Chinese ones.
Thank You! 1 each kit for my 1/4" ratchet and my damaged 3/8" ratchet on the way.  Looks like these things come and go fairly rapidly, as I had scoured e-bay and other places only a couple days ago with no hits.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=3&campId=5337559805&toolId=10001&customId=j3j0pdogyr00zk8a00004&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fbhp%2Fcraftsman-ratchet-repair-kit 
for some reason my link doesn't work anymore, but this one is exactly the same and it does.
Link Posted: 6/4/2017 2:33:24 PM EST
[#21]
I couldn't help myself. I picked up a Craftsman 44995 ratchet at a yard sale for $3. Date code indicates a Danaher build around 2005. The quick release didnt work, so I took it all apart and cleaned and oiled everything. Works great now.

Lately I have been shopping around for replacement ratchets, something better than current Craftsman, but I keep running into nice used ones.

A few days ago I also picked up a set of nos KD USA metric combo wrenches. They appear decent quality.
Link Posted: 6/4/2017 3:03:09 PM EST
[#22]
Link Posted: 6/4/2017 3:30:06 PM EST
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By raf:
How does one dismantle the QR assembly?  I just lubed the (working) ones I have with light oil, and they all are smooth and GTG.  Reason I ask is that the Craftsman rebuild kits usually come with QR replacement parts, so knowing how to install them would be useful.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By raf:
Originally Posted By hoboninja:
I couldn't help myself. I picked up a Craftsman 44995 ratchet at a yard sale for $3. Date code indicates a Danaher build around 2005. The quick release didnt work, so I took it all apart and cleaned and oiled everything. Works great now.

Lately I have been shopping around for replacement ratchets, something better than current Craftsman, but I keep running into nice used ones.

A few days ago I also picked up a set of nos KD USA metric combo wrenches. They appear decent quality.
How does one dismantle the QR assembly?  I just lubed the (working) ones I have with light oil, and they all are smooth and GTG.  Reason I ask is that the Craftsman rebuild kits usually come with QR replacement parts, so knowing how to install them would be useful.
I didnt mean to imply I disassembled it that far. I'm not sure you can. The button (I think)  is pressed in, and being plastic, would get torn up prying it out. I held it with pliers and sprayed it with carb cleaner until it ran out clear, then worked motor oil into the mechanism.  

Are you those parts aren't for the selector gear?
Link Posted: 6/4/2017 6:23:54 PM EST
[#24]
Link Posted: 6/4/2017 6:56:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: OverScoped] [#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By raf:
Some of the Craftsman ratchet re-build kits have what are obviously parts for the Quick Release mechanism:  Plunger, ball bearing, and spring.  No idea on how to install these items, but there is no mistaking them.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By raf:
Originally Posted By hoboninja:
Originally Posted By raf:
Originally Posted By hoboninja:
I couldn't help myself. I picked up a Craftsman 44995 ratchet at a yard sale for $3. Date code indicates a Danaher build around 2005. The quick release didnt work, so I took it all apart and cleaned and oiled everything. Works great now.

Lately I have been shopping around for replacement ratchets, something better than current Craftsman, but I keep running into nice used ones.

A few days ago I also picked up a set of nos KD USA metric combo wrenches. They appear decent quality.
How does one dismantle the QR assembly?  I just lubed the (working) ones I have with light oil, and they all are smooth and GTG.  Reason I ask is that the Craftsman rebuild kits usually come with QR replacement parts, so knowing how to install them would be useful.
I didnt mean to imply I disassembled it that far. I'm not sure you can. The button (I think)  is pressed in, and being plastic, would get torn up prying it out. I held it with pliers and sprayed it with carb cleaner until it ran out clear, then worked motor oil into the mechanism.  

Are you those parts aren't for the selector gear?
Some of the Craftsman ratchet re-build kits have what are obviously parts for the Quick Release mechanism:  Plunger, ball bearing, and spring.  No idea on how to install these items, but there is no mistaking them.
Craftsman Tools - USA History: Round Head Fine Tooth [RHFT] Ratchets - Rebuild & Discussion
 Go to about 7 minutes and he explains what to do.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:05:38 AM EST
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hoboninja:
.... quick release didnt work, so I took it all apart and cleaned and oiled everything. Works great now.
View Quote
No telling how many nice tools have been scrapped because no one took the time to dp exactly that. 
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:42:00 AM EST
[#27]
I have a 3/8 craftsman that the selector is loose and when using it sometimes slips out of gear.  Skinned a few knuckles over the yrs due to this.

Will flipping the pawl inside help ? Maybe wont know till it's apart to see the damage ?

 I have a few no name china that feel much stronger and are beefier but the craftsman is nice in that it is thinner.
Link Posted: 6/10/2017 11:20:27 AM EST
[#28]
Link Posted: 6/14/2017 4:07:16 PM EST
[#29]
Link Posted: 6/17/2017 1:00:36 PM EST
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hoboninja:
I stripped two Craftsman ratchets last summer. I couldn't find rebuild kits for those particular models. I ended up sending them with the wife to Sears. They exchanged them for Chinese.
View Quote
Similar story here.  The Chinese ratchet is almost unusable it is so rough.
Link Posted: 6/17/2017 10:44:13 PM EST
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jchewie1:
Similar story here.  The Chinese ratchet is almost unusable it is so rough.
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Originally Posted By jchewie1:
Originally Posted By hoboninja:
I stripped two Craftsman ratchets last summer. I couldn't find rebuild kits for those particular models. I ended up sending them with the wife to Sears. They exchanged them for Chinese.
Similar story here.  The Chinese ratchet is almost unusable it is so rough.
I recently picked up a gently used Thorsen usa ratchet. $10 shipped from the eBay. I used it today. Better than anything craftsman. Not really worried about a warranty at that price. I'll just buy one whenever they pop up for a good price. I'm up to 11 ratchets now with 5 more on the way.

Buying tools is almost starting to be as addictive as buying guns.
Link Posted: 6/18/2017 3:54:05 PM EST
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hoboninja:


I recently picked up a gently used Thorsen usa ratchet. $10 shipped from the eBay. I used it today. Better than anything craftsman. Not really worried about a warranty at that price. I'll just buy one whenever they pop up for a good price. I'm up to 11 ratchets now with 5 more on the way.

Buying tools is almost starting to be as addictive as buying guns.
View Quote
I have both problems. Lately though it's been mostly machine shop tooling. That way I could make my own guns
Link Posted: 6/18/2017 4:24:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: raf] [#33]
Link Posted: 6/18/2017 4:26:42 PM EST
[#34]
Link Posted: 6/18/2017 5:16:49 PM EST
[#35]
Thanks!  Re build a breaker bar the same way?
Link Posted: 6/20/2017 1:04:25 PM EST
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MiniZ:
Thanks for sharing.
Very useful info.
View Quote
+ 1
Link Posted: 6/20/2017 1:18:30 PM EST
[#37]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jacketch:
I have both problems. Lately though it's been mostly machine shop tooling. That way I could make my own guns
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jacketch:
Originally Posted By hoboninja:


I recently picked up a gently used Thorsen usa ratchet. $10 shipped from the eBay. I used it today. Better than anything craftsman. Not really worried about a warranty at that price. I'll just buy one whenever they pop up for a good price. I'm up to 11 ratchets now with 5 more on the way.

Buying tools is almost starting to be as addictive as buying guns.
I have both problems. Lately though it's been mostly machine shop tooling. That way I could make my own guns
You will spend as much as a metal lathe or milling machine itself costs on tooling for either.
Link Posted: 6/20/2017 8:38:50 PM EST
[#38]
Link Posted: 6/28/2017 9:41:23 PM EST
[#39]
Just a heads up. Snap on part # SPP744 is an awesome tool for rebuilding Craftsman 3/8 and 1/2 ratchets.

Its only 95 cents with free shipping.
Link Posted: 7/2/2017 10:26:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: Epidote] [#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hoboninja:


I recently picked up a gently used Thorsen usa ratchet. $10 shipped from the eBay. I used it today. Better than anything craftsman. Not really worried about a warranty at that price. I'll just buy one whenever they pop up for a good price. I'm up to 11 ratchets now with 5 more on the way.

Buying tools is almost starting to be as addictive as buying guns.
View Quote
The Thorsen brand went downhill rapidly in about 1970 when they became a subsidiary of Hydrometals, USA.  Thorsen combination and open-end wrenches will be fine, but their ratchet wrenches took the biggest quality hit.  I worked (at under $3 per hour) in the tool department at a Montgomery Ward store from 1970 to 1974, while in high school and college.  Wards sold lifetime-guaranteed mechanics tools under the Powr-Kraft brand.  They were really good, and competed well with Craftsman, with some important differences.  The Powr-Kraft tools weren't as highly polished, and the wrenches weren't as long.  But there were times I needed shorter wrenches.  Then the Powr-Kraft deep sockets weren't deep-wall, just deep, so the socket would fit over a protruding bolt.  

From the time I began working there in 1970, until early 1973, the mechanics tools were made by Wright Forging.  (Wright is still around.)  Those tools under the Powr-Kraft name were excellent, and I buy them when I can find them.  Many people were put off by the hard rubber handles on the fine-tooth ratchets.  But after more than 40 years, mine are still good.  But in 1973, Wards changed suppliers to Thorsen, in other words, Hydrometals.  We expected that there would be no change in quality, and we were really, really wrong.  The ratchets were utter garbage.  

We sold most of the mechanics tools in "socket sets," consisting of a ratchet, a breaker bar, and a series of sockets.  The sets had a lifetime guarantee.  We could buy a large number of sets every month to meet the obligations of weekly newspaper insert advertising.  But we were limited--by an oddball corporate policy from Chicago--to buying only five, sometimes ten, individual ratchets every month.  The Hydrometals ratchets might last almost 30 days.  Usually they lasted two weeks.  So we traded across the counter for a new one, which would be just as bad.  And that used up our five-per-month allocation in a day.  Then we had to break into the socket sets to replace just the ratchets.  So at any given time, we had maybe 1/4 the number of socket sets we needed to meet the weekly ads, and up to 70 partial sets awaiting replacement ratchets.  (But we only got 5, maybe 10, replacement ratchets every month.)

So if you see a Powr-Kraft mechanics tool at an estate sale, here's how to decipher the article number to figure out the manufacturer.  It'll have a number something like this:  84 H 1234 or 84 W 1234.  The 84 stands for the Hardware Department.  (83 was Electrical, 75 was Paint.)  1234 was the SKU of the actual item.  H stood for Hydrometals, W stood for Wright Forging.  

I just wish I could find a complete metric set in 84 W!  (And that brings me to another story, which I'll suppress.)
Link Posted: 7/21/2017 6:07:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: raf] [#41]
Link Posted: 9/4/2017 5:43:58 PM EST
[#42]
I did a little tinkering in my shop today. The last couple of months, I made it a habit to tear down, clean, and relube ratchets that have seen hard use or bad weather. What I noticed was, the Craftsman U.S. and chicom ratchets may look identical externally, but the reversing levers and pawls are not interchangeable.

So for those of you looking to buy repair kits, make sure you get the one specific to country of origin. The ratchet model numbers will be the same in most cases regardless.
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