I bought a used 1/2 Armstrong (standard, black oxide) ratchet for 5$.
Turns out the reason it was at goodwill was because they sheared the pawls off trying to unbolt something (probably with a cheater bar).
A rebuild costs ~30$
A new old stock one on ebay is ~60$
You can get any number of quality ratchets for slightly more than the rebuild kit.
At what point should I throw it away vs repairing it? It is made in the USA and feels like a quality ratchet.
Trying to build a complete enough set of OK tools for as cheap as possible now that I have moved out and cant use my dads stuff.
My only other 1/2 ratchets are a standard craftsman raised panel (Its so shitty), and a 15 inch Napa (Allen USA) ratchet (which I bought at goodwill at the same time, which also has sheared pawls but the rebuild kit was only 8$)
I am going to be buying a Pittsburgh Pro 1/2 fine tooth ratchet soon, will probably get used the majority of the time when using 1/2
I know the Armstrong is going to be better than the craftsman, but im not sure its going to get used all that often. Feels like spending 30$ for a redundant ratchet when I have a lot of other stuff to be buying. Im building off of a small craftsman tool kit I got years ago, have a long way to go before ill feel I have everything to tackle any car repair. Cash is tight.
>doesn't have a complete toolset yet
>has three 1/2" drive ratchets, planning on getting another
Dude, just save up around $300, then wait until father's day. Sears will have a pretty damn complete socket and wrench set on sale (ship for free to the store), and then stop nickling and diming yourself to death.
Craftsman isn't the best, but the warranty kicks ass, and if you're not turning wrenches for a living, they'll likely outlast you.
Oh, and their sale usually includes SAE and Metric, a driver set, and allen key set. You need to add in pliers, full screwdriver set, and then whatever other random shit you'll eventually need.
The 309 piece was $200, my bad, and I got free shipping to my address.
UPC code so you can look over what's included: 714994391265
Well I didnt specify, the set I have is like a ~150 piece craftsman set, but it came with a lot of filler.
It is close to a full 1/4 set, a close to full 3/8 set, and a scattered 1/2 set. Just regular sized sockets, no deep, no shallow, no 12s etc etc.
I set out to buy the handful of sockets missing in the sets to make them full, and to buy cheap but decent ratchets because I dont like the ones that came in the kits.
I just happened upon these two used ratchets for cheap.
And like you said about nickel and diming, the wrench set that came in the kit is so minimal I cant just piece it together one by one without spending a fortune.
I know that Kobalt tools go on stupid sales a lot too.
>I know that Kobalt tools go on stupid sales a lot too.
I'd honestly still tell you to get this 309 set (ratcheting box end wrenches are one of the greatest inventions ever).
Use the 309 as the core of your main set, and put together a small toolbox out of the bits and pieces you have to keep in your vehicle.
Kobalt seems to be slightly more annoying to redeem but YMMV. Father's day is one of the best times to buy tools though if you shop around.
I buy all my tools used. I have a ton of old Plomb/Proto, Craftsman (Made in USA stuff), Powr-Kraft and even some Snap-On/Blue Point/Williams stuff. I have mostly complete sets of everything with some spares. I don't think I paid more than $10 for any single piece of it. I've spent maybe $150 total. Pic related, Craftsman ratchets. I paid $15 and 10 minutes of my time to clean them up and make them look new. They range is size from 1/4 to 1/2 inch drive.
You used to trade in your broken ones for a refurbished one, someone at the Sears would use a rebuild kit and fix the traded in broken ratchets (circa 2009 when I worked there)
You could also give bad parts and get just the kit.
If no kit or refurb was available, then you would get a new ratchet.
Ive read on some of the tool forums that currently they refuse to rebuild or trade refurbs out if they are USA made. Its an automatic trade for a new chinese one. Not sure if thats just narrative from the forums who hate Sears now, or if they are trying to get people used to the fact that everything is chinese. Would make sense though.
Neat. I always imagined they sent them off to a repair center, fixed them rechromed them or whatever, and shipped them back / sold them to liquidators.
I have a plier set that this one particular pliers always breaks. its the pointed one with wire cutters.. damn thing always snaps off at the joint.
Last time I got it exchanged they opened up a new one. I like sears exchange policy, I just wish they wouldn't have went chinese.
So nothing has really changed then?
Thats good to hears. Several tool forums, especially garage journal, really rail on Craftsman these days.
I personally havent ever traded anything in but have a decent amount of older Craftsman stuff.
We always just looked for dirt cheap tools at yard sales or thrift stores, that have lifetime replacement like craftsman etc... Then break said tool and take it to be replaced. I have done this with a local store that replaces craftsman, I walk in with a couple broken ratchets I paid maybe $2 each for and walk out with $30 or more of new tools. I keep some and sell the rest I don't need at 80% retail.
>I bought a used 1/2 Armstrong (standard, black oxide) ratchet for 5$. ...
So lemme get this story straight:
,,,,,you wanted a fancy name-brand wrench, but-
,,,,,you couldn't afford to buy a new one, so-
,,,,,you bought a used one ridiculously cheap at goodwill, but-
,,,,,it is damaged, and-
,,,,,for less than what it would cost to fix, you could get a number of other decent NEW wrenches.
,,,,and "cash is tight".
I think mebbe you are too concerned about the names on your tools.
Nice pic. Don't make them like that anymore. They got fancy smooth chrome and shit.. i still just get the ones like pic related (The "new" version). They're cheap enough to start last about a year every day use (sometimes i abuse them). I've found a few over the years under hoods so when one breaks it goes into the broken drawer. When I'm on the last one I'll go warranty them.
Funny story here, i engrave my initials on them so they wont get stolen. Broke the 3/8 flex head. Dropped it off, got a new one. About a year and a half later my brother's co worker sent me a pic of my ratchet all shiny and rebuilt. Stillnhad my initials. He has since broke it again tho..
So much this. Save all the tool budget for fathers day and Christmas. All the deals. Its been two years since I've been serious and I still haven't picked up the $40 kreg jig bundle, yet.
>Several tool forums, especially garage journal, really rail on Craftsman these days.
I don't know why. They write shit for a living. You can break any tool really. I have a snap on ratchet that breaks more than the craftsman ones i have. And i use the sears shit for the more dirty jobs. The snap on is like $250, while a similar sears one is like $30. Both lifetime warr. Except at sears the girl behind the counter just replaces it. The snap on shill gives me shit about having to fix it. But i dont have to drive to sears. Solution: buy 3 from sears. Still save $160. Just make sure they're not all broken at once. You'll prob go there for something before all 3 break. And it's not like you won't swing by the tool dept just to "look" anyway..
The reason people shit on craftsman is because the tools arent any better than harbor freight, yet are still triple the price. When they shipped labor over and started making tools that were clearly lower in fit finish and overall quality the prices still went up.
And dont let anyone kid you, the final 5 or so years of USA made Craftsman tools were quickly going down in quality after the OEM Danaher was bought by the Apex group. Its just continued downhill since they jumped ship from Danaher to a chinese OEM.
Look at how bad GearWrench has gotten, after the big Danaher Cooper Apex deal they shipped production from Taiwan to China.
They are lobster claw open ended, boxed ends mechanisms are rough, and they are still expensive.
I was appalled when I first saw the chinese Craftsman wrenches.Changing the tooling to have thicker beams and Lobster claws because of inferior metal. Hell, their half black half brushed tools (which all look awful BTW) have surface rust from sitting on the shelf. Some of their tools feel really really shitty now.
It's a shame about Gearwrench. Not five years ago it was so easy to find a decent priced set of Taiwan made reversible combo wrench ratchets. These days all you can find for sale, even at the big holidays, are the flip-over-to-reverse made in China wrenches. Apparently China can't make a Gearwrench quality reversible level wrench.
Yeah i suppose you're right. But the top priced ones are sometimes just as shitty. Tbh i work with some young guys with a ton of harbor freight shit. Some of it really isn't that bad, esp for the price. I'm not a big fan of the "extendable" ratchets tho.
Lol.. i got the 2 and a half foot long 1/2 in matco one, and the smallest 1/2in drive one. I got the small one first, used a pipe on it all the time. It never broke. The long one i let coworker borrow it, he snapped the head clean off. The matco dude's jaw dropped when i showed him. Said he never saw one break like that. It was a few years old and he replaced it with the 88 tooth one. The drive broke once since, but that shit happens.
I bought one of these sexy beasts a few months ago for $60. Designed to hit stuff and has an extension handle for even more torque, so it's pretty sturdy.
That said I probably use my regular 1/2" Craftsman ratchet more than anything just because it's a little smaller. Never broken one before but it's cheap enough that I wouldn't really care if it did. If you wait for sales at Sears you can stock up on tool sets for cheap; I got a ton of stuff on Black Friday a couple years ago when everything was 50% off.