I have always bought Craftsman tools whenever I could afford them. They were well crafted, and the mechanics tools came with a lifetime warranty. No questions asked, easy replacement – just walk into any Sears and they swapped the tool with a brand new one.
How times change.
I was doing some minor tune-up work on my truck today and grabbed my trusty Craftsman 1/4 inch drive ratchet. To my utter dismay, it failed me for the first time in almost thirty years.
I purchased the set in the 80’s, model 43771 EE 7 for the 1/4″ drive and model 43772 EE 7 for the 3/8″ drive. They lasted longer than my marriage!
I plodded my way through the air filter change with other tools at hand. In Arizona we have to change air filters every six months due to the fine dust that covers everything, and infiltrates everything.
Before heading off to Sears to replace the ratchet, I did some due diligence,and am grateful that I did. It turns out my ratchets are considered vintage. The 1/4″ drive ratchet sells on eBay for $50. Further, it turns out that the new Craftsman tools are made in China, and are sheer crap.
Through the information offered on the Garage Journal forums I discovered that these ratchets are easily disassembled.
I took the tool apart, and cleaned it with a healthy dose of spray lube/cleaner, and it is as good as new!
I suppose now when I acquire new tools, I will stick with Husky brand from Home Depot. Home Depots are more plentiful than Sears, the warranties are similar, and if I am going to have cheap Chinese crap, I would rather have a shorter drive to replace it!