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Classic Auto and Motorcycle Tools => Classic Auto and Motorcycle Tools => Topic started by: Jim C. on July 31, 2018, 07:35:41 AM

Title: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on July 31, 2018, 07:35:41 AM
If you’d like to just identify your Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet manufactured between 1956 and 1993, and want to cut past all the other stuff in the thread, here’s an index for the individual Type posts:

Type 1:   Immediately below this index
Type 2:   Page 1, Reply 13
Type 3:   Page 2, Reply 27
Type 4:   Page 3, Reply 39
Type 5:   Page 4, Reply 48
Type 6:   Page 4, Reply 51
Type 7:   Page 4, Reply 52
Type 8:   Page 4, Reply 53
Type 9A:  Page 4, Reply 54
Type 9B:  Page 5, Reply 61
Type 10A:  Page 5, Reply 62
Type 10B:  Page 5, Reply 63
Type 11:  Page 5, Reply 69
Type 12:  Page 5, Reply 70
Type 13:  Page 5, Reply 73
Type 14  1/2” :  Page 6, Reply 87
Type 14  3/8” :  Page 6, Reply 88
Type 14  1/4” :  Page 7, Reply 91

About three years ago, I tried to post a Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet Type Study (1956 – 1993) on another forum.  At the time I had gotten interested in older Craftsman tools from the =V= era.  For whatever reason, I was on a “ratchet kick,” and somehow got interested in collecting the ratchets I remember using as a teenager when I restored my first car.  Back in the early 1980s, my dad bought me a small set of Craftsman tools that included one ½”, one 3/8” and one ¼” drive standard ratchet and associated sockets.  The funny thing is that I still have all three ratchets and they’re still my everyday “go to” ratchets.  Anyway, like I was saying, I started doing a little research and discovered that the basic Sears/Craftsman teardrop ratchets so many of us have and/or use got their start somewhere around 1956/1957 and changed to a different configuration right around 1993.  Having the innate “collector’s mentality” that seems to consistently manifest itself when it comes to tools, I decided to see if I could track down all the variations of each ½”, 3/8” and ¼” drive Sears/Craftsman ratchet offered between 1956 and 1993.   The trick was identifying all the variations and then attempting to put them into chronological order.  I was essentially creating a Type Study.  After a year of serious collecting I felt confident that I had them all and decided to publish my findings.  Well, almost immediately after my first post, it became very clear that I didn’t have them all and my Type Study was seriously incomplete.  Constructive feedback and my own further observations proved it.  It was a good first try and the basis for what I now hope will be a more complete Type Study covering standard Sears/Craftsman teardrop ratchets produced between 1956 and 1993.  So, here I am three years later, and after more serious collecting and observations, I have them all……I think.

Three years ago, when I published my flawed Type Study, I posted (now with some current edits based on what I’ve learned since then) the following preamble, with evaluation criteria, etc.:
 
“A little while back I got interested in Craftsman raised panel (RP) standard length, teardrop ratchets. I bought a few online and at some point it dawned on me that there were several different variations of the ratchet, particularly in terms of the information stamped on their handles (patents, model numbers, letter sizes/shapes) and other physical factors to include quick release functions and directional lever shapes. As I learned later, while disassembling these ratchets, some of their internal mechanisms changed over the years too.

This post is only the beginning, and an attempt to illustrate (with photos) the criteria I used to evaluate ratchets and group them into "types" so they could be identified and given approximate dates (more like decades) of manufacture. The years I focused on were from roughly 1956 to about 1993. The type study only applies to Craftsman teardrop 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" drive sizes in standard lengths with RPs on their handles. It does not take into account flex head teardrop ratchets nor the 15" long 1/2" drive versions. Once the teardrop head changed and the directional levers were made of plastic, I ended the study. That occurred somewhere around 1993. I was really just interested in the ratchets that most of us or our dads, uncles, grandfathers, and neighbors had in their boxes back in the day.

Finally, I used a few different sources to help me construct the type study. Those sources include David Mahar's extensive Craftsman catalog DVDs (if you’re a Craftsman collector, these DVDs are a must have), Gary Lauver's Craftsman Date Code/Manufacturer Study, a tidbit or two regarding Type 1 and Type 3 ratchets taken from a couple of emails between myself and Dr. Dom, and a lot of personal observations just cruising Ebay on a daily basis.  As I was searching for examples to acquire for the Type Study, I discovered a seller on eBay who goes by "needmorewrenches."  Several tough to find examples in the Type Study, to include the Type 3, 1/2" drive, Type 8, 1/2" drive and a couple Type 14, 1/4" drive ratchets to name a few, came from his auctions.  He routinely sells vintage, mint to NOS condition Craftsman tools.  Anyway, when I was looking for a very hard to find Type 1, 3/8" drive with 32 teeth, I reached out to him offering to buy one from his collection.  Instead, he gifted me the example depicted below (as well as another 24 tooth example).  Many, many thanks to "needmorewrenches."

I basically used eight criteria to evaluate each ratchet. Those criteria were:

1. The teardrop shaped head. I designated this criteria with a "TD" for teardrop. Pretty straight forward I’d say. Every ratchet in the study has this basic shape and head configuration.

2. The oil hole on the top of the head. Earlier types in the study all had oil holes, while they were eliminated on later types. The 3/8" and 1/2" drive versions eliminated the oil holes before the 1/4" did. I designated this criteria with "OH" for oil hole. 

3. The directional lever. All Craftsman teardrop ratchets in the study were produced with a "long lever" designated with "LL" except for the Type 2, which was manufactured with a "V" shaped lever, designated as "VL."

4. The quick release function. The three earliest types in the study did not include a quick release mechanism, while all later types did beginning with Type 4. This criteria is designated as "QR."

5. The letter "A" in the word Craftsman. Early types of the ratchet used a pointed letter "A" in the word Craftsman, while later types used a flat top letter "A." Those designations are "PA" and "FA" respectively.

6. The patent information. Several times throughout the course of the study, various patent information was stamped on the handles of the ratchets. The size of the letters, their configuration, placement in relation to model numbers, and the patent numbers themselves led me to create various types based on their existence and occurrence on the handles of the ratchets.

7. The model numbers. This one is self-explanatory. Some of the earlier types did not have model numbers stamped onto their handles, while later types did in some way or another. Interestingly, ALL the ratchets were assigned a model number in the Craftsman catalogs that I reviewed. That must have been for purposes of ordering them from the catalog.  They just weren't always applied to the ratchet handles.

8. Finally, the mind boggling manufactures codes. While most of the manufactures codes for Types 1 though 12 were either =V=, -V-, except for Types 9 and 10, which both also used -VV-, all the Type 14 ratchets, which seem to have been manufactured between approximately 1985 to 1993, included -V-, -VE-, -VF-, VF, and -VG-. Those are the codes I've identified so far. There could be others. Some could actually be relatively uncommon. For example, so far, I've observed very few ratchets bearing the -VE- and -VG- codes. 

In future posts, I'll include photos showing every Type (all 14) and discuss some of the variations. The 1/4" models were a little harder to classify because they didn't always follow the changes that were occurring with the 3/8" and 1/2" models.

Last but not least, I'm open to any and all constructive suggestions, corrections, additions, comments, etc. The more info I get, the better this Type Study will be.”

Well, I guess we should get into it. This post will feature Type 1 of the Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet. I'll present the nomenclature that will be used throughout the type study and going forward in each successive Type post. Before I start, there are a few more administrative notes to make. Any time a criteria designation begins with "Non" that means it was not present on that ratchet Type. It should also be noted that EVERY single ratchet in the study was stamped with "FORGED IN U.S.A." The other thing I was never able to conclusively figure out was the word "OIL" above the oil hole on the head of some ratchet Types. Some oil holes included the word "OIL" while other oil holes do not. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. With that being said, here's the nomenclature for the Type 1 Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet.

Type 1: 1956 - 1959, TD, OH, LL, NonQR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

Essentially what that says is the Type 1 ratchet first appeared somewhere around 1956/'57 and last appeared in 1959 (based on my review of Craftsman catalogs). It had a teardrop (TD) shaped head, an oil hole (OH), a long lever (LL) direction switch, no (Non) quick release (QR) mechanism, a pointed letter "A" (PA) in the word Craftsman, a =V= manufacturer's mark, and did not (Non) have a model number (#). Below the nomenclature line, I stated that all three drive sizes were represented by the same features. When that's not the case, I'll present two (or even three) nomenclature lines and tell you which is representative to which drive size. As you'll soon see, the 1/4" drive didn't always follow what was going on with the 3/8" and 1/2" sizes. Anyway, it's not too hard to follow once you get the hang of it. If you get confused, just refer back to this initial post where the nomenclature is spelled out, or post a question and I'll try to answer it.

One thing you may have noticed is the fact that I included two ½” drive ratchets that look identical on the outside, as well as two identical looking 3/8" drive examples.  Well, shortly after I published my first Type Study a few years ago, Dr. Dook pointed out that the ½” drive ratchet was produced with a 40 tooth gear, and later in production, with a 32 tooth gear.  The only way to tell them apart from the outside is to “count the clicks” in one revolution of the of the socket post.  A similar variance occurred with the 3/8" drive.  It was initially produced with a 32 tooth gear, that later in production, was reduced to 24 teeth.  The ¼” drive was only produced with a 24 tooth gear as far as I know.  But who knows for sure.  The 1/4” drive may have been initially produced with a higher tooth count gear, possibly with 30 or 32 teeth, that was later reduced to 24 teeth.  To date, I have not seen one nor heard of its existence.  (For a little more information on Type 1 ratchet tooth counts, please refer to Page 9, reply #128.)  Also notice that the directional levers have a more domed shape than what was fitted on later Types of the teardrop ratchets.  Those levers seem to be somewhat fragile, as I’ve seen more than a few Type 1 ratchets with cracked off levers.  Finally, every example of the Type 1 that I’ve seen has a chrome plated socket post and gear.  That goes for all three sizes.

Okay, so there’s Type 1…….only 13 more Types to go.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Papaw on July 31, 2018, 08:29:54 AM
I have never had the tenacity to do any kind of type study.
Glad you did, Jim !
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: mrchuck on July 31, 2018, 10:44:46 AM
If Merkava is around,,,he knows a lot about this ratchet.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on July 31, 2018, 11:37:30 AM
I have never had the tenacity to do any kind of type study.
Glad you did, Jim !

Hi Papaw,

I appreciate the compliment!  After I got into it, I started to think I had bitten off more than I could chew.  The biggest problem was finding all the iterations.  Just when I thought I had them all, I'd find another one.  Then I'd have to determine whether the new find came in all three sizes.  To the best of my knowledge, some of them do not, and the version I've labelled "Type 4" only comes in the 1/2" drive size.  If a 3/8" and/or a 1/4" even exist, I have not yet seen them.  As I mentioned in my first post, the 1/4" drive did not always follow the changes to the 1/2" and 3/8" sizes.  That made categorizing them into specific "types" a little harder.  I did learn about the ratchets and did come up with some educated guesses/conclusions, which I will talk about as we go though each Type.  I can say that some of the ratchets appear to be relatively scarce.  I was surprised to learn that.  Anyway, here's the bulk of my collection.  A few more are not pictured, but I will include them in their respective Types when we get there.  I hope I got it right this time. 

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on July 31, 2018, 11:42:17 AM
If Merkava is around,,,he knows a lot about this ratchet.

Hey chuck,

I hope I didn't just re-create the wheel......

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on July 31, 2018, 12:02:55 PM
I applaud your work.   Thank you for sharing it here. :smiley:
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on July 31, 2018, 01:57:26 PM
I applaud your work.   Thank you for sharing it here. :smiley:

Well Peter, this was just Type 1.  I have thirteen more Types to present.   Hopefully you’ll still feel like applauding when I’m done.  When I started this thing three years ago, it didn’t go so good.  I guess I was just being hasty and didn’t do enough research prior to publishing my results.  I am a little more confident this time around because I have not discovered any other iterations in more than a year of searching.  The first time I tried to publish my results, I found, or was made aware of others within the first week or so.  Interestingly however, late last week, I did finally manage to buy the last one I knew existed and had been looking for.  Like I said earlier, some of these ratchets are relatively scarce.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they have a lot of monetary value, but a few of them did cost a little more than I expected.  Anyway, stay tuned.  I hope the thread will meet your expectations.

Jim C.

Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: lptools on July 31, 2018, 02:19:17 PM
Hello, Jim.Thank you for your time & effort. I have a few Craftsman Ratchets that I use regularly, and a few more than that are stashed away. When I get time I will take a closer look at what I have. Thanks again, Lou
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on July 31, 2018, 02:41:05 PM
Hello, Jim.Thank you for your time & effort. I have a few Craftsman Ratchets that I use regularly, and a few more than that are stashed away. When I get time I will take a closer look at what I have. Thanks again, Lou

Hey Lou,

Keep reading along.  At some point, we should cover the ratchets in your collection.  Who knows, maybe you’ll have one I didn’t account for, in which case it could throw the whole Type Study out of whack!!!  That would be okay.  I’d rather this thing be accurate and not missing any information.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on July 31, 2018, 05:12:24 PM
I look forward to all 14 chapters.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: lptools on July 31, 2018, 05:14:00 PM
Hello, Jim. After taking a second look at your collection, what I have here pales by comparison. I buy the Craftsman Tools for use at work & home, the rest are for resale. Great job on the post, you are quite thorough, and informative!!! Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Nolatoolguy on July 31, 2018, 07:14:09 PM
Very informative.

I can second that the newer plastic levers are weak. I accidentally dropped a newer 1/2” ratchet an it snapped right off. Not sure if the plastic didn’t do well in the cold or why it happened. Either way I don’t think that should of happened. Sears did warranty it thoe.

Thanks for the thread, I enjoy this one a lot.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Spartan-C on July 31, 2018, 07:32:43 PM
Nice collection of ratchets you have there. Cool!
Just so happens I have most of my dads Craftsman 1/2" drive set that he bought from Sears way back when I was in Diapers!  That would put it around 1959.  The ratchet has seen many years of use but amazing still works great.   Not a nice as your examples though.  Most of the sockets that have survived are in decent shape.  I don't use them today as I have my own set I bought new in 1980.  Most of mine are in new shape have seen light use over the years.  I have all four ratchets sizes from 1980 era and have added most all of the sockets and extensions that the basic kit I bought did not come with within the next five years.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 01, 2018, 07:17:53 AM
Okay, let's forge ahead and present the Type 2 Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet. This version is pretty much identical to the Type 1 in terms of features, but for the unique shape of its directional lever. That one of a kind directional lever suggested to me that those ratchets outfitted with it be categorized as Type 2 versions. The lever itself is "V" shaped and consequently I designated it as such for purposes of the nomenclature. This is the only time you'll see "VL" (for V lever) in the nomenclature line. I've seen the VL referred to as the "flying V", the "butterfly" and even the "Star Trek" lever. In this Type Study, it's simply the "VL." After the Type 2 ratchets were discontinued, ALL succeeding Types were equipped with the LL (long lever). 

Type 2: 1959/'60 - 1966, TD, OH, VL, NonQR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

Type 2: 1959/'60 - 1968, TD, OH, VL, NonQR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 1/4" drive size)

You'll notice there are two nomenclature lines for the Type 2 ratchets. The only difference is the approximate years the Type 2 ratchets were manufactured. Based on my review of the Craftsman catalogs, it seems that the 3/8" and 1/2" drive sizes were available in the 1966 catalogs. In the 1967 catalog, both sizes (3/8" and 1/2") were offered with a new quick release (QR) mechanism. For some reason, the 1/4" drive size did not list the availability of the QR mechanism until 1969, leading me to think (rightly or wrongly) that 1/4" drive Type 2 ratchets were still available/produced into 1968, give or take. Hence, I categorized the 1/4" drive with its own nomenclature line.

One of the other things I noticed about Type 2 ratchets was the finish on the socket posts.  I think earlier versions were factory produced with a chrome finish, similar to the Type 1 version.  Many times however, I’ve observed Type 2 ratchets with a black oxide (I think) finish on the socket post.  I’ve seen an equal number of chrome and black oxide socket posts on the Type 2 ratchets in all three sizes.  It stands to reason that at some point during Type 2 production, socket posts went from being finished in chrome to black oxide.  All socket posts on Type 3 through Type 14 ratchets are finished in black oxide.  (For a little more detail and additional photos regarding the chrome finished and black oxide finished socket posts, as well as raised panel differences on the ratchet handles, please go to Page 8, reply #108.)  The 40 tooth gear that could be found on early Type 1, ½” ratchets was dropped from the Type 2 version.  The 32 tooth gear found on early Type 1, 3/8” drive ratchets was also dropped and remained at 24 teeth on Type 2 versions. The tooth count on the Type 2, ½” drive is 32, while the 3/8” and ¼” are 24 each.  The gear tooth counts remain the same through the remainder of the Type Study, that being 32, 24 and 24 for 1/2”, 3/8” and 1/4” drives respectively......that is until we get to Type 14, when the 1/4” drive tooth count will increase from 24 to 30 teeth.  I’ll remind you when we get there.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 01, 2018, 07:43:54 AM
Nice collection of ratchets you have there. Cool!
Just so happens I have most of my dads Craftsman 1/2" drive set that he bought from Sears way back when I was in Diapers!  That would put it around 1959.  The ratchet has seen many years of use but amazing still works great.   Not a nice as your examples though.  Most of the sockets that have survived are in decent shape.  I don't use them today as I have my own set I bought new in 1980.  Most of mine are in new shape have seen light use over the years.  I have all four ratchets sizes from 1980 era and have added most all of the sockets and extensions that the basic kit I bought did not come with within the next five years.

Hi Spartan-C,

Thanks for checking in.  I'd like to see your dad's ratchet.  Can you post a photo or two?  I'd also be interested in knowing how many teeth it has. 40? or 32?  As for your 1980s ratchets, well, I plan to cover them through 1993, so we'll get to them.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Spartan-C on August 01, 2018, 11:23:14 AM
Jim,

I'll take some pictures tonight and post, along with the tooth counts for each too.

Ken
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Papaw on August 01, 2018, 01:35:15 PM
Jim- I bet these don't fit in your Type Study ! :grin:
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: lauver on August 01, 2018, 02:25:55 PM

If Merkava is around,,,he knows a lot about this ratchet.

mrchuck,

Are you sure about this?  I think you may have Merkava confused with somebody else. 

If I remember correctly, Merk hated Crafty tools, and was instead a big Fan-Boy of Cornwell ratchets, other tools, and tool boxes.

At least that is the way I remember things...
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on August 01, 2018, 03:20:15 PM
Jim- I bet these don't fit in your Type Study ! :grin:

Very pretty !
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: lptools on August 01, 2018, 04:15:59 PM
Perfect!!!!!!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 01, 2018, 05:58:47 PM
Jim- I bet these don't fit in your Type Study ! :grin:

Hey Papaw,

I can absolutely assure you that there will be nothing anywhere near as cool as those ratchets in the Type Study.  Those ratchets are works of art!  The rest of the Type Study is gonna be boring compared to those.  What’s the story behind them? 

Jim C.

Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Papaw on August 01, 2018, 06:16:41 PM
These ratchets were made from Craftsman ratchets and H D Smith Perfect Handle screwdrivers by my friend Brian Jordan of thunder_forge@cox.net (http://thunder_forge@cox.net) in Arizona. He goes by 64longstep here on Tool Talk.
The wood used for the scales is Red Cedar from a large tree downed by Hurricane Ike.

Brian made me several tools using Perfect Handle tools as a base with new handles.
 
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 02, 2018, 07:13:02 PM
Papaw,

Your friend does fantastic work!  He did a real nice job of taking a few common ratchets and turning them into working art.  If he’s looking for more donor ratchets, I might have a few around the shop.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Papaw on August 02, 2018, 08:00:51 PM
He hasn't been around lately, and I think he has slowed down a lot on knife making and forging. I have other things he had made for me. I once sent him a bunch of old files which he used to make knives.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 03, 2018, 05:47:33 AM
Wow!!!!  That guy is super talented!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Spartan-C on August 03, 2018, 02:59:58 PM

Hi Spartan-C,

Thanks for checking in.  I'd like to see your dad's ratchet.  Can you post a photo or two?  I'd also be interested in knowing how many teeth it has. 40? or 32?  As for your 1980s ratchets, well, I plan to cover them through 1993, so we'll get to them.

Jim C.

Sorry, I'm late posting, been a busy week for me.  Here are a few pictures of my dad's 1/2" drive ratchet made around 1959.  It is a 32 tooth ratchet.  I'll get pictures of the other ratchets I have from my 1980 set and a couple others picked up along the way. (Sorry for the crappy pictures. If you need higher resolution pics, PM me with your email and I'll be glad to send.)

Ken
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Spartan-C on August 03, 2018, 03:03:54 PM
This don't really fit in with ratchets, but had to post.  It is a socket that did not make a full hit during the forging operation.  Kind of neat.  It's the only Craftsman tool I have ever received that should have been kicked out by inspection.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 04, 2018, 04:11:57 AM
A few years ago, when I got seriously interested in buying some older Sears/Craftsman =V= era tools, a Type Study of any sort was not even remotely a thought.  After buying a couple ratchets and noticing differences between them, I started to wonder which ones were the oldest and when they were made.  And so the quest began.  While I was still not thinking about putting together an official Type Study, I was interested in when various ratchets were offered by Sears.  What I found was that it's most certainly an inexact science, and trying to put just this one segment of Craftsman ratchets into chronological order was a little tricky.  Some detective work was necessary.  While I hope the information I present is accurate, don't take it as the absolute last word on Craftsman Teardrop Ratchets.  Going forward from here, things get a little dicey to say the least.  So if you think I messed up, put things out of order, contradicted myself, or have something wrong, don't be afraid to jump in sooner than later.  If I need to make corrections, I will.  I want this Type Study to be accurate.  So, don't be afraid to ask questions.  If you make your case, I'll make the changes.       

Three years ago, when I started to publish my first shot at a Type Study, Dr. Domm was working on his Craftsman ratchet videos.  Not long after I posted what I thought were Type 1 ratchets, he contacted me and alerted me to the fact that I had mixed Type 1 and a second Type (that would eventually become Type 3 in this Type Study) together.  After considering his comments I concluded that he was right.  While the Type 2 ratchets are easily identified by their "V" shaped directional lever (VL), the Type 1 and Type 3 ratchets are somewhat similar in appearance to the untrained eye (like mine was at the time).  It was sobering because at the time I had barely published Type 1 and already, I had a major error.  That was the down side.  The up side was that I was made aware of another Type..... the Type 3 for purposes of this Type Study.  The Type 3 is significant because it was offered for a relatively short period of time, right before and during the initial introduction of the "Quick Release" (QR) function we're all so familiar with.  Based on my review of the 1967, 1968 and 1969 Sears and/or Craftsman tool catalogs, it seems clear that Sears offered both a quick release (QR) version and a non-quick release (NonQR) version at the same time between ‘67 and ‘69.  The NonQR ratchets cost a little less than their QR version counterparts.  Recall in the Type 2 discussion above, I mentioned that the 1/4" drive may have been offered up to about 1968.  As a result, the 1/4" drive Type 3 ratchet may have been in production for less time than its 1/2" and 3/8" Type 3 siblings.  That being said, while any of the Type 3 sizes are relatively scarce, I found that the 3/8" version is next to impossible to find.  I don't know why or if that's even true.  It was just my experience.  I see the 1/2" and the 1/4" now and then, but not the 3/8".  Anyway, I believe the ratchets depicted below are the last NonQR ratchets offered by Sears between 1967 and 1969.  The 1970 catalog makes no mention of the NonQR ratchets.  Going forward, all Sears/Craftsman ratchets were outfitted with the QR mechanism.  Like I said earlier, trying to put a date range on some of the individual Types in this study is mostly an educated guess at best.  Here's the Type 3 nomenclature:

Type 3:  1967 - 1969, TD, OH, LL, NonQR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

Type 3: 1968 - 1969, TD, OH, LL, NonQR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 1/4" drive size)

Early on, I had a little trouble identifying the differences between a Type 1 and Type 3 ratchet.  The four photos in the following post illustrate those differences for identification purposes.  In the first and second photos, the Type 1 is on the left and the Type 3 is on the right.  Notice the difference in shapes between the directional levers?  See how the Type 1 lever has a domed appearance while the Type 3 is more flat?  Also notice the casting difference immediately below and around the lever itself.  The Type 1 affords significantly less room to get a pair of needle nose pliers around the protrusions of the lever retention spring, while the Type 3 allows much more clearance.  For the record, taking apart Type 1 ratchets for purposes of servicing them and then re-assembling them requires a little patience.  The tolerances are really precise.  Don't say I didn't warn you!!  In the second photo, take notice how the socket post on the Type 1 is finished in chrome, while the Type 3 socket post is finished in black oxide.  In the third and fourth photos, the Type 1 handle is on top and the Type 3 is on the bottom.  See the subtle difference in the shapes of the raised panels?  Notice how the ends of the Type 1 raised panels are oval shaped while the ends on the Type 3 are more squared off in appearance?  Well there you have it.  Now you're an expert in identifying the external differences between a Type 1 and Type 3 Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet.  Please stay tuned for Type 4 . . . it's the game changer.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 04, 2018, 04:12:30 AM
These photos depict the external differences between the Type 1 and Type 3 ratchets.  In the first two photos, the Type 1 ratchet is on the left, and Type 3 is on the right.  In the third and fourth photos, Type 1 is on top and Type 3 is on the bottom.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 04, 2018, 04:23:13 AM

Hi Spartan-C,

Thanks for checking in.  I'd like to see your dad's ratchet.  Can you post a photo or two?  I'd also be interested in knowing how many teeth it has. 40? or 32?  As for your 1980s ratchets, well, I plan to cover them through 1993, so we'll get to them.

Jim C.

Hi Spartan,

Thanks for adding the photos of your dad's ratchet.  That's clearly a Type 2.  I've noticed that a lot of the older Types are still out there working.  Although some of the more recent Sears/Craftsman ratchets aren't looked upon with favor by many, I still say they're not bad tools, particularly for the DIYer crowd.  Some the older ratchets, like yours, are absolute "tanks."  They just keep going!  Thanks for the post.

Jim C.

Sorry, I'm late posting, been a busy week for me.  Here are a few pictures of my dad's 1/2" drive ratchet made around 1959.  It is a 32 tooth ratchet.  I'll get pictures of the other ratchets I have from my 1980 set and a couple others picked up along the way. (Sorry for the crappy pictures. If you need higher resolution pics, PM me with your email and I'll be glad to send.)

Ken
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Spartan-C on August 04, 2018, 09:10:47 AM
Jim,

Thank you for the detailed descriptions of these ratchets. Very interested.  I remember very well studying the old Sears Power and Hand Tool Catalogs back then.  You know at 11-13 years old, I wish I could have that, how neat that was and so on.  I think over the years, I got most I wished for! :grin:
I think I have one of those Type 3 ratchets here. Try to post more pictures later today of the other C-ratchets I have.

Ken 
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 04, 2018, 11:28:56 AM
Hey Ken,

I remember doing the exact same thing!  By the time I was 13 or 14, and starting to take an interest in cars that the older boys in my neighborhood were driving/racing/cruising/working on, I stopped looking at the toy section of the Sears catalog and started looking at the tool section.  In the early 1980s, my dad bought me a small set of Craftsman tools that included a 1/2”, 3/8” and 1/4” ratchet.  I still use those ratchets today and will feature them in the Type Study once we get that far.

As for your ratchet collection, well, let’s see what you have!  The Type 3 ratchets that I just featured are sort of hard to find.  I don’t think they were offered by Sears for more than a couple years at most, and then they were competing with the new quick release (QR) ratchets, so I’m thinking they were not too popular, hence their scarcity today.  And as I mentioned, for some reason, the Type 3, 3/8” drive seems to be the hardest of the three sizes to find.  I have no hard facts to back that up other than my own observations.  Without giving too much away, stay tuned for the Type 4.  While I believe the Type 3 ratchets were available for a couple years, I have reason to believe the Type 4 was probably available for only a few months at best.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Northwoods on August 04, 2018, 02:47:40 PM
I ran into a friend at an estate sale today, and he showed me what he called "some little funny-looking 3/8" Craftsman ratchet thing".
This is what came out of a plastic bucket in the back of his pickup.

https://www.google.com/search?q=craftsman+3/8+v+series+speed+spinner+ratchet&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=doLkxiQm9ApDaM%253A%252CnhBRmUnqW_XclM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzc86fiIc4n1vBhzaoTor5-EIHJkaA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtzvizrtTcAhVMR6wKHeRmD3AQ9QEwAnoECAEQCA#imgrc=doLkxiQm9ApDaM:

I immediately began to drool.  Offered him a price for it (he had sold me tools before) but he turned me down flat and refused to make a counteroffer, all the while saying he wanted to sell it.  He is not a ratchet guy.

I feel it is hopeless.

Sooooooo frustrating.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Papaw on August 04, 2018, 03:00:54 PM
Those fetch good money.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Northwoods on August 04, 2018, 03:56:01 PM
I see....
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Lewill2 on August 04, 2018, 05:07:11 PM
If it is in good shape with a good handle, easy $100.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Lewill2 on August 04, 2018, 05:10:46 PM
I have a 3/8" drive and 1/2" drive with the V selector. The 3/8" is stamped REBUILT in the valley of the handle.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 04, 2018, 05:57:16 PM
I ran into a friend at an estate sale today, and he showed me what he called "some little funny-looking 3/8" Craftsman ratchet thing".
This is what came out of a plastic bucket in the back of his pickup.

https://www.google.com/search?q=craftsman+3/8+v+series+speed+spinner+ratchet&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=doLkxiQm9ApDaM%253A%252CnhBRmUnqW_XclM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzc86fiIc4n1vBhzaoTor5-EIHJkaA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtzvizrtTcAhVMR6wKHeRmD3AQ9QEwAnoECAEQCA#imgrc=doLkxiQm9ApDaM:

I immediately began to drool.  Offered him a price for it (he had sold me tools before) but he turned me down flat and refused to make a counteroffer, all the while saying he wanted to sell it.  He is not a ratchet guy.

I feel it is hopeless.

Sooooooo frustrating.

Hey Northwoods,

Hang in there, eventually you'll find a good one.  I looked for a while before I found the right one for my collection.  Shortly thereafter, I found a second one in slightly better condition.  They're out there.  Be patient and keep hunting!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: slip knot on August 05, 2018, 09:18:26 AM
Those are sweet.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 05, 2018, 12:06:25 PM
On September 28, 1965, Peter Roberts was awarded a patent for inventing the “quick release” function that became extremely popular on ratchets.   Well, eventually he sold the rights to the patent to Sears for ten thousand dollars.  As the story goes, Sears supposedly told Mr. Roberts that the idea wasn’t worth much and there was no significant market for a ratchet with a quick release.  At some point later on, Mr. Roberts discovered that Sears had in fact done some market research and knew the idea was nothing short of a grand slam home run.  I’ve read that Sears sold more than twenty five million ratchets the first year the quick release function was introduced to the ratchet using public!  Accordingly, profits were also in the millions of dollars…… for Sears that is.  As expected, Mr. Roberts sued, arguing that he had been the victim of fraud.  The legal battle went on for decades.  Eventually, the two sides settled and Mr. Roberts became the millionaire he deserved to be. 

If one were to review the 1967 Sears catalog, he/she would find that it’s the first time a “quick release” ratchet was offered.  When I ultimately decided to attempt a Type Study, I knew I’d have to collect examples all the way back to the beginning of Craftsman Teardrop Ratchets, and somewhere in there, try to determine which ratchet was the first to feature the quick release.  One might think, “Well, it’s the one with the quick release patent info on the handle.”  That’s what I thought too.  As a matter of fact, I thought that for a couple years.  When we get to the next post featuring the Type 5, you’ll see how easy it would be to settle on that assumption.  The quick release patent number is right there on the handle, plain as day.  As I got closer to completing this Type Study, I was sure I had identified the correct Type as the first “QR” model.  I learned that was not true.

About a year ago, I was trolling eBay like I do EVERY day looking at Sears/Craftsman Teardrop Ratchets.  I came across a ratchet that looked a little worn in the tiny photo, but could see enough to determine that it was an older example.  I could see that there was a stamp on the handle and figured it was the “patent number” version I already had in my collection, and had incorrectly determined was the first to feature the QR.  I clicked on the listing anyway.  When the photos popped up, I’ll admit that I was VERY surprised.  What I expected to see was Mr. Robert’s patent number stamped on the handle.  What I saw was “PATENT PENDING.”  I must have studied those photos for ten minutes.  I finally concluded it was the real deal and what I now believe is the first version of a Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet with the QR function.  My guess is that Sears started offering these ratchets shortly after they negotiated a deal with Mr. Roberts, and soon thereafter, started producing ratchets with the patent number stamped on the handle (Type 5).  For that reason, it’s my opinion that the Type 4 depicted below was most likely offered for a year at most, but more likely for only some portion of 1967.  Here’s the nomenclature:

Type 4: 1967 (partial year), PATENT PENDING, TD, OH, LL, QR, PA, Non#
(represents ½” drive size)

I’m sure you’ve noticed there’s only one ratchet depicted in the photos below.  Well, to date, I’ve only seen a Type 4 ratchet twice, and both times they were ½” examples.  I’ve never seen a 3/8” or a ¼” version of the Type 4.  I’m not sure they even exist.  Based on my observations, this one ratchet is probably the most rare when compared to any other ratchet in the Type Study.  If anyone has a 3/8” or ¼” example, LET ME KNOW!!!!!

In terms of appearance, the Type 4 is similar to the Type 3, but for the obvious QR button on the back of the ratchet’s head.  The main feature to notice is the socket post.  When the QR button is depressed, a spring-loaded pin protrudes through the socket post allowing a small ball bearing to drop into a depression on the pin, inside the socket post.  When the ball bearing drops into the pin depression, it releases tension on the socket wall, allowing the socket to be easily removed from the socket post.  It’s a nice simple idea that works, and was ultimately worth millions of dollars.  Going forward, keep taking notice of the socket post and the protruding pin.  On later examples, the protruding pin feature will be eliminated in favor of an internal mechanism.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: lptools on August 05, 2018, 01:15:39 PM
Hello, Jim. I found this 3/8 Drive Ratchet yesterday at a sale. I think it meets most of the criteria for a Type 2 ,TD, OH, VL, FA, =V= Logo. 24 tooth gear? (My hearing is not that great). I've added a new code, MDB (minus detent ball) :-). Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 05, 2018, 01:21:31 PM
Hey Lou,

That’s a Type 2 for sure, with the super rare “MDB” feature!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Spartan-C on August 06, 2018, 08:39:02 AM
Okay, here's some pictures of my 1980 vintage ratchets that I bought in a 238 piece tool set.
They are fine tooth ratchets, I did not count the number of teeth on them.  They also have the "speeder" option on them.

Ken

Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 06, 2018, 07:01:06 PM
Hey Ken,

That’s a really nice set of Round Head Fine Tooth (RHFT) ratchets.  The RHFT ratchets could very well be some of the best and most popular ratchets ever offered by Sears/Craftsman. Unfortunately they’re not within the scope of this Type Study so I can’t say for sure when they were manufactured.  The stamp on the handles of your ratchets is consistent with the Type 11 Teardrop ratchet in this Type Study.  Assuming the stamps on RHFT ratchets changed around the same time they changed on the Teardrop ratchets, I’d say your ratchets were probably offered by Sears somewhere between the very, very late 1970s and the early 1980s.  Again, you have a nice matched set!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Spartan-C on August 06, 2018, 08:35:09 PM
Darn it! Your right, these are not teardrop, my wrong! You can pull my post if you like.  Sorry!  Ken
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: mikeswrenches on August 07, 2018, 03:34:42 AM
I ran into a friend at an estate sale today, and he showed me what he called "some little funny-looking 3/8" Craftsman ratchet thing".
This is what came out of a plastic bucket in the back of his pickup.

https://www.google.com/search?q=craftsman+3/8+v+series+speed+spinner+ratchet&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=doLkxiQm9ApDaM%253A%252CnhBRmUnqW_XclM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzc86fiIc4n1vBhzaoTor5-EIHJkaA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtzvizrtTcAhVMR6wKHeRmD3AQ9QEwAnoECAEQCA#imgrc=doLkxiQm9ApDaM:



I immediately began to drool.  Offered him a price for it (he had sold me tools before) but he turned me down flat and refused to make a counteroffer, all the while saying he wanted to sell it.  He is not a ratchet guy.

I feel it is hopeless.

Sooooooo frustrating.

Hey Northwoods,

Hang in there, eventually you'll find a good one.  I looked for a while before I found the right one for my collection.  Shortly thereafter, I found a second one in slightly better condition.  They're out there.  Be patient and keep hunting!

Jim C.

I managed to pick one up at the MWTCA meet in Lansing this spring. It was the first one I had ever seen in the 'wild'. Condition was excellent. It was laying on a guys bed in one of the sales rooms.
I’ve only ever heard of the 3/8 size. Did they make a 1/4 or 1/2 drive?

Mike
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 07, 2018, 05:02:48 AM
Hey Mike,

I think the speeder was only offered in the 3/8” drive size. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: gibsontool on August 07, 2018, 10:25:13 AM
I have a 3/8" and that's the only size I've ever seen.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 09, 2018, 12:16:03 PM
As I mentioned in the last Type Study post, for a long time, I thought the ratchets depicted below were initially Type 3 and then later, after I got more information, Type 4.  Well, I ultimately discovered that they’re Type 5 ratchets.  Yes, that’s my final answer!  I guess the presence of the quick release (QR) patent number (3208318) stamped on the handle threw me off.  Really, all that happened was that I took a half cocked guess and was wrong….twice.  Anyway, here's the Type 5 nomenclature:

Type 5: 1967 - 1969 (+/-), Pat. No. 3208318, TD, OH, LL, QR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

I’m sure you noticed there’s no ¼” drive depicted below, nor referenced in the nomenclature line.  While nothing I say in this entire Type Study is 100% iron clad, I honestly don’t believe a Type 5, 1/4” drive exists.  I’ve never seen one.  If it does exist, it would replace the Type 4 as the most rare of the rare.  Just my opinion.

Based on my personal observations, and with so much happening to the Craftsman Teardrop ratchets during the late 1960s, I think the Type 4 and Type 5 ratchets were available for extremely short periods of time.  There’s just no hard set of rules for determining exactly when Types were manufactured and/or how long Sears had them on the shelves.  That was one of my primary objectives when I started this Type Study.  It turned out to be more difficult that I initially thought it would be.  Really being able to nail down the dates of manufacture gets a little more difficult going into the later Types, specifically when considering those with "patent pending" or "patent" stamps on their handles. In those instances, and in an attempt to sort things out chronologically, I mostly relied on other physical clues to try and determine which Type came before or after another Type. Often, it came down to older versus newer manufacturer's marks (like =V= versus -V-), the letter "A" in the word Craftsman, that is pointed "A" (PA) versus flat "A" (FA), and model numbers.  Confused?  Don't worry about it.  Just hang in there with me and I'll try to sort it out as we go. The next three Types (6, 7, and 8) all look VERY similar and include patent stamps on their handles. When we get there, I'll tell you how I sorted them out. I hope you'll agree with my assessments. If not, please tell me so. Remember, I'm really going for accuracy. Your input is most welcome.  If you think I made a mistake, tell me.

Finally, keep an eye out for a ¼” Type 5.  Like I said, I’m not too sure it even exists, but if you happen across one, please let me know!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Northwoods on August 09, 2018, 07:10:26 PM
I ran into a friend at an estate sale today, and he showed me what he called "some little funny-looking 3/8" Craftsman ratchet thing".
This is what came out of a plastic bucket in the back of his pickup.

https://www.google.com/search?q=craftsman+3/8+v+series+speed+spinner+ratchet&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=doLkxiQm9ApDaM%253A%252CnhBRmUnqW_XclM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzc86fiIc4n1vBhzaoTor5-EIHJkaA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtzvizrtTcAhVMR6wKHeRmD3AQ9QEwAnoECAEQCA#imgrc=doLkxiQm9ApDaM:

I immediately began to drool.  Offered him a price for it (he had sold me tools before) but he turned me down flat and refused to make a counteroffer, all the while saying he wanted to sell it.  He is not a ratchet guy.

I feel it is hopeless.

Sooooooo frustrating.


It got worse today. 
Ran into my buddy at an estate sale and asked him about the Speed Spinner.  He was all smiles.  He had found its worth and was overjoyed.  Then he explained that he took an abrasive wheel to it on his drill press.  Something he bought at Harbor Freight. 
Aaaarrrggghhh!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 09, 2018, 07:14:09 PM
Well, whatever it was worth, it’s worth a lot less now.  Too bad.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 11, 2018, 09:04:02 AM
The next two Craftsman TD ratchet Types (6 which is depicted below and 7 which is coming next) in the Study have one very subtle difference that separate them from each other, and that's the letter "A" in the word Craftsman. Earlier in the thread, I mentioned that one of the evaluation criteria I used to categorize TD ratchets was the letter "A." Older versions of the ratchet (and most other Craftsman tools I believe) were stamped with a pointed "A" (PA), while subsequent later versions were stamped with a flat top "A" (FA). Here's the Type 6 nomenclature:

Type 6: 1968 (+/-) - 1970 (+/-), 1US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, PA, -V-, Non#
(represents 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

The Type 6 handle includes the U.S. (QR mechanism) patent number as first seen on the Type 5 TD ratchet, but also added a Canadian patent number, again referencing the QR mechanism. In terms of nomenclature, I designated that patent information with "1US & 1Can Pat. - 1967." The reason for the number 1 before US and Can is simple....when we get to Type 8 versions, there are two US patents and one Canadian patent. The nomenclature for the Type 8 will read, "2US & 1Can - 1967......" It should be noted that the Type 6 is also the first time the single bar V manufacturer's mark (-V-) was stamped on the handle.  As mentioned above, this will be the last ratchet in the Type Study to feature the pointed “A” (PA), which I believe was replaced by a flat top “A” in the early 1970s.

Throughout the course of putting together this Craftsman TD ratchet Type Study, I referred to Lauver's manufacturer code Type Study MANY, MANY times. As a matter of fact, I did credit him in my initial post.  It's a great resource. The biggest problem I'm having with this TD ratchet Study isn't exactly the years associated with the use of a particular manufacturer code, but more with the patent info on the handles. Although I can easily research the date a patent was filed and issued, that only gives me a very general time frame that such patent information was actually stamped onto the handle of a ratchet. The Craftsman catalogs don't really go into that detail, and neither does Lauver's Study. The ratchets with the patent info stamped on them (Types 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) were all made within a few short years of each other, or in some instances, maybe within just a few months of each other. I think I can reasonably determine when they were chronologically produced, but exactly when and for how long is really just conjecture on my part. Basically, the patent stamps are an enigma to me. 

A little later in this Study, I relied heavily on Lauver's Study to more accurately determine dates of manufacture because such codes were changing, particularly when the –VV-, -VE-, -VF- and -VG- manufacturer’s marks are introduced into the mix. The addition of model numbers to the handles also helped tremendously since I was then able to review Craftsman catalogs to see when a particular model number first appeared and last appeared.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 15, 2018, 11:17:13 AM
As I mentioned in the last Type Study post, the only real difference between the Type 6 and Type 7 is the letter "A" in the word Craftsman.  The Type 6 was the last Craftsman Teardrop ratchet to feature a pointed "A" (PA) on the Craftsman handle stamp.  Going forward, starting with the Type 7 ratchets depicted below, the letter "A" in the word Craftsman has a flat top, which for nomenclature purposes, I designated "FA."  Now that may not seem like much and unworthy of its own Type, but the transition between the pointed "A' and the flat top "A" occurred somewhere in the early 1970s right around 1970 to 1972, providing a point of reference that allows me to fine tune dates of manufacture just a little more closely.  The Type 7 is also the last ratchet that will be manufactured without a part/model number.  All later versions of the Craftsman Teardrop ratchet will be stamped with a part/model number.  Here's the Type 7 nomenclature:

Type 7:  1968 (+/-)  -  1970 (+/-), 1US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, FA, -V-, Non#
(represents 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

Take a close look at the last photo below.  Notice that the Type 6 ratchet handle is on top in the photo, while the Type 7 is on the bottom.  See the difference between the PA and FA?  Again, I know it's not a significant change between the two Types, but it is a tangible milestone that adds some detail in determining approximately when various ratchets were being manufactured.  It also helps to solidify the chronology of the pre-part/model number section of the Type Study.  Things got a little easier once part/model numbers were stamped on the ratchet handles.  Then it was a matter of searching old catalogs to see when a model number first appeared and last appeared.  Although the addition of part/model numbers helped me tremendously, keep in mind that the dates of manufacture, for purposes of this Type Study, are soft and somewhat flexible.  As for the chronology regarding which ratchets came before or after others, well, I think I got that part right.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 17, 2018, 10:07:23 AM
Okay, so we’re starting the second half of the Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet Type Study.  Here comes Type 8.  I’ll start off by saying that I think this particular Type may be one of the more difficult to find. In an effort to see all the potential variations of the Craftsman TD ratchets that may exist, I turned to eBay early on in my research. At the very least, eBay provides a great venue to locate and see what's really out there. Almost all of my observations thus far have been ratchets I've observed on eBay. Many of those I'm depicting in this thread were purchased by me from eBay auctions. I search eBay once or twice per day for purposes of seeing/bidding on Craftsman TD ratchets to add to my collection.  It’s also not much of a Type Study if I don’t have the ratchets to show you.  I've looked at A LOT of ratchets and spent a few bucks getting them.

Anyway, getting back to the Type 8.... Since I started seriously looking at ratchets for purposes of constructing this Type Study, I've only seen a few Type 8 ratchets, leading me to think they weren’t available for too long.  They’re not very common in any of the three drive sizes, and it took me a while to collect them.  The major changes from the Type 7 to the Type 8 include the addition of a second U.S. patent number stamped on the handle, and the ratchet model numbers finally make their debut and are stamped on their respective ratchet’s handle as well.  The three different model numbers (correlating to drive size) created the need for three nomenclature lines. Here they are:

Type 8: 1970 (+/-) – 1972 (+/-), 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43175
(represents 1/4" drive size)

Type 8: 1970 (+/-) – 1972 (+/-), 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43785
(represents 3/8" drive size)

Type 8: 1970 (+/-) – 1972 (+/-), 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44975
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 18, 2018, 03:40:11 PM
Let's move on to the Type 9A Craftsman TD ratchets. I know, if you’ve been following the thread, then you’re probably thinking that “9A” is a typo or something.  It’s not.  There’s going to be a Type 9B, Type 10A and Type 10B too.  You see, I think two versions of the Type 9 were being manufactured at the same time.  I think the same is true of the Type 10 ratchets as well, hence 9A, 9B, 10A and 10B.  Now, just to make things even more confusing, while I believe there’s a Type 9A and 9B, and a Type 10A and 10B, that is only true for the ½” and 3/8” drive sizes.  I believe the ¼” drive ratchet stayed exactly the same for both the Type 9 and Type 10 periods.  So, I’ll provide the ¼” nomenclature line below only this one time as a Type 9 since it was introduced at the same point as the Type 9A ratchets were offered by Sears.  Going forward, I’ll just remind you that it exists and stayed exactly the same when we get to the Type 9B, 10A and 10B posts.  This also means there is no Type 10 ratchet in the ¼” size.  Finally, when we get to the Type 9B ratchet, I’ll explain the difference between it and the Type 9A.  I think it’ll make more sense that way.  For now, just focus on the Type 9A and recognize that the ¼” won’t change again until we get to the Type 11 ratchets.  The Type 9A (and Type 9 for ¼”) was the first version to prominently stamp the model number on the handles of the ratchets using large characters. If you look back at the Type 8 examples above, the model number is there on the handle, but it kind of gets lost in the midst of all the patent info, etc.  Anyway, here are the nomenclature lines for the Type 9A (1/2” & 3/8”) and Type 9 (1/4” only) Craftsman TD ratchets:

Type 9A: 1972 – 1976 (+/-), TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44975
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Type 9A: 1972 – 1976 (+/-), TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43785
(represents 3/8" drive size)

Type 9: 1972 - 1979, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43175
(represents 1/4" drive size)

Stay with me.  The Type 9B post will hopefully clarify a few things.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on August 18, 2018, 06:03:33 PM
"even more confusing"

Lost - yes; confused - no.   :grin:
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on August 18, 2018, 07:20:02 PM
Finally getting into a few I may have.  Great stuff.  I will be copying all of this for future reference.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 18, 2018, 07:40:29 PM

Lost - yes; confused - no.   :grin:

Hi Peter,

I guess I’d rather that you were lost than confused.  You’re only lost because you don’t know where this is going.  That’s okay.  For a good while, I wasn’t sure where I was going either.  I had a collection of more than fifty different ratchets and I had to sort them out and put them into some kind of order.  It took some time to figure things out.  Much of what I’ve said so far, and will say, is the product of inference, speculation, and logical deduction.  As for the next few posts, well, it’s like I said, during the 1970s, I think ratchets with different manufacturer’s marks were being made and sold by Sears at the same time.  I have a theory regarding why that’s so, and I’ll lay it all out when I talk about the Type 9B.  Also during the 1970s, the 1/4” drive ratchet never changed, yet the 1/2” and 3/8” did.  Trying to present the facts (as I see them) created another set of issues.  I’m encouraged that you’re not confused.  That tells me what I’m writing makes sense.  That’s good!  If you’re lost, that’s only because you haven’t seen the map. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 18, 2018, 08:12:20 PM
Finally getting into a few I may have.  Great stuff.  I will be copying all of this for future reference.

Hey Yadda,

Thanks for hanging in there.  Putting together this Type Study has been fun.  Presenting the information has also been fun, and challenging too.  I can honestly say that I had hoped this thread would become a resource people could come back to over and over.  I’m happy to hear that you’ll be saving the information I’ve presented.  I guess my only request is simple.  While I know this is a public forum and the content in this thread is pretty much unrestricted, I’d ask that if you quote it and/or refer to it somewhere in another thread or forum, that you give me a “shout out.”  Thanks in advance. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on August 18, 2018, 08:23:46 PM
Finally getting into a few I may have.  Great stuff.  I will be copying all of this for future reference.

Hey Yadda,

Thanks for hanging in there.  Putting together this Type Study has been fun.  Presenting the information has also been fun, and challenging too.  I can honestly say that I had hoped this thread would become a resource people could come back to over and over.  I’m happy to hear that you’ll be saving the information I’ve presented.  I guess my only request is simple.  While I know this is a public forum and the content in this thread is pretty much unrestricted, I’d ask that if you quote it and/or refer to it somewhere in another thread or forum, that you give me a “shout out.”  Thanks in advance. 

Jim C.

Hi Jim,

Happy to oblige.  I don't expect to use it other than for personal reference, but if used otherwise I will definitely give you credit.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 19, 2018, 04:47:13 AM
Yadda,

That would be great!  I’m glad you’re finding some value in the thread.  Like I said, I hope it’s a resource people will keep coming back to.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 19, 2018, 03:54:26 PM
Okay, I hope none of you lost sleep last night wondering what the big difference was between the Type 9A Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet and the Type 9B.  Well, hold on to your hats because this is going to be mind blowing, particularly if you’re interested in Craftsman ratchets from this time period.  So here it is.  The only difference between the Type 9A and Type 9B is the manufacturer’s mark stamped on the handle.  The Type 9A is stamped with a “-V-“ and the Type 9B is stamped with “-VV-“.   Everything else about the two ratchet Types is exactly the same.  So why then did I categorize them as two different Types?  Well, it’s my belief that the Type 9A and Type 9B ratchets were made at the same time.  If you take a look at Lauver’s Craftsman manufacturers mark Study, you’ll see that he listed the –VV- mark as having started somewhere around 1974 and the –V- as having been in use at that time too.  Although this is purely speculation on my part, I think that Sears was obtaining ratchets from two different sources of supply, hence two manufacturers marks.  Why?  My guess is that Sears needed two ratchet suppliers to keep up with consumer demand.

Here’s my thinking.  I know that Craftsman ratchets generally get a bad rap on a lot of tool/garage websites.  Agreed, they’re probably not Snap On quality, but they also don’t cost as much either.  So, simply based on their affordability and the life time warranty that made Craftsman tools famous, EVERYONE I ever met in life who is a DIYer, shade tree mechanic, or is just a little bit handy around the house has or had a Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet that was manufactured between 1956 and 1993.  Even some older pro techs who might not want to admit it, probably have one or two in their box right now.  The point is that Sears literally sold millions of these ratchets and keeping up with consumer demand may have required two (or more) suppliers.  Feel free to venture a theory of your own.  That’s mine, and the reason I believe the Type 9A and Type 9B ratchets were manufactured during the same period of time.  Here’s the Type 9B nomenclature lines, and remember, as I stated during the Type 9A post above, this only applies to the ½” and 3/8” drive sizes.  The ¼” stayed the same.  I have never seen a ¼” drive Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet with a –VV- manufacturer’s mark. 

Type 9B:  1974 – 1976 (+/-), TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -VV-, 44975
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 9B:  1974 – 1976 (+/-), TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -VV-, 43785
(represents 3/8” drive size)

As I’ve said from the start, a lot of the information in this Type Study is conjecture on my part.  I will say that in the last few years, I’ve looked at thousands of ratchets.  I’m not an expert, but at the same time, this Type Study is based on a ton of observation.  I’m always open to differing opinions.  My goal is to make this Type Study as accurate as possible.  The last photo shows the difference between the Type 9A (on top) and the Type 9B (bottom).   

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 27, 2018, 05:22:25 PM
Sorry for the little delay in posting the next ratchet in the Type Study.  If any of you have forgotten where we left off, we made to Type 10A.  You'll recall that there was a Type 9A and a Type 9B, and it is my opinion that both Types were made at the same time.  Hence the "A" and "B" designations.  Well, the same goes for the Type 10A and the Type 10B.  It is again my opinion that both the Type 10A and the Type 10B were made at the same time and like the Type 9A and Type 9B, both were stamped with -V- and -VV- manufacturers  marks respectively.  The Type 10A is stamped with the -V- mark.  The major change from the Type 9A and Type 9B is the elimination of the oil holes on the Type 10A and the Type 10B.  So, going forward, all 1/2" drive and 3/8" drive Craftsman Teardrop Ratchets were produced without oil holes.  Also recall that I previously mentioned that the 1/4" drive ratchet never changed during the Types 9A, 9B, 10A, and 10B production run.  While the 1/2" and 3/8" ratchets no longer have an oil hole, the 1/4" retains that feature all the way through Type 13.  Here's the Type 10A nomenclature:

Type 10A:  1975 (+/-)  - 1979 (+/-), TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44975
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Type 10A:  1975 (+/-)  - 1979 (+/-), TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43785
(represents 3/8" drive size)

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 30, 2018, 07:16:01 AM
Okay, let’s keep moving.  Up next is the Type 10B.  If you’ve been following along, then you can probably guess what I have to say about the next Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet.  If you need a refresher, just go back and read the posts dealing with the Type 9A, 9B and 10A.  Focus mostly on the Type 9B, because the 10B is exactly the same except for the fact that the oil hole is gone, same as the Type 10A.  Again, it’s my belief that the Type 10A and Type 10B were manufactured at the same time.  Hence the different manufacturer’s marks. (-V- for Type 10A and –VV- for Type 10B.)  I think it had something to do with keeping up with consumer demand.  If you go back to the post concerning the Type 4, you’ll see that I went into a little detail concerning the quick release (QR) mechanism.  Remember I mentioned the spring-loaded pin that protruded through the socket post when the QR button was pushed?  The pin is clearly visible.  Well, the Type 10A and Type 10B ratchets are the last versions to be offered with that visible pin.  All future Types incorporate an internal pin that is concealed inside the socket post.  I’ll bring that feature up when we get to the Type 11.  Again, recall that the Type 10B nomenclature lines only pertain to the ½” and 3/8” drive sizes.  The ¼” drive remained the same for Types 9A, 9B, 10A and 10B.  When we get to Type 11, the ¼” drive size will catch up to its larger siblings....sort of.  Here’s the Type 10B nomenclature:

Type 10B:  1975 (+/-)  - 1979 (+/-), TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -VV-, 44975
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 10B:  1975 (+/-)  - 1979 (+/-), TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -VV-, 43785
(represents 3/8” drive size)


Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on August 30, 2018, 08:06:01 AM
i just saw one of those "flattop" A's when i was putting stuff out at the local Restore the other day, but didn't have time to make other notes about which it was.   Guess I'll have to take a closer look on Saturday.   :huh:
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Chillylulu on August 31, 2018, 09:31:12 AM
I ran into a friend at an estate sale today, and he showed me what he called "some little funny-looking 3/8" Craftsman ratchet thing".
This is what came out of a plastic bucket in the back of his pickup.

https://www.google.com/search?q=craftsman+3/8+v+series+speed+spinner+ratchet&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=doLkxiQm9ApDaM%253A%252CnhBRmUnqW_XclM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzc86fiIc4n1vBhzaoTor5-EIHJkaA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtzvizrtTcAhVMR6wKHeRmD3AQ9QEwAnoECAEQCA#imgrc=doLkxiQm9ApDaM:

I immediately began to drool.  Offered him a price for it (he had sold me tools before) but he turned me down flat and refused to make a counteroffer, all the while saying he wanted to sell it.  He is not a ratchet guy.

I feel it is hopeless.

Sooooooo frustrating.

Hey Northwoods,

Hang in there, eventually you'll find a good one.  I looked for a while before I found the right one for my collection.  Shortly thereafter, I found a second one in slightly better condition.  They're out there.  Be patient and keep hunting!

Jim C.

I figure mine cost $1.68. 

When Jim first mentioned collecting v series craftsman tools I thought it was a pretty good idea. My thought was slightly different, I decided to go for the whole 1960 catalog (the catalog that covered 1962, when I was born. )

I lucked into an online estate auction that had a set of craftsman mechanics tools. I was surprised when I got the whole kit for $100.00.  The shipping was another $200.00.

I counted everything, but tools like allen wrench sets and 1/4" socket sets, etc. only got counted as 1 item. Dividing $300 by my count gave me around $1.68, as I remember it.

Mine is in great shape, no owners marks, plastic on the handle is clean and bright.  I don't think it was very useful,  it was only offered in one catalog.

But it sure is a pretty tool.

Chilly
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 31, 2018, 06:38:00 PM
Hey Chilly,

Cmon, let’s see it!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on September 02, 2018, 09:53:14 PM
These two followed me home the other day.   One is a Craftsman.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 03, 2018, 05:07:52 AM
Hi Peter,

Looks like you found a couple nice ratchets.  Your Craftsman is either a Type 9A or Type 10A depending on whether or not it has the oil hole on the top of its head.  It was probably manufactured during the 1970s.  It’s a good tool.  Thanks for the picture.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 03, 2018, 12:46:47 PM
I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend and went to at least one BBQ with family and/or friends.  Okay, so let’s keep this Type Study moving.  There are a few things to mention regarding the Type 11 Craftsman Teardrop Ratchets.  First, you may have noticed that the ¼” drive has returned.  If you recall, the last change to the ¼” drive occurred back at Type 9A and did not change until Type 11, as seen in the photos below.  Also take a close look at the socket posts on all three sizes.  You should notice that the protruding pin is no longer present and the quick release (QR) mechanism is totally enclosed within the socket post itself.  Perhaps that was a step taken to keep crud out of the QR mechanism and prevent jamming/malfunctions.  Anyway, that one change may be the reason the model/part numbers changed on all three drive sizes and the small letter “patent pending” stamp returned to the handle.

Somewhere earlier in the thread, I may have mentioned that the ¼” drive ratchet did not always conform to changes made to the ½” and 3/8” ratchets from the same Type.  For instance, the Type 11 ratchets will be that last time the model numbers change…… that is for the ½” and 3/8” drive sizes.  The ¼” drive will have one more model number change at Type 14.  Also, the Type 9A and Type 9B ratchets were the last to have oil holes…… again that is for the ½” and 3/8” drive sizes.  Notice how the ¼” drive below still has the oil hole while that particular feature was eliminated from the ½” and 3/8” drives at Type 10A and Type 10B.  The ¼” drive will retain the oil hole feature through Type 13.

The Type 11 ratchets depicted below were not available for very long.  Based on what I’ve seen in terms of their availability, I’d say they are less common than several of the other Types from the 1980s and early 1990s.  The same goes for the Type 12 ratchets that I’ll feature next.  Here’s my benchmark.  Back in 1982 my dad bought me a set of Craftsman tools.  The set came with all three ratchet drive sizes (1/2”, 3/8”, ¼”).  Those ratchets, which I still have and use frequently, are what I have classified as Type 13 versions.  So my educated guess is that the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets were available somewhere between about 1979 and 1982.  Also, without having taken an official count over the last three years, it’s still my impression that I see a lot more Type 13 ratchets in all three drive sizes, than I see of Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets.  Here are the Type 11 nomenclature lines:

Type 11:  1979 – 1980 (+/-), Small Letter Pat. Pending, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44985
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 11:  1979 – 1980 (+/-), Small Letter Pat. Pending, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43784
(represents 3/8” drive size)

Type 11:  1979 – 1980 (+/-), Small Letter Pat. Pending, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43185
(represents ¼” drive size)

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 25, 2018, 12:38:10 PM
Okay, sorry for the delay in posting the next Type in the Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet Type Study.  Life is keeping me busy!  Don’t worry, there’s only a few more to go and I’ll make sure to post them.  The Type 12 ratchets are depicted below.  There aren’t any major changes between the Type 11 ratchets (with the microscopic printing on the handles) and the Type 12 version (with the larger, easier to read printing on the handles).  Since the printing and model numbers are bigger, I like to refer to the Type 12 ratchets as the “Large Letter Pat. Pending” version.  The model numbers on all three drive sizes remained the same, as seen on the previously featured Type 11 ratchets.  Also notice that the ¼” drive still retains the oil hole (OH) feature.   Here are the nomenclature lines:

Type 12: 1980 (+/-) – 1982 (+/-), Lrg. Letter Pat. Pend., TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44985
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 12: 1980 (+/-) – 1982 (+/-), Lrg. Letter Pat. Pend., TD, NonOH, LL, QR. FA, -V-, 43784
(represents 3/8” drive size)

Type 12: 1980 (+/-) – 1982 (+/-), Large Letter Pat. Pending, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43185
(represents ¼” drive size)

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on September 25, 2018, 03:56:23 PM
"Okay, sorry for the delay"

No need to apologize.   Thank you for continuing this series.   :smiley:

I looked at that old Craftsman I had pictured before and it has the oil "hole" (really appears to be a spring loaded bearing in a hole?).    Also had a gander at an old Penens (?) i had sitting there.   Need to clean it up a bit and get pictures.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 25, 2018, 04:25:57 PM
Hey Peter,

Thanks for your patience.  I have two more Types to feature.  I have a lot going on at work, and plenty of projects to finish at home.  I’ve been meaning to post the Type 12 ratchets for more than a week.  I just couldn’t get to it.  I made it my top priority this morning.  Hopefully I’ll get to the Type 13 ratchets by this weekend, but no promises.  Thanks again for following along.

As for the Craftsman ratchet you posted a photo of above, well, I’d say it’s a Type 9A, probably manufactured between 1972 and 1976.

Jim C.

Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 26, 2018, 01:26:34 PM
We have arrived at Type 13.  We’re almost to the end of this thing.  Everyone still awake?  Before I get into the particulars of the Type 13 ratchets, I want to say that the three ratchets depicted below are my everyday, go to, ratchets.  Back in the early 1980s, right around 1982 or 1983, I started getting interested in old cars.  I didn’t have any tools to speak of, and found myself borrowing them from my uncle, who was a hardcore “car guy.”   Anyway, my dad took up my interest and bought me a set of Craftsman tools.  The set came with the three ratchets shown.  Since then, I’ve restored and/or tinkered with several old cars, and numerous old woodworking machines, not to mention having engaged in countless DIYer projects around the house using those three ratchets.  I find myself using the 3/8" drive the most.  They’ve held up beautifully, and at the same time, I’ve been careful with them too.  I use a breaker bar routinely and when I’m working over concrete, I spread quilted movers blankets on the floor.  I’ve dropped these ratchets many times, but the thick blankets have protected them.  Several years ago I stripped the gear on my ½” drive applying too much torque on a carriage bolt nut.  It was a job for a breaker bar, but I was too lazy to walk back up to the garage to get one.  Lesson learned.

The Type 13 ratchets are very common, leading me to think they were offered for several years, starting in the early 1980s and running to about 1985, give or take.  Notice the ¼” drive still has that oil hole feature.  One minor detail that was added to all three drive sizes, starting with the Type 13 ratchets was that little “nub” at the twelve o’clock position on the directional lever.  I have no idea why that’s there, but all original Type 13 and Type 14 ratchets, in all three drive sizes, have it.  (See last photo below)  Originally equipped Type 12 and earlier versions did not have that nub.  Here are the nomenclature lines:

Type 13:  1982 (+/-) – 1985 (+/-), TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44985
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 13:  1982 (+/-) – 1985 (+/-), TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43784
(represents 3/8” drive size)

Type 13:  1982 (+/-) – 1985 (+/-), TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43185
(represents ¼” drive size)

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on September 26, 2018, 04:11:11 PM
super.   thank you.   that oil hole in the picture is exactly what mine looks like (i never really LOOKED at that before).   Is there a proper way to oil these?
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: lptools on September 26, 2018, 04:20:31 PM
Hello, Jim. Great job on the Type Study!!!! I can see why those are your "go to" ratchets. Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 26, 2018, 07:06:03 PM
super.   thank you.   that oil hole in the picture is exactly what mine looks like (i never really LOOKED at that before).   Is there a proper way to oil these?

Hi Peter,

Those oil ports are spring loaded ball bearings, just like you said earlier.  I don’t personally think they’re very functional.  The trick is to push the ball bearing down with something, maybe a pick, and while it’s depressed, get a few drops of oil in there.  It’s tedious, and I think these Craftsman Teardrop ratchets function a lot better with a lubricant that’s a little thicker, like Super Lube.  That requires disassembly.  It would be difficult to get any sort of grease, or similar substance, into that hole/port.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 26, 2018, 07:17:23 PM
Hello, Jim. Great job on the Type Study!!!! I can see why those are your "go to" ratchets. Regards, Lou

Thanks Lou.  I think this segment of Craftsman ratchets tends to get s bad rap.  They’re good tools if properly maintained and not routinely used as breaker bars. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on September 27, 2018, 10:41:45 PM
"It would be difficult to get any sort of grease"

Hmmm...   might have to look at one of those little grease guns they make for chainsaw bars... 
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 28, 2018, 02:16:50 PM
Hey Peter,

I’m not one to ever talk a guy out of getting a new tool or something for their shop.  That being said, I’ve found that these particular ratchets seem to work best with with a liberal dollop of a grease like substance.  The best way to apply that glob of goop is to probably disassemble the ratchet.  With the exception of the Type 1 and Type 2 ratchets, the rest all come apart and go back together pretty easily. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on September 28, 2018, 05:03:13 PM
Ah, i know i can take it apart and get to the guts.  (putting things back together; well that's another ballgame).   :grin:
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 29, 2018, 06:44:09 AM

Peter,

If you need a ratchet to practice on, I probably have one that I could send to you. That way there’s no chance of messing up one from your collection or from your work box.  Send me a PM with your address and I’ll get one out to you.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on September 29, 2018, 06:51:39 PM
Thank you for the kind offer.   I don't think i really need one to practice on  :tongue: so when i get back out there i can play with it some and get it cleaned up before i dunk it in lithium (no fibre axle grease for me   :grin:).
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 30, 2018, 05:17:04 AM
No problem Peter.  I think lithium is a great choice of lubricants.  I’ve also had good luck with some stuff called Super Lube.  Thanks for following the thread.  I have one more Type, 14, to feature.  I’m trying to determine how to present it.  There are several manufacturer mark variations across all three drive sizes, resulting in several ratchets to photograph, and a significant change to the 1/4” drive that I’ll address as well.  We’re almost to the finish line.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Northwoods on October 04, 2018, 11:57:53 AM
I apologize for being one of those type who can look in a drawer of loose tools and be darned if I can find what I want.
I have been looking through your 6-page tome on C-man teardrops, and I can't find anything about the one I picked up this AM.
It is a 3/8" quick release VR-44811. The "A's" have flat tops.
Likely I just overlooked it or haven't shown enough patience for you to get to it.
Imagine my curiosity, though, as I have a full US dollar invested in this ratchet.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 04, 2018, 02:11:31 PM
Hi Northwoods,

Thanks for following along with the thread.  I know the topic is a little dry, but we’re almost to the end.  I have only one more Type to feature, and it’s a big one.  Just looking at the model number you listed for your ratchet, I can confidently say that it was likely produced after 1993.  This particular Type Study only covers ratchets produced between 1956 and 1993.  Once the directional levers were made from plastic and the head configuration changed, I ended the Type Study.  Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about your ratchet. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Northwoods on October 04, 2018, 02:28:56 PM
Hi Northwoods,

Thanks for following along with the thread.  I know the topic is a little dry, but we’re almost to the end.  I have only one more Type to feature, and it’s a big one.  Just looking at the model number you listed for your ratchet, I can confidently say that it was likely produced after 1993.  This particular Type Study only covers ratchets produced between 1956 and 1993.  Once the directional levers were made from plastic and the head configuration changed, I ended the Type Study.  Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about your ratchet. 

Jim C.
Thanks just the same, Jim.  I'll put it in with some mismatched sockets, throw in a u-joint and an extension, and someone will want it.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 05, 2018, 04:37:24 PM
Well, we finally made it to the Type 14 Craftsman Teardrop Ratchets.  These are the last ratchets that will be covered by this Type Study.  You may recall that early on, I said I stopped the Study when the ratchet head configurations changed and the directional levers were made out of plastic.  All that occurred somewhere right around 1993.  If you've already looked at the photos, you've noticed that there are four different 1/2" drive ratchets depicted.  The reason for that relates to the fact that between approximately 1985 and 1993, the manufacturer's marks stamped on the handles seemed to be in an almost constant state of change.  From a mechanical and visual perspective, all the ratchets stayed the same, with the exception of the 1/4" drive, which was finally produced without the oil hole (NonOH for nomenclature purposes) and with a new model number, 43186, likely connected to the fact that the oil hole was eliminated on this version.  As I mentioned, it was the manufacturer's marks that kept changing, starting with -VE- and proceeding though -VF-, VF and ending with -VG- in 1993.  I believe that as new production runs were made, the manufacturer's marks changed, possibly to track quality, warrantied tools, etc.  What's interesting is that there were two different versions of the VF mark.  One had single lines (-VF-) and one was stamped without the lines (VF).  I really don't know why this is, but suspect that it could be a similar situation to the Type 9 and Type 10 versions.  If you recall, I surmised that two different manufacturers were producing ratchets at the same time, possibly to keep up with demand.  If you take a close look at the two examples of VF ratchets shown below, it's pretty clear that the stampings on both sides of each handle are different from each other leading me to think they were made by two different manufacturers.  Since both bear VF marks, I'm again guessing that they were made during the same time period.  The final manufacturer's mark associated with the Type 14 is -VG-.  I believe this mark appeared very late in 1992 and into 1993.  The reason for my assumption is that I've seen early, next generation Craftsman Teardrop Ratchets (that fall outside of this Type Study) with plastic directional levers, also stamped with the -VG- mark.  EVERYTHING I just said applies in full to the 1/2" and 3/8" drive Type 14 ratchets, and mostly to the 1/4" drive Type 14 ratchet.  When I feature the 1/4" drive Type 14 ratchets, I'll spell out the differences, again those being the elimination of the oil hole and the model number change.  The only other difference is that while the 1/2" and 3/8" Type 14 ratchets are marked with -VE-, -VF-, VF and -VG-, the 1/4" is also found with those four marks AND the -V-.  Again, when I get to the 1/4" drive, I'll point those features out one more time. 

So, for this post, since there are literally thirteen different ratchets in the Type 14 class, spread across all three drive sizes, I thought it made sense to feature and depict them by drive size.  In my next post I'll feature the 3/8" drive Type 14 ratchets, and end with another post featuring the 1/4” drive Type 14 ratchets.   Here's the Type 14 nomenclature for the 1/2" drive size.

Type 14:  1985 (+/-) - 1993, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -VE- -VF- VF -VG-, 44985
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 05, 2018, 04:54:26 PM
If you read the post immediately above, I laid out the features common to both the 1/2" drive and the 3/8" drive Type 14 ratchets.  Once again, the 3/8" drive Type 14 ratchets also had four different manufacturer's marks; -VE-, -VF-, VF and -VG-, appearing between 1985 and 1993, just like the Type 14, 1/2" drive ratchets.  One thing I failed to mention was the rarity of a couple of these marks.  Based on no scientific data or hard facts, it has simply been my experience that ratchets with the -VE- and -VG- marks are the most difficult to find from the Type 14 examples, across all three drive sizes.  That's just been my observation.  I don't know if it's true or not.  Anyway, here's the Type 14 nomenclature for the 3/8" drive size.

Type 14:  1985 (+/-) - 1993, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -VE- -VF- VF -VG-, 43784
(represents 3/8" drive size)   

Jim C.

(Hang in there, we're almost to the very end.  All that's left to discuss are the 1/4" drive, Type 14 ratchets.  Stay tuned.)
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on October 05, 2018, 08:43:25 PM
wow.   just wow.   i'm going to have to save all that off and put the writeup and pictures into a PDF.   thank you
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 06, 2018, 07:38:34 AM
Hey Peter,

I’m glad to hear that you’re enthusiastic about the Type Study.  I guess if you’re a Craftsman collector, it might be worth keeping as a reference.  I still have one more post to go, that being the Type 14, 1/4” drive size.  There are a few noteworthy changes to mention.  I took the photos, and now need to compose an accompanying write up.  The finish line is near.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 10, 2018, 06:26:25 PM
We made it to the finish line.  This post will feature the Type 14, 1/4" drive Craftsman Teardrop ratchets; the last to be covered by this Type Study.   As I've noted all along, the 1/4" drive size was never exactly in step with its larger siblings.  You may recall that some Types did not include a 1/4" version, and long after the 1/2" drive and 3/8" drive eliminated the oil hole/port on the tops of their heads, the corresponding 1/4" drive retained it... until now.  All Type 14, 1/4" drive ratchets were produced without the oil port/hole.  ("NonOH" for nomenclature purposes.)  As a result of eliminating the "OH" from the 1/4" drive versions, I believe the model number was also changed from 43185, to 43186.  Besides the elimination of the oil hole, the other major change was the gear tooth count.  It was increased from 24 teeth to 30 teeth.  You may also recall that Type 14, 1/2" drive and 3/8" drive ratchets were produced with four different manufacturer's marks, those being -VE-, -VF-, VF and -VG-.  Remember it was my opinion that the -VF- and VF versions were possibly offered by Sears at the same time and were probably made by two different manufacturers?  That still holds true for the Type 14, 1/4" drive as well.  It was produced with the same four manufacturer's marks...... as well as one more, that being -V-.  Just one more little deviation from the 1/4" drive that was so characteristic of it throughout the entire Type Study.  Those almost continual little differences and deviations lead me to think the 1/4" drive ratchets were made at a different facility, or some place where the tooling, engineers, production manager, etc., etc. were out of sync with other facilities, etc. that were producing the 1/2" drive and 3/8" drive versions.  Who knows?  Anyway, here's the nomenclature line:

Type 14:  1985 (+/-) - 1993, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V- -VE- -VF- VF -VG-, 43186
(represents 1/4” drive size)

So there you have it!  From my perspective, you've seen all the standard raised panel 1/2" drive, 3/8" drive and 1/4" drive Craftsman Teardrop ratchets offered by Sears between 1956 and 1993.  If you think I missed something, or got something wrong, please let me know.  I don't know that another Type Study pertaining to this segment of Craftsman branded ratchets exists.  I'd like to make this one the last word on the topic.  That means it needs to be accurate and all inclusive.  In an effort to make that a reality, constructive input is necessary and welcome.  If you find something rare or unusual, please post it here.  I'm always happy to make changes or corrections.  Finally, thanks for following along.  If you're a Craftsman collector/enthusiast, I hope this Type Study helps you put a time frame on your ratchets and motivates you to collect them all.  If you're not a die hard Craftsman fan, but were just wondering how old your ratchet is, again, I hope you'll consult this Type Study as your "go to" resource.

Jim C. (who's on to the next tool collecting adventure)
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Papaw on October 10, 2018, 07:31:32 PM
A very comprehensive and thorough type study !

THANKS !!!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on October 10, 2018, 07:42:28 PM
Fantastic!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on October 10, 2018, 08:23:45 PM
Thank you!    :smiley:

Looks like the levers are a bit different on those (between versions) and the one is darker (factory issue?).   
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on October 10, 2018, 09:52:19 PM
Jim, approximately how many ratchets did you end up collecting to complete this type study?
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 11, 2018, 11:49:00 AM
A very comprehensive and thorough type study !

THANKS !!!

Hey Papaw,

Thanks for the kind words.  It was certainly a labor of love!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 11, 2018, 11:56:34 AM
Thank you!    :smiley:

Looks like the levers are a bit different on those (between versions) and the one is darker (factory issue?).

Hi Peter,

The levers may be slightly different shaped.  Like I said throughout the Type Study, the 1/4” drive ratchets were always a little different or out of step with their larger siblings.  As for that last lever on the -VG- ratchet, well, it is darker than the others.  I’m confident that it is factory original.  I believe those ratchets stamped with the -VG- mark were the last of the Craftsman Teardrop ratchets, of this style, to be produced.  I’ll admit that as they came to an end, the quality started to suffer.  Based on a careful inspection of that particular ratchet’s lever, it really appears that the finish was poorly applied or defective.  It’s definitely not a black oxide finish that one might see from a repair kit replacement lever.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 11, 2018, 12:20:33 PM
Jim, approximately how many ratchets did you end up collecting to complete this type study?

Hi Yadda,

Thanks for the kudos!  As for the number of ratchets in the Type Study, well, I count 54.  I’ve literally been looking at these ratchets for three years.  I’m on eBay EVERY day looking for something I don’t have, or not seen before.  I truly believe I have them all. So what you see in the Type Study is it.  I’m certainly open to differing opinions and want this Type Study to be complete and accurate.  Looking back, you may recall that the Type 5 ratchets don’t have a 1/4” drive size, and the Type 4 doesn’t have a 3/8” drive or a 1/4” drive.  Those ratchets may exist, but they must be SUPER RARE if they do.  To date, I have not observed a single example of them.  Also please recall that the Type 9 and Type 10, 1/4” drive ratchets were not (as far as I know) ever stamped with a -VV- manufacturer’s mark.  They may exist, but again, I’ve never seen one, and I look EVERY day.

Sorry for the rambling answer, which you’ve probably come to expect from me.  The short answer is 54.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on October 11, 2018, 04:56:37 PM
Perfect answer Jim.  I'm a rambler myself.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: lptools on October 11, 2018, 05:21:11 PM
Hello, Jim. Thanks for all of your hard work, I have read every page!!! Very thorough, and very well written. Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 11, 2018, 05:57:46 PM
Hello, Jim. Thanks for all of your hard work, I have read every page!!! Very thorough, and very well written. Regards, Lou

Thanks Lou!  I’m glad you stuck with the thread to the end. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: lptools on October 13, 2018, 01:34:44 PM
Hello, Jim. Thanks again for all of your efforts!!! I dug out my "go to" ratchets from my shop. I am going to take a stab at the Type 14. TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, VF. If you look closely, you may see a difference in the bases of the levers, mine seem more oval than round, these may have been re-built. I would go to the Sears store for a warranty, and ask for the rebuild kit, instead of them replacing my ratchet with a new one, and fix it myself. . I would use as many old parts that I could. I always liked the look of these levers. Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 13, 2018, 03:01:04 PM
Wow Lou!  That’s a nice set of ratchets.  It was my opinion that your style of ratchets were produced after the ratchets featured in this Type Study.  I knew there was some overlap between the Type 14 ratchets in the Study with the -VG- mark, and the style of ratchets you posted, also stamped with the -VG- mark, leading me to think there was an overlap in production between the two styles occurring somewhere around 1992/1993.   I’m surprised to see that your ratchets are stamped with -VF-, proving there was overlap occurring perhaps sooner than I thought.... maybe like 1991 or 1992.  That just adds a little more accuracy to things!  Thanks for taking the time to post a few pictures!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on October 17, 2018, 05:08:00 AM
Hi Jim,

Here's a couple of abused Craftsman ratchets.  I believe one of them may be in your type study. Maybe a Type 12?

 The other is clearly after since it appears to have a plastic switch lever.  I found both of these on the side of the road some time in the past few years.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 17, 2018, 07:24:08 AM
Hey Yadda,

You’re absolutely correct on both counts.  The one ratchet falls outside of the Type Study and the other one is definitely a Type 12.  I’m glad to see that you were able to identify your ratchet using the information presented in this thread.  That makes me feel like my efforts were not wasted.  Thanks for the validation!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: d42jeep on October 17, 2018, 11:58:12 AM
Excellent report! Thanks.
-Don
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 17, 2018, 02:44:38 PM
Hi Don,

Thanks for stopping by the thread and thanks for the “pat on the back.”  I hope the thread will be a useful resource in identifying a segment of Craftsman ratchets that so many of us have and use.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 20, 2018, 01:26:44 PM
Okay, if I'm beating a dead horse, just say so and I'll move on.  Very recently I came across a really nice example of a Type 2 Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet, 1/2" drive.  If you need a refresher on Type 2 ratchets, go back to Page 1, Reply 13, and read more than you probably wanted to know about the Type 2.  Anyway, when I added the Type 2 information to the thread, I mentioned that I've seen them with chrome finished socket posts and black oxide finished socket posts.  As I went back to see what I said, I didn't think I addressed the variation well enough.  A few pictures may have helped to provide some clarity.  Well, my recently acquired Type 2, 1/2" drive ratchet has a very nice, original, black oxide finished socket post.  It was my opinion that earlier versions of the Type 2 ratchets followed the Type 1 ratchets, that is, both having chrome finished socket posts.  At some point during Type 2 production (1960 - 1966), the chrome finished socket post was replaced by a socket post finished in black oxide, which was the standard going forward with all Type 3 through Type 14 ratchets.  (It should also be noted that on Type 1 and early Type 2 ratchets, not only are the socket posts chrome finished, but so are their main gears.)  Anyway, I thought a side-by-side comparison might be a good idea.  As I was writing this post, I also noticed a difference in the raised panels on the handles of the Type 2 ratchets.   

Take a look at the photos below.  The first one depicts an earlier version of the Type 2 (on the top) and a later version Type 2 (on the bottom).  The second photo shows a close up of the Type 2 raised panels on the handles.  See the difference?  See how the earlier Type 2 panel (top) has rounded ends (like the Type 1 ratchets), while the later Type 2 version (bottom) has squared off panels (like Type 3 through Type 14 ratchets)? Earth shaking, right?  Take a look at the third photo.  It depicts the Type 2 socket posts.  The earlier Type 2 version is on the left, and has a chromed finished socket post like the Type 1 ratchets.  The Type 2 later version is on the right, with the black oxide finished socket post, like all Type 3 through Type 14 ratchets.

The fourth and fifth photos depict four ratchets, with the Type 1 on top, followed by the early Type 2, the later Type 2 and the Type 3 on the bottom.  Again notice the raised panel progression from rounded ends to square ends.  Finally, look at the sixth photo, depicting four ratchet heads.  The Type 1 is on the far left, followed by the early Type 2, the later Type 2, and the Type 3 on the far right.  See how the socket posts change from chrome finished to black oxide, somewhere in the middle of the Type 2 production?  Again, I know, mind-blowing information!  This is exactly what happens when I get into this stuff.  I start picking fly sh*t out of pepper and looking for every variation, change, error, minor detail, etc.  It can become maddening!  In my own defense, I guess this adds a little more accuracy to the Type Study.  Specifically, when talking about Type 2 ratchets, it appears that earlier versions had a chrome finished socket post and rounded raised panels, while later version Type 2 ratchets were produced with a black oxide finished socket post and squared off raised panels.  Glad we got that figured out.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on October 20, 2018, 02:35:48 PM
More great info Jim!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 20, 2018, 03:33:56 PM
More great info Jim!

Thanks Yadda,  I love the details.  Sometimes I wonder if the people reading along feel the same.  I want this Type Study to be accurate.  Even though I think it’s complete and finally reduced to writing, I still look at ratchets every day on eBay.  I doubt I’ll find another Type, but as I have just shown, there may be some variations within Types.  Identifying those variations adds accuracy.  I think it’s safe to say there were at least two variations of Type 2 ratchets.  For instance, you may recall that early Type 1, 1/2” drive ratchets were produced with 40 tooth gears, and early Type 1, 3/8” drive ratchets had 32 teeth.  Later Type 1, 1/2” drive ratchets were produced with 32 tooth gears, and later Type 1, 3/8” drive ratchets had 24 tooth gears.   Anyway, I’ll keep looking.  If I find anything new, I’ll post it.  Thanks for following the thread.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on October 20, 2018, 06:03:59 PM
I like it.   Thank you.   :smiley:
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 21, 2018, 05:38:43 AM
Hi Peter,

Thanks for keeping up with the thread!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Chillylulu on November 18, 2018, 02:44:23 PM
I feel the same.  Points for the details.

Chilly
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: papadan on November 18, 2018, 04:10:57 PM
Interesting study, when I can get to all my tools, I will check them all by your study. I have some from the 70s to 90s that I bought or obtained, plus some that belonged to my Grandfather. I have not gone through much of this study yet because my stuff is in storage right now. One thing I noticed was some talk about the difference in the chrome drive heads and the black anodized. I know that all my ratchets had chrome, but over the years of installing repair kits most became the black anodized. I didn't know they ever sold any already black.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on November 19, 2018, 07:01:10 PM
Hey papadan,

Thanks for checking out the thread.  Keeping in mind that this Type Study is limited in scope to basic Craftsman Teardrop Ratchets produced between 1956 and 1993, it’s my opinion that all Type 1 and some early Type 2 ratchets were produced with chrome finished socket posts and gears.  At some point during Type 2 production, between 1960 and 1966, the finish changed from chrome to black oxide (anodized) and were manufactured that way through the Type 14 ratchets.

The repair kits for the early Types are extremely rare.  I can’t say for sure what the finishes were on them.  I do know that with the introduction of the Type 11 ratchets, around 1980, when the quick release mechanism was fully enclosed within the socket post, the replacement kit parts were in fact finished in black oxide.  That includes the socket post and gear, the directional lever and gear retention ring.  I hope you’ll have some time to dig deeper into the Type Study.  If I got something wrong, please let me know.  The Type Study can only get better with constructive input.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: coolford on November 21, 2018, 06:51:16 AM
Jim C----Now that you are finished with the study, I'm waiting for a day when I cannot go outside to type my ratchets.  At last count I have 22 different ratchets that I think fall within your study.  And, I know where each one can be found.  Great job, thanks!---coolford
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on November 21, 2018, 08:01:22 AM
Hi coolford,

I’m glad you made through the Type Study, and I’m hoping you and others will use it as a resource in the future.  There’s got to be literally millions of these Sears/Craftsman Teardrop ratchets in toolboxes from coast to coast.  At some point I thought it would be good to identify them and put them into chronological order.  When I decided to officially try it, I looked around the internet and couldn’t find anything specific that dealt with this one segment of Craftsman ratchets, yet practically everyone I ever met who is even a tiny bit handy, a serious DIYer, or someone in between, has at least one of these ratchets.  Collecting them was mostly a fun process, sometimes frustrating, and occasionally a little expensive.  I’m still looking for variations within Types, and I think I may have found one among the Type 3 ratchets, specifically dealing with the oil hole on the top of the ratchet heads.  Some have the word “OIL” stamped on them while others do not.  Once I’ve confirmed a couple things, I’ll add another post, with photos, detailing the variance. 

Also, I know you were a frequent visitor and contributor at the Hand Plane thread over on the woodworking forum.  To you and others who follow that thread, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about it!  I wanted to finish presenting this Type Study, and was just taking a little break.  I’m already planning a few posts over there probably right after the New Year.  So, keep an eye on it.  Also, I’ve got some other Sears/Craftsman tools I’d like to share with the crowd.  Stay tuned for those, as I’ll likely post them in this forum as new topics.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: giants on February 23, 2019, 10:18:49 AM
Thanks, Jim C., for your post!

I just found what I think is a Type 12 3/8" ratchet. Please confirm that. Also, I counted teeth twice and came up with a tooth count of 22. What is the correct tooth count for this model?

Also, would you compile a list of tooth counts for each of the types?

In your opinion, which of these types is most durable and why?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on February 23, 2019, 03:16:10 PM
Hi giants,

Thanks for checking out the Type Study!  You asked a few questions so let’s take them one at a time. First off, I think your ratchet is a Type 11. (See page 5, reply #69)  As far as the tooth count goes for the 3/8” drive, Type 11, I believe original, unaltered, factory produced versions came with a 24 tooth gear.  If you’re coming up with 22 teeth that would be unusual, but not necessarily impossible.  Maybe you have something that’s very unique!  I guess the best way to know for sure is to disassemble the ratchet and visually count the teeth under magnification if possible.

Okay, you requested a list detailing the tooth count for each Type.  Here’s my best shot at it.  I listed the individual Types followed by three numbers.  Those numbers refer to 1/2” drive, 3/8” drive and 1/4” drive respectively.

Type 1:   40 (early) & 32 (later),  32 (early) & 24 (later),  24  (There may have been a higher tooth count gear on earlier versions of the 1/4” drive Type 1 ratchets, but to date I haven’t encountered one.)
Type 2:   32,  24,  24
Type 3:   32,  24,  24
Type 4:   32,   -     -
Type 5:   32,  24,   -
Type 6:   32,  24,  24
Type 7:   32,  24,  24
Type 8:   32,  24,  24
Type 9A:   32,  24,  24
Type 9B:   32,  24,   -
Type 10A:   32,  24,  -
Type 10B:   32,  24,  -
Type 11:   32,  24,  24
Type 12:   32,  24,  24
Type 13:   32,  24,  24
Type 14 -V-:   -   -  30
Type 14 -VE-:   32,  24,  30
Type 14 -VF-:   32,  24,  30
Type 14 VF:   32,  24,  30
Type 14 -VG-:   32,  24,  30

As far as durability goes, well, they’re all durable for the most part.  I have a set of Type 13 ratchets that I’ve been using almost exclusively since the mid 1980s.  They’ve been great workers.  That being said, I keep them clean, well lubricated, and I really AVOID USING THEM AS BREAKER BARS.  I think these particular ratchets work best with a thicker viscosity lubricant.  I personally like Super Lube.  In order to apply a heavier lubricant, the ratchet really needs to be taken apart. The little oil holes found on the tops of the ratchets aren’t too useful for allowing an appropriate amount of lubricant into the head.  As for overall feel, I like some of the older Types.  Type 2 versions are plentiful.  I have a couple and I do use them when I’m working on a vintage machine and want to use a similar era vintage tool.

Thanks again for stopping by the thread!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: giants on February 23, 2019, 05:46:09 PM
Thanks.

You wrote, "I have a couple and I do use them when I’m working on a vintage machine and want to use a similar era vintage tool." Is there an advantage to using same-period tools for repairs?

Also, how do you deal with rust and chrome loss from external surfaces of the ratchets?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Northwoods on February 23, 2019, 07:41:06 PM
Rust will come off with a little oil and a brass brush.  Take it easy.
Chrome, when it is gone, is just gone.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on February 23, 2019, 07:59:59 PM
Hey giants,

I’ve been interested in old Corvettes and woodworking for a long time.  Somewhere along the line I got the idea that working on 1960s cars would be fun using similar era, vintage tools.  I guess it was just an excuse to buy more tools.  So, I started collecting 1950s and 1960s hand tools, mostly Craftsman.  Nothing like turning a 1960s bolt with a 1960s ratchet!  My interest in woodworking eventually lead me to old Delta machines from the 1940s through the 1960s.  Nothing like restoring old machines with old tools!  Right?  Anyway, to answer your question, I’d generally say, “No, there’s probably not any real advantage to using similar era vintage tools to work on old cars, machines, etc.” Now, if you have an OCD personality, it’s the only way to go!   :smiley:

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Yadda on February 24, 2019, 11:18:23 AM
Hey giants,

I’ve been interested in old Corvettes and woodworking for a long time.  Somewhere along the line I got the idea that working on 1960s cars would be fun using similar era, vintage tools.  I guess it was just an excuse to buy more tools.  So, I started collecting 1950s and 1960s hand tools, mostly Craftsman.  Nothing like turning a 1960s bolt with a 1960s ratchet!  My interest in woodworking eventually lead me to old Delta machines from the 1940s through the 1960s.  Nothing like restoring old machines with old tools!  Right?  Anyway, to answer your question, I’d generally say, “No, there’s probably not any real advantage to using similar era vintage tools to work on old cars, machines, etc.” Now, if you have an OCD personality, it’s the only way to go!   :smiley:

Jim C.

Any excuse to buy more tools is good one.  :grin:
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on February 24, 2019, 06:41:45 PM
Hey giants,

I’ve been interested in old Corvettes and woodworking for a long time.  Somewhere along the line I got the idea that working on 1960s cars would be fun using similar era, vintage tools.  I guess it was just an excuse to buy more tools.  So, I started collecting 1950s and 1960s hand tools, mostly Craftsman.  Nothing like turning a 1960s bolt with a 1960s ratchet!  My interest in woodworking eventually lead me to old Delta machines from the 1940s through the 1960s.  Nothing like restoring old machines with old tools!  Right?  Anyway, to answer your question, I’d generally say, “No, there’s probably not any real advantage to using similar era vintage tools to work on old cars, machines, etc.” Now, if you have an OCD personality, it’s the only way to go!   :smiley:

Jim C.

Any excuse to buy more tools is good one.  :grin:

Amen to that!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on February 25, 2019, 09:59:29 PM
Any excuse to buy more tools is good one.  :grin: 

Wait, you need an  excuse?   why didn't i think of that?   :tongue: :grin:
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: giants on February 28, 2019, 11:29:32 PM
Did Craftsman make rachets during this era in its Craftsman Industrial brand? If so, is there a difference from the regular Craftsman?

I happen to have a set of Industrial and non-Industrial flare wrenches. Comparing the same size wrenches, each of the industrial weighs two grams less than the non-Industrials. Makes me wonder if the Industrial has better metallurgy?
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on March 01, 2019, 06:52:08 AM
Hey giants,

I really don’t know if the Craftsman Industrial line was around prior to 1993 (which is the latest date of the Type Study).  So, I can’t really answer your question.  Now that I think about it, I can’t say that I remember seeing a Craftsman ratchet from the Industrial line that falls within the parameters of the Type Study (1956 - 1993).  As for the metallurgy, I have no clue.  Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on March 01, 2019, 08:49:48 PM
When I started to post this Type Study on the website, I was fairly confident that I had all the basic 1/2" drive, 3/8" drive and 1/4" drive, raised panel Sears/Craftsman ratchets produced between 1956 and 1993.  Like so many times before when assembling this information, I was wrong.  After I had published the whole thing on this website, all 14 Types, I learned that the Type 1, 3/8" drive was originally offered with a 32 tooth gear.  You may recall that the Type 1, 1/2" drive was initially offered with a 40 tooth gear that was later reduced to 32 teeth.  Well, the 3/8" drive was later reduced from 32 teeth to 24 teeth.  When I originally wrote the Type 1 post, I did not include the 3/8" drive, 32 tooth iteration because I didn't know it existed.  Anyway, if you go back to page 1 of the thread, I updated the post and pictures to include my newly acquired 3/8" drive, 32 tooth Type 1 ratchet.  The updated photos now depict the 40 tooth and 32 tooth 1/2" drives, the 32 tooth and 24 tooth 3/8" drives and the 24 tooth 1/4" drive.  To date, I'm not aware of another Type 1, 1/4" drive ratchet with a higher (or lower) tooth count than 24.  Still, it's not impossible, with 30 or 32 teeth, or maybe 18 teeth not being out of the question.  If I find one like that, I'll be sure to update the Type Study.

As for acquiring that tough to find Type 1, 3/8" drive, 32 tooth ratchet, well, I turned to a guy I met on eBay.  He goes by "needmorewrenches."  His auctions are top notch and during the last few years, I've purchased more than a couple ratchets from him that are featured in this Type Study.  He was familiar with the Type Study prior to me finding out I was missing a ratchet.  When I finally discovered I was in fact missing one, I reached out to him for help, offering to pay for the ratchet if he had it in his collection.  In response, he said he had what I was looking for and volunteered to donate the ratchet to me for purposes of updating my project.  A few days later, a package arrived in the mail that not only had the Type 1, 3/8" drive, 32 tooth ratchet I was looking for, but also another 24 tooth version as well.  It was more than generous and greatly appreciated!  Thanks again to "needmorewrenches."

Upon receiving the two ratchets, I took them apart for purposes of cleaning them and checking out the 32 tooth gear in a side-by-side comparison to the 24 tooth gear.  Recall that I already had a Type 1, 3/8" drive, 24 tooth gear iteration.  After getting the ratchets disassembled, what I noticed was that the pawls are slightly different, specifically in terms of their teeth.  As one would expect, the teeth on the pawl that came out of the 32 tooth ratchet are slightly smaller to mesh better with the finer teeth on the gear.  Unless one is comparing a 24 tooth pawl to a 32 tooth pawl, side-by-side, it might be easy to mistake one for the other.  That being said, this is what I really found to be interesting.  If you take a close look at the first photo below, you will see three sets of gears and pawls taken out of three Type 1, 3/8" drive ratchets,  The set on the left is from the 24 tooth version I had when I started the Type Study.  The set in the middle came from the 24 tooth ratchet I received from "needmorewrenches" and the set on the right is from the 32 tooth ratchet I also received from "needmorewrenches."  Look at that pawl in the middle set.  See it?  Stamped right there on the pawl is the number "24."  I'm surmising that refers to the 24 tooth gear.  Notice how the pawl on the left has no such stamp, yet it is also a 24 tooth gear version.  Why is one 24 tooth pawl stamped and one is not?  Here's my guess.  What if the pawl stamped with the "24" is from a repair kit?  Back in the day ratchets broke, just like now.  If there were Type 1, 3/8" drive ratchets out in the world with 32 teeth and later with 24 teeth, repair gears and pawls would have to exist for obvious reasons.  Going back to what I said earlier, without a side-by-side comparison, one could easily mistake a 24 tooth pawl for a 32 pawl and visa versa.  Perhaps stamping the number of teeth on replacement pawls made sense in an effort to avoid confusion.  Anyone else want to venture a guess?

In an effort to test my theory, I turned to my little collection of Type 1, 1/2" drive ratchets.  I have five that are outfitted with a later offered 32 tooth gear, and one with the earlier offered 40 tooth gear.  So, six ratchets in total.  (See second photo below.)  After taking all six 1/2" drive ratchets apart, my expectation/hope was to see perhaps one or two of the 32 tooth pawls stamped with a "32" and possibly the 40 tooth pawl stamped with a "40."  What I found was that one of the five 32 tooth pawls was stamped with a number "32" (See third photo middle pawl and gear set) AND one of the five 32 tooth gears was also stamped with a number "32." (See last photo)  These two stamps were on different ratchets and not found in the same example.  As for the 40 tooth ratchet, neither the pawl nor the gear was stamped with a number "40" tooth count.  (Looking at the second photo below, the 32 tooth pawl and gear sets go from left to right.  The pawl and gear set to the far right is the 40 tooth version.)  Again, do stamped pawls and gears indicate parts from repair kits?  Again, who knows?  The trouble is that these Type 1 ratchets are hard to come by and I've never seen a repair kit so I don’t know if the parts were stamped with a tooth count or not.  In particular, I've found that the 3/8" versions seem to be the most scarce.  I'll probably never look at enough examples to conclusively make any determinations.  For now, at least know that pawls and gears inside Type 1, 1/2" drive and 3/8" drive ratchets have the possibility of bearing stamped tooth counts on them.  Why?  Well, maybe they’re repair kit parts.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: p_toad on March 01, 2019, 10:15:34 PM
Interesting!   Thanks for the update and good to see you got some "help" with that.

Curious, though, as to the "glittery" surface on that last toothed gear...???
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on March 02, 2019, 06:48:17 AM
Hi Peter,

Thanks for checking out the thread.  I’m always trying to keep the information accurate and up to date, so getting a little help is appreciated.  Those ratchets from “needmorewrenches” are tough to find.  While I needed the Type 1, 3/8” drive, 32 tooth version, it was the extra 24 tooth example he sent me that got me looking at the pawls and gears for tooth count stamps.  When I was cleaning the extra 24 tooth ratchet, I noticed the “24” stamp on the pawl.  Well, you saw the results.  I have a couple Type 1, 1/4” examples too.  I’ll take a look at them.  Who knows what I might find?

You know, I agree with your observation regarding the finish on the stamped 1/2” drive gear.  It does look a little different than some of the others.  I also took that particular photo with a flash, so the finish does look bright!  Still, it’s different than the others without stamps.  Maybe the stamped gear really is a repair kit replacement. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on March 02, 2019, 05:17:31 PM
Now I gotta put them back together....

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Northwoods on March 03, 2019, 09:08:08 AM
Wow!  I hope Mrs. Jim C. didn't decide it was time to do the laundry while all those rats were disassembled.
Oh, the humanity!
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on March 03, 2019, 07:10:08 PM
Wow!  I hope Mrs. Jim C. didn't decide it was time to do the laundry while all those rats were disassembled.
Oh, the humanity!

Nothing to worry about.  She knows where the measuring tape, pliers, screwdrivers and hammer are located out in my shop.  After that, she pretty much leaves everything else alone.  Now, she would probably notice six disassembled ratchets on my bench and might ask, “How many of those do you have/need?”  My response is usually something like, “How many pairs of shoes do you have/need?”  That typically ends the discussion and she goes back in the house.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Northwoods on March 03, 2019, 09:23:15 PM
Wow!  I hope Mrs. Jim C. didn't decide it was time to do the laundry while all those rats were disassembled.
Oh, the humanity!

Nothing to worry about.  She knows where the measuring tape, pliers, screwdrivers and hammer are located out in my shop.  After that, she pretty much leaves everything else alone.  Now, she would probably notice six disassembled ratchets on my bench and might ask, “How many of those do you have/need?”  My response is usually something like, “How many pairs of shoes do you have/need?”  That typically ends the discussion and she goes back in the house.


Kinda like Mrs. Northwoods.  She says she is just glad I'm not out drinking and chasing wild women.  And it gives her a guilt-free excuse to haunt the mall.  But she does object that my tools are beginning to take over too much of the house.
Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Chillylulu on June 21, 2019, 09:44:40 PM
Jim,

My first guess about the stamped pawls was that they were to differentiate the 32 vs 40 teeth when first made. After they went to a single tooth count they would stop needing the stamp.

But I changed my opinion as I read down. Why only 1 in 5 for 1/2" ratchets?  It makes sense if you consider how many Craftsman ratcgets needed rebuilding.  I wiukd guess that  most of those found were not used by pro mechanics.

Your guess seems the best explanation so far, IMHO.

Chilly
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on July 28, 2019, 01:31:20 PM
Hey Chilly,

Sorry I missed this post from a month ago!  I promise I wasn’t blowing you off.  I just missed it..... Anyway, I really tried to come up with theories as to why some gears and pawls are stamped with tooth counts and others are not.  I considered a few but kept coming back to “repair kits.”  The trouble with being the sole evaluator is that there’s no “devil’s advocate.”  The repair kit theory seems like the best one to ME.  I could be right or I could be wrong.  It’s never bad to have another idea or theory come from an outside observer or two.  You could be right as well.  Unless we find a known repair kit from that time period, the real answer may always be just speculation.  Thanks for weighing in!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 29, 2019, 02:06:36 PM
Back on page 9, reply 128, we got into a discussion about tooth counts pertaining to Type 1, 1/2" and 3/8" drive ratchets.  Recall that early versions of the Type 1, 1/2" drive, were outfitted with 40 tooth gears, while later versions of the Type 1, 1/2" drive, came with 32 tooth gears.  The Type 1, 3/8" drive ratchets were initially produced with a 32 tooth gear and then later with a 24 tooth gear.  Also recall back in reply 128 a discussion about tooth counts having been physically stamped on gears and pawls of various Type 1, 1/2" and 3/8" drive examples.  I floated the idea that those gears and pawls stamped with tooth counts could have possibly come from ratchet repair kits.  It's certainly trivial, and some of you might be thinking, "Who cares?" but I'd like to know the answer just the same.

As a result, I'm always on the lookout for Type 1, 1/2" and 3/8" drive ratchets.  I figure the more examples I see and dissect the greater my odds are of making some conclusive determinations.  The trouble is that Type 1 ratchets are somewhat scarce, and when they do show up, they're a little bit expensive.  So, I set a dollar limit and if I can get one for that amount or less, I'll buy it if possible.  As always, storage space is tight and how many Type 1 ratchets do I need?  Not to mention the monetary expense associated with acquiring them.  So, some I just have to pass on.  Anyway, I recently found another Type 1, 1/2" drive with a 40 tooth gear.  You might recall that I only had one back when I posted reply 128 and neither its pawl or gear had a "40" tooth count stamp.  My objective for buying the ratchet depicted below was to take it apart and check its gear and pawl for a "40" stamp.  Well, I got the ratchet, took it apart..... and found nothing.  No tooth count stamp on the pawl or gear.  A little disappointing for sure, but I'll keep looking for more examples.

Jim C.