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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
Several years ago, I posted this Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet Type Study (1956 – 1993).  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, 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.  Thinking like a collector, I decided to see if I could track down all the variations of each ½”, 3/8” and ¼” drive standard 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 fledgling Type Study was seriously incomplete.  Constructive feedback and my own further observations proved it.  It was a good first try and the foundation 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 several years later making my third attempt. After more serious collecting, observations, and assistance from others, I think I can provide an accurate, comprehensive Type Study. 

I’ll attempt to illustrate (with photos) the criteria I used to evaluate the ratchets and categorize them into "types" so they can be identified and assigned relatively close dates of manufacture/availability. The years I focused on were from 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 raised panels 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. In a nut shell, I want the reader to be able to scroll through the type study, find his/her teardrop ratchet and have a reliable time frame regarding when it was made and for how long. 

To accomplish this, 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. Doom, 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."

Finally, Big Thanks go out to DadsTools, who provided some great research information relating to the dates of manufacture/availability regarding several of the Types described below in this study.  While I was in the ballpark regarding the timelines that the various Types were manufactured/available, his research got me closer to the actual dates. My goal from the start was accuracy, and Dadstools was undoubtedly instrumental in making this Type Study significantly more accurate.   

Very recently, DadsTools, completed a comprehensive type study that discusses in detail the Craftsman Round Head Fine Tooth (RHFT) ratchet.  If you’re a Craftsman tool collector or just want to find out about (RHFT) ratchets, that’s the place to start and finish.  In some ways, this Teardrop Type Study may have served as an inspiration for the RHFT study, but in the end, this study was the beneficiary of some great information collected by DadsTools.  If you read his RHFT study, you’ll see that it’s based on hard facts, written accounts, court proceedings and patent dates.  There’s very little reliance on Sears catalogs, which he proves are frequently misleading or just plain wrong in terms what was actually going on at Sears.  When I re-wrote this Teardrop Type Study a couple years ago for the second time, I was still relying on memory/experience using/receiving specific ratchets over the years, the memories of others, the Sears catalogs, and the observation of thousands of ratchets on eBay, etc. Those less precise sources got me ballpark timeframes for each Type within the Study.  Still there were times I missed the mark by as little as six or less months or as much as two years.  Make no mistake however, I still used old memories, experience with the ratchets, and the Sears catalogs to assist me with this re-write, but I also included and relied on some hard facts that came from the RHFT study.  I tried to use the best information I could get, again, in an effort to make this Type Study as accurate as possible.

The Craftsman Teardrop and RHFT ratchets were Sears’ bread and butter for decades.  They shared some mechanical features.  After comparing the two, it’s very clear that things happening to the Teardrop line of ratchets were also happening to the RHFT ratchets and visa versa.  As we will see, patent dates and stamped information on ratchet handles were happening to both ratchet families at the same time.  For that reason, portions of DadsTools research can be accurately applied to BOTH studies.  So, as I forge ahead into the third, and hopefully final re-write of the Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet Type Study, I’ll point out some of Dadstools research.  I’ll also point out some places where Dadstools and I don’t exactly agree.  Many thanks again to DadsTools!”       

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 long 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 numbers and information were 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.  Typically, if only a manufacture’s mark changed, while everything else remained visually the same on the ratchet handle, I simply categorized the two, or more, as variations within a Type.  On the other hand, if font sizes changed, or patent numbers and/or model numbers were rearranged, then I created a Type to reflect those visual differences.

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 13 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 1986 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 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 several years ago, Dr. Doom 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.  For more information on Type 1 pawl design and identification, please refer to page 10, reply #143 and #144.)  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: 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: 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 move 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).  Here’s the nomenclature: 

Type 2: 1959 - 1965/‘66 TD, OH, VL, NonQR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 1/4”, 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

When I wrote the first and second versions of this Type Study, I was really reliant on the Sears tool catalogs and occasionally the Sears seasonal catalogs.  While it was an honest reliance, I didn’t recognize the inaccuracies presented by the catalogs.  Even after I say that, there are instances scattered throughout this Type Study that still rely on the catalogs because they are the best information we have.  Interpretation of the catalogs can be tricky.  Research presented in the RHFT Study, which is heavily based on patent information, highlights the limits of the catalogs themselves.  So be careful using the catalogs as a definitive source of information.  That being said, the updated timetable for the Type 2 ratchets combines both patent information and catalog information.  I’ll explain this.

Initially, it was my opinion that the Type 2, ¼” drive was in production for a longer period of time than its larger siblings, the 3/8” drive and the ½” drive, based on 1967, 1968 and 1969 catalog information.  Consequently, I listed two nomenclature lines for the Type 2 ratchets to reflect the perceived differences in the ending dates between the ¼” drive and the two larger sizes.  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 that 1/4" drive Type 2 ratchets were still available/produced into 1968, give or take, filling the ¼” drive ratchet niche while Sears got their act together and started producing the next generation of Craftsman ¼” ratchets.  So, I categorized the  Type 2, 1/4" drive with its own nomenclature line.  Recently DadsTools pointed out that there are artist renderings in Sears catalogs as early as 1966/1967 depicting the next generation of directional selectors on ALL THREE drive sizes, or those used on Type 3 teardrop ratchets.  That strongly suggests that the “V” lever was likely extinct closer to 1965/‘66 on all three drive sizes.  The earlier Sears catalogs do contradict a longer lifespan for the Type 2, 1/4” drive, which seems to have gone away by 1965/’66, along with the larger Type 2 sizes.  The contradictory catalog depictions suggest a 1965/‘66 end to all three drive sizes.  The nomenclature line reflects all three drives sizes with common starting and ending dates.  As for the starting date of the Type 2 ratchets, DadsTools points to a mid 1959 patent specifically referring to the unique “V” shaped directional lever.   

One of the other things I noticed about Type 2 ratchets was the finish on the socket post/main gear assembly.  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 finish on the socket post/main gear assembly.  I’ve seen an equal number of chrome and black oxide socket post/main gear assemblies on the Type 2 ratchets in all three sizes.  It stands to reason that at some point during Type 2 production, socket post/main gear assemblies went from being finished in chrome to black oxide.  All socket posts/main gear assemblies 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 post/main gear assemblies, 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: 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: 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: 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 back when I was starting to publish my first draft of this Type Study, Dr. Doom 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).  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.

Based on my initial interpretation of the catalogs it was my thinking that the Type 3 ratchets in all three drive sizes were manufactured and available only for a short period of time.  But it only makes sense to start the Type 3 timeline where the Type 2 timeline ended, that being 1965/’66.  DadsTools observed what appeared to be ratchets with a Type 3 style long directional lever as early as 1966 in a Sears catalog.  The Type 3 is significant because it was the last Teardrop ratchet to be offered without the quick release (QR) mechanism we have all become so familiar with.  Based on my initial review of the 1967, 1968 and 1969 Sears Craftsman tool catalogs, it appears that Sears released a few different QR versions (Types 4, 5 and 6) and a non-quick release (NonQR) version (the Type 3) at the same time between ‘67 and ’69.  Well, based on the 1966 catalog, we now know that the Type 3 ratchets were on the market prior to 1967, and more likely closer to 1965/‘66.

From a collector’s point of view, any of the Type 3 sizes are relatively scarce, and 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 1966 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 occasionally an educated guess that is based on catalog supplied information.  Unfortunately, the catalogs aren’t always accurate.  However, when new and better information comes to light, it only makes sense to incorporate that information into the Type Study whenever possible.  The following paragraphs illustrate this point. 

(The following information was added to the Type 3 narrative on 9/22/20.)  A couple weeks ago, while cruising eBay like I do everyday, I came across yet another Craftsman teardrop ratchet that I hadn’t seen before.  It is sort of ironic because not too long before I stumbled on to this new-to-me ratchet, another tool enthusiast asked me if the Craftsman Teardrop Type Study was finally completed.  In a half kidding response, I said it would never be complete because every time I think it’s finished and I have them all identified, I come across another ratchet I was unaware of.  Well, it was almost like I jinxed myself because it happened again, this time with the Type 3. 

Until now, it was my belief that all Type 3 and earlier Types were stamped with a pointed letter “A” in the word CR”A”FTSM”A”N.  Well, if you take a look at the 1/2” drive ratchet at the bottom of each photo, you’ll see that it clearly has a flat top letter “A.”  Everything we know, or think we know about the pointed letter A and the flat top letter A says that the transition from the pointed A to the flat top A occurred at some time right around 1968 – 1969.   Now you’re thinking, “Why does this matter?”  Well, it clearly means that Sears’s ratchet manufacturer/supplier was still making these non-quick release models as late 1968/’69.

At first this doesn’t seem significant, but it is another piece of the puzzle that’s based on fact versus educated guesses or conjecture.  The ratchet depicted below also solidifies the ending date of the Type 3 teardrop ratchets, that being 1968/‘69.  Prior to finding this Type 3 flat top A ratchet, there was a hypothesis floating around that says once Sears bought the quick release patent rights from their creator, Pete Roberts, in 1965, Sears immediately ramped up production of the quick release ratchets AND immediately dumped the current non-quick release model (the Type 3).  Without knowing for sure, it’s a reasonable theory to consider, but the existence of this ratchet now proves that it’s not correct.  While Sears did jump on the quick release ratchets as fast as possible, and rush them into production, the opposite is not true of non-quick release ratchets.  Production did not immediately stop as some may have previously thought. The ratchet shown below puts to rest any idea that Sears was simply liquidating its previously manufactured non-quick release model (Type 3) once the new quick release models were in stores, by advertising them (the non QR model) in the 1967 through 1969 catalogs.  Like I said, if we are to believe well documented Craftsman tool history/fact, then the ratchet shown below was stamped with a flat top letter A no earlier than 1968/’69.   

Basically, the Type 3 was ACTIVELY being manufactured for Sears for several years and clearly as late as 1968.  Based on this recent information, the non quick release ratchet was most likely advertised in the 1967 through 1969 catalogs because Sears thought there was still a market for the cheaper non-quick release model.  In hindsight that may have been faulty marketing strategy on Sears’s part.  By 1969, Sears must have realized that the non-quick release ratchet had reached the end of it’s logical life span, and it was dead and gone by 1970.  At that point, Sears probably started to liquidate whatever was left of its non-quick release ratchet inventory.

Although I have not seen a Type 3, 3/8” drive or a 1/4” drive with a flat top A stamp, I can only assume that they do exist.  I’ll keep an eye out both.  I guess from a collector’s perspective any Type 3 ratchet would be considered relatively scarce.  Based only on my experience and nothing else, I would say that the later version Type 3, with the flat top A stamp, is probably one of the most rare teardrop ratchet examples featured in the Type Study.  So, if you come across another Type 3, take a closer look at the CRAFTSMAN stamp on the handle.

Here's the Type 3 nomenclature:

Type 3:  1965/‘66 - 1969, TD, OH, LL, NonQR, PA & FA, =V=, Non#
(represents 1/4”, 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

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 provides 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: 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: 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: 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 patent rights 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 knew the idea was nothing short of a grand slam home run from the start.  I’ve read that Sears sold several 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 for sale in print.  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 (for the second time), I was sure I had identified the correct Type as the first “QR” model.  I learned that was not true.

A few years ago, I was checking 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. Roberts’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 was 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.

Okay, based entirely on the catalogs, one would think that the first QR ratchets were offered in 1967.  Interestingly, I contradicted myself, because I wrote that “Sears started offering these ratchets shortly after they negotiated a deal with Mr. Roberts…”  Well, that couldn’t have been much later than September 28, 1965!  For whatever reason, the catalogs don’t list QR ratchets until 1967 (the start date that I initially adopted.)  That doesn’t make sense.  I laugh now when I look back and recall DadsTools asking me if Sears worked out a deal with Roberts in 1965, would they have waited two years to start making and selling QR ratchets?  That’s a big “NO!”

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.

Throughout the course of this type study, I’ve solicited input from anyone who believes I made a mistake or misstated the facts.  While some have given me suggestions without much evidence to back it up, a few others have provided hard facts.  Those proposed edits with little or no supporting evidence haven’t been incorporated into the type study while those coming with undeniable facts have been and will always be included.  This is one of those moments and a turning point in the overall accuracy of this Type Study.  If you’re a fan of this forum, then you’ve probably seen DadsTools Round Head Fine Tooth (RHFT) Type Study.  I’ve already alluded to it, but now want to stress its importance to both the history of the Craftsman RHFT ratchets AND the history of Craftsman Teardrop ratchets.  The RHFT Study is a great piece of work and about as good as you’ll ever find on the topic.  If you’re interested in Craftsman ratchets, then you must check out that type study!  DadsTools goes into some very detailed discussions about patent dates, court records, etc., that in my view, conclusively nail down some dates of manufacture/availability regarding not only RHFT examples, but also some in this Study.  In particular, his information sheds some light on what is probably the most elusive of Craftsman Teardrop ratchet types.....the Type 4.  If you really want to get into the weeds on this, contact DadsTools.  He’s enthusiastic about his information, more than willing to share it, and provides great detail in what I would describe are interesting and engaging reads.  Okay, so let’s get into it.....

As I had mentioned above, back in the day, Peter Roberts, came up with the Quick Release mechanism found on so many Craftsman ratchets.  He submitted the idea for patent approval during April, 1964.  The idea was highly successful and Sears took advantage of it.  So, on or about June 15, 1965, Roberts sold the patent rights to Sears for $10,000.  Like I said initially, Sears lead Roberts to believe the idea was a dud at best.  Well, it turned out to be a “multimillion dollar dud.”  Roberts eventually realized he had been grossly under paid for the patent rights, and he sued.  This is where DadsTools started digging for more information.  Based on his findings, within days of signing a deal with Roberts, Sears kicked off mass production of QR ratchets.  Remember, this is in June of 1965, and not 1967 as indicated in the 1967 Sears tool catalog.  The reported number of units produced was as many as 44,000 per week.  As such, it would only make sense that those first ratchets would be stamped with, “PATENT PENDING.”  The official patent was awarded on September 28, 1965.  So, based on this information (which I summarized from a much larger body of proof as provided by Dadstools) the dates of manufacture/availability of the Type 4 ratchets reflect these facts.  Essentially those Teardrop ratchets with the patent pending stamps were likely only produced for a few months between mid June and late September of 1965.  Although it was my thinking that they were only made for a few months in 1967 (based on the Sears catalog), I’m now much more inclined to believe they were being made and sold as early as 1965.  Probably not too long after the QR patent was awarded, Sears started stamping the patent number on the ratchet handles (the Type 5 in this study).  That would mean the Type 5 was also in production much earlier than 1967.  I’d say more like late September/early October, 1965.

Here’s something to consider.  Based on the shear number of units being produced per week (44,000) with the patent pending stamp, it would seem likely that Sears would go all in and produce the new QR ratchets in all three sizes, that being 1/2”, 3/8”, and 1/4”.  DadsTools advocates this line of thinking.  It makes sense, but to date, I have zero physical evidence of the existence of a 1/4” Type 4 ratchet.  In an effort to get to the bottom of this, I reached out to vintage Craftsman tool collector/seller, “needmorewrenches” specifically asking him if had a recollection of the Type 4 TD ratchets with the “PATENT PENDING” stamp on the handle.  I also sent him photos of my Type 4, 1/2” drive just to be sure we were both taking about the same thing.   In response, he said that he does remember seeing the PATENT PENDING stamp on the 1/2” drive AND the 3/8” drive.  He did not recall ever seeing a Type 4, 1/4” example.  If anyone would at least be familiar with the Type 4 ratchets, it would be needmorewrenches, and because he as seen a 3/8” Type 4, then it does exist, rare though it may be.  That’s not to say the ¼” drive doesn’t exist.  The number of units produced would suggest that they do and one would think Sears would make all three sizes, and not just the 1/2”, and 3/8” drives.  The same goes for the Type 5.  While I’ve seen more than a couple Type 5, 1/2” and 3/8” drives, as well as Type 5, 3/8” flex heads, I haven’t seen a single 1/4” example.  So, I guess the hunt continues.  It would be great to conclusively put this to rest with the confirmation of at least one example of each.  If they exist, they’re extremely rare.  It could be awhile before any turn up.  Anyway, as a result of the information provided by DadsTools and needsmorewrenches, the Type 4 nomenclature is as follows:

Type 4: June, 1965 - September 28, 1965, PATENT PENDING, TD, OH, LL, QR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents ½” drive size, 3/8” drive size, and most likely the 1/4” drive size)

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: 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: 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: 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
For a long time, I thought the ratchets depicted below were initially Type 3 and then later, after I got more information, I thought they were Type 4.  Well, I ultimately discovered that they’re Type 5 ratchets, and yes, that’s my final answer!  Lock it in.  I guess the presence of the quick release (QR) patent number (3208318) stamped on the handle threw me off.  Since I started this third version of the Craftsman Teardrop Type Study, I’ve adopted a more skeptical view of the Sears catalog information and have relied more on the research Dadstools presents as it relates to the patents stamped on the ratchet handles.  It’s his view that once the quick release (QR) patent was approved on September 28, 1965, it wasn’t too long after, that it was stamped on the ratchet handles.  It’s a much better date than anything the catalogs can give us and it makes sense.  There’s really nothing magical about it.  So how do we arrive at the end date?  If we believe that Sears was quick to make sure that its multi-million dollar cash cow was updated with current patent information, well, it was awarded a Canadian patent on May 2, 1967.  Again, sticking with a consistent theory, we can and must assume that not long after the Canadian patent was issued, the handle stamps on the Teardrop ratchets were changed to reflect the new Canadian patent number.  These newly stamped ratchets would become Type 6 in this study and signal the end of the Type 5 version.  So, here's the Type 5 nomenclature:

Type 5: September 28, 1965 – May 2, 1967, Pat. No. 3208318, TD, OH, LL, QR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes, and possibly 1/4” drive size)

I’m sure you noticed there’s no ¼” drive depicted in the photos below.  While nothing I say in this entire Type Study is 100% iron clad, I’m not entirely sure exists.  Well, it may exist but I’ve never seen one.  If it does exist, it would be among the most rare of the rare.  By this time, the QR function on teardrop ratchets was a huge success.  Sales numbers provided by Dadstools, as reported in the Roberts lawsuit, describe millions of units sold.  It stands to reason that all three sizes were being manufactured and being stamped with the latest patent numbers.  But where is the Type 5, ¼” drive?  I have surmised early on when I started writing this Type Study for the first time several years ago, that something about the ¼” drive was always out of sync.  I never figured out exactly what that was but as we proceed through this Study, you’ll see what I’m talking about.  Relying on the shear number of ratchets sold, Dadstools would assert that a Type 5, ¼” drive must exist.  Why would Sears go with a ½” and 3/8” drive, not to mention that I’ve seen more that a few Type 5 flex head ratchets as well as 15” long, ½” drive examples, and skip the standard ¼” drive?  All I’m saying is that I’ve never seen one.  If any of you do happen across one, at least get picture of it and please send me a copy!

Based on my personal observations, and with so much happening to the Craftsman Teardrop ratchets during the mid to 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.  Holding fast to what can be reasonably determined from the patent information, at least a more accurate timeline for these earlier Types is established.  Presenting an accurate timeline was one of my primary objectives when I started this Type Study.  It turned out to be more difficult than 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" stamps on the handles. In those instances, and in an attempt to sort things out chronologically, I 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 they were sorted out.

Finally, keep an eye out for a Type 5, ¼” drive.  Like I said, I don’t know if 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 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).  Now that I’m writing the third version of this Type Study, what I’ve found is that the timelines for each Type have been subjected to the “domino effect.”  Once the DadsTools patent information replaced the catalogs as the foundation for several of the Type timelines, the dates were mostly pushed back by about one to two years.  Here's the Type 6 nomenclature:

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

As I mentioned earlier, the QR Canadian patent was issued on May 2, 1967, making it the de facto start date of the Type 6.  Again that assumes Sears was quick to update the information stamped on the ratchet handles….and I do believe Sears was quick about it.  The Type 6 handle includes the U.S. (QR mechanism) patent number as first seen on the Type 5 TD ratchet, but also an added 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.  That’s a little bit deceiving however.  Remember the domino effect I mentioned above.  By pushing the Type 6 timeline back by a full year and a half, and making the end date 1968, the Type 6 existed during the tail end of the true =V= era.  The pointed “A” in the word Craftsman in a strong indicator.  Dadstools points out that the single bar “V” is mostly the result of a lack of physical space available on the ratchet handle.  He equated it to the single bar V stamps on the smallest versions of wrenches that were available during the true =V= era, which is generally believed to have ended very near to 1968 and as such, was adopted as the end date for Type 6 teardrop ratchets.  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” as early as 1968 and possibly as late as 1969.

Throughout the course of putting together this Craftsman Teardrop ratchet Type Study, I referred to Lauver's manufacturer code Type Study MANY, MANY times. It's a great resource.  When used in conjunction with the patent info on the handles, we can more accurately define the timeline parameters of several Types within the Study.  The Craftsman catalogs don't really go into that detail and are occasionally lacking in timeliness and accuracy.  The ratchets with the patent info stamped on them (Types 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) provide the benefit of having some dates associated with them.  Still, other clues are necessary to come up with the most accurate timelines.  What I can say with some certainty is that 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.

A little later in this Study, and after the patent information has been eliminated from the ratchet handles, 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. The trick is trying to find and use the best information available.

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 Type 6 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.
 
The information is generally correct, however, as I mentioned in prior Type narratives, the “domino effect” comes into play, and that is based on the patent information provided by DadsTools.  So, in terms of timeline start and end dates for the Type 7, here’s the nomenclature:

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

So how did we arrive at the end date of 1970?  Well, you’d have to look at Type 8 in this Study and Type 4 in the RHFT Type Study for the answer.  Without rewriting the details provided in the RDFT Study, and to simplify things, the patent information as stamped on the handles of the Teardrop Type 8 ratchets and the RHFT Type 4 ratchets are very similar.  There’s no good reason to believe that shared traits, like the quick release mechanism for instance, were not protected/assessed/monitored by Sears, and when a change had to be stamped on the ratchet handles, those common to both ratchet models were changed at the same time, or in close proximity to each other.  That line of thinking only makes sense.  Right?  In his research of the patents, it became clear to DadsTools that model numbers were added to the RHFT Type 4 ratchets in 1970.  Using the same reasoning, that being, changes in handle stamps were likely happening to both the Teardrop and RHFT ratchets at or about the same time, strongly suggests that the Type 8 Teardrop ratchets, with handle stamped model numbers, were being made starting in 1970, like the RHFT Type 4.  That brings us full circle back to the end date of the Teardrop Type 7 ratchets…… 1970.
 
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.

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 examples to find.  In an effort to see all the potential variations of the Craftsman Teardrop 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.  I can’t think of too many other places where one could easily go and see the variations that exist. This is how I stumbled across the Type 8.  Almost all of my observations have been ratchets I've seen on eBay.

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.  It is my belief that the Type 6, 7 and 8 Teardrop ratchets were made in close succession to each other.  I also think there was some overlap between Types 6, 7, and 8 in terms of their respective timeframes of availability.  The Type 8 examples are 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 Type 8 ratchets 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 – Mid 1971, 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43175
(represents 1/4" drive size)

Type 8: 1970 – Mid 1971, 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43785
(represents 3/8" drive size)

Type 8: 1970 – Mid 1971, 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44975
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Going back to my comments about overlap, if you recall the starting date of the Type 6 Teardrop ratchets (May, 1967) and the beginning of the Type 8 Teardrop ratchets (1970), that’s less than three years.  I would bet that at any given time after 1970 and prior to 1971, one could walk into a Sears store, and depending on how fast the inventory turned over, find a mix of Type 6, 7, and 8 ratchets on the shelves.  My initial timeframe for the Type 8 ratchets was between 1970 and 1972.   DadsTools believes the Type 8 Teardrop ratchet ending date was closer to mid 1971, or approximately six months earlier than my first estimate. Recall that the RHFT Type 4 and Teardrop Type 8 were similarly stamped. Based on patent information pertaining to the RHFT Type 4, indicating a mid 1971 ending, we can apply the same ending to the Teardrop Type 8.     

Jim C.



Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on August 18, 2018, 03:40:11 PM
Way back when I decided to write this type study for the first time, I thought I was in pretty good shape in terms of having all the “Types” to show you.  As I was nearing completion, a reader of the thread came up with yet other Craftsman Teardrop ratchet I had not seen.  After studying the photos the reader sent to me, it was clearly a Type 9, but instead of having a –V- manufacturer’s mark, it was stamped with a double V, or –VV-, which I had not previously seen on a Craftsman Teardrop ratchet.  That presented a few problems.  Were all three drive sizes represented with this newly found –VV- stamp?  Why were two manufacturer’s marks being used at the same time, and by the same manufacturer (Easco)? How was I going to account for this in the Type Study?  A more pressing issue was collecting a few examples to show those visiting the thread.

I really don’t remember exactly when it happened, but at some point while cruising eBay, I came across a –VV- stamped 3/8” drive Craftsman Teardrop ratchet without the oil hole/port on the top of its head.  The distinguishing feature between the Type 9 and Type 10 ratchets was the elimination of the oil hole on the ½” drive and the 3/8” drive.  For whatever reason, the 1/4” drive retained the oil hole all the way to Type 14, where it was finally eliminated.  Type 9 was the last time a ½” drive or 3/8” drive Craftsman ratchet would be outfitted with the oil hole.  So, I had another issue to deal with….. It seemed that the Type 10 was also available with either a –V- or a –VV- stamp.  Well, eventually I tracked down a –VV- stamped Type 9, ½” drive and a 3/8” drive. I also found –VV- stamped Type 10, ½” drive and 3/8” drive examples.  I have not come across a –VV- stamped Type 9, ¼” drive example.  If they exist, they’re more than just super rare.   

Here’s the deal with the ¼” drive Type 9 ratchet….  Since the oil hole was never eliminated on the ¼” drive until Type 14, there logically can be no Type 10, ¼” drive.  Basically the Type 9, ¼” drive was the Sears/Craftsman Teardrop ¼” drive offering until the handle stamps changed at Type 11.  I’ll remind you when we get there.  The other main feature of the Type 9 ratchets was the lack of any patent related stamps on their handle.  The Type 9 models were the first versions of the Teardrop ratchets 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.   Model numbers are much more prominent on the Type 9 examples.

Okay, so back to the two manufacturer’s marks.  When I learned there were two manufacturer’s stamps, -V- and –VV-, for both Types 9 and 10, I decided to create a Type for each stamp.  I listed the Type 9 examples with the –V- stamp as “Type 9A” and those with the –VV- stamp as “Type 9B.”  I did the same thing for the Type 10 ratchets.  While that works to some extent, DadsTools was of the opinion that the different manufacturer stamps within the same Type were only variations of that Type and not individual Types themselves.  I’ll admit that I’m not entirely in agreement.  As I’ll discuss below, it’s my opinion that the ratchets were being made at two different facilities or on two different assembly lines at the same time to meet consumer demand.  It was my thinking that the manufacturer’s stamps were different in order to track which ratchets were manufactured at which site. Ultimately however, this time around I decided against using “A” and “B” designations and went with the “variations within the Type” argument because when I get to Type 14, and as you will see, I had a contradiction to deal with.  I’ll briefly explain what I mean.

Within the Type 14 examples, there are several different manufacturers stamps to include, -V-, -VE-, -VF-, VF, and –VG-.  Notice there are two stamps with “VF’.  One has single bars while one does not.  Once again, it was my opinion that two different VF stamps were used to show two different manufacturing sites or assembly lines that were producing ratchets at the same time. If I were to follow my earlier Type 9 and Type 10, “A” and “B” designations for ratchets being made at the same time at two different facilities, etc., then at Type 14, I would need to separate the two “VF” stamped versions into their own Types.  I chose not to do that because I saw them as manufacturer stamp variations basically lumped in with the –V-, -VF- and –VG- codes.  It can’t be both ways!  Either the Type 9 and 10 ratchet stamps would be categorized as variations within their respective Types, or the Type 14 “VF” stamped ratchets would need to become two individual Types.  I hope that makes sense.

As for the two production line/different facilities theory, 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 didn’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) assembly lines or facilities to produce them. 

Now, I can’t say that both versions of the Type 9 manufacture’s mark (-V- and –VV-) were in production at exactly the same time, because Lauver’s code study lists the –VV- mark as having been initiated somewhere around 1974.  Well, it was my opinion that the Type 9 ratchets were in production starting in about 1972.  DadsTools believes they may have been in production as early as mid 1971.  Either way, I think Sears realized that they couldn’t keep up with consumer demand and asked for more inventory.  Maybe the manufacturer responded with another assembly line.  What I will say is that based on my observation only, and no other source of information, those Type 9 and Type 10 ratchets stamped with the –VV- manufacturer’s code seem to be more scarce than those stamped with the –V- code.  Here are the nomenclature lines for the Type 9 Craftsman Teardrop ratchets:

Type 9: Mid 1971 – 1977/’78, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V- –VV-, 44975
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Type 9: Mid 1971– 1977/’78, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V- =VV=, 43785
(represents 3/8" drive size)

Type 9: Mid 1971 – March 1981, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43175
(represents 1/4" drive size)

Determining the ending dates for Type 9 (1/2” and 3/8” only) is a little less precise, and was based on catalog photos/artist renderings that depicted Teardrop ratchets without the oil holes somewhere right around 1977 - 1978.  Those observations were made by DadsTools.  As stated earlier in the Type Study, although the catalogs aren’t necessarily the most accurate sources of information, at times it’s the best we have and they’ll at least get you in the ballpark.

One of the most basic goals of this Type Study was for any one with a Craftsman Teardrop ratchet to be able to scroll through the Types, look at the pictures and quickly identify their ratchet along with a general timeframe regarding when the ratchet was being made and sold by Sears.  For that reason, lumping together ratchets with different stamps on their handles, like manufacturing marks, might make scrolling through the Types and looking at the pictures a little harder. It would be nice if they were all separate, but in the end I think it’s impractical.  So, going into this Type Study for the third time, and in an effort to avoid self imposed contradictions within the Study itself, I opted for the “variations within Type” approach for Types 9 and 10.   

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: 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 27, 2018, 05:22:25 PM
If you’ve been reading along, you probably saw my re-write of the Type 9 Teardrop ratchets, where I combined Types 9A and 9B into one Type with two variations.  Well, for the same reasons described in the updated Type 9 narrative, I also combined what were previously known as Type 10A and Type 10B into one Type, that being Type 10.  Like the Type 9 examples, the Type 10 variations deal exclusively with the manufacturer’s marks, -V- and –VV-.  As I said in the Type 9 narrative, it’s my opinion that the both Type 10 variations, like the Type 9 examples, were being made at the same time possibly at two different facilities or on two different assembly lines in order to meet consumer demand.

The major change from the Type 9 ratchets to the Type 10 ratchets is the elimination of the oil holes.  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 9 and 10 production runs.  While the 1/2" and 3/8" ratchets no longer have an oil hole, the 1/4" retained that feature all the way through Type 13.  As a result, there is no reason to believe that a Type 10, ¼” drive exists.  Here's the Type 10 nomenclature:

Type 10:  1977/’78  - March 1981, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V- -VV-, 44975
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 10:  1977/’78  - March 1981, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V- -VV-, 43785
(represents 3/8” drive size)

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.  At that time I discussed the spring-loaded pin that protruded through the socket post when the QR button was pushed.  The pin is clearly visible.  Well, the Type 10 ratchets are the last Teardrop 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 narrative.  In determining the ending date for the Type 10 Teardrop ratchets, I relied on DadsTools research into the patent data.  Looking at that information, he contends that the “blind stud” or what I just referred to as the “an internal pin that is concealed inside the socket post” started showing up on RHFT ratchets in approximately March, 1981.  There’s absolutely no reason to believe that physical mechanisms/parts common to both the Teardrop ratchets and the RHFT ratchets didn’t go through the same changes at or about the same time.  Looking at the RHFT study there was legal maneuvering occurring that required Sears to make a physical change to both families of ratchets in an effort to avoid a law suit from Roberts.  For more detailed information, take a look at the RHFT Type Study, specifically focusing on the Type 7 narrative.  The “enclosed socket post/blind stud” was the answer, resulting in more “Patent Pending” stamps on Type 11 and Type 12  ratchets.

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: 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, 12:46:47 PM
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.  The last change to the ¼” drive occurred back at Type 9 and did not change until Type 11.  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.  My initial reaction to the enclosed socket post lead me to think it was a step taken to keep crud out of the QR mechanism and prevent jamming/malfunctions.  I also thought the design change may have been the reason the model/part numbers changed on all three drive sizes and the small letter “patent pending” stamp returned to the handle. It seemed like a reasonable assessment, however, as I stated earlier, changes were made to both Teardrop and RHFT ratchets as a result of some legal wrangling engaged in by Sears to avoid a suit from QR inventor, Pete Roberts.  Again, more on this can be found in the RHFT study.

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 9 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 10.  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.  After a little digging into some old family records, I was able to determine that during August, 1983, 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.  Although my Type 13 ratchets may have been produced and were probably available at Sears stores prior to August, 1983, it’s the earliest date I can point to in terms of knowing for sure that Type 13 ratchets were in circulation.  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:  March 1981 – 1982 (+/-), Small Letter Pat. Pending, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44985
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 11:  March 1981 – 1982 (+/-), Small Letter Pat. Pending, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43784
(represents 3/8” drive size)

Type 11:  March 1981 – 1982 (+/-), Small Letter Pat. Pending, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43185
(represents ¼” drive size)

Notice that my ending date for all three drive sizes is “1982 (+/-)”  I qualified the ending date with (+/-) because I don’t really know for sure when the Type 11 ratchets came to an end.  Like I said earlier, the Type 11 and Type 12 examples are not as common as the Type 13 ratchets.  I can only say that the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets had a combined lifespan that ran between March, 1981, and approximately August, 1983.  That’s a little over two years give or take.  It’s for those reasons that DadsTools supports combining the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets into one Type with two “Patent Pending” variations.  While I have a lot of respect for his opinion, I decided to keep the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets separate even though it forces me to be a little less precise when it comes to their respective timelines.  It goes back to the most basic goal of creating this Type Study….. I want anyone to be able to look at their ratchet, scroll though the Type pictures, find their ratchet and determine when the ratchet was manufactured/available.  When you look at the stamps on the handles of the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets, even though they both display the same information, they look significantly different from each other.  I think they’d be easier to find if kept separate.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on September 25, 2018, 12:38:10 PM
Okay, here we are at Type 12.  As I noted in the Type 11 narrative, 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.  I don’t really like variations within Types mostly because I believe lumping multiple ratchets together with different handle stamps might make them harder to find.  When there’s an opportunity to separate them, I’ll do it.  Although I did eventually go into the details of the inner workings and mechanisms of some ratchets, the initial evaluation points were purely external and cosmetic in nature.  The handle stamps on the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets differ enough to separate them.  As I also stated in the Type 11 narrative, a timeline can be assigned to the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets but with a little less precision.  Even still, they’re probably not too far off the mark.  Here are the nomenclature lines:

Type 12: 1982 (+/-) – August 1983, Lrg. Letter Pat. Pend., TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44985
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 12: 1982 (+/-) – August 1983, Lrg. Letter Pat. Pend., TD, NonOH, LL, QR. FA, -V-, 43784
(represents 3/8” drive size)

Type 12: 1981 (+/-) – August 1983, 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 26, 2018, 01:26:34 PM
We have arrived at Type 13.  We’re almost to the end of this thing for a third time.  Everyone still with me?  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 below.  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 more than once, 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 at least as early as 1983 and running to about 1986, 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:  1983  – 1986, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44985
(represents ½” drive size)

Type 13:  1983 – 1986, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43784
(represents 3/8” drive size)

Type 13:  1983 – 1986, 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 1986 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 production lines or facilities 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 sources.  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 (those 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:  1986 (+/-) - 1993, TD, NonOH, LL, QR, FA, -VE- -VF- VF -VG-, 44985
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on October 05, 2018, 04:54:26 PM
In the Type 14, ½” drive post, 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 1986 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:  1986 (+/-) - 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 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 sources of supply?  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-.  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 that were producing the 1/2" drive and 3/8" drive versions.  Who knows?  Anyway, here's the nomenclature line:

Type 14:  1986 (+/-) - 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.
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 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: 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: 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: Downwindtracker2 on December 10, 2019, 10:34:44 AM
Great study, finding the differences is always interesting. Of course, I didn't find mine. I think it's a type 8. I would have bought it around that time frame. Here is the kicker, it doesn't have any patient dates, or even patient pending. I bought it at Simpson-Sears in Richmond,  B.C. Canada. It has just FORGED IN USA -V- 43785. rather lightly stamped I might add.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on December 10, 2019, 12:12:38 PM
Great study, finding the differences is always interesting. Of course, I didn't find mine. I think it's a type 8. I would have bought it around that time frame. Here is the kicker, it doesn't have any patient dates, or even patient pending. I bought it at Simpson-Sears in Richmond,  B.C. Canada. It has just FORGED IN USA -V- 43785. rather lightly stamped I might add.

Sounds like it could be a Type 9A or Type 10A depending on whether or not your ratchet has an oil port/hole or not.  Type 9A has the oil hole.  The Type 10A does not.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Downwindtracker2 on December 10, 2019, 01:09:57 PM
Thanks Jim. The stamp is what is what I found so odd, very light, the Craftsman face side has no lines , like your #8. It could be a Canadian export model ? I do have a fleamarket find #9A, it has lines and the shorter Craftsman. I also have another fleamarket find, a #12.

 I once had fun trying to date a American Stanley #4 hand plane, a 1949 . Because it was a transitional type, some of one, some of another, I was able to get a year fix. Canadian pre-war were much easier, they had the month and year stamped on them.

Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on December 10, 2019, 05:22:21 PM
Can you post a few pictures of the ratchet?  Let’s see what you’re talking about.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Downwindtracker2 on December 10, 2019, 06:44:50 PM
These is doubly embarrassing, one, while I have good skill set, computers aren't in it. Second, looking closely at #8 , I don't think it's #8, certainly not #9.  Your photo of the 3/8 #8 without the lines threw me. However,the Craftsman is 2.16" long compared to the 1.73" of what I think is a #9A. Which makes me think, they never intended to stamp the lines.  Both have oil holes and model #s . Trying to think back which car I worked on with it. In 1971 I bought a new SIMCA 1204, I'm pretty sure I worked on the preceding SIMCA 1000 with it, that car was a bit tool prone. My lack of driving skills didn't help. 
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on May 18, 2020, 06:24:00 AM
While there’s not always a lot more to post in this thread, when I find something new, I’ll be sure to keep the information up to date.  Anyway, I recently picked up a set (1/2”, 3/8” and 1/4”) of Type 1 ratchets.  These ratchets aren’t overly common, but every once in a while I come across one for the right price.  Because the Type 1 had a few variations that were discussed earlier in the thread, I seem to gravitate to them and try to acquire them when possible.  After a few years, I now have several examples in all three sizes.  So, every time I get a ratchet, I take it apart, clean it, lubricate it and then reassemble it.  As for the three Type 1 ratchets I just got, the routine was the same.  I started with the 1/2”, then the 3/8” and last but not least, the 1/4”.  When I disassembled the 1/2” and 3/8” ratchets, I didn’t note anything unusual.  When I got to the 1/4” model I didn’t initially notice that its pawl was “bat wing” shaped.  It wasn’t until I started to reassemble it that I noticed that the pawl was not rounded on the bottom.  If you’ve ever taken apart a Type 1, then you know that those rounded bottom pawls are tricky in terms of getting them back into the head of the ratchet.  So as I was putting the bat wing pawl back into ratchet, it dawned on me that it went in without any trouble.  It was then that I noticed its shape was different.  It was a bat wing, which by its design is easier to re-install.

The bat wing pawl was used in Type 2 and later Craftsman teardrop ratchets.  To the best of my knowledge, the rounded pawls were only characteristic to the Type 1 ratchets.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It appears that user friendly design changes were being made as early as the Type 1 ratchets.  After finding the bat wing pawl, I took a look at a few of my other Type 1, 1/4” drive ratchets.  To my surprise, I already had another one with the bat wing pawl that I hadn’t noticed when I previously took it apart.  If you look at the photo below, the ratchets on the ends have the bat wing pawls, while the two in the middle have the rounded pawls.  I think it’s safe to say that examples with the rounded pawls came earlier in the Type 1 production.  The other thing I noticed was that the tabs on the ends of the directional lever retention springs were significantly longer on the ratchets with the rounded pawls. (See the second photo.)  Those ratchets fitted with the bat wing pawls were much shorter.  I’d have to look at more examples, but that might be an external telltale in determining if the ratchet has the rounded or bat wing pawl prior to disassembling it.

Now you’re probably wondering if the same can be said of the 1/2” and 3/8” Type 1 ratchets.  Well, after checking more than a dozen 1/2” and 3/8” versions in total, I didn’t find a single bat wing pawl.  Maybe I need to look at more examples, or the bat wing pawl was only fitted to the 1/4” version.  For now, I don’t really know.

Jim C.

Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on May 26, 2020, 05:34:15 AM
Following up on my last post regarding Type 1 tooth counts, pawls and retention ring spring tabs, I decided to take a look at the Type 1, 1/2” and 3/8” drive ratchets.  Recall from the last post that when the early rounded pawl was dropped in favor of the bat wing pawl, it seemed that the tabs on the directional lever retention spring got shorter. Not a big deal, but a possible telltale in determining if the ratchet is an early production (rounded pawl) or later production (bat wing pawl) version of the Type 1, 1/4” drive.  Also recall that none of the 1/2” drive or 3/8” drive Type 1 ratchets in my collection had the bat wing pawl.  That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, I just haven’t seen one.

Early production 1/2” drive ratchets had 40 teeth and what I noticed were extremely long socket post retention ring spring tabs.  If you take a look at the first photo below, notice the Type 1 early production 40 tooth ratchets are highlighted with blue and the later production 1/2” drive 32 tooth examples are highlighted with red.  Take a close look at the second and third photos. If you compare them, see how much longer the tabs are on the 40 tooth ratchets as compared to those on the 32 tooth versions?  The fourth photo compares the two side by side. See the difference? 

The fifth and sixth photos compare the 3/8” drive Type 1 ratchets.  The early production Type 1, 32 tooth ratchets are highlighted with green and the later production Type 1, 24 tooth ratchets are highlighted with yellow.  Once again, there’s a clear difference between the length of the tabs on the retention springs when comparing the early and later production examples.  It appears that once the Type 1, 1/2” and 3/8” tooth counts were reduced, the tabs on the retention springs were shortened.  I know, I’m picking fly sh*t out of pepper.  I guess I like the details.  For easy identification purposes however, I’d say that unaltered factory original Type 1 ratchets can be determined to be early production or later production based on the length of the retention ring spring tabs.  Having looked at nearly twenty Type 1 examples between all three drive sizes, there appears to a consistent pattern.  On the 1/4” drive, long tabs equal early production with a rounded pawl while short tabs equal later production with a bat wing pawl.  On the 1/2” and 3/8” drive ratchets, long tabs equal an early production 40 tooth gear and a 32 tooth gear respectively, while shorter tabs equal a later production 32 tooth gear and a 24 tooth gear respectively.  You’re probably wondering how you got by all this time without that amazing information.   :shocked:


Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: DadsTools on June 07, 2020, 09:23:14 PM
Hi, Jim C. Over on the RHFT Type Study, you asked if there were any details that might be incorporated in your TD Type Study here. I wasn't sure at first, but Todd F. pointed out something I'd overlooked. Your Types 11 and 12 describe the appearance of a PATENT PENDING mark on the handles, accompanied by the introduction of what I call the "blind" stud without a protruding plunger (the term used in the RHFT patents for that extending pin). We now know these two changes are directly related to the lawsuit between Sears and Peter Roberts involving his patent for the quick release that was used on the TD and later "borrowed" for the RHFT. You talk about this in your Type 4 discussion, and Roberts patent 3208318 on your Type 5.  As explained in the RHFT Study, Sears was forced by court order to re-assign this patent back to Roberts, which it did on 2-17-81. Since Sears could no longer legally make the QR in the TD or the RHFT without infringing Roberts, it needed its own QR patent to allow it to continue making these QR ratchets. Within a couple of weeks, the new patent was filed with the USPTO by Vincent Sardo Jr (presumably an employee of Sears) on 3-6-81. This is the PATENT PENDING filing referred to on the TD Types 11 and 12, and the RHFT Type 7. The reason for the change in the stud from a protruding plunger to one having no plunger opening was also to protect itself from infringing Roberts. Sears announced that it would "introduce a quick-release wrench that, it said, differed significantly from his[Roberts].” hence the blind stud to visually show it obviously "differed significantly" from the Roberts QR.

The Sardo patent was filed 3-6-81 and issued as patent 4399722 on 8-23-83. This provides us with reliable, hard USPTO dates that the TD Types 11 and 12 as well as the RHFT Type 7 PATENT PENDING ratchets could have only been produced between these two dates.

The Roberts 3208318 QR patent finally expired on 9-28-82. It then passed into the public domain so anyone was free to make it. Since Sears no longer needed the Sardo patent after this date, it probably saw no need to mark the 4399722 patent number on the later ratchets. This is why all patent markings just disappear starting with the TD Type 13 and the RHFT Type 8.

All of this is discussed in greater detail in the RHFT Study. Hope this is helpful.   
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on June 08, 2020, 11:30:48 AM
Hi, Jim C. Over on the RHFT Type Study, you asked if there were any details that might be incorporated in your TD Type Study here. I wasn't sure at first, but Todd F. pointed out something I'd overlooked. Your Types 11 and 12 describe the appearance of a PATENT PENDING mark on the handles, accompanied by the introduction of what I call the "blind" stud without a protruding plunger (the term used in the RHFT patents for that extending pin). We now know these two changes are directly related to the lawsuit between Sears and Peter Roberts involving his patent for the quick release that was used on the TD and later "borrowed" for the RHFT. You talk about this in your Type 4 discussion, and Roberts patent 3208318 on your Type 5.  As explained in the RHFT Study, Sears was forced by court order to re-assign this patent back to Roberts, which it did on 2-17-81. Since Sears could no longer legally make the QR in the TD or the RHFT without infringing Roberts, it needed its own QR patent to allow it to continue making these QR ratchets. Within a couple of weeks, the new patent was filed with the USPTO by Vincent Sardo Jr (presumably an employee of Sears) on 3-6-81. This is the PATENT PENDING filing referred to on the TD Types 11 and 12, and the RHFT Type 7. The reason for the change in the stud from a protruding plunger to one having no plunger opening was also to protect itself from infringing Roberts. Sears announced that it would "introduce a quick-release wrench that, it said, differed significantly from his[Roberts].” hence the blind stud to visually show it obviously "differed significantly" from the Roberts QR.

The Sardo patent was filed 3-6-81 and issued as patent 4399722 on 8-23-83. This provides us with reliable, hard USPTO dates that the TD Types 11 and 12 as well as the RHFT Type 7 PATENT PENDING ratchets could have only been produced between these two dates.

The Roberts 3208318 QR patent finally expired on 9-28-82. It then passed into the public domain so anyone was free to make it. Since Sears no longer needed the Sardo patent after this date, it probably saw no need to mark the 4399722 patent number on the later ratchets. This is why all patent markings just disappear starting with the TD Type 13 and the RHFT Type 8.

All of this is discussed in greater detail in the RHFT Study. Hope this is helpful.   

There you go!!  That’s what I’m talking about!  Many thanks Dad!!  I’m always interested in making this thing better.  For what I’ve got into this in terms of time, effort, etc., I’d like to make it as good as can be.
I looked at my original dates and was glad to see that I was in the ballpark, but I’m always happy to tighten up the dates.  In determining the Type 11 dates, I actually recalled back to what I thought was about 1979/1980.  My friend’s older brother got a new set of Cman tools for Christmas and the ratchets in the set all had the Type 11 stamps. I must have been off by a year or so.  Hardly scientific, I know...... About a year or so later, my dad bought me a set of Cman tools and the ratchets were all Type 13 examples.  So, the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets weren’t around for too long.  Anyway, that’s kind of how a lot of this whole thing went.  I relied on memory, using the ratchets, and Sears catalogs.  Like I said before, nailing down the dates of manufacture/availability was the hardest part of the project.  Any time I can fine tune the dates, I’m excited about that.  Again, many thanks!  I amended the Type Study to reflect the new dates for Type 11 and Type 12.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: DadsTools on June 08, 2020, 04:52:25 PM
Hi, Jim C. Over on the RHFT Type Study, you asked if there were any details that might be incorporated in your TD Type Study here. I wasn't sure at first, but Todd F. pointed out something I'd overlooked. Your Types 11 and 12 describe the appearance of a PATENT PENDING mark on the handles, accompanied by the introduction of what I call the "blind" stud without a protruding plunger (the term used in the RHFT patents for that extending pin). We now know these two changes are directly related to the lawsuit between Sears and Peter Roberts involving his patent for the quick release that was used on the TD and later "borrowed" for the RHFT. You talk about this in your Type 4 discussion, and Roberts patent 3208318 on your Type 5.  As explained in the RHFT Study, Sears was forced by court order to re-assign this patent back to Roberts, which it did on 2-17-81. Since Sears could no longer legally make the QR in the TD or the RHFT without infringing Roberts, it needed its own QR patent to allow it to continue making these QR ratchets. Within a couple of weeks, the new patent was filed with the USPTO by Vincent Sardo Jr (presumably an employee of Sears) on 3-6-81. This is the PATENT PENDING filing referred to on the TD Types 11 and 12, and the RHFT Type 7. The reason for the change in the stud from a protruding plunger to one having no plunger opening was also to protect itself from infringing Roberts. Sears announced that it would "introduce a quick-release wrench that, it said, differed significantly from his[Roberts].” hence the blind stud to visually show it obviously "differed significantly" from the Roberts QR.

The Sardo patent was filed 3-6-81 and issued as patent 4399722 on 8-23-83. This provides us with reliable, hard USPTO dates that the TD Types 11 and 12 as well as the RHFT Type 7 PATENT PENDING ratchets could have only been produced between these two dates.

The Roberts 3208318 QR patent finally expired on 9-28-82. It then passed into the public domain so anyone was free to make it. Since Sears no longer needed the Sardo patent after this date, it probably saw no need to mark the 4399722 patent number on the later ratchets. This is why all patent markings just disappear starting with the TD Type 13 and the RHFT Type 8.

All of this is discussed in greater detail in the RHFT Study. Hope this is helpful.   

There you go!!  That’s what I’m talking about!  Many thanks Dad!!  I’m always interested in making this thing better.  For what I’ve got into this in terms of time, effort, etc., I’d like to make it as good as can be.
I looked at my original dates and was glad to see that I was in the ballpark, but I’m always happy to tighten up the dates.  In determining the Type 11 dates, I actually recalled back to what I thought was about 1979/1980.  My friend’s older brother got a new set of Cman tools for Christmas and the ratchets in the set all had the Type 11 stamps. I must have been off by a year or so.  Hardly scientific, I know...... About a year or so later, my dad bought me a set of Cman tools and the ratchets were all Type 13 examples.  So, the Type 11 and Type 12 ratchets weren’t around for too long.  Anyway, that’s kind of how a lot of this whole thing went.  I relied on memory, using the ratchets, and Sears catalogs.  Like I said before, nailing down the dates of manufacture/availability was the hardest part of the project.  Any time I can fine tune the dates, I’m excited about that.  Again, many thanks!  I amended the Type Study to reflect the new dates for Type 11 and Type 12.

Jim C.

You're quite welcome, Jim. And thank you very much for the credits you gave me in your post. Very kind. The patent-centric approach was unusual, and ultimately so much more accurate. I was lucky the RHFT fell together so well with that approach, though it did require some creative patent searching to come up with the ones where the numbers were never stamped on the tool, as well some deductive reasoning. But it was when I stumbled onto the Roberts lawsuit and a long in-depth article about it by the Washington Post that all the various elements sucked in together like a video of an explosion played in reverse. It was an almost eerie gestalt. I was grateful to be free from what I call the Sears Catalog Carnival and the thick forest undergrowth of the Craftsman Dating Lottery. I got lucky.

I wanted to mention an unexpected consequence of adjusting the dates on the Types 11 and 12. The Patent Pending mark tied to the Sardo pending patent (4399722) was absolutely essential to protect Sears against another Roberts lawsuit. Sears simply could not continue to make the RHFT QR without Sardo. The T11 and 12 have now been date-advanced to the the pending dates between 3-6-81 and 8-23-83. But the Type 13 without the pending mark is still dated 1982-85. Because of the lawsuit, both T12 and T13 could not have been being produced concurrently.

Is it possible that Sears dropped the patent pending mark immediately following Roberts patent expiration on 9-28-82? Yes, it's possible, but we have no evidence of that. All we can say with confidence is the Sardo pending date-range of 1981-83 is directly linked to the patent pending mark on the ratchets, and that patent-pending and 'patent-free' versions would not have been produced concurrently.

In any event, if one decides to go with the hard, known, non-speculative patent pending date range of 1981-83 for T11 & T12, one cannot have a starting date for T13 of 1982. It would need to be pushed ahead to the 1983 date. If one speculates that the patent pending mark was removed when Roberts expired in 1982, one would have to apply the same speculation to move the end date of T12 back to 1982 also. I don't see how overlapping dates can be maintained credibly in the same study--T12 has to give way to T13 either in 1982 or 1983. For me, lacking any hard evidence that the patent pending mark was dropped in 1982, I would tend to follow the hard date of Sardo's pending period ending in 1983. But that's one of those judgement calls I talk about.

I noticed you list the end of T13 and beginning of T14 at 1985. It's still unclear to me how that year was arrived at, though I might have simply missed it. I followed Lauver's end of the -V- mark (no other code letters) in 1986, and in forum comments he seems very confident of this date. Because of the quantity of T13s you've seen, leading you to conclude it was made for at least a few years, perhaps moving T13 from 82-85 to 83-86 would give you the same number of production years while reconciling the overlap now that the T12 end date has been adjusted based on the Sardo pending period. How does this seem to you?


Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: Jim C. on June 08, 2020, 05:42:28 PM
Hey Dad,

I’m totally in agreement with your thinking.  The reason I didn’t change my Type 13 start date from 1982 to 1983 is actually sort of funny.....You see, I’m waiting for my parents (who are well into their eighties) to call me back.  My dad and mom are fanatics when it comes to keeping records on expenses, saving owner’s manuals, etc.  Their records go back decades.  If you recall, I mentioned that my dad bought me a set of Cman tools.  The set included the Type 13 ratchets I depicted in the teardrop study.  It was right around the time I bought my first old car, which was late Fall of 1982.  After I got the car (which needed some work), I was going back and forth to my uncle’s house to borrow tools.  My dad saw that I was serious about the car and as a result, he bought me my own basic set.  It wasn’t too long after I got the car.  Exactly when that was, well, somewhere during late 1982, or in 1983...... I think.  See?  I wasn’t kidding when I said I relied on memory.   So I’m waiting for an answer from my parents, hoping they still have a record of the tool set purchase.  My best guess was 1982!  Once again, I’m in the ballpark.   Stay tuned...

Jim C.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: DadsTools on June 08, 2020, 06:34:51 PM
Hey Dad,

I’m totally in agreement with your thinking.  The reason I didn’t change my Type 13 start date from 1982 to 1983 is actually sort of funny.....You see, I’m waiting for my parents (who are well into their eighties) to call me back.  My dad and mom are fanatics when it comes to keeping records on expenses, saving owner’s manuals, etc.  Their records go back decades.  If you recall, I mentioned that my dad bought me a set of Cman tools.  The set included the Type 13 ratchets I depicted in the teardrop study.  It was right around the time I bought my first old car, which was late Fall of 1982.  After I got the car (which needed some work), I was going back and forth to my uncle’s house to borrow tools.  My dad saw that I was serious about the car and as a result, he bought me my own basic set.  It wasn’t too long after I got the car.  Exactly when that was, well, somewhere during late 1982, or in 1983...... I think.  See?  I wasn’t kidding when I said I relied on memory.   So I’m waiting for an answer from my parents, hoping they still have a record of the tool set purchase.  My best guess was 1982!  Once again, I’m in the ballpark.   Stay tuned...

Jim C.

I very much hope they still have that receipt! As I said, it's entirely possible that Sears did in fact remove the patent pending mark on the next production run following the Roberts patent expiration on 9-28-82 because it would have no longer been needed for infringement protection. But in the face of the hard pending dates for Sardo, we need more than just speculation IMO. It's also entirely possible that Sears removed the pending mark only after Sardo was issued, since there would have been no complication with maintaining that mark during the pending period. So I an indeed very interested in that documentation if you can get it.

What were your thoughts on the end of T13 / beginning of T14 happening in 1986 instead of 1985?
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: DadsTools on July 01, 2020, 11:10:14 PM
Screen captures of the TD ratchets from the 1966 Sears Consumer Spring/Summer Catalog and from the same year 1966 Craftsman Tool Catalog.
Title: Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
Post by: DadsTools on July 05, 2020, 01:04:12 PM
Here's an image of the RHFT Type 4 handle panel. Kissing Cousin to the TD Type 8 handle!