Author Topic: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study  (Read 17366 times)

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Offline Spartan-C

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #30 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 
Ken

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2018, 11:28:56 AM »
Hey Ken,

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

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

Jim C.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 11:33:34 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Northwoods

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #32 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.
The ORIGINAL Northwoods.

Online Papaw

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2018, 03:00:54 PM »
Those fetch good money.
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Offline Northwoods

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2018, 03:56:01 PM »
I see....
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Offline Lewill2

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2018, 05:07:11 PM »
If it is in good shape with a good handle, easy $100.

Offline Lewill2

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #36 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.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2018, 05:57:16 PM »
I ran into a friend at an estate sale today, and he showed me what he called "some little funny-looking 3/8" Craftsman ratchet thing".
This is what came out of a plastic bucket in the back of his pickup.

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

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

I feel it is hopeless.

Sooooooo frustrating.

Hey Northwoods,

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

Jim C.
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Offline slip knot

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2018, 09:18:26 AM »
Those are sweet.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2018, 12:06:25 PM »
On September 28, 1965, Peter Roberts was awarded a patent for inventing the “quick release” function that became extremely popular on ratchets.   Well, eventually he sold the rights to the patent to Sears for ten thousand dollars.  As the story goes, Sears supposedly told Mr. Roberts that the idea wasn’t worth much and there was no significant market for a ratchet with a quick release.  At some point later on, Mr. Roberts discovered that Sears had in fact done some market research and knew the idea was nothing short of a grand slam home run.  I’ve read that Sears sold more than twenty five million ratchets the first year the quick release function was introduced to the ratchet using public!  Accordingly, profits were also in the millions of dollars…… for Sears that is.  As expected, Mr. Roberts sued, arguing that he had been the victim of fraud.  The legal battle went on for decades.  Eventually, the two sides settled and Mr. Roberts became the millionaire he deserved to be. 

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

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

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

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

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

Jim C.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 01:58:57 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline lptools

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #40 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
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2018, 01:21:31 PM »
Hey Lou,

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

Jim C.
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Offline Spartan-C

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #42 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

« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 08:46:37 AM by Spartan-C »
Ken

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2018, 07:01:06 PM »
Hey Ken,

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

Jim C.
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Offline Spartan-C

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #44 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
Ken