Author Topic: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study  (Read 36408 times)

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Offline Northwoods

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #60 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.
The ORIGINAL Northwoods.

Offline Northwoods

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #61 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.
The ORIGINAL Northwoods.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #62 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)

« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 08:58:08 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #63 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.)

« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 08:59:21 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline p_toad

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #64 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

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #65 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.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 07:59:46 AM by Jim C. »
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Online Papaw

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2018, 07:31:32 PM »
A very comprehensive and thorough type study !

THANKS !!!
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Offline Yadda

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2018, 07:42:28 PM »
Fantastic!
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline p_toad

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #68 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?).   

Offline Yadda

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2018, 09:52:19 PM »
Jim, approximately how many ratchets did you end up collecting to complete this type study?
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #70 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.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #71 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.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 12:07:04 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #72 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.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 06:07:51 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Yadda

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2018, 04:56:37 PM »
Perfect answer Jim.  I'm a rambler myself.
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Online lptools

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #74 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
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