Author Topic: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set  (Read 3132 times)

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Offline Jim C.

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Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« on: January 26, 2019, 03:22:56 PM »
About two months ago I added a post in this forum regarding Sears Craftsman Whitworth tools.  I mentioned that I had been using the 1960 Craftsman hand tool catalog as my guide in terms of determining what tools were in the set and when the tools were offered by Sears.  If one were to revisit the thread, I wrote that Sears offered Craftsman branded Whitworth tools between 1960 and 1962.  Well, right around that same time, Sears first offered Craftsman branded metric sized tools.  Essentially, there were six metric DOE wrenches, six metric DBE wrenches and seven metric sockets.  The set also included several 1/2" drive tools (ratchet, extensions, etc.) that were identical to those found in the Whitworth set.  Just like the Whitworth tools, the metric tools could be purchased individually, one at a time, or in smaller tool specific sets.  The tool specific metric wrench sets were sold in black colored plastic tool rolls.  (Recall that the Whitworth wrench sets were sold in green colored plastic tool rolls.)  Anyway, as I was collecting the Whitworth tools, I also started on the metric set as well.

For whatever reason, perhaps only because metric tools went on to be widely manufactured and purchased in the USA and all over the world, I guess that translated to me thinking this early set of Craftsman branded metric tools would be easy to collect.  I can say for sure that it was equally as difficult to collect as was the Whitworth set.  Putting aside the tool box, the ratchet, and the T-handle for the breaker bar, all of which I knew would be hard to find, those early metric tools were also tough.  Again, I was looking for those with a pointed letter "A" in the word CR"A"FTSM"A"N and a =V= manufacturer's code.  Much like the Whitworth tools, it was my experience that the DBE wrenches were more difficult to find than were the DOE wrenches and the seven sockets were scarce as well.  It took me a long time to finally find the 22mm socket.  It was a challenging set to complete, just like the Whitworth set.

Jim C.           
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 03:28:01 PM by Jim C. »
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Online Yadda

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2019, 03:35:39 PM »
Another great set! impressive condition for almost 60 years old!
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2019, 03:44:49 PM »
Not too long after the initial Craftsman branded metric tools were offered by Sears, they started to expand the metric sizes that were available.  If you take a look at the catalog description in the initial post, you'll see that 13mm and 15mm wrenches and sockets were not available at first.  While I was collecting the set, I came across a 13mm x 15mm DOE wrench with a pointed letter "A" and a =V= manufacturer's mark.  Well, that got me thinking that there must also be a corresponding DBE wrench and sockets as well.  I was correct.  What I found was that early Craftsman branded 13mm and 15mm tools are somewhat scarce.  Finding the examples with the pointed letter "A" in the word CR"A"FTSM"A"N is tricky to say the least.  And again, just based on my experience, of the four tools depicted below, the DBE wrench was really the most difficult to track down and acquire.  I found the example below on eBay a few months ago.  Well, two other bidders also recognized its scarcity.....  All I can say is that it was a costly tool.   :shocked:

Jim C.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 02:36:38 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 04:00:09 PM »
Another great set! impressive condition for almost 60 years old!

Thanks Yadda.  It was a tough set to collect, and while I didn't think it would be at first, it was EVERY bit as hard as the Whitworth set.  Besides the metric tools themselves, some of the common stuff, like the correct tool box for instance, makes it more difficult.  When I came across the tool box for the Whitworth set, I was very happy with its condition.  Well, finding a second one for the metric set proved to be a challenge.  When I finally found one on eBay, I had to duke it out with someone else who really wanted it.  Like I said, this was a tough set to pull together.

Jim C.   
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 06:04:10 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline coolford

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 04:36:32 PM »
Gee Jim, you just don't like to make things easy on yourself.  Good job putting that set together!!

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 05:53:27 PM »
Gee Jim, you just don't like to make things easy on yourself.  Good job putting that set together!!

I really thought it would be easier than it was.  But I’m going to bet not nearly as hard as some of those sets you’ve been posting recently!

Jim C.
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Offline p_toad

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 12:14:08 PM »
between those and the walden sets i'm going to have to dry out my keyboard.   :embarrassed:

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2019, 02:33:18 PM »
Hey Peter,

I really appreciate getting mentioned along with coolford’s Walden sets, but there’s no comparison.  You’ve pretty much seen what I have.  Coolford on the other hand, might very well be sandbagging us.  I think he’s got a lot more sets to show us.  Thanks for checking out my Sears/Craftsman metric set.

Jim C.
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Online amecks

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2019, 03:47:32 PM »
Nice work Jim!  A piece of tool history in the flesh (or uh iron).
Al
Al
Jordan, NY

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2019, 07:04:30 PM »
Nice work Jim!  A piece of tool history in the flesh (or uh iron).
Al

Thanks Al.  I really didn’t think of the set in those terms.  I guess it does represent a small speck of tool history.  When one considers the availability of metric tools today, and the overwhelming abundance of Craftsman tools for sale on the used tool market, it’s at least interesting to see the earliest metric set offered by Sears. 

Jim C.
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Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2019, 04:27:24 PM »
American mechanics, except those relatively rare few who worked on them dang furrin cars, resisted metric tools for a long, long time.  Even in the late 1960s, you were slightly suspect to a lot of mechanics if you had a full set of metric tools, while others, more cosmopolitan on the subject, thought you were a true pro.  I was raised in a family that liked them dang furrin cars, so, when I started working on stuff, I started with metric, adding fractional (SAE/inch/however you want to say it) tools only later, as money permitted.

Nice project, and a real achievement!

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2019, 10:40:02 AM »
Thanks Bill.  It was a sort of challenging set to collect.  For a tool retailer as large as Sears was back in the day, it’s interesting to see just how limited their initial metric tool offerings were.  Like the Whitworth set I posted from the same era in another thread, Sears also offered an early metric tap and die set.  I’ve only seen the set once and it was missing a few tools and the black plastic case was in really rough shape.  As a result, I passed on it.  Anyway, if you’ve got any old Craftsman metric tools from the early 1960s, they might be more scarce than you think. 

Jim C. 
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 10:46:29 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline d42jeep

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 09:25:07 AM »
I checked my Craftsman =V= stash yesterday and these are all I have.
-Don
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2019, 12:36:36 PM »
Hi Don,

Nice wrenches.  I think the metric combo wrenches started showing up in the Craftsman lineup within a couple years of the metric DBE and DOE wrenches.  If your wrenches all have a pointed letter “A” in the word CR”A”FTSM”A”N, then I’d say they’re among some of the earliest offered by Sears.  I noticed you have a 13mm x 15mm DBE wrench in your collection.  If that one has a pointed letter “A” then I’d also say you have a very desirable wrench.  A little back I got into an eBay bidding war for one of those. While I was happy to have won the wrench, I don’t even want to think about what I paid for it. 

Jim C.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:39:36 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline d42jeep

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Re: Sears/Craftsman Metric Tool Set
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2019, 04:15:58 PM »
Jim,
Here is the other side of the wrenches. The top two look to be pointed A but the 17 x 19 is round. The combos are a little hard to tell. Maybe you can tell me.
-Don
Member of PHARTS-  Perfect Handle Admiration, Restoration and Torturing Society
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