Over at Sears, they recently listed a couple of new Craftsman Extreme Grip tools that are designed to offer a better fit and grip for faster and easier work.
Some of the other Craftsman Extreme Grip tools make sense. These Extreme Grip sockets, on the other hand, have succeeded in baffling me.
Although a 5pc set, each socket is designed to accommodate two fastener sizes. In all, the 5pc set can fit the following 10 fastener sizes: 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″ and 11mm, 13mm, 14mm, 16mm and 17mm.
The sockets also have movable jaws that apparently help them better grip rounded fasteners up to 14-times better than standard Craftsman sockets. They are also said to have serrated jaws and a release collar for easy disengagement.
Each socket fits both inch and metric fasteners. In other words, the 1/2″ socket is also a 13mm socket.
At the bottom of the product description, it says that the sockets have 3/8″ drive size.
So how do they work?
Well, it kind of looks like the adjustable ratcheting socket wrench invention that we posted about a couple of months ago. That explains why there’s a release collar. The movable jaws probably tighten up against fasteners’ faces – both inch and metric. And they can probably do a good job of grabbing onto the faces of partially rounded fasteners. If the socket does self-tighten, then you’ll need that release collar to reset or loosen the jaws.
Each socket is only built to accommodate two fastener sizes, and so that’s why the sockets look so much smaller than the adjustable socket wrench invention, which is designed to work with a wide range of fasteners.
Maybe the sockets work differently than the invention prototype we posted about, but the effect should be the same.
You don’t get very much size selection with the set, but the 5 sockets should be able to handle 10 common fastener sizes.
The sockets are quite interestingly designed, and although we still don’t have a clear picture of how they work and what kinds of applications they were designed for, they are increasing in appeal by the minute.
I would expect for the 5pc set to drop in price to maybe $20 during the Fathers Day gift-buying shopping season.
List Price: $40
Sale Price: $36
ETA: May 2015
Buy Now(via Sears)
What do you think? And please take a minute to think things over. I changed my tune from “how do these sockets work and why would I want to use them?” to “I’d love to see these in action” over the course of the post.