Craftsman has introduced new premium grade ratchets that feature an 84-tooth design and 4.5° arc swing. These ratchets also feature a fully-sealed head and long ergonomic handle.
The handle design does look pretty snazzy, but I’m not a fan of the “premium grade” description or the ratchets’ premium prices. I am always skeptical when marketing types feel the need to declare something as top-quality or “premium”. Still, they may be onto something with this new design.
Craftsman Premium Grade Ratchets via Sears:
1/4″ Drive | 3/8″ Drive | 1/2″ Drive
I’m with you on the price and “premium” tag. However, if they hold their own with the 80+ tooth ratchets, it might be a steal….they’re pretty snazzy looking is for sure tho, love the design
I hope it’s a really good ratchet line and it leads to more in the line – stubby, flex, long handle, bent handle, soft grip and the mix-and-match versions of those adjectives. Anything that can keep me from looking at more Gearwrench or giving my lazy truck guy cash is great in my opinion.
That is a good looking, minimalist ratchet.
I would possibly buy one on sale. At full price, it is closely approaching the price of a Snap-on Dual 80.
Another thing I’d like to add…
Sears has replaced several USA made tools in the Craftsman line with products from China. A few years from now, if you need warranty service on this premium ratchet, you might get a Chinese replacement.
That’s what I considered too. But, perhaps these are destined from Danaher’s Matco and Armstrong lines, which would likely ensure their production remains in the USA.
the lack of a pushbutton socket release to me makes it useless. i have all the top stuff anyway and see no posatives here. the price is way off also.
What makes a spring-loaded detent ball socket retainer useless to you, George? Unless you exclusively use locking extensions and swivels, you probably have quite a few tools that hold sockets the same as these sealed ratchets do. I have my own concerns about the price but it’s still lower than the other 80+ tooth ratchets out there from Snap-On, Matco and Mac. It’s still high and I’d like to see these in the store in a 3-pack at $99 with the thin profile moving to $79 to match its catalog number but hey, what do I know, I’m not a marketing guy.
I’ve got other concerns, like how long Sears will keep these ratchets around and rebuild kits available if they don’t prove to be popular and when will they take ratchets seriously and offer truck-like variety. The Craftsman line, not counting Evolv or special colors or engraving or multi-packs, has less than 25 ratchets in it. Aside from the six thin-profile and 84T rats, they’re all the same inside, a 36-tooth mechanism that isn’t highly regarded by most. It gets the job done until it breaks. I’d much rather see Craftsman improve that mechanism in it’s bulk of service than go on another little trial run with three ratchets that it seemingly has no plan to offer in a full-line, at least based on past experience with the 60-tooth thin-profile.
The thin-profile ratchets were included with mechanics socket sets in the past, but I would be surprised to see these in any buy the most advanced and costly sets.
In a post in the GJ forum, a Danaher marketing manager remarked that these ratchets were in development for 3 years. Given that, I think they’ll be here to stay.
As mentioned, in addition to Craftsman, I would expect these ratchets to be around for a while under the Armstrong and possibly Matco brands as well.
I received the 3/8″ version of this ratchet for Christmas. The finish is near perfect and the action on the ratchet is SMOOTH. The only problem I see with it is that fact that it is really long. It would be great, as others have mentioned, if they offered the fine tooth mechanism in different length handles.
Ok, I just bought all three ratchets, They are a great ratchet, I spoke with an inside Sears rep and he said Sears is selling the remainder of USA ratchets at reduced sale prices and coming out with a made in china version. So with that said, I ask if they offer rebuild kits for this USA version ratchet, he said yes they do, so my advise is try to pick-up repair kits now before there made in china version arrives on the shelves. Sears jumps 3 steps forward with this ratchet, but moves 20 steps backward with the made in China junk.