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Craftsman wrench quality deterioration:

The far left was part of the first set I bought around 1969, the middle, perhaps in the '80s sometime , and the far right sometime in the 21st century.

Note the nice thin walled box end on the early wrench getting progressively thicker through the years. Even the open end is crap on the latest one. Harbor Freight tools are actually better than new Craftsman. I keep those at my hangar and don't hesitate to grind them as necessary. I've ground and heated and bent many a wrench but never the good Snap-On or Matco. I've got a 7/16th Craftsman combo that is bent like a pretzel with a slot cut in the box end just for getting aircraft vacuum pumps off - 1/12th of a turn at a time ūüėĀ

IMG_5628.thumb.jpeg.df946baffbf38aa18fb5373d71a27755.jpeg

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In regard to the Craftsman tools there is an identifier letter on the other side which relates to who made it at least on the older ones. The "v" marked are sought after. They were very thin and strong. Made by Moore Drop Forging of Springfield Mass.

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1 hour ago, New Englander said:

Craftsman wrench quality deterioration:

The far left was part of the first set I bought around 1969, the middle, perhaps in the '80s sometime , and the far right sometime in the 21st century.

Note the nice thin walled box end on the early wrench getting progressively thicker through the years. Even the open end is crap on the latest one. Harbor Freight tools are actually better than new Craftsman. I keep those at my hangar and don't hesitate to grind them as necessary. I've ground and heated and bent many a wrench but never the good Snap-On or Matco. I've got a 7/16th Craftsman combo that is bent like a pretzel with a slot cut in the box end just for getting aircraft vacuum pumps off - 1/12th of a turn at a time ūüėĀ

IMG_5628.thumb.jpeg.df946baffbf38aa18fb5373d71a27755.jpeg

All of those look great compared to what is currently for sale that says Craftsman on it. 

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2 hours ago, New Englander said:

Craftsman wrench quality deterioration:

The far left was part of the first set I bought around 1969, the middle, perhaps in the '80s sometime , and the far right sometime in the 21st century.

Note the nice thin walled box end on the early wrench getting progressively thicker through the years. Even the open end is crap on the latest one. Harbor Freight tools are actually better than new Craftsman. I keep those at my hangar and don't hesitate to grind them as necessary. I've ground and heated and bent many a wrench but never the good Snap-On or Matco. I've got a 7/16th Craftsman combo that is bent like a pretzel with a slot cut in the box end just for getting aircraft vacuum pumps off - 1/12th of a turn at a time ūüėĀ

IMG_5628.thumb.jpeg.df946baffbf38aa18fb5373d71a27755.jpeg

I have never liked a Craftsman wrench in my hand. the raised panel and the edge make a poor wrench IMHO

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bought a Channel lock diagonal pliers today. Old tool company and look where they are made. the best money can buy 

image.thumb.jpeg.a4db334cf6e5e1bfaf46c5622005088e.jpeg

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Here is a Thorsen oil pressure sender socket from when they were good, USA- made tools. Also, a Stanley made in USA screwdriver. Stanley was never quite Snap-On, Mac, Matco, Cornwell etc. type professional tools, but they had some good stuff back in the day. Would definitely stand up to most people's use. I believe Matco and Stanley are now in the same parent company?

20230809_113243.jpg

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On 8/8/2023 at 7:29 PM, int 504 said:

In regard to the Craftsman tools there is an identifier letter on the other side which relates to who made it at least on the older ones. The "v" marked are sought after. They were very thin and strong. Made by Moore Drop Forging of Springfield Mass.

I turned them over and you are quite right! The best of the three indeed has a V stamping.Craftsmanwrenches.jpg.af22084f1671344f823066bdcdb4e502.jpg

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On 8/8/2023 at 6:29 PM, int 504 said:

In regard to the Craftsman tools there is an identifier letter on the other side which relates to who made it at least on the older ones. The "v" marked are sought after. They were very thin and strong. Made by Moore Drop Forging of Springfield Mass.

Here are a couple old Craftsmen, one with V the other is older I think, no chrome on it and it has a CI in two places on this side. I wonder if that is meaningful .    
IMG_1015.thumb.jpeg.b21a07a29757fc678a0cfe7628c6cac3.jpeg¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬†The next three all USA; Vlchek,and Utica came from Dad and the Ampco 8‚ÄĚ spark-proof was a buck at a sale!

IMG_1005.thumb.jpeg.2f7f3370f4a433816be85b6648fa12df.jpeg
IMG_1004.thumb.jpeg.ac8478b7a3a72216f6c4b68f31627e7c.jpeg

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The neighbor that really helped get me started farming had set of VLchek wrenches he was very proud of, and having never lost one in 50 years. Not that he had that many wrenches, used all his old tried and true ones.  His son gave him a nice Craftsman set that included metric he never took them out of the box. In the mid 80's working on my 75 Chevy pickup my first run in with metric fasteners.  He loaned me the whole set so bought some of the spring clip socket organizers for the use of them. With in a year some druggies stool every tool he had. No idea what brand they may have been, but he also had a 1/2 drive set of 8 point sockets. The only real set of 8 points I ever saw.

I helped with enough projects over the years to like his Vlchek wrenches very much.

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I made some posts in this thread replying to Mike Newman, that at the time I thought were a cleverly worded and humorous subtle down under joke, I was laughing while typing, thought I was hilarious 

I haven’t been here frequently lately but looking back at my posts now I see that I didn’t seem funny.  I have no desire to speak negatively about other forum members in my posts.  I appreciate everyone’s contributions here, it’s my favourite place to go online 

Anyone heard of Oxwall?

 I have this old screwdriver, it’s my solenoid crossing screwdriver

F0607899-456D-4597-A95F-7C5393DE4629.thumb.jpeg.c84cadb254f4e66d18c208152944264a.jpeg

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...its all good, Keith...You see, the sun  down under here,  gets up a day ahead of you blokes up there....but that does not necessarily  equate   with  equally advanced cognitive function.....from the peasants down under.....:)

I received a small package today, from a bloke who works in a coal fired Power Station in    Illinois.......and is very well known on this site.........Thankyou      Todd...

Some many months ago I 'lost '  a six inch Crescent ...one that I had for the last 30 plus years.......this caused me  to spiral down into a  Male version of post natal depression...however   a local friend  'lent 'me a   genuine six inch  Jamestown made, Crescent

I have no doubt that some of the more mature members of this fine site , are aware of this ...but I have a book , from which one can 'date '   the  year these fine tools were made...Unfortunately  the ''book'' is at home ......but the example Todd sent me  has no less than   nine   different variations  in the 'nomenclature'   from either side...than my  Mate's     example...

Once these fine tools were no longer made in the US of A......at a glance the difference   from the ''real deal''  is obvious...

...perhaps this is another bit of useless info  ...but it is on the correct topic, anyway....:)

Mike

...speaking of attention to detail...note the underlining.....:blush:

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19 hours ago, just Dave said:

Here are a couple old Craftsmen, one with V the other is older I think, no chrome on it and it has a CI in two places on this side. I wonder if that is meaningful .    
IMG_1015.thumb.jpeg.b21a07a29757fc678a0cfe7628c6cac3.jpeg¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬†The next three all USA; Vlchek,and Utica came from Dad and the Ampco 8‚ÄĚ spark-proof was a buck at a sale!

IMG_1005.thumb.jpeg.2f7f3370f4a433816be85b6648fa12df.jpeg
IMG_1004.thumb.jpeg.ac8478b7a3a72216f6c4b68f31627e7c.jpeg

The CI code identifies tools made by Billings. Billings was the earliest producer of Craftsman tools. CI code started in 1933 or so.

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I posted this once before in a thread but they fit here. Diamond 4‚ÄĚ and 6‚ÄĚ adj. and a Blue Point ,of which Dad passed me the whole set , is getting close to a hundred years old I think. The little 10 ‚Äú Crescent is newer but is has some nice modifications to the movable jaw and handle. It opens to 1 5/8‚ÄĚ for a couple particular jobs where a giant wrench isn‚Äôt practical.IMG_0841.thumb.jpeg.51638c5275e7309e009821db95ab7f17.jpeg

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9 hours ago, IHKeith said:

I made some posts in this thread replying to Mike Newman, that at the time I thought were a cleverly worded and humorous subtle down under joke, I was laughing while typing, thought I was hilarious 

I haven’t been here frequently lately but looking back at my posts now I see that I didn’t seem funny.  I have no desire to speak negatively about other forum members in my posts.  I appreciate everyone’s contributions here, it’s my favourite place to go online 

Anyone heard of Oxwall?

 I have this old screwdriver, it’s my solenoid crossing screwdriver

F0607899-456D-4597-A95F-7C5393DE4629.thumb.jpeg.c84cadb254f4e66d18c208152944264a.jpeg

I have a set of Oxwall wrenches and a set of screwdrivers. They weren't bad for cheap tools. Better than a lot of others I've owned. 

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As I was drifting off to sleep last night, the meaning and great pun of my posts came to me, my error was not typing the the punch line "In my experience a spanner usually isn't a Good wrench" 

Hahaha, "punch" line

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On 8/14/2023 at 4:28 AM, mike newman said:

 

Once these fine tools were no longer made in the US of A......at a glance the difference   from the ''real deal''  is obvious...

.

Mike

...speaking of attention to detail...note the underlining.....:blush:

I looked at a set of combination wrenches in the Surplus section of Princess Auto at a glance they looked ok and were cheap. The brand was OHIO FORGE. Perfect. good set for a tractor toolbox. turn the package over and they are made in Tiawan. something just not right about that unless theres an Ohio over thereūüí©

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On 8/15/2023 at 12:37 PM, IHKeith said:

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, the meaning and great pun of my posts came to me, my error was not typing the the punch line "In my experience a spanner usually isn't a Good wrench" 

Hahaha, "punch" line

,,,,actually, Keith...for me, reading that, it was quite a wrench.....however...we must all move on..................:rolleyes:

Mike

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On 8/14/2023 at 4:28 AM, mike newman said:

...its all good, Keith...You see, the sun  down under here,  gets up a day ahead of you blokes up there....but that does not necessarily  equate   with  equally advanced cognitive function.....from the peasants down under.....:)

I received a small package today, from a bloke who works in a coal fired Power Station in    Illinois.......and is very well known on this site.........Thankyou      Todd...

Some many months ago I 'lost '  a six inch Crescent ...one that I had for the last 30 plus years.......this caused me  to spiral down into a  Male version of post natal depression...however   a local friend  'lent 'me a   genuine six inch  Jamestown made, Crescent

I have no doubt that some of the more mature members of this fine site , are aware of this ...but I have a book , from which one can 'date '   the  year these fine tools were made...Unfortunately  the ''book'' is at home ......but the example Todd sent me  has no less than   nine   different variations  in the 'nomenclature'   from either side...than my  Mate's     example...

Once these fine tools were no longer made in the US of A......at a glance the difference   from the ''real deal''  is obvious...

...perhaps this is another bit of useless info  ...but it is on the correct topic, anyway....:)

Mike

...speaking of attention to detail...note the underlining.....:blush:

What's the book? I'd be interested in getting my own copy

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7 hours ago, hillman said:

I looked at a set of combination wrenches in the Surplus section of Princess Auto at a glance they looked ok and were cheap. The brand was OHIO FORGE. Perfect. good set for a tractor toolbox. turn the package over and they are made in Tiawan. something just not right about that unless theres an Ohio over thereūüí©

So many things in Harbor Freight have an American sounding name, but it's foreign made.

US General

Pittsburgh

Apache

Daytona

Badlands

Bunker Hill (that one really aggravates me)

Chicago Electric

 

 

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15 minutes ago, KWRB said:

What's the book? I'd be interested in getting my own copy

....cannot remember  KWRB.......and the book is at home ....somewhere .....packed away with a plethora    of other books......as said, yet unpacked , and waiting for   our old house to be finally finished.......so we could all be under the grass before the 'book'' see's    the light of day....:rolleyes:

.....its not everyone's  ''cup of tea''  ...but I find that sort of history   very interesting....and as you possibly realize    by now, Kurt....some aspects of American    "'Industry ''  , and the chronological history  therefrom,  I find more than interesting .....

Mike

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/16/2023 at 3:31 AM, KWRB said:

So many things in Harbor Freight have an American sounding name, but it's foreign made.

US General

Pittsburgh

Apache

Daytona

Badlands

Bunker Hill (that one really aggravates me)

Chicago Electric

 

 

add Proto to your list, I went to order an 8 point 3/8 drive Proto socket set on Amazon, I have had a set for 35 years and a few are getting worn from using with a tee handle tapping....country of origin China

 

 I got this nice little rivet tool at Blyth last week, Made in USA by Indestro 

DSCI1854.JPG

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3 hours ago, hillman said:

add Proto to your list, I went to order an 8 point 3/8 drive Proto socket set on Amazon, I have had a set for 35 years and a few are getting worn from using with a tee handle tapping....country of origin China

 

 I got this nice little rivet tool at Blyth last week, Made in USA by Indestro 

DSCI1854.JPG

This set? It says Made in the USA. I think most all the Proto tools are USA made still. Proto is part of SBD. 
https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Proto-J52109-5-piece-8-point/dp/B01H2YWI4C/ref=asc_df_B01H2YWI4C?tag=bngsmtphsnus-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=80127027724147&hvnetw=s&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=m&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583726553662551&psc=1

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44 minutes ago, hillman said:

The Amazon US site lists them as Made in the USA. Their item descriptions on Amazon aren’t always the most accurate. Proto makes most of their items in the US. They’re the Industrial brand of SBD competing  with Wright and SnapOn.  
Zoro lists them as USA made too. 
I’d order them from Amazon and return them if not USA made. 017C9162-E810-4F06-B8B8-C356B8505ED9.thumb.jpeg.e8928dff7702093884ed0193002a0c61.jpeg

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