Author Topic: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study  (Read 11500 times)

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Offline Todd F.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2020, 04:59:53 PM »
Yes, I will be covering the raised panel "stubbies".
Todd F.
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Offline Todd F.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2020, 05:02:39 PM »
This next one didn’t rate a “Generation” number of its own. I usually just refer to them as “Gen 1.1” or “Gen 1 short”. In the 1995 – 96 catalog, in the upper left-hand corner of the Gen 1 picture was a 2 inch square picture of a set of wrenches that said “NEW!”, “Standard Length Set” $49.99.  These are not to be confused with the “stubbies” that will come later. These are the same full polish, Professional Gen 1 wrenches but in standard length. They are the same length as their raised panel counterparts. (Plus or minus a few tenths). They are still made by S-K and have the sideways “K” forge mark. For some reason, the four smallest SAE wrenches have 6-point box ends, the metric set has all 12-point right down to the smallest. The SAE set goes from 1/4" thru 7/8” and the metric set goes from 7mm thru 17mm. I added a picture to show the difference in length between the Gen 1, long pattern and these standard length wrenches. It seems the smaller wrenches have a greater size difference.

Remember back when we were talking about the “Craftsman Motorsport” wrenches? (reply #22) I said you would see those part numbers again? Here they are. Craftsman used the same part numbers on these wrenches that they used on the “motorsport” wrenches. There are plenty of numbers out there that they could have used.  Who knows why?

One year after their introduction, in the next catalog, was the same picture that had the caption “CLOSEOUT!”, “SAVE 20% While Quantities Last”. $39.99. This may be the shortest lived Craftsman tool ever. (don’t hold me to that). I believe they were only sold as a set, there are no individual part numbers listed in the catalog. I have never seen a plastic store display of any kind on eBay.

Here are the part numbers and the pictures. Thanks for reading.

Todd F.

44954  1/4"
44955  5/16”
44940  3/8”
44941  7/16”
44942  1/2”
44943  9/16”
44944  5/8”
44945  11/16”
44946   3/4”
44947   13/16”
44948   7/8”

42964    7mm
42979     8mm
44967     9mm
42980   10mm
42981   11mm
42982   12mm
42983   13mm
42984   14mm
42985   15mm
42986   16mm
42987   17mm
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Offline lptools

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2020, 05:53:54 PM »
Hello, Todd. Thanks for keeping the information coming!! Regards, Lou
Member of PHARTS-  Perfect Handle Admiration, Restoration and Torturing Society

Online Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2020, 12:37:18 PM »
Nice installment Todd!  I’ve notice that you’ve been including pertinent catalog pages with your photos.  I like the information they provide.  Do you have a vintage Craftsman tool catalog collection to compliment your wrench collection? 

Jim C.
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Offline Todd F.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2020, 01:50:43 PM »
Jim
Yes, I do have a pretty good catalog collection. In fact, in the mail last night, I received a 1994-95 a Special Holiday Issue. Listed in it just in time for Christmas, is an 11-piece set of the Gen 1 wrenches for $49.99. 
Todd F.
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Offline Todd F.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2020, 02:59:38 PM »
A quick note:
In the 1996 -1997 catalog, the price of the 13-piece Gen 1 wrench sets dropped from $74.99 to $69.99
Todd F.
remember - there's a fine line between collection and obsession

Online Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2020, 04:56:56 PM »
Jim
Yes, I do have a pretty good catalog collection. In fact, in the mail last night, I received a 1994-95 a Special Holiday Issue. Listed in it just in time for Christmas, is an 11-piece set of the Gen 1 wrenches for $49.99. 
Todd F.

You’re setting the bar pretty high Todd!
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Offline Todd F.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2020, 09:49:01 PM »
A lot of stuff happened in the 1997 – 1998 Craftsman tool catalog. So much that it will take two posts to cover it. First, the Gen 1 wrenches are now available in a 9-piece set for $39.99 as well as the original 13-piece set for $69.99. The new 9-piece sets went from 1/4" to 3/4" and 7mm to 15mm. There’s a picture of the store display, SAE set below. The picture is from an eBay post. (I didn’t bid on it because it was in really bad shape but I did ask if I could use the pictures in this forum). That’s the only 9-piece store display I’ve ever seen on eBay.

The next new thing in the 97 – 98 catalog was the introduction of the “Stubby” wrenches. I will cover them in the next post (hopefully tomorrow). That brings us to the introduction of the “HUGE” Wrenches. Craftsman has added five new wrenches to the SAE side and six new wrenches to the metric line up. These things are big. The 1-1/2” wrench is over 19 inches long and weighs in at 3.75 pounds. The SAE wrenches added are 1-1/16’, 1-1/8”, 1-1/4”, 1-5/16” and 1-1/2”.  The new metric wrenches are 21mm, 22mm, 23mm, 24mm, 25mm and 30mm. Craftsman offered these new wrenches in 5-piece sets for $59.99. Now here’s the catch. There’s always a catch. The 5-piece sets did not include the largest of the new wrenches. No. The 5-piece SAE set included 15/16”, 1”, 1-1/16”, 1-1/8” and 1-1/4”. So, if you bought the original 13-piece set and the new 5-piece “huge” set, you would end up with two  15/16” and two 1” and would still be missing the three largest wrenches. Purchased singly, those would run you over $86.97.  Or, you could buy the new 9-piece set and the new “huge” set but then you would be missing the 13/16” and 7/8” as well as the three largest. It’s the same way with the metric sizes. OK, if you had purchased the 11-piece set offered in the 94 – 95 “Special Holiday Issue” catalog (reply #34) and then, 2 years later, bought this 5-piece set, you would have a complete set (except for the three largest). The logic eludes me. They fixed it the next year in 1998 (sort of). The newer 5-piece sets had the 5 biggest wrenches. (but the 13-piece sets were gone – that’s another post). This newer 5-piece set, in 1999, also came in a massive heavy-duty plastic carry case worthy of the 15 pounds of wrenches. (pictured below) I’m not going to list all the part numbers, I’ll just put in a close-up of the open stock list below. Its got all the info. This is the only time all of the Gen1 wrenches will appear together in one catalog.
Thanks for reading.
Todd F.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 10:08:41 PM by Todd F. »
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Offline Yadda

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2020, 06:57:46 AM »
The possibilities for the gaps between the sets is endless.  It would be interesting to get the perspective of one of the tool buyers during that time period. 
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Online Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2020, 07:42:05 AM »
I needed a flow chart to keep up with that one!   :smiley: 

Jim C. 
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Offline p_toad

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2020, 03:55:08 PM »
The possibilities for the gaps between the sets is endless.  It would be interesting to get the perspective of one of the tool buyers during that time period.

It would be interesting to know the thoughts of the marketing folks who decided to have them sold this way.   :undecided:

Offline Todd F.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2020, 11:59:06 PM »
The Stubbies. What can I say about the Stubbies other than they’re stubby. They are made to get into tight, hard to reach places. These first appeared in the 1997 – 1998 Craftsman Tool Catalog right below the “huge” wrenches in Reply #37.  They were smooth, full polish, shorter versions of their Long Pattern cousins, the Gen1. The word “Professional” is not stamped anywhere on them, but the pouch they come in says “Professional” and the page in the catalog says “PRO” at the top. Maybe there just wasn’t room because they’re, well, they're stubby. They were sold in sets: the 7-piece set for $29.99, SAE from 3/8” to 3/4" and metric from 10mm to 18mm minus the 11mm. And then there was the 4-piece larger sizes, also for $29.99, 13/16” to 1” and 19mm to 22mm. There was also an open stock list.  Each set came in a plastic pouch with the word “professional” like I mentioned. Although the wrenches were Guarantied “Forever”, I don’t think the pouches were. They got beat up, torn and cracked pretty fast. In the 1997 “Special Holiday” catalog they offered a full 11-piece set, also in a “reusable storage pouch”. I have never seen the 11-piece pouch. Only the 7 and the 4-piece. This is when Craftsman started color coding their display/organizers, black for SAE and grey for metric.

All the wrenches were stamped U.S.A. and also had the sideways “K” to indicate they were made by S-K tools and the open end was on the left, just like the Gen 1. So, all is right with the world. Hold on. One year later, 1998 – 1999 catalog, “NEW”, “Stubby Wrench Sets”. But they were “New” last year. Upon closer examination you’ll find they are not the same as last year’s model. They now have a raised panel on the handle but are still fully polished and, the open end is now on the right.  The size is stamped on both sides where the previous ones only had it stamped on the front. But the biggest difference of all is the sideways “K” is gone and has been replaced with -VV-. These were made by Danaher Tool Corporation. (reply #16)

 There was one thing that didn’t change on these newer wrenches.  The part numbers. Craftsman used the same part numbers even though they were made by a different company.  These newer wrenches also came in a 7-piece set with the same part numbers as the old 7-piece sets. If you ordered one of these sets back in 1998, who knows what you might get. The wrenches no longer came in the flimsy vinyl pouch. Now, the 7-piece set came in a rather substantial plastic holder with clips for each wrench. The 4-piece, large wrench set is completely gone but you could buy all of them in a new 11-piece set. The 11-piece set came in the same, semi flimsy, plastic display/organizer as the Gen 1 wrenches, complete with the clear plastic, flimsy keeper with all the structural integrity of a potato chip.

The stubby wrench would remain unchanged for at least the next 13 years until, well…..I’m not sure. I found them in my 2009 – 2010 catalog, then I have a gap in my catalog collection. I have nothing from 2011. I have a 2012 – 2013 catalog and I searched through all the Craftsman, Evolve, GearWrench, Viper, Max Axsess, S-curved, Half Moon crap and found nothing but a ratcheting Stubby by GearWrench.  But wait, all is not lost, Craftsman Industrial made and sold them for a few years longer. And if you’re really desperate, Craftsman is currently selling stubby wrenches made in China (but I would pick up a good set on eBay, they're still out there).
Thanks for reading.

Todd F.

(If they managed to fit “Craftsman Industrial” on the stubby wrench , how come they couldn’t fit “Craftsman Professional”?)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 12:09:34 AM by Todd F. »
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Offline lptools

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2020, 07:04:07 AM »
Hello, Todd. Thanks again , great info. Maybe an engineer realized that there are only 10 letters in 'Industrial" and 12 letters in "Professional", maybe the cost per letter?  Regards, Lou
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Online Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2020, 07:39:38 AM »
Well done Todd!  I must say, I can’t imagine anyone else having a collection of Craftsman Professional wrenches that completely covers the topic from top to bottom.  I think the catalog pages are certainly informative and it’s unusual to see the sets in their original retail packaging.  Speaking for myself, I’d get a new set of wrenches (typically Craftsman raised panel), line them up in a drawer and pitch the packaging.  I'm impressed that you had the foresight to save it.  That adds a ton of value and authenticity to your collection.  That also leads me to ask if you bought the sets with the intention of keeping them strictly as collectibles.  At some point, you decided to collect all of them.  When was that moment and how did you go about determining the perimeters of the collection.  Specifically, how did you determine what you needed to collect?  Studying catalogs?  Like I said earlier, the collection itself is likely a rarity when it comes to this one segment of wrenches.  I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of your fantastic collection.  Also, good going on adding an index to the beginning of the thread.  As this thread grows, that index will come in handy.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 07:50:20 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Yadda

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Re: Craftsman Professional Combination Wrench Study
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2020, 11:20:09 AM »
Just when I think it can't get better, the next post hits.  It is very similar to binge watching TV shows.
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....