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Sears is offering discounts on (almost) all Craftsman tool sets today and tomorrow, including their mechanics’ sets.  For example, their 540 pc. set is marked down $100 to $1,199.  Even bigger (percentage wise) markdowns are available on the smaller sets, such as the 290 pc. set, which is marked down $80 to $269.99.

Speaking of tool sets, we’re in the process of putting together “best” tool kits for automotive and home use in various price ranges for an upcoming feature, and we’d love to hear from you about your favorites beyond the normal standard fare.  Look for a post in the near future with more info.

All Craftsman on Sale [Sears]

 

2 Responses to Deals: Sunday and Monday Craftsman Tool Sale

  1. Myself says:

    Some weeks ago, my mother spotted a $10 cheapie “roadside tool kit” in the sales circulars and asked me to pick one up if I happened by that store. I scoffed at the idea, and sight unseen, assured her I could do better for ten bucks. Glancing at the ad, I knew I was right: The toolkit included things she already carried (flashlight, jumper cables), things you probably don’t need at roadside (8 oz hammer, tiny open-end wrenches), and lacked important stuff (tire plug, wheel chock, fuses). “Fine”, she said, “make it happen.”

    Ooh boy, an excuse to play with tools! I gathered, I brainstormed, I tinkered, I researched, and I came up with a big pile of useful stuff, not all of which falls strictly into the “tool” category. All of which, however, would probably come in handier than a set of Allen wrenches that some bozo threw into a kit to boost the parts count. Careful consideration of the likely scenarios (tire, lightbulb, belt, hose) combined with stock on hand yielded quite a kit. Here’s the list, with gratuitous annotations:

    Pliers: Large and small Vise-Grips, basic needle-nose, and basic slip-joint. While deciding what pliers to include, I discovered that we had not two, not three, but four essentially identical sets of Vise-Grips, one genuine article and three knock-offs from different makers. Throwing four sets of pliers into the kit barely made a dent in the pile, and it virtually guarantees the right jaw for the job. I might change one set up for some channel-locks, because the kit’s currently lacking a wide grip.

    Screwdrivers: One big honkin’ prybar-style straightblade, and a handful of assorted lesser sizes. A small 1/4″ hex bit driver rounds out the assortment with #1 and #2 Philips tips, and the all-important T30 torx for getting at the taillight bulbs on GM minivans. Check this stuff out beforehand, and you’ll realize how shortsighted the store-bought kits really are.

    Knife: 2.5″ folding lockback Meyerco. Found this in the mud a few months ago, washed it off, threw it in the misc-tools box. The hybrid blade should be right at home in an emergency kit, and the price was right.

    Car-specific tools: One folding wheel chock, ACDelco brand, with gobs of RTV and Goop on the bottom holding the little rubber sole in place so it doesn’t skid around on the pavement. Cheap plastic funnel, the middle-sized in the $0.99 assortment at Murray’s Auto. Right-angle 3/8″ drive bar, and pipe stub extension, for releasing serpentine belt tensioner. (Use lots of tape to secure pipe to bar.) Generic sliding-type tire pressure gauge. Tire-plug tool and reamer/rasp.

    Supplies: Tire plug worms, in their cardboard pack with the essential steps of operation printed on the back. Rubber cement, packed with the lightbulbs in the crushproof pill bottle, because nobody likes punctured tubes of that stuff. Mini and maxi fuses, and one each of the three types of lightbulbs used for stop, turn, reverse, and sidemarker lights. Two hose clamps. Mini can of WD-40. Two latex gloves, packed in plastic bag with the maxi fuses. Butane lighter.

    Gratuitous supplies: Six-foot nylon strap with loops stitched into both ends. Two bundles of ty-raps, two black velcro straps, full roll of half-inch black electrical tape, and a scant roll of two-inch black electrical tape. Small reel of nine-ply waxed nylon cord (approx 150′). (This paragraph, courtesy of past employers.)

    Here’s the kicker: I spent less than ten bucks on all this. The lightbulbs I bought in two-packs, since Dad’s van uses the same bulbs, so I made him a bulb kit in another crushproof pill bottle and only counted half the price of the bulbs against my total. The mini fuses I bought, but the Maxi fuses I’d stuffed into my pocket last time I was at the junkyard. (Can you believe that, once the cars are picked over, they’re sent to the crusher without first scavenging the fuses? Those suckers are expensive! Fuses don’t go bad with age, so I helped myself.) The tire plug worms I bought, but the rubber cement was sitting around from the previous tire patch kit (I go through a lot of those), so it doesn’t count. Hose clamps came from the parts box, as did the pipe for the 3/8″ drive extension. The 3/8″ drive itself I think came with one of Dad’s first cars, and is absolutely perfect for engaging the recessed hole in GM serpentine belt tensioners. There were four wheel chocks in the garage, and I can’t imagine needing more than two at once, so one went into each vehicle. The lighter and WD-40 were gathering dust, and the ty-raps I have in great quantities. The 1/4″ hex bits and driver, well, let’s just say I have a tremendous collection of those.

    All this fits in a somewhat oversized black nylon bag that I had sitting around. I think it might’ve been a “shoe bag” originally, since it’s too big to have been a shaving kit, though the general construction is similar. The whole kit and kaboodle weighs eight pounds.

    That’s what Mom got in her kit. As I said, she already carries a flashlight and jumper cables, and her van’s auto-leveling system means there’s an air compressor built in. If I had to add a flashlight to this kit, I’d make it a durable, cheap Mini-mag ($5 at CompUSA!) with alkaline batteries. Normally I’m a rechargeable zealot, but the self-discharge characteristics mean they’re not suitable for standby applications. Alkalines are good for years. But anyway, the flashlight should ride up front, as it’s likely to come in handy too often to warrant digging around in back for the kit. I’m sort of tempted to throw a Pocket Ref in her glovebox too, but I know she wouldn’t use it.

    Photos of the bag and its contents are at http://flickr.com/photos/myself248

  2. Teacher says:

    I would add two items to the list. First, a battery terminal cleaner. I’ve helped two people get their cars started just by cleaning their battery posts and cable connections.

    Second, a combination wrench that fits the nuts holding the windshield wipers to the posts. It’s rare but those nuts do come loose causing the wipers not to rotate properly. In addition to the tool bag I always carry in my vehicles, I keep a 13mm combo wrench in the glove box of my Pontiac for just that situation.

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