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TM reader Kyle writes:

“After receiving a new angle grinder for Christmas, I looked through the owner’s manual and discovered that Craftsman recommends that the tool be relubricated from time to time. The manual says that this should be done by Sears technicians only. What’s being lubricated, and is it possible for me to do this myself without destroying the grinder?”

We’re hoping you can shed some light on this. We have a Metabo and a DeWalt in the TM shop, but neither has required any service to date. And — maybe badly — we’ve always thought of $60 angle grinders as throw-aways. Also, does your different-brand grinder require this type of lubrication as well?

Kyle reports his grinder is the Craftsman Professional 4-1/2″, model number 900.264370 (pictured above).

The Grinder [Sears]


So you’re a social media fan and up to your knees in a driveway full of snow, eh? Craftsman wants to puff up their Twitter following, and they’ll give you a (slim but measurable) chance at a snow blower for adding +1 to their following and reading their marketing Tweets.

The deets: Visit Sears’ step-by-step snow blower finder and pick your fave. Follow @BlueLGCrew on Twitter and Tweet the following:

Following @BlueLGCrew and went to http://bit.ly/6KxG5t to find my ideal #searssnowblower – model [insert your fave’s 5-digit model # here] – I’m entered for a chance to win it!

The contest closes tomorrow, so move quickly. Or just use your existing snow blower, knowing that your soul is safe from misuse of social media for one more day. Either way, enjoy.

Official Rules [Sears Blog]


Spline wrenches are cool because you can turn a variety of different fastener heads such as hex, partially rounded hex, 12pt, square, external Torx, and yes, even spline heads, with one wrench.  If you’re willing to give up the ratcheting feature in the Stanley Proto and SK spline wrenches, you can get a set of seven Craftsman combo open end/box spline wrenches from Sears for under $20.

Craftsman angles the wrench heads by 15° to save your knuckles and they reinforce the open end so the wrench doesn’t deform under high torque, rounding the head. The set normally includes 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, and 11/16″ wrenches, but to be nice Sears is throwing in a 5/8″ wrench and a storage tray.

Universal Wrench Set [Sears]

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Craftsman’s 8-amp variable speed reciprocating saw is on sale right now in Sears stores and online for $59.88, about 25% off its normal price. The trigger-operated saw runs up to 2,500 strokes per minute with a 1-1/8 inch long blade stroke.

Recip saws are a Halloween favorite around here for carving out your favorite scary pumpkin face and making with the gourd carnage. And of course, you can wipe the slime off and use the saw for other things throughout the year, too.

How to Carve Pumpkins with Power Tools [ExtremePumpkins.com]


We’ve seen this before: Craftsman will etch names, slogans or whatever else on the side of each piece for a super-customized set of special “heirloom” tools. You know, like M&Ms, but a crap-ton more expensive. But every time I see these, I get a different vibe. Sometimes I love the idea, and sometimes not so much.

Admittedly, I could write “now quit borrowing mine, jackhole!” on the wrenches, leaving my future kids to wonder what uncle Sean meant by that when they inherit the tools 40 years from now. But then again, you could snag another whole plain-Jane kit for the difference in price. (So theoretically at least, the jackholes could steal a set.)

I’d risk a quarter on one thing, though: I bet sales of these skyrocket around the holidays. What do you think? Do you own any? Do you wish you did?

Street pricing runs around $200.

Personalized 187 pc. Tool Set [Craftsman]


What’s a modern mini-Li-Ion cordless tool kit without a flashlight to let those awesome little batteries go to work brightening up the dark spots? Nothing, that’s what. So we’re glad that Craftsman’s NEXTEC set includes one. But rather than heading down the single-bright-LED path, Craftsman hung a left, opting instead for 24 (!) individual light sources.

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Readers who’ve already seen these will have to forgive my enthusiasm for finder this clever combination of shaving and inspection mirrors. My own inspection mirror hasn’t left the drawer in ages, largely thanks to my idiotic selection of a small one just 1.5″ across. The thought was that it would be easier to get into tight spaces, which it is, but once it’s there, it’s like diagnosing through a pinhole. A magnifying version would provide the best of both worlds – a compact mirror with a wide field of view.

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Ignition wrenches are one of those tools you’ll never need until that one moment when Murphy’s messing with you, and then nothing else will do. Normal wrenches have a 30-degree offset in the head to allow for rotating hex bolts by thirty degrees at a time, but that’s too much for some very tight situations. That’s where ignition wrenches come in. With a 15-degree offset on one side and an 80-degree offset on the other, you only need five degrees of rotation to spin a bolt. Tedious, yes, but sometimes those small increments are all you can manage.

Pricing is reasonable from Craftsman, at $20 for a set of eight metric wrenches, and the same price for eight inch wrenches. Snap-On, naturally, has similar options at the stratospheric price of $224. Personally, I’ll take 91% off and go for the Craftsman set.

8-piece ignition wrench set, inches [Craftsman]
8-piece ignition wrench set, millimeters [Craftsman]

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You would think that with my collection of purchased and inherited tools and overall tool hang-up, I would have at least seen one of these before. I have some old Craftsman double-ended ratchet wrenches that are dog-bone shaped, but this version is new to me; I don’t know how I overlooked this.

Sears has their DOG BONE wrench in both SAE and metric for $20 each. Thorsen seems to have an equivalent for $15, although their version does not have the all upper-case name.

This could either be super handy to have around, sparing you trips back and forth to the tool box to find the right socket — or the bone ends would get in the way left, right, and backwards.

Sears [Manufacturer’s Site]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

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If you’re into the Craftsman C3 combo set, now might be the time to pony up and pounce. Sears has the 19v C3 drill impact driver set on sale for $99 until the end of the week.

It’s not the latest gear and most certainly not the greatest on the virtual shelf, but the pair of them are good, solid pieces of gear that will certainly last a while around the shop or jobsite. It’s not a Li-Ion set but for around a C-note you really can’t expect it to be, either.

C3 Drill Impact Driver Combo Kit [Craftsman]