I don't own them but i've used them...they definitely have their uses. They don't hold up to a lot of torque without breaking the gears/teeth inside and basically stripping, so you can't really crank down on them like a regular box end wrench. They're best used in tight places where it's hard to reach...they save so much time when you can only get a quarter turn on a bolt and have to reposition your wrench every 5 seconds. If you buy them definitely get a brand with lifetime warranty in case they strip out. I'm not completely sure if Sears even warrants them from stripping.
Are you talking about the ratcheting box end wrenches (Gearwrench) or the open end ones with the little notch in one side?
I think Darth Vader is referencing the Gearwrenches. I bought a set in both metric and SAE and found his critique to be right on. I found them to be relatively useless and eBayed both sets after a few years. I've got a set of Mac ratcheting box wrenches that I've had for 20+ years that are 25x stronger then them and the Gearwrenches don't do anything the Mac's don't.
If you're talking about the open end ones, I looked at them the last time I was at Sears. They just look like another gimmick tool like their Crossforce wrenches they tried to sell a few years ago. Also, sadly, they're made in China, so I wouldn't buy them even if they looked like a good idea.
I use the gear wrench version of those, been using them for years and love them. Like 85 SS says, you can't put them under a lot of torque. They are also prone to jamming up from grease and grime that builds up in the gears, so you have to keep them as clean as possible. They are fantastic for getting into tight places where a regular socket and ratchet won't fit. If you treat them right and keep them clean I think they are one of the best tools you can have in your tool box. The gear wrench brand also has a lifetime warranty and can supposedly be returned to most sears locations but I've never tried.
from what i understand the gears in the ratcheting box end wrenches are all patented by one company in Korea so the internals are all pretty much the same. The bonus with teh craftsmen over other brands would be the ease of warranty, if ya break it sears gives ya a new one.
Ive been wanting some of the craftsmen ones as they are made in the usa, sometimes you can catch them on sale.
there is some info here Gearwrench (Taiwan) vs Craftsman (USA) ratcheting wrench - The Garage Journal Board
Like I said, the guts are made by the same people, snap-on, sk , mac, mostly what your paying for there is the name,the warranty and sometimes the ****ty attitude of the guy driving the shiny truck.
If you really feel the need to spend lots of money on ratcheting wrenches buy yourself a set of SK G-Pros and call it a day, never heard a bad thing about them.
just be warned that the warranty wont do ya any good for a few more months while they restructure.
craftsman has differnt kinds.. I have the cheaper set that are straight with no offset on the box end... the gears in them are larger and they dont ratchet well in tight places. the offset ones have finer teeth in them and are better in tight places. We use them a lot at work and havent had any problems and as noted if you break em sears replaces them
I love em, Ive only broken 1.5 of the ratcheting ones. I broke a 3/4" one when i was a machinist because the coolant got in there and wrecked the gears, the .5 is a 5/8 wrench that froze up on me after i put a 3/4 on the open end for leverage. It froze up but i got it to work again, its gonna defintitly fail again though.