Craftsman Upgraded to Low-Profile Ratchets

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Craftsman recently launched new 72T Low-Profile ratchets that have a thinner head depth compared to their standard ratchets.

The new 1/4″ and 3/8″ ratchets are up to 25% thinner*, and the 1/2″ ratchet is up to 10% thinner.*

All three new Craftsman ratchets have 72T gearing for a 5° minimal swing arc.

  • 1/4″ low-profile ratchet (CMMT86721)
  • 3/8″ low-profile ratchet (CMMT86722)
  • 1/2″ low-profile ratchet (CMMT86723)

Craftsman – a ToolGuyd sponsor – sent over a couple of sets for review consideration. I liked them, and purchased a 256pc set on the spot when I first saw it at Lowe’s over the holiday season.

Craftsman Low-Profile Ratchet vs Overdriver
Craftsman 3/8″ Low-Profile Ratchet (left) vs Overdrive (Right)

Compared to the Craftsman Overdrive ratchets, the new Low-Profile have a thinner head depth and also have shorter handles.

Despite the thinner head, the quick release and direction selection switches are comfortable to toggle.

Craftsman 61pc Mechanics Tool Set CMMT45161 Case

One of the sets Craftsman sent over is a 61pc mechanics tool set, with 3/8″ ratchet, a mix of shallow and deep sockets, and a couple of added accessories.

Craftsman 61pc Mechanics Tool Set CMMT45161 Contents

I found this to be a well-equipped “grab and go” type of minimal tool kit that can handle many around-the-home maintenance or assembly tasks.

Craftsman 159pc Mechanics Tool Set CMMT12125 Case

Craftsman also sent a 159pc mechanics tool set with 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ ratchets, sockets, accessories, and wrenches.

Craftsman 159pc Mechanics Tool Set CMMT12125 Contents

This is a classic type of “one stop shop” set.

Craftsman 256pc Mechanics Tool Set CMMT45256 Case

I also went out and bought this Craftsman Low-Profile 256pc mechanics tool set with 2-drawer tool box for $99 at Lowe’s.

Or rather, I saw this set at Lowe’s and couldn’t pass it up.

Craftsman 256pc Mechanics Tool Set CMMT45256 Larger Ratchets and Sockets

The bottom drawer comes with 3/8″ and 1/2″ ratchets, a mix of 6pt and 12pt shallow and deep sockets, a single extension, and a couple of wrenches.

Craftsman 256pc Mechanics Tool Set CMMT45256 Smaller Sockets and Accessories

The top drawer comes with a 1/4″ ratchet and sockets, screwdriver spinner handle, extension, and hex keys, nut drivers, and a couple of dozen screwdriver bits.

The 256pc set comes with 3 ratchets, 65 standard sockets, 21 deep sockets, 28 long arm hex keys, 16 short hex keys, 12 nut driver bits, 8 combination wrenches, 2 extensions, 1 spark plug socket, 1 bit driver, and 99 insert bits.

The 256pc set has fewer deep sockets than the 159pc set, but also a lower price. I also found the 2-drawer case appealing.

I mainly bought it as a portable home kit, so I can bring just one box with me for mixed projects rather than armfuls of tools, but the form factor works just as well on the road.

I’m finding that there’s always something to install, repair, or assemble when visiting friends and family. I like to think that I’ve done a great job of buying everyone screwdrivers and pliers, but not socket sets yet. I bought everyone hex keys last year after we couldn’t find one to fix a wobbly dining room table leg. Maybe I’ll leave this set on my next visit and pick up another.

I feel that the low-profile ratchets are an instant upgrade over Craftsman’s standard ratchets.

They’re a good complement to the new Craftsman Overdrive ratchets I have also been testing. The Overdrive ratchets have finer gearing, but the low-profile ratchets are thinner and also shorter.

The new ratchets are available individually.

They are also included in several new sets.

*1/4″ CMMT86721 and 3/8″ CMMT86722 ratchets are up to 25% thinner compared to CMMT81747 and CMMT81748. 1/2″ drive ratchet CMMT86723 is up to 10% thinner head for access in tight spaces as compared to CMMT81749.

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