A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pawn Shop Circuit: Loose Tools

After work today I went back to the new pawn shop in town to see if he had any new guns. Unfortunately, he had closed his doors early. I was near enough to Neil's pawn shop, so I drive on over. Neil was in the process of selling the nickel plated Smith & Wesson auto-pistol, and the rest of his handgun stock was gone. I was needing a 15mm wrench, so I wandered on over to the bins of loose tools.

I managed to find a 15mm wrench among the rusty and greasy tools, but in the process I also found quite a few nice open end and combination wrenches, a small pair of Channelock pliers (I always wanted those but could never justify the cost of a small pair), and two 3/8 inch rachets. One of the rachets was a Sears Craftsman. I don't really go for Craftsman tools, I'm more a Snap-On, Proto and MAC kind of guy. I'm a stickler for quality tools. There is nothing worse than a screwed up job in the rain in the middle of the night....... Unless it's the same job with a broken tool. Still it's hard to ignore the Craftsman bring it in if it's broken no questions asked replacement warranty. Heck, I could simply take this old Craftsman rachet to Sears and get a new one. I tossed it into my pile. All would be good for modifying if needed, loaning out if cheap enough, and abusing if necessary.

Once Neil was finished with the gun sale, I ambled up to the counter. "How much do you want for these," I asked.

"How much will you give me?"

"Oh I don't know......." I started to say five bucks, but I decided to play Neil's game. He began to sort them, ordering them into piles. Then he moved a small wrench to the opposite pile and clucked his tongue. He looked up at me and I shrugged my shoulders. "I don't really need them I guess........"

Neil began to key numbers into his adding machine. They were nice tools, but truth be told, I only needed the 15mm wrench. Finally Neil looked back at me and ventured "How about three sixty-seven?"

I tried not to look too surprised. I was expecting ten bucks. Maybe I had heard him wrong. Maybe he said $23.67. I took four dollars from my billfold and handed the cash to Neil. He took the money, rang up the sale and put the tools into a paper bag for me. Daaaaum! I tried to act nonchalant, asking about the possibility of a Smith & Wessons in hock. As usual, Neil just smiled, and kept the possibility to himself.

As I got back into my car, I realized I will never buy tools the same way again.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Carteach0 said...

The Snap On ratchet is worth $30 new, $20 used. It also has a lifetime warranty. That Craftsman rachet is one of the OLD ones, and will serve you well. Chances are you will never break it, nor turn it in for one of the new junky ones.

All in all.... you did really well.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do you know neil doesn't read your blog? haha. just a thought.

-Dan

5:37 PM  
Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

Unless they've changed, Sears won't give you new rachet. They'll give you a rebuild kit if you bring it back with stripped guts.

They will give you new sockets and wrenches though.

6:33 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

I have ALWAYS used craftsmen,and the OLDER rachets blow the new ones away...compare the two side by side you'll see the difference in construction and sheer metal used for the strength needed..the new ones?...suck.
I have broken loose lug nuts,BOUNCING on the end of a 3/8,NOT a half inch..a 3/8 8" rachet,
using a LONG extension,laid out over a floor jack,plugged into the lug nut,then me TORQUEING the everliving hell out of the extension,getting at LEAST a quarter wrap up,the result??
lug nut ZERO..me changing a tire.
they WERE tough stuff and DID give you a great value..the newer stuff?
utter crap and I dont know who makes them now...but I haunt pawn shops for EXACTLY that reason.
the older craftsmen were great

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

I wish Neil's shop was around here. The pawn shops around here are liable to charge that PER TOOL.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

My son is a tech with Honda. He and his fellow workers collect the older US made Craftsman tools. Even swap among themselves. They love them.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Randy in Arizona said...

The only Craftsman ratchet I can recall breaking was a 1/2" drive swivel head (about 18" long) I used to break loose the drive axle nut on a VW Karmann Ghia rear break drum. Back then, no questions asked, here is a new ratchet, sir!
BTW Sears used to sell the rebuild kits for ALL their ratchets for $0.01 -- yup one cent. Check if they still do.

I have a couple of spare kits for each size of ratchet I have. I do not want any of the new POS ratchets, I don't even like the new Snap-on ratchets.

(Olde Phart, set in his ways!)

I later got a 24" Matco breaker bar for such problems, and later still a Snap-on 3/4" ratchet head with a 36" handle. If needed a piece of 1" water pipe can be slipped over the handle for a cheater.

I will admit those prices are the cheapest for used tools I have seen.

9:51 AM  

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