Craftsman V-Series Ratcheting Wrenches Hands-On Review: The Perfect Introduction to the Line

This set is the best way to see what Craftsman’s professional line is all about.

byHank O'Hop|
Craftsman V-Series Ratcheting Wrenches Review


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Deciding a favorite tool brand is a lot like picking your favorite car—it's not a choice; you just stick with what you're raised on. In my case, I was brought into this world with a Hurst T-grip attached to a Dodge Charger in one hand and a Craftsman wrench in the other. But like every other Craftsman tool patron, I've grown weary over the years. In the final days under the ownership of Sears, quality steadily declined as more and more tools from different brands began to populate my collection. When Sears passed the proverbial torch to Stanley Black and Decker things started to look up. While it has been shaky, Craftsman seems to be crawling back to its former glory. The Craftsman V-series ratcheting wrenches in my possession are proof of it.

Hank O'Hop

The V-Series line aims to bring professional quality to the brand DIYers love dearly. However, many of us have been reluctant to check it out for ourselves. After all, we're all a little gun shy after years of riding an emotional rollercoaster and the new line being a little more expensive than we're used to. 

That said, Craftsman sent me a few V-Series tools for review. After taking on some heavy-duty work with the Craftsman V-series ratcheting combination wrenches, I have to say I’m pretty impressed and I think they serve as an excellent example of what the line is all about. 

The Rundown on These V-Series Wrenches 

Craftsman’s V-Series was introduced in 2021, declaring it’s built for the professional. While you might write that off as a brand that typically targets DIYers over-hyping itself, you should read into some of the discussions surrounding this particular set being and it's similarities to some Mac tools. The V-series ratcheting combination wrenches share a lot in common with Mac's Precision Torque series and Facom's 440 Series, both of which are under the ownership of Stanley Black and Decker. Regardless of how you feel about rebranding and copycat designs, it undoubtedly elevates Craftsman.

Hank O'Hop

There's a lot to like about the Craftsman V-Series ratcheting combination wrenches. Starting with the basic specs, these wrenches feature an open end and a 12-point ratcheting box end. Connecting the business ends together is an I-beam style grip that enhances comfort while maintaining strength. 

The ratcheting side features a 72-tooth mechanism and a reversible drive. It also sits at a 15-degree angle, which does make it a far more useful setup than most ratcheting wrenches in a comparable price range. Speaking of price, this 8-piece SAE set, which covers sizes 5/16-inch to 3/4-inch, retails for $84.99. Of course the price is the same for its 8-piece Metric counterpart that covers sizes 8mm to 19mm. Both of which come in a sturdy labeled folding storage case.

Hank O'Hop

This Craftsman V-Series ratcheting wrench set hails from Taiwan, with the same being true for many other tools in the line. It would be nice to at least see them assembled in the USA with globally sourced parts, which is the case for the V-Series tool box I'm also testing. However, the quality is at least there to soften the blow. 

Yes. It is covered by Craftsman’s lifetime warranty. However, you have to call in your claim. Which is the only option many of us have anyway as the V-Series line is only available in select stores. In fact, I have yet to see anything from it at any of the Lowe’s or Ace hardware locations I frequently visit. 

Abusing Craftsman's V-Series Ratcheting Wrenches

I'm using the Craftsman V-Series ratcheting wrenches around the shop on a regular basis as my go-to combination wrench set. Like I said, I’ve used them for some big projects, including the removal of my 1969 Dodge Charger's drivetrain and the installation of a Heidts Pro-G front suspension. They've also helped me through some smaller jobs, like rebuilding the steering column, and served as my trunk wrench set during the first road trip since I converted my car to a 4-link.

The first thing that comes to mind as far as what I like about the set is the I-beam grips. As we all know, Craftsman wrenches aren't typically comfortable or light. These wrenches are a big step up. They fit nicely in your hand, they're comfortable in almost any position, and they're relatively lightweight. 

Hank O'Hop

The grip isn't all that benefits the working process, though. These wrenches operate smoothly, they don't have a ton of back drag, and have great engagement on fasteners. Of course, the reversible mechanism is another great feature to have. 

The Gearwrench ratcheting wrenches I've been using for years have no angle on the ratcheting end. The 15-degree angle on the Craftsman V-Series' ratcheting end makes a world of difference in almost every situation. Now, one could argue that they're two separate tools for two separate jobs and you need both. I agree, but after using both for long-term projects, I find that the angled end of the Craftsman makes it a more useful tool. It gives me access to more fasteners. If I could only have one set in my collection, I’m taking the angle every time. 

I'm not one for destructive testing, but I've given these wrenches the beans on several occasions. They hold up fine. I have no issues with skipping teeth, jamming mechanisms, or any signs of progressive failure under normal use. 

Aside from limited in-store presence and lack of U.S. production, I really can't find anything I don't like about these wrenches. Not even the price is bad. $84.99 is an excellent deal. For reference, an 8-piece set from Gearwrench, that features the relatively bare style of wrench I own, normally lists for about the same price as the V-Series set. They’re great tools, but they don't have reversible drives, an angled head, or even a case. A more comparable set from Gearwrench typically lists for about $100. Gearwrench runs sales all the time to bring down the costs, but it is still a good point of reference. Even the Icon 10-piece set at Harbor Freight is more expensive with a retail price of $159.99. 

The Verdict on Craftsman's V-Series Ratcheting Wrenches

For the money, you can't beat the Craftsman V-Series ratcheting combination wrenches. In direct comparison to the competition, they bring more to the table in almost every regard. These are some of the best, if not the best, ratcheting combination wrenches available to DIYers. Obviously, comparing them to tool-truck brands will impact ranking, but even then, they're a respectable option.

Craftsman V-Series Ratcheting Wrenches

A lot of us have yet to buy anything from the V-Series line because it's not available at many stores. It's tough to commit to buying tools like this without holding them in your hand first. I think this set is an excellent way to sample the line, especially since the price is so good. I know $85 isn't exactly pocket change these days, but they're worth it. Especially since they're a more affordable option than comparable offerings. You won't regret making the investment, and they will restore your faith in the Craftsman name.