CRAFTSMAN EVOLV TOOL SET: KEEPING THOSE JEEP JK GREMLINS AWAY

Craftsman Evolv 20-Piece, 3/8-Inch Drive Inch/Metric Tool Set

Pros: Reasonable regular price (better with sales and incentives).  Lightweight, basic set satisfies on-board availability.  Craftsman quality and lifetime limited warranty.

Cons: “Lifetime Limited Warranty” not the same as Sears legendary “Hand Tool Forever Full Warranty“.  Any future claim requires proof-of-purchase – save your receipt and file it under “potential warranty loopholes“.

The mechanic’s creed states that if you travel with a set of tools, you will never break down.  Of course, this is pure mythology – no matter how thorough your maintenance program, the unforeseen will always attempt to drop a wrench in the gears of your best-laid plans.

Backwoods Boy Scout

Since the lonely roads in my rural reality do not come equipped with a roving pit-crew, one must be prepared to handle whatever mechanical challenges may arise.  Along with emergency items such as a fire extinguisher and my shiny “space blanket”, the acquisition of a basic tool kit is advisable for the average motorist – and mandatory for the off-roading four-wheeler.

When Craftsmen Evolv

Wandering through my local Sears Hometown store, I noticed the Craftsman Evolv 20-Piece, 3/8-Inch Drive Tool Set for $17.99 (US) in the clearance aisle.  Consisting of nine chrome-plated standard sockets that range from 3/8-7/8-inch, and nine metrics from 10mm to 18mm, the set includes the most called-for sizes in-the-field.

The metal latch and removable tray on the compact Craftsman 17-inch Plastic Hand Box make it a best buy.
The metal latch and removable tray on the compact Craftsman 17-inch Plastic Hand Box make it a best buy.

The ratchet, with its Fiberglas and rubberized soft-grip handle, features the one-touch-button socket release that made the Craftsman line a midcentury mechanical marvel.  Also included is a 6-inch extension constructed of the same alloy steel as the sockets and ratchet.

While my Jeep Wrangler(s) TJ and JK both offer a spacious engine compartment, there will likely be a greater (and more frequent) need for the 1-1/2 and 3-inch extensions that are available at additional cost.

Looking Ahead

The need for an on-board set of tools for emergency situations has many considerations.  Overall variety, heft and compact storage all figure into the equation.  Weighing-in at a lean 3-1/2 lbs., the Craftsman Evolv 20-Piece Tool Set – along with pliers and a few screwdrivers and open-ends, will easily stow out-of-sight in an under-seat box.

With its 17 x 3-1/2-inch dimensions, the Craftsman Compact Truck Box will fit anywhere - but how long will its plastic latches last?
With its 17 x 3-1/2-inch dimensions, the Craftsman Compact Truck Box will fit anywhere – but how long will its plastic latches last?

While gas mileage numbers in my 6-speed JK Wrangler top-out between 24 and 25 mpg, the lighter your essential add-ons, the less fuel required to tote them around.  Every ounce counts in these days of pricy petrol.

Standing Behind

Once upon a time, if an American-made Craftsman tool failed for any reason, the consumer could exchange it for a new one – no receipt required, no questions asked. While this legendary “Craftsman Hand Tool Forever Full Warranty” does not apply to this Evolv set, the “Hand Tool Limited Lifetime Warranty” does.  Essentially, what this means is that you need to keep your original cash-register receipt to present in the event of a future claim.

Good News

For all the talk of reliability, my Jeep Wrangler JK has performed flawlessly throughout the 81K mile accumulation that currently illuminates its fluorescent-green odometer.

In anticipation of many more carefree miles, my cross-fingered acquisition of the Craftsman Evolv 20-Piece, 3/8-Inch Drive Inch/Metric Tool Set, with clearance consideration and Rewards Points incentives, cost me around $9 –  the approximate retail price of the 18mm socket, when sold separately.

While allowing my overall tool collection to remain intact, this traveling set amounts to an insurance plan cheap enough to comply with the aforementioned mechanic’s creed.  Meanwhile, the most reliable and entertaining vehicle I’ve ever owned rolls-on without a stumble or complaint.  Maybe there is some magic to that toolbox-totin’ theory.

Included Sockets

Standard (inches):  3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8.

Metric (millimeters):  10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

Sears Brands Management Corp.
Hoffman Estates, IL  60179

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