Motorcycle Tools Review
Summertime is the
prime motorcycle riding season. It's also the
time for motorcycle
repair projects, regular maintenance and washing and polishing
We're in the process of doing a monster review of many
different motorcycle cleaners and polishes, but in the
meantime, we thought we'd let you know about some handy
new tools in use around the shop.
Sears Craftsman tools are
probably the #1 selling brand in the U.S.A. These
are high-quality tools that are available either at any
local Sears store (there are gazillions of them in the
U.S.A.), through the wonderful Sears Craftsman "wish
book" tool catalog, or through the Sears website.
been a big fan of Craftsman tools for many years; not only are they easy to obtain, but there's a
huge selection of tools for any type of motorcycle repair and
maintenance and also for use on automobiles, bicycles, and
anything else around the home, shop or business.
Almost all of the Sears
tools that are branded with the "Craftsman" label are
guaranteed for life. I've returned broken tools
that were more than 30 years old and received a
no-questions-asked replacement from my local Sears
store. The exception is the Sears Craftsman torque
wrenches I own, which surprisingly only carry a one
Sure, there are nicer looking tools, and some
professional mechanics complain that the chamfer on
Craftsman box wrenches is too wide, possibly allowing
the wrench to slip off of a nut or bolt. I've
never found this to be the case, and I wonder if this is
a barb tossed at Sears to help justify the expense of a
set of Snap-On wrenches, which probably cost twice as
You can pay a lot more
or you can pay a lot less, but Craftsman tools are a
pretty good value for the average motorcycle repair or maintenance
tasks performed in
the home garage. Sears has dozens of sales during
the year, and if you're patient, you'll probably get the
tools you need at a deep discount. Join the
Craftsman Club for no charge, and you'll get an extra
sale catalog once a month with special deals for club
the way, I own no stock in Sears, nor do I have any
relationship to the company, financial or otherwise.
I'm just a satisfied owner! Here is a selection of tools
that we've found handy around the shop this year:
Sears Craftsman 6-Point Combination Wrench Set
I've only stripped one or two bolts in my motorcycle
repair career, but that was enough!
always had a nagging doubt in the back of my mind about
using the common 12-point combination wrench, especially
once the bolt or nut is larger than 13mm or so.
The 12 points in the wrench just don't seem like they'll
hold a nut when the going gets tough and lots of torque is necessary.
So I took advantage of a sale and purchased an entire
set of 6 point combination wrenches. This set
(Craftsman part number 0944098) is a "catalog/online
exclusive", and contains every 6 point combination
inch and metric combination wrench that Sears makes, and includes 1/4" to 1" and 6mm
through 19mm sizes.
I have a set of Craftsman metric box end wrenches and
another set of their metric 12 point combination
wrenches, so I guess I'm all set in the wrench
department. I've found that it's important to have
at least two sets of wrenches for the many jobs that
need a wrench on the nut and a wrench on the bolt.
The Craftsman 6 point combination wrench set is
nicely made and works well. I feel more confident
muscling a stubborn nut when I know that the wrench has
more grip on the metal corners. I wish these
wrenches were a bit thinner and had slightly more angle
on the heads, but they work fine for most of the
projects in my garage.
The photo of the tools in the tool chest drawer shows this same
set of wrenches in a K-D Tools 15 piece wrench rack.
These are made from a stiff but pliable plastic and are
MyToolStore.com for $6.80 each. They fit the
Craftsman wrenches perfectly and keep them organized in
the drawer, and they also have a flexible handle that
makes it easy to carry them around the shop.
I hate having to paw through my tool chest looking
for the right sized tool, and these keep things nice and
neat and organized. The downside is that they take
up much more room in the drawer than a loose pile.
But they are also pre-drilled for hanging on a wall or
even the side of a roll-around toolbox.
Magnetic Parts Tray
Next up are these really handy magnetic parts trays,
Sears part number 0947832. I got tired of losing
too many of the tiny nuts, bolts and washers that are
used on motorcycles.
I'd disassemble something and
lay the parts on the ground in the garage and inevitably
scatter them with my foot as I was moving around the
These parts trays are
available individually or in this combination set.
Each tray has two big round flat magnets underneath that
allow them to both hold ferrous metal parts and also
stick to steel toolboxes.
I keep the small 6"
round bowl in my toolbox with my 1/4" drive ratchet (see
below), which makes it easy to locate these often-used
The bigger tray (5.5"
by 9.5") sticks to the side of my portable
toolbox in case I need it for bigger jobs. I got
the set on sale for $14.99, and they've become so useful
that I don't know how I did without them.
They also come in handy
when there's some unexpected oil or fluid leaking from
the bike after popping off a cover. I can quickly
grab the larger tray off my toolbox and lay it under the
bike to catch the offending drips.
1/4" Drive 6-Point
The same thinking that led me to purchase the
6-point combination set described above also convinced
me to change from 3/8" drive, 12-point sockets to a
1/4" drive, 6-point socket set.
There are too many
lightweight, aluminum and small sized nuts and bolts on
a motorcycle, often threaded into aluminum frames or
engine casings, to risk applying too much torque and
ending up with stripped threads.
Since most nuts and bolts
rarely need over 20 or so Nm of torque, a 3/8" drive set
is almost overkill. The 1/4" drive set gives me
much better feel for what's happening with the threads
and also helps prevent damage.
available in either 6 or 12 points, but I figured again
that the 6 point sockets would provide a better grip on
the fragile motorcycle nuts and bolts.
This Craftsman socket set
(part number 0933405) lists for only $39.99 and includes
regular and deep sockets in both inch (seldom used) and
The sizes run from 5/32 to 9/16 and
4mm through 14mm, which covers the range of just about
any socket size needed for motorcycle repair or
I now only use the 3/8"
drive sockets for the big 15mm and above nuts and bolts,
which are rare on my motorcycles.
For about 90% of
the jobs that I do, the smaller sockets work great, and
take up much less room in my portable toolbox.
The magnetic socket
holder sets shown in the photo are also from Sears, part
number 0941377 for the 1/4" drive set. They're
also available for 3/8" and 1/2" drive sockets.
The magnets are only at the base of the sockets, in the
horizontal area shown in the photos.
I wish there
were also magnets under each socket body, because the
single magnets at the base are not always strong enough
to keep the sockets in place, and the sockets sometimes
fall out and get lost in my toolbox.
The red holder is sized
for inch sockets and the green is sized for metric.
I purchased the 1/4"
drive ratchet ($14.99), extension, 6" handle and
adapters to match the set. The ratchet is the
Craftsman part number 0944807, but I'm not too pleased
with the button that needs to be depressed to attach a
socket, so I'll probably get the more expensive,
polished and thin profile part number 0944994, which of
course is about twice the price at $29.99 list!
These are some very handy tools to have around the
garage for motorcycle repair. I'm especially
pleased with the 1/4" drive socket set, which I think
gives me a much better feel for torque and hopefully
will prevent stripped nuts and bolts. The magnetic
parts trays are also invaluable and recommended.
It's harder to evaluate the usefulness of the 6 point
wrenches, but I needed an extra set anyway and I feel
more comfortable knowing that the 6 points have a better
grip on the work.
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!
Review: Motorcycle Tools
Craftsman 6 Point Combination Wrench
Set, Magnetic Parts Tray, 1/4" Drive Socket Set &
Magnetic Socket Holder Set and K-D Tools Wrench Rack
From: Sears and MyToolStore.com
Retail Prices: Sears Craftsman- Two piece magnetic parts tray
set - 0947832 - $19.99; 6 point combination wrench set
(Metric and Inch) - #0944098 - $89.99; 6 point 1/4" drive
socket set (Metric and Inch) - #0933405 - $39.99. K-D
Tools vinyl wrench rack holds 15 tools; $6.80 each.
Maintenance and Repair Page |
Index of all wBW Maintenance and Repair Articles