Following the post about the oddball garage sale Snap-On ratchet, D+R readers Mark and Robert suggested that I had stumbled upon a ratchet made for the military. Could be. The military Snap-On folktale is that the US Government spec'd tools to not be chrome plated. By the 1970's, that may have changed.
Since we are geeking out on Snap-On ratchets, I thought I would share a few others from the Hooptyrides Corporate Tool Crib.
Before ratchets had a switch to change direction, the entire drive shaft would pop out of the handle to flip to the other side. You actually had to turn the ratchet over and insert the pin through the reverse side. For real? Yeah. Check out the embossed ON. Predictably, the other side is marked OFF.
I think this little cutie is a military ratchet as the drive pin is bigger than 1/4" but smaller than 3/8". Supposedly, the military specified a non-standard size to keep the ratchets from disappearing into home tool boxes.
BTW, for those new to hand tools, Snap-On is a legendary, high-end brand that is revered by mechanics and is terrifically expensive. Whether they are worth the premium price is a matter of considerable debate.