Alloy Artifacts  

Daido Corporation U.S.A.


Table of Contents


Introduction

The Daido Corporation was the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese export marketing and distribution company, with products including automotive and motorcycle parts, power transmission chains, hand tools, and other metal products. In the mid 1950s Daido began selling Japanese hand tools under the "Allenite" brand, and then later acquired the "Truecraft" brand from an American company. Daido's Truecraft line went on to become the best known brand of Japanese tools in America.


Company History

The Daido Corporation U.S.A. has a rather complex history, reflecting its role as part of a multinational company with multiple partners in Japan. Our primary interest here is in the development of Daido's hand tools business in America, but in order to establish the proper context, we have provided a brief history of Daido's Japanese parent Meisei Tsushō in a separate article.

Early Operations

In October of 1951 Meisei Tsushō established the Daido Corporation U.S.A. as a subsidiary in New York City. At that time Daido was only the sixth Japanese company to incorporate in New York in the post-war era.

Currently we don't have much information on the company's early operations. We do know that by the early 1960s Daido had distribution centers in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, so presumably setting up the distribution network would have been an important early priority.

We recently (2023) discovered that during the 1950s Top Kōgyō made adjustable wrenches for the Truecraft Tool Company of Chicago. Top Kōgyō was a major tool manufacturer in Japan and a frequent production partner for Daido, which suggests that Daido probably made the arrangements for the production, and likely would have acted as the distributor.

Top Kōgyō may have provided contract production for other U.S. companies as well, and their production can be identified by the "TOP" forge mark.

By 1954 Daido was offering hand tools under the "Allenite" brand, based on the first use date in a later trademark filing. Currently we don't have much information on this earlier brand, as no advertisements have been found, but we do have a few examples of the tools in a later section.

The Formation of the Truecraft Tool Division

In 1962 Daido acquired the Truecraft Tool Company of Chicago with the intention of using the "Truecraft" brand for a new line of hand tools. The Truecraft Tool Company was a small company selling tools such as pliers, adjustable wrenches, hammers, and hatchets, with customers probably including hardware stores or other small retail outlets.

We haven't yet found the exact date of Daido's acquisition, but it appears to have been sometime in early 1962, based on the announcement at the left.

[1962 Announcement of Daido Truecraft Tool Division]
Fig. 1. 1962 Announcement of Daido Truecraft Tool Division.

The scan in Fig. 1 shows Daido's announcement of its new Truecraft Tool Division, as published on page 118 of the June 28, 1962 issue of Hardware Age.

Note that the text mentions "TOP" tools twice, which we think is a reference to the trademark brand used by the Top Kōgyō Company. This suggests that Top Kōgyō may have been Daido's first production partner for the Truecraft line.

The text also notes (third paragraph from the bottom) that Truecraft Tool would continue to supply various tools. Truecraft Tool is not known to have had any manufacturing facilities of its own, so we take this statement to mean that whatever contractual supply agreements were in effect would continue under Daido.

To further clarify the role of the prior company after the acquisition, an ad on page 127 of the January 24, 1963 issue of Hardware Age lists the Truecraft Tool Company as a Daido representative, with the former owners Norman Kaufman and Paul Kaufman as contacts!

This strongly suggests that the acquisition of Truecraft Tool may have been just a purchase of the Truecraft trademarks, with the company owners free to continue as sales representatives under the same company name.

After reviewing this announcement and some of the company's subsequent advertisements, it appears that Daido initially had only modest aspirations for its Truecraft division, with a limited selection of tools intended for customers such as hardware stores or similar retail outlets. The announcement itself mentions only adjustable wrenches, pliers, and hammers, and ads in the next couple of years extended this only slightly to include socket wrench sets.

The early ads make it clear that the company intended to compete on the basis of low prices, but also suggest that Daido may have underestimated the intense competition in the hardware trade.

For example, an advertisement on page 133 of the March 21, 1963 issue of Hardware Age offered a No. SW32 32-piece hex-drive socket set made of carbon steel, functionally similar to sets that had been sold in vast quantities by Duro/Indestro (and others) since the 1930s. It's hard to imagine such sets would have sold in meaningful quantities in the 1960s, given the many other inexpensive socket sets available.

[1964 Ad for Daido Truecraft Tools]
Fig. 2. 1964 Ad for Daido Truecraft Tools.

The scan in Fig. 2 shows an example of an early ad for Daido's Truecraft Tool Division, as published on page 103 of the March 5, 1964 issue of Hardware Age.

The illustration shows pliers, an adjustable wrench, and a socket set, and the text highlights the triple chrome plated finish and the prospect of higher profits for the reseller. Distribution locations are noted in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco.


Combination Wrenches

Truecraft was probably offering combination wrenches by 1963, but the earliest ad we've found so far is from 1966.

[1966 Ad for Truecraft Combination Wrenches]
Fig. 3. 1966 Ad for Truecraft Combination Wrenches.

The scan in Fig. 3 shows an illustration for a combination wrench set within a full-page ad for Daido's Truecraft Tool Division, as published on page 419 of the July 21, 1966 issue of Hardware Age.

The caption notes that sizes up to 1 inch were available.

In the illustration the middle part of the shank appears to be have been polished, but due to the low resolution of the image it's hard to tell whether the shank is polished or if there is a raised polished panel.

The earliest Truecraft combination wrenches are believed to have been models with a flat shank and an odd polished area in the center of the shank, which we will refer to as the half-polished style. Examples of wrenches in this style can be seen as the Truecraft B-105 5/8 Combination Wrench and Truecraft B-106 11/16 Combination Wrench.

When we first ran across wrenches in this style, we thought that they had been made by the Truecraft Tool Company before the Daido acquisition, since our wrenches were not marked for Japan and did not resemble the known Truecraft combination wrenches.

However, the CWC web site has very similar examples of Truecraft combination wrenches in this half-polished style, but with a "Japan" marking. In addition, one example of a similar open-end wrench with a half-polished shank has a "TOP" marking, indicating production by Top Kōgyō.

Based on further observations of numerous online photographs, we can state that most wrenches of this style were marked "Japan", so it's virtually certain that the wrenches were made in Japan.

But this raises a problem in that no examples of similar production for the Japanese market are known. Wrenches with flat shanks were not popular in Japan during the 1960s, and we can't point to a particular manufacturer as having made this style of wrench. For now, the maker of these early combination wrenches is a mystery.

One further observation to note is that the known examples of half-polished style combination wrenches are all dual marked with both B-xxx model numbers matching those used in the 1973 catalog, plus SW-x numbers that appear to be an earlier series of model numbers. The SW numbers start at SW-1 for the 3/8 wrench, indicating that combination wrenches must have been available when the system was first planned.

The use of the B-xxx numbers shows that the alphabetic-prefix model number system was already in use by the mid 1960s, although we don't know if model numbers were being consistently marked on all tools at that time.

Supplier to Sears Roebuck

By the mid 1960s Daido had become a supplier to Sears Roebuck, initially for Sears brand drop-forged wrenches. Tools sourced through Daido were marked with a "BF" code and "Japan", and the early selection of Sears wrenches eventually expanded to include Craftsman wrenches, adjustable wrenches, pliers, specialty tools, and screwdrivers.

The supplier relationship with Sears is believed to have continued into the 2000s and was independent of the development and operation of Daido's "Truecraft" brand.

More information on the Sears connection can be found in the section on Maker Daido in our article on Craftsman Manufacturer's Codes.

A Pivot to the Professional Market?

A notice in the May 1, 1968 issue of Hardware Age announced the availability of Truecraft's 16-page catalog T68-1, which included their new "flexsocket" wrenches. This was the first notable departure from typical hardware-store tools, as this type of wrench would be of greater interest to a professional mechanic. (As a side note, we refer to "flexsocket" wrenches as "flex-box combination wrenches", since they offer two different openings of the same size and are thus a type of combination wrench.)

Another example of the move towards higher-end markets can be seen in a notice on page 188 of the September 15, 1971 issue of Hardware Age, which illustrates a 19-piece chrome-moly socket set with cold-forged sockets.

The Allenite Tool Company

In 1970 Daido U.S.A. filed a trademark application for "Allenite" with the first use date stated as 1954. The 1954 date would make this Daido's first U.S. brand, and originally we thought that the use of "Allenite" would have been phased out after Daido acquired the "Truecraft" brand in the early 1960s.

However, we recently (2023) discovered that Daido U.S.A. created a subsidiary Allenite Tool Company in Lincolnwood, Illinois, and the Allenite company is known to have filed copyrights related to chrome alloy socket sets in the 1970s. This shows that the Allenite brand continued in use much longer than originally thought, and would have overlapped significantly with Daido's primary Truecraft brand.

Currently we haven't found much information on the Allenite Tool Company, but will add information as it becomes available.

The Steelcraft Tool Company

By 1971 Daido U.S.A. had acquired the Steelcraft Tool Company, a maker and importer of tools and hardware with roots going back to the 1920s. Steelcraft continued to operate as a division of Daido, and their offices and warehouse were moved to Daido's New Jersey facility.

A 1971 catalog from Steelcraft includes a foreword from its president Martin H. Rieger, who had previously founded the Award Tool Company before joining Steelcraft in 1969.

Daido used Steelcraft as an outlet for another tool brand "Cen-Tech", intended as a lower-priced alternative to its main Truecraft line.

The 1973 Truecraft Catalog

In 1973 Daido released Truecraft catalog T-73-1, which is currently our earliest catalog resource for the company. The catalogs lists a wide variety of tools including adjustable wrenches, pliers, sockets and drive tools, open-end wrenches, combination wrenches, flex-box combination wrenches, pipe wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, and other items. Most tools are noted as being made from some type of chrome alloy steel.

All tools are listed with alphabetic-prefix model numbers, such as K358G for lineman's pliers or B105B for combination wrenches.

The catalog states that the tools are made in "our factories in Japan, Europe, and the U.S.A.", which we take as a statement about their production partners' factories. Some of the illustrations show markings that identify the particular maker — several pliers are marked "TOP", lineman's pliers show the symbol for Three Peaks Giken, some pipe tools are marked "Super Ego Spain", and some illustrations of open-end and combination wrenches show "Palmera", the trademark of Juan Vollmer S.A. of Irun, Spain.

The catalog further notes that chisels and punches are made of forged alloy steel by American manufacturers. And if you get out your magnifying glass, page 23 offers a 5-piece screw extractor set made by Enderes Tools of Albert Lea, Minnesota. As promised, factories in Japan, Europe, and the U.S.A.

Inconsistency in Tool Markings

The 1973 catalog confirms that most of the Truecraft line was made with chrome alloy steel, and with this knowledge we want to point out an unfortunate lapse that may have limited the acceptance of the Truecraft brand. Specifically, this is the fact that many Truecraft tools were marked "Drop Forged Tool Steel" when they actually were made of chrome alloy steel.

Under U.S. trade laws the term "alloy steel" has a specific meaning, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been known to bring enforcement actions against companies that improperly mark their tools. The term "tool steel" is a broader category that includes the standard alloy steels used for tools as well as non-alloy steels such as AISI 1045 carbon steel or AISI 1340 carbon manganese steel.

Simply stated, no American tool maker would mark their tools "Drop Forged Tool Steel" if the tools were actually made of chrome vanadium or chrome molybdenum steel; it would be like calling your products "Medium Quality" after paying for top quality materials.

By the 1960s tool buyers in the U.S. were no longer concerned with the relative merits of chrome vanadium vs. chrome molybdenum steel, and a number of makers had already switched to non-specific trade names for alloy steel, such as Armaloy, Barcaloy, Crestoloy, or Diamalloy.

But there was still a broad perception that alloy steel tools would be of higher quality than non-alloy tools, and if presented with a wrench marked "Drop Forged Tool Steel", most buyers would probably assume that the tool was NOT made of alloy steel. Otherwise, why wouldn't the manufacturer have marked it "Alloy Steel"?

Examples of the inconsistent markings on Truecraft tools can be seen in the figures below. The flex-box combination wrenches here and here were both made by AIGO Kōgyō, but one is marked "Chrome Vanadium Drop Forged" while the other is "Drop Forged Tool Steel".

Wrenches from maker "Palmera" here and here are marked "Alloy Steel" or "Chrome Vanadium", but all combination wrenches before 1975 from maker AIGO Kōgyō are marked "Drop Forged Tool Steel".

A later flare-nut wrench from an unknown maker is marked "Chrome Vanadium Drop Forged".

As the owner and manager of the Truecraft brand, Daido U.S.A. should have enforced uniform markings for the tools, so that all alloy-steel tools were marked with "Drop Forged Alloy Steel" or something comparable.

Numeric Model Numbers

In the mid 1970s Daido U.S.A. changed from its alphabetic-prefix model numbers to an all-numeric system with four or five digits. The change occurred around 1975, in between catalog T-73-1 (with alphabetic prefixes only) and catalog T-77-1, with both old and new numbers.

This change didn't affect the tools directly, but provides us with a convenient way of distinguishing between older and newer production.

Production of Tools for Export

As an export marketing and distribution company, Daido would be expected to source tools from a number of different Japanese companies, as well as tool companies in other parts of the world.

Most of the production was done in Japan, but two production partners in Spain have been identified (using the "Palmera" and "Super Ego" brands), and one U.S. manufacturer (Enderes Tools) is known as well. (The 1973 catalog noted factories in Japan, Europe, and the United States.)

As we learn more about the various Japanese tool makers, we hope to be able to determine which companies produced tools for the Daido brands. Japanese companies known to have supplied tools to Daido include AIGO Kōgyō, Three Peaks Giken, and Top Kōgyō.

Manufacturing in the U.S.

Daido was primarily a distributor, but in 1976 it acquired a factory in New Jersey.

A notice on page 34 of the November, 1976 issue of Hardware Age states that Truecraft had acquired a manufacturing facility in Newark, New Jersey previously owned by Vari-Plex, and was planning to begin making screwdrivers in October. The text also mentions that this was the company's first manufacturing plant in the United States.

Later Operations

The Truecraft Tool Division closed sometime in the early 2000s. As some point we hope to offer some discussion of possible reasons leading to the closure, but for now will note that the major factor was probably increased competition from Taiwanese tool makers. (Our article on Lea Way Hand Tool has background information on Taiwanese tool makers.)

In June of 2002 Daido U.S.A. changed its name to Advantech International, Inc., and the company remains in operation today as a provider of automobile, motorcycle, and industrial products, as well as market development services. Further information can be found at the Advantech International [External Link] web site.

The Japanese parent company still holds active trademarks for Truecraft, so it's possible that the brand could be revived at some point. (See our article on Meisei Tsushō for further information.)


Trademarks

Daido U.S.A. was very prolific in its trademark activities, and the table below shows only a fraction of the marks registered. (Daido had many lines of business apart from the Truecraft hand tools line.)

The parent company also registered Japanese trademarks for Truecraft and related brands.

Daido U.S.A. registered "Allenite" and "Truecraft" as its primary brand names for hand tools. The "Truecraft" mark was originally registered by the Truecraft Tool Company of Chicago and then acquired by Daido around 1962.

Daido later registered "Cen-Tech" (1973) and "PROMATE" (1981) as alternate brands for hand tools to be sold at lower prices.

Truecraft Hex Logo. By 1973 Daido U.S.A. was using a stylized form of "TRUECRAFT" with a hexagon between "TRUE" and "CRAFT", which will be referred to as the Truecraft Hex logo. This logo was printed on every page of the 1973 Truecraft catalog.

We haven't found a trademark registration for this stylized form, but the 1993 trademark #1,807,104 used the hex logo in "TRUECRAFT TOOLS". In addition, the Japanese parent company did register a trademark for the Truecraft Hex logo in 1994.

At some point the Truecraft Hex logo began to be marked on wrenches, but we're not sure whether this was consistently used by all production partners. The Truecraft Hex logo has been observed only on tools with all-numeric model numbers.

The following tables show some of the Japanese and U.S. trademarks related to Truecraft.

Daido Tsushō: Japanese Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes and Examples
[TRUECRAFT Stylized] 48-3425   11/08/1972 01/13/1973 Truecraft stylized
Registered by Meisei Tsushō
[TRUECRAFT Hex Logo] 6-44826   07/15/1992 07/12/1994 Truecraft Hex logo
Registered by Daido Tsushō
Truecraft Tools [hex logo] 7-69643   07/09/1992 06/09/1995 Truecraft Tools Hex logo
Registered by Daido Tsushō
Same as U.S. trademark #1,808,104

Daido U.S.A.: US Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes and Examples
Truecraft [Stylized] 563,957 12/30/1947 03/12/1948 09/09/1952 Registered by Truecraft Tool Company
Notes change of name from Otto Kaufman Company.
Later acquired by Daido
Renewed 7-28-1992.
Expired July 15, 2003.
Truecraft [Stylized] 585,763 12/30/1947 03/11/1953 02/16/1954 Registered by Truecraft Tool Company
Later acquired by Daido
Serial 643,513. Published August 25, 1953.
Renewed 2-17-2004
SELECT-A-TOOL 724,787 10/25/1959 12/14/1959 12/05/1961 Registered by Truecraft Tool Company
For pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, other tools.
Serial 87,295. Published 9-19-61.
Canceled in 1968.
Allenite 907,510 01/01/1954 02/16/1970 02/09/1971 First brand used by Daido
Serial 351,360. Published 11-24-70.
Cen-Tech 921,817 01/13/1969 12/14/1971 11/13/1973
Renewed 3-3-1992.
STEELCRAFT 966,327 01/01/1956 12/28/1971 08/21/1973 Acquisition of Steelcraft Tools?
Claims ownership of 0598146, 0738556, 0828789
CYCLE SPEED 973,922   05/08/1972 11/27/1973
Serial 423,647. Published 9-11-73.
SAFETY SPEED 974,578   05/08/1972 12/11/1973
Serial 423,644. Published 9-18-73.
PITCRAFT 1,026,408   06/25/1973 12/02/1975 For gear pullers, pliers, wrenches, etc.
Serial 461,190. Published 9-9-75.
REVERSA 1,029,920 02/01/1973 03/03/1975 01/13/1976 For ratcheting reversible box-end wrenches
SOCKET [design] 1,123,608 03/28/1978 04/24/1978 08/07/1979 "SOCKET" with ratchet and hand
Used for socket wrenches and sets
Canceled February 3, 1986
PROMATE [logo] 1,157,882 05/12/1978 08/22/1978 06/23/1981
TRUECRAFT
Tools You Can Use For Life
1,787,366 01/15/1992 01/06/1992 08/10/1993 Pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers
Published July 21, 1992.
[TRUECRAFT TOOLS Hex Logo] 1,807,104 04/01/1985 03/29/1993 11/30/1993 TRUECRAFT TOOLS with embedded hexagon
Serial 74-372,613. Published 9-07-93.
TRUECRAFT 2000 1,810,479   03/29/1993 12/14/1993
Serial 74-372,799. Published 9-21-93.
TRUECRAFT
Tools You Can Use For Life
1,811,880 01/15/1993 03/29/1993 12/21/1993
Serial 74-373,048. Published 9-28-93.

Manufacturing Dates

Truecraft tools were made over a fairly long period, from the early 1960s until around 2000, and it would be desirable to be able to estimate the production date for the tools. In general Truecraft did not provide a date code on the tools, although there may be exceptions for certain manufacturers.

The following list will offer some guidelines for estimating the manufacturing date of Truecraft tools.


Production Characteristics

Since Truecraft tools were made by a number of different manufacturers, one of our central problems is to identify the various makers. In this section we will look at various production characteristics observed on the known examples, and these will then assist in identification.


References and Resources

Photographs and observations of particular tools are based on items in the Alloy Artifacts collection.

CWC

Historical information on Japanese tool companies can be found (in Japanese) at the コンビネーションレンチ・コレクション Combination Wrench Collection [External Link] web site. We will refer to this reference as "CWC" in the text.


Catalog Coverage

We have several Truecraft catalogs from the 1970s and 1980s, as noted below.

Truecraft is known to have published a catalog in 1968, but currently we don't have access to any catalogs prior to the 1970s, which limits our understanding of the early development of the Truecraft brand.

If any of our readers have Truecraft catalog materials from the 1960s, please let us know via email.

Daido Corporation: Catalog Resources
Catalog Year Notes
    T-73-1 (1973):
T-73-1 1973 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 24 pages.
Shows "TRUECRAFT" Hex logo on every page.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists sockets and drive tools in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4-drive.
Lists SAE combination wrenches in B1xxB series with parallelogram panels.
Lists metric combination wrenches in B4xxB series with oval panels.
Lists "Reversa" reversible ratcheting offset box wrenches.
Chisels and punches made of forged alloy steel by American makers.
    T-77-1 (1977):
T-77-1 1977 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 32 pages.
Shows "TRUECRAFT" Hex logo on every page.
Model numbers changed, shows previous BxxxB series as old item numbers.
Lists sockets and drive tools in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4-drive.
Lists SAE combination wrenches in 10xx series with parallelogram panels.
Lists metric combination wrenches in 11xx series with oval panels.
Lists "Reversa" reversible ratcheting offset box wrenches.
Pipe wrenches show "Super Ego" marking.
Chisels and punches made of forged alloy steel by American makers.
    T-79-1 (1979):
T-79-1 1979 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 40 pages.
Shows "TRUECRAFT" Hex logo on every page.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists sockets and drive tools in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, and (New!) 1 inch drive.
Lists SAE combination wrenches in 10xx series with parallelogram panels.
Lists metric combination wrenches in 11xx series with oval panels.
Lists "Reversa" reversible ratcheting offset box wrenches.
Pipe wrenches show "Super Ego" marking.
Chisels and punches made of forged alloy steel by American makers.
    T-83-1 (1983):
T-83-1 1983 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 35 pages.
Shows "TRUECRAFT TOOLS" Hex logo on every page.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists sockets and drive tools in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch drive.
Lists SAE combination wrenches in 10xx series with oval panels.
Lists metric combination wrenches in 11xx series with oval panels.
Lists SAE angled box-end wrenches in 14xx series with oval panels.
Chisels and punches made of forged alloy steel by American makers.
    T-88-2 (1988):
T-88-2 1988 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 42 pages.
Shows "TRUECRAFT TOOLS" Hex logo on every page.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists sockets and drive tools in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch drive.

Allenite Tools

Daido began using the "Allenite" brand in 1954, based on a later trademark filing, making this the company's first tool brand for the U.S. market.

Currently we don't have any information on how early sales of the "Allenite" tools were arranged, as no advertisements for this brand have been found. Tools that have been observed thus far include open-end, combination, and flex-box wrenches, plus a substantial selection of sockets and drive tools in 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-drive.


Allenite 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Allenite 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 4A. Allenite 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1954 to Early 1960s.

Fig. 4A shows an Allenite 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with raised panels, marked with "Allenite" and the fractional sizes forged into the shank, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Japan" forged into the back side.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of chrome plating.


Allenite 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Reversible Ratchet

The next two figures show examples of Daido's early production under the Allenite brand.

[Allenite 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 4B. Allenite 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Reversible Ratchet, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1954 to Early 1960s.

Fig. 4B shows an Allenite 1/2-drive 10 inch reversible ratchet, stamped with "Japan" on the front cover plate, with "Allenite" on the back plate.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 24-tooth gear with dual pawls, giving it a soft action with little backdrag.

This ratchet is quite similar to the Penens 1661 Ratchet, which may have served as the design model for this tool.

This ratchet was still in production in the mid 1960s — with a close look at the 1964 Truecraft Ad this ratchet can be seen in the illustration.


Allenite [G372B] 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Flex Handle

[Allenite G372B 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Flex Handle]
Fig. 4C. Allenite [G372B] 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Flex Handle, with Insets for Marking Detail, ca. 1954 to Early 1960s.

Fig. 4C shows an Allenite [G372B] 1/2-drive 15 inch flex-head handle with a rubber grip, stamped with "Allenite Japan" on the shank.

The overall length is 14.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The rubber cushion grip on this tool was a novel feature for the 1950s. This flex handle was still available in a 1973 Truecraft catalog, where it was listed as a model G372B with a rubber grip.


Adjustable Wrenches

We have a substantial selection of Truecraft tools available, including adjustable wrenches, wrenches, pliers, and socket tools up to the 1 inch drive size, and the following sections will be expanded as time permits.

Some of the examples here are marked with alphabetic-prefix model numbers, the numbering system in use from around 1966 until around 1975. In this system the prefix indicates the type of tool, such as "A" for open-end wrenches or "B" for combination wrenches.

Adjustable wrenches were assigned an "F" prefix in the earlier numbering system, followed by a 2xx number where xx is the nominal size in inches. For example, a 10 inch wrench would be model F210.

After around 1975 the "F" prefix was dropped but the number part remained unchanged.


Truecraft 204 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Truecraft 204 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 5A. Truecraft 204 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Edge View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 5A shows a Truecraft 204 4 inch adjustable wrench, marked with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the model number forged into the shank, with "Cr Vanadium Truecraft" and "Japan" forged into the back side.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.5 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.35 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The use of the "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft 206 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Truecraft 206 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 5B. Truecraft 206 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Edge View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 5B shows a Truecraft 206 6 inch adjustable wrench, marked with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the model number forged into the shank, with "Chrome Vanadium Truecraft" and "Japan" forged into the back side.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.8 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.40 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The use of the "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft F208 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Truecraft F208 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 6. Truecraft F208 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Edge View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1960s to 1975.

Fig. 6 shows a Truecraft F208 8 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Top" forged into the shank, with "Truecraft Tool" and "Japan" forged into the back side.

The back side is also stamped with the "F208" model number on a small raised panel.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.9 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.47 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The leading "F" of the model number indicates production before around 1975.

The "Top" marking indicates production by the Top Kōgyō Company. The forged-in code "8-84" below the "Top" marking resembles a date, but the meaning is not known.


Open-End Wrenches

Truecraft brand open-end wrenches were probably available by the early to mid 1960s.


Truecraft A106B 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

The next two figures show examples of Truecraft tools marked "Palmera", a registered trademark of Juan Vollmer S.A. of Irun, Spain.

Catalog T-73-1 from 1973 illustrates open-end wrenches with depressed panels like the tappet wrench of Fig. 9 below, but illustrates combination wrenches with raised parallelogram panels as in this next figure. We think this means that production from the Palmera brand was in transition to the parallelogram style.

[Truecraft A106B 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 8. Truecraft A106B 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. Mid 1970s.

Fig. 8 shows a Truecraft A106B 5/8x/34 open-end wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and "Palmera Spain" on the front panel, with "Alloy Steel" and the model number on the back panel.

Both sides are also stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

With the hypothesis that open-end wrenches were transitioning to raised parallelogram panels in 1973, the old-style model number and new-style panels for this wrench provide a mid 1970s production date estimate.


Truecraft A104B 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench

[Truecraft A104B 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 9. Truecraft A104B 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1960s to Early 1970s.

Fig. 9 shows a Truecraft A104B 9/16x5/8 tappet wrench with depressed panels, marked with "Truecraft" and "Palmera Spain" forged into the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium" and the model number forged into the back panel.

Both sides also have the fractional sizes forged into the shank.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench was made in the early forging style at the Juan Vollmer S.A. factory, suggesting production before 1974.


Combination Wrenches

Daido offered combination wrenches under the "Truecraft" brand probably beginning around 1963.


Truecraft Early B-105 5/8 Combination Wrench

The next two figures show examples of early Truecraft combination wrenches with an unusual style featuring a flat half-polished shank.

Both wrenches are marked with B-xxx model numbers matching the numbers used in the 1973 catalog, showing that the alphabetic-prefix model number system had been developed by this time.

In addition, the wrenches are marked with SW-x numbers, apparently an earlier model number series. Observations of other wrenches of this style confirm the consistent use of both B-xxx and SW-x numbers, with the SW models ranging from SW-1 for a 3/8 wrench up to SW-14 for the 1-1/4 inch size.

[Truecraft Tool B-105 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 10. Truecraft Tool B-105 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. Mid 1960s.

Fig. 10 shows an early Truecraft B-105 5/8 combination wrench, stamped with "Truecraft" and "SW-5" on the polished area of the shank, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and the fractional size on the back side.

The polished areas on both sides are bracketed by stamped flag emblems.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The shank also has a "5" code forged into the back side.

Note that this wrench does not have a "Japan" marking. Since Japanese law is strict about requiring a country-of-origin marking on tools made for export, the absence of the "Japan" marking on this wrench is unusual, but may just be an accidental omission at the factory.

Most other examples of combination wrenches in this style have been observed with a "Japan" marking.


Truecraft Early B-106 11/16 Combination Wrench

[Truecraft Early B-106 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 11. Truecraft Early B-106 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. Mid 1960s.

Fig. 11 shows an early Truecraft Tool B-106 11/16 combination wrench, stamped with "Truecraft" and "SW-6" on the polished area of the shank, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and the fractional size on the back side.

The polished areas on both sides are bracketed by stamped flag emblems.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The shank also has forged-in markings for the fractional size on both sides, and an "N2" marking on the back side.


Truecraft 1108 8mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft 1108 8mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 12. Truecraft 1108 8mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1975 to Early 1990s.

Fig. 12 shows a Truecraft 1108 8mm combination wrench with parallelogram panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Steel" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "B 8-85" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 4.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "B 8-85" code. Note that the shank has a small bend near the box end to provide the offset angle.

The numeric model number and plain Truecraft marking suggest production from around 1975 to the early 1990s.


Truecraft 1110 10mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft 1110 10mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 13. Truecraft 1110 10mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 13 shows a Truecraft 1110 10mm combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Truecraft" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The faces are stamped with the metric size, and the shank is marked with a forged-in code "4-39" to the right of the back panel.

The overall length is 4.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The top inset shows an edge view of the wrench, illustrating the forged-in angle to the box end.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft B423B 11mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft B423B 11mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 14. Truecraft B423B 11mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View, and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1960s to 1975.

Fig. 14 shows a Truecraft B423B 11mm combination wrench with parallelogram panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "B 11-38" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "B 11-38" code. Note that the shank has a small bend near the box end to provide the offset angle.

The alphabetic-prefix model number suggests production from the late 1960s to around 1975.


Truecraft 1112 12mm Combination Wrench

In later years Truecraft combination wrenches were made with a plain oval shank, without the raised panels used for earlier production.

[Truecraft 1112 12mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 15. Truecraft 1112 12mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 15 shows a Truecraft 1112 12mm combination wrench with a plain shank, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and model number on the front, with "Truecraft" and "Japan" on the back.

The metric size is stamped on both sides.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench does not have any forge marks to identify the maker, and the maker is currently unknown.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft B425B 13mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft B425B 13mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 16. Truecraft B425B 13mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1960s to 1975.

Fig. 16 shows a Truecraft B425B 13mm combination wrench with parallelogram panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "B 13-39" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "B 13-39" code. Note that the shank has a small bend near the box end to provide the offset angle.

The alphabetic-prefix model number suggests production from the late 1960s to around 1975.


Truecraft 1114 14mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft 1114 14mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 17. Truecraft 1114 14mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1975 to Early 1990s.

Fig. 17 shows a Truecraft 1114 14mm combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Truecraft" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The faces are stamped with the metric size, and the shank is marked with a forged-in code "8-27" to the right of the back panel.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The top inset shows a profile view of the wrench, illustrating the forged-in angle for the box end.

The numeric model number and plain Truecraft marking suggest production from around 1975 to the early 1990s.


Truecraft 1116 16mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft 1116 16mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 18. Truecraft 1116 16mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 18 shows a Truecraft 1116 16mm combination wrench with a plain shank, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and model number on the front, with "Truecraft" and "Japan" on the back.

The metric size is stamped on both sides.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench does not have any forge marks to identify the maker, and the maker is currently unknown.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft 1117 17mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft 1117 17mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 19. Truecraft 1117 17mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 19 shows a Truecraft 1117 17mm combination wrench with a plain shank, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and model number on the front, with "Truecraft" and "Japan" on the back.

The metric size is stamped on both sides.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench does not have any forge marks to identify the maker, and the maker is currently unknown.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft 1118 18mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft 1118 18mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 20. Truecraft 1118 18mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 20 shows a Truecraft 1118 18mm combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Truecraft" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The faces are stamped with the metric size, and the shank is marked with a forged-in code "12-81" to the right of the back panel.

The overall length is 9.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The top inset shows a profile view of the wrench, illustrating the forged-in angle for the box end.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft [B434B] 22mm Combination Wrench

[Truecraft B434B 22mm Combination Wrench]
Fig. 21. Truecraft [B434B] 22mm Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View and Marking Detail, ca. Mid to Late 1960s.

Fig. 21 shows a Truecraft [B434B] 22mm combination wrench with parallelogram panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "B 22-6" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 11.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "B 22-6" code. One construction detail to note is that the shank has a small bend near the box end.

Note that this wrench is not marked with a model number, but would have been model B434B in Truecraft's alphabetic-prefix model number system. The absence of a model number here is probably accidental, possibly due to a misunderstanding of what markings were required during the early production phase.


Flex-Box Combination Wrenches

Flex-box combination wrenches were first offered in Truecraft catalog T68-1 of 1968.


Truecraft B709 9mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench

[Truecraft B709 9mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench]
Fig. 22. Truecraft B709 9mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View and Marking Detail, ca. 1968 to 1975.

Fig. 22 shows a Truecraft B709 9mm flex-box combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the model number and "Truecraft" on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Forged" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The metric size is stamped on both front and back panels.

The shank also has a forged-in code "D 9-5" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 7.0 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "D 9-5" code.

The alphabetic-prefix model number indicates production up to around 1975.


Truecraft B717 17mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench

[Truecraft B717 17mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench]
Fig. 23. Truecraft B717 17mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View and Marking Detail, ca. 1968 to 1975.

Fig. 23 shows a Truecraft B717 17mm flex-box combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with model number and "Truecraft" on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Drop Forged" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The metric size is stamped on both front and back panels.

The shank also has a forged-in code "B 17-1" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 10.2 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "B 17-1" code.

The alphabetic-prefix model number indicates production up to around 1975.


Truecraft B719B 19mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench

[Truecraft B719B 19mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench]
Fig. 24. Truecraft B719B 19mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1968 to 1975.

Fig. 24 shows a Truecraft B719B 19mm flex-box combination wrench with parallelogram panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "B 19-2" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 10.3 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "B 19-2" code.

The alphabetic-prefix model number indicates production up to around 1975.


Truecraft 1312 3/8 Flex-Box Combination Wrench

[Truecraft 1312 3/8 Flex-Box Combination Wrench]
Fig. 25. Truecraft 1312 3/8 Flex-Box Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1975 to Early 1990s.

Fig. 25 shows a Truecraft 1312 3/8 flex-box combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "F 1-9" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 7.4 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "F 1-9" code.

The numeric model number and plain "Truecraft" marking suggest production from around 1975 to the early 1990s.


Truecraft 1318 9/16 Flex-Box Combination Wrench

[Truecraft 1318 9/16 Flex-Box Combination Wrench]
Fig. 26. Truecraft 1318 9/16 Flex-Box Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side, Edge View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 26 shows a later Truecraft 1318 9/16 flex-box combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Truecraft" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "F 4-46" visible to the left of the back panel, and shown as a close-up in the small inset.

The overall length is 10.3 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench can be identified as production by AIGO Kōgyō by the forged-in "F 4-46" code.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft B855 11/16 Flex-Box Combination Wrench

[Truecraft B855 11/16 Flex-Box Combination Wrench]
Fig. 27. Truecraft B855 11/16 Flex-Box Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1968 to 1975.

Fig. 27 shows a Truecraft B855 11/16 flex-box combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Drop Forged" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "A-5" visible to the left of the back panel.

The overall length is 9.9 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Box-End Wrenches

By 1983 Truecraft was offering angled box-end wrenches, but only in fractional inch sizes.


Truecraft 1914 13x14mm Box-End Wrench

[Truecraft 1914 13x14mm Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 28. Truecraft 1914 13x14mm Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 28 shows a Truecraft 1914 13x14mm box-end wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the metric sizes on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Japan" and the metric sizes on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "2-22 T" visible to the right of the back panel.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench was acquired in new condition from an inventory close-out sale after the Truecraft Tool Division closed. It probably represents late production, which is consistent with the use of the "Truecraft" Hex logo.


Truecraft 1917 16x17mm Box-End Wrench

[Truecraft 1917 16x17mm Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 29. Truecraft 1917 16x17mm Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 29 shows a Truecraft 1917 16x17mm box-end wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the metric sizes on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Japan" and the metric sizes on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "3-08 I" visible to the right of the back panel.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench was acquired in new condition from an inventory close-out sale after the Truecraft Tool Division closed. It probably represents late production, which is consistent with the use of the "Truecraft" Hex logo.


Truecraft 1919 18x19mm Box-End Wrench

[Truecraft 1919 18x19mm Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 29B. Truecraft 1919 18x19mm Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 29B shows a Truecraft 1919 18x19mm box-end wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the metric sizes on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Japan" and the metric sizes on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "4-09 I" visible to the right of the back panel.

The overall length is 10.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench was acquired in new condition from an inventory close-out sale after the Truecraft Tool Division closed. It probably represents late production, which is consistent with the use of the "Truecraft" Hex logo.


Other Wrenches

By 1983 Truecraft was offering flare-nut wrenches, but only in fractional inch sizes.


Truecraft 1867 15x17mm Flare-Nut Wrench

[Truecraft 1867 15x17mm Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 30. Truecraft 1867 15x17mm Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 30 shows a Truecraft 1867 15x17mm flare-nut wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the metric sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Drop Forged" and "Japan" on the back panel.

The shank also has a forged-in code "N5" visible to the left of the back panel.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The 1983 Truecraft catalog offered flare-nut wrenches only in fractional sizes, so metric flare-nut wrenches would have been offered some time after this.

This wrench was acquired in new condition from an inventory close-out sale after the Truecraft Tool Division closed. It probably represents late production, which is consistent with the use of the "Truecraft" Hex logo.


Sockets and Drive Tools

Socket tools were among the first tools offered by Daido beginning in the 1950s. Initially the "Allenite" brand was used, but the tools then transitioned to the "Truecraft" brand in the early 1960s.

A 1964 advertisement for Truecraft tools offered socket sets in 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-drive. By 1973 socket tools were available up to 3/4 drive, and the 1979 catalog offered the new 1 inch drive size.


1/2-Drive Socket Tools


Truecraft 40130 1/2-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet

[Truecraft 40130 1/2-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet]
Fig. 33. Truecraft 40130 1/2-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet, with Insets for Back Side and Side View, ca. 1975 to Early 1990s.

Fig. 33 shows a Truecraft 40130 1/2-drive fine-tooth ratchet, stamped with "Truecraft" and the model number on the front, with "Chrome Vanadium" and "Japan" on the back side.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 44-tooth gear with a single-action pawl. The mechanism is held in place by a spring clip and can be removed for cleaning or replacement.

The numeric model number and plain "Truecraft" marking suggest production from around 1975 to the early 1990s.


Truecraft 45219 1/2-Drive 19mm Socket

[Truecraft 45219 1/2-Drive 19mm Socket]
Fig. 34. Truecraft 45219 1/2-Drive 19mm Socket, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 34 shows a Truecraft 45219 1/2-drive 19mm socket, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and "Chr-Vanadium" in the center, with the model number and metric size at the left and "Japan" at the right.

The overall height is 1.5 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The right inset shows the interior of the socket, illustrating the cold-formed construction.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft 45221 1/2-Drive 21mm Socket

[Truecraft 45221 1/2-Drive 21mm Socket]
Fig. 35. Truecraft 45221 1/2-Drive 21mm Socket, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail, ca. 1975 to Early 1990s.

Fig. 35 shows a Truecraft 45221 1/2-drive 21mm socket, stamped with "Truecraft" and "Chr-Vanadium" in the center, with the model number and size at the left and "Japan" at the right.

The overall height is 1.5 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The right inset shows the interior of the socket, illustrating the cold-formed construction.

The numeric model number and plain "Truecraft" marking suggest production from around 1975 to the early 1990s.


Truecraft 45222 1/2-Drive 22mm Socket

[Truecraft 45222 1/2-Drive 22mm Socket]
Fig. 36. Truecraft 45222 1/2-Drive 22mm Socket, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 36 shows a Truecraft 45222 1/2-drive 22mm socket, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and "U.S.A." plus the metric size and model number.

The overall height is 1.5 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The right inset shows the interior of the socket, illustrating the cold-formed construction. Note that the corners of the 12-point broaching are gently rounded in this example.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo marking suggests production in 1994 or later.


3/8-Drive Socket Tools


Truecraft 30130 3/8-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet

[Truecraft 30130 3/8-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet]
Fig. 37. Truecraft 30130 3/8-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1975 to Early 1990s.

Fig. 37 shows a Truecraft 30130 3/8-drive fine-tooth ratchet, stamped with "Truecraft" and the model number on the front, with "Chrome Vanadium" and "Japan" on the back side.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 42-tooth gear with a single-action pawl. The mechanism is held in place by a flat coil spring and can be removed for cleaning or replacement.

The numeric model number and plain "Truecraft" marking suggest production from around 1975 to the early 1990s.


Truecraft 30134 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Ratchet

[Truecraft 30134 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Ratchet]
Fig. 38. Truecraft 30134 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Ratchet, with Insets for Back Side and Side View, ca. 1975 to Early 1990s.

Fig. 38 shows a Truecraft 30134 3/8-drive flex-head ratchet, stamped with "Truecraft" and the model number on the front, with "Chrome Vanadium" and "Japan" on the back side.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The flex head is held in place by a friction ball and has five indexed positions.

The numeric model number and plain "Truecraft" marking suggest production from around 1975 to the early 1990s.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 42-tooth gear with a single-action pawl. The mechanism is held in place by a flat coil spring and can be removed for cleaning or replacement.


Truecraft 6-Piece Indexable Ratchet Kit

Some of our readers may be familiar with the idea of an indexable ratchet, which usually just means a ratchet with a head that can be offset at various angles. Typically they're used to work around overhead obstructions that prevent access by ordinary ratchets and extensions. It's the kind of tool that you probably won't need very often, but when you need it, you need it badly.

This next tool takes the concept of "indexable ratchet" to a whole new level though: a six-piece ratchet kit with parts held together by spline drives, allowing the creation of a myriad of special-purpose ratchet-and-handle configurations.

[Truecraft 3/8-Drive 6-Piece Indexable Ratchet Kit]
Fig. 39. Truecraft 3/8-Drive 6-Piece Indexable Ratchet Kit, ca. Late 1990s.

Fig. 39 shows a Truecraft 3/8-drive 6-piece indexable ratchet kit, consisting of a 16730 3/8 drive fine-tooth ratchet head, a 16731 spline-drive flex-head handle, a 16736 spline-drive short offset arm, a 16740 spline-drive long offset arm, a 16750 spline-to-spline 2 inch extension, and a 16780 spline to 3/8-drive adapter.

Each piece is stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and "Japan" plus the model number.

The kit is supplied in a plastic organizer measuring 9.0 inches long and 3.1 inches wide. The tools are finished in chrome plating.

Currently we don't have a catalog reference for this ratchet kit, but the kit was described and illustrated in a notice published on page 96 of the October, 1997 issue of Popular Mechanics. The notice cited a $190 list price.

The use of the "Truecraft" Hex logo marking on the tools in this kit is consistent with a late 1990s production date.


Truecraft 16731 Spline-Drive Flex Handle

[Truecraft 16731 Spline-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 40. Truecraft 16731 Spline-Drive Flex Handle, with Inset for Back Side, ca. Late 1990s.

Fig. 40 shows the Truecraft 16731 spline-drive flex handle from the indexable ratchet kit, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the model number on the shank, with "Chrome Vanadium" and "Japan" on the back side.

The back side also has a "Pat. Pend" notation.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The spline drive has 18 teeth, providing rotational increments of 20 degrees for the tool configurations.


Truecraft Flex Handle with Ratchet Head

The next figures show some of the many possible configurations of the indexable ratchet kit.

[Truecraft Flex Handle with Ratchet Head]
Fig. 41. Truecraft Flex Handle with Ratchet Head.

Fig. 41 shows one of the configurations of the Truecraft indexable ratchet kit, the 16731 flex handle connected to the 16730 ratchet head.

The 18 teeth of the drive splines provide 18 possible positions for the ratchet, and the ratchet head can be turned over for a total of 36 configurations. (Although there's some redundancy since the flex handle can be flipped over.)


Truecraft Flex Handle with Short Arm and Ratchet Head

[Truecraft Flex Handle with Short Arm andRatchet Head]
Fig. 42. Truecraft Flex Handle with Short Arm and Ratchet Head.

Fig. 42 shows another possible configuration of the Truecraft indexable ratchet kit, with the 16731 flex handle connected to the 16736 short offset arm, and the 16730 ratchet head connected to the offset arm.

The two splines provide 324 configurations, although some positions are blocked by the vertical offset of the arm. In addition, both the arm and the ratchet can be flipped over, giving up to 1,296 configurations. But don't worry, we're not planning to show photographs of all possible configurations!


3/4 and 1 Inch Drive Socket Tools

Daido was already offering Truecraft 3/4-drive socket tools in 1973, the year of our earliest catalog.

Tools in the 1 inch drive size were available by 1979.


Truecraft 80131 1 Inch Drive Flex Handle

[Truecraft 80131 1 Inch Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 43. Truecraft 80131 1 Inch Drive Flex Handle, with Insets for Marking Detail, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 43 shows a Truecraft 80131 1 inch drive flex handle with its tubular extension removed. The extension is stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and the model number on one side, with "Japan" and "995" on the back side, as seen in the insets.

The flex handle is designed as a two-piece unit with a flex head stub handle and a tubular extension, secured by a locking pin.

The lengths of the stub handle and extension are 12.7 inches and 14.2 inches respectively, with an overall length of 23.3 inches when assembled. The finish is chrome plating.

[Truecraft 80131 1 Inch Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 44. Truecraft 80131 1 Inch Drive Flex Handle in Extended Position, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 44 shows the Truecraft 80131 1 inch drive flex handle with the tubular extension installed.

The overall length is 23.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The 80131 flex handle was listed in catalog T-83-1 of 1983, but with a solid one-piece handle.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo on this tool suggests production in 1994 or later.


Truecraft 83654 1 Inch Drive 1-11/16 Impact Socket

[Truecraft 83654 1 Inch Drive 1-11/16 Impact Socket]
Fig. 45. Truecraft 83654 1 Inch Drive 1-11/16 Impact Socket, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail, ca. 1980s to Early 2000s.

Fig. 45 shows a Truecraft 83654 1 inch drive 1-11/16 impact socket, stamped with "Truecraft" and "Japan" plus the size and model number around the base, as shown in the composite inset.

The socket is also stamped with a "6J" code the the right of "Japan", but the meaning is not known.

The overall height is 2.7 inches, and the finish is black oxide.

The right inset shows the interior of the socket, illustrating the cold-formed construction.


Pliers


Truecraft K506 6 Inch Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Truecraft K506 6 Inch Tongue-and-Groove Pliers]
Fig. 46. Truecraft K506 6 Inch Tongue-and-Groove Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1960s to 1975.

Fig. 46 shows a pair of Truecraft K506 6 inch tongue-and-groove pliers, stamped with "Truecraft" and the model number on the upper handle, with "Forged" and "Top Japan 71A" on the botton handle.

The overall length is 7.1 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The leading "K" of the model number indicates production up to around 1975.

The "Top" marking indicates production by the Top Kōgyō Company, and a check of their web site found similar pliers were made in the past, although now discontinued.

These pliers are listed on page 2 of the 1973 Truecraft catalog.


Truecraft 509 10 Inch Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Truecraft 509 10 Inch Tongue-and-Groove Pliers]
Fig. 46B. Truecraft 509 10 Inch Tongue-and-Groove Pliers, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1990s.

Fig. 46B shows a pair of Truecraft 509 10 inch tongue-and-groove pliers, stamped with the "Truecraft" Hex Hogo and model number on the upper handle, with a foged-in "95K 1P" code on the bottom handle.

The handle is stamped "Japan" on the back side.

The overall length is 10.5 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The "Truecraft" Hex Logo suggests production in the 1990s.


Truecraft K-358-G 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers

This next figure shows an example of pliers made for the Truecraft brand by the Three Peaks Giken Company.

[Truecraft K-358-G 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 47. Truecraft K-358-G 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail, ca. 1960s to 1975.

Fig. 47 shows a pair of Truecraft K-358-G 8 inch lineman's pliers, stamped "Truecraft" with the model number on one side, with "Japan" and the 3-Peaks-Circle logo on the back side.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The leading "K" of the model number indicates production up to around 1975.

These pliers are listed on page 3 of the 1973 Truecraft catalog, and with a close look at the illustration the 3-Peaks-Circle logo can be seen!


Other Tools


Truecraft 5625 T25 Torx Driver

[Truecraft 5625 T25 Torx Driver]
Fig. 48. Truecraft 5625 T25 Torx Driver, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 48 shows a Truecraft 5625 T25 Torx driver, marked with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and "U.S.A." on the handle, with the model number and size on the back side.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is black oxide.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo on this tool suggests production in 1994 or later.

The "U.S.A." marking on this tool is significant. In 1976 Daido purchased a facility in New Jersey with the intention of making screwdrivers, and this tool was likely made at that factory.


Truecraft 6739 Ratcheting Driver

[Truecraft 6739 Ratcheting Driver]
Fig. 48. Truecraft 6739 Ratcheting Driver, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1994 to Early 2000s.

Fig. 49 shows a Truecraft 6739 Ratcheting driver, marked with the "Truecraft" Hex logo and "U.S.A." on one facet of the handle, with the model number below.

The overall length is 7.9 inches with a bit installed. The finish is chrome plating with a polished body.

The clear plastic handle provides storage for additional driver bits.

The three-position selector switch has a middle position to lock the driver when the ratcheting action is not needed.

The "Truecraft" Hex logo on this tool suggests production in 1994 or later.

The "U.S.A." marking on this tool is significant. In 1976 Daido purchased a facility in New Jersey with the intention of making screwdrivers, and this tool was likely made at that factory.


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