Tough Nuts Are No Match for This Sturdy Breaker Bar Set
This Craftsman Breaker Bar Set helped us loosen stubborn bolts of all sizes.
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For most jobs where you face a stubborn nut or bolt, a quality socket set should solve the problem. However, a few jobs require a little more torque. Things like removing your lawn mower blade so you can sharpen it, or taking the lug nuts off your car when you’re rotating your tires.
After struggling to get two seized blades off my father-in-law’s lawn tractor, I called in reinforcements by buying the Craftsman Three-Piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set from a nearby home center. Over Labor Day Weekend, I dragged it up to his property to see if we could get the tractor blades off and sharpened.
What is the Craftsman Three-Piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set?
Breaker bars are non-ratcheting bars used with the sockets of a socket wrench. With their additional length, they can loosen really tight fasteners because they generate more torque than standard socket wrenches.
The three heavy duty steel alloy breaker bars in the set are suited to 1/4-, 3/8-, and 1/2-inch drive sockets. Each features a 180-degree rotating head with wave washer joints that provide positive resistance throughout their entire range of motion. They come in different lengths — 15 inches for the 1/2-inch drive, 10 inches for the 3/8-inch drive, and six inches for the 1/4-inch drive.
The chrome-plated Craftsman Three-Piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set feels sturdy and well built. And like all Craftsman hand tools, the set comes with a lifetime warranty.
How We Tested It
With the angle grinder, sockets and Craftsman Three-Piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set already on hand, I figured, why not sharpen all the lawn mower blades I could over the long weekend? My family vehicles were in need of tire rotations, too.
I started with my father-in-law’s lawn tractor, removing the two roughed up blades with the 1/2-inch drive. At first, I attempted to remove each of these blades using only the nine-inch socket wrench handle. But both required the 15-inch breaker bar, one with the assistance of a length of pipe.
The 180-degree rotating head is a handy feature, since it helps pivot itself onto the nut you’re after. This proved quite useful as I tried to guide and torque the socket, breaker bar and extra length of pipe onto the seized lawn tractor spindle.
Breaker Bars Need Length
A quality breaker bar needs high-quality construction and length to be effective. The 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch breaker bars are nearly the same length as my ratchet handles. While they may come in handy down the line, there’s no point in buying this set if I can supply the same amount of torque with the tools I have.
The 1/2-inch breaker bar, though longer than my ratchet handle, was the shortest I found anywhere (15 inches). Although adequate for the tasks I needed, I would have preferred an 18-, 24-, or 30-inch-long version simply for the boost in torque the extra length provides.
Still, the Craftsman Three-Piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set helped me remove six lawn mower blades and rotate the tires on two cars. In all cases, their torque was sufficient, except one lawn tractor blade where I needed the length of pipe.
Among the tools in the set, I used the 1/2-drive breaker bar most often since it’s the longest of the group and I happen to have a set of 1/2-inch drive sockets. My only wish is that it was a bit longer. Then this set would be perfect.
- Three bars for all common socket sizes;
- Quality construction;
- 180-degree rotating head;
- Lifetime warranty.
- Short length;
- Few uses for smallest bar.
Q: Does the set include a carrying case or bag?
A: With the correct size adapters, you can use any size socket on your breaker bar. However, I generally don’t use adapters since the increased torque is likely to damage the adapter or smaller walled socket.
What Others Had To Say
With nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, The Craftsman Three-Piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set is well received. INF1DELx4 writes “So glad I bought these. Definitely have come in handy on more than few occasions.”
And verified purchaser Kevin K writes, “While I was mainly after the 15-inch breaker bar to get the three 15/16-inch lawn mower blades off my 61-inch Hustler mower deck, I was happy to receive the addition of the smaller 1/4- & 3/8-in. breaker bars too. Will come in handy at some point.”
Overall, the Craftsman Three-Piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set can be used for most everyday tasks where breaker bars are needed. Its handy swiveling head and top-notch lifetime warranty make this breaker bar set a must-have for any mechanically inclined DIYer or aspiring mechanic out there.
Where to Buy
The Craftsman Three-Piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set is available at Amazon.com.