A Ratchet is a standard tool for a mechanic, plumber, electrician, etc. Whether you repair cars for a living or like to take care of your home’s AC when it makes a weird noise – a ratchet can come in handy. But If you’re yet to add this tool to your kit, why not pick the best ratchets?
When it comes to loosening or tightening nuts and bolts, a ratcheting socket wrench is usually the best choice. That’s because it is more efficient than other wrenches at this job. There are different types of ratchets, and they can handle sockets of various sizes.
All in all, ratchets can be a versatile tool. Whether you’re a professional or take care of your appliances and cars yourself – a ratchet is a must-have. Today, we have put together a list of the best ratchets available. So check out our top picks and reviews!
10 Best Ratchets
- Best Overall: Milwaukee 2457-20
“Powerful Motor, Impressive Speed, Ideal for Dark Spots”
- Best Technology: KIMO Cordless Electric Ratchet
“Amazing Speed, Ergonomic and Safe Design, Multiple Switches”
- Best Full Kit: AOBEN Power Electric Ratchet
“Comes with Multiple Accessories, High Speed, Excellent Heat Control”
- Best Manual Ratchet Set: Crescent X6 SAE Spline Ratchet
“Set of 2 Ratchets to Replace 8 Tools, Innovative Design, Easy Torque Application”
- Best Bi-Directional: GEARWRENCH 81027 Gimbal Ratchet
“Safe and High-Quality Design, Durable Material, Ideal for Hard-to-Access Spaces”
- Best Speed: Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratchet
“Powerful Brushless Motor, Long-lasting Body and Motor, Prevent Overheating”
- Best Control and Stability: ACDelco ARW1209P
“Comes with a Value Kit, Ideal for Long Usage, Sturdy Construction”
- Best Pro-Quality Manual Ratchet: NEIKO 03068A
“Sturdy Material, Anti-slip Grip, Designed for Heavy-duty Tasks”
- Best Flexibility: Capri Tools CP12500FX
“Durable Material, High-Quality Dual-Direction Ratchet, Easy Direction Switching”
- Best Application Range: S-LONG Cordless Electric Ratchet
“Comfortable Grip, Excellent Speed, Complete Ratchet Kit with Accessories”
Best Ratchet Reviews
We often find people getting utterly confused by the ratchet options. That’s why we scoured the aftermarket and chose to try the ratchets recommended by experts. And finally, we came up with our own in-depth review of the top ratchets. Take a look at our top 10 picks:
A cordless ratchet with an impressive combination of power and speed - the Milwaukee 2457-20 is a versatile tool that works perfectly during all your outdoor requirements without needing a power source.
Very little needs to be said about the quality promised by Milwaukee. Its 2457-20 ratchet is an exceptional sub-compact model that brings you a superb combo of speed, power, and longevity. It is a cordless device that you can use outdoors for repair and maintenance jobs.
Features and Benefits
The Milwaukee 2457-20 Ratchet is a 3/8-inch tool that comes with a 12-volt motor that’s powerful enough to deliver torque as high as 35 ft-lbs and a speed of 250 rpm. Thus, you get the strength of a pneumatic tool without having to worry about the air hose.
It runs on a lithium-ion battery and has the REDLITHIUM Battery Technology to deliver superior performance and more work with every single charge. It also comes with the REDLINK Intelligence for overload protection and balanced battery-charger-tool communication.
- Metal trigger to variable speed setting
- Steel body for durability and control
- Fuel gauge to monitor the charging process
- LED lights to brighten a dark spot
- Powerful motor for speed and performance
- May notice unexplained blinking lights
- Possible burning smell after excessive use
A battery-powered ratchet by a brand known for high-quality tools - the KIMO Cordless Electric Ratchet is engineered with advanced technology and design to enhance the tool's user-friendliness, power, and efficiency.
KIMO is a global enterprise known for its research-backed designs of tools for 25 years. The cordless electric ratchet from the house of KIMO offers a cutting-edge design, much like the tools produced by KIMO. It’s a popular choice among professionals.
Features and Benefits
The KIMO Cordless Electric Ratchet is a tool known for its intelligent use of technology and design for the convenience of users. The device has a copper motor with a 1000 charge cycle that’s designed to deliver a torque of 40 ft-lbs at 400 rpm, with incredible stability.
The device has an ergonomic design with anti-slip rubber grips and a slim and light body. It comes with switches that allow easy transitions, speed changes, and ultimate control of the tool for more precision. It also has a lock switch to prevent turning it on accidentally.
- Light and ergonomic design
- Built-in LED light for dark sites
- Light, sleek body for every tight spot
- Copper motor to keep the device cool
- Fuel gauge to indicate power level
- It May require frequent charging
- Average casing quality
An electric ratchet set that will serve multiple purposes all in a single kit - the AOBEN Power Electric Ratchet is designed to minimize heating and make your job more convenient!
For most electric ratchets, you’ll need to buy the associated accessories separately. But not the AOBEN Power Electric Ratchet! It comes with batteries, a charger, and bolt sockets – in a toolbox! The device is designed to stabilize the working temperature, too.
Features and Benefits
The first thing worth noticing about the AOBEN Power Electric Ratchet is that it’s not just a ratchet. It’s a full toolbox complete with all necessary accessories – in a nicely arranged toolbox. But that’s not all. It’s a high-power ratchet with a 12-volt motor.
The AOBEN Power Electric Ratchet can operate at an excellent speed of 280rpm and torque of 40ft-lbs. You’ll love how it’s engineered with a bidirectional heat output channel to keep heat away. Its air-cooled motor and strong heat-sinking ability help prevent battery overheating while working!
- Ergonomic handle for comfort and control
- Backward switch to prevent unintended actuation
- LED light to illuminate dark spots
- Comes with a battery power level indicator
- Variable speed trigger for better control
- It May not suit heavy duty jobs
- May produce whistling sound at low speed
A set of two 4-in-1 ratchets that can replace eight of your regular tools - the Crescent X6 SAE Spline Ratchet is a manual tool with an excellent design and quality.
Are you looking to go old-school and pick yourself a manual ratchet? Your search ends at the Crescent X6 SAE Spline Ratchet. This affordable product is a set of two 4-in-1 ratchets, each of which can handle four sizes. Plus, it can maintain a grip on almost any fastener!
Features and Benefits
In the generation of electric ratchets, a manual ratchet is still a must-have for outdoor job sites and emergencies. That’s where the Crescent X6 SAE Spline Ratchet steps into the scene. It is a set of two ratchets – and you’ll have eight sizes covered with just two tools!
Each of the two wrenches has an innovative X6 design that can handle almost any fastener shape, from square to 12-point, from regular hex to partially rounded hex, from e-Torx to spline. Its 5-degree ratcheting arc allows easy turning of restricted fasteners.
- Replacement for eight regular wrenches
- Two 4-in-1 ratchets in one set
- Designed for comfortable torque application
- Stepped box ends for great access and clearance
- Profile handle smoothness for convenience
- Less-than-average reversing lever durability
- Not the best tools for tight spaces
A small tool that's designed to make your life easier from a trusted brand - the GEARWRENCH 81027 Gimbal Ratchet is an excellent addition to the toolbox of any pro technician.
GEARWRENCH is a trusted brand known for its wide range of innovative tools for technicians. Its 81027 Gimbal Ratchet model, allowing movement in two directions, is a popular choice for professionals. It’s the perfect tool for restricted and hard-to-access locations.
Features and Benefits
The GEARWRENCH 81027 Gimbal Ratchet is a high-quality tool for professionals – from a brand that has been making professional tools for 25 years. It’s designed to reach confined spots. You’ll love that its head rotates in two places to give you easy access.
The device has a 72-tooth mechanism offering a 5-degree swing arc for fast and smooth spinning and works in tight spots. It meets the ASME performance standard, which indicates that it is a well-designed and safe tool. Additionally, it is strong and durable.
- Fast and smooth performance
- Designed to allow movement in tight areas
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Less movement needed due to high tooth-count
- High-quality design and durable material
- Not large enough for more torque
- Possible slipping issue due to polished finish
A super-fast tool that boosts professional users' productivity - the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratchet is one of the best tools, with long motor life, a sturdy body, and a compact design.
Here’s the second ratchet from the house of Milwaukee on our list of best ratchets! When it comes to electric ratchets, a high-speed tool is what every technician deserves. That’s where Milwaukee’s M12 FUEL steps into the scene – with excellent power and speed.
Features and Benefits
The Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratchet is the fastest-rotating ratchet within a budget that you can buy. It offers 450 rpm with a 35-foot pounds torque for unbeatable performance. This is, undoubtedly, of the best-in-class ratchets by everyone’s favorite brand Milwaukee.
It’s compact and easy to use in the tightest of spaces. The device has an alloy steel housing with a rubber cover to make it sturdy and safe. Its POWERSTATE brushless motor produces incredible power and long life, while the REDLINK PLUS technology prevents overheating.
- High speed to increase productivity
- Sturdy build for strength and durability
- Speed trigger to adjust and control speed
- LED light for dark spaces
- Fuel gauge to display the battery power level
- May have difficulty with torque initially
- Pricier than competitive products
A tool is known for providing incredible stability and control while handling heavy-duty jobs - the ACDelco ARW1209P ratchet is a high-power and easy-to-use cordless device with a wide range of applications.
If you’re looking for a ratchet with a user-friendly design and steadiness, look no more! The ACDelco ARW1209P ratchet is just what you need! It is a versatile cordless tool that charges quickly and allows you to be in control while working with maximum stability.
Features and Benefits
ACDelco ARW1209P is a powerful ratchet with sturdy construction. It is engineered with high-quality materials to ensure that the product lasts for a long time. Its weight and structure ensure that you can keep your hands steady during work while staying in complete control.
It is also ergonomically designed for comfortable usage. The device has an impressive 45 ft-lbs torque while handling a hand torque of up to 100 ft-lbs, with a no-load speed of 170 rpm. It runs on a 12V Li-ion battery that can be charged quickly within an hour.
- Well-balanced body-head ratio
- LED light to illuminate dark spaces
- Comes with an 8-piece socket set
- Excellent stability and safety
- Variable speed trigger for better control
- Bulky design
- Average battery life
8) NEIKO 03068A
A manual ratchet with a sturdy build and advanced design - the NEIKO 03068A ratchet is engineered to last for years and endure hard work. It's every pro technician's best friend.
If you are a professional mechanic, plumber, or electrician, you know the importance of a high-quality ratchet. For pro use, we recommend the NEIKO 03068A ratchet. It has a heavy-duty handle and a quick-release head to make every job easier and stress-free.
Features and Benefits
NEIKO 03068A is a must-have in the tool chest of every pro technician. It has a sturdy construction, thanks to the chrome vanadium steel. The material gives a shiny mirror finish that adds to the beauty quotient besides making it resistant to dirt and grime.
The ratcheting handle is fully reversible, and the quick-release head has spring-loaded ball bearings that help lock sockets. It is equipped with a 72-tooth ratchet mechanism for 5-degree increments and needs a minimal arc swing of 15 degrees to withstand more torque.
- Anti-slip soft rubber grip
- Resistant against abrasion and corrosion
- Telescopes from 12″ to 17 ½” for long reach
- Higher-than-average tooth count for less swing
- Sturdy quality for heavy-duty jobs
- Skipping noticed for tight nuts and bolts
- Bulky and heavy build
A high-quality manual tool with a smart design - the Capri Tools CP12500FX ratchet is an excellent choice. It offers excellent flexibility and gets your jobs done without tiring your arms.
A manual ratchet with flexibility is a requirement for every technician. That’s why adding the Capri Tools CP12500FX ratchet can be a helpful but low-cost investment. It is a flex-head tool that helps get jobs done effortlessly and smoothly without burning your time.
Features and Benefits
Capri Tools CP12500FX is a 72-tooth smart ratchet with a single-pawl design for unparalleled smoothness. It’s a 180-degree flex-head ratchet that makes it easy to navigate into small spaces with low clearance. Plus, it offers a 5-degree swing arc for enhanced versatility.
This dual-direction tool allows easy direction switching with the flip of your finger. It has a sturdy construction, thanks to the SmartKrome plating, making it durable. Plus, it has an anti-dust design that keeps out dust and debris and keeps it internally lubricated.
- Sturdy and long-lasting build
- Ergonomic design for a solid grip
- Ideal for hard-to-reach spaces
- Designed for smooth ratcheting action
- Resistant to damage by dust, corrosion, etc.
- It could be a little longer
- Slight bouncing of the switch while ratcheting
A high-speed tool with a scientific design for exceptional comfort and safety, the S-LONG Cordless Electric Ratchet is a versatile tool. As a complete ratchet kit, it is a must-have!
It’s always a good idea to have a versatile tool at hand while working, right? That’s why we recommend the S-LONG Cordless Electric Ratchet. It offers incredible speed and has a wide range of applications. Plus, it’s comfortable to use and control, no matter the task!
Features and Benefits
The S-LONG Cordless Electric Ratchet is a high-performance ratchet with a 12-Volt motor designed to suit a wide range of needs for any mechanical job. It runs at a superb speed of 400 rpm, making your fastening jobs faster. Its torque is also quite impressive!
You can control the speed with the easy-to-access switch at the back of the head. Its body is compact and lightweight for your comfort. One of its best features is the kit of multiple accessories, including metric sockets, an adapter, extension bar, etc., making it versatile.
- Included charger for fast-charging in 1.5 hr.
- Anti-slip grip for stability and safety
- Lock switch to prevent accidental actuation
- LED light to brighten dark spots
- Easy-to-view battery power indicator
- Not for heavy-duty tasks
- May create noises
If you would like to get reviews of other hand tools, kindly visit our Guide page.
Best Ratchets Buying Guide
Now you have a list of the top ratchets that you can add to your toolbox. But before you follow our reviews and recommendations, you should also know about the different features or characteristics of ratchets that you should consider before purchasing one.
You should look for a ratchet and assess its attributes depending on the types of tasks that you regularly handle and the frequency at which you might need to use the tool. The following are the qualities to look for in ratchets. Take a look:
Ratchets generally have three different drive sizes. The standard drive sizes measure 1/4 inches, 3/8 inches, and 1/2 inches. These are often available in sets of three ratchets. Also, a less commonly available ratchet is the extra-long one. It measures 1 inch.
Ratchets with a smaller drive size are designed for lighter jobs and DIY tasks. They also fit into tighter spots much more easily than a ratchet with a larger drive size. However, a larger drive size is a must for heavy-duty jobs of a professional. 3/8″ is the most common drive.
Teeth refer to the notches that a ratcheting gear is equipped with inside the head. Ratchets can have a wide range of tooth-count. It can be as low as 20 teeth or as high as 160. The standard tooth count of a ratchet for amateur use is 60, and that for pro jobs is 72.
The higher the tooth count, the less you’ll need to move the handle while turning nuts and bolts. It is a requirement in tight spots. A higher tooth count also ensures more smoothness. But to get the full effect of a high tooth count, you should also focus on the swing arc.
Ratchets have levels that are referred to as pawls. These levers rest against the gear head. They enhance the interlocking mechanism when the user changes the direction of turning the tool. The standard requirement is for a single- or double-pawl design.
However, there are other pawl designs – and some brands even have patented designs for added efficacy. What enhances the effectiveness of the pawl design is the high contact rate. The pawl is functional in preventing the ratchet from moving in the opposite direction.
When we mention the profile of a ratchet, it refers to the thickness of the tool’s head. The common notion is that a thinner ratchet profile is better. Of course, a slim ratchet profile would mean it will easily fit into any small space and make your job much easier.
A thinner ratchet is also lighter. However, this convenience factor only comes into effect in tight spaces. Otherwise, there’s not much need to obsess about the profile. In fact, thicker ratchets are stronger and more durable – and pros prefer these for better torque.
The design of the ratchet’s handle contributes to the reach and comfort level of the user. Longer and thinner handles help navigate to tighter and less accessible. However, the head-to-handle length ratio is also an essential part of the design to ensure powerful usage.
You can also go for ratchets with a short or round handle. The round design of the ratchet handle allows you to implement more wrist power and movement. It’s preferable to choose a larger one so that the torque comes from the whole hand and not just the fingers.
A ratchet with a quick release mechanism comes with the facility to allow quick removal of the socket attached to the ratchet. These tools come with a switch, usually set on top of the ratchet’s head. You can press the button to make use of the quick release mechanism.
Upon pressing, the switch triggers the release of a ball detent into the socket to enable the removal process. Ratchets that do not have this feature need you to pull off the socket by hand. Some are designed in such a way that you’ll need to use a screwdriver for this purpose.
Length and Weight
The length and breadth of the ratchet determine the overall size of the tool. Depending on the type of jobs that you do, you’ll need to make your choice. Just like in the case of the profile, users have a fascination only for lighter ratchets. However, they may not provide stability.
Though heavier ratchets can tire your arms, they are usually steadier and provide a firmer grip. As for the length – along ratchet arm makes it easier to use in thin spots with less effort. However, they need a little more effort from the user compared to shorter ratchets.
Find yourself a ratchet with an ergonomic design that supports a comfortable grip. An ergonomically designed ratchet is shaped to make space for a convenient hand and finger placement. This makes the device more efficient and increases user productivity.
Ergonomically designed ratchets also ensure a stronger grip and prevent slippage while working. While some ratchets have an ergonomically designed metal handle, others have a casing shaped to provide comfort and grip to your hands during prolonged usage.
Single or Set
While purchasing a ratchet, you can either choose to buy the device alone or pick an entire kit. If you already have a socket set and other necessary accessories, all you need is the ratchet for an upgrade. For electric ratchets, you should also have batteries and chargers.
However, if you are looking to make your first purchase and do not pre-own a socket set or batteries, you can choose a complete kit. Manual ratchet sets may also include multiple tools of different sizes. A set means you won’t need to buy accessories individually.
If you invest in an expensive ratchet and plan to use it for an extended time, it is a good idea to look into the warranty offered by the manufacturer. It’s best to choose a trusted brand that is likely to provide an extended warranty so that you don’t have to worry about its quality.
This is especially true for a cordless or air ratchet. The warranty period may vary from 1 to 5 years, depending on the brand. A warranty usually covers the repair or replacement of the device and its parts as long as the problem doesn’t occur due to an accident or misuse.
Ratchets have three different head designs based on flexibility – the fixed head, the swivel head, and the flex head. As it can be understood from the terms, a flex-head ratchet offers flexibility and can be of great help in doing your job at different angles easily.
A swivel-head, too, has a movable head, but it has a rounded shape that separates it from a regular flex-head ratchet. However, many users prefer a fixed-head ratchet because it is firmer and more solid. Your choice will depend on the available space and usage.
You now know about the best ratchets available in the aftermarket for various tasks handled by a mechanic, a plumber, or an electrician on a day-to-day basis. You also know about the different features of a ratchet that you must consider while buying the tool.
A ratchet is often overlooked as a simple tool. But it might be an essential instrument in the toolbox. But finding a high-quality ratchet that also serves your purpose may not always be easy. We hope that our guide will help you make the right choice!
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Are Electric Ratchets worth it?
Electric ratchets can be a great addition to your toolkit for regular work, whether you are a professional or simply like to take care of your home or car repair needs yourself. It is super versatile that eliminates manual labor and the risks of tripping over cords or hoses.
2) Do you need Impact Sockets for Electric Ratchets?
While using an electric ratchet, you can use a regular or chrome socket. Electric, hand, and pneumatic ratchets apply torque with steadiness and consistency through the socket and do not use an impact mechanism. So impact sockets are not required.
3) When can Ratchets be Used?
A ratchet is a tool belonging to the wrench family. It is used for loosening and tightening nuts and bolts by turning in one direction. It allows you to do the job quickly and it is commonly used by mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc., for various mechanical tasks.
4) What is the Difference between a Ratchet and a Wrench?
Many people get confused between a regular wrench and a ratchet. A ratchet is a wrench to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts quickly by moving in a single direction. A regular wrench turns in two directions, but you have to lift it off for every turn, unlike a ratchet.
5) What are the Three Types of Ratchets?
If we consider the power source, there are three main types of ratchets. A standard ratchet is a manual tool that needs your hand movement. The second one is a battery-powered cordless one, and the third variety is a pneumatic ratchet with an air motor.