Best Ratchets 2021

If you aim to find the best ratchets money can buy, then you are in the right place. In this guide we would be reviewing the best ratchets, do well to go through, so you have an idea of what to look out for when buying a ratchet

If you’ll be doing repairs around the house or on your car, you’re likely going to need a ratchet—a wrench with a fastener component used to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts.

Ratchet has a rotating gear inside its head and two levers (known as pawls) that catch the gear’s teeth. One pawl, when engaged, tightens the nut or bolt, while the other pawl is used to loosen a fastener, as the user turns the handle.

Basic as these hand tools maybe, they’re not one size fits all, so a DIYer will want to reach for the ratchet (aka socket wrench) most appropriate for the task at hand. Plus, as any professional builder or mechanic will tell you, there’s a big difference between a high-end ratchet and a low-quality model.

RATCHET BUYER’S GUIDE

Drive Size

Drive size refers to the size of the sockets that fit on the ratchet’s drive square (the square head that sockets snap onto). Socket size refers to the size of the nut or bolt that a particular socket was intended for.

The three common drive sizes that most DIYers will become familiar with over time are ¼-inch, ⅜-inch, and ½-inch (those larger than ½-inch are more common for boilermakers and pipefitters than DIYers). The smaller the drive size, the lighter the duty that the ratchet was intended for.

So if you only buy one of these tools, make it a ⅜-inch drive ratchet with compatible sockets, which will be small enough to fit in tight places, like alongside an engine block or the underside of a dishwasher, but robust enough to withstand quite a bit of force.

Tooth Count

Tooth count refers to the number of notches in the ratcheting gear inside the ratchet’s head—a number that makes a big difference depending on usage situation.

Ratchet with a high tooth count (72 teeth and up) means that less handle movement is required for progress, while a lower tooth count (as few as 32 teeth) requires a lot more room to manipulate the ratchet handle and turn the fastener.

You’ll appreciate a high tooth count in tight scenarios where your range of motion is limited, like inside your car’s wheel well during a brake job. The ratchet can be twisted in smaller increments to make progress on the fastener, whether tightening or loosening.

Socket Release

Most ratchets on the market today include a quick-release button on the backside of the ratchet head. This button releases the socket from the face of the tool, making for a convenient way to swap sockets for differently sized fasteners without pulling the socket off by hand.

Without this feature, you’d have to pull the socket off with your free hand—and in tight quarters, like while working under a car, you run the risk of smashing your hand into something when the socket pops loose.

What’re more, greasy hands simply make socket removal frustrating. Even sockets with non-slip textures can be a challenge to remove with just a little oil on their surface.

Quick-release ratchets are safer and easier to use. It’s a good idea to oil them regularly to keep them working smoothly.

Length and Weight

The longer the ratchet handle, the easier it will be to apply torque to a fastener. While this can release a bolt with less effort, it can also quickly overpower the fastener’s strength—which can lead to stripping or tearing the head off of the fastener.

Most ratchet handles are designed for optimum torque application—long enough to apply leverage and loosen a bolt, but not so long that they destroy the fastener with marginal effort.

Another consideration in length is whether you’ll be able to manipulate the ratchet in a given position. A long-handled ratchet can be near useless under the hood of a car.

In terms of weight, heavier ratchets will fatigue the user faster. Keep in mind that when working above your head, such as driving lag screws through a deck’s ledger board, even a lightweight ratchet can feel heavy and cumbersome.

So it’s generally wise to purchase a high-quality, lightweight model that can get the job done without tiring you out.

Material

Almost all ratchets on the market today are built from chrome vanadium steel, but quality varies. Chrome vanadium is an alloy—a combination of metals designed to deliver particular attributes, such as shock resistance, strength, weight, and other characteristics, as well as cost savings.

As these alloys are essentially the result of a metallurgic recipe, they vary in quality depending on the amounts of materials combined.

BEST RATCHETS

NAMES FEATURES WHERE TO BUY
GearWrench 81204P Head Teardrop Ratchet Set

B00BTEXUY4

Enclosed head design for extreme resistance to dirt infiltration

Highly visible markings on the head

Longer reach handle to access hard-to-reach fasteners

Bright, full polish chrome finish easily wipes clean and resists corrosion

GET IT ON AMAZON
M12 Fuel 3/8″ Ratchet

B006GKFWSS

Up to 55ft-lbs Max Torque

Recessed head profile for more access in tight spaces

Greater durability with FUEL Brushless Motor

Pneumatic ratchet performance with up to 55ft-lbs max torque

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TEKTON Quick-Release Composite Offset Ratchet

B00A50N9VM

Offset handle gives fingers extra clearance

Quick-release drive tang locks securely on to sockets

Poly shell stays comfortable in cold temperatures and prevents scratching of finished parts

Soft and comfortable nonslip rubber grip

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Neiko 03068A Drive Extendable Ratchet

B005K23YZG

Material: Chrome Vanadium

Quick Release Drive Head

72 Teeth Ratchet

Extend length: 12″ to 17-1/2″

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GearWrench 81206P Full Polish Ratchet Set

B009PJPL6A

Highly Visible On/Off Markings on the Head

Enclosed Head Design for Extreme Resistance to Dirt Infiltration

Double-Stacked Pawls Engage a 60-tooth Gear Providing Exceptional Strength, Exceeding ASME Specifications

Teardrop Low Profile Head and Flush Mounted On/Off Switch Allow Better Access in Tight Spaces

Longer Reach Handle to Access Hard to Reach Fasteners

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TEKTON Quick-Release Swivel Head Ratchet

B00A50NB1K

Quick-release — Yes

Length — 303 mm

Weight — 1,5 pounds

Switcher type — Round

Handle — Rubber grips

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AOBEN Cordless Electric Ratchet Wrench Set

B07CZWBYBK

Powerful motor

Fast speeds

Safe to use

Air-cooled motor

Heavy-duty tool

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MulWark Mini Ratchet Wrench

B0748DCVHN

compact size

delicate mechanism

compatible with various usage

19pc popular-size bits

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GearWrench 81264 Full Polish Long Handle Ratchet

B00E3IGLPI

Meets or Exceeds ASME B107.10, longer reach handle to access hard to reach fasteners, and give increased leverage. Overall length 11 in

Full polish chrome finish and teardrop-shaped head

Flush mounted on-off lever

Highly visible on/off markings on the head

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DeWalt DWMT71804 Drive Pear Head Ratchet

B00GKAHPOS

Low profile directional lever

5-degree arc swing and slim head design for maneuverability in restricted areas.

72 tooth gear system for high torque ratcheting

Contoured, ergonomically designed handle with anti-slip grooves for comfort and control

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GearWrench 81204P Head Teardrop Ratchet Set

B00BTEXUY4

The GearWrench 120XP Ratchets take access to the next level, making it easier and quicker to complete jobs. The Double-Stacked Pawl design delivers 120 Positions, exceeds ASME torque performance requirements, and gives easy access to fasteners, delivering eXtreme Productivity. 120 positions, 3° ratcheting arc.

The gear is alternately engaged by the double-stacked pawls which give a 3° swing arc for faster work Highly visible on/off markings on the head Teardrop low profile head and flush mounted on/off switch allow better access in tight spaces Longer reach handle to access hard to reach fasteners Enclosed head design for extreme resistance to dirt infiltration double-stacked pawls engage a 60-tooth gear providing exceptional strength, exceeding ASME specifications

PROS CONS
Great value set none
Foam box for storage
120 different positions
Head offers access
Cushioned grip

M12 Fuel 3/8″ Ratchet

B006GKFWSS

M12™ FUEL™ 3/8″ Ratchet is the first cordless tool that provides both the torque and compact size to replace pneumatic Ratchets in the industry. This cordless ratchet has up to 55ft-lbs of max torque and 200rpm’s making it the ideal fastening solution for automotive mechanics, repair technicians, and maintenance workers who demand maximum performance and convenient portability.

The M12™ battery-powered ratchet has a low profile head and cordless design which allows you more access in tight spaces than competitive units. With the industry-leading FUEL™ technology, a reinforced mechanism, and investment cast steel yoke housing, this rechargeable ratchet can withstand daily jobsite wear and tear for years of reliable use.

PROS CONS
More motor life none
Durable
Premium materials
Precise
Compact tool

TEKTON Quick-Release Composite Offset Ratchet

B00A50N9VM

For the casual homeowner user that needs a simple and affordable option, there is no beating the Tekton.

Fair warning this is not a worksite caliber ratchet. It’s a pretty basic product but even that said it does have a lot going for it in terms of benefits to the casual user.

The grip is designed to be comfortable even in cold weather, the steel of the tool is coated in a scratch-resistant composite shell and the head features an offset that should provide easy access to tight spots.

Like we said, for the basic user it’s a good tool. However, it is not without problems. Using the unit is a little bit inconsistent and it is also a lot more difficult to turn than high-quality options which will make it a challenge to use for hours on end.

PROS CONS
Versatile Hard to turn
Oval head
Very affordable
Comfortable handle

Neiko 03068A Drive Extendable Ratchet

B005K23YZG

This ratchet is highly versatile as it has an extendable handle allowing you to have a great reach for all chores. The heavy-duty ratcheting handle is fully reversible and has a quick-release drive head. This head has spring-loaded ball bearings that can be used to lock sockets. This is a highly durable tool as it is made from heat-treated chrome vanadium.

This ratchet has a simple release mechanism that makes it easy to extend the handle. It is also just as easy for you to change the ratchet from tightening to loosening as there is one simple switch. This ratchet has a secure and comfortable grip that offers good control over this tool.

PROS CONS
Simple release mechanism none
Easy to use
Versatile
Heavy-duty
Extendable handle

GearWrench 81206P Full Polish Ratchet Set

B009PJPL6A

This ratchet set offers 120 positions and a three-degree ratcheting arch making it highly versatile and a great thing to keep in your toolbox. They are very easy to use and engage as they use double-stacked paws, making the three-degree arch faster and more efficient. These ratchets have an enclosed head to prevent dirt and debris from getting trapped.

These ratchets have a teardrop low profile head and a flush-mounted on/off system that offers precise control in tight spaces. They have a long reach handle so they can be used in a variety of locations. These ratchets are of high quality and durable, so they can be used time and time again.

PROS CONS
Precise teardrop heads none
120 positions
Long reach handle
Efficient
3-degree arch

TEKTON Quick-Release Swivel Head Ratchet

B00A50NB1K

The TEKTON company hails from West Michigan, one of the world’s leaders in manufacturing, Grand Rapids, to be exact. A family-owned business, they value quality over quantity and specialize in innovative tools. Their 1/2-inch drive ratchet is a great example of innovation.
You might initially notice the thick handle, which was molded with comfort in mind; It has a soft, non-slip grip to increase efficiency. The round head contains 72 teeth with a five-degree arc for tight spaces. A 270-degree swivel round head makes it easy to adjust to the ideal angle you need.

PROS CONS
Non-slip grip Smaller tooth count
Corrosion Resistant Short handle
Socket locks in
Easy to adjust
Quick-release

AOBEN Cordless Electric Ratchet Wrench Set

B07CZWBYBK

This electric wrench set features eight different bolts for all kinds of projects. Two included rechargeable 12V Lithium-Ion batteries will help keep the wrench powered up, while a portable charger allows you to plug in if the battery’s ever running a little low. An anti-slip grip will help you keep a firm hold, and built-in front-facing LED lighting helps you get a clear view even in dim lighting.

This wrench set averages 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon across nearly 300 user reviews.

PROS CONS
Full kit to start working out of the box The charger heats up
Variable speed controlled by the lever
35 ft/lbs at 230 RPM

MulWark Mini Ratchet Wrench

B0748DCVHN

This is a very convenient tool as it is miniature, so you can always keep it on hand for when you need a quick DIY fix. It is a four-inch-long ratchet that is very precise and can be used in tight spots. This ratchet has a multi-tip right-angled combined screwdriver set that is powered with a 16-teeth reversible ratchet system. This makes it highly versatile.

This ratchet comes with a lightweight magnetic adapter, so it is compatible with various other tools and chores. It is made from heavy-duty chrome vanadium, making this a durable tool. It has a high level of torque that can be used on vehicles and other tight locations, offering maximum performance that larger models simply cannot compete with.

PROS CONS
Precise none
Compatible with other tools
Miniature size
Convenient tool
Highly versatile

GearWrench 81264 Full Polish Long Handle Ratchet

B00E3IGLPI

Drive Long Handle Full Polish 84 Tooth Teardrop Ratchet (81264) by GearWrench. The GearWrench 84-Tooth Long Handle Ratchets provide easier access to hard to reach fasteners and give increased leverage due to the longer handle design, making it easier and quicker to complete jobs. Ratchet only needs 4.3 degrees to move fastener providing increased accessibility. Teardrop low profile head allows better access in tight spaces.

PROS CONS
Durable materials none
Good grip
Extra-long handle
Precise
Closed head design

DeWalt DWMT71804 Drive Pear Head Ratchet

B00GKAHPOS

The Pear Head Quick Release Ratchet has a 5-degree arc swing making it easy to maneuver in restricted areas. It’s contoured, ergonomically designed handle with anti-slip grooves help make this ratchet extremely comfortable to use and provides added control.

PROS CONS
Anti-slip handle none
Slim head
Heavy duty
Quick-release mechanism
72-tooth gear system

CONCLUSION

If you read through this guide to buy a new ratchet, we hope we have been able to help you achieve that. The ratchets reviewed above are reliable, you will be pleased if you buy any of them.