RATCHETS

So you’ve chosen a socket set but they aren’t much use without a good ratchet, breaker bars and such being an exception of course. Ratchets come in 3 common drive sizes, ¼” ⅜” and ½”. The smaller the drive the smaller the socket thus it’s easier to operate in a tight environment. Also, the larger the drive size the more torque in can apply to the fastener through the socket

How Ratchets Work

A ratchet is a handle of sorts that fits into one end of a socket via a square-drive connector. The other end of the socket fits over a fastener. A gear cog and paw mechanism inside of the ratchet allows the handle to engage and tighten the fastener when you swing it in a clockwise direction and turn freely when you swing it counterclockwise. A switch on the ratchet reverses the action to loosen the fastener.

Ratchet Features 

As with most things these there are a lot of options when shopping for a good ratchet. Check out the list below that will help narrow your results.

  • Swing arc or number of teeth on the cogs

    • 72 teeth and higher is good​

    • 90 teeth and higher is excellent

  • Double paws > single paw​

  • Socket Ejector button

  • Handle ergonomics

  • Direction selector switch size

RATCHET TYPES

STANARD RATCHETS

Standard ratchets are just that, the most typical kind of ratchet. It is usually the kind of ratchets  that will come as part of a kit,

Feature

  • Stationary head

  • 1/4" , 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" square drive options

  • Reversible direction via switch

  • Ball socket catch

  • Chrome finish

STANARD RATCHETS

Flex head ratchets function the same as standard ratchet with the added benefit that the head can flex to accommodate more access angles. The head does not swivel freely but is indented and held in place with a spring plunger. So whatever angle you flex the head to it will stay until you move it.

Feature

  • Flexible head

  • Optional flex head locking mechanism (Some like some don't)

  • 1/4" , 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" square drive options

  • Reversible direction via switch

  • Ball socket catch or button release 

STANARD RATCHETS

Similar to flex head ratchets, swivel head ratchets provide more flexibility than a standard static head ratchet. Where they differ is where they flex. The swivel head ratchet swivel on an axis and the flex of the head is not retained like a flex head. In some applications this is beneficial.

Feature

  • Flexible head

  • 1/4" , 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" square drive options

  • Reversible direction via switch

  • Ball socket catch

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