For our best ratchet wrench, the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large is our obvious top pick because of its various awesome features. For instance, it has a max torque of 90 ft lbs and it has a working torque of 70 ft lbs. The handle has an ergonomic design and in addition, the operator has an easy use trigger. At only 82 dB, it is one of the quietest ratchets in the market, built with an extremely innovative design.
The Ingersoll Rand 2317G Edge Series Air Impactool and Ratchet Kit, Black is our step-up pick that is best used for maintenance of vehicles. It is a complete set with the 170G ratchet as well as the 231G Impactool and the combo socket set. The ratchet can last for a long time because it is heat-treated and in addition, the 231G has a twin hammer impact mechanism. Furthermore, the grip of both tools are ergonomically designed.
Our budget pick is the Ingersoll Rand 170G 3/8-Inch Edge Series Drive Air Ratchet, Black which has an ergonomic grip design that makes it one of the best ratchet wrenches. With a great 3/8 inch drive, it has up to 55 ft lbs of torque and with a free speed of 170 RPM, it is good for use on DIY home projects, small industrial applications and engine repair. The ratchet head is heat treated to make it last longer.
A Little Background
There are many kinds of wrenches out there, and the most common wrenches back then since before are the manual crescent wrenches and all that. But today, in the industry, we need faster wrenches to do the job in a quicker and more efficient way. Such a way and a speed can be accomplished with the ratchet wrench which is a ton faster than the traditional wrench.
Generally speaking, ratchet wrenches allow mechanics to perform tightening of nuts and bolts at a very good speed and they can perform tasks faster than when it is done by a traditional and manual wrench. Most ratchet wrenches that are available on the market are relatively small and easy to use and most of them are also under a good price bracket. Nonetheless, if you are planning to be a mechanic then you must have a ratchet wrench in your tool box at the very least.
How We Picked
We picked the best ratchet wrench based on the following criteria:
Know the working torque. The torque is important in any power tool because it is the one that dictates how much effectiveness the ratchet wrench can give to whatever you are working on. The ratchet wrench must have a good torque if you absolutely want to use it for mechanical work, whether you are looking forward to using it for just home DIY or in small industrial use.
Know the price. Most ratchet wrenches are very cheap considering that they are simple mechanical power tools that are not as big as drills or anything. They can range from $20 to $200 but it all depends on what the ratchet wrench has to offer with its features, speed and durability.
Check out the customer reviews. Know if they have any cons that can be deal breakers. If they have flaws, they should not be a big deal and the pros must be more relevant to purchasing the item rather than the cons. No ratchet wrench is perfect so you just have to choose which one is the best of them.
Determine if it is lightweight and compact. Most ratchet wrenches are very lightweight due to their common size, but it all depends on which type of ratchet wrench and which brand you buy. Some of them can be a bit heavy because they are more built for industrial and powerful operations.
Confirm if it produces less noise than most ratchet wrenches. The ratchet wrenches that fall along the lines of 80 dB to 90 dB are good ratchet wrenches to buy, as they are very quiet among the others. Having an almost silent ratchet wrench helps you to focus more on whatever you are working on rather than the noise that is produced by the ratchet wrench tool.
Get a hold of the grip design, if it is ergonomic. A ratchet wrench must be easy to handle by anyone, especially if you require precision work in your DIY or industrial job. The ratchet wrench must be user friendly and an ergonomic design is a big plus for that.
Know the speed (RPM) of the ratchet wrench. RPM is important when it comes to picking the best ratchet wrench, so it is best to compare and contrast between various ratchet wrenches out there in the market to make sure that you only get the fastest ratchet wrench even at a very low price.
Find out where the ratchet wrench best is used for. Will you use it for just home DIY or will you use it for heavy duty industrial use? Know the type of ratchet wrench and the amount of torque, speed and power that you need in order to finish your job without breaking the ratchet wrench itself. It helps if you compare and contrast once again so that you know the right tool for the right moment.
Check out the durability by knowing its construction materials. Know what kind of metal or composite the ratchet wrench is made of. Make sure it is rust resistant and able to break even when dropped on the floor. Durability is very important in any power tool or mechanical tool.
Top Pick: Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet
With a max torque of 90 ft lbs, the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large is our winner as the best ratchet wrench among the rest in this comprehensive review. With a working torque of 70 ft lbs, you are sure to have a balanced priced ratchet wrench both for DIY home use and small industrial use as well.
The wrench handle has an ergonomic design so it is easy to handle and does not slip from your hand easily. In addition, the operator has an easy use trigger. And at only 82 dB, it is one of the quietest ratchets in the market, making your life easier when it comes to using and operating any ratchet wrench.
Clad with a completely useful innovative design, this 3/8 ratchet is coated in sleek red color finish to add to its durability and style that will make any mechanic be more impressed. It weighs 2.9 lbs and has a shipping weight of 3 lbs. With overall dimensions of 13 in x 2 in x 2 in, this air powered ratchet wrench comes with a 1 year warranty for workmanship and material.
Who Else Likes It?
The site Garage Tool Advisor has mentioned the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large as their top pick as the best 3/8 air ratchet. According to the review, with the help of this ratchet wrench, it is enough to remove any bolt or nut, making it truly versatile and efficient. It has a push button operation that is easy to use.
As a top rated air ratchet tool, the review also praised it for the fact that the exhaust can be easily turned for convenience. However, the review for the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large said that it is only okay for use in open areas and in addition, it can be a bit large but operates just right and very durable. Overall, the reviews of the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large generally say that it’s a great ratchet wrench to use.
The site My Car Galaxy says that the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large is a great overall ratchet wrench for general use. It comes with a sturdy polymer case, which the review has praised. The review also stated further that this ratchet wrench is very useful and is definitely great for DIY jobs. It is also extremely durable and can withstand a variety of operations and can be useful for different types of jobs, whether it is DIY or industrial use wherever you need a ratchet wrench to get your work done faster and more efficiently.
The review has also given it kudos to its high performance and stability as the best ratchet wrench. It was also said in the review that the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large is indeed, very powerful compared to similar priced ratchets so it can really save you big bucks in the future. The review has also stated that it has a lot of torque. It is also given a big round of applause for it is less noisy than other ratchets.
The site Hardware Tools has also reviewed the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large as a convenient awesome and efficient ratchet wrench with a total average score overall rating of 8.5 out of 10. It has been greatly praised for being very quiet as a ratchet wrench that can be used for a variety of operations with great ease. Equipped with an ergonomic handle design, it is said to be very useful for beginners and experts in the field of mechanics as it is very easy to handle and has a nonslip action which allows you to continue working even at the smallest spaces possible.
Being a multifunctional ratchet wrench, the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large is greatly praised for its ease of use and furthermore, this ratchet wrench has a great amount of torque, which makes it useful and efficient.
The site Zane Driscoll has also reviewed the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large as a very ideal ratchet wrench when it comes to either DIY operations or even on small to medium scale industrial work. It is a good air ratchet with an extremely powerful design to boot. In addition, the review has also praised it for being very quiet and easy to use overall.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
Not much is to say about any flaw of the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet, Large. It is only a bit heavy but despite that, it packs power, so it is still a good buy with almost no flaws at all.
Ingersoll Rand 2317G Edge Series Air Impactool and Ratchet Kit, Black
The Ingersoll Rand 2317G Edge Series Air Impactool and Ratchet Kit, Black is our step-up pick that is best used for maintenance of vehicles and similar instances where you might need a ratchet wrench. This ratchet wrench is a complete set with the 170G ratchet as well as the 231G Impactool and the combo socket set in which both can be used on various situations where you might need two different ratchet wrenches with a different purpose.
Durability is out of the question as the ratchet can last for a long time because it is heat-treated. This is very important in any power tool or mechanical tool if you want to use it for more years to come and for many more operations to fulfill its price and usefulness. In addition, the 231G has a twin hammer impact mechanism that makes it very powerful as a ratchet wrench addition.
The grip of both tools are ergonomically designed so it is safe to say that they are very user friendly in a sense, making them able to do the job faster and more efficiently compared to most generic brands of ratchet wrenches that are found in the market today. Bearing a great power to weight ratio, the ratchet wrench’s torque is 55 ft lbs. In addition to its durability and stability, the ratchet wrench comes with a carrying case so you can take it virtually anywhere you wish without having to worry about the wrench getting damaged or anything.
All in all, when you order the Ingersoll Rand 2317G Edge Series Air Impactool and Ratchet Kit, Black, it includes 5 piece socket set. This ratchet wrench is highly efficient and it weighs 5.8 lbs, with 7.3 inches of length. As for its air consumption, it uses 4.2 CFMs at 90 lbs. With over 500 lbs of reverse torque, its motor is 6-vane and it has a good free speed of 170 RPM.
Bearing overall dimensions of 13 in x 13 in x 4 in, the Ingersoll Rand 2317G Edge Series Air Impactool and Ratchet Kit, Black is a great air powered ratchet wrench under a 1 year warranty.
Ingersoll Rand 170G 3/8-Inch Edge Series Drive Air Ratchet, Black
The Ingersoll Rand 170G 3/8-Inch Edge Series Drive Air Ratchet, Black is our budget pick, having a user-friendly ergonomic grip design that is nonslip so you can perform at your best with this ratchet wrench, which has a great 3/8 inch drive for convenience and efficiency even on the tightest spaces possible.
With up to 55 ft lbs of torque, this versatile yet affordable ratchet wrench has a free speed of 170 RPM. Generally, you would want to get this ratchet wrench if you are not too meticulous about features and price and if you just want the best deal – it is good for use on DIY home projects, small industrial applications and engine repair.
Adding to its great features, the ratchet head is heat treated to make it last longer and make it sturdy against harsh operations. It has a lightweight and sturdy design that makes it stand out from the more expensive brands out there.
With only 2.8 lbs of weight, the Ingersoll Rand 170G 3/8-Inch Edge Series Drive Air Ratchet, Black has overall dimensions of 10 in x 1 in x 1 in, coated in black color finish. It is also under a 1 year limited warranty.
Best Pneumatic Ratchet Wrench
Central Pneumatic 3/8″ Air Ratchet Wrench
The Central Pneumatic 3/8″ Air Ratchet Wrench is our best pneumatic ratchet wrench. It has a 1/4 in air inlet size and 18 NPT.
With a 130 RPM maximum speed, it is a great ratchet wrench to consider if you are looking for something with a good speed. It is very lightweight at only 2.55 lbs so consider buying it if you are looking for something that is easy to handle for various operations but will not break down too easily.
With over 50 ft lbs max torque, the Central Pneumatic 3/8″ Air Ratchet Wrench is indeed a considerable air ratchet to buy, with overall dimensions of 11 in x 2.5 in x 1.6 in. It has an easy reversible action and in addition to that, it has a front exhaust.
With 6 CFM average air consumption at 90 PSI, you are surely to be rewarded by its specs and features. The recommended size of the hose is 3/8 in. Durability is great as it comes in a chrome plated design. Flexibility and versatility is out of question because this ratchet wrench is okay to use for hard to reach areas.
Best Composite Ratchet Wrench
Ingersoll Rand 1105MAX-D2 1/4-Inch Composite Air Ratchet
For an awesome composite ratchet wrench, we recommend the Ingersoll Rand 1105MAX-D2 1/4-Inch Composite Air Ratchet is a good pick.
It has a max torque of 30 ft lbs and a free speed of 300 RPM, which is extremely good for its price, considering that most lower priced ratchet wrench do not have that same kind of speed and torque. It is also available in 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch so you can choose the size and narrowness of the ratchet wrench that can best fit your usual working environment.
With an ergonomic design and coupling nut, the ratchet wrench’s composite handle helps ease of use for the operator so you can perform your operations better. In addition, this is unique because of its low profile design that allows control for forward and reverse directions. Adding to such good features, the wide diameter of the ratchet wrench has an easy grip design that helps to take away the accidental change of directions when it comes to small spaces.
One more thing to note about the Ingersoll Rand 1105MAX-D2 1/4-Inch Composite Air Ratchet is that the construction of the head is very unique and gives consistent performance and last but not the least, it helps to insulate the tool from the cold.
Ratchet Wrench with Low Profile
Ingersoll Rand (2015MAX) 3/8″ Hammerhead Low Profile Impact Ratchet Wrench
The Ingersoll Rand (2015MAX) 3/8″ Hammerhead Low Profile Impact Ratchet Wrench is a low profile ratchet wrench that is perfect for small spaces. This ratchet wrench has a max torque of 180 ft lbs.
The rear exhaust system is ergonomically sound so it is a high performance wrench to consider for its price. With a head height that is under 2 in, its torque is reaction less, making it safe to use even in small spaces, because it is a low profile wrench. In addition, it also has a forward and reverse ring. The power regulator has 2 positions forward and the trigger has a feather touch feel, making it truly user-friendly.
The Ingersoll Rand (2015MAX) 3/8″ Hammerhead Low Profile Impact Ratchet Wrench has many great features. For instance, the free speed of this ratchet wrench is 7,100 RPM and it bears overall dimensions of 6 in x 2 in x 14 in with 4.2 lbs of weight. This 3/8 inch size ratchet wrench also comes with a stand, as stated in Amazon. It is a 2015 model and the battery cell type is zinc chloride. Do note that it is made in the USA but the components are from China, so it is safe to assume that the ratchet wrench is only assembled in the USA. It is under a 1 year warranty.
Ratchet Wrench with Low Vibration
AIRCAT 5100-A-T Stroke Low Vibration Composite Air Hammer, Medium, Red & Black
The AIRCAT 5100-A-T Stroke Low Vibration Composite Air Hammer, Medium, Red & Black is a red and black color finish low vibration ratchet wrench that is helpful for those who want a quiet work time. It has a patented silencing technology, making it quieter than most ratchet wrenches due to its low vibration technology.
The ergonomic handle grip is made from composite material and in addition to that, the chisel retainer has a quick change mechanism. Being a sturdy ratchet wrench, it has a heavy duty metal valve, compared to plastic of other brands.
With overall dimensions of 8 in x 2 in x 7 in, the AIRCAT 5100-A-T Stroke Low Vibration Composite Air Hammer, Medium, Red & Black bears 3.3 lbs of weight and this air powered ratchet wrench is made from composite and metal material and is medium sized.
The sound level is at 88 dB, making it truly quiet compared to the rest. This air hammer has a medium stroke and low vibration and it can be used for both outdoor and indoor activities. It also has a 2.6 inch of piston stroke and has 3000 blows per minute (BPM). The air volume is 6 CFM and it can accept any .401 chisel. The AIRCAT 5100-A-T Stroke Low Vibration Composite Air Hammer, Medium, Red & Black is under a 2 year warranty.
Best Mini Impact Ratchet Wrench
Astro 1128 Mini Impact Ratchet Wrench, 3/8″
The Astro 1128 Mini Impact Ratchet Wrench, 3/8″ has up to 50 ft lbs of working torque. This ratchet wrench measures 6.45 inches in length and is equipped with improved ratchet technology.
It runs at 700 RPM and is renowned for being 2 to 3x faster operation than similar ratchets. Operating at a continuous impact and power, the air consumption is 3.1 CFM and in addition, the air pressure is 90 PSI, while the noise level is at 89.6 dB. The size is 3/8 inches and it has an air inlet thread with an NPT of 1/4 inch. With overall dimensions of 6 in x 2 in x 1 in, the Astro 1128 Mini Impact Ratchet Wrench, 3/8″ weighs 1.4 lbs and is a great air powered ratchet wrench for low vibrations.
Best 1/4 Inch Ratchet Wrench
Chicago Pneumatic CP824 1/4-Inch Standard Duty Air Ratchet
The Chicago Pneumatic CP824 1/4-Inch Standard Duty Air Ratchet has a free speed of 220 RPM while the max torque is 30 ft lbs. For its price, it is very compact and lightweight to handle and it has an extended length of 7 3/4 inches.
This ratchet wrench has a size of 1/4 inch or 0.25 inch. Being air powered, it comes with a stand and is under a 1 year warranty. With 8 in x 4 in x 2 in dimensions overall, the Chicago Pneumatic CP824 1/4-Inch Standard Duty Air Ratchet bears 1.4 lbs of weight and as a whole, is great for mechanical work.
Best 1/2 Inch Ratchet Wrench
Pit Bull 1/2″ Drive Air Ratchet
The Pit Bull 1/2″ Drive Air Ratchet has a max torque of 45 ft lbs with a 1/2 inch bolt and a 3/8 inch ID hose inlet. It has a 90 PSI air pressure as well as a 1/3 inch NPT air inlet. With a free speed of 150 RPM, it has an average air consumption of 4 CFM.
Bearing an overall length of 190 mm, the Pit Bull 1/2″ Drive Air Ratchet weighs 2.8 lbs and has overall dimensions of 10 in x 2 in x 2 in. Coated in silver finish, this air powered ratchet wrench is quite inexpensive but quality built and is praised for its great price.
Many other ratchet wrenches out there that did not make it to our list are a bit too expensive or lacked features and uniqueness. Some of the also do not have much ratings so we cannot know if they are sturdy or functional. They are also missing specs that are important such as free speed and torque.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How important are ratchet wrenches?
A: According to Inlb Ezine Articles , they are important for their force and power, good for mechanical work and are needed even for households and home DIY work. They give great mechanism and are fit for corner spaces.
Q: Any tips on using ratchet wrenches or wrenches in general?
A: This article from The Art of Manliness can help you out. The right wrench should be used for the right job. Do not push but pull instead and do not give the pipe more leverage. Never use a hammer to hit a wrench and make sure you only buy the best quality ratchet wrenches. In addition, do not use a wrench that might be damaged. The article explains that there are various types of wrenches out there: crescent wrench, open wrench, box wrench, socket wrench, nut driver, Allen wrench, pipe wrench and ratchet wrenches.
Q: How do you fix a ratchet wrench?
A: This guide from Family Handyman can help you. First, you have to remove the external or internal snap ring and prepare a ratchet rebuilding kit by searching online for tools and equipment. You should carefully remove the spiral snap spring by unwinding it counterclockwise. Greasing the ratchet wrench is important before reassembling it. In addition, you might need a wheel bearing grease, brake cleaner, rust removing chemical and a ratchet rebuilding kit
Wrapping It Up
As a whole, the best ratchet wrench, the Aircat ACR802R 3/8-Inch Ratchet is our top pick because of its great price range, good torque, speed and many other awesome specs.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.