The Best Cordless Ratchet Wrench: Part Two
While cordless impact wrenches have enjoyed an increase in popularity in recent years, the lesser known but affordable and handy cordless ratchet has become an excellent accessory tool for pretty much every tool slinger, as well as a must-have for mechanics.
The design and size of these tools initially struck me as odd or perhaps even a bit cumbersome or unwieldy, but when compared with their air-powered counterparts they are easily unmatched as they are without the frequently-bothersome air hose.
Similar to the compressed-air ratchets, they enable us to get right into some tight spots that are either very difficult for us to get a good amount of beefy torque with our hand tools, or are simply impossible to latch onto with our larger and bulkier impact wrenches.
For these reasons alone, the ratchet wrench presents itself as a very welcome and now even necessary component of a professional shop, if not a serious automobile hobbyist or enthusiast. Without it, many simple jobs would be rendered inconvenient, difficult, and even push us to the brink of swearing on our great-great-grandfather’s grave.
However, since it’s still at an early stage in the game for this custom cordless tools, let’s take a deeper look at a few of today’s top sellers to see which ratchets are not only the hottest but the most well-liked and satisfactory.
This is Part II of Which Cordless Ratchet Wrench is Best?
ACDelco has been a name synonymous with the automotive industry for numerous reasons but how does the AC Delco cordless ratchet stack up to their reputation? This wrench utilizes only 12 volts of power when compared to the Craftsman 19.2V ratchet, but manages to make up for that in design as the tool itself sports a good amount of torque for more than just the casual, at-home user. It is for this reason that it is actually a viable option not just for armchair wrench monkeys but also genuine mechanics, as well.
So if you’re looking for a quick answer–before we even get further into the further details–then you should know that the ARW1201 from AC Delco finds its spot comfortably at 3rd on our current list of best ratchets on WrenchGuru.
If you want to go ahead and check out which cordless wrenches were able to ratchet their way into the first and third spots, then here’s what you’re looking for:
- 1st: Ingersoll Rand R1120-K1 1/4″ 12V Cordless Ratchet
- 2nd: The Milwaukee M12™ Cordless 3/8″ Ratchet Wrench
- 3rd: AC Delco ARW1201 Li-ion 12V 3/8″ Ratchet Wrench (You are here now!)
- 4th: The Craftsman 19.2 Volt C3 Max Axess Power Ratchet
Now, even though the ACD ratchet et’s take a closer look to see if it fits your needs.
- Forward and Reverse lever for convenient direction changes
- Strong and durable gearbox made of aluminum
- Variable speed controls in forward or reverse
- Electric brake switch
- Anti-Slip, Soft Grip to reduce fatigue
- Includes two (2) Lithium-Ion 12V Rechargeable Battery Packs
- Includes one (1) Quick-Charger and one (1) carrying case
- Designed for mechanics working in tight spaces
- Considered most powerful tool in the market for its class
- Part Number: ARW1201
- Weight: 8 pounds
- Dimensions: 2.5×2.5×13
- Model Number: ARW1201
- Batteries: (requires one Li-Ion, 2 included)
- Power Source: Electric Battery
- Voltage: 12 Volts
- Package Quantity: 1
- Handles: 1
- Measurement System: inches
- Included Components: Case
- Batteries Included: Yes (2)
- Batteries Required: Yes
- Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty
The first thing to note is that the AC-Delco cordless ratchet is actually utilized by auto technicians and mechanics in the industry, so that in itself is a great compliment and note of support.
On a more localized and practical level, the power that it has is quite something, especially considering that it isn’t boasting anymore than 12V in total to pull from! Clearly, the design is such that torque isn’t squandered and power from the battery is utilized efficiently.
One of the added benefits of this cordless ratchet is the actual kit itself–yes, it’s actually a cordless ratchet wrench KIT. No baretool here, all you need to do is buy, get, and wrench! Besides the ratchet itself, the kit comes with the charger, two batteries, and a case. If you are looking for a ratchet to use often or for long periods of time, then having this one might just be the thing. Having a battery on back-up when you need it will save you down time and make your life easier.
Size is often the reason why we can or cannot use a specific tool, andACDelco’s ratchet was made to handle a variety of tight spots. This is invaluable for those who are either unable to break something free due to awkward angles or simple just doesn’t have the strength/stamina to do so (or keep doing so!).
The grip itself is also a nice addition, which feels comfortable in the hand and is great for extended use.
Lastly, the housing seems durable and is made of stronger materials than some other brands, which is a plus in our book. How it would perform in multiple drop-tests is not, however, within our scope of knowledge!
POINTS TO CONSIDER
Being one of the top sellers online, the ARW1201 ratchet enjoys a rather good rating overall–with few complaints. However, there are a few things to be noted because, after all, no tool is perfect.
The first thing to consider is the weight. At eight pounds, this little rascal outweighs quite a number of cordless ratchets in or around its class. For those looking for a lighter option to take up all day long, this is a point to consider. However, if this ratchet is needed for some professional work, its quite possible that a lighter wrench just won’t have the torque needed. While the size is excellent, weight could be an issue.
Some reports have come in about faulty ratchets being received, therefore it is worth mentioning. However, due to the low report and high overall customer satisfaction, we are led to believe that this is nothing more than something worth mentioning and you can decide for yourself. We would recommend, however, using a reputable sales merchant when purchasing any tools.
The last point is that while it largely satisfies quite a bit of people–including some professionals–some say that it still doesn’t go far enough in the torque and power department, which we would actually like to see ourselves.
THE BOTTOM LINE
This cordless impact ratchet wrench is absolutely a great option for at-home users, as well as some professional applications where tight-spots make wrench-working challenging. However, it is not a perfect tool as it lacks the kind of full-on torque and lifespan needed to truly be considered a professional or industrial-grade cordless ratchet.
For what’s available today, we still find this ratchet to be a much better than average purchase and are pleased to offer it a favorable review. We feel confident that for most people’s applications, the ARW1201 Ratchet could be more than enough in the short-term or with light use.
Our Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
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