As an electric motorcycle owner, a cordless ratchet is a handy tool to have–but which one’s the best fit?
In order to make the best choice, here’s what I believe we need to know about cordless ratchets.
It’s always great to have a tool that’s similar to a great personal assistant–not only does it save us a lot of time and keep us steadily chugging along, but it also eases some of our workload.
Cordless ratchets definitely fall into that category, as far as I’m concerned.
I never, ever saw a powered ratchet growing up, nor did my dad ever have one–not even to this day. For me personally, I didn’t become aware of and interested in them until well after I had already begun to utilize battery-operated drills, cutoff saws, and even circular saws. By the time I was introduced to the ratchets, I had graduated up to cordless impact drivers and wrenches.
The main benefit of cordless ratchets is that they allow you to quickly and painlessly ratchet nuts and bolt on and off without having to exert any real manual force of your own. This lowering of required physical exertion on our part means more than simply making our job easier and faster: it also means that we can lower our on-the-job fatigue, as well as decrease the risk for injury.
It certainly makes working on a car or truck easier and more enjoyable for both amateurs and professional mechanics alike, not to mention keeping our aging hands, backs–well, bodies in general–doing what we love to do under our favorite shade tree!
So, does it sound kind of easy? Just go out and pick yourself up a cordless ratchet? Easy, right? Well, there are quite the number of different brands and types out there to choose from, so if you are new to the powered ratchet game, then it can actually be quite difficult.
Luckily, I want to make things easier for you than they were for me.
I’ve taken the time to compile my ten personal favorite ratchets so that you can make an informed choice about your next purchase, and all without having to feel lost, confused, or unsure.
First, allow me to show you a bit more about just what you ought to be looking for in that shiny-new ratchet.
Things To Consider
What Kind Of Torque You Need
The torque power and speed will determine how fast it can do what you need it to. Torque shouldn’t be your only consideration, but it will likely be a prominent one. You’ll see torque power from 30 ft-lbs up to even 90 ft-lbs.
You certainly want to have the power you need for the job at hand, but keep in mind that not everyone’s jobs are the same. Using cordless ratchets for work around the house is a nice bonus, but you likely don’t need crazy amounts of power.
On the other hand, a mechanic may need to get at some of the most difficult bolts all day long.
Ease of Use
You want to look for cordless ratchets that are able to perform in multiple different situations. You’ll need it for both wide and narrow situations. It should also take on both loose and tightly fitted nuts and bolts with ease.
This includes considering the size and weight of the various cordless ratchets. If you’re going to be using it for hours, you may want to look at lighter options. An incredibly powerful ratchet may also be fairly heavy.
There’s a reason so many of them tout their grips. Losing your grip on one of these cordless ratchets could lead to injury.
This is the other major factor to consider. A weekend warrior and a professional mechanic may not need to invest in the same ratchet.
If you’re in the garage one or two months a weekend, you can probably get away with one of the lower priced cordless ratchets. A mechanic may want something more powerful that has a higher price tag. They’ll likely get their money’s worth.
But whatever the case, don’t just get the cheapest thing out there.
The Little Things
Issues like noise level, durability, and charge time may seem like smaller considerations. But they will dramatically affect the quality of use that you get out of your cordless ratchet.
A noisy ratchet that gives you a headache every time you use it will really put a damper on any home or auto repairs. The same goes for a ratchet that takes an inordinate amount of time to charge.
And you certainly don’t want one that won’t stand up to use. So try one of these ten—there’s something here for everyone.
The 10 Best Cordless Ratchets
1. Milwaukee 2457-21
This durable ratchet from Milwaukee is one of our go-to’s. It delivers 35 ft-lbs of torque, and it’s 12V motor is a workhorse. Plus, the battery pack delivers much more on a standard charge than most ratchets.
2. Milwaukee 2456-20
This small, portable and easy to use 1/4 inch ratchet is one of our favorites. The reliable 30 ft-lbs of torque you get with this 12V motor is paired with a fantastic 250 RPM. You get a lot out of a little package with this ratchet, and it’s another great one from Milwaukee.
3. Ingersoll Rand R3130
The R3130 is one of the more versatile cordless ratchets that you’re going to find on the market. The reinforced ergonomic handle and slim profile make it ideal for tight spots. But don’t let that fool you—it also packs 54 ft-lbs of torque.
4. Aircat ACR802R Ratchet
This Aircat is simply one of the best air ratchets you can buy. With a whopping 90 ft-lbs of torque and 280 RPM, it can handle just about anything you throw at it. Great weight distribution and grip, along with a muffler exhaust system make it user friendly, too.
5. ACDelco ARW1201
The ARW1201 comes with forward and reverse variable speed, and even a brake button. You’ll also get a satisfying 59 ft-lbs of torque, a handy carrying case, and an anti-slip grip.
6. Ingersoll Rand R1120
The compact design of this ratchet and durable gear train make it a keeper. You’ll get up to 30 ft-lbs of torque from it, determined by its excellent variable speed trigger. And that all-metal gear train means you’ll be using it for years to come.
7. Capri Tools 32051
Looking for a reliable air ratchet that’s both light and powerful? Then check out this one from Capri Tools. Equipped with knuckle-buster prevention technology, it’s safe and easy to use. It also packs an excellent 75 ft-lbs of torque in its lightweight frame.
8. Chicago Pneumatic
This ratchet from Chicago Pneumatic rivals even the most powerful air ratchets on the market. 90 ft-lbs of torque are available to you, along with an adjustable exhaust. The rubber grip and patented TriSpring technology make it easy to work with.
9. Makita XLT02Z
Perfect for those tough to reach places, this ratchet also provides up to 44 ft-lbs of torque. The 18V battery and long, ergonomic design Makita used means that you have maximum reach with plenty of power.
10. DeWalt DWMT70776L
This air ratchet from DeWalt features an aluminum body and a closed head. You’ll have up to 65 ft-lbs of torque for even the toughest nuts and bolts. And you’ll also have one of the most comfortably designed grips, along with a touch control trigger.
As you can see, there are a number of different options available. And they all bring something slightly, or significantly, different to the table. You can’t go wrong as long as you assess your needs before you buy.
Looking for more in-depth reviews on your favorite impact wrenches and tools? Then check out the reviews and advice that the Wrench Guru has to offer you!