No tool set is complete with a trusty ratchet set. They are a must have for any homeowner, car care service provider, mechanic, and professional. Heck, you can’t even work on the lawn mower without one. Some sets are built to last while other sets can be picked up on the cheap and are sufficient for intermittent work. We look at some of the best sets at each price range. Check out our list of the best ratchet sets in our section below.
The 5 Best Ratchet Sets of 2017
Here are the all around best ratchet sets of this year.
The 92-824 is a quality socket set that contains 69 pieces that are well marked with laser etching. The black chrome doesn’t look bad either. The ratchet set meets the ANSI standards and Stanley claims their max-drive design provides up to 15% more torque. The limited lifetime warranty, sleek look, and fair price are a few of the reasons this is a bestseller in the socket wrench category.
The including carrying case is a great for storage and makes this set travel-friendly. Offering a 6-inch extension bar for the 1 3/8 inch ratchet and a 3 inch extension bar for the 1 1/4 inch ratchet this kit offers the craftsman plenty of versatility.
In addition to the extension bars, Stanley completed this socket set with 30 1/4 inch sockets, 33 3/8 inch sockets, 1 3/8 drive pear head ratchet arm, 1 1/4 inch pear ratcher arm, 1 3/8 inch spark plug socket, and 1 38 inch spark plug socket. These ratchets are all constructed with high quality steel and incorporate Stanley’s Quick Rlease mechanism that allows for one handed operation. Considering the exceptional quality, affordability, and the convenience that this kit provides, it deserves a merit mention in the best wrench sets.
If you are the mechanic that is struggling with tight clearances, the GearWrench 80550 is worth considering. This model is popular for its patented low profile head ratchet design. The ratchet set is designed with a very short turning radius to help users unscrew bolts, nuts, and screws in the tightest spaces. The flush mounted reversing lever and stubby full polish teardrop ratchet help put this ratchet set ahead of most out there at this price point.
Unlike the case with most ratchet sets, the 80550 sets are stamped rather than laser-etched. This makes quick identification easy for years because the labels don’t fade. GearWrench put together this 57 piece set thoughtfully. It includes ¼ inch to 7/8 inch deep sockets, 6mm to 19mm standard and deep sockets, and ¼ inch to 1-inch standard sockets.
This set doesn’t have the six point socket and instead features the company’s patented Surface Drive Technology that eases removal without necessarily having to round the heads of bolts and nuts. The GearWrench 80500 set deserves credit for meeting the demand of the majority of users and the needs of auto mechanics that don’t have much room to work with. For under 100 it is easily among the best wrench sets today.
This ratchet set from SK Hand Tool is pricey, but it is a quality, well built set that will last a long time. If you’re ready to make an investment in your tool collection, this one is worth considering. Patented SuperKrome finish, full lifetime warranty, and a SureGrip hex design are a few of the best perks you will receive by purchasing this set. The lifetime warranty is one of the standouts on this set, and shows how much faith SK Hand Tool has in their craftsmanship of this ratchet set.
The 47 piece set includes 7 1/2 inch pro ratchets, 25 standard sockets, 19 deep sockets, and 2 extensions. The laser-etched size markings and chrome coating are durable enough to give you excellent long life service. Between the diamond knurled grip and SureGrip hex design which drives the side of the fastener (instead of the corners) ensures maximum torque and prevents breakage. The SK 94547 is a professional-grade ratchet set made in the USA.
The TEKTON 4880 Drive Deep Impact Socket set is a top performer in its price class. Though it may not be as well known as some brands, TEKTON makes a quality product that easily made our list of the best ratchet sets. This set will power through it all. It will remove stuck lug nuts and loose crank bolts with so much ease that you won’t believe a bit of it!
There is no nut or bolt that can withstand the torque capabilities of the ½ inch and the 3/8 inch drive deep impact sockets. The 6 point socket design grips tight and prevents those frustrating round offs. 14 sockets come with this set, with a 1/2 drive size, and the size range is from 3/8 to 1 1/14 inches. TEKTON sells about a dozen other sets with varying socket counts, size ranges, and drive sizes. If you need a 3/8 inch set too, they can accommodate you.
This impact socket set exceeds ANSI performance standards. The socket set is constructed from heavy duty heat treated chrome vanadium steel which is just as strong as it sounds. The corrosion-resistant phosphate finish in black keeps this set looking like new.
This is the best pass through socket set for the money. The heavy duty ratchet is packed with a 72 tooth gear system. The features that make the BOSTITCH BTMT72287 outstanding include high torque capabilities, low arc swing, and the pass-through design. The rubber grip is also provided to enhance grip and user comfort.
Identification is easy and quick due to the bold and durable size markings. The BTMT72287 is made of chrome vanadium steel that is known for its exceptional quality and durability. The blow mold case makes this set a suitable travel kit as well. All in all, the BOSTITCH BTMT72287 beats down its competitors when it comes to a smooth ratcheting and delivering a comprehensive set for less dough.
General Thoughts on Owning a Ratchet Set
Sometimes, even the simplest DIY tasks require the use of a socket set. A ratchet set is simply a collection of several sockets that are of different sizes. A ratchet set is bought in a kit and the sockets are organied so the user can find the size they are looking for quickly. The size markings are actually pretty important here, because over time cheap labels tend to fade, which isn’t a problem once you get an eye for things but can be annoying for the inexperienced.
A ratchet set has been a staple for most homeowners as it is necessary to do work on your own vehicle. Less car owners do their own maintenance and repairs, so its become less common. Most DIYers and professionals will have a set for the variety of jobs they run into. To reduce the cost, most individuals buy a cheaper socket set for less than $50 since they won’t be using them often and only for personal use. For those who are full-time engineers, tinkers, or professionals offering car care services, buying a comprehensive, durable set is more convenient and cost-effective.
At first glance, it may not be easy to tell the difference between socket sets. You may need the help of a professional or a home improvement store sales person if you are a novice. However, doing a bit of research online is a sure way to decide which set you’ll really need and use. With that said, let’s dig into the factors you should consider before buying a ratchet set.
Things to Consider When Buying a Ratchet Set
Here are a few things to keep your eye on before hitting that buy button.
Size and Design
Depending on your DIY projects or machine, you should choose the wrenches that cover the range of your socket sizes. This will obviously depend on the level of your operations. For example, a mechanic working in a garage will be better off having a full set of the sockets, approximately 50 pieces or even more. Design should also be taken into consideration because some shapes can only be used in a much wider space. For those who need stronger tools, they may decide to buy the fixed set.
Thousands of ratchet sets have flooded the market and this makes it hard to avoid landing on the fake sets. One key determiner of quality is the price but this doesn’t apply all times. Inexpensive doesn’t always imply poor quality and vice versa. It is advisable to seek the help of an experienced professional especially if you are a novice. It is good to buy high-quality ratchet sets to avoid re-purchases.
The number of tools determines the overall grasp of the bolt head and the time you take to tighten a bolt, screw or a nut. The more the number of teeth the lesser swings you make to get the work done and vice versa. Having more ratchet teeth is what makes a tool handy and useful. This feature helps a lot especially when you are unscrewing or tightening a bolt in a very small space. Ratchets with fine teeth have less internal resistance and protect both the bolts and the user. Because of the amount of torque applied when tightening a bolt or a nut, a loose socket set or spanner can cause serious injuries.
The finish determines maintenance and care of any tool. It also determines the control you have over the tool due to the intensity of the grip. Generally, ratchet sets with a smooth finish are easier to clean. They are also resistant to rusting and corrosion. If the finish is smooth, a simple wipe is enough to clean the ratchet sets and store them.
Most ratchet sets employ the lever reverse and the dial mechanism. Even though both of them work fine, the lever mechanism is preferable when one is working in a tight space. It is good to choose the type that will optimize your convenience and allow versatility on your job site.
Quick Release Button
You may want to avoid the need of having to pull the socket off the ratchet by buying a set with this feature. The quick button allows you to release the socket quickly. You can lock the socket in its place and prevent it from sticking on the bolt head. It becomes part of the entire tool.
Benefits of a Quality Ratchet Set
Having a good socket set come with many benefits. Any handyman or DIY worker will often require the help of a wrench to loosen standard-sized nuts, bolts, and screws. Avoid giving your neighbors hard time borrowing their ratchet sets and grab one of the above brands.
They are the best wrench sets you can get in the market. We highly recommend them to any homeowner, DIYer or mechanic planning to have a complete wrench set at hand. You can never get frustrated with the above ratchet sets.
- Tremendous Torque. The above models are capable of withstanding extreme pressure without breaking. This helps in loosening the tightest bolts and nuts.
- Durability. The vanadium steel construction is known for its impeccable strength. The tools are resistant to rust and can last for several years provided they are used properly and well maintained.
- Versatility. The socket sets come in different sizes that can handle more than the ordinary occasional tasks. It includes a variety of screwdrivers, deep sockets, wrenches, etc. You can, therefore, handle all the bolts, nuts and screws at the comfort of your home or garage.
- High-Quality. The models are made from chrome vanadium steel that is outstanding in terms of quality. You can be guaranteed of professional-grade quality in all of the above models.