A ratchet is a mechanical tool that performs a continuous rotary movement in a specific direction and blocks the movement in the opposite direction. A ratchet consists of a handle that uses a square drive to form a fixed grip on one end of the socket while the other is connected to a fastener. The function of a ratchet is very similar to that of a conventional wrench, i.e., tightening and loosening the fastener. The internal mechanism of the ratchet works to tighten the fastener when the handle is turned clockwise and loosen it when the handle is turned counterclockwise. A ratchet consists of two essential parts, gear or rack, and a pawl. The gear is held and turned with the help of a lever. A ratchet is usually made of elements such as stainless steel, cast iron, brass, steel, etc. A ratchet is usually used in combination with a socket.
The functionality of a ratchet
A ratchet consists of gear or rack with teeth arranged at a certain angle. The gear or rack helps the ratchet move smoothly. The racks are also called ratchet gears. Pawls are thin metal strips in close contact with the gear or rack. The primary purpose of pawls is to limit the movement of a pawl. A lever turns or moves the pawl in a specific direction. When the ratchet is turned, the pawl lifts and moves between the angled teeth of the equipment or rack. When the ratchet stops turning, the pawl rests between the teeth, and a clicking sound is heard. When the ratchet is turned or moved in the opposite direction, the pawl and teeth tend to collide and resist movement. Some ratchets have a locking mechanism that holds the bushing and fastener in place and does not allow them to drop. A push-button is used to lock and unlock. The lock is released when the button is pressed, and the fastener is released.
Selection of a ratchet
A ratchet wrench is used to tighten and loosen bolts and nuts. The ratchet mechanism allows the nut to be loosened in only one direction – meaning you can quickly loosen or tighten nuts without constantly lifting the ratchet off, as you would with a traditional wrench.
All ratchets accept square drive sockets, usually three sizes of the drive. All over the world, these sizes are in inches – even if the sockets are metric.
- 1/4 Inch: Utilized for smaller sockets and precision work. Useful for disassembling individual components on the workbench.
- 3/8 Inch: The medium and, in my opinion, most generous size for general use on the car. It is large enough to apply quite a bit of force but not too large to fit tight spaces. A 3/8″ drive can be used to drive sockets of all sizes.
- 1/2 Inch: 1/2″ sockets are usually utilized for nuts and bolts about 10mm and more prominent. A 1/2″ socket can apply enough force to loosen all the nuts on a car.
- There are also 3/4″ and 1″ sockets, but these are used for trucks, tanks, and industrial machinery.
Number of teeth
Inside a ratchet is a gear that turns freely as you tighten the nut. Each click you listen to is a tooth passing through the ratchet. The more teeth there are, the less movement is required for the return. Producing a high number of teeth requires high-quality design and manufacturing, so as a general guideline, better quality tools have a higher number of teeth. A ratchet with 75 teeth will work much faster than a ratchet with 32 teeth.
Loosening the sockets
Sockets are held onto the ratchet by a small spring-loaded ball on the side of the square drive. High-quality ratchets have a button on the back that makes it easy to pull the socket off when you want to let it go. I’ve often seen sockets get stuck on the drive after applying a lot of force and can only be loosened by hammering on the floor or clamping them in a vise.
Types of ratchets
Am-Tech 1/2″ Quick Release Ratchet. A High-quality ratchet with a quick-release mechanism. Forward and reverse selector.
This professional extendable ratchet is ideal for working in tight spaces or hard-to-reach areas. It provides different shaft lengths as required and comes complete with a soft grip handle for comfort. Quick-release with spring ball socket retaining ball and flip-reverse mechanism. 5 – Mode adjustable and fixable from 305 to 445 mm. Serrated (72 teeth). Quick-release. Material: Chrome Vanadium Steel. Surface finish: Satin chrome plated.
An excellent choice for the home handyman, or the professional mechanic, this tough little chrome vanadium hand tool has a smooth & positive all-steel ratchet mechanism, an ergonomically shaped handle with comfortable-to-hold anti-slip rubber over-mold, and corrosion-proof polished chrome finish. Smooth & positive 72-tooth ratchet mechanism. 50 ratchet increments for fine precise fastener adjustment. Spring ball socket retention with quick release. Thumb-operated flip reverse lever. Overall length 125mm.
A Professional wrench, with a 360 Degree swivel head and rapid ratchet mechanism for working in tight spaces or hard-to-reach areas. Perfect for automotive or trade use. Rubber grip handles for increased comfort and improved grip. Simple thumb-operated flip ratchet clockwise and anti-clockwise drive. 3/8″ square drive ratchet. 360 Degree swivel head for better access in tight corners. 245mm overall tool length. 245Nm max torque.
This professional use polished chrome extendable ratchet is ideal for working in tight spaces or hard-to-reach areas. It provides three different shaft lengths as required and comes complete with a soft grip handle for comfort. Quick-release with spring ball socket retaining ball and flip-reverse mechanism. 1/4″ Drive. Extends to and locks at 150,175 & 200mm. Perfect for automotive agricultural or trade use.
Covered by our Pro Tool Lifetime Guarantee this professional use polished chrome extendable ratchet is ideal for working in tight spaces or hard-to-reach areas. It provides three different shaft lengths as required and comes complete with a soft grip handle for comfort. Quick-release with spring ball socket retaining ball and flip-reverse mechanism. 1/2″ Drive. Extends to and locks at 305, 330, 360, 390, 420 & 445mm. Perfect for automotive or trade use.
US Pro 1/2″ Dr 72T Extra Long Ratchet – 380mm. 1/2″ Drive. 72 Teeth. Quick Release Button. Overall Length: 380mm.
Choosing your ratchet
More than any other device, a ratchet will last a lifetime. High-quality ratchets can be maintained inexpensively and should therefore never wear out. Buy the best ratchet you can afford , For more please visit Tools & Accessories