9 Best Ratcheting Wrench Sets: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

In many ways, a ratcheting wrench resembles a socket wrench or a combination wrench when it comes to function. But these tools are considered superior in certain situations due to their thinner profile, which in turn allows them to access sockets in tight spaces. Ratcheting wrenches can also reduce the strain on a user by eliminating the need to “flip and turn” the tool repeatedly.

Like most mechanic’s tools, though, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from if you shop online for a set of new ratcheting wrenches. As such, you should take some time and read this guide on the best ratcheting wrench sets available today.


Preview

Product

Material

Tooth Count

Number Of Pieces

Check Price

GEARWRENCH 12 Pt. Ratcheting Combination...

GEARWRENCH 9416

Alloy steel

72

16

DEWALT Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set,...

DEWALT DWMT74733

Chrome, Steel

72

8

Mountain 5-Piece Metric Double Box Universal...

MOUNTAIN MTNRM6

Chrome, steel

90

5

Ratcheting Wrench Set With ToolRoll -...

ToolGuards FBA TG201

Chrome vanadium steel

72

22

Wera 05020013001 Joker Combination...

Wera 05020013001

Chrome-molybdenum steel, nickel-chrome coating

80

11

TEKTON Flex Ratcheting Combination Wrench...

TEKTON WRN57170

Steel

72

12

Craftsman 20 Piece Ratcheting Wrench Set,...

Craftsman 43224-3119

Alloy steel

N/A

20

ACDelco Cordless 3/8' Ratchet Wrench 57'-Lb...

ACDelco ARW1201

N/A

N/A

1

GEARWRENCH 12 Pc. GearBox 12 Pt. XL...

GEARWRENCH 85988

Vanadium steel

72

12


Why Use a Ratcheting Wrench?

Despite how essential a ratcheting wrench is to any productive auto shop, some mechanics are not familiar with their numerous benefits. Here are just a few reasons why you should seriously consider investing in a durable set of ratcheting wrenches:

  • No Need to Constantly Reset
    Finding enough clearance while using a wrench is always a headache. Often, you’ll need to “flip and turn” a standard wrench again and again to get a proper fitting. Ratcheting wrenches eliminate that need due to their ratcheting action. As a result, you can often tighten down fasteners in a fraction of the time spent with a standard wrench.
  • Better Access to Tight Spaces
    Socket wrenches can often be bulky, especially toward their head. This can make it challenging to use them efficiently in a confined space. Ratcheting wrenches, by comparison, are streamlined and easy to insert into compact spaces. As such, they are often preferred by mechanics who work on intricate projects.
  • Flexible Angling
    Some ratcheting wrenches feature a “flexible” head that can be rotated as much as 180 degrees around. This allows those wrenches to be used at nearly any angle without needing to sacrifice torque.

Considerations When Buying Quality Ratcheting Wrench Sets

Durability & Material

You’ll want a wrench set that lasts for a long time and (ideally) never needs replacing. As such, it is worth your time to compare your prospective sets based upon their material construction. Regardless of what set you choose, it should be made up of durable, non-corrosive metals. As far as ratcheting wrenches are concerned, this will usually come in the form of chrome-coated steel.

Number of Wrenches

At first glance, you might assume that a larger ratcheting wrench set would be “better” simply because it offers you more. But in truth, you’ll find a succinct set of ratcheting wrenches will provide you with more flexibility in the shop. A mid-range sized set will likely provide you with plenty of versatility, especially if you find yourself working on the same types of projects regularly.

Storage & Portability

No one wants to lug around a loose set of 10+ metal ratcheting wrenches. So, while comparing your prospective sets, be sure to appraise what sort of storage options they come with. Many sets come in a box that allows each wrench to be arranged based upon its size. Other sets come in a rollup mat, which are incredibly portable.

Form Factor

The size and shape of a ratcheting wrench can have a significant impact on how you use it. To that end, a ratcheting wrench with a streamlined head will be far easier to slip into tight spaces. In the same vein, a ratcheting wrench with an extended shaft will allow you to gain more torque on sockets that are just out of reach.

Ease of Use

Your chosen ratcheting wrenches should feel comfortable in hand, no matter how much you need to use them. Though most ratcheting wrenches feature bare metal bodies, some use a special grip pattern to slippage. Along the same lines, some ratcheting wrenches feature an ergonomic shaft that prevents tension from forming in the user’s hands.

Unit of Measurement

While you shop for ratcheting wrenches, you’ll notice that many sets come in either “SAE” or “metric” measurements. As you may already know, the metric sets utilize sizing measurements that conform to the way the rest of the world measures length and distance. Meanwhile, SAE measurements align with the imperial measurement system used in the US. In most cases, these two types of ratcheting wrenches can be used interchangeably (though fitments won’t be precise).

Price & Warranty

It’s always wise to compare prices between ratcheting wrench sets before plopping down any money. After all, some sets offer a better value for your money, such as through enhanced durability or an extended warranty. Don’t forget, though, that paying a bit extra for a reliable set of ratcheting wrenches can pay dividends when those same wrenches stand up to many years of hard use.


9 Best Ratcheting Wrench Sets Reviewed

1. GEARWRENCH 9416

Best Ratcheting Wrench Set

Material

Alloy steel

Tooth Count

72

Weight

6.6 lbs.

Measurement System

Metric

Number of Pieces

16

I want to start off by telling you about the best ratcheting wrench set on the market today. Without question, I’d hand that award right to the GEARWRENCH 9416 set. This set’s ratchet wrenches are easy to use, even when you don’t have a lot of room to operate in. In fact, they can be torqued within only a 5 degree arc, which is a tiny fraction of the 30-degree industry average. They each utilize a 72 tooth count, too, so they'll undoubtedly meet all of your expectations for practical performance.

As soon as you pick up one of this set’s wrenches, you’ll likely notice its use of pass-thru design. This is a small, but important detail that allows the GEARWRENCH 9416's wrenches to be used on bolts and edge-set fasteners alone. At the same time, you may notice the thin head and beam incorporated into these wrenches. This form factor will make it far easier to use these wrenches in a tight space – especially compared to a bulky socket wrench.

For around $130, you can bet that this set's wrenches are durably built. To that end, each is made from a core of alloyed steel that is sturdy yet still lightweight. The full set of 16 pieces isn’t cumbersome at all, with its 6.6 lbs. total weight.

Pros

  • 5 degree swing arc allows for more precise adjustments
  • Pass-thru design allows for use with longer bolts
  • Fully polished chrome finish prevents corrosion of alloy steel core

Cons

  • Inconsistent quality control

2. DEWALT DWMT74733

Best Ratcheting Wrench Set for the Money

Material

Chrome, Steel

Tooth Count

72

Weight

2.44 lbs.

Measurement System

SAE

Number of Pieces

8

If you’re shopping for new automotive tools on a budget, then you’ll certainly want to check out the best ratcheting wrench set for the money. Though prices are always changing, that award currently goes to the DEWALT DWMT74733 set. These ratchet wrenches are very easy to handle, not least because of their overall light weight. In fact, you aren’t likely to lose your grip on these ratchet wrenches at all thanks to their inclusion of a stamped hashmark pattern on their shaft.

At the same time, you can be confident that this set's wrenches will continue to perform admirably after many years of use. That’s because they are equipped with DirectTorque technology. This patented technology prevents fasteners from rounding when they come into contact with these wrenches. Along the same lines, the steel and chrome construction of these wrenches can provide full assurance that they’ll remain sturdy through many years of service.

Though it’s a small detail, I also appreciate that the DEWALT DWMT74733 set’s wrenches are stamped with their SAE sizes at each end. This makes them far easier to identify and grab with just a quick glance. As someone with worsening vision, I know that that kind of visibility will really save me time in the shop.

Pros

  • Stamped hashmark pattern on handle provides additional grip
  • DirectTorque technology prevents fasteners from rounding
  • Sizes stamped on both ends for easy identification

Cons

  • Storage case cracks easily

3. MOUNTAIN MTNRM6

Best Reversible Ratcheting Wrench Set

Material

Chrome, Steel

Tooth Count

90

Weight

3.74 lbs

Measurement System

Metric

Number of Pieces

5

Next up is the MOUNTAIN MTNRM6 set, which I would position as the best reversible ratcheting wrench set on the market today. To start off, the wrenches in this set feature a 90 tooth count that stands just a little above the industry average. Even so, all 5 pieces in this set manage to provide an impressive degree of torque translation. I also credit the reverse mechanism inside of these wrenches with their outstanding performance in the field.

Now, I will admit that this 5-piece set is a bit more expensive than even some 12-piece sets. But believe me when I say that these wrenches will last twice as long as their cheaper competitors. That’s because they are made from reinforced steel and coated in an ultra-strong chrome coating. As such, years of use and even accidental corrosion won’t bring these wrenches to their knees. I'd hardly expect you ever to need to make use of the 30-day return guarantee or "lifetime" warranty that comes packaged with this set.

I also want to draw your attention to the length of each wrench in the MOUNTAIN MTNRM6 set. Each of them is a good bit longer than the average ratchet wrench by design. This allows them to more efficiently reach into spaces that are well outside of arm’s reach.

Pros

  • Rotating head can rotate 180 degrees for optimal access
  • Extra-long form factor allows for greater reach and torque
  • 90 tooth design and reverse mechanism translate torque efficiently

Cons

  • Warranty is not very reliable

4. ToolGuards FBA TG201

Most Portable Ratchet Wrench Set

Material

Chrome vanadium steel

Tooth Count

72

Weight

5.44 lbs.

Measurement System

Metric

Number of Pieces

22

Some mechanics like being able to take their tools on the road without needing to lug around a super-bulky toolbox. Instead, those mechanics would prefer a ratchet wrench set like the ToolGuards FBA TG201 set. That’s because these wrenches come packaged in tool roll of their own, with individual pockets for each of the set’s 22 wrenches. This roll is super durable and easy to carry in one hand, which easily makes this the most portable ratchet wrench set on the market today.

With a price tag of only $70 for a 22-piece set, you might think that the ToolGuards FBA TG201 set is made out of cheap metals only. But in truth, each wrench in this set is made from chrome vanadium steel, which is one of the most desirable tool composition materials available right now. Based upon that construction, you can certainly expect all of these wrenches to stand up to the wear of an oily auto shop without ever suffering from a fleck of corrosion.

The ToolGuards FBA TG201 set has also managed to shave a few millimeters off of the width of its heads. As such, each of these wrenches has a slimmer-than-average profile that allows them to slip into many spots that a standard socket wrench could never hope to reach.

Pros

  • Made from ultra-durable and resilient chrome vanadium steel
  • Unique slim profile allows for access to tight spaces
  • Comes with a tool roll for easy organization and transportation

Cons

  • Silver coating tends to chip off

5. Wera 05020013001

Best Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set

Material

Chrome-molybdenum steel, nickel-chrome coating

Tooth Count

80

Weight

2.71 lbs

Measurement System

Metric

Number of Pieces

11

Traditionally, you’d need to search far and wide to find the best ratcheting combination wrench set. However, I’ll save you all of that time by telling you that the Wera 05020013001 set is the best ratcheting combination wrench set available to professionals today. That’s because each of the 11 pieces in this set utilizes a unique double-hex geometry. This construction causes each head to gain a better grip on a fastener immediately, which prevents a great deal of slippage.

Meanwhile, the core of this set is built entirely around durability and resilience. That’s why each wrench in the Wera 05020013001 set is made up from a core of chrome-molybdenum steel. These are one of the only sets on the market that use this unique alloy, so it is certainly worth noting when comparing this set to cheaper alternatives. The nickel-chrome coating on each of these wrenches is sure to keep them shining like new and corrosion-free through many years of use.

Be aware, though, that all of this durability and performance comes at a price. To be specific, this set costs a bit over $200. That may be a high price, but you’ll see that it is one worth paying as soon as you take one of these excellent ratchet wrenches in hand for the first time.

Pros

  • Double-hex geometry reduces slippage with a 30-degree return angle
  • Chrome-molybdenum steel construction and nickel-chrome coating provide enhanced corrosion resistance
  • Metal plate in jaw provides for practical holding function

Cons

  • Can be cumbersome to use regularly

6. TEKTON WRN57170

Best Flex Head Ratcheting Wrench Set

Material

Steel

Tooth Count

72

Weight

4.36 lbs.

Measurement System

Metric

Number of Pieces

12

A lot of mechanics today are looking to upgrade to flex head ratchet wrenches. It only makes sense for those mechanics to try out the best flex head ratcheting wrench set available right now – the TEKTON WRN57170 set. All 12 of these 72-tooth ratchet wrenches are the ideal option for mechanics who regularly find themselves working at odd angles. That’s because their heads all rotate a full 180 degrees, allowing them to maximize their own torque without suffering from poor positioning.

At the same time, each of these ratchet wrenches can grab onto and hold most fasteners with ease. That’s because they all use a 6-point box end that is designed to prevent round off. In the same vein, this box end design effectively prevents slippage that is common in other flex head ratchet wrenches. So, in effect, you won’t need to fight any of these wrenches to get the most out of your torqueing motions.

I’d also like to point out that this set comes packaged in a plastic keeper that includes a space-saving folding handle. Not only that, but also, this keeper includes grippers inside of each slot. All 12 of your TEKTON WRN57170 wrenches will be secure, no matter where you take them.

Pros

  • 6-point box end resists slippage and reduces user strain
  • Box end head pivots 180 degrees to avoid obstructions
  • Plastic keeper includes space-saving folding handle and nonslip grippers

Cons

  • Ratchets may loosen over time

7. Craftsman 43224-3119

Best Metric Ratchet Wrench Set

Material

Alloy steel

Tooth Count

N/A

Weight

7.53 lbs.

Measurement System

Metric

Number of Pieces

20

Craftsman is a name you know and trust when it comes to hand tools. It only makes sense that the Craftsman 43224-3119 set would be one of the best metric ratchet wrench sets out there. To start off with, this 20-piece set is a super affordable way to build up your auto shop's tool chest from scratch. After all, for a fraction of over $100, you’ll get an assortment of durable ratchet wrenches built from a sturdy steel alloy. They’re not produced in the US, but that's only an issue to some buyers.

In my opinion, all mechanics will be able to appreciate the fine-tooth ratcheting action demonstrated by the wrenches in the Craftsman 43224-3119 set. This action causes little to no slippage while maximizing a user’s torque within a 5 degree arc. In effect, this action can save a user a lot of effort over the course of a long day in the shop.

Speaking of saving, the Craftsman lifetime warranty that comes with the Craftsman 43224-3119 set is still one of the best in the business. Though this warranty won’t get your full money back like you used to for this warranty, it can go a long way towards replacing any wrench in this set that fails to meet your expectations.

Pros

  • Fine-tooth ratcheting action provides 5 degree arc
  • Reinforced open ends can loosen stuck bolts with ease
  • Come standard with reliable Craftsman warranty

Cons

  • Not made in the US

8. ACDelco ARW1201

Best Electric Ratchet Wrench Set

Material

N/A

Tooth Count

N/A

Weight

3.08 lbs.

Measurement System

Metric

Number of Pieces

1

Let’s take a little diversion from the usual here and talk about the best electric ratchet wrench set. Based upon my experience, that title should defiantly go to the ACDelco ARW1201.  This is one of the best power ratchet wrenches out there, which is why I insist on using them in my own auto shop. That can be seen easily in this model’s core specifications, for example. With 57 ft-lbs. of max torque and a 170 RPM top speed, you really can’t argue with what this unit can do.

If I had to give this unit a follow-up award, I’d also rate it as one of the best battery-powered ratchet wrenches. That’s because this model makes full use of this brand’s G12 Series Universal battery platform. So, if you already use ACDelco power tools, you’ll be able to use the same batteries to power this unit. Each of those batteries features overload protection as well, so a lot of use won’t burn this power wrench up.

All things considered, the ACDelco ARW1201 comes in at a great value. For only around $100, you can get an electric ratchet wrench that can save you a ton of effort over the course of a large project. You won’t need to replace it any time soon, either, thanks to this model’s brushless motor.

Pros

  • Low profile head allows for work at an angle
  • Brushless motor can reach speeds of up to 195 RPM and 70 ft.-lbs. torque
  • Ergonomic soft grip provides comfort during long use sessions

Cons

  • Bulkier than other ratcheting wrenches

9. GEARWRENCH 85988

Best Double Ratcheting Wrench Set

Material

Vanadium steel

Tooth Count

72

Weight

6.38 lbs.

Measurement System

Metric

Number of Pieces

12

Finally, we come to the GEARWRENCH 85988 set, which I’ve determined to be the best double ratcheting wrench set in this collection. At around $130, you might be expecting great things out of this 12-piece set. And indeed, you’ll immediately feel the difference after engaging the 0° offset on this set’s non-ratcheting ends. These ends can be used to effectively and efficiently break off stuck fasteners, which many mechanics run into regularly.

In part, I believe that the price of the GEARWRENCH 85988 set is also connected to its construction. To be specific, each wrench in this set is made from durable vanadium steel, which is still rarely used in this industry (despite its excellent durability and resilience). These wrenches aren’t made from bare metal, though. In fact, they all feature a polished chrome finish that can be easily cleaned off and shined with a shop rag.

I would be remiss if I forgot to mention the off-corner loading design incorporated into these wrenches. Though you may not notice a difference visually, these wrenches have all been designed to apply slightly more pressure during longer torqueing strokes. This allows your grip to improve as you work through a stroke, whereas most ratchet wrenches can begin to lose their grip at that point.

Pros

  • 0° offset on non-ratcheting end can be used to break stubborn fasteners
  • Longer beam design provides added stability and torque
  • Off-corner loading design provides supplemental grip on each turn

Cons

  • Known to bend when put under excessive pressure

Ratcheting vs. Other Wrench Types

Ratcheting wrenches are sometimes confused with other types of wrenches. Some of this confusion is understandable, but it is still essential to know the difference between this type of wrench and other types you might find in a professional workshop.

For example, combination wrenches and ratcheting wrenches are easy to mix up based upon their appearance. However, only a ratcheting wrench has a ratcheting box end, while a combination wrench simply has a fixed box end. Both can be used to tighten down fasteners, but a ratcheting wrench can do the job more efficiently and with less effort.

An open end wrench, meanwhile, only bears a resemblance to a ratcheting wrench at a glance. They do not feature a box end at all, so their ratcheting capabilities are more limited. A socket wrench, meanwhile, is exceptionally capable of ratcheting with ease. However, they take on a different form factor and utilize an internal mechanical system that facilities torque translation.

If you’re shopping through your local hardware store's catalog of wrenches, you may also come upon a "crowfoot wrench." These are special accessories for socket wrenches that allow them to operate in tight spaces more efficiently. 


How to Use a Ratchet Wrench

Using a ratchet wrench shouldn’t be too challenging if you’ve used a socket wrench before. Even if you have, then it’s important to review your technique. That way, you can get the most out of your ratchet wrenches each time you whip them out.

First, you’ll want to grab a ratchet wrench from your set that is sized appropriately for your target fastener. Once you’ve found one, place your ratchet wrench’s ratchet end over the fastener. Once you have a snug fit, you can begin to turn the ratchet wrench clockwise. This will loosen up the target fastener.

If you’d like to tighten down a fastener instead, you can flip over your ratchet wrench and begin turning it counterclockwise.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

When was the ratchet wrench invented?

The ratchet wrench’s origins date back to 1863 when an American, J.J. Richardson, received a US patent for the first ratcheting socket wrench with interchangeable sockets. Over time, the ratcheting process at the center of this tool’s operations was adapted and simplified. Though it is unclear when the first combined ratchet wrench hit the market, it is clear that they are a standard-use tool in many auto shops today.

What are the highest quality brands for ratcheting wrenches?

There are numerous worthwhile ratchet wrench brands on the market today, all of which you should check out before settling on a particular set. Among others, I believe that the ratchet wrench from Gearwrench, DeWalt, and Craftsman are the very best on today’s market.

How often should these wrenches be lubricated?

Typically, you’ll only need to rubricate your ratchet wrenches once every couple of years. However, if you use your set often, then you may consider re-lubricating them as often as once a year to prevent excessive internal wear.

What’s the difference between metric and SAE? Do I need both?

“Metric” and “SAE” describe the types of measurements used to categorize certain sets of ratchet wrenches. A metric set will be based on metric measurements and partials, while SAE sets will utilize imperial measurements and partials. A deeper explanation of these differences in practice can be found here. In any case, you likely won’t need both as long as you are okay with having a slightly imprecise fit at times.

Who makes Husky ratcheting wrenches? Are they any good?

Husky ratchet wrenches are well respected in the industrial and DIY fields, not least due to their wide availability. To that end, they are made by and for sale at Home Depot. However, the tools themselves are usually made by a third party, which has included Stanley Black & Decker, Western Forge, Apex Tool Group, and Iron Bridge Tools in the past.

Where is the best place to buy ratcheting wrench sets?

While I typically recommend checking out hand tools at your local hardware store, I can say with certainty that you’ll have better success shopping for ratchet wrenches on Amazon. There, you’ll find a great selection of options that you can compare and contrast with ease. Better yet, you can be confident that their increased shipping capacity will translate into lower set prices for you.


Conclusion

Even after seeing all of these outstanding ratchet wrench sets, you may still be wondering if buying your own set would be “worth it.” Take it from me – you won’t regret picking up your own ratchet wrench set. You’ll find a million uses for these things as soon as you bring them back to your shop. They also save you a lot of time and effort, making them must-haves for any mechanic who wants to work smarter, not harder.

Before you go out and grab your own ratchet wrench set, I want to put in a couple more good words for my preferred set - the GEARWRENCH 9416 set. These wrenches could not be easier to use thanks to their 5 degree swing arc. Better yet, their pass-through design also allows me to use these wrenches on long bolts. I recommend this set to you, regardless of how much past experience you have with ratchet wrenches.