Ratchet Set Reviews
Our Top Pick is the Crescent Mechanics Tool Set
A ratchet set is an essential tool for mechanics, homeowners and DIYers to have in their collection. Many have multiple sets to cover a wide range of needs. Each set contains different socket sizes and include both ratchet and socket wrenches. They are used primarily to remove and apply bolts for both small and large projects. The quality of a ratchet set becomes apparent during use, even though they may look very similar on the surface. They include gear systems that are complex and able to operate on various size bolts, at different depths. Given the affordability of a quality ratchet set, this is a tool you do not want to go with lower quality unit as it will make your work much harder than necessary.
Ratchets come in metric and standard sizes and may include one or both sizes. These are not interchangeable. Bolts are commonly used for securing materials and connecting two pieces of wood or other material together in the most secure way possible. Once inserted bolts can carry heavy amounts of weight, in the thousands of pounds and are built to last, making the structure both safe and secure for long periods of time. Having a larger set allows you to have the tool needed for the job, whenever it is called for. Each structure needs different sizes and a larger set gives you confidence you will have the size you need when you need it. There are also different depth ranges to consider as well as getting into tight spaces. Using the wrong size has the ability to damage or warp the bolt. May leave is not tight enough to be secure or may strip a bolt that you are trying to loosen.
After researching and studying the top ratchet sets on the market the Crescent 170 Piece Mechanics Tool Set rose above the completion both in providing a complete set along with high quality tools. This set provides all the sizes, depths and ranges necessary for nearly any job you will come across. It provides top quality tools that meet ANSI and ASME specifications and standards. Each ratchet offers a magnetic tool for good fits and socket locks to eliminate slipping. The set also comes with a lifetime warranty, making it our top pick.
Who Should Buy This
Ratchet sets are easy tools to use and an essential for many applications. This hand held tool is commonly used by mechanics, carpenters, construction workers, electricians, plumbers, handy men and DIYers. Anyone working on a home, completing repairs or repairing vehicles will find that a ratchet set is invaluable to own. They are used for assembling bikes, and grills, fixing toys and appliances, and a range of other household applications. A ratchet set is one of the primary tools you will find in nearly any toll box. They are typically among the first purchases for those who are just getting started.
What Makes a Good Ratchet Set?
Good quality ratchet sets come with a variety of common features. The first is a variety of sizes especially those that are most commonly used. Finding a set that includes both metric and standard sockets will alleviate the need to purchase two sets as both sizes are commonly found. These sizes are not interchangeable even though they may only be off a tiny bit. That loose fit can result in stripped bolts and more headaches. Sizes are determined by the manufacturer as well as where the bolt is being used. Small bolts may be used in items like bicycles where large bolts are used in decks and furniture that is required to hold heavy weights. Standard sizes are fractional inches and metrics are expressed in millimeters. Items built in the US are more likely to use standard sizes where overseas the metric measurements are more common.
Torque is also a critical feature as this represents the amount of force you can apply to the ratchet without compromising the tool. Inexpensively made models cannot withstand much torque and will break of too much pressure is applied. Tight fitting sockets will also help tighten and loosen bolts correctly. Magnetic sockets will help the socket attach to the ratchet for a more secure operation. Quick release feature helps you change sizes quickly and efficiently.
Ratchet sets need to be made from quality metals such as steel. This provides anti corrosion material and the ability to withstand a higher torque. Steel sets often come with lifetime warranties.
Cases are an important part of any ratchet set because sets with a lot of parts will use the case for both carrying the set as well as storage. Sets that do not secure each piece tightly will result in you loosing sizes, and being unable to locate what you are looking for quickly.
There are organization such as the ANSI and ASME that set standards for production. Tools that meet these standards will have a more consistent quality that has been tested and viewed by a third party and rated them for quality. This is important because not all metals are alike even if they carry the same name. Steel for example can be treated differently and comes in various weights that help determine the quality of the material being used. Standard organizations like those listed above help ensure more consistent quality.
How We Tested
We began by researching the top ratchets on the market and then consulted with professions who use these in their daily workings. This gave us the parameters that are required for a top quality set. We looked at the size of the set compared to the most common size sockets used, the quality of the ratchet, durability of the set, company history for customer service and responding to problems, and customer reviews. After narrowing the list, we were able to select the top ratchet sets for further research and testing. We then reviewed tool blogs, forums, magazines, and received expert opinions which gave us the top contenders. We then studied reviewer opinions and comments and looked at long term usage of the tools real world applications.
|Drives||Metric and Standard|
|Depth||Standard and Deep Sockets Included|
|Drive Tools||¼”, 3/8” and ½”|
|Dimensions||2 X 36.3 X 20|
The Crescent 170 Piece Mechanics Tool Setfeatures170 pieces including both standard and metric sizes. The sizes are common for consumer, mechanical and industrial applications. The drive sizes are for ¼”, 3/8”, and ½” drives. The tools meet ANSI and ASME standards and come with a satisfaction guaranty and a lifetime warranty.
The tools are designed for heavy duty tasks and include a quick release for the sockets ensuring that changing sizes can be done quickly and efficiently. They also have sockets that lock onto the ratchet to eliminate slipping and movement within the socket. The size stamps are clearly marked and easy to read. They are marked on both the case and each size socket in the set. A plastic carrying case and storage case is also included to keep the tools together and organized.
Both standard and deep sockets are provided in the set, giving you a wider application for any size socket you will run across. The set includes 3 quick release ratcheting drives, standard and metric sizes and standard and deep sizes. The ratchet tool includes a 3/8 and ¼ 72 tooth quick release for precision work. There are also two extensions available for hard to reach places. 2 spark plug sockets are also included along with 25 12 point sockets and 10 6 point sockets. On the ½ inch tool you have a 3-inch extension, 22 6 point sockets. Also in the set are 12 combination wrenches, 8-inch adjustable wrench, 2 pliers, 4 screwdrivers, a magnetic driver bit and hex key set. All tools meet the highest industry quality standards.
Who Else Likes It
The guys at hubpages.com have this to say about the Crescent 170Piece Tool Set, “What makes this Crescent 170-piece mechanics tool set stands out from the crowd? Without doubt it’s collection of tools.There is not only a wide collection of mechanics tools, but a great selection of tools that are mostly needed for most applications…you will definitely find every tool that needed most into this mechanic’s tool set.In most of this type of inexpensive mechanic’s tool set, however, you sometimes will find no screwdrivers, or adjustable wrench, or pliers…The thing you will definitely like most is the 12 point sockets…most sets come with 6 point sockets…a great set to have for home owners, to semi-professional mechanics, to professional mechanics.”
Amazon reviewers gave the Crescent 170 Piece Mechanics Tool Set a 4.6 out of 5 from 249 reviewers. One five-star customer writes, “This is my 4th crescent set I’ve owned. This set has everything you could need for most repairs on automobiles, it is my standard issue tool box when headed to the you-pull-it junkyards…The 1/2″ ratchet has taken some nice abuse with a 3-foot-long cheater bar to loosen rusted 3/4″ hitch bolts at the junkyard. A great kit for the back of any vehicle.”
The Step Up
For those looking for a more complete set the Bostitch BTMT72263 Mechanics Ratchet Set comes with 246 pieces. This heavy duty ratchet set comes with a 72 tooth gear system. The handles are ergonomically designed and include anti-slip kurling.
The size markings are clearly stamped on each piece and are easy to read. The set includes both metric and standard sizes along with ranges to accommodate different depths. They are made from top quality steel construction and include a quality case.
They are capable of handling high torque needs and are flexible giving you access to tight applications. They come with a lifetime warranty.
Top Ratchet Set Comparison
Care Use & Maintenance
All tools require attention to safety care and maintenance. This will reduce accidents and ensure the tools last as long as possible. We have gathered a list of safety and maintenance tips to ensure your safety as well as the safety of those around you. We have also provided useful information for theproper care of your ratchetset.
- Only use your ratchet set for the job it was intended.
- Use protective gloves to allow for better grip and control of your ratchets, wrenches, and sockets.
- Keep the sockets together for easy retrieval and size changes.
- Do not attempt to pry bolts loose if they have become warped or rusted. If they break you may need a power tool to remove them.
- Do not add too much pressure for bolt removal. Using WD-40 may be required to loosen stuck bolts.
- Put tools away after use to protect against loss or weather damage.
- Store ratchet sets in a cool dry place.
- Discontinue is parts become loose or broken.
- Keep purchase and warranty information available in the event a replacement is needed.
Wrapping It Up
Ratchet sets are handy tools and found in most tool sets. They are very versatile and used by nearly everyone who works on homes or vehicles, assembles items or fixes things, making them a must have for every home. Quality sets are cost effective and can provide a lifetime of use if they are cared for.