Let’s face it! You’ve probably worked on tight spots where you cannot easily turn a conventional wrench full circle or if you can, it does not produce the results you want. In such instances, the only way out is to get a versatile tool that can help you make work easy. That’s where a good ratchet comes in. If you do not have it, you need one immediately whether you are craftsman ort you just love doing things yourself.
A good ratchet not only saves you the hassle of working on tight spots but it also saves you the cost of always calling a pro when there is a small task to do. With the tool, you have a great asset for all your projects. However, getting a good one is also where there is another challenge. Not all ratchets you see on the market are good. Although they do the same job, they do it in different ways. You, therefore, ought to research first before hitting the road to a store or pressing the purchase button on online stores.
We have made work easier for you by doing the homework of finding out the best 3/8 ratchets on the market. More specifically, we have identified the top four brands that you can consider. Just in case you want a quick answer, our top pick overall in the list is New Craftsman 3/8” Drive Full Polished Quick Release Ratchet.
- Top Four 3/8 Ratchet Picks with Reviews
- #1: DEWALT DWMT71804 3/8 Drive Pear Head Ratchet – Best Durable
- #2: New Craftsman 3/8″ Drive Full Polished Quick Release Ratchet – Best Overall
- #3: Stanley 91- 929 3/8 – Inch Drive Pear Head Quick Release Ratchet – Best Budget
- #4: TEKTON 3/8″ Drive by 7″ Quick Release Composite Offset Ratchet – Best Value
- When Should You Use a 3/8 Ratchet?
- How to pick a good 3/8 Ratchet
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Four 3/8 Ratchet Picks with Reviews
Here is our list of the best 3/8 Ratchet on the market.
#1: DEWALT DWMT71804 3/8 Drive Pear Head Ratchet – Best Durable
Our list of top picks starts with this tool for amazing reasons. If you’ve been buying different tools and not necessarily ratchets only, you already know that all DEWALT tools are always known for one great feature that separates them from the rest in the market. They are high-quality and durable owing to their great construction. That’s exactly what DEWALT DWMT71804 3/8 Drive Pear Head Ratchet is to users. If you haven’t used it before, then this might be what you just need to work easily on the toughest job sites.
Whether you are a plumber, homebuilder, electrician or a remodeling contractor, this ratchet should be among your must-have tools in your box. It is a highly durable tool made of vanadium material. It can resist high temperatures as well as hard/tight working environments. It also has a 72 tooth gear system to provide high torque needed for such tough jobs. Besides, this ratchet has a 5-degree arc design and slim head that makes it easy to maneuver especially in tight spaces that would be difficult to reach using the usual wrench and other tools.
The DEWALT DWMT71804 3/8 ratchet also has a low profile directional lever that helps especially in one-hand operation and also reducing catch points. This feature increases its efficiency hence you can complete your job in no time even when it involves tightening bolts in hidden or tight areas. Indeed, apart from durability, this is a tool that is engineered to exceed the expectation of the user.
Product weight: 15.8 ounces
Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches
- High torque ratcheting owing to its great gear system
- Slim head design for easy and great maneuverability
- Built to last with durable chrome vanadium steel
- While the product is a great one that makes work easier, it can be a bit heavier hence you might get tired easily if you have many jobs to do with it.
#2: New Craftsman 3/8″ Drive Full Polished Quick Release Ratchet – Best Overall
This ratchet is our top pick for all the great things you can imagine about a good ratchet. To start with, this is a tool that has a one-handed reverse switch for ease of changing directions without losing contact with fastener. It is also a high torque ratchet that is powerful enough to have the job done in tough sections such as engine compartments that are had to reach. Although it might look simple, this tool is without any doubt slick and efficient tool that makes it easy to work on nuts/bolts on tight spaces.
If you have several jobs that would ideally be hard to do with the usual wrench, this ratchet can do all those. Most importantly, it is highly durable and can withstand prolonged use since it is made of steel. For this reason, it is durable and resistant to rust provided that you use it as recommended. Other than that, this is a tool that can consistently deliver on several daily jobs especially for mechanics.
With a simple press of a button, this ratchet can quickly release and swap sockets, unlike others that tend to take the time. It is thus the best option when doing multiple quick jobs. Give it a try, and you might be happy to have found your dream ratchet. It is one of the top-rated ratchets in leading stores with amazing customer reviews.
Weight: 12.8 ounces
Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 1 inches
- Made of steel hence durable and resistant to rust
- Easy to use especially when you need extra leverage on tight bolts in tight areas
- Some users have complained that the quick release feature of the ratchet is prone to get stuck especially after use for a long time.
#3: Stanley 91- 929 3/8 – Inch Drive Pear Head Quick Release Ratchet – Best Budget
Sometimes, your budget can be a limiting factor but that does not mean that you cannot get a good ratchet to help you do your work. There are options which are good for your budget too if that’s your main concern. The Stanley 91- 929 3/8 – Inch Drive Pear Head Quick Release Ratchet is the best one for the budget. It comes with great features and can help you do any work that you would still do with the expensive models.
Being a tool that is made of durable steel and polished chrome, this tool can serve you for long if you keep it well and use it carefully. It is simple to use and its arch-swing design makes it appropriate for all those hard to reach areas that have been giving you a headache. Also, its reverse mechanism reduces hand strains since it operates easily as needed while on use. You can thus acquire one if you want to do a couple of tasks without any hassle.
If you need a handy solution to your plumbing, mechanical as well as carpentry jobs, then this is a pocket-friendly ratchet. With it, sockets and even extensions will remain locked onto the drive until you disengage with the help of its quick-release button. It is also good to note that with this ratchet, a single pawl with just eight teeth is enough to provide the needed energy to tighten or loosen bolts with ease.
Weight: 10.4 ounces
Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.8 x 1.2 inches
- It is a durable ratchet that meets and even exceeds ANSI standards
- Durable and resistant to rust due to its high polish chrome finish
- Can handle a variety of tasks ranging from simple to tough ones
- Some users argue that one may not use it for professional jobs daily as it is prone to scratches
#4: TEKTON 3/8″ Drive by 7″ Quick Release Composite Offset Ratchet – Best Value
We all want value for our money but getting it is at times a challenge if one does not know the best tools that fall in that category. The TEKTON ratchet is the best value since it sells at a relatively lower cost and still comes with great features. It is not the lowest priced and neither is it expensive hence it is the best option on this basis. Aside from that, this is a durable, high-performing and attractive ratchet. It also meets industry standards and can be used for a wide range of tasks.
Other great features of this ratchet include a push-button, lock-on and a quick-release drive tang that prevents sockets from dropping. It also comes with high-impact composite shell trays that work well in cold areas. This feature also prevents scratching or even marring of the finished parts. Besides, the offset handle provides an added finger clearance hence helping to prevent scraped knuckles.
In a nutshell, this ratchet is easy and highly convenient to use. With it, you get to enjoy a wide array of features that make your otherwise tough job simple. It is thus a great addition to your toolbox.
Weight: 6.9 ounces
Dimensions: 8 x 1.3 x 1.4 inches
- Has thumb operated reverse switch for ease of change of drive direction
- Large dual pawls to prevent slipping and deliver more torque
- Made of heat-treated and hardened chrome vanadium steel
- Its direction selector can easily be hit when working on tight spaces hence can easily cause damages to the ratchet
When Should You Use a 3/8 Ratchet?
After going through our top picks for good 3/8 ratchets, the other thing worth knowing as a potential buyer and user of this tool is when exactly should one use it. Although it is a highly versatile tool that can be used for many tasks, some are meant for it. Those are the ones you should use the tool for especially if you want to enjoy the durability.
Ideally, any job or circumstance that leaves you stuck with a nut and bolt in a hidden or tight area, requires the use of a 3/8 ratchet. If you’ve found yourself in such situations before, you understand how it can consume your time, and even still leave you unsatisfied. However, if you get a 3/8 ratchet, you are sure to complete the job on time with a lot of ease.
A 3/8 ratchet is also useful when you are tightening a bolt in a room that has limited space. For instance, if you are doing something on the toilet, the chances are that you do not have enough space for your usual wrench to completely turn quickly due to insufficient space. In such instances, having a 3/8 ratchet can help you make work easy.
Another instance where this kind of ratchet is useful is when you are working on tight areas of your car engine. Such spaces need extra care as they are very vital when it comes to the operation of your car engine. Any nuts and bolts in such spaces should thus be tightened properly. With a 3/8 ratchet, getting to those spaces is easy and you’ll maneuver around the spaces with no challenge.
Generally, if you are a mechanic or just a hobbyist in doing works that involve tightening nuts and bolts, then a 3/8 ratchet is a must-have in your toolbox. It is a tool that you can use for almost every project at your garage, and when doing other projects.
How to pick a good 3/8 Ratchet
Even still with a list of four top ratchets, there is still another challenge that you should overcome when you are purchasing one. You need a simple buying guide that helps you narrow down to just a few. Precisely, there are a couple of considerations you ought to make when buying a 3/8 ratchet. Knowing them not only assures you of getting the best, but it also helps you to save time when buying.
Here are the most important considerations you should make:
Your intended work is a great determinant of the type of ratchet you will acquire. For instance, if the work you intend to do will include getting into tricky spaces, then that should be a guide. You should get a ratchet that has a flex head as it best works in such areas. In case you are not sure of the one that best suits your work, you can always ask pros instead of picking any type. It is thus vital to bear in mind what you intend to do when making a decision.
Ratchet’s Drive Size
3/8 is the best drive size that you should always go for when searching for the best ratchets. While there are other sizes, this particular size can work well in different sockets. You should get it for your home garage as it operates easily in vehicles including cars. If you get the right size, the ratchet will serve the intended purpose. Most importantly, it will make your work easier especially when working on tight areas.
Style of Operation
If you’ve used 3/8 ratchets before, you know that most of them operate through a geared drive. To enjoy efficiency and effectiveness of such tools, always go for those with higher tooth count. They help keep the tool in place and they are also best when working on narrow areas that would otherwise be hard to reach.
Ability to Stick to Fastener
A good ratchet should stick to fastener when using it, so you can easily complete the job you have without the ratchet falling off. But how do you tell which one sticks to the fastener and which one does not? Well, go for those that contain a release button meant to disengage the lock when using it. Those are the types that stick and won’t give you any problem when using especially on narrow or tight areas as already said.
Good ratchets are not pricy as they are sometimes said. You do not have to spend all your savings to acquire a good one. As noted in the reviews, some are best for the budget and value as well. Those are the ones you should go for if budget is your greatest consideration. They are still good and will serve the purpose if you use them well and as recommended if you are doing the work yourself.
Quality of the Metal
Some metals are resistant to corrosion and they are, therefore, durable. Also, if you are a mechanic, you probably know that using a ratchet sometimes results in high temperatures. Such temperatures can damage the tool. These two vital aspects are what lead us to the quality of metal or material used to make a ratchet. For durability and resistance to corrosion, choose those that are treated with chrome molybdenum. They resist high temperatures and can last longer than others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Can Use a Ratchet?
Anyone looking to tighten or loosen bolts/nuts in tight areas can use a ratchet. That means whether you are an electrician, carpenter, plumber or just a DIY hobbyist, a ratchet is a great tool to have at home.
Why is a 3/8 Ratchet Good?
It can handle nearly all tasks and is easy to maneuver around especially spaces with limited work or turn area.
How’s a 3/8 Ratchet Different from an Average Wrench?
A ratchet does not need all the travel room for it to rotate especially when used in areas where space is limited.
How to use a Ratchet?
Most people have good ideas of how a ratchet should be used, however, this site can offer useful tips for getting the most out of your ratchet.
If you’d like to get a good quality ratchet, a prior review or search is a must before you purchase one. In this article, we’ve given you an easy way to decide the best 3/8 ratchet that you should acquire. Most importantly, our buying guide gives you the vital information that you need to make the right buying decision. Make use of it, and rest assured of getting the best tool that will simplify your job especially when working on tight areas.