GearWrench 81211F 3/8-Inch Drive Ratchet
The GearWrench 81211F is the best 3/8 ratchet for those who want a nice ergonomic design and a nice chrome finish. This 3/8 ratchet works very smooth and has a very low profile head that will get into tight spaces better than its competition.Shop now at Amazon
A ratchet is a basically a type of gear mechanism that allows motion in one direction while preventing motion in another. While there are many forms of ratchets, the most common one is the ratcheting socket wrench, also just known on the street as a ratchet. Of course, there are other forms of ratchets, such as ratchet screwdrivers and flex head ratchets. For this article, we will discuss ratcheting socket wrenches and in particular the 3/8 inch drive ones.
The whole point of a ratcheting socket wrench is so that you can tighten or loosen something without having to remove and refit the wrench after each turn. This allows for a much more seamless process when trying to remove or install screws. The drive fittings on ratchet heads comes in a few common sizes such as 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, and 3/4 inch. One of the most common drive sizes is the 3/8 inch drive or 9.5mm drive if you are dealing in metrics.
A 3/8 inch ratchet is the most common drive socket size and used for a number of applications from moderate to heavy torque. Finding the best 3/8 ratchet is not the easiest task because there are many factors you need to consider. You should take into account the handle length, ratchet direction switch, quick release button, swivel ratchet heads, and of course the durability and ease of use.
The handle length of your 3/8 ratchet obviously determines the amount of torque generated. Longer handles can generate greater amounts of torque, but may also be hard to get into smaller spaces. Next, many 3/8 ratchets have some sort of switch that can allow you to reverse the direction of operation. Be on the lookout for this feature. You should also see if there is a quick release button, which lets the socket slip off of the drive head easier. Finally, a swivel ratchet head is always a plus as it allows you to get difficult attachment angles.
Best 3/8 Ratchet
- GearWrench 81211F 3/8-Inch Drive Ratchet
- Tekton 15010 3/8 Inch Ratchet
- Craftsman Extreme Grip 3/8 Ratchet
- Blackhawk By Proto BP-1338QR
- ACDelco ARW1201 Li-ion 12V
GearWrench 81211F 3/8-Inch Drive Ratchet
The GearWrench 81211F is the best 3/8 ratchet for those who want a 84 tooth teardrop ratchet. It features a full polish chrome handle and a bright and sturdy chrome finish. Additionally, it exceeds all industry standards set by the ASME, which means you don’t have to worry it malfunctioning on you. The GearWrench also has a teardrop shaped head and flush mounted on-off lever.
We really like the teardrop shaped head as it allows you to access limited space much easier. This low profile head really helps you squeeze into those confirmed spaces, and is the main reason we recommend the GearWrench 3/8 ratchet. It is just simply one of the thinnest heads in the industry. Compared to the competition, you are allowed access into 20% more space.
Finally, you have a 4.3 degree swing arc and increased strength over the previous models coming in at 200% of ANSI strength specifications. All of this translates into longer durability and increased strength in heavy applications. All in all, this 84 tooth ratchet features a nice innovative ergonomic design and a bright visible chrome finish.
– 84 tooth teardrop ratchet
– Full polish chrome handle
– 4.3 degree swing arc
– Ergonomic design
Tekton 15010 3/8 Inch Ratchet
If you want the best 3/8 ratchet for the money, you should look into the Tekton 15010. This is a 3/8 inch drive with a 18 inch handle, which is much longer than its competition. We think pound for pound, this is quite possibly one of the best ratchets in terms of value. The Tekton 15010 can deliver 2,340 inch pounds of torque, which exceeds ANSI standards by a healthy 30%.
In terms of other specification, the Tekton 15010 features a 72 tooth oval head with a 5 degree swing arc. It also has a lock on quick release drive tang, which also helps prevent dropped sockets. Additionally, it is made extremely durable with heat treated chrome vanadium steel. It is also fully polished and is corrosion resistant with a very nice looking chrome plated finish.
– 18 inch handle
– Exceeds ANSI standards by 30%
– 2,340 inch pounds of torque
– Chrome vanadium steel
Craftsman Extreme Grip 3/8 Ratchet
The Craftsman Extreme Grip is the best 3/8 ratchet if you want a very well rounded ratcheting socket wrench with a great fit and grip. This is a 72 tooth ratcheting mechanism and you get a 5 degree swing arc, which improves access to fasteners. Additionally, the craftsman extreme grip is loaded with features to make it very easy for you to use. There is a quick release button and a thumb activated reversal switch, which lets you to swap directions quickly.
We really like how the Craftsman Extreme Grip has a low profile head, which gives you easy access to tight areas. While it is not the thinnest, it still beats out most of the competition in terms of getting into tight spaces. Finally, the material construction is nice and made of a steel alloy. It features a well made and most importantly comfort handle. This handle has a really nice grip and gives you lots of support when you are applying lots of force.
– 72 tooth ratcheting mechanism
– 5 degree swing arc
– Low profile head
– Nice comfortable grip
Blackhawk By Proto BP-1338QR
For those looking for the best 3/8 ratcheting socket wrench, the Blackhawk by Proto maybe the way to go. This is a 72 tooth fine gear ratcheting mechanism with a great ergonomic grip. It is also FOD compliant with a sealed head design. We really like the full polish finish, which it a nice sleek look that is rust resistant. The finish really is premium and better than most and the design is fantastic.
We really like the nice and thin head, which can easily help you fit it in tight places. Also, the direction lever is recessed from the back of the head so that it out of the way when you are working. All in all, the ratchet is well balanced and the gears are fine and tight. It is a fantastic tool that is very smooth and precise and has excellent quality and craftsmanship.
– 72 tooth fine gear ratcheting
– Full polish finish
– Nice and thin head
– Well balanced
ACDelco ARW1201 Li-ion 12V
If you are looking for the best 3/8 air ratchet, the ACDelco ARW1201 is the way to go. ACDelco is a well respected brand name in the tool and automotive industry and makes quality parts. This is a 3/8 ratchet that works through a 12V li-ion battery. It delivers up to 59 foot pounds of torque and can easily loosen and tighten things on demand.
We like how lightweight the unit is and how it does not fatigue your hands. It is fit for working in confined spaces and and has a ergonomic handle that is nice and sturdy to hold onto. This ratchet works just like a mechanical hand operated ratchet except you press a button to make the head spin in forward or reverse direction. While it is more expensive than a standard 3/8 ratchet, it makes up for the premium by its superior performance and stability.
– 3/8 air ratchet
– Works via 12V Li-ion battery
– 59 foot pounds of torque