A ratchet wrench is a simple tool designed to help the technicians for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts where a conventional wrench or pliers cannot reach or work. It has several parts including an extender arm, universal joints, adapters and removable sockets of different sizes that fit into nuts or bolts of corresponding sizes.
The wrench consists of a ratcheting mechanism that makes it easy to tighten or loosen any nut through reverse movements without removing the wrench from the nut. A square fitting is attached with the ratchet that fits on the required nut or bolt. This square fitting contains a mechanism of a spring-loaded ball to keep its grip tight on the socket.
The most important parts are the universal joints and adapters. Universal joints are two joints having almost 90-degree bend so that the wrench could reach any corner and move into any direction. Adapters are used to fit sockets of one drive size with a wrench of another drive size.
Type of Ratchet Wrenches
Several types of ratchet wrenches are used for different purposes. The most important types are inline ratchet wrench, air ratchet wrench, ratchet open-ed geared wrench, impact ratchet wrench, flex ratchet and several others. Different wrenches are used to tighten and loosen nuts of different sizes having different mechanisms to do the job.
The ratchet wrench is usually used in some tight corner or narrow space where other common wrenches cannot reach, or it is impossible to move a common wrench to tighten or loosen nuts. It has a set of sockets to fit on the concerned nut. A socket of the size of the nut is placed on the head of the ratchet that fits into the square fitting. It is ensured that the socket and the nut are of the same size.
After ensuring this, the wrench is positioned right on the head of the bolt or the nut to fit that nut into the socket. When the socket is fit onto the nut, the wrench is twisted to the right direction. When the space runs out or limit is reached, it is slipped backward to the starting point to repeat the same twist. This twisting continues until the required nut is tightened or loosened.
Ratchet Wrench Buying Tips
While purchasing a ratchet wrench, it must be kept in mind that it includes all accessories used with it. It should have two universal joints, one extender arm, several universal sockets and seven deep sockets to be used at different places. The major purpose of ensuring accessories is that a single ratchet wrench should be used for different purposes instead of purchasing a new wrench for every new job. It is better to visit some market to compare prices and qualities of ratchet wrenches for the best choice.