10 Best 3/8 Ratchets of 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews
Ratchets are a must-have tool if you are involved in mechanical projects. They give you an easier time adjusting bolts and nuts than common wrenches.
If you are working on an application that requires ⅜-inch ratchets, you should know that choosing one requires some thought. This is because ratchet models can differ significantly in practicality and quality.
Since research can be a time-consuming process, feel free to use this compilation of reviews of the best 3/8-inch ratchets on the market today. We have also included a buyer’s guide to help you evaluate and compare the various options.
A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2020:
|Best Overall||GEARWRENCH 3/8" Flex Head Teardrop Ratchet||
|Best Value||TEKTON 3/8" Quick-Release Composite Offset Ratchet||
|Premium Choice||Milwaukee 2457-20 M12 Cordless Ratchet||
|Stanley 91-929 3/8-Inch Quick Release Ratchet||
|DEWALT DWMT81097 3/8-Inch Ratchet||
The 10 Best 3/8 Ratchets:
1. GEARWRENCH 3/8″ Flex Head Teardrop Ratchet – Best Overall
This ⅜-inch ratchet by GearWrench is our overall top pick thanks to its ease of use, practicality, and high-quality construction.
For starters, it comes with a flexible head that allows you to work in hard-to-reach areas. It also features a 6-point adjustment that increases your reach, as well as leverage while working in awkward spaces. And we are sure nobody would mind the visible markings on its head.
You will love its ingenious design. Its double-stacked pawls engage its 60-tooth gear in alternating fashion, resulting in more turning force. Again, this design allows up to 120 ratcheting positions, thus enhancing strength and versatility further. And with an arc swing of only 3 degrees, you will get to work more efficiently.
This GearWrench ratchet comes with a cushioned handle to enhance your comfort and grip, allowing you to work better and longer. Thanks to this tool’s alloy steel construction with a chrome finish, it is extremely durable. Moreover, the enclosed design of its head makes it particularly resistant to dirt infiltration.
However, due to the flexible head design, you might feel some flex when applying a lot of torque. Nonetheless, it is still arguably the best ⅜-inch ratchet in the game today.
2. TEKTON 3/8″ Quick-Release Composite Offset Ratchet – Best Value
The Tekton 1457 is an incredibly versatile tool and is undoubtedly one of the best 3/8 ratchets for the money.
For starters, this ratchet comes with a clever lock-on, quick-release drive tang that prevents sockets from dropping. This allows for a safe and efficient operation. It also features a chrome vanadium steel construction with an impact-resistant composite polymer shell. This results in a remarkably rugged ratchet that can withstand heavy-duty operations in extreme conditions.
Another key feature of this tool is its 72-tooth oval head that only requires a 5-degree arc. This allows you to work more efficiently. Moreover, to change the direction, you simply press a thumb switch. The Tekton 1457 is also quite comfortable to use, thanks to the offset handle that allows extra clearance for your fingers. This allows you to avoid scraped knuckles.
Beware that this ratchet might not fit into some tight spaces. Other than that, it is a great value tool.
3. Milwaukee M12 Cordless Ratchet – Premium Choice
The Milwaukee 2457-20 M12 is a cordless power ratchet that allows you to tackle heavy-duty applications with ease.
The M12 features a brushed motor to power its operation and runs on an M12 battery. The good news is that it is compatible with other Milwaukee batteries, which is quite thoughtful of the company. Moreover, it only needs 30 minutes to recharge fully, so you won’t have to take long breaks in between work. It also comes with a carrying case for portability.
You will find this ratchet to be user-friendly. Its head features a low profile design to allow you to work in tight spaces. It also has LED lights to enhance visibility in dimly lit conditions.
This unit also comes with REDLINK INTELLIGENCE technology to enhance your battery’s durability. Here, you have a smart chip that is in constant communication with your battery to ensure that it is working optimally. This prevents issues such as overheating.
There’s also a fuel gauge so you can know how much charge you have left in the battery.
Nonetheless, all the premium features on this tool come at a price, as it is one of the most expensive ⅜ ratchets on the market. But it is also one of the most reliable as well.
4. Stanley 3/8-Inch Quick Release Ratchet
The superior features and construction of the Stanley 91-929 makes it one of the best socket ⅜-inch ratchets in the game today. Thanks to its high quality forged steel construction, this unit is capable of withstanding high torque and heavy turning loads. Moreover, it features a chromium-polished finish for corrosion resistance, which enhances its durability.
The Stanley 91-929 also comes with a handle that is long enough to allow you to access hard to reach areas. Furthermore, it features a thumb-operated reverse switch to allow you more control over your work without a lot of hassle.
To add to its ease of use, it has a swinging arc of only 7 degrees, limiting the amount of effort you have to apply. You will also appreciate the fact that Stanley designs its tools to meet ANSI specifications.
The only issue with this product is that its handle might feel unbalanced to some.
5. DEWALT DWMT81097 3/8-Inch Ratchet
If your project calls for a weightier and more robust ⅜ ratchet, consider the DWMT81097 by DeWalt.
This ratchet features a chrome vanadium steel construction with a highly polished finish, which makes the tool incredibly durable and easy to clean.
It comes with a 72-tooth head, which is ideal for high torque ratcheting making it ideal for heavy-duty use. And don’t worry if you are working in a tight space because it has a 5-degree arc swing. To enhance its ease of use further, it features a quick-release button.
Thanks to its slim design, this DeWalt ratchet allows you to access hard to reach areas, although it’s quite heavy.
6. TEKTON SRH01118 3/8 Inch Ratchet
Tekton is one of the most reputable manufacturers in the tool industry, and the ⅜-inch SRH01118 ratchet is a good example of why they deserve that reputation.
This unit comes with a 90-tooth head, and thanks to its design, this ratchet manages an arc swing of just 4 degrees. What’s more, there are at least six teeth in contact with the gear at all times to prevent it from slipping or dropping. This enhances your efficiency tremendously, as even the slightest turn creates a great deal of motion.
Thanks to the minimalist design of its head, the Tekton SRH01118 is compact enough to fit in small spaces, thus allowing you to use it across a wide array of applications.
The handle’s design is quite thoughtful as well. It is long enough to allow you to use a two-handed grip for jobs that require more torque while being comfortable enough to use with one hand. Did we mention that you can disassemble this ratchet for servicing?
While the handle’s design is useful, it could use a softer grip.
7. Olsa Tools 1249 3/8-Inch Drive Swivel Head Ratchet
The Olsa Tools 1249 is another ⅜-inch ratchet that would make for a great purchase.
To ensure versatility and practicality, its head can rotate up to 270 degrees to allow it to work in angles that standard ratchets cannot. As a result, it allows you to work in tight spaces or in awkward angles without hassle.
Thanks to its 90-tooth gear-to-gear mechanism, the 1249 by Olsa Tools is an incredibly precise ratchet. Moreover, this mechanism reduces its arc swing to only 4 degrees, thus improving your efficiency further.
You will also appreciate the 1249’s ergonomic handle with a soft, non-slip grip. These features allow you to use the tool for longer without fatiguing while preventing it from slipping out of sweaty or greasy hands.
Thanks to the industrial-grade chrome vanadium steel construction, the 1249 is incredibly durable in addition to being resistant to corrosion. This makes it an ideal ratchet for heavy-duty applications. What we don’t like is that this tool requires several fingers to change the head’s direction.
8. Titan 3/8-Inch Quick-Release Offset Ratchet
The Titan 1204 comes with a 36-tooth reversible ratcheting mechanism with a 10-degree swing. Thanks to its low tooth count and heavy-set teeth, this ratchet’s design allows you to apply greater pressure, thus resulting in more torque.
Moreover, with its chrome vanadium steel construction, this hardy tool can handle heavy amounts of pressure.
Despite its ruggedness, the Titan 12045 features an ergonomic handle with a cushion grip to ensure that you are comfortable even during heavy-duty applications. It enhances your grip too. For added convenience, this unit comes with a quick-release feature that holds sockets securely to allow for easy removal.
The titan 12045 is best suited for periodic heavy-duty use, as regular use wears its teeth out quickly.
9. Craftsman 3/8-Inch Drive Thin Profile Ratchet
The Craftsman 44995 is a decent ⅜-inch ratchet. It features a thin profile to allow you to use it in hard to reach areas. While thin, it is quite durable, thanks to its steel construction. It also comes with a quick-release lever for easier and faster operations.
With is 84-tooth ratcheting actions, this tool allows you to enjoy a minimal 4.5 degrees of arc swing, improving your efficiency.
The 44995, however, does appear to have reliability issues. Some users complained of the quick-release lever not working after a while. The handle isn’t all that great and the thin profile doesn’t support heavy torque loads.
10. Klein Tools 65720 3/8-Inch Drive Ratchet
If you are on a tight budget, the 65720 by Klein Tools is worth considering. Given its low price, you should not expect a lot from this unit. However, it is a reliable tool, thanks to its chrome-plated aluminum construction.
Some of the notable features include a ratchet dial switch to allow you to change torque direction easily, and a relatively long handle that is suitable for most applications. Nonetheless, with a 15-degree arc swing, this tool might be tedious to use.
The 3/8 is one of the most popular ratchet types, thanks to its versatility. As a result, there are numerous brands and models of the ⅜-inch ratchet. Nonetheless, not all are worth your time and money. To help you choose the best tool for your needs, consider the following factors.
Depending on your needs, you will require a specific size of ratchet. In this case, it is a ⅜-inch one. This ensures that the tool you purchase is compatible with your sockets.
Tooth count affects how fast you can tighten or loosen a nut. The more the number of teeth on a ratchet, the faster it will be at its job. Moreover, more teeth result in a finer ratcheting motion. Finer motions require less movement when tightening and loosening bolts or nuts. This is what arc swing is all about. A short arc swing not only allows you to work faster but also more efficiently in awkward spaces.
Fewer teeth, on the other hand, result in the opposite effect.
To have an easier time tightening nuts, you want a ratchet with a socket release. This feature allows you to choose when to let go of a socket by pushing down a button. This allows you to handle your project more efficiently.
The design of your handle plays a significant role in the tool’s comfort and ease of use. To ensure your comfort during use, opt for a ratchet with a cushioned non-slip handle. When it comes to ease of use, opt for a handle with an ergonomic design with easy-to-reach switches. As such, look for a handle that combines an ergonomic design with a comfortable non-slip grip, as it will allow you to be more efficient or productive.
Your ratchet’s head also determines its versatility and ease of use. To avoid having to purchase a new ratchet every time the working conditions or environment, consider purchasing a ratchet with a flexible head. A flex head allows you to work in tight spaces or on bolts that are secured at awkward angles. Another great option is a swivel head design.
The material used in the construction of a ratchet determines its durability and ability to withstand extreme conditions. Chrome vanadium steel is the most commonly used material in the construction of ratchets, thanks to its durability.
However, you will also need to consider the conditions of where you will be working in. If you are working in a high-temperature environment, opt for a tool featuring a heat-treated chrome molybdenum steel construction, as this alloy is extremely resistant to high temperatures.
For colder temperatures, opt for a ratchet that is coated with a polyshell.
As with any other tool, the design and build quality of a ratchet determines its effectiveness and reliability. This is why it is important to do your homework as it allows you to purchase the ideal tool for your needs.
Fortunately, we have done the legwork for you. After numerous comparisons, we found the GEARWRENCH 3/8″ Flex Head Teardrop Ratchet to be the best ratchet you can buy today. It can access tight spaces thanks to a flexible head, has a durable construction and comes at an attractive price point.
However, if you are on a budget, consider the TEKTON 3/8″ Quick-Release Composite Offset Ratchet. While it may be slightly less efficient than the GearWrench, it is still an incredibly reliable tool, thanks to a clever design and high-quality construction.
We hope that these reviews have been of help.
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- A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2020:
- The 10 Best 3/8 Ratchets:
- 1. GEARWRENCH 3/8″ Flex Head Teardrop Ratchet – Best Overall
- 2. TEKTON 3/8″ Quick-Release Composite Offset Ratchet – Best Value
- 3. Milwaukee M12 Cordless Ratchet – Premium Choice
- 4. Stanley 3/8-Inch Quick Release Ratchet
- 5. DEWALT DWMT81097 3/8-Inch Ratchet
- 6. TEKTON SRH01118 3/8 Inch Ratchet
- 7. Olsa Tools 1249 3/8-Inch Drive Swivel Head Ratchet
- 8. Titan 3/8-Inch Quick-Release Offset Ratchet
- 9. Craftsman 3/8-Inch Drive Thin Profile Ratchet
- 10. Klein Tools 65720 3/8-Inch Drive Ratchet
- Buyer’s Guide