Stanley’s been manufacturing tools since 1843, and they’ve been successful by creating unique and innovative products for all skill levels. The Rotator is truly unique, as you can tighten and loosen a nut/bolt by simply twisting the handle, or by using it like a traditional ratchet. Whereas this function is perfect for situations where you can’t get a full sweep of a traditional ratchet, it also makes using the ratchet in a traditional manner tricky when it tries to spin in your hand. Also, the head is extra-large because of the unique gear mechanism, and it’s heavier than the others in this test. It is comfortable and it is priced at a value, however, during real world testing it was more novelty than must-have.
11. GM Performance Parts
Keep in mind the expansive world of private labeling when buying name-specific tools. From food, to manufactured parts, and especially China-manufactured tools, the name a on label is oftentimes just a name. In the case of the GM Performance Parts quick-release ratchet, the name didn’t help it perform any better than towards the bottom of our pack. A sticky thumb reverse, basic ergonomics, and standard size head meant the GMPP ratchet was outclassed in this competition. Add to that a price higher than its similarly equipped rivals and the quick-release quickly dropped towards the bottom.
1/4 & 3/8 Dual Drive, 72-teeth
You’ve no doubt seen these dual drive ratchets on top of the checkout stands at parts stores and your local tool stores. If you’re like us, you were intrigued but never pulled the trigger on a purchase. For that very reason, we sacked up and dropped the $12.99 at a local Pep Boys. Keeping in mind this is a .-inch test and not a ¼-inch test, the ergonomics for the . were not particularly good with an oval handle, nose-heavy balance, and awkward angle. We could not perform the torque test due to the handle’s diameter and the addition of a ¼-inch shaft on the other end doesn’t make it compact.
Kobalt tools typically perform well in our testing, however we think the engineers missed the mark on the comfort-grip ratchet. Not only is the ratchet heavy, but the handle is square. Although it is wrapped in rubber, the square shape doesn’t feel natural in your hand. We also noticed the handle material coming of in our hands during testing. Because of the handle shape, we could not perform the torque test, nor did it pass the tight confines test. For nearly $30.00, we expected a better ratchet than we got.
Most auto enthusiasts start of with a tool set with this ratchet included. It was a unanimous "yes" when we asked everyone on staf if they owned this Craftsman quick-release ratchet. What we learned from our extensive testing was just because everyone has one, doesn’t make it the best choice. Uncomfortable in our hands after just a few minutes of wrenching, the shortest ratchet in our test made it dificult to get any real leverage. With only 36 teeth, the ratcheting arc angle is below par. If you have one of these and it’s all you use, take it from us, step up and try one of the other ratchets in our top three.