Opinions Wanted - Who Makes the Best Ratchets? [Archive] - Team Camaro Tech

: Opinions Wanted - Who Makes the Best Ratchets?


Andrew69
Mar 11th, 10, 05:52 PM
Okay guys, share your opinions here. I have used the same set of Craftsman ratchets for more than 25 years and feel like upgrading. They have a large disc on top to change directions and they often reverse direction during use. I find this is annoying and uncalled for.:mad:

I bid on a set of Snap-On ratchets recently on eBay, but when I noticed they didn't have the push button socket release I stopped bidding. That set went for $145 plus shipping.

I was considering this "New Generation" set from Sears for $79, but after handling the 1/2" drive ratchet it just seemed too heavy.
http://i.ebayimg.com/21/!Bg9Zn,g!Wk~$(KGrHqQOKjgErzIqpw+vBLHFUGYzdg~~_35.J PG

My second choice might be this design with polished handles.
http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/williamsjr51/3pc_polished_ratchets.jpg

What do you guys think? I do not use these every day as a professional, but as a hobbyist on the Camaro and such. Some of you make your living with hand tools and probably have you favorites.

Are the Snap-On ratchets worth the money? How about the SK brand?

Steiner
Mar 11th, 10, 06:02 PM
My wife got me a nice Stanley rotator ratchet that wasn't very expensive. It's got the pushbutton release and contoured rubber padded handle that is geared with the head. When you get in tight places, you can just rotate the handle (like revving a motorcycle) in either direction and it rotates the socket.
http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=SMT+RATCHET+OTHER&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=89-962&SDesc=3%2F8%26%2334%3B+Drive+Rotator+Ratchet


You know, being Craftsman tools you could always beat the heck out of them until they broke and get replacements with some new ones. Ha ha.

novaderrik
Mar 11th, 10, 06:03 PM
i believe those first heavy Craftsman ratchets are made in China. and even if they were made in the USA, they just feel wrong in my hand. i also think that they don't have the same lifetime warranty as the older ratchets, but i may be wrong about that.
i don't know about the second ones you showed. are they the professional series?

Andrew69
Mar 11th, 10, 06:18 PM
My wife got me a nice Stanley rotator ratchet that wasn't very expensive. It's got the pushbutton release and contoured rubber padded handle that is geared with the head. When you get in tight places, you can just rotate the handle (like revving a motorcycle) in either direction and it rotates the socket.
http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=SMT+RATCHET+OTHER&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=89-962&SDesc=3%2F8%26%2334%3B+Drive+Rotator+Ratchet


You know, being Craftsman tools you could always beat the heck out of them until they broke and get replacements with some new ones. Ha ha.

I took them by Sears today to complain about the design and ask if I could trade them in for new ones, but they wouldn't accommodate me. Guess I should abuse them up some and take them back again.

i believe those first heavy Craftsman ratchets are made in China. and even if they were made in the USA, they just feel wrong in my hand. i also think that they don't have the same lifetime warranty as the older ratchets, but i may be wrong about that.
i don't know about the second ones you showed. are they the professional series?

They didn't feel good in hand either, kind of bulky and heavy. I don't know if the second ones shown are professional series, but they are not the cheap ones either. Their handle is very similar to what I have now, but with a better ratcheting head.

Steiner
Mar 11th, 10, 06:22 PM
Is anyone familiar with this SK tools model?

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:eElEwwgot26CzM:http://images.fixya.com/S/SK/177x150/31758883.JPG (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images.fixya.com/S/SK/177x150/31758883.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.fixya.com/support/p514387-sk_3_pc_fine_tooth_palm_control_ratchet&usg=__YjrdNt2s0g73rPzznmDf6RXyMfE=&h=150&w=177&sz=4&hl=en&start=15&itbs=1&tbnid=eElEwwgot26CzM:&tbnh=86&tbnw=101&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsk%2Bratchet%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26tb s%3Disch:1)

We use all SK at work but the model with the standard checkered grip and I don't believe they are the fine tooth ones. Nothing special as far as I'm concerned.

Vintage 68
Mar 11th, 10, 06:24 PM
Hands down Snap-On are the best ratchets I've ever owned :yes:
I personally don't like or have many of the 'push-release' modles - but, there are 'push-release' rebuild kits and part available to convert older units if wanted. Price was pretty resonable (hard to say about most Snap-On stuff ;) ) for the shaft and other parts ...

I have several Craftsman sets at different locations for use when I'm there.
Never liked the feel and the newer (last year or so ??? ) internals stink - I've broken two of them in a row :sad: I had just exchanged an older 1/2" unit that worked flawlessly for decades ...
Son has a 3/8" set with that newer handle design and I find it is hard to hold and handle in tight places. Chrome has started to peel on one near top, but we are afraid to exchange it and get a crappy newer internals model ...

jr68
Mar 11th, 10, 06:37 PM
I just picked up that same SK ratchet in the picture
very nice very impressive love the fine tooth

1969 RS/SS DROPTOP
Mar 11th, 10, 07:19 PM
Snap-on feels great/works fine for me.

K and K
Mar 11th, 10, 07:32 PM
Of the professional brands:
Snap-On number 1 and most expensive
Mac (My Favorite) number 2 and second most expensive
Matco number 3 and third most expensive

AlexFolino
Mar 11th, 10, 07:44 PM
What are your intentions with it? Gearwrench isnt a bad tool at all for ratchets. I own almost one of every brand big name to no name and the Gearwrench has been the best and i work at a diesel shop.

prostreet69camaro
Mar 11th, 10, 07:48 PM
Snap on

buenymayor
Mar 11th, 10, 08:48 PM
Hands down Snap-On are the best ratchets I've ever owned :yes:


I've always had Craftsman ratchets, but they aren't what they used to be. Skipping teeth, changing direction, just cheap in my book. I've got all Snap On ratchets at work, and I love em. Considering replacing all the Craftsman ones I've got at home. I bought all my Snap On ratchets off eBay. Looked up the price on Snap Ons website, cut it in half, subtracted shipping, and that's what I bid. Took me a couple months to get all of them I wanted, but worth the effort.

wagonman
Mar 11th, 10, 08:57 PM
I've always had Craftsman ratchets, but they aren't what they used to be. Skipping teeth, changing direction, just cheap in my book. I've got all Snap On ratchets at work, and I love em. Considering replacing all the Craftsman ones I've got at home. I bought all my Snap On ratchets off eBay. Looked up the price on Snap Ons website, cut it in half, subtracted shipping, and that's what I bid. Took me a couple months to get all of them I wanted, but worth the effort.

The skipping of teeth and changing direction usually occurs when they get gummed up inside the head,or when the spring gets weak.This spring pushes againsed a ball.This ball gives you the positiveness in the direction and ratcheting.

Take it part and clean it.

pro tc
Mar 11th, 10, 08:58 PM
snap-on

dale68z
Mar 11th, 10, 09:00 PM
My favorite: Matco Part#: BFR88T Price: $84.00
I've got them all, snap on with and without button, coarse gears, they work but are my last pick
Old school craftsman, well, good for at home
SK, I like both of mine

pro tc
Mar 11th, 10, 09:17 PM
craftsman and matco are made by same company
Barry

deputystoneman
Mar 12th, 10, 03:00 AM
craftsman and matco are made by same company
Barry
and gear wrench

buenymayor
Mar 12th, 10, 03:43 AM
Take it part and clean it.

Tried that. I imagine new guts will fix it, I just haven't taken the time to get new ones. After using the Snap On ones, I just can't get too excited about fixing them. I hate having to work on tools!

SPARKY69
Mar 12th, 10, 03:56 AM
as per the title of the thread..
snap-on is truly superior in the work force for dependability and longevity
of course mac-tools would rate second..
and everything else doesnt matter, just make sure you get a lifetime warranty and one that you like and suits your purpose in your jobs!

click
Mar 12th, 10, 07:38 AM
Ive got a mishmash of wrenches, some bought, some inherited but by far my favorite wrenches are the Gear Wrench Flex Head brand. Ive just about quit using socket wrenches since these flex into pretty tight corners. Ive also got Sears and Napa socket sets but dont use them much anymore.
I have the standard and metric Gear Wrench sets but get the flex head style, much more versatile :) love em

http://www.carsbyjim.com/storage/MiscStuff/flexheadratchetwrenchs.jpeg

Calpantera
Mar 12th, 10, 10:04 AM
I have always had purchased Craftsman, yes they do wear out and start changing directions but I just take em back to Sears and they replace em. I was just in there over the weekend trading in a 1/2 drive. The guy didn't even test it, just swapped it out for a new one. I do have a couple snap-ons that my brother gave me (he has a shop with 7 bays so he has a ton of tools and is always reinvesting). I really like the handle on them. They feel right and operate very smoothly.

Vintage 68
Mar 12th, 10, 10:15 AM
Ive got a mishmash of wrenches, some bought, some inherited but by far my favorite wrenches are the Gear Wrench Flex Head brand. ...
I have the standard and metric Gear Wrench sets but get the flex head style, much more versatile :) love em
...


Like my 'Gear Wrenches' also Jim :thumbsup:
Keep a set for the boats as they are easy to get into the tight spaces on them.
I bought them 6~8 years ago when they wre @$100 a set.

I did hear from a couple folks that the newer series are not as robust as the 'older' sets and they've had some issues with the ratchet slipping and stripping out on them.
They got them replaced for free (bought them from Sears and just took the back to echange) but are still a little leary to "lean" on them after they broke a couple.

I totally agree with the statements about S & K being very good tools :thumbsup:
I had quite a few sets of 1/4. 3/8 &n 1/2" stuff from them I bought in the 60's when I was just starting to aquire some good tools.
Unfortunately, when my shop in SoCal got broken into in the late 70's they stole almost all of the set's in their green boxes in my work bench :sad:
I still look for sets at yard sales/swap meets and have repurchased some nice loder sets in good shape :cool:

Pacecarjeff
Mar 12th, 10, 10:36 AM
The main reason I like the craftsman - is because it is so easy to exchange if one breaks.
I have always had a Sears store right down the street from me.

Unless you have a local snap on guy you use - all other brands will need to be shipped back for an exchange.

Home depot sells full sets only and could not exchange a nut driver that failed.
had to wait 2 weeks for a mail exchange.

i like the gear wrenches too, but when one of them failed -
took 3 weeks before I had a replacement, and I had to pay for freight with tracking.
Close to as much as the cost of the single wrench?
I am sometimes hard on my tools - and sometimes they fail - Sears has made it very easy.

My older Craftsman stuff is much better quality - but the new stuff is not so bad either.

67 Plum
Mar 12th, 10, 10:37 AM
I have Mac , Craftsman and SK.I like the 1/2 SK the best have had one of them for 30 years.I have had a 3/8 drive Mac for over 20 years had a few rebuild kits put in it.I have a few 1/2 Craftsmans but I don't like them several 3/8 ones that work fine.

Andrew69
Mar 12th, 10, 02:11 PM
I have a set of the Gear Wrench ratcheting wrenches with the swivel head and liked them enough that I also bought a regular set (non-swivel) of the ratcheting wrenches. I find that I use the non-swivel design more, maybe because they have a stop that lets you place it over the bolt or nut without passing it all the way through the wrench. I find the swivel head wrenches hard to keep on the nut or bolt when it is extended above the surface of the work.

I did some Google searching of my Ratchets, item numbers 43773 EE, 43772 EE, & 43771 EE and found that they are relatively rare and might fetch good money on eBay. Below are a few photos. It is a nice looking set but that big disc on top tends to make it change directions during use.

Steve69SS396
Mar 12th, 10, 02:21 PM
Most of my stuff is Craftsman and it works good. I do have a Proto 3/8" drive ratchet and it is definately better than Craftsman. The head is small and it has a fine smooth ratchet action. :beers:

Vintage 68
Mar 12th, 10, 03:51 PM
BTW - not sure if they've announced it or not yet ... but Sears is planning on selling Craftsman Tools through many ACE Hardware stores beginning in May/June.

scblucam
Mar 12th, 10, 05:19 PM
i have Always used Craftsman. They do wear out. I took a 1/2" ratchet for exchange because of slipping and reversal. They did not exchange it but rebuilt it right in front of me . Works great. I asked him to polish it to like new but that did not go over well.
I have an ancient Craftsman torque wrench that was advertiised as lifetime warranty way back when(late 70s)but did say to recalibrate yearly. Took it in for recalibration in the original box about three years ago and they had no idea what I was talking about. Offered me a new wrench with a 90 day warranty. Forget it.

Andrew69
Mar 12th, 10, 05:33 PM
BTW - not sure if they've announced it or not yet ... but Sears is planning on selling Craftsman Tools through many ACE Hardware stores beginning in May/June.

That is interesting to know. I know they sell the Craftsman brand at Kmart, but I haven't been to Kmart for at least a few years.

jr68
Mar 12th, 10, 08:04 PM
For ratchets I have Craftsmen, Allen, SK, and Williams.
The Craftsmen is my least favorite, feels cheap. I've had it 20 plus years.

victimizati0n
Mar 13th, 10, 03:25 PM
i absolutly hate that push button stuff, when i use one i always try to rip the socket off of the ratchet.

i have 40+ year old snapon ratchets that i use almost every day and they still work fine, and i have never had a socket fall off of them

edit* and to compare my craftsman to snapon stuff, i got a set of craftsman sockets, and they are literally 1/2 the weight of my snapon stuff, the side walls are so skinny, im a bit afraid of them breaking

Andrew69
Mar 14th, 10, 07:35 AM
I am considering a set of Gearwrench fully polished ratchets. Does anyone have experience with these? The don't have the push button socket removal so I would like to handle one or hear from someone who has used them before I make the purchase.

http://www.gearwrench.com/catalog/ratchets_and_sockets/ratchets/full_polish/setdetails.jsp?part=81206

prostreet69camaro
Mar 14th, 10, 08:43 AM
Here is some on ebay. Not a bad price.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-PC-GearWrench-Cushion-Grip-Ratchet-Set-GEAR-WRENCH_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem518a4ab2e1QQitem Z350212502241QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-Pc-GearWrench-Full-Polish-Ratchet-Set-gear-wrench_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem4836438efcQQitem Z310148042492QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools

victimizati0n
Mar 14th, 10, 09:33 AM
Here is some on ebay. Not a bad price.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-PC-GearWrench-Cushion-Grip-Ratchet-Set-GEAR-WRENCH_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem518a4ab2e1QQitem Z350212502241QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-Pc-GearWrench-Full-Polish-Ratchet-Set-gear-wrench_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem4836438efcQQitem Z310148042492QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools

sears sells the same exact thing for the same price, you wont have to pay for shipping, so it will be cheaper there

Andrew69
Mar 14th, 10, 09:53 AM
Here is some on ebay. Not a bad price.

http://rover.ebay.com/ar/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?mpt=1342904204&adtype=1&size=1x1&type=3&campid=5336121784&toolid=10001 http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-PC-GearWrench-Cushion-Grip-Ratchet-Set-GEAR-WRENCH_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem518a4ab2e1QQitem Z350212502241QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=3&campid=5336121784&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2Febaymotors%2F3-PC-GearWrench-Cushion-Grip-Ratchet-Set-GEAR-WRENCH_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem518a4ab2e1QQitem Z350212502241QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools)

http://rover.ebay.com/ar/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?mpt=1890083804&adtype=1&size=1x1&type=3&campid=5336121784&toolid=10001 http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-Pc-GearWrench-Full-Polish-Ratchet-Set-gear-wrench_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem4836438efcQQitem Z310148042492QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=3&campid=5336121784&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2Febaymotors%2F3-Pc-GearWrench-Full-Polish-Ratchet-Set-gear-wrench_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem4836438efcQQitem Z310148042492QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools)

Actually I was considering this set on eBay for $62 shipped. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230444513082&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:MOTORS:1123

K and K
Mar 23rd, 10, 01:02 PM
If you really want the "best" as in titled in the op, you really cant beat Snap-On. Its expensive for a reason, the tooth count on their new F80 ratchet makes it reset at a minimal angle. The Mac I said I preferred in a post earlier only applies to their spinflex ratchet which offers the most outstanding versatility in a rachet. It took about a day to get used to but is now usually the first one I pull from the drawer.
Of course everything is everyones personal opinion.