Last updated on August 12th, 2019 at 06:39 pm
Whether working on your car project, a construction project, or in your daily handyman endeavors, the last thing you want is to lose much of your energy trying to fasten or loosen nuts and bolts manually. As an auto mechanic, tightening and removing nuts and bolts can be the most energy-sucking activity if you don’t have the right tool. It is more difficult to work effectively and efficiently in very compact areas that don’t have enough headroom to let you move your hand wrench back and forth. In such cases, a cordless ratchet wrench comes in handy as a perfect alternative to the standard ratchet.
A cordless ratchet is a battery powered ratchet. It gives you freedom from air hoses and electric wires as well as makes tightening and removing of nuts and bolts easier and more fun. Needless to say that with this tool you can access nuts and bolts in hidden places with a lot of ease and you don’t necessarily need to have a lot of headroom to take out or install a nut or bolt. In other words, the ratchet does not need to be moved back and forth to get the job done. A cordless wrench will help you get the job done effectively even when you are in an uncomfortable or awkward position like underneath a truck that’s not raised. However, unlike an impact wrench that is designed for heavy duty applications, a cordless wrench is purposely meant to be used for low to medium duty requirements.
Top 5 Best Cordless Ratchet Wrenches
Detailed Review of 5 Best Cordless Ratchets
Milwaukee Cordless Ratchet 3/8 Ratchet KitReview
Looking for a cordless ratchet that can be used to remove and install nuts and bolts in those tight and poorly illuminated work areas? The Milwaukee cordless ratchet wrench is the real deal. This unit is small and compact and definitely light on your hands. Although it delivers only 35 foot-pounds of torque, you can rest assured to get up to the last ft-lb. It also has a high RPM that enables it to drive bolts and nuts very fast to save you time. While it is possible to underestimate its ability from its size, you will be amazed at how this cordless ratchet breaks free a lot of nuts with a lot of ease. It also features a varible speed paddle switch for controlling the speed more easily and responsively to avoid overtightening.
The 3/8 inch drive has a detent pin that retains sockets to prevent them from falling or spinning off. The head is short enough, and just 3/4 inches wide, to allow you to get into very tight spaces. In a nutshell, there are 5 main things that make the Milwaukee cordless ratchet stand out among competitions:
- Built-in LED light to illuminate dark compact work areas
- Onboard fuel gauge on the side that not only indicates the state of charge of battery but also flashes when the torque is exceeded to notify the user to release trigger.
- Can be used as a manual socket wrench to give the nuts an extra snag or break loose very tight bolts and nuts
- Forward/reverse lever is flush with the side to prevent it from accidentally being snapped during operation.
- Shorter battery charging time than competitors; only 30 minutes to full charge
Verdict: Milwaukee Cordless Ratchet is nice addition to your toolbox if your work involves accessing nuts and bolts that are located in very tight and dark work spaces. It is also very light and actually the shortest among the top 5 competitors and definitely feels lighter on your hand. Additionally, if you care so much about warranty, you will not go wrong with this power tool because it has an unbeatable 5 years of warranty coverage.
Unfortunately, this tool will not break heads or bust nuts for you because of limited torque rating. Luckily, there is a Milwaukee Fuel version that is bigger and more powerful for heavy-duty applications.
Video Review of the Milwaukee Cordless Ratchet
3/8 inch Aoben Cordless Ratchet Review
If you are an aspiring mechanic or a DIYer with a lean budget for a cordless power ratchet, the Aoben electric ratchet wrench set is a great pick! The tool packs a 12V powerful motor that delivers 35ft-lbs of torque that is sufficient for light-duty repairs and operations. It is sturdy and well-built with a rubberized anti-slip grip to prevent it from slipping out of your hands during operation Like the Milwaukee, the Aoben power ratchet also has an LED light that shines brightly to illuminate dark areas. However, the light does not stay on after the trigger is released. The tool also has a safety switch to prevent it from running accidentally.
The Aoben power ratchet kit includes two 2000mAh batteries that provide long working hours for the tool before the next recharge. However, a major downside about the batteries is that they take significantly longer to charge compared to Milwaukee. Nevertheless, they provide enough juice to complete a typical day’s work for a repairman, electrician, or new mechanic. The package also includes a set of 6 socket wrenches (10mm,12mm,13mm,14mm,15mm,17mm), a 3/8-to-1/4 socket adapter, and an extension bar socket wrench. All these are packed neatly in a plastic-molded carrying case for easy storage.
Verdict: The Aoben cordless ratchet wrench set is definitely not a popular brand but is, by all means, a great bang for your buck and performs very well. However, it is only suitable for light duties because of the torque limitation. Therefore, if you are a mechanic, electrician, or a DIYer looking for an affordable cordless ratchet kit that includes a host of other extras at a price under $100, then the Aoben is what to go for. However, if power is an issue, then you should consider more powerful ratchets.
3/8 ACDelco Cordless Ratchet Review
If you are looking for a ratchet that you can use for some heavy duty applications, then you should consider the AC Delco cordless ratchet. It is a fairly large cordless wrench compared to the milwaukee and Bressanon and delivers much more torque. Precisely, it measures about 13.5 inches long, weighs about 3 pounds, and has a torque rating of 55foot-pounds. Although it is pretty heavy on your arm, it is definitely the tool you need for cranking down nuts hidden in deep crevices where short wrenches won’t reach. This power ratchet is unfortunately not a tool for using in very tight spaces, which is actually one of the major reasons it is not a favorite for technicians and auto mechanics.
The AC Delco cordless ratchet has a way bigger and thicker head compared to the Milwaukee but both have 3/8 inch drive and a 3/8″-to-1/4″ drive adapter. Another downside about the AC Delco is its raised direction dial which like the Bressanon adds another point of contact and could be easily be snapped in tight spaces causing the direction of rotation to change. One more disappointing thing about this electric ratchet compared to the milwaukee is that it does not have an on-board LED light and a battery fuel gauge. However, this cordless ratchet has some outstanding features that make it a perfect selection for replacing your manual socket wrenches:
- It is long enough to access nuts and bolts located in deep areas.
- Comes with two batteries
- Includes a durable molded plastic carrying case
Verdict: Although it delivers slightly less torque than the rated value, the AC Delco cordless ratchet is a heavy duty power tool for breaking lose or fastening nuts and bolts that need more than 30ft-lbs of torque. It is a nice addition to your garage tools and a perfect replacement for the manual socket wrench. The tool ships with two batteries and a durable molded plastic carrying case for almost the same price as the Milwaukee cordless ratchet that only has a single battery and a soft carrying case and of course less torque.
Video Review of the AC Delco Cordless Ratchet ARW1201
Bressanon 3/8 Cordless Ratchet Review
The Bressanon cordless ratchet is another 3/8 inch drive wrench that delivers 35ft-lbs of torque. It is about 10.2 inches long with the head unit being about 2 inches long and 1.4 inches wide between the tip of the drive and the top of the direction control dial.Unlike the Milwaukee and the AC Delco cordless ratchets that only include a battery, a 3/8 to 1/4 inch drive adaptor and a charger, the bressanon ratchet adds 5 different sizes of wrench sockets (10mm,11mm,13mm,14mm,17mm) in its package.
It has a button control switch instead of a paddle switch. Similar to the Ac Delco, this power tool has a raised forward/reverse lever that makes for simple switching between tightening and loosening nuts. Unfortunately, the raised lever adds a point of contact that may be accidently snapped by objects to cause the direction of rotation to change especially when working in very tight spaces or when in an awkward position. Another downside of the Bressanon cordless ratchet is that it cannot be used as a regular manual ratchet. This is a major drawback because it means your work stops when the battery runs out of juice unless you have a spare wrench or battery. Additionally, this tool does not deliver a lot of nut-busting torque, which is another reason why you need a manual ratchet to break the bolts loose or even torque to spec.
Verdict: Clearly, there is quite a lot of limitations with the Bressanon cordless ratchet. However, it is a budget-friendly tool for auto mechanics and repair and maintenance professionals who need to speed up removal of bolts or insertion. Nevertheless, you will need a spare manual ratchet for breaking loose stubborn nuts whose torque exceed its torque range or for applying an extra snug to bolts and nuts.
Earthquake XT 3/8 Cordless Wrench
As its name goes, the 3/8″ Earthquake XT Cordless Ratchet delivers a ‘ground-breaking’ amount of torque that is almost equivalent to what you get from a typical air ratchet. In fact, it is written on its packaging that the power tool “Delivers the power of air” with much flexibility and convenience. This is a simple and robust power tool that can be very useful to any automechanic or repair person. It weighs about 3 pounds and will drive nuts and bolts at a variable speed of up to 170RPM. It features a paddle speed trigger, which albeit finicky, will stop the drive from rotating almost instantly upon release.
The Earthquake XT cordless wrench is quite long and will give you better leverage especially when using it as a manual ratchet. However, it can be quite cumbersome to use in very tight spaces. Because of its heavy weight on the head, it can also cause fatigue on your wrist when used for long hours. Its direction dial or switch is raised and may be accidentally snapped to cause the drive to rotate in a different direction when working.
Included in its packaging is a US standard simple charger that has two LEDs(red to indicate charging and green when charging is complete). The packaging conspicuously lacks a 3/8-to-1/4 drive adapter which is often included in many other cordless ratchets.
Three cool things about the Earthquake XT cordless ratchet are:
- It can be used as a manual ratchet.
- Stops instantly when the speed trigger switch is released.
- Comes with a durable molded plastic carrying case
Verdict: Earthquake XT Cordless ratchet is simple budget-friendly power tool that delivers a huge amount of torque almost like a regular air ratchet. If you dont mind its very short warranty period, the limitations on its charger, and its lack of fancy features such as an onboard fuel gauge, then this cordless wrench is absolutely a good deal.