If you’ve ever spent a considerable amount of time in the garage, then you’ll know that using a ratchet can be a time consuming process. A ratchet is a huge step up from using a regular wrench, but there is room for improvement.
Enter the air ratchet. The air ratchet allows you to put your socket on a bolt, push a button and turn that bolt with little effort on your part. Not only is this less physical effort, they are extremely faster which can save you valuable time.
The downside to air ratchets is they do require an ample supply of air. You also have to finesse an air hose, which can be tricky in tight places. For most jobs though, they are a great tool.
Air ratchets are generally good for high speed, low torque operations. Just like any other tool, there is various grades of quality and capability. Generally they are constructed from steel with an aluminum body. This helps to keep weight down so you don’t have to lug a heavy tool around all day.
A high end air ratchet will generally have much more torque than a lower end model. This is something important to consider when purchasing an air ratchet. If you’re just looking for a basic air ratchet, an entry level version will do. However if you’re looking to really do some heavy torquing, a high end model is better. Also remember that if the bolt is really tight, an impact gun will always be the best choice.
Air ratchets are available in different sizes as well, such as 1/4″ drive and 3/8″ drive. The small 1/4″ drive ratchets come in real handy as well. They are compact and can pack a lot of punch. Be careful when using them, as its really easy to strip a bolt with that much power going to such a small bolt.