What Is A Ratcheting Wrench? How does It work?

If you are into DIY projects, especially a mechanic, then you probably have an idea of what a wrench is. A wrench helps to tighten the loose bolts on your machinery and loosen them when need be. Therefore, knowing what is a ratcheting wrench is important for better performance.

Moreover, there are different types of wrenches and each carries out unique functions. Some of them include combination wrench, adjustable wrench, open-end wrench, crowfoot wrench, short body wrench, basin wrench, pipe wrench, ratchet wrench and strap wrench among others. 

What Is A Ratcheting Wrench?

What Is A Ratcheting Wrench

A ratcheting wrench is a tool that not only helps to loosen nuts and bolts of different machines but to also tighten them. You can never miss this type of wrench in a mechanic’s toolbox. It is very common for use in tight and small spaces that any other standard type of wrench cannot reach. The pivoting ends on the ratchet are what enable it to fit in limited spaces.

How Does A Ratcheting Wrench Work?

This tool employs a unique mechanism known as a pawl and gear mechanism that enhances its performance by a great deal. Simply put, it allows the ratchet to move in a single direction as the wrench spins in the other direction in free motion. This mechanism prevents you from putting aside the wrench that is attached on the fastener while working.

Nonetheless, this wrench comprises mainly of two parts: a socket and a handle which is otherwise known as a wrench that you hold in your hand for the purposes of tightening and loosening. The socket sits at the driver, which is square in shape and is at the end of the handle.

The socket is among the core parts of the ratchet wrench. It features a metal cylinder construction. Besides, it comes in various sizes meant to fit the different sizes of the nuts and bolts on your piece of machinery. This means that as you shop for this wrench, you should also consider buying a set of sockets to be on the safe side.

You can either get a deep or a shallow socket. Most sets of sockets only have the shallow type but if you get a bigger socket set, then it may offer you both options. Shallow sockets are most appropriate for loosening and tightening bolts in simpler jobs and when you are operating within a limited space. On the other hand, deep sockets suit more complicated jobs like car engines and parts alike.

Usually, you need to put the ratchet wrench on top of the fastener after attaching the socket to it. Next thing to do is to start swinging the handle to create a motion. This in turn makes the fastener to rotate towards the direction of the swing. Thereafter, you can repeat this process without the need of letting go of the fastener until you get the job done.

Benefits Of A Ratcheting Wrench

Works well in tight spaces

Unlike the regular types of wrenches, the ratcheting wrench can easily fit in small spaces such as motorcycle engines with much precision. A regular wrench will normally need you to remove it from the fastener’s head and thereafter return it to its position before swinging again. The ratchet mechanism saves you the trouble of removing the wrench as you work. And this is the reason why it is suitable for use in tighter spaces.


This wrench works well with fasteners of different sizes because of its ability to accommodate sockets that vary in sizes as well, thus versatile. Most of the other wrenches do not have this outstanding feature. Aside from this, its sockets can either be a standard or metric size allowing you a wide variety of uses.


First and foremost, this wrench is easily portable. This means you can easily carry it from one point to another without a hassle. Moreover, there is no need of taking out the wrench from the head of the fastener as you swing the handle in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions. This largely improves its performance by allowing it to work at a faster rate and give out excellent results therein. Besides, there are wrenches that do not need you to apply lots of energy during swinging. A simple push gets them working.


Since wrenches use specific sizes of sockets, there is an improved level of accuracy during tightening and loosening of bolts and nuts. With the help of a size fastener, you will achieve perfectly accurate results.


While using wrenches, you are sure of safety. This is because their handles have an improved textured grip. This ensures maximum control of the tool while you work. There will be no slipping of your hand as you swing the handle plus no breaking will occur. If you plan on working in areas that experience high vibration or those that have cold temperatures, you are good to go with the ratcheting wrenches as their insulation is top notch.


Usually, ratcheting wrenches have flexible heads which enhances its usability. Besides, it allows you room for customization in accordance with your preference. You can change the heads using the add-ons that come with it and its part are easily available making it easy to replace them when you feel the need to.

Users Of A Ratcheting Wrench

As much as we know how a ratcheting wrench works and some of its benefits, it is important to familiarize ourselves with its users. It is a must have for any DIY enthusiast. Apart from this, it is common among carpenters, mechanics operating machinery such as cars and motorcycles, plumbers, construction people and finally car owners.

Final Verdict

Ratcheting wrenches are important must-have tools in your toolbox. Not only are they easy to use but are also compact in size and highly convenient. You can use them to easily fix any problems you experience at your place of work, home or even in your car. Notably, you need to invest in a wrench that is of high quality and performs effectively. Most importantly, you need to visit our website for better understanding about what is a ratcheting wrench to avoid future inconveniences.

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