10 Best Ratcheting Wrench Sets to Save You Time

top ratcheting wrenches
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Just about any task you’ll encounter as a professional or DIY mechanic will involve a wrench. This can end up requiring a lot of turn-lift-set motion when using a standard wrench. Thankfully, ratcheting wrenches eliminate a lot of this extra work.

As these will be some of the most-used tools in your kit, choosing the best ratcheting wrench set for your needs is an absolute must. The following are ten of the absolute best you’ll find currently on the market.

Our 10 Favorite Ratcheting Wrenches

ProductPiecesStandardRatchet TeethFlex Head?
best-ratcheting-wrench-setGearWrench 941616Metric or SAE72No
professional-ratcheting-wrenchesWera Joker11Metric or SAE80No
best-ratchet-wrenchMilwaukee 48-22-951615Metric or SAE144No
cheap-ratcheting-wrench-setHusky HRW10PCMM10Metric or SAE72No
top-ratchet-box-end-wrenchesGearWrench 8598812Metric or SAE72No
flex-head-box-end-ratchet-wrenchesMountain RM65Metric90Yes
best-flex-head-ratcheting-wrench-setTekton WRN5717012Metric or SAE72Yes
large-ratcheting-combination-wrench-setGearWrench 8503434Metric and SAE72No
craftsman-ratchet-wrench-setCraftsman 43224-311920Metric and SAE72No
ratcheting-wrench-set-beginnersToolGuards TG20122Metric and SAE72No

Ratcheting Wrench Set Reviews

#1 – GearWrench 9416 16-Piece Metric Ratcheting Wrench Set

best-ratcheting-wrench-setWhen you want one of the best ratchet wrench sets for the money, you can’t go wrong with this 16-piece set from the pioneers in ratcheting wrenches. As soon as you pick up one of the wrenches in the set, you’ll feel the excellent quality and craftsmanship.

The size of each wrench has been stamped on both ends of the alloy steel beam to save time on identification when yanking from a cluttered tool box drawer. A polished chrome finish adds both beauty and protection, while the off-corner loading design reduces the risk of fastener rounding.

Each of the 16 wrenches include a 72-tooth ratchet box end allowing for turns as small as five degrees and a thinner head and beam to assist with hard-to-access fasteners. There is also a matching 13-piece SAE version available for fans of Imperial measurements.

GearWrench ratcheting wrenches

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a single complaint about this popular set from GearWrench. Built to last, the slimmer design is not only a functional improvement, but has been described as more comfortable to handle without losing durability.

And speaking of lasting, this set has been used in commercial garages with fewer reported ratchet sticks or worn fastener heads than with similar sets.

GearWrench 9416 review

While most of us are looking for a good, made in the USA set, some might be surprised to learn that his set is manufactured in China (as are most other brands). But every piece in this set is built to the same high standards GearWrench is known for so don’t let that discourage you.

If you absolutely MUST have wrenches manufactured in the US, prepare to spend possibly hundreds more with brands like Proto, Wright Tools, Snap-On, Matco, or Armstrong. You’ll have to decide just how important that is to you.

Note that this isn’t the newest GearWrench ratcheting wrench set on the market and you may thus find yourself buying a certified refurbish. As the set itself is highly durable, this is usually not a problem. However, be warned that some refurbished sets may have defects or be missing a piece, so always check upon arrival if you choose to buy this set used.

Metric Sizes:  8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, 22mm, and 24mm.

SAE Sizes (matching set):  1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, and 1″.

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#2 – Wera Joker 11-Piece Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set

professional-ratcheting-wrenchesIf you simply need the best ratcheting wrench set where money is no issue, the innovative Joker is really hard to beat.

Known more for their excellent screwdriver sets, Wera’s 11-piece professional-grade metric set stores in a pouch and can handle even tough fasteners with ease, thanks to the double-hex geometry, replaceable metal jaw plate, and extra hard teeth.

An integrated limit stop means the wrench also won’t slip vertically along the fastener head. The ratchets’ 80 teeth allow for a return angle of only 30 degrees, while the color coded sizes and clear markings make it easy to grab the size you need at a glance. The build quality in this set manufactured in the Czech Republic is second to none.

Best of all, the structural design, high performance chrome molybdenum construction, and nickel-chrome plating mean this is a set of wrenches that will likely outlast the rest of your tool kit.

The holding function on the open end is a fantastic feature that will prevent accidental drops of fasteners in tight spots.

Wera Joker review

There’s no denying the quality and effectiveness of these Joker combination wrenches. The lightweight design and sturdy construction make them a joy to use in more commercial settings where they’re handled frequently.

This may very well be the best ratcheting combination wrench set currently on the market. While not cheap, it stacks up well against Snap-On and Matco sets which cost even more.

Unfortunately, what makes this tool set so great is also its Achilles Heel for many consumers. The design features are great but add a bit of bulk to the ends making the wrenches more limited for jobs in much tighter spaces. This doesn’t reduce the value for those working with exposed fasteners, but it does decrease their effectiveness for some jobs.

Metric Sizes:  8mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, and 19mm.

SAE Sizes (matching set):  5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, and 3/4″.

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#3 – Milwaukee 48-22-9516 15-Piece Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set

best-ratchet-wrenchThis 15-piece metric set (and its SAE variant) provides an ultra-tight 2.5 degree arc swing from an insane 144 tooth count ratchet for working in tight spaces as well as double-stacked pawls to vastly improve its ratcheting mechanism’s lifespan.

The open-end grip utilizes the MAXBITE design for up to 25 percent more torque on nuts and bolts than traditional models. Ink-filled size labels make identifying wrenches easy, even between the metric and SAE sets, and the included tray is perfect for storing in your tool cabinet drawer.

Owners of this set really appreciate the quality and durability of this set (and the fact that Milwaukee provides a lifetime warranty is icing on the proverbial cake). Prolonged use is made easier due to the ergonomic handle design.

Milwaukee ratchet wrenches

Also, thanks to a reverse case design on the SAE set, both fit into a single drawer securely. The only downside to this Milwaukee set is that the storage case is a little on the cheap end of quality control, but will hold up well enough when kept in a tool chest as intended

Metric Sizes: 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, and 22mm.

SAE Sizes (matching set):  1/4″, 9/32″, 5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, and 1″.

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#4 – Husky HRW10PCMM 10-Piece Ratcheting Wrench Set

cheap-ratcheting-wrench-setThis 10-piece set from Husky is one of the best values in ratcheting wrenches and has been a top seller at Home Depot for years. Each wrench is made of alloy steel with a polished chrome finish and includes large, hard-stamped size markings for easier identification.

The design further includes a zero-degree offset, 72-tooth ratchet that allows for 5-degree arc swings, off-corner loading, and chamfered lead-ins. A no-questions, no-nonsense lifetime warranty is also included to ensure you get the most out of this set.

When you want an excellent set at a great price, you need look no further than Husky. This set is lightweight and durable, with plenty of wrench sizes to make it an excellent gift idea.

Husky HRW10PCMM review

A few owners have noted receiving a set with one size missing due to packaging errors. There have also been complaints about the box either not holding well or (oddly enough) holding so well it had to be destroyed to get the tools out.

Metric Sizes:  8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 17mm, and 18mm.

SAE Sizes (matching set):  1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, and 13/16″.

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#5 – GearWrench 85988 12-Piece XL Ratcheting Double Box Wrench Set

top-ratchet-box-end-wrenchesThis 12-piece double box-end ratchet wrench set is ideal for rusted fasteners, incorporating off-corner loading and a five degree ratcheting arc with zero degree offset. You get 8mm through 19mm sizes although an add-on set consisting of five sizes up to 25mm is also available.

The longer beam design adds greater reach, leverage, and torque than the normal ratcheting wrenches. At about 1.5 times the length of traditional box wrenches, they’ll get to fasteners others can’t. For example, the 15mm wrench is about 12-1/2 inches long.

Each wrench is coated in polished chrome to add resistance to rust and grime. The pass through design allows for easy access to long threaded bolts and rods. For home mechanics (and professionals), this set is invaluable.

Owners of this set absolutely love the extra length of these wrenches, which allows them to get into tight spaces and still provide plenty of torque.

Suspension or brake work is made so much easier. Just remember to use the non-ratcheting side to first break loose any fastener before switching ends.

GearWrench double box end ratcheting wrench

This GearWrench set is durable enough to use in commercial garages and have become the go-to for many users. Best of all, the heads are thinner than similar long-beamed models, making it easier to use in automotive work without excavating the target fasteners.

One negative to some is the odd case. While it holds everything securely, there is no lid even though it seems there should be one. A few consumers have reported their set arriving damaged.

The potential problems include a bent beam or a broken ratchet in the box end. These issues are not universal and should be apparent upon arrival.

Metric Sizes:  8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, and 19mm.

SAE Sizes (matching set):  5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, and 1″.

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#6 – Mountain RM6 5-Piece Flex Head Double Box End Ratchet Wrench Set

flex-head-box-end-ratchet-wrenchesDon’t let the lesser-known name fool you, this flex head ratcheting wrench set is a solid contender. Each of the five wrenches feature extra long steel beams and heads capable of flexing 45 degrees in either direction (for a total of 90 degrees). The reversible tab allows for quick changes without lifting and resetting.

One head on each wrench is flat, while the other is offset. The patented 90-tooth ratchet allows for smaller arcs than many of the more basic models out there. As with the GearWrench XL set above, these wrenches are extra long allowing for extra reach and leverage.

Sometimes being a household name simply equates to a higher price for a cheaper item, as this set proves when paired up against an identical Matco set costing nearly four times as much.

The RM6 is a highly durable set of tools which definitely earns a prominent spot in the tool cabinet drawer of many owners. As they’re longer than average and slim, they’re perfect for even tough automotive jobs.

Related: Best Flex Head Ratchets for the Money

Defective parts or incomplete sets have been known to happen, so be sure to check your set upon arrival. Additionally, while there is a limited lifetime warranty, you need to contact the authorized distributor to set it up. Many owners have missed this important step and ended up confused as to why the warranty wasn’t being upheld, so please remember this important step!

Metric Sizes:  8mm x 10mm, 12mm x 14mm, 13mm x 15mm, 16mm x 18mm and 17mm x 19mm

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#7 – Tekton WRN57170 12-Piece Flex-Head Ratcheting Wrench Set

best-flex-head-ratcheting-wrench-setTekton has proven to be one of the best values in tools. This 12-piece flex head set has one of the largest pivot arcs on the market, allowing you to tilt the head a full 180 degrees.

Each wrench features a 6-pt box end (rare for a flex head) and five degree swing arc thanks to the 72-tooth ratchet gear. To add extra stability during high-torque jobs, the gear teeth are cut instead of press formed as they are with many other wrenches.

One nice option is that this set is available in both a hard plastic “wrench keeper” (pictured) or heavy duty cloth “storage pouch”. Will both work well, we prefer the storage pouch. 

There have been a few issues with this product, but all seem to be isolated. This has ranged from a loose pivot to stuck gear (solved with a little WD-40). Overall, however, the quality of this set has been excellent as is the customer service when needed.

This set also seems to have an above-average reputation for arriving without doubles or missing sizes, making it a great gift choice.

Metric Sizes:  8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, and 19mm.

SAE Sizes (matching set):  1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, and 1″.

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#8 – GearWrench 85034 34-Piece Metric/SAE Ratcheting Wrench Set

large-ratcheting-combination-wrench-setThis large 34-piece set goes beyond the competition, providing the same 72-tooth five degree arc you’ve come to expect from a GearWrench product, as well as off-corner loading.

However, included with the 17 regular-sized metric and SAE wrenches are 17 stubby version which provide the same power and durability in a more compact design for close quarters work.

What can be said about these wrenches that hasn’t already been said about practically every other wrench this company produces? These are some of the best quality ratcheting wrenches out there, and the stubby versions add far more versatility to your tool kit.

Best of all, the heat-treated alloy steel and polished chrome coating ensure this set will hold up to any task you encounter with ease.

While it’s a large ratcheting wrench set, not as many sizes are represented due to there being 2 lengths for each size. Unless you have a specific need for the stubby sizes, you’re better off purchasing our favorite GearWrench set at the top. Alternatively, a finger ratchet may be all you need.

It’s worth noting this set does not include any type of case so you’re on your own as far as storage is concerned. They’ll arrive in a box, each wrench in a clear plastic bag to avoid scratching. While many of us simply keep our wrenches loose in a tool box drawer and a storage case isn’t important, if you’re purchasing a set as a gift, you may want to look elsewhere.

Metric Sizes:  10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, and 18mm (regular and stubby versions of each)

SAE Sizes:  5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, and 3/4″ (regular and stubby versions of each)

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#9 – Craftsman 43224-3119 20-Piece Metric/SAE Ratcheting Wrench Set

craftsman-ratchet-wrench-setThis top-selling 20-piece set features both SAE and metric wrenches for a wider variety of tasks. They’re priced to be more affordable than many similar sets while still offering good quality. It’s true that Craftsman is no longer American made, but for the money, it’s a very good set and still backed by their “Forever Guarantee”.

The black plastic mold case they come in is designed well enough for storage, and the polished chrome finish will help keep these tools clean and rust free for years to come. This a perfect ratcheting wrench set for beginners or weekend mechanics since it won’t break the bank.

Craftsman has a reputation for being one of the best tool brands out there. This set was designed with lower budgets in mind while retaining an high degree of quality. Owners of this set are often longtime Craftsman users who find the 43224-3119 wrenches are a frequent go-to.

Note that there is some debate as to whether this set contains a 12 degree offset, with some owners claiming it does and others claiming it doesn’t. Be aware of this before ordering with one of these possibilities specifically in mind.

The case isn’t the greatest, the box end of the wrenches are a bit thicker than others, and the quality isn’t quite up to the standards of the sets above, but for those on a budget, they’re a better option than the wrenches you’ll find at Harbor Freight or local auto parts stores.

Metric Sizes:  6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, and 18mm.

SAE Sizes:  1/4”, 5/16”, 11/32”, 3/8”, 7/16”, 1/2”, 9/16”, 5/8”, 11/16”, and 3/4″.

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#10 – ToolGuards TG201 22-Piece Metric/SAE Ratchet Wrench Set

ratcheting-wrench-set-beginnersRounding out our list is this popular 22-piece SAE and metric set made of sturdy, mirror polished chrome vanadium steel. While a low budget pick, this set uses the same 72-tooth gears for a 5 degree swing arc as many of its competitors. We’re actually pleasantly surprised by this set.

The slim profile helps you get into tight spaces and the included sturdy tool roll with labeled pockets helps you keep the tools clean and organized when on the go.

Owners have reported these wrenches are fairly good quality despite the low cost and have used them on a number of tasks requiring various amounts of torque with no issues.

Oddly enough, some of the biggest compliments have been in regards to the storage roll, which could be considered unusually high quality for sets costing twice as much.

As with many multi-tool sets, the TG201 has a reputation for coming with a risk of accidental duplicates. Be sure to check upon arrival to ensure you have a complete set.

Additionally, a few owners have reported a degree of play before the ratchet engages. This appears to be due to a flaw in the gear, and ToolGuards has thus far stood strongly by their warranty and quickly replaced any defective wrenches when contacted by the consumer.

Metric Sizes:  6mm, 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, and 18mm

SAE Sizes:  1/4″, 9/32″, 5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, and 3/4″

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The Joy of Ratcheting – Common Questions

By this point, many experienced ratcheteers have already picked out the perfect set from this list, but those new to ratcheting wrenches might still be scratching their heads.

What makes these wrenches better than the tools you already have, and are they worth the investment? In the event this is you, please read on.

See Also: Best Torque Wrenches for Automotive Work

How Do Ratcheting Wrenches Work?

Ratchet wrenches use a gear and pawl mechanism to create a ratcheting motion in one direction while allowing the wrench to spin freely in the other. As the wrench is turned, the pawl locks on each tooth of the gear, creating increasingly high amounts of torque within the socket.

When you reach the desired arc limit, you can easily return to the initial position without losing torque or releasing the fastener. The process is very similar to what you’ll find with ratchets in a socket set.

Are Ratcheting Wrenches Worth It?

are ratchet wrenches worth it?

Life is certainly easier with a good ratcheting wrench. The ratchet feature allows you to turn a bolt a few degrees, then return to your starting point without undoing your work or removing the wrench.

Additionally, the thin beam and combination open and box head design add extra versatility to an already useful design, allowing these tools to do the job of your current alternatives, but far more efficiently. So while you can use a simple combination wrench (or even an adjustable wrench) to do the job, a ratcheting wrench is often the best type of wrench for the job when it comes to speed.

Ratcheting Wrench vs Socket

In many ways, these tools perform very similar functions. Sockets can be changed out on a single handle as needed, whereas each ratchet wrench is a specific size.

Alternatively, socket wrenches often suffer from clearance issues while the thinner design of a ratchet wrench can reach more awkward spaces with minimal clearance requirements.

See Also:  Socket Sizes in Order of Smallest to Largest

Ratcheting Wrench vs Regular Combination Wrench

When using a regular combination wrench, you must align the wrench with the bolt or fastener, turn, disengage to return the wrench to its starting position, and get the end back onto the fastener before turning it again.

A seasoned pro can generally do this with great speed, but even they might suffer slow going when dealing with a fastener that’s hard to see. Ratcheting wrenches solve this problem by requiring you to locate the fastener only once and remaining attached until the job’s done.

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