Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Jan. 4, 2019

Air ratchets can be invaluable at times, but only if they are capable and well-made examples of these pneumatic tools. There is a plethora of air ratchets on the market that is low quality and will not perform as you need it to. Here, we list our top ten air ratchet wrenches that we believe are the best air ratchet tools that money can buy. They will all last a long time but equally make quick work of any jobs you need to complete on your car’s engine or around the house. The examples listed all vary in cost and size so there will be a cordless ratchet described here to suit all needs.

The Best Air Ratchet

The best air ratchet or best cordless ratchet that tops our list for these types of pneumatic tools is produced by AIRCAT. We rate it owing to how strong it is, particularly when compared like for like with other 3/8 inch cordless ratchet wrench tools available on the market. It can reach a massive 130 ft-lbs of torque which is most definitely market leading. Plus, it is comfortable to use with owners never having to fear hand fatigue in even the longest of DIY tasks or automobile projects. The handle has been built with comfort in mind using an ergonomic material.

It comes with a two-year warranty, though the air ratchet has been built to last despite how light it is at just over three pounds. It is also quick to respond to user demand through the speed trigger, yet is very quiet with an adjustable exhaust. Additionally, it has an extra large ratchet head to improve the reliability of the tool as well as the unique design that works at eliminating head spreading.

Key Features
  • Two-year warranty
  • Designed to eliminate head spreading
  • Comfortable grip owing to ergonomic design and material used
Specification
  • Brand AirCat
  • Model 805HT
  • Weight 3.2 lbs

For those that are specifically looking for an Ingersoll Rand impact tool, this is our top pick for the manufacturer at the moment. Ingersoll Rand impact tools are often hard to find fault with and this air impact ratchet is a prime example of that. It manages to produce an inspiring 70 ft-lbs of torque when working at its maximum level along with 300 RPM free speed. Plus, we rate it on its 360 adjustable exhaust which means that users do not have to suffer from airflow being directed to their faces with the corresponding dirt and debris that often comes with it. It is, therefore, one of the safest cordless ratchet wrench tools on the market.

Additionally, other notable features to this air impact wrench are the push button throttle that allows operators to control their tool with ultimate ease. Plus, like other Ingersoll Rand impact tools, the manufacturers have dedicated their time to ensure that their tools are long lasting which has culminated in a unique and clever head design that not only produces a reliable performance, it also is highly durable.

Key Features
  • Designed by Ingersoll Rand impact tools
  • Push button throttle
  • Can achieve 70 ft-lbs of torque at 300 RPM free speed
Specification
  • Brand Ingersoll-Rand
  • Model 109XPA
  • Weight 1.6 oz

Coming from a reputable company like ACDelco, customers will always be pleased when buying any one of the company’s pneumatic tools including this cordless ratchet – whichever size they choose. These particular compact and lightweight air impact ratchet tools are also easy to use due to the anti-slip soft grip as well as the LED light that the designers have cleverly included so that operators can see in even the trickiest of spots in a car engine or on other DIY projects. The tool’s diminutive size further helps reach hard to get to places.

The impact tool itself is able to reach a maximum torque of 30 ft-lb and has a speed of 240 RPM achievable. It is also very light at just under a kilo or 1.87 lbs. In addition to the soft grip, the rest of the air impact wrench has been cased in durable metal that is more commonly used to house gearboxes in cars. It means that this inexpensive and slim cordless ratchet wrench will last a lifetime to help operators complete the most complicated of DIY jobs around the home.

Key Features
  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Anti-slip soft grip
  • Built-in LED light to help in tricky to reach spots
Specification
  • Brand ACDelco
  • Model ARW1207T
  • Weight 1.78 lbs

We highly recommend this cordless ratchet wrench from SP Air Corporation as a number of its features add up to a highly capable impact tool. It can produce a massive 500 RPM with a maximum torque of 55 ft-lbs which is much higher than many other ratchets of this small size. In fact, the manufacturer claims that this impact tool is actually three times faster than all other mini ratchets on the market while still being able to produce twice as much torque.

In addition to its power, we also like it for its reaction-free impact mechanism so that users do not have to suffer from any chaffing to the wrist or knuckles which can be so common when using a cordless ratchet or air impact wrench. It is also lightweight yet made from long-lasting aluminum so those that invest in this mini impact tool will have it for a lifetime.

Key Features
  • Available in both regular and heavy-duty models
  • Single dog clutch impact mechanism
  • Rear air exhaust in base of handle
Specification
  • Brand SP Air Corporation
  • Model SP1765
  • Weight 0.16 oz

Don’t let the diminutive size of this air ratchet tool deceive you – it still manages to be exceedingly powerful and therefore useful when trying to loosen or tighten the most stubborn of bolts. It is therefore useful in so many circumstances and for long periods of time as it is so light and comfortable to use. It weighs just under a pound so that users will never have to endure pain or hand fatigue when using this cordless ratchet. It is easily one of the smallest yet best air ratchet tools on the market.

Users will also like the latch handle that controls the air ratchet as well as the easy to use the switch which makes it easy to change between clockwise and anticlockwise rotations. It runs on 2.6cfm air pressure, has a ¼ inch inlet size in addition to a ⅜ inch hose size, so it can be used for a multitude of purposes when completing DIY projects at home. The 90 psi air pressure is also exceedingly impressive for such a small piece of equipment.

Key Features
  • Mini ratchets tools measuring only 13.5 cms in length
  • Manages a free speed of 350 RPM
  • Has a maximum torgue or 30 ft-lb
Specification
  • Brand Neiko
  • Model 30119B
  • Weight 1.1 lbs

Some air impact wrench tools are really useful, but sometimes users still have to revert to using a manual ratchet to get into those difficult to reach places. This air impact wrench bridges that divide and it is small enough to use almost anywhere. However, it still manages to produce the power of a much larger impact tool that can be used for industrial purposes. This is down to the clever design that is strong due to the aluminum housing that the air ratchet comes in.

Users also enjoy other key features that do not come as standard in all pneumatic tools like a cordless ratchet. For starters, the front exhaust means that users do not have to suffer the airflow going into their faces so that dirt and debris stay clear of eyes, mouth, and noses as a result. Additionally, the reversible four vane motor produces a fast action that can be used on all fasteners to either loosen or tighten. This small cordless ratchet manages to produce a free speed of 150 RPM as well as having the ability to produce 45 ft-lbs of torque.

Lastly, this inexpensive air impact wrench is also built to last owing to the aluminum housing, steelhead, and planetary gear reduction mechanism.

Key Features
  • Reversible four vane motor
  • Built-in air regulator
  • Front exhaust directs air flow away from a face
Specification
  • Brand Tooluxe
  • Model 31456L
  • Weight 2.58 lbs

At just under 30 centimeters long, this Ingersoll Rand impact tool packs a powerful punch with its motor. It is able to produce up to 55 ft-lbs of torque as well as a 170 rpm speed. It comes fully equipped with a ⅜ inch drive so that the result of all these features is an impact tool that is highly capable for use at home for general engine repair or other DIY projects that need a little more strength than your average wrench. In fact, this affordable air ratchet can even be used for light industrial purposes and applications.

Given its price, it is also an example of an air impact wrench that is built to last given that Ingersoll Rand has heat treated the ratched head to lengthen the impact tool’s life even more. Plus, users will find that it is comfortable to use even for long spells of time on more intricate projects owing to the ergonomic grip. Tasks can, therefore, be completed quickly and easily without them becoming onerous or even painful at times as some lesser air impact ratchets may cause.

Key Features
  • Ratchet head is heat treated for long life
  • Grip has an ergonomic design for comfort
  • Perfect for use in engine repairs or other DIY projects
Specification
  • Brand Ingersoll-Rand
  • Model 170G
  • Weight 2.75 lbs

This is another highly affordable impact tool that has made it on to our best air ratchet wrench list owing to its capability and strength. Dewalt, the manufacturers, have cleverly designed the impact ratchet out of aluminum so that users will find it lightweight making it easy to use for longer, more complicated DIY projects. It comes with a closed head, as well as a quarter of an inch air inlet. This helps it offer up to 65 ft-lbs of torque. The result is that even the most difficult to remove nuts and bolts can be loosened for removal. Another element that helps achieve this is the 160 rpm that this cordless ratchet tool can reach.

To further its abilities and allow users to employ the use of this cordless ratchet for longer is the ergonomic handle. Dewalt have purposely designed it with a rubber cushion grip to better the comfort of the tool, but have cleverly included a touch control trigger. This means that the user can control and choose the amount of power that is required for each individual part of their DIY project. It makes use straightforward and fuss-free.

Key Features
  • Maximum torque of 65 ft-;b
  • 160 RPM high power fastening ability
  • Touch control trigger
Specification
  • Brand DEWALT
  • Model DWMT70776L
  • Weight 3.6 lbs

For an impact ratchet to be useful, it needs to be lightweight and easy to use. To ensure this, Chicago Pneumatic has made their cordless ratchet out of aluminum. The specific type of aluminum that they have used is more often to be seen building aircraft, which indicates how strong this particular air impact ratchet is – as well as how long lasting it will be should you choose to invest in one. It works well as cordless ratchet wrench owing to the Tri Spring antislip head and its ability to deliver up to 90-foot lbs of torque.

It is also able to turn in a reverse direction so that both assembly and disassembly of DIY projects is a total breeze. What is also very attractive about this particular air ratchet is the level of noise it makes. It is considerably quieter than many of its competitors despite being able to deliver such a high level of torque and variable speeds. In total, the whole tool weighs just under three pounds and measures around 12 inches or 30 cms. Its length is great for those that need to reach slightly deeper levels than other air ratchet tools can often go. Plus, the head of the tool is covered in plastic which is great news for those that are worried about the tool being too abrasive should it knock into anything during use.

Key Features
  • One of the strongest ratchets on our top best cordless ratchets wrench tools list
  • Has a CP Tri Spring Head Design
  • Made from aluminum so it is strong yet lightweight for ease of use
Specification
  • Brand Chicago Pneumatic
  • Model CP7830HQ
  • Weight 3 lbs

Stanley Proto Industrial sealed head air ratchet is the last piece to make it on to our top ten best air ratchet tools on our list. As a manufacturer they are a quality producer of air tools and this air ratchet is no different. As pneumatic tools go, this is one of the most long-lasting given that it has been designed with titanium housing that is not only exceedingly durable, but it also makes the tool much lighter so easier to use. Balance is improved through the use of titanium for the casing as well so that investing in this cordless ratchet is well worth your while.

Additionally, there are a whole host of other features that make this one of the best cordless ratchet tools available. It has a low profile head so that users can get into tight areas with easy access. There is also a quick release socket mechanisms so that socket changes are painless and easy. Furthermore, the control ring (which is forward/reverse in function) is located further down the tool making the ratcheting head have even more use. In terms of control by the user, Stanley Proto have included a feather start trigger as well as 360-degree directional exhaust. The result is an easy to use cordless ratchet wrench that makes any DIY projects or works on automobiles exceptionally easy.

Key Features
  • Designed to last and be incredibly durable
  • Uses the usual integrated tethering capability seen in every other Proto Air Tools
  • ⅜ inch drive
Specification
  • Brand Proto
  • Model J138RSH
  • Weight 1.68 lbs

Best Air Ratchets Buying Guide

Features to Look for in Air Ratchets

There is a number of features and considerations to take into account before you buy an air ratchet. Among the most important is most definitely the amount of torque that the tool can exert. Torque is the amount of force that the tool can produce while in the rotation. This is why air ratchet tools are the best for tightening and loosening bolts. The amount of torque you need will really depend on what types of job you most commonly complete at home. We have listed some pretty powerful ratchets above but you won’t always need an air ratchet that exerts as much torque or force as some of the best air ratchet tools on our list are capable of.

In terms of how we measure torque and therefore how you gauge how powerful a particular impact tool is, torque is given a unit of ft-lb. This directly translates to meaning for every pound of force that you apply to a foot long wrench, you get ft-lb of torque. Or, to get 10ft-lb of torque you can apply 5 pounds of pressure to a 2-foot ratchet.

It’s important to understand torque to buy a ratchet that suits your needs as it will affect what size bolts you can tighten or loosen. The larger the bolt the more torque that is needed. Additionally, the grade of bolt you have will make a big difference to your air ratchet’s capability. Again, the larger the grade number, the larger the amount of torque that is needed. The thread of a bolt also has a bearing on what ratchet or ratchet size and torque you need. Threads only have two categories: fine and coarse. A bolt with a coarse thread will require less torque than a bolt with a fine thread. The material of your bolts also needs to be taken into consideration. While most bolts are made of standard carbon steel, some can be made of better quality brass or bronze. It is the better quality materials that need less torque to be fastened into place. Finally, the amount of lubrication a bolt has a direct impact on the torque that is required from an air ratchet tool. The more lubrication there is the less torque needed to turn a bolt to either tighten or loosen it.

Other points to consider are the size of the drive head. The larger the head the more heavy duty the job that an air ratchet is capable of. Finally, the compressor is an important part to pay attention to as well. The best air ratchet tools will have compressors that deliver air at your needed pressure and volume.

Why You Should Use an Air Ratchet

Air ratchets are a good idea to purchase if you carry out a lot of your own automobile repairs as opposed to taking it to the garage. They are far easier to use than a wrench as well as making jobs quicker whilst also producing a far safer result. Air ratchets are able to apply far more torque or pressure to a bolt to ensure it is as tightly fastened as possible so that using one is far superior to using an average hand wrench. That being said, they are more expensive than a normal wrench so it is only worth buying one if you see a return on your initial outlay in terms of usage. A manual ratchet may also be suitable for need instead if you rarely have to fasten or loosen heavy duty bolts.

Air Impact Wrench vs Air Ratchet

The difference between an air impact wrench and an air ratchet is the amount of torque that is achievable but also what you can use the tools for in the first place too. If you need to loosen or tighten a bolt quickly with a sudden shock, an air impact wrench is best to use. If you are working in a small or tricky area of your car, an air wrench is suitable particularly if you don’t need the bolt fastened as tightly as the air impact wrench would.

One final difference is that when using an air wrench, the air wrench will transfer all the torque to the user. This means an operator of an air ratchet has to be capable of holding the tool steady the moment the torque applied.

Air Ratchet Use Guidelines

Users do need to maintain care throughout employing an air ratchet to loosen or tighten bolts or otherwise. This is because of the power they can bestow on an operator who, if he or she is not careful enough to hold the tool strady, will likely have wrapped and scuffed knuckles as a result. It is not uncommon for users who are not used to the pressure and power exerted by an air ratchet to have their fingers caught so real care needs to be taken during use.

All air ratchet users should, therefore, be prepared for the amount of power that their tool can exert as well as thoroughly read the specific instructions that tools arrive with. The user manual is the best way to ensure that you remain safe without putting yourself in any danger at any point.

Our Top Pick

Aircat 805-Ht High Torque Air Ratchet

This is our top pick of the best cordless ratchet tool that money can buy. It produces a massive amount of torque when required yet is easy to handle and not heavy owing to clever design. The manufacturers have included a soft, anti-slip handle that helps make light work of loosening and tightening any bolts. The aluminum casing further helps users as it makes the tool light while still being very strong. It is one of our preferred pneumatic tools available on the market by a long shot. Potential customers will not be disappointed purchasing this impact tool from AIRCAT.

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