A ratchet wrench is a handy tool to have in your arsenal, whether you’re a professional mechanic or just someone who likes to do occasional repairs around the house. But using it can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are some tips on how to use the tool properly.
What is a Ratchet Wrench?
A ratchet wrench, also called an impact wrench, consists of a socket attached to a flywheel. The flywheel allows the socket to be moved without applying too much force on the tool by rotating it in either direction of rotation or
There are a lot of tools in a mechanic’s toolbox, and each one has its unique purpose. One of the most versatile tools is the ratchet wrench.
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How to Use The Tool
A ratchet wrench consists of a socket attached to a flywheel. The flywheel allows the socket to be moved without applying too much force on the tool by rotating it in either direction of rotation. The ratchet wrench can also change direction instantly with a simple flick of your wrist.
Now that we know what a ratchet wrench is, let’s look at how you should use one:
Step 1 – Insert the Socket
Insert the socket onto one of the many pegs on the flywheel. Pull it forward and place it over a nut or a bolt. Make sure that you have a firm grip on your ratchet wrench, as it can become very powerful when in use.
Step 2 – Rotate the Ratchet Wrench
When rotating, make sure that the socket remains in contact with whatever you try to tighten or loosen. Apply force on the ratchet wrench by rotating it clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on how you want the bolt to release.
Step 3 – Remove Socket
Once you have finished your work, remove your socket from the flywheel and store your ratchet wrench in a safe place.
Step 4 – Remove The Bolt/Nut
Once you have loosened or tightened your bolt, remove it and store it with the socket. This is very useful if you need to replace any bolts at another time. Using a ratchet wrench isn’t that difficult with these steps in mind.
Also read: How to Use a Torque Wrench for Lug Nuts
Tips for Using it Well and Safely
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when using your ratchet wrench:
Do not over-tighten bolts. This can strip the bolts and ruin your equipment. If you feel under-tightened, use a torque wrench to get the right amount of tightness.
You should regularly clean out any dirt or debris that may have accumulated in your ratchet wrench. A dirty gearbox will cause it to work less efficiently, so get rid of any dirt or grime.
When using a ratchet wrench for the first time, could you give it a few practice runs? This way, you can avoid accidentally stripping any bolts when you’re working on something important.
Be aware of the carbon buildup that can occur on a ratchet wrench. This causes friction and affects how easy it is to turn the tool. If you find that your ratchet wrench doesn’t want to work, give it a quick cleaning with some WD-40 or another lubricant.
As long as you use your ratchet wrench properly, you should be able to get it to work for you over and over again.
Why Should You Invest In One? vs. Other Tools
A ratchet wrench is a versatile tool that can help save time when changing tires on your car or doing small repairs around the house. This means that it is an investment if you do small repairs around your house. Otherwise, you can hire a professional to do these tasks for you.
Comparison With Other Similar Tools
The ratchet wrench is very different from most other automotive tools because it can change direction instantly, making it easy to use. A traditional socket wrench takes some time before the nut or bolt is loosened or tightened, which isn’t always ideal.
A ratchet wrench can also be compared with an impact wrench because it performs similar tasks – tightening bolts and nuts. However, the difference between the two tools is power because an impact wrench can provide more torque than this tool.
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What to Look for When Buying a New Ratchet Wrench?
When looking to buy the tool, there are a few things that you should take into consideration. These would include:
Size of the handle
Some ratchets will have short handles that can be difficult to use if you have large fingers or hands.
The number of sockets
Some ratchet wrenches come with a set number of sockets. Your ratchet wrench must have an adequate number of sockets for the tasks that you need to do around your house.
The locking mechanism
Some ratchets make use of a locking mechanism, allowing them to be locked in place when not in use.
The angle on the grip
If you have any bolts or nuts that need to be tightened, it is good to invest in a ratchet with a large angle on the handle grip. This will give you more leverage when turning and ensure that your wrist won’t ache after a while.
How Can I Use A Ratchet Wrench?
One of the most common uses for this tool during automotive work. Changing out brake pads are one example. Instead of holding the wrench in place, you can lock it onto the bolt head or hydraulic line that needs to be removed or tightened. Unlocking it allows for easy rotation of the object. This applies to bolts as well as screws.
Another common use is when working with nuts and bolts. A ratchet wrench allows these objects to be turned in various directions. This is beneficial when tightening or loosening something from different angles.
Instead of using your hands, apply the rotational force with a ratchet. When placed in position, turn clockwise until tight and counterclockwise to loosen. Go back and forth between tightening and loosening until the job is complete.
If you need to tighten your lug nuts:
- Raise the vehicle enough so that you can fit underneath it.
- Place the wrench on the nut and turn until their snug.
- Lower the car back down and use a torque key to increase safety.
As long as you have a good grip on both handles, you should be able to use the tool properly. Many people will start using this tool with the thought of using it as a screwdriver. Although that is an option, it’s not always recommended since the torque and speed might not be right for such a task.
Final Though-How To Use A Ratchet Wrench
Now that you have read this article, you are more aware of a ratchet wrench and how it can tighten or loosen nuts. Furthermore, you are also aware of some safety tips when using one and ways to choose the best ratcheting wrench for your home. If you decide to purchase one, go through our list of the 12 best ratchet wrenches for cars to help you choose the right one that is ideal for your needs. Happy wrenching!