It is impossible to call any inexpensive “ratchet set” the best. There are tons of different styles, shapes, and designs one person can like and another can dislike. For example, some people like flex-head socket wrenches, others, like me, haven’t yet grown to love them. Some mechanics like super fine-toothed ratchets and others need a more coarse heavy-duty ratchet for their line of work.
What I did do, and what I think is useful to you the buyer, is research what affordable ratchet set has the best value in 2018/2019. I asked professional mechanics, and DIYers alike and everyone pretty much loves the Gearwrench 120xp ratchet set.
If you’re looking for a good inexpensive ratchet set (socket wrench set) that includes all the most common mechanic drive sizes (1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″), the Gearwrench 120xp’s are an absolutely PERFECT buy. They are innovative in their design, affordable, and have a lifetime warranty. Some mechanics even swear they prefer their Gearwrench 120xp ratchets to much more expensive tool truck equivalents.
I highly recommend it to the DIYer or beginner mechanic. For the price of one 3/8″ Snap-On ratchet, you get an entire 4 piece set!
If you want to just stop reading now and jump on the AWESOME price these ratchets are selling for check the GearWrench 81230P 120XP Ratchet Set Here (links to Amazon).
For under $150 Gearwrench 120xp Set Comes With:
- Two 3/8″ drivers (5″ 3/8″ stubby, and 11.5″ normal length)
- A 1/4″ ratchet
- A 1/2″ ratchet
- Plastic case for organized storage
- Lifetime warranty
- Dual Pawl Technology Meaning Durability 60 tooth ratchet with feel of a 120 tooth ratchet
They all have 120XP technology which means they feel like a fine-toothed buttery ratchet in your hands but have the durability of a 60 tooth ratchet. Many people say they’re just a copy of Snap On’s and Matco’s wrenches, and that they did a great job.
What Professional Mechanics Say:
Reasons People Love the Gearwrench 120xp Ratchets:
- 4 Different Sizes Included.
- Includes both a 5″ stubby 3/8″ flex head driver and a regular length 11.5″ 3/8″ socket wrench are included.
- This will cover most if not all of your basic needs.
- Locking Flex head ratchets.
- While I typically do not like flex head ratchets, I love these because the flex heads lock. They are not sloppy and flop around on you, you adjust them by moving them around and they click into place.
- Meaning they work perfectly well non-flexed as well as flexed for hard to reach spots.
- The 120XP Technology.
- New technology by Gearwrench that means the ratchet feels like it has 120 teeth, but has the strength of a regular 70-80 tooth ratchet.
- This was done by using two paws on the 60 tooth gear to effectively double its feel while not reducing its strength. Complicated engineering stuff, but they feel awesome!
- Also with a 3-degree arch, this ratchet can tighten even in the tightest of spaces.
Gearwrench 120XP Technology:
- The number of teeth. This will give the ratchet a smoother feel. Ever used some of the really cheap craftsmen ratchets that come in every cheap target toolkit? Notice how they just feel clunky, and can’t fit into tight spaces well? Then you pick up a nice Snap-On ratchet and it feels like butter? That mostly has to do with the teeth and the action feel of the ratchet.
- The warranty. Look for a company that stands by it tools. Lifetime warranty is pretty standard on ratchets that are high quality. I highly recommend making sure the company you are ordering from has a reputation for handling returns promptly. I know for example Tekton, which makes very affordable tools, handled my friends’ broken breaker bar very promptly and quickly. Snap-on, Matco, and Craftsmen off the top of my head definitely offer a lifetime warranty.
- Quality of steel. It looks smooth and has a great hand feel. With cheaper brands, you will definitely notice the heavy feeling and rough looking steel.
Gearwrench VS. Other Brands:
Who makes the best ratchet is something that will be debated until the end of time. A lot of companies have die-hard fans that will never be caught using a competitors socket wrench.
When I am shopping for a ratchet I have learned to listen to what the professionals say that use the tools every day. If they say that a tool isn’t worthy of being in their toolbox or their shop, then I stay away.
The Geawrench 120xp ratchets have overall been really well liked by professionals. Just remember these key tips when searching or reading about the best ratchet wrench.
- No one can tell you what the best ratchet is for you, as most people have a different personal preference.
- I will describe my own personal preference and those of mechanics I know. It will be up to you to decide which type of ratchet fits you best.
- For example, many manufacturers will offer the same exact ratchet with different options to fit your own personal preference. I.e., the same ratchet with different heads (flex, straight), cushion-grip or non-cushion, different tooth levels, and even sometimes polish levels.
Now you know my current favorite ratchets in 2018.
You can always fill in the gaps from here, and figure out your own personal preference. If you buy these ratchets I promise you won’t be disappointed, and won’t break the bank either. Enjoy shopping!