Purpose of a Ratchet Wrench
Wrenches have been around for decades, and they have only become more useful since their inception. You can now find them in standard tool sets of millions of people around the world. The introduction of the ratcheting wrench has allowed people to apply force to fasteners without having to remove and reset the wrench on the fastener each time he wishes to move it. This improves the efficiency of the tool and shortens work time.
How a Wrench Is Constructed
The ratchet wrench consists of the wrench body, which houses a geared unit and a switching assembly at one end. The switching assembly is set up so that an engaging member moves with the switch, and, depending on which direction the wrench is to be turned, engages a different side of the geared unit. A small spring applies force to the engaging member, so that when the gear is turned one direction, it engages, but in the other direction, it slips. The geared unit is connected to an output shaft of sorts that is accepted by sockets in a variety of sizes to fit different fasteners.
Other Ratcheting Wrenches
Non-switchable ratcheting wrenches are also common, though in some cases more expensive, because a whole set is needed rather than just one wrench with several sockets. The advantage to unidirectional wrenches is that there are fewer moving parts, and, therefore, less to break. These are made without the switching assembly, but rather just a spring-loaded engaging member on one side of the geared member. To switch the direction of the ratchet, all you need to do is remove the wrench from the fastener and turn it over.
Flex Head Ratcheting Wrenches
The latest big advancement to the head design has to be the flex head ratcheting wrench. These are a life saver when you have nearly no clearance under your hood. You can easily maneuver it spaces that you would never of been able to get in to before. It will be slow to work this way, but better slow than not at all!
Reversible Ratcheting Wrenches
A great set or reversible ratcheting wrenches will last you a lifetime! And they perhaps will save you days of work during that period too. Haha. They are great because you don’t have to flip them over to change the ratcheting wrench direction. Which is nice in case you forget which direction the ratcheting head moves ;P