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Thread: Multi-size ratchets

  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Multi-size ratchets

    I'm a sucker for multipurpose tools so when I saw the double-headed ratchet wrench ( item#67993 ) at Harbor Freight, I just had to have one. It has a 1/4" drive on one end and a 3/8" wrench on the other end. It's shown at the bottom in the picture.

    But, then, strolling through Amazon, I came across this...

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWUMPBB...ams_ad_dp_ovrl

    1/4, 3/8, and 1/2" ratchet in one wrench plus it has a hex-drive for those ubiquitous screwdriver bits. It's shown at the top.

    The convenience of wrenches like this is having two different size (e.g. 1/4 and 3/8) sockets available by simply flipping the wrench over. Even better, I find, is having the ability to mount two (or more) sockets of the same size by using size adapters, some of which are pictured.

    If all you need is the 1/4" and hex driver capability, I can highly recommend this little gem...

    https://www.amazon.com/Powerbuilt-94...2Bratchet&th=1

    It's small enough (3.5" long) to fit in a pocket and great for getting into tight places.

    Multi-size ratchets-wrenches.jpg
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Frank S's Avatar
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    I used to have a 38/ by 1/2" ratchets like you describe I found it too bulky for a 3/8 ratchet and way undersized for a 1/2" I think it was either Snap-on or Mack or their second line product In one way it was handy as I could place a large deep-well socket on which ever side I was not using to use as a handle to hold the ratchet straight or twist on the socket like a screwdriver handle but that was about the only advantage I ever found with it. I really like my little 1/4" drive with the built in hex drive but everytime I want to use it I can never remember which tool box I put it in Now lets see i sit in the truck , on the tractor in the shop or in in my desk in the house. Maybe I should break down and but 3 or 4 more of them
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    sossol's Avatar
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    What is your impression of the HF one? I'm a sucker for unique tools that look useful (a rare combo, I'll admit), so when I saw that one I had to try it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it doesn't completely suck. I only use it for light duty stuff, so don't know how durable it is.

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    I couldn't say since I've only visited HF once in the past 15 years before them I used to frequent the place.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sossol View Post
    What is your impression of the HF one? I'm a sucker for unique tools that look useful (a rare combo, I'll admit), so when I saw that one I had to try it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it doesn't completely suck. I only use it for light duty stuff, so don't know how durable it is.
    If most of your work involves six foot extensions on 1/2" sockets breaking loose rusted nuts on D9 tractors type work, then anything from Harbor Freight will probably leave you unsatisfied.

    If, like me, most of your work is non-automotive, light-duty stuff around the house then the HF wrenches and sockets are very adequate. They're nicely polished, the sockets are clearly marked in type large enough to read without squinting, and the ratchet mechanisms operate smoothly. Moreover, with sensible prices I can afford the range of tools that make work easier. Full sets of normal and deep sockets, all the extension bars, universals and adaptors required to get to the bolt or nut are more important than having something I can brag about at the bar.

    Not everyone needs Snap-On. If you exercise some care in matching the tool quality to the job and frequency of use, you can save a lot of money.
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    sossol's Avatar
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    Most of my work is automotive. Since Apex Tool group has gone to almost entirely Chinese MFG, there's no more upper middling quality hand tool option anymore. Meanwhile, HF stuff has gotten better. They aren't as good as Craftsman was in its US-made heyday, but are equal to the current Chinesium Craftsman stuff. I couldn't bring myself to risk my knuckles pushing the double-ended HF ratchet as hard as the Craftsman ones. It's great for light-duty work, though.

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    HF and Northern tool seem to be competing to see who can garner the market place. I haven't been to HF but once in a long time but the time I went there I had noticed a huge improvement from what they had to offer say 15 years ago. Northern tool sells a lot of the same name tools as HF plus has a 2nd line of higher quality for some things. More often than not when I can not find something at an Industrial supply or if I feel the price is beyond my means I can find what I am looking for at Northern Tool.
    Sad about Craftsman tools but the same can be said about Peterson becoming Irwin and Stanley or Challenger.
    At one time I had a lot of Spero brand tools I am fairly sure they started in Germany but at one time I bought a 32 pc set of combination wrenches some of them had Germany forged into the body a couple had USA and the rest had China. I couldn't tell any difference in quality in any of them. A 6 point Spero brand impact socket set was China while the 12 point 1/2" drive deep well set was German.
    I suspect that Many of the used to be USA exclusive tools now being made in China or other countries are for the most part made to as near the same standards as possible. Particularly if they are not made exclusively in China.


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