10 Best Ratcheting Wrench Sets of 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide
Wrenches are a vital tool that find use in a variety of settings from construction sites, to auto-mechanic shops, to HVAC technician’s tool belts, the list goes on. But when you’re in a tight space, a wrench can be a pain to use; constantly removing it and resetting it, getting a mere few inches of movement each time. This is an exercise in frustration.
But with a ratcheting wrench, you can have the convenience of a socket wrench in the compact form of a standard wrench, saving you time and frustration.
Of course, a single wrench doesn’t do you much good, which is why the following reviews will cover the 10 best ratcheting wrench sets we’ve seen in 2020.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||GEARWRENCH 9416 Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set||
|Best Value||ToolGuards TG201 Ratcheting Wrench Set||
|Premium Choice||Mountain RM6 Reversible Ratcheting Wrench Set||
|Craftsman Ratcheting Wrench Set||
|Crescent CX6RWM7 Ratcheting Combination Metric Wrench Set||
The 10 Best Ratcheting Wrench Sets – Reviews 2021
1. GEARWRENCH 9416 Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set – Best Overall
There were several ratcheting wrench sets that we liked, but the GEARWRENCH 9416 set is the best combination of performance and price. You get a total of 16 double-end wrenches with a ratcheting box end and an open end on the other side. They even come in a plastic organizer with a handle for easy carrying.
The ratcheting boxes on these wrenches have 72 teeth, which means you only have to move the wrench 5° before the ratchet engages, making it much easier to work in tight spaces. To prevent the rounding of your nuts and bolts, the ratcheting box end is designed with off-corner loading.
With a highly polished chrome finish, these wrenches are easy to keep clean and they resist corrosion and wrench. They’re also covered by a standard lifetime warranty. But we do have one complaint; the feeling of the ratchet is a little different from wrench to wrench. This never affected our work though, and it’s a minor complaint when you consider the overall quality of these wrenches.
2. ToolGuards TG201 Ratcheting Wrench Set – Best Value
Our number one complaint about most of the ratcheting sets we tested is the high cost for only a few tools. But the ToolGuards TG201 Ratcheting Wrench Set includes 22 wrenches in both metric and standard sizes for an affordable price. Despite the low price, these are high-quality wrenches, which is why we think this is one of the best ratcheting wrench sets for the money.
Like many of the ratcheting wrench sets we tested, these feature 72-tooth ratchet gears that offer 5° engagement. The only issue is that the engagement doesn’t feel quite as tight as other sets we tested. It’s not far off, but it doesn’t feel like 5°. Since they’re so much cheaper than other sets, this is a minor complaint that we can deal with.
These wrenches are made from chrome vanadium steel that resists corrosion. Moreover, ToolGuards claims these wrenches are impossible to bend or break and they even back it up with a lifetime warranty. Add in the tool roll that keeps your wrenches organized and compact, and it’s clear why we think this set offers the best value.
3. Mountain RM6 Reversible Ratcheting Wrench Set – Premium Choice
The Mountain RM6 Reversible Ratcheting Wrench Set is a thing of beauty. These tools are well-crafted and they feel incredibly solid. They’re also loaded with excellent features like the built-in reverse mechanism that’s a real rarity on ratcheting wrenches, or how the heads pivot 180° in both directions.
While most of the wrenches we tested had 72-tooth ratchets, these wrenches go quite a bit further with 90-tooth ratchet mechanisms that create near-instant engagement. When you’re working in tight spaces, you’ll be thankful for how tight the engagement is.
There’s one reason why this set of wrenches isn’t our top pick; it’s too expensive. There are only 5 wrenches in this set, but it costs twice what other sets with four times as many wrenches go for. Granted, these wrenches are top of the line with a lifetime warranty, but they’re more expensive than most people will spend who aren’t professionals relying on their ratcheting wrenches daily.
Also, to be fair, each wrench offers 2 different sizes, but this means you’re sacrificing the open-end side. We prefer the versatility of the double-ended wrenches. You won’t always be able to get the box end over your fastener.
4. Craftsman Ratcheting Wrench Set
This set of ratcheting wrenches from Craftsman includes 20 wrenches in both metric and standard sizes. They’re all double-ended wrenches with a ratcheting box end and a stationary open end on the other side.
Like many of the ratcheting wrenches we tested, these feature 72-tooth ratchets that offer 5° engagement for working in tight spaces. They’re also protected by a lifetime warranty, which we’ve pretty much come to expect when discussing well-built wrenches.
These wrenches include a cheap plastic case for organization, but in our experience, it doesn’t keep the wrenches organized. Every time we opened it the wrenches had fallen out of their holding spots and were loose in the case.
Overall, this is a great wrench set. But we’ve seen other great sets of ratcheting wrenches for considerably lower prices that are also protected by a lifetime warranty, so it’s hard to justify spending more on these when they don’t offer anything extra.
5. Crescent CX6RWM7 Ratcheting Combination Metric Wrench Set
Most of the wrenches on this list feature a chrome finish, but Crescent went a different direction with their CX6RWM7 Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set. Instead, these are coated with black oxide, which isn’t as slick as chrome and is less likely to chip. However, the black oxide is more prone to corrosion, so there’s a tradeoff.
But the biggest advantage here is the low price of this kit. You get 7 double-end wrenches for a price that’s dirt-cheap compared to other sets we’ve tested. We were worried about the quality of these wrenches because of their low price, but they held up as well as much pricier sets.
There is something unique about this set though. These wrenches ratchet on the open end; the box end is stationary. This is a bit strange, but there were several times it was a huge advantage since you can’t always get the box end on your nut or bolt.
If you need imperial-sized wrenches, you’ll need to look elsewhere. These are metric only. They’re also extra-long, which does provide more torque and leverage, but also makes them harder to fit into tight spaces.
6. DEWALT DWMT74733 Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set
This combination ratcheting wrench set from DEWALT was one that we expected to really like. These wrenches feature DirectTorque technology which prevents the rounding of fasteners by stopping potential slippage. They’re also covered by a lifetime warranty, which always provides some peace of mind.
Like most of the ratcheting wrench sets we tested, this one features 72-tooth ratchet boxes for 5° engagement. But these don’t feel like other wrenches we tested. The engagement is noticeably looser than on the other wrench sets we tested. This would normally be a forgivable offense, but this set is pretty pricey considering you get just 8 wrenches.
7. WORKPRO W003320A Flex-Head Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set
When we first started using the WORKPRO Flex-Head Ratcheting Combination Wrenches, we thought they were going to be a winning set. They’re priced more affordably than other sets we tested, even though they have features that we only saw on more expensive sets. For instance, the heads that pivot 180° in either direction.
This kit comes with a roll-up organizer that keeps the wrenches compact and easy to carry. The wrenches have standard 72-tooth ratchet gears for close engagement. Well, the ones that work. One of the wrenches was completely locked up when we pulled it out of the organizer, and it wouldn’t unlock.
These wrenches feature a nickel coating rather than highly polished chrome or black oxide. While they’re less slick than chrome, they’re also more susceptible to chipping and other damage. And if you need metric, you’re out of luck as these are SAE only.
8. TEKTON Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set
We usually like affordable toolsets, provided they offer decent performance and longevity, which the TEKTON Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set doesn’t. It’s cheaper than other sets we tested, but the quality is lacking.
You get 12 wrenches in this set with a plastic organizer to hold them. They feature 6-point box ends that don’t seem to grip the fasteners well enough. We kept rounding off the corners of our nuts and bolts as these wrenches would slip.
But that’s not the end of the bad news. The very first time we used these wrenches, one of the ratchets locked up. It didn’t stay fully locked; we got intermittent use out of it. But this happened with several other wrenches, so we feel like it’s a recurring issue.
9. EASTVOLT ASK04 Flex-Head Ratcheting Wrench Set
For the low price of the EASTVOLT ASK04 Flex-Head Ratcheting Wrench Set, we didn’t expect much, and it’s a good thing because we would have been disappointed. This set includes 12 double-end metric wrenches from 8-19 millimeters. That’s pretty impressive for the price, or it would be if these were of higher quality.
The first issue we noticed was that the wrenches don’t stay in their slots in the case. Every time you open the case the wrenches will spill out. Next, we realized that we received duplicate wrenches. We were missing a 17-millimeter wrench and instead had two at 18 millimeters.
We were pretty impressed that these wrenches have pivoting heads at this price point, which is a feature generally reserved for much more expensive wrenches. But the chrome finish is awful and it was constantly chipping and getting scratched. They might be cheap, but we think your money would be better spent on a set that will last and includes all the wrenches you expect it to have.
10. BULLTOOLS WQ002 Ratchet Wrenches
With 22 wrenches spanning both metric and SAE sizes, the BULLTOOLS WQ002 Ratchet Wrench set seems like a great value considering the affordable price. The wrenches even come in a nice plastic case to keep them organized. But the case is a bit of a sore point for us since you can’t tell the size of your wrenches while they’re in the case! You have to remove them to read the stamp on the wrenches.
We can overlook our issues with the case, but broken ratchets are a different story. The ratcheting mechanisms on these wrenches are weak and we broke several of them. When they break, the ratcheting mechanism falls out completely, so the wrench becomes pretty much useless.
Have you ever used a wrench that wasn’t the size marked on it? Well, we have now. Some of these wrenches are either mislabeled or just poorly crafted because they don’t fit the size fasteners they’re intended for. The final nail in the coffin of this wrench set is the laughable 1-year warranty compared to the lifetime warranty that most of these sets are covered by.
If you purchase the right set of ratcheting wrenches, you should never need to get another set again. But picking the right set can be harder than it looks. Many people will just pick the cheapest set or the wrenches from a manufacturer they trust. While these are viable ways of choosing a set of wrenches, they aren’t going to help you pick the most reliable set of wrenches with the best value.
So, how do you go about doing that? The easiest way is to read this buyer’s guide. In it, we’ve written about the most important traits that you should consider to help you determine exactly what you need from your wrench set.
Number of Wrenches
One of the most obvious differences between these wrench sets is the number of wrenches included in any given set. On this list alone, we’ve covered sets with as few as 5 wrenches and other sets with as many as 22. But the number of wrenches included isn’t a determiner for price. That set with just 5 wrenches cost more than many sets we tested that included 20 wrenches or more.
If you’re going to rely on your ratcheting wrenches as your main wrench set, then you want to get a kit with as many wrenches as possible so you can be prepared for all the different sized fasteners you might encounter. But if you’ve already got a full set of wrenches and your ratcheting wrenches are just supplemental, then you can probably get away with a much smaller kit.
The finish of your wrenches makes them look nice, but that’s not the only purpose it serves. It also offers protection against damage and corrosion. There’s a tradeoff with each type of finish though.
Wrenches with a highly polished chrome finish are the most common. This finish is attractive and durable, though the durability may differ between brands. Polished chrome offers excellent rust and corrosion prevention. But with cheaper wrenches, the chroming process can sometimes make them very brittle. When the chrome is done well, it generally makes the wrenches more expensive.
The downside of polished chrome is that your wrenches can be very slick when they get water or oil on them. But because the finish is so highly polished, oil, grease, and other contaminants wipe off easily.
Black oxide tends to be a cheaper finish than polished chrome, making black oxide wrenches more affordable. It’s very durable against scratches and chipping. But it’s not so great when it comes to protecting against rust and corrosion. You’ll need to oil your black oxide wrenches regularly to prevent corrosion.
When black oxide gets wet or oily, it’s not as slick as chrome, so you can still get a good grip on the wrench. But if you drop a black oxide wrench into a dark crevice in your engine bay, you’re going to have a real fun time trying to locate it.
Nickel is less common as a finish than either black oxide or polished chrome because it’s not nearly as durable. Tools with a nickel finish tend to scratch and chip more easily. But they’re also usually priced quite cheaply, which is the allure for some consumers.
When you’re in a tight spot with limited room to turn your wrench, you need the ratchet to engage as soon as you start turning. Most of the wrenches we tested for this list featured 72-tooth ratcheting boxes. This amount of teeth allows the wrench to engage almost as soon as you start turning it. For a 72-tooth ratchet, you only have to arc the wrench 5° to get engagement.
That’s pretty decent, but some wrenches do even better. Some of our favorites even managed an impressive 90-tooth ratchet box that engages as soon as you start to turn the wrench. Anytime you’re in a tight spot without room to get a wide arc on your wrench, you’ll be thankful for the few degrees of difference those 18 teeth make.
Most of the wrench sets we tested came with a carrying case to keep them organized and make it easier to store or transport them. But not all of them did, and it’s a major inconvenience to have 20 loose wrenches without a home!
Even among the kits that included a carrying case, there were some substantial differences between cases. Some of them are open cases with slots for the wrenches to fit in. Others included locking hard-plastic cases with cutouts for each wrench, though the wrenches didn’t always stay in the cutouts. Still, others came with tool rolls that keep your wrench set nice and compact.
After reading our reviews of the best ratcheting wrench sets on the market, you hopefully have an idea about which set might suit your needs the best. But in case you’re still on the fence, we’re going to repeat our recommendations once more and leave you with them fresh in your mind.
Our favorite set overall was the GEARWRENCH 9416 Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set. It includes 16 double-end wrenches with 72-tooth ratcheting boxes and a highly polished chrome finish that reduces rust and corrosion. They’re even protected by a limited lifetime warranty.
If you’re looking for the best value, we think you’ll be well served by the ToolGuards Ratcheting Wrench Set. It’s more affordable than most of the sets we tested even though it includes 22 wrenches in metric and imperial sizes with 72-tooth ratchets for 5° engagement.
They’re pretty pricey, but if you’re a professional who needs a premium quality product, we recommend the Mountain RM6 Ratcheting Wrench Set. It’s one of the only sets we’ve seen with a reverse mechanism, allowing you to loosen a bolt without lifting the wrench. Plus, the 90-tooth ratchets create the tightest engagement of any ratcheting wrenches we’ve seen.
Posts that you may find interesting:
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Ratcheting Wrench Sets – Reviews 2021
- 1. GEARWRENCH 9416 Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set – Best Overall
- 2. ToolGuards TG201 Ratcheting Wrench Set – Best Value
- 3. Mountain RM6 Reversible Ratcheting Wrench Set – Premium Choice
- 4. Craftsman Ratcheting Wrench Set
- 5. Crescent CX6RWM7 Ratcheting Combination Metric Wrench Set
- 6. DEWALT DWMT74733 Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set
- 7. WORKPRO W003320A Flex-Head Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set
- 8. TEKTON Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set
- 9. EASTVOLT ASK04 Flex-Head Ratcheting Wrench Set
- 10. BULLTOOLS WQ002 Ratchet Wrenches
- Buyer’s Guide