The purpose of an air ratchet is to loosen or tighten fasteners without having to manual crank a traditional ratchet. The majority use 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2 inch drive sizes with varying torque and speed to tackle a range of applications.
The best air ratchet is the Ingersoll Rand 109XPA, which has a push button throttle capable of a producing maximum torque of 70 FT-LBS.
Investing into an air ratchet will instantly improve productivity and efficiency when working on your car. They are much smaller than the traditional power tools but they will require an air compressor to function.
Table of Contents
Best Air Ratchet
|Ingersoll Rand Edge Series
|Chicago Pneumatic CP828
Unlike an air impact wrench, the ratchet alternative is operates at a much lower torque and has a narrower design. This allows you tighten or loosen nuts and bolts within compact areas and they are more versatile air tools.
It may be tempting to choose the most powerful wrench but depending upon the application, you may only need a small amount of torque.
Below is a list of the best air ratchets that allow you to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts without the need of manually cranking the ratchet.
Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA 3/8 Air Ratchet
Ingersoll-Rang are known for their power air tools and the 109XPA is a premium air ratchet option. The brand claim that it is the fastest ratchet in its class, which is due to the optimized gear ratio and airflow for extra performance.
Although this air ratchet has a high price tag, it does perform to the highest standards with a maximum torque of 70 FT-LBS at 300 RPM.
Other features of the Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA include:
- Weighs 3.3 LBS
- 360 degree adjustable exhaust
- Push button throttle
- 12 inches in length
- 92.4 dBA noise output
- Twin pawl and head design
- Includes a 1 year warranty
The Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA is the best option for professionals or enthusiasts requiring maximum performance. It has a great combination of torque and speed with a durable head that can withstand the tough garage environment on a daily basis.Check it Out
AIRCAT 805-HT 3/8 Air Ratchet
Another premium air ratchet is the AIRCAT 805-HT, which delivers an impressive 130 FT-LBS of torque. However, it is not just powerful but it is also one of the quietest ratchets available as it produces just 84 dBA of noise.
To avoid the head of the ratchet from spreading, this tool uses a new and improved head design from the previous models.
Other features of the AIRCAT 805-HT include:
- Weighs 3.2 LBS
- 130 FT-LBS max torque
- Noise output of 84 dBA
- Includes a 2 year warranty
- Low profile head design
- Contoured composite grip
- Adjustable exhaust
- Variable speed trigger
Overall, it is the quietest air ratchet that packs a serious amount of torque for medium to heavy duty jobs. However, the large amount of torque may not be the best option for most people as it can become difficult to control for some tasks.Check it Out
Ingersoll Rand Edge Series Air Ratchet
For those requiring a more affordable ratchet whilst remaining with a reputable brand, the Edge Series model by Ingersoll-Range is the best option. It is available with a 1/2 or 3/8 inch drive size and is ideal for most automotive applications.
Unlike the 109XPA model, the Edge Series is less powerful with a maximum torque rating of 55 FT-LBS with a 170 RPM.
Other features of the Ingersoll-Rand Edge Series include:
- Weighs just 2.6 LBS
- 10.4 inches in length
- Heat treated head for a longer life
- Contoured grip for additional comfort
- 94.8 dBA noise output
- Includes a 1 year warranty
Overall, the Ingersoll Rand Edge Series is an excellent all-round air ratchet that combines performance with value for the money. Although it is not as powerful, it is suitable for a range of application and you also have the option of a 1/2 or 3/8 inch drive size.Check it Out
DEWALT DWMT70776L Air Ratchet
In terms of the performance of this air ratchet, it is capable of delivering 65 FT-LBS of torque at 160 RPM.
Other features of the DEWALT DWMT70776L include:
- Lightweight at just 2.6 LBS
- 3/8 inch drive size
- Aluminum body design with a closed head
- Touch control trigger
- Ergonomic handle with a rubber grip
- Includes a 3 year warranty
As with any DEWALT power tool, you can expect a high quality construction and reliable operation. The DWMT70776L is a lightweight and durable air ratchet that will not disappoint. For peace of mind, it also come with a long warranty.Check it Out
Chicago Pneumatic CP828 Air Ratchet
The Chicago Pneumatic brand have been produced quality air tools for many years and the CP828 model is a durable 3/8 air ratchet. It has a torque range between 10 to 50 FT-LBS with an average air consumption of 4 CFM.
To maximize the lifespan of the tool, it features a floating spindle, dual ball design and hardened washer to reduce housing wear.
Other features of the Chicago Pneumatic CP828 include:
- Weighs 2.6 LBS
- Max torque of 50 FT-LBS
- Triple idler planetary gear system
- Dual ball mechanism with roll pins
- Tri-spring anti slip head
- Patented square handle design
Although it is not the most powerful air ratchet, the torque range is more than adequate for most automotive tasks. It is also fairly expensive but the durable design is ideal for heavy duty usage and will last many years.Check it Out
Air Ratchet Buying Guide
Manually cranking a traditional ratchet can be fairly difficult for some tasks due to the lack of space. Using an air ratchet alternative allows you to tighten or fasten a bolt with a click of a button or trigger.
Once you have used the air powered ratchet, you will not want to go back. They are suitable for professional to beginners with ratchets available to suit all budgets.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding air ratchets.
Most air ratchets will use a 3/8 inch drive size, which is ideal for most automotive applications. However, they are available in a range of different drive sizes that includes both 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch but they are not as common.
Torque and Speed
All air ratchets will have a maximum torque rating, which determines the size of the bolts that it can remove or tighten. Higher torque will be able to remove the more stubborn bolts.
The speed is measured in RPM and is the rate at which the head spins upon the ratchet. Most have various speed settings that will allow you to select a specified speed for the application.
Length and Weight
Not every ratchet is the same size with some having a lengthy construction whereas others are smaller. The benefit of a longer air ratchet is that they are easier to reach certain areas of the car and are more comfortable to use.
Shorter ratchets are easier to use and are more lightweight, which is a desirable trait if you intend on using the tool for long periods.
To ensure that the air ratchet is capable of withstand years of rough usage within the garage environment, it must be constructed of durable materials. The best air ratchets will mostly be made of metal with rubber padding and an anti-slip grip with an ergonomic handle.
We advise that you avoid the cheap ratchets with a plastic housing because they can crack easily. Once this happens, they will be pretty much unusable and most manufacturers will not provide warranty upon impact damage.
An air ratchet can make a huge difference to the way you work on your car. Whether you are a professional, enthusiasts or a beginner, they are an air power tool that instantly improves your efficiency and suitable for a range of automotive applications.
All of the recommendations in this article are suitable for a range of budgets and include the best brands. We advise that you choose a 3/8 inch drive size ratchet as the 1/2 inch is for more heavy duty tasks.