Best Air Ratchet – Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

If you are like me, you despise having to crank those small bolts, fasteners and nuts by hand. Using a conventional wrench just seems to take so long, and the effort you put into it feels like a miniature workout at times. Air ratchets, otherwise referred to as air ratchet wrenches, make these jobs more manageable. They also offer you an efficient way to remove or secure those nuts, bolts and fasteners. The key is finding the best air ratchet to get the job done right.

We are going to talk about the many advantages of using an air ratchet. We’ll also take a look at what makes the best air ratchet. After reviewing a few products to fit your needs, you’ll be able to find the best air ratchet for your jobs.


Air Ratchet Reviews

PreviewNameAwardsPurchase

AIRCAT 805-HT

Best Over $100

Neiko 30119B

Best Over $50

PowRyte

Best Under $50


Top of the Line Air Ratchets – (Typically Over $100)

Here is the list of the best air ratchets that you’ll find priced over $100. These are going to last longer than the other models and will provide more features. In addition, they are all rated at 65 ft-lbs. of torque or higher. That’s the ideal power for most medium to large-size projects, but not recommended for beginner users.

 

1. AIRCAT 805-HT High Torque 3/8″ Air Ratchet

AIRCAT 805-HT

This AIRCAT ratchet delivers 130 ft. lbs. of torque while spinning at 180 RPM. That means you can get the toughest jobs done fast! It’s also advertised as one of the quietest models on the market. It’s rated at just 84 dB. That’s about the same as a diesel truck passing by.

The ratchet head was made with the latest innovations in technology. This eliminates “head spreading.”  This design also has a variable speed trigger, giving you maximum control over your work. The extra-large size of this ratchet increases overall reliability, so you can complete your job with ease.

The ratchet’s handle is contoured so you know it will be comfortable. In addition, it supplies a secure grip that leaves your hands relaxed. You won’t have to worry about them being sore after a long day’s work anymore.

This ratchet features a 2-year warranty, so you have complete peace of mind over the purchase. This is good considering it’s one of the most expensive air ratchets on the market. In fact, what makes it the best air ratchet out there is the durability. With the high-level of materials used in the construction, chances are you’ll never need that warranty.

What Customers Say

The majority of customers give rave reviews about the power of this air ratchet. It’s simply mightier than most other machines on the market. In fact, one consumer said, “This is one Fantastic Beast!”

Specifications

  • Torque: 130 ft-lb
  • Speed: 180 RPM
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches
  • Sound Level: 84 dB
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
PROS:
  • Quieter than other models
  • Features an adjustable exhaust
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Powerful torque
  • 2-year warranty

CONS:
  • Over-torquing is easy because of the force
  • Expensive


 

2. Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA 3/8-inch Air Ratchet Wrench

Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA

70-Feet-lbs. maximum torque at 300 rpm free speed

When you want the best air ratchet wrench on the market, you’ll want to examine the Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA. It’s powered by a forceful 76 feet-pound of torque and a 300 RPM free speed. This means it can pack a punch and is certainly worthy of being labeled a powerhouse.

The exclusive IR TwinPawl Plus ratchet head offers superior performance plus durability. This unique design protects against any separation plus helps you to avoid slippage. The 360 adjustable exhaust directs the air away from you which promotes additional safety and convenience. In addition, this model features a push button throttle for maximum control over your work.

The size of this air ratchet is definitely compact and it seems to be about average weight with the others on our list. Thanks to the compact construction, you’ll have no issues reaching tricky spots with it. Even when in hard places, you’ll find that it remains comfortable and easy to use.

The noise level is rated at 92.40 dB, so it is slightly louder than you might expect. The company does offer a full one-year warranty against defects, so you are covered. That’s good news considering the price of this air ratchet is on the high side of things.

Overall, this air ratchet is topping off our list for medium-duty applications. Beginner users might find this extra power to be a little more than what they expected. For them, it might be difficult to get used to the handling of it at first.

What Customers Say

Many users loved the design and power of this air ratchet. They especially seemed to be fond of the push button control because it means they are less likely to pin their hand in tight places. One customer wrote that this option as the best air ratchet was, “worth every penny.”

Specifications

  • Torque: 76 ft-lb
  • Speed: 300 RPM
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 3.2 x 13 x 2.9 inches
  • Sound Level: 92.40 dB
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
PROS:
  • Powerful performance
  • Comfortable to use over long periods of time
  • Push button control
  • Vibration is minimal
  • Grip is good

CONS:
  • Noisy
  • More expensive than most


 

3. Ingersoll Rand 1207MAX-D3 3/8-Inch Air Ratchet

Ingersoll Rand 1207MAX-D3

Innovative forward/reverse collar, variable-speed power regulator, adjustable exhaust

We have another Ingersoll Rand option in the best, top of the line air ratchet category. This ratchet is almost as powerful as the 109XP, but it’s more compact and quieter. That’s what makes this a contender for the best air ratchet, especially if you need to get into tight spaces. The downside to all this functionality is the price.

However, if you take a closer look, you quickly see that you are getting a lot for your money. The 1207MAX-D3 produces 65 ft-lb of torque at 200 RPM. This is plenty of oomph for your medium-duty work. What is most amazing is how you wield that power.

The adjustable exhaust, forward and reverse collar, variable speed control plus the feather-touch trigger all help this unit to stand out in a crowd. They all work together to give you unbelievable amounts of control while working.

Aside from that, this unit is also ergonomic and durable. That means, on top of all the power, you also receive a higher level of comfort than what you might be used to. The design of the coupling nut combined with the composite handle ensures that you are comfortable even after extended amounts of use. An added perk to the composite handle is that it’s insulated from the cold, making it great for outdoor work.

If you’ve been using air ratchets and you want to upgrade to something better, this is a great option. You won’t regret a penny you spend on it. With that said, if you are new to using air ratchets, this tool isn’t recommended for you. It’s best to purchase one with less power until you get used to operating it.

The housing of this ratchet is nickel-plated for durability. It also provides a high level of corrosion resistance. As a bonus, the MAX line is covered by a two-year limited warranty. That’s an excellent insurance policy after spending this amount of money.

Curious to see this air impact wrench in action? Check out this video:

What Customers Say

Most of the positive comments regarding this ratchet were related to the design. In fact, one consumer reported this, “This ratchet is the BEST!! I really like the simple twist forward/reverse collar!! That is one of the features that make this tool so unique! Plenty of working torque. In tight spaces the button trigger design is far superior and easier to operate than the lever type.”

Specifications

  • Torque: 65 ft-lb
  • Speed: 200 RPM
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.9 x 1.9 inches
  • Sound Level: 85 dB
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
PROS:
  • Powerful performance
  • Ergonomic design
  • Made from durable materials
  • Sound level is good
  • Comes with a two-year warranty

CONS:
  • On the heavier side
  • Price is high


 

Best Medium-Duty Air Ratchets (Typically Over $50)

Taking a step down from the last grouping, you’ll find great options for the best air ratchet for light to medium-duty projects. This selection offers a nice mix of power but at a more cost-effective price. These are the typical types of tools that most homeowners would purchase.

 

1. AIRCAT 800 1/4-inch

AIRCAT 800

Patented durable ergonomically designed red handle (reduces operator fatigue)

If you need top performance from the best air ratchet but aren’t a fan of the loud noise, you might do better with the AIRCAT 800. While other units tend to reach decibel ratings of over 90, this ratchet comes in at just 82 dB. That’s due in part to the patented quiet-tuned exhaust system.

Don’t let the quiet design of this engine deceive you; it’s still a beast. Running at a free speed of 300 RPM, this air ratchet boasts of 35 ft-lb. of torque. That’s perfect for any small nut or bolt. While this air ratchet does most things you could do manually, it does it at a far higher speed. Plus, it is the most robust 1/4-inch ratchet in its class.

It’s important to note that this ratchet does fall into the 1/4-inch category. You might be asking why that matters, but it does. With this ratchet, you are limited on the sockets you can use with it. If you want to work on a vast assortment of bolts, you won’t want this option.

As far as the price is concerned, it is reasonable for the amount of power you’ll receive. In addition, it does feature superior internal mechanics and a patented durable ergonomically designed handle to reduce fatigue. Part of the durability is because it’s constructed from high-quality bearing surfaces, turbines and air chambers.

In addition to the top-quality construction, you also get a one-year warranty for peace of mind. It’s always important that a power tool comes with a warranty just in case you get one with mechanical defects.

What Customers Say

Many people have made comments about how easy it is to handle and control this air ratchet. In fact, one customer stated, “It’s not too fast, so it is very controllable. It fits in tight hard to reach areas well. I use it for just about everything from 15mm on down, and follow up with a torque wrench.”

Specifications

  • Torque: 35 ft-lb
  • Speed: 300 RPM
  • Weight: 1.19 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Sound Level: 82 dB
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
PROS:
  • Quiet in comparison to other units
  • Ergonomic design
  • Constructed from durable materials
  • Patented exhaust system
  • Comes with a one-year warranty

CONS:
  • Socket selection is limited
  • Lower power than some other designs


 

2. Neiko 30119B 1/4″ Drive Mini Air Ratchet

Neiko 30119B

The mini reversible air ratchet runs on 2.6 cfm air pressure, 1/4

When you need to get at the smaller bolts, this Neiko brand would be considered the best air ratchet by far. It’s one of the most lightweight options out of our groupings which makes it the preference for working in tight spaces. It also means working long hours won’t tire your hands.

With a free speed of 350 RPM plus a maximum torque of 30 ft. lbs, you can expect to finish your work faster than ever before. On top of that, this ratchet features a latch handle plus a switch. This makes it easier to move back and forth between directions during your work. This ratchet also removes and installs fasteners at lightning fast speed. It’s the ideal option for small engine or motorcycle work.

This mini, reversible air ratchet only needs 2.6 CFM and 90 PSI of air pressure. In addition, it’s compatible with a 1/4-inch size and 3/8-inch hose size. The length is a mere 7.7 inches long, so you can reach almost anywhere. You’ll have those hard to reach fasteners out in no time.

Don’t let the smaller size of this air ratchet fool you; it packs a punch. You’ll also find that the cost is an excellent value for the portability and power you get. What isn’t clear is what the warranty terms are. That’s slightly disheartening considering the money that is spent, but most customers have been pleased with the purchase.

What Customers Say

Most customers couldn’t stop raving about how lightweight and comfortable to use this ratchet was. In fact, one person who purchased the Neiko said, “Better, stronger than a ratchet I paid almost $300 for off the Snap on truck. Real small to get into small spaces.”

Specifications

  • Torque: 30 ft-lb
  • Speed: 350 RPM
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Sound Level: 97 dB
  • Warranty: unknown
PROS:
  • Lightweight
  • Fits in the palm of your hand
  • Easy motion to switch directions
  • Easily portable
  • Powerful

CONS:
  • Loud
  • No warranty information available


 

3. Ingersoll Rand 170G 3/8-Inch Edge Series Drive Air Ratchet

Ingersoll Rand 170G

Powerful motor delivers 55 foot-pounds of torque and 170 rpm of free speed

When you desire to use the 109XPA but don’t want to shell out the cash, you can opt for the 170G instead. This is a great option as the best air ratchet because it has a powerful motor that gives 55 ft-lb of torque with 170 RPM. These combined offers a smooth flow and a quality drive.

Ingersoll Rand takes a lot of pride in this ratchet due to its lighter weight and sturdy construction. It also has the TwinPawl Plus exclusive ratchet head that’s heat-treated to ensure a longer life. This durability also allows you to expose it to longer periods of use at each time.

This ratchet is ideal for consumers that care about safety and comfortability. The ergonomic design allows for a more natural use, especially when compared to some of the other major brands on the market. It also features a contoured grip that gives your hands maximum amounts of control during a task.

The handle trigger is a little tricky to figure out at first, so this isn’t always the best pick for a new user. Thankfully, you are covered by a full one-year warranty, so at least you don’t have to worry about any defects to the ratchet.

When deciding between the 170G or the 109XP, the primary consideration is your budget. Admittedly, it’s best to purchase the 109XP if you can afford it. The power will do better on any size bolt. If that isn’t an option, then the 170G is the way to go. It will handle most any small to medium-sized task you throw at it plus it’s a better option for the simple DIYer.

We like this model so much; we’ve decided to label it the best air ratchet under $100!

If you want to know how fantastic this tool is to use, be sure you watch this:

What Customers Say

The majority of people that purchased this ratchet were either working on automotive jobs or common household projects. For the price, they were all pleased with the power and function available to them. In fact, one person stated, “Just put a lift on my jeep and this ratchet was a time saver.”

Specifications

  • Torque: 55 ft-lb
  • Speed: 170 RPM
  • Weight: 2.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 1.7 x 1.7 inches
  • Sound Level: 94.8 dB
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
PROS:
  • Heat-treated ratchet head
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Lower price than other Ingersoll Rand models

CONS:
  • Loud
  • Handle trigger is tricky to use


 

4. DEWALT DWMT70776L 3/8-Inch Square Drive Air Ratchet

DEWALT DWMT70776L

Maximum Torque 65 ft-lb helps to break free fasteners

Another option for the best air ratchet on a budget is this model from DeWalt. Keep in mind that the DeWalt brand has quite a following of consumers who will only buy their tools. That’s because they’ve proven to be durable and powerful. This air ratchet is no exception.

It features a mighty 65 ft-lb of torque at 160 RPM. That ensures a fast and robust process during your low to medium-duty tasks. This ratchet is slightly bulkier than the Ingersoll Rand 170G. With that said, it isn’t uncomfortable to hold, but it’s something to keep in mind if you need a compact ratchet.

It does come with an aluminum body design with a closed head. This creates additional durability that you won’t find in the cheapest models. There’s also a touch control trigger which allows you to control the power smoothly.

While we can’t get our hands on the exact dB of this unit, it’s clear that it is louder than most, so that’s something to consider. You’ll also want to lubricate it frequently to reduce the noise level. It’s also not the best option when working in tight areas because of the added bulkiness. With all that said, you can’t go wrong with the price and the three-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

What Customers Say

As stated previously, DeWalt customers are in love with their products. They’ve come to depend on them for durability and feel backed by their long warranty length. One user proclaimed, “Great 3/8 air ratchet. It appears to be well made with smooth operation. The grip is made of a firm but conforming rubber/plastic.”

Specifications

  • Torque: 65 ft-lb
  • Speed: 160 RPM
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 10.4 x 2.7 inches
  • Sound Level: unknown
  • Warranty: 3-year limited, 1 year of service and 90-day money back guarantee
PROS:
  • Long 3-year limited warranty plus 1 year of service and 90-day money back guarantee
  • Durable
  • Comes with a touch control trigger
  • Reasonable price
  • Solid construction

CONS:
  • Loud
  • Bulkier and heavier than most other ratchets


 

Best Budget-Friendly Air Ratchet (Typically Under $50)

If you are on a tight budget, it’s still possible to find the best air ratchet. You will have to sacrifice some performance to get one for a lower cost, but if you only use the ratchet occasionally, you probably won’t notice the difference.

 

1. ACGEN Portable Handheld Air Ratchet

Portable Handheld Air Ratchet

Ball & Needle Bearing Construction For Long Life

While this air ratchet is from a tool company that isn’t well known (ACGEN), it still seems to perform well. That’s why, if you are operating on a budget, this could be your best air ratchet option. It’s no-frills, so don’t expect all the bells and whistle, but it is capable of getting off those smaller bolts.

This air ratchet has a ¼-inch drive so it’s perfect if all you work with are the smaller bolts. It’s also quite portable at just 1.4 pounds. This lightweight design means you can have your ratchet handy for any problem you might encounter.

Don’t let the small size fool you; it still features a maximum torque of 45 ft.-lb. and a speed of 150 RPM. It’s also durable because it’s constructed with a ball and needle bearing.

It’s important to keep in mind that this ratchet is loud, rated at 90 dB. For such a small tool, you might not expect that, so you need to be prepared. In addition, you can’t expect to receive a warranty with this air ratchet due to the price, but most people don’t seem to mind. I guess they figure that you can purchase several of these before you come close to the amount of the expensive models.

What Customers Say

For everyday jobs, this ratchet has been a hit with customers. In fact, one person wrote, “This wrench is a bargain at around $20 as comparable items are a bit more and this serves the purpose for the average homeowner. I will exert only 45 foot pounds of torque but that’s enough with typical fasteners. The 90 foot pound wrenches are twice as much but I cannot imagine that the homeowner would need that extra effort.”

Specifications

  • Torque: 45 ft-lb
  • Speed: 150 RPM
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: unknown
  • Sound Level: 90 dB
  • Warranty: none
PROS:
  • Low price
  • Is a favorite among customers
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Good for most homeowners

CONS:
  • Loud
  • Has no warranty


 

2. PowRyte 3/8-Inch Air Ratchet Wrench

PowRyte 3/8-Inch Air Ratchet Wrench

Forward/Reverse Rocker Switch for Instant Change of Direction.

Our last option for the best air ratchet includes this budget-friendly tool that any homeowner would enjoy. It allows you to quickly switch your movement from forward to reverse with a simple flip of its switch. It really doesn’t get much easier than that. In addition, there’s a power regulator that allows you to complete your job with more precision.

With a maximum torque of 45 ft.-lbs. and a top speed of 150 RPM, you shouldn’t have any trouble accomplishing the tasks you want to do in a day. Just like with the Ingersoll Rand ratchet, this design also features the heat-treated construction for durability.

The design of this ratchet helps to alleviate fatigue, even after several hours of working. In addition, it has the ball-type socket retainer for a more secure retention of the socket. The weight of this ratchet is average among the other tools, but the price is stellar.

One thing to keep in mind is that you won’t be getting a warranty with this model either. That’s something you tend to give up when you need a lower priced option.

What Customers Say

Customers love getting a bargain, which is why this tool has received good marks. In fact, one person said, “Good for the price. Sturdy. Weight feels durable.”

Specifications

  • Torque: 45 ft-lb
  • Speed: 150 RPM
  • Weight: 2.58 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 2.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Sound Level: 85 dB
  • Warranty: none
PROS:
  • Comes with three power settings
  • Has a touch control trigger
  • Switches easily between forward and reverse
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Good for most homeowners

CONS:
  • Slower than other ratchets at the same ratings
  • Has no warranty


 

Best Air Ratchet Buying Guide

What’s an Air Ratchet and How Do You Use One?

The first thing people ask is “what is an air ratchet?” Mainly they are used the same way you would use a conventional wrench except you have to put forth less force. That’s because the power you need comes from a pressurized air instead of your efforts.

Your air ratchet will feature a driver head, directional switch and trigger. Start by attaching your socket to the driver’s head. The square drives are available in 3/8-inch and 1/4-inch varieties. Then, set the directional switch in the direction you want it to move.

The best air ratchet loosens and tightens your bolts, fasteners or nuts depending which way the directional switch is set. Be sure to check this before starting your air ratchet. After its set, just press the trigger and power will move the socket. Some of them even offer variable speeds.

Difference Between the Best Air Ratchet and an Air Impact Wrench

If you’ve been looking to find the best air ratchet, chances are you’ve already come across some air impact wrenches as well. They work in similar ways, but they look very different. In addition, they feature some different utilities, so let’s take a closer look at what’s different.

Air ratchets feature a lower torque. With that said, they run slower than an air impact wrench. It’s important to note that because of the less torque, it is harder to remove tight bolts and nuts, if not completely impossible. Air ratchets also tend to be quieter, smaller and more comfortable to carry around then the heavy-duty alternative.

Air impact wrenches have more power. This also means they have additional torque which is what you need for tough bolts and nuts. This is even truer if you have to remove something that’s rusted or stuck. This high torque comes at a price because you might over torque your nuts and bolts and strip them instead.

That’s why you need to consider what you’re using your tool for before making a purchase. An air impact wrench is more expensive and bigger than an air ratchet. If won’t be valuable to you if you aren’t planning some heavy-duty tasks.

On the other end of the spectrum, you might buy the best air ratchet and it might not have the power you wanted. Examine your needs to determine which is ideal for you. Each offers their own benefits and downsides.

Best Air Ratchet Considerations

Here are the things you’ll want to look at when deciding on the best air ratchet.

Torque Strength

The higher the torque is, the better it will tighten or loosen the nuts and bolts. Higher torque air ratchets have a better chance of removing rusted or stubborn bolts and nuts. Just keep your hands away while in use, because the high torque can cause them to become trapped.

Speed

When it comes to finding the best air ratchet, speed is measured in RPM. This stands for revolutions per minute. As the socket rotates, it tightens or loosens just like a conventional wrench. The only difference is that the air ratchet does it faster. The higher your tool’s RPMs are, the faster it will be. With that said, the quicker it is, the faster your jobs get done.

Keep in mind that if it’s too fast, you might have a backlash. With a lack of control, the bolt might fly off and cause injury or damage.

Drive Size

Typical drive sizes of the best air ratchet come in 1/4-inch or 3/8-inch. The larger the drive size, the bigger bolts it fits. Choose the one that comes in the size you’ll use most often. Most times, the 1/4-inch air ratchets are better for getting into hard-to-reach places because they are smaller.

Warranty

You and I both know what can happen with a power tool. If something breaks mechanically, it can cost a good chunk of change to fix. That’s why it’s important you verify the warranty coverage on your air ratchet before making a purchase.

Purchasing one that doesn’t have a warranty is a risky move. If you think you’ll like the tool and aren’t worried about the money, then you should go ahead anyway. If you’re more concerned about coverage with a broken tool, make sure you opt instead for a tool complete with warranty.

Size & Design

The best air ratchet needs to be comfortable for you. You should be able to hold it and operate it over long periods of time without fatigue. You’ll want to also pay attention to the size when you’re working in tight areas. Bulky tools don’t access these spots as easily as a compact air ratchet will.

Sound Level

It’s possible to get a noisy air ratchet. Some of them can exceed 80 decibels depending on the design. You want a quiet air ratchet if you have neighbors or are worried about bothering your family members.

Durability

You want your power tools to last. That’s why the best air ratchet is going to be made from durable materials. By investing a little more now into a higher-quality tool, you won’t find yourself replacing it again in the near future.

Brands

You don’t want to purchase any tool from an unreliable brand. The same is true when looking for the best air ratchet. Purchase yours from a well-known company that has a proven track record of useful products. Spend time reading the reviews to determine which company offers the best designs and durability.


 

Final Say

When you need the best air ratchet, it pays to do your homework ahead of time. You can opt for a powerful unit with all the bells and whistles, but the price will go up. These are best for professional users that need a warranty and desire to use the ratchet on a regular basis. Other than that, there’s no reason that a homeowner wouldn’t get what they need from the budget-friendly options listed above. You can find your best air ratchet at a price that works for you.

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