Cordless ratchet wrenches are a great alternative to air-powered impact ratchets. They are the ideal solution for when you just don’t have the space to house a pneumatic system and the equipment that comes with them, such as compressors and lengthy hoses. Battery-powered ratchets also come in very handy for guys that are regularly on the move, whether that means working out of a mobile van or moving from jobsite to jobsite.
I’ve only started using a cordless ratchet in the last couple of years and regret not having one of these tools in my kit my entire career. They are a fantastic time-saving gadget and as we all know, if you save time, you save money. And looking back, I wasted far too much time and therefore money taking out bolts with a standard hand ratchet. Don’t get me wrong, standard ratchet sets are great tools and I, of course, keep a set of trusty sockets and ratchets in my work truck at all times but you just can’t beat the convenience of a cordless setup.
When looking to purchase a cordless ratchet, there are a few important factors you should consider. Things like manufacturing quality, cost, and power are all vital to the performance of your ratchet. So to help you make the right decision of which cordless ratchet is right for you, we’ve created this list of the top cordless ratchets available on the market right now.
Don’t forget to keep reading to find our cordless ratchet buying guide under the ratchet review section of the article. And as always, for those in a rush, here is a quick run-through of our picks for the top 3 ratchets available for purchase today.
A favorite among professionals and hobbyists, Milwaukee tools are known for being strong, powerful, and reliable. This portable ratchet is no exception to that rule. Check it out today.
Top Value Pick
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck you can’t go past this top-value pick. For under 60 bucks you’ll get the ratchet, battery, charger, six socket pieces, and a carry case. Talk about value for money.
Top Budget Pick
VonHaus 3/8” Cordless Ratchet Wrench
VonHuas tools are respected for two main reasons – they are well-made and they are friendly on the pocket. This budget-friendly wrench will give you everything you need in a solid, reliable cordless ratchet.
Best Cordless Ratchets with Reviews
1. Milwaukee 2457-21 M12 3/8” Cordless Ratchet Wrench
- Voltage: 12V
- Weight: 4.2 lbs
- Included: cordless ratchet, M12 battery, 30-minute charger, 3/8” to 1/4″ adapter, carry case
- Warranty: 5 year limited on ratchet and 2 year limited on battery
- Excellent quality and construction
- Long-lasting battery with 30 minute charge time
- Built-in LED light
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Inconvenient forward/reverse direction change
The Milwaukee 2457-21 cordless ratchet wrench is one of the most popular choices for those looking for a top-quality ratchet. That’s largely due to Milwaukee’s trusted and respected name in the power tool industry and the fact that this cordless ratchet features a heap of power and speed, with up to 35 ft-lbs of torque and 250 RPM. It also features an M12 REDLITHIUM battery that provides both more work per charge and more work over battery-life than any of its competitors.
It’s popular among both trade professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike and basically, anyone serious about keeping their tool collection stocked with high-quality and high-performance tools.
It measures just 10 ¾” in length and it’s lightweight and easy to handle, weighing in at 4.2 pounds. It’s ideal for those on the go and stores easily in a work truck or fits comfortably on a tool belt.
Auto mechanics love this tool due to its low-profile ¾ inch head that helps you to get better access to bolts in tight spaces and engine bays. And when working in these types of environments, the inbuilt LED work light will provide you with more than enough light to get the job done. The reinforced steel housing provides a heap of durability and the design features an onboard gauge to let you know how much charge is remaining in your battery.
The variable-speed metal trigger is well-designed and allows the user to keep maximum control of the ratchet while performing the required tasks. A well-designed trigger is important, as triggers that are to difficult to operate smoothly can lead to bolts and heads being stripped, which for anyone who’s been in this situation knows, leads to a hell of a lot of frustration.
The only small gripe I have with this tool is the rotation direction switch, which because of it’s location and size is a little tricky to operate while wearing gloves.
Overall, this is a fantastic portable cordless ratchet wrench and it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular products available in this category. It’s built for life in the workshop or jobsite but is also a perfect addition to a home tool collection. Many user reviews stated that they were very happy with the performance of the ratchet and praised the long-lasting and quick-charging lithium-ion battery.
And it comes with great warranty terms too – 5 year limited warranty on the ratchet itself and 2 year limited warranty on the battery.
2. Bressanon 3/8” Cordless Ratchet Wrench
- Voltage: 12V
- Weight: 3.9 lbs
- Included: Bressanon cordless ratchet, 5 spanner sockets and a spanner sleeve, lithium-ion battery pack, charger, molded plastic carrying case
- Warranty: 1 year warranty
- Good range of accessories
- Forward/reverse switch is easy to use
- Anti-slip soft grip
- No inbuilt LED
- Batteries take a long time to charge
- No variable-speed trigger
The low-price and fact that you get a 5 piece spanner socket set and spanner sleeve included is the reason we’ve picked this cordless ratchet as our top value pick. It might not be the most powerful or popular ratchet available on the market but it’s a great buy for those looking for a more budget-friendly model, that can be purchased as a whole kit, allowing you to get straight to work.
At 3.9 pounds and just over 10 inches long, it’s lightweight and easy to handle, while still having enough power to tackle a wide range of tasks. The 12V motor will give you 35 lb-ft of torque and 220 RPM. I like the ergonomic design and feel of this ratchet, with its soft and anti-slip grip. It comes with a long-lasting 2000mAh battery which is a nice plus, the only problem being that if it runs flat, it’ll take around an hour to fully recharge.
One big drawback of this ratchet is the trigger design. It doesn’t come with a variable-speed trigger, meaning that you’ll get just one speed that functions more like an off/on switch. This makes it less user-friendly and not so suitable for beginners as other models. And although in my opinion, a variable-speed trigger is far preferable, if you have some experience with ratchet guns, this shouldn’t be such a big issue. It just means you have to pay more attention to what you are doing to avoid stripping bolt heads and so forth.
It is covered by a 1 year warranty.
3. VonHaus 3/8” Cordless Ratchet Wrench
- Voltage: 12V
- Weight: 2.9 lbs
- Includes: cordless ratchet, 12V lithium-ion battery, charger
- Warranty: 1 year warranty
- Lightweight and portable
- Variable-speed trigger
- Inbuilt battery gauge
- Trigger lock
- Not as powerful as other ratchets
- Difficult to repair or find spare parts for
If you are searching for the best ratchet available at the best price, look no further than the VonHaus 3/8” cordless ratchet wrench. This is one for the hobbyists and home handymen, more so than for professionals and is a great choice for those with a light workload.
It comes with a 12 volt Max motor that will put out 280 RPM at no load while delivering 35 ft-lb of torque. It also features a variable-speed drive – a great feature for such a low-cost ratchet. This allows for maximum control over your work and helps to limit the chances of stripping a bolt.
It’s comfortable to hold and has a well-designed body that features an anti-slip grip and a well-positioned forward/reverse switch. It also comes with a battery power gauge that will let you know how much juice you’ve got left in the battery by lighting up either green, amber or red. There’s also an inbuilt LED work light for working in dark spaces like engine bays.
Another great feature, that even some of the high-end models don’t have is the lock-off switch that will keep the ratchet from starting in your tool bag or during transport, saving you from finding your battery totally flat when you next go to use your ratchet.
For the price you pay, this is a really impressive little tool that is great for use around the house.
It comes with a 1 year manufacturer warranty.
Click Here for up-to-date Prices and Customer Reviews
4. ACDelco ARW1201 Li-ion 12V 3/8″ Ratchet Wrench
- Voltage: 12V
- Weight: 2.64 lbs
- Included: Ratchet Wrench, 12V lithium-ion Intelligent Quick Charger, 2x 12V 1.5 Ah lithium-ion batteries, carry case
- Warranty: 1 year warranty
- High-quality build and design
- Two batteries included
- Only 1 year warranty
ACDelco has a good reputation in the auto industry for making high-quality and reliable automotive tools, so it’s no surprise that the ARW1201 features on our list of the top cordless ratchet wrenches on today’s market.
It’s an ergonomically designed power tool that is lightweight and comfortable to use and its slim design is perfect for getting into tight spaces and engine bays, making it a great option for those with an interest in auto mechanics but don’t want to splash out on a pneumatic system in their home garage or shed. It’s also a great option for mobile work and repairs.
It’s powerful enough to work through the tough jobs and its aluminum gearbox is both durable and lightweight. It features a variable-speed drive and a reversible control with an electric brake switch.
One of the best things about this cordless ratchet is that it comes standard with two 12V lithium-ion batteries (the only ratchet on our list to do so), as well as a 12V quick charger and a carry case to keep everything safe and free from wear and tear.
Its light weight makes it really easy to carry on your tool belt, making it a great option for the construction site and it’s small enough to easily store away in your garage or work truck. At 2.64 pounds, you get a heap of grunt for the size and weight of this tool.
This is a fantastic ratchet for professionals and those with a heavy workload, as it’s reliable, powerful and comfortable to use. It’s also a great option for working around the house with and in my view worth forking out the little bit of extra cash now and saving time and money in the long run.
This cordless ratchet is backed by a heap of positive user reviews. From home handymen to diesel mechanics, they all praise the performance of this reliable little powerhouse.
It comes with a 1 year warranty. Which is fine but honestly, from a manufacturer like this I’d like to see a bit longer warranty terms when buying a top-end product.
Click Here for up-to-date Prices and Customer Reviews
5. Ingersoll Rand R3130 3/8-Inch Cordless Ratchet
- Voltage: 20V
- Weight: 4.6 lbs
- Included: just the ratchet itself – batteries, charger, etc. must be purchased separately
- Warranty: 1 year replacement and 3 year repair or replacement warranty
- 54 ft-lb of torque
- Variable-speed drive
- Tough and durable construction
- 20V battery
- Battery or charger not included
Another popular and respected name in the auto tools industry, Ingersoll Rand produces high-quality and high-performance tools that are reliable and powerful.
Take the R3130 3/8-Inch cordless ratchet for example. At 54 ft-lb of torque, it’s an absolute weapon of a cordless ratchet and the most powerful by far on this list. It’s designed to perform a wide range of tasks from auto repairs to industrial maintenance jobs but could also find a place in the home shed or garage, especially for those with a big interest in car repairs and auto restoration.
It features an ergonomically designed handle with a comfortable grip, making it a breeze to work with and the slim design allows users to access hard to reach bolts in tight spaces like engine bays. It also features a variable-speed trigger, giving you complete control over your work.
This is a ratchet designed with durability in mind, with an all-metal gear train, reinforced handle, composite construction, and impact-resistant body.
The 20V lithium-ion battery holds charge for long periods of time, the big drawback being that there are no batteries or charger included in the price. This makes the R3130 quite expensive by the time you add together all the costs of the necessary parts. Because of this high investment cost, this ratchet remains more popular among professionals or those with a need for this tool on a regular basis.
It comes with a 1 year free replacement warranty and a 3 year repair or replacement in the event of defects.
- Voltage: 19.2V
- Weight: 2.65 lbs
- Includes: just the ratchet itself – batteries, charger, etc. must be purchased separately
- Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
- Power motor
- Variable-speed drive
- Inbuilt LED work light
- Batteries and charger not included
- Reports of adapter sometimes popping off the ratchet
The Craftsman 19.2 Volt C3 Max Axess Power Ratchet is a powerful 19.2V ratchet that is a great option for those with a heavy workload and want continued performance that they can rely on. It comes with a heap of great features including a variable-speed trigger and a comfortable ergonomic handle. It also features an inbuilt LED light to assist with work in confined and dark spaces.
Craftsman is well-known for producing powerful and quality power tools that are usually a bit more budget-friendly than other top-end options. This isn’t exactly the case with their cordless ratchet option though, as the price advertised in just for the bare tool itself and it does not come standard with any batteries or a charger, making it a fairly expensive bit of kit once everything is considered. If you already own other 19.2V Craftsman power tools, this won’t be such an issue as the batteries are compatible with their full range of 19.2V products.
It’s a powerful cordless ratchet that’s a great option for professionals or anyone that already owns and uses other Craftsman products.
It’s backed by a lot of positive user reviews and comes with a 1 year warranty.
Cordless Ratchet Buying Guide
Now that you’ve got a better idea of the types of cordless ratchets that are out there, I’d like to run through some key considerations to think about when deciding on the right ratchet for your needs. Because there are so many brands and models, it can get a little confusing at times. So it’s important to know what features differ between the options that are available and which of those features are the most important for you.
Cordless Ratchets vs Air Impact Wrenches
This is an important distinction to make. Because, although both of these tools perform similar tasks, they are very different from each other. The important thing is to not get too high of an expectation as to what a cordless ratchet wrench will achieve. Most people are familiar with pneumatic air tools like the air guns you see being used in car mechanic shops and the pits at the racetrack. And if you think your battery-powered ratchet is going to work like with the pit crews on formula 1 cars, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Air-powered tools are very powerful but also very expensive and take up a lot of space. Think of a cordless ratchet as a tuned-down version of this. They are designed for smaller jobs and may not work if a nut or bolt has been fixed too tight. You may find that in this case, you’ll need a hand ratchet to ‘crack’ the nut before your cordless ratchet will have enough power to finish the job.
Remember, you need the right tool for the job. And if your job requires tightening and/or loosening a lot of big, tight nuts, maybe an air impact wrench might be worth considering.
As we’ve just discussed, cordless ratchets don’t have the same amount of power as an air tool. But here is one of their big advantages – portability. Compared to the alternatives, they are incredibly small, lightweight, and compact. This makes them a great tool for those who are always on the move with their job and don’t have the luxury of a big workshop to store bulky and heavy tools. Their slim design also makes them ideal for working in engine bays, under vehicles, and other confined spaces.
Although most cordless ratchets are of a similar build and design, there are some key differences. Most ratchets are fairly lightweight but some are even lighter than the others. I’d say that the average weight of a cordless ratchet is around the 3.5 to 4 pound mark but you’ll find some as light as 2.5 or even 2 lbs. The shape of the design is also important. I prefer ratchets with a slimline build and that have the batteries mounted inline with the casing so there are no extruding parts at the end of the tool. I find these are easier to work with when working in awkward, cramped or confined spaces.
The torque needed for the final tightening or the initial loosening of a nut is often provided by the user so a huge amount of power isn’t crucial. But, of course, it helps. The more powerful your cordless ratchet is, the more likely it will be to make your job faster and easier. Especially when dealing with nuts and bolts that are seized or rusted. Also, if you are going to be working with large, heavy nuts, you’ll want a ratchet with a decent amount of torque. It really all depends on what you need your ratchet for. Less powerful models are generally lighter, smaller and easier to carry around, so if that’s all you need to get the job done, a small ratchet is the ideal choice for you.
Another key consideration is the type and size of the battery a cordless ratchet runs on. This will influence the power of the ratchet (as discussed above), the weight and feel of the tool, and also the efficiency of the ratchet as well. The higher the amperage storage of your battery, the longer it will last between charges. Bigger batteries take longer to charge than smaller batteries but charging time is also influenced by the quality of the equipment too. A cheap battery and charger aren’t likely to hold up against top-of-the-line models.
It almost isn’t even worth mentioning anymore, because pretty much every cordless tool these days will come with lithium-ion batteries, but just in case, make sure your cordless ratchet (or any cordless tool, for that matter) comes with lithium-ion batteries. These are much lighter and store more power than the older Ni-Cad batteries, while at the same time having a faster charge time and holding their charge for longer. They can also be charged at any time, regardless of how much charge remains in the battery, unlike the older style which you had to fully drain before each charge if you wanted to keep your batteries in good condition.
As with the power of your tools, battery size all depends on the type of work you will be doing. If you don’t need a big, heavy, yet powerful battery and can get all your jobs done with a small and lightweight option, there’s no real reason to opt for the heavier one.
It’s not always so simple to tell what the durability of a tool will be like just by looking at it. However, a good place to start is by choosing a manufacturer that is trusted and well-known for making good-quality tools. This is usually where costs come into play because as we all know, you get what you pay for. That’s not saying that just because a tool is more expensive it will be of better quality and more durable but as a basic rule, I find this to be true.
When it comes to durability, it’s important to consider a few key aspects. We’ve already discussed batteries and their effect on the performance of a ratchet but they are also important to think about in relation to the durability of a tool. Batteries are expensive. And your tool won’t run without them. So opt for a manufacturer with a good reputation for making quality batteries that will last. And always read the warranty terms of your tools to find out if the batteries are covered should they become faulty.
Also, look for ratchets that are mostly comprised of reinforced metal. Plastic tools, although more budget-friendly initially, can end up costing you more in the long run if they need to be replaced or repaired frequently. Look for brands that use all-metal drives and casings.
This is a pretty obvious one but I hope you won’t mind me including it anyway. As I’ve just mentioned above, a tool with a cheaper initial price tag could end up costing you more in the long run. Especially if you have a heavy workload. The right price depends on many things and is different for everyone but the one thing I will say is this – if you can afford the better quality model, you’re almost always better off going with this option. And look for companies that stand behind their products with good warranty terms such as 3 year, 5 year or lifetime warranties.
A cordless ratchet wrench is an extremely useful and helpful tool to add to your collection. Choosing the right wrench can get a little confusing at times, with so many options out there, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the choices. I hope this list has helped to narrow down the options for you and has given you a clear guide as to what features to be on the lookout for.
My first choice for a top-quality cordless ratchet is the Milwaukee 2457-21 M12 3/8” Cordless Ratchet Wrench. Milwaukee has a massive reputation for building quality and effective power tools and it’s a great option for both professionals and amateurs. This is a brand you can feel confident investing your money in.
If you are after value for money and want a tool that comes with more accessories than any other on this list, take a look at the Bressanon 3/8” Cordless Ratchet Wrench. It comes with everything needed to get you started.
And for those on a budget, don’t forget to check out the VonHaus 3/8” Cordless Ratchet Wrench. A bargain for the price and a great cordless ratchet for the home shed or garage.
I’m confident that, like myself, once you add one of these great time and effort-saving tools to your collection, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. I hope that you found this guide informative and it makes your decision a little easier. Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your comments or advice in the comment section below.