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WHAT IS THE BEST AIR RATCHET FOR THE MONEY?

Christopher Clark by Christopher Clark

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.87 out of 5)
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Last Updated January 23, 2019

Best Overall
AIRCAT 800 review (3)
AIRCAT 800

Pros

  • Ergonomic red grip
  • Single pawl
  • Patented muffler filter for low volume

cons

Low power compared to similarly priced ratchets

No belt clasp

Ingersoll Rand 170G review (4)
Ingersoll Rand 170G

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Usable in tight spaces
  • Low sound output

cons

Poor exhaust placement

Not suitable for heavy industrial work

SP Air Corporation SP-1765 review (5)
SP Air Corporation SP-1765

Pros

  • Impressive torque
  • Low noise level
  • Full warranty

cons

Expensive compared to other 3/8″ ratchets

Best Value
Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA review (3)
Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA

Pros

  • A 360-degree adjustable exhaust port
  • Twin pawl
  • Advanced head
  • Extremely fast

cons

Heavy

Large trigger button

AIRCAT 805-HT review (2)
AIRCAT 805-HT

Pros

  • Top-ranking torque
  • 2-year warranty
  • Contoured comfort grip

cons

Rapid reaction can result in hand trapping

No hammer

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Buyer’s Guide

WHAT IS THE BEST AIR RATCHET FOR THE MONEY 1We hope you enjoyed this brief look at our top seven air ratchets. Now, let’s look at some of the features and specifications that make an air ratchet stand out from the pack. We’ll also delve into who can benefit from owning this sort of tool and the features that work best for specific applications.

Also check our review about the best air hammers on the market.

Specifications to Look For When Purchasing an Air Ratchet

There are several important factors to consider before purchasing an air wrench. Read on to learn more about specific features and how they relate to a tool’s performance and ratings.

  • Torque and Speed: Torque and speed are both important factors to consider when purchasing an air wrench. Torque is used to describe the twisting force that occurs when air rushes into the head. It is measured in foot-pounds.A ratchet with higher torque can handle larger bolts. In addition, a wrench’s speed is measured in RPM (revolutions per minute). This measurement is particularly important when dealing with long bolts. It is important to note that most wrenches feature a trigger that allows users to adjust the speed at which they crank fasteners.
  • Noise: According to OSHA, workers can be exposed to 90 dB of noise for around 8 hours a day. Even the slightest increase of noise output drastically reduces the amount of safe exposure time.With that being said, many ratchets are considered quiet, and some even feature noise-reducing filters. Meanwhile, others should be paired with hearing protection devices when used for prolonged periods.
  • Drive: Wrenches come in a variety of sizes, including 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″. This number refers to the drive fitting on the head. Smaller sizes are convenient when negotiating tight spaces.However, larger sizes tend to be more durable and offer more torque. Many mechanics opt to have each option on hand.
  • Size: It is important to consider both the length and weight of the tool. Shorter wrenches are vital for jobs such as engine maintenance. In addition, lightweight tools tend to be easier to handle for longer periods of time.
  • CFM: An air ratchet’s CFM (cubic feet per minute) should be compatible with your air compressor’s CFM. For example, if you purchase an air ratchet with a CFM of 4, you’ll need an air compressor that delivers 5 to 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI (pounds per square inch).The vast majority of tools run at 90 PSI, so this number is less detrimental to your decision-making process. You’ll notice a slight increase in the CFM because tools tend to perform better with air compressors with a slightly higher CFM.If you plan on using multiple tools at the same time, you need to add the maximum CFM of each of those tools together to determine the CFM of the air compressor you’ll need. If you intend to use multiple tools individually, calculate your air compressor’s required CFM by using the CFM of the tool that requires the greatest air pressure.
  • Design:There are some unique design elements that vary between manufacturers. From ergonomic grips to sealed flat heads, these features help to make an air ratchet more user-friendly and efficient. When searching for the best tool, be on the lookout for a device that is easy to grip and operate.

WHAT IS THE BEST AIR RATCHET FOR THE MONEY 3

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a mechanic or avid DIYer, we sincerely hope you enjoyed our product reviews and buying guide. When it came down to naming the best air ratchets, we found that there was no shortcut to combing through countless product descriptions and customer reviews.

We hope our reviews serve as a solid guide for finding the best air ratchet for your own needs.

Reviews

01

If you’re striving to cut down on workplace noise, it’s time you check out the AIRCAT 800. This ratchet features a patented internal muffler filter that promises to reduce noise output to a level between 82 and 86 dB. 

At a level well below OSHA’s workplace standards, the AIRCAT literally makes adding and removing fasteners less of a headache.

Of course, with 45 foot-pounds of torque at 280 RPM, this ratchet isn’t struggling in the power department either. It also includes an easy pull trigger for momentary adjustments.

Rigged with superior internal mechanisms, this air ratchet is a serious workhorse. Take, for example, the single pawl which allows for convenient use and even easier maintenance.

Other perks include the attractive red and black external construction. In addition, the slim ergonomic handle is a winner when it comes to reducing operating fatigue.

The entire product is just over 8 inches long and weighs slightly more than a pound. Beyond that, the reverse trigger makes speed adjustments a one-handed job.

It’s important to note that while this air ratchet is quite easy to use, the initial pull of the trigger can put up some resistance, especially in tight places.

Nevertheless, beyond the initial tug, speed adjustments are easy to make. It’s important to note this tool is available with both twin hammer and twin clutch mechanisms as well.

Specifications
Maximum Torque
45 ft lb
Speed
280 RPM
Noise
82-86 db
Drive, inch
1/4
Product Weight
1.19 lb
CFM
4
Pros
  • Ergonomic red grip
  • Single pawl
  • Patented muffler filter for low volume
Cons
  • Low power compared to similarly priced ratchets
  • No belt clasp
AIRCAT 800 review (3)

AIRCAT 800

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02

After taking into account Ingersoll’s 100-year legacy, we set our standards high when reviewing the Edge Series Drive Air Ratchet. The motor offers one of the best combinations of speed and torque, with an impressive 55 foot-pounds at 170 rpm of free speed.

Besides offering super-efficient fastener application and removal, it has slender dimensions. With a length of 10.4 inches and a weight of 2.75 pounds, it fits nicely in the palm of your hand and is easy to hold for long periods of time.

With that being said, the sturdy construction is suitable for everything from DIY engine repair to light industrial feats.

The durable all-black body is composed of a combination of heat-treated metal and plastic. It also sports one of the best ergonomic grips compared to similar models.

If you’re looking for a high-powered ratchet that can reach where others cannot, the 3/8-Inch Edge Series Drive Air Ratchet offers a competitive edge.

Not only is this ratchet small and lightweight, but it is also quiet. The only downside of this air ratchet is the exhaust, which directs air onto your hands.

Specifications
Maximum Torque
55 ft lb
Speed
170 RPM
Noise
95 dB
Drive, inch
3/8
Product Weight
2.75 lb
CFM
4
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Usable in tight spaces
  • Low sound output
Cons
  • Poor exhaust placement
  • Not suitable for heavy industrial work
Ingersoll Rand 170G review (4)

Ingersoll Rand 170G

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03

The SP Air Corporation SP-1765 3/8-Inch Super Fast Mini Impact Ratchet Wrench offers impressive power for its size. Weighing in at less than 1 pound, this mini wrench’s motor puts out a whopping 500 RPM and 55 foot-pounds of torque.

Plus, its reaction-free impact mechanism helps minimize wrist and hand strain during long, strenuous jobs. Beyond that, the incredibly low noise output (just 84.4 dB) fits well within OSHA’s (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) workplace sound standards.

The SP-1765 rose to the top of our list because of its impressive power, but it’s also an expert maneuverer.

Its solid, sleek construction is perfect for those hard to reach places under the hood and other restrictive situations. Additionally, the anti-vibration feature will prevent your hand from ramming into nearby metal.

Keep in mind the SP-1765 is a far more efficient at tightening than it is at loosening bolts. Nevertheless, it is an outstanding performer with a comprehensive warranty.

Specifications
Maximum Torque
55 ft lb
Speed
500 RPM
Noise
84.4 dB
Drive, inch
3/8
Product Weight
1.6 lb
CFM
3
Pros
  • Impressive torque
  • Low noise level
  • Full warranty
Cons
  • Expensive compared to other 3/8″ ratchets
SP Air Corporation SP-1765 review (5)

SP Air Corporation SP-1765

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04

If you’re looking for speed and longevity, you may want to take a look at the Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA 3/8-inch Air Ratchet Wrench. This beast offers 76 foot-pounds of torque at 220 RPM.

Not only that, but it features a proprietary twin pawl and an advanced head that prevent common mishaps.

What’s more, the ratchet features a 360-degree maneuverable exhaust port. Finally, its adjustable push button throttle ensures your hand doesn’t jerk around when you’re utilizing the maximum torque.

Overall, the 109XPA is a solid, reliable device with exceptional speed and improved airflow. It’s also affordable and features a one-year limited warranty.

At just over 3 pounds, it’s a bit on the heavy side. Nevertheless, you can put it through hours of abuse without a single sign of it breaking down.

Specifications
Maximum Torque
70 ft lb
Speed
300 RPM
Noise
92.4 dB
Drive
3/8 inch
Product Weight
3.3 lb
CFM
3
Pros
  • A 360-degree adjustable exhaust port
  • Twin pawl
  • Advanced head
  • Extremely fast
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Large trigger button
Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA review (3)

Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA

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05

The AIRCAT 805-HT High Torque 3/8″ Air Ratchet offers extreme force when adding and removing fasteners. In fact, with 130 foot-pounds of torque, this powerful wrench tops off our list as the strongest ratchet.

The ergonomically contoured comfort grip helps users maintain control without succumbing to fatigue. What’s more, the large reverse push trigger allows you to modify the speed without taking a break.

It even features a modified head casing that helps prevent spreading (which is especially common at high speeds). Plus, the durable plastic and metal outer shell ensure this tool can be put through a good amount of abuse.

The AIRCAT also helps to conserve workplaces volume. With just 84 dB of noise output, it’s one of the quietest tools on the market. 

In addition, it features a generous 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. Besides that, it features a rotatable exhaust port that prevents air from rushing back towards your hands.

With the torque being so powerful, it’s important to always keep two hands on the AIRCAT. While you don’t have to worry about the housing spreading apart, the jerky reaction can result in your fingers and/or hands being trapped between your tool and machinery. Keep in mind this is a common deficiency in many torque tools.

Specifications
Maximum Torque
130 ft lb
Speed
180 RPM
Noise
84 dB
Drive
3/8 inch
Product Weight
3.2 lb
CFM
6
Pros
  • Top-ranking torque
  • 2-year warranty
  • Contoured comfort grip
Cons
  • Rapid reaction can result in hand trapping
  • No hammer
AIRCAT 805-HT review (2)

AIRCAT 805-HT

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06

It takes a lot to win over a professional mechanic, but the SP Air Corporation SP-7260 Sealed Flat Head Mini Ratchet 1/4″ fits the bill. As a matter of fact, this ratchet is an extremely maneuverable tool.

The sealed flat head allows it to slip into tight spaces without having to jam your hand up against nearby metal. In fact, its slender body (8 inches and just over a pound) is easy to clutch and manipulate in tight spaces for hours on end.

Other noteworthy features include a direction-reversing lever for effortless one-handed adjustments. In addition, the 360-degree exhaust port prevents air from flowing back on to your hand, potentially saving you from detrimental injuries. 

The outstanding Japanese construction and all-black design also make this tool an aesthetic masterpiece.

The motor churns out 25 foot-pounds of torque at 290 RPM, just enough for better workplace efficiency. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about the ratchet head spreading or collecting debris, as the sealed head housing is not affected by hours of effort.

This tool also features a unique reverse lever. This allows users to change direction (from fastening to unfastening) with one hand.

If you are looking for a professional-grade ratchet for the garage or workshop, the SP Air Corporation’s SP-7260 is definitely worth checking out.

In fact, we found it incredibly difficult to find any faults in this popular product. With that being said, expect to spend a bit more dough on this than you would on other 1.4″ ratchets.

Specifications
Maximum Torque
25 ft lb
Speed
290 RPM
Noise
87 dB
Drive
1/4 and 3/4 inch
Product Weight
1.5 lb
CFM
2.5
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • A reverse trigger for one-handed operation
  • Sealed flat head housing
  • 360-degree exhaust port
  • Available in 1/4″ and 3/8″
Cons
  • Pricier than some air ratchets in the same category
SP Air Corporation SP-7260 review (4)

SP Air Corporation SP-7260

Check Price
07

If you’re a DIY mechanic or simply don’t want to shell out big money for an air ratchet that you know is going to take a beating sooner or later, check out the Ingersoll Rand 105-D2 1/4-Inch Air Ratchet.

This tool can handle difficult bolt adjustments thanks to its potential for 25 foot-pounds of torque and 250 RPMs of free speed. It has a unique head design that allows you to squeeze into cramped spaces effectively.

Beyond that, the entire thing weighs less than a pound and a half. Overall, it is not very tiring to hold for lengthy jobs.

In addition, it features a wide ergonomic handle that is easy to grip. It also offers a reverse control that can be accessed with just one hand to spare. It even has an ergonomic coupling nut to ensure that no sharp edges (beyond the machinery you’re working on) come in contact with the operator.

Aside from that, the Ingersoll Rand 105-D2 1/4-Inch Air Ratchet features a forward/backward control that allows you to change direction at any time. In addition, it features a metal trigger for adjusting speed. It’s also considerably quiet given its low price tag.

It’s also important to note that this model is especially stubby. While this isn’t always a problem, the trigger can be set off easily when crammed in tight spaces under the hood.

However, this is a seemingly small price to pay for a rather reliable air ratchet that’s easy on the wallet. Overall, we’d recommend this for regular machine work.

Specifications
Maximum Torque
25 ft lb
Speed
250 RPM
Noise
n/a
Drive
1/4 inch
Product Weight
1.4 lb
CFM
3.5
Pros
  • Unique head design that prevents spreading
  • Wide ergonomic grip
  • Quiet
  • Reverse lever
Cons
  • Large trigger
  • Stationary exhaust port
  • Stubby (can make it difficult to pull trigger)
Ingersoll Rand 105-D2 review (4)

Ingersoll Rand 105-D2

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FAQ

Frequently asked questions

  • 01
    Why Buy an Air Ratchet?

    An air ratchet can drastically improve your speed and productivity when working with fasteners. Chances are if you’re a mechanical engineer or avid DIYer who uses a conventional ratchet, you’ll find the air-powered alternative to be a rewarding alternative. Of course, you’ll need a compatible air compressor and air hose to get started. However, the time saved by using a compression tool typically compensates for the cost of the tool. Moreover, many power wrenches offer more torque and power than the manual alternatives. Not only do they make the job quicker, but they also make it easier and more comfortable. From removing stuck-on nuts and bolts to securing them in place tighter than ever before, there is a wide range of benefits that come from investing in this tool.

  • 02
    How Do They Work?

    An air ratchet is essentially a wrench that relies on compressed air for extra torque and power. The compressed air enters through an inlet and travels to the head of the wrench. Inside the head, the pressurized air moves the rotor around the shaft and then exits through an outlet that leads to an exhaust port on the other side. The pneumatic system can feature a variety of different internal components and matching external controls. These may include reserve levers, speed triggers, and automatic stop and start switches.