Follow this to learn how to use a ratchet wrench.
The world is getting more and more automated with each passing day. With this increasing automation, the requirement for handy tools and devices is also increasing.
One of the most popular tools out there is wrenches. There’re different types of wrenches. However, today we’ll only talk about one of the wrench types, ratchet wrenches.
They have been termed as one of the essential mechanical appliances for a long time. Also, they’re easy to use, beginner-friendly, and also economical. If you are a handyman, you need one of these in your collection.
What Is a Ratchet Wrench?
A ratchet wrench is a mechanical tool consisting of ratcheting pawls that functions to provide control while applying force or torque to rotate objects. Ratchet wrenches are usually applied to fasten fundamentals such as screws, nuts, and bolts.
There are different categories of ratchet wrenches available in the market. Of them, the geared model is the most widely used one. Other than that, there are also other models available such as the gear-less model, the lock model, the flexible head model, etc. Each model serves a different kind of purpose.
Why Should You Use a Ratchet Wrench?
A ratchet wrench is a must-have appliance if you are a mechanics enthusiast. Once you buy this nifty little tool, you are bound to find several uses for it.
Now you may wonder why you should opt for a ratchet wrench where there are many other wrenches or similar tools available in the market that serve the same purpose. To answer that, there are 3 prime reasons that cause a ratchet wrench to stand out.
- Thin Profile: Compared to a socket wrench, a ratchet wrench has a considerably thinner profile that allows it to fit in places where the former cannot.
- Variety of Options: Ratchet wrenches are tools that have gone through major innovations, and that is an ongoing action. The results of these innovations are advanced wrenches, each of which come in handy to serve a separate, somewhat tricky purpose.
- Flexible Price Point: There are different sets and combinations of ratchet wrenches available in the market. The products are covered by a wide range of pricing, making them easily accessible to the customers.
How to Use a Ratchet Wrench
Now that you know what ratchet wrenches are and why you should use them, follow this guide to make the best possible use of the tool. Although the steps might slightly vary depending on the type of ratchet wrench used, a generalized guide is given here.
Step 1: Selection of Socket
The primary steps of a process are usually the most important ones. This process is no different.
There are various kinds of sockets that can be used to achieve the desired outcome. Sometimes, sockets are even included in the wrench sets.
So, choose the socket that perfectly fits and avoid using anything too big or too small.
Step 2: Attachment of Ratchet
Now, this next step is pretty self-explanatory and easily guessable. It is to attach the socket to the ratchet.
Here, once again, the perfect fit is absolutely imperative. If the fit is not perfect, a separate tool or adapter is required to complete the attachment.
In order to make sure the ratchet is attached easily, try to use pre-included sets of sockets and ratchets.
Step 3: Observation of Direction
The purpose of a ratchet wrench is to turn or rotate objects to fasten them. This fastening or turning happens only in a single direction for ease of application.
In this step, you need to determine which direction fastens the bolts or fundamentals you are working with. If you do find the right direction, you will not be able to work with the tool. The direction is either clockwise or anti-clockwise and is mentioned in the tool itself.
Step 4: Placement of Socket
A quick reminder before this step is to lock your socket if you are using a locking ratchet wrench.
In this step, place the socket carefully on the fastener. Make sure it is adjusted properly and has no possibility to glide on.
If the lock feature is available, there is no possibility of the socket to glide. However, you have to maintain extra caution where there is no lock.
Step 5: Rotation of Fastener
You will need to apply torque using the ratchet wrench on your nut or bolt. Remember to do this step in the right direction.
Continue turning until you reach your desired tightness, and proceed to the next step when all the nuts/bolts are fastened.
Step 6: Removal of Socket
After completing all the previous steps, the socket is to be taken off the ratchet. Remember to do this step only after completing all the previous steps, not in between.
For this step, all you need to do is apply little pressure from an angle. The socket will come off easily.
Step 7: Inspection
This is not technically a part of the actual process, but you are advised not to skip it. It is because this step will finalize the purpose of the entire procedure.
In the inspection stage, you need to carefully observe if all your nuts and bolts are fastened enough or not. If not, you might have to repeat the procedure.
Time to Try It out!
Now that you have learned everything about ratchet wrenches – from what it is to how to use a ratchet wrench, it’s time to try using one on your own. Remember to maintain safety and to pay close attention to every little detail.
A handyman is one who does not just learn new things but also put those learnings to good use. So without further ado, get started. Best of luck!