How to Use a Ratchet Wrench – Details Discussion

‘Wrench'- one of the oldest as well as the most important tool in our daily life. Using the simple mechanism of gear, a wrench was invented. The wrench is mainly used where it comes to the matter of nut and bolts. The force that should be applied to the top of the nut is too much for our fingers. But when you are using a wrench, the extra length of the wrench gives you an extra advantage so that you can easily control the nut at any point. 

So, a wrench can help you to prevent injury to your finger by easing up your work. There are many types of work where a wrench will provide the essential mechanical advantages to complete the task. There are a lot of ratchet wrenches in the current market. Among them, the ratchet wrench is currently the most popular for its enormous benefits.

In today’s post, let's see how to use a ratchet wrench through an expert’s eyes.

What is Ratchet Wrench?

According to the actual words: “Ratchet Wrench is a female driver part to encircle the male head of a fastener that can be rotated relentlessly without taking it out from the head.”

As I have mentioned before, there are various types of wrenches in the market. Among them, a ratchet wrench will give you the most benefit. It's not only easy to use but also has a great impact on the efficiency. Because a ratchet wrench does not need to be taken out of the head every time you encircle the nut head.

Where all the normal wrenches need 2-3 minutes to attach a nut properly, the ratchet wrench will need only 30 seconds.

Different Types of Ratchet Wrench You’ll Find in the Market Usually

Before you go on the part of how to use a ratchet wrench, you just need to know how many types of ratchet wrench there are currently on the market.

Geared Drive

Among all other models, this type of ratchet is the most popular. It is used not only in the USA but all over the world vastly. The tooth count will allow you at all the time to operate with any kind of mounting part. When there is a very little space to control, it comes as a lifesaver. Also, it provides an external feature to help you work with motors. But very limited wrenches come with such great features.

Gear-less Models

Now, you must be wondering how a wrench can really work without a gear. Is gear really an essential part to form a lever right?

Actually, gear-less models are very simple but exceptional. The main equipment that is used in this model is rollers and bearings. As they don’t consist of gear, they usually operate faster than the regular gear based wrenches.

Ratchet with Locks

Many of the Ratchets comes with an external lock on the mounting part of the body. The handle is fixed like the usual ones. The main function of the lock is to attach the socket to it.

Sometimes in the very unfavorable position, if your socket is fallen down in the deep it is very hard to get it back. So, a lock will help you to put the socket in the proper place. When the work is done, simply switch the lock in the opposite direction and the socket will come out easily.

Ratchet with Flexible Heads

And now is to the interesting part. The revolution of the ratchet wrench has gone beyond your imagination. Now they come with flexible heads. The main advantage of this flexible head is that it can be controlled from the various angle. So where it is hard to reach the nut, just change the angle and it will be then easy to encircle the nut properly.

Who Are the Main Users of Ratchet Wrench?

As for the operator of the ratchet wrench, almost anyone can handle it without facing any problems. But a ratchet wrench is mainly used by the following users most :-

1. Engineers & Architect

Not to mention, an engineer always needs to make different kinds of new models time to time. Either it is a prototype or in the real world, you always need some joints whenever you are trying to create new inventions.

As for the architect- is there really something I need to say? The new designs always crawl out of their artistic minds. Therefore, to implement this idea properly in these sections, one must know how to use ratchet wrenches properly.

2. Motor Mechanic

When it comes to the matter of motor mechanics or the engineers, the ratchet wrench is the most important equipment than all. The wrenches help to make the joints of every part stronger and more durable. Almost every part of a motor vehicle has a joint that depends on the nuts or screws. Therefore, it’s very easy when you are using a ratchet range to do these kinds of works.

3. Automobile Repair Center Workers

When you are an automobile shop owner, you need to keep in mind that all the parts in this section require a wrench. From the tire of the vehicle to the hydraulic steering, all things are connected with a lot of gears, nuts, and bolts, or other joints. So, when you give the proper instruments to the worker, the productivity increases rapidly.

4. Mechanical Equipment Repairer

There are some of us who always keeps themselves busy in repairing things. Maximum works with both mechanical and electrical equipment. For them- it’s a ‘must have’ device. Either you work as a repairer or you do them just for your hobby- a ratchet wrench is definitely needed in every step. And, it’s never late to learn about how to use a ratchet wrench for anyone.

5. Technician

Technician serves an important role in our society. But a technician is nothing without his proper equipment. Without a ratchet wrench, his equipment is totally incomplete.

6. Plumber

We all have plumbing lines in our house. Huge industries also need a large flow of water supply. So, the task of a plumber is huge in every sector.  If there are leakage or the joints are not connected properly, the result will be devastating. To connect the pipelines properly, a plumber must need the proper gear. 

7. Mass People

You must have faced problems to fix different kinds of electrical equipment. Such as when you are trying to clean the table fan, ceiling fan, open up that mobile of yours or sometimes you may have found some problems in your laptop and you needed to open it. No apparatus can take care of your precious things more than a ratchet wrench. So, all the common people need it time to time in order to take care of the home appliances.

How Can You Use Your Ratchet Wrench In The Best Way?

So, by now you have a great knowledge about ratchet wrench. What a ratchet wrench is, who the customers are, why it is needed more than any other equipment. But the main question still remains: how to use a ratchet wrench? That’s totally explained in the upcoming part.

Step 1: Selecting the Proper Socket

There are hundreds of varieties of sockets you can use. But usually for the common purposes about 10-14 sockets are enough. Many of the ratchet wrenches come with pre-included sockets of various sizes.

So, whatever you are trying to fix, choosing the proper socket is always the first step. If the diameter of the socket is less than required, it won't hold the fastener. And when too big, of course, you know what would happen. So, always choose the proper sized socket.

Step 2: Attach it To the Ratchet

The backside of the socket needs to be attached properly with the ratchet. The drive square always needs to be of the same size with the ratchet. Otherwise, an adapter is needed to attach them properly. Usually, the pre-loaded ratchet and sockets attach to each other very easily. Because both of them have the same platform.

Step 3: Select the Turning Direction

Behind the socket, where it is mounted, there should be a star-shaped object. It is the thing that controls the direction of the wrench. It locks the wrench in a way that it only rotate either clockwise or anti-clockwise.

So, always look if it is in the right direction. Otherwise, you can't do the work properly. One of the most important things to mention is that it is very useful for both left-hand users and right-hand users.

Step 4: Lock the Socket (if required)

There are different kinds of wrenches currently available in the market. Different of them have different kinds of properties. Some of them come with extra ‘lock’ features. The main feature of this lock is that when you attach the socket with the ratchet, sometimes there is a chance that the socket may fall off. But not when the lock button is there. You can now easily control the ratchet however you want, whenever you want.

Step 5: Place the Socket On the Fastener

At this part, just mount the socket onto the nut which you wish to tighten/loosen. Look if the socket is properly placed into the fastener. Otherwise, there is a chance of slipping. It may cause injury sometimes. Therefore, always place the socket properly.

Step 6: Start Turning the Fastener

When you have completed all the previous steps successfully- now it is the time for you to do some real work. This is the magical part of the ratchet wrench. You just have to pull the ratchet up and down. On one direction, the nut will be rotated.

Suppose it is when you turn the ratchet from up to down. But when you are pulling the ratchet upward, the nut will not move even a little. That’s how your work will be more easy & enjoyable.

Step 7: Continue till Done

Now, rotate the nut/fastener till your work is done. When it is done, move onto the next. Otherwise, keep rotating the wrench. When all the fastening/ losing nuts are done, proceed to the next step.

Step 8: When done, Turn the Lock off

If you have locked the sockets properly before starting, now it is the time to turn off the lock. Always turn the lock off after the work is done. Otherwise, you won’t be able to open the socket from the wrench. It sometimes also works as a safety feature.

Step 9: Remove the Socket from the Ratchet

Now all the things are done properly- it’s time to open up the socket. When you are using the normal kinds of ratchets, you will need to put some force to take the socket off from the ratchet. A little force from an angle will do the work easily.

The driver square then will fall off from the drive square. But when you are using a more advanced ratchet there is a spring that will be released by pushing a button back of the ratchet head.

Step 10: Finalization

Each & every equipment need proper care in order to last long. So, when you are done using the ratchet wrench, clean it and put it in some fine place. That will increase the durability of the wrench.

For more info please check this video.

Cautions You Need To Follow While Using Ratchet Wrench

  • Broken wrenches are risky. Those should be avoided.
  • The Proper sized socket should be taken.
  • Old and torn out wrenches should be avoided.
  • Never put too much pressure on the handling range of the wrench.
  • Read the user manual for the best uses.
  • Clean properly after using.
  • Use some machine oil time to time. It will help the gears and bearings rolling.


As of now, we are almost at the end of the article. I hope, you get all the answers you were looking for in this article. Either you are a professional or a common people, you should always keep some knowledge about a ratchet wrench.

Because you always need a ratchet wrench time to time for different purposes. If you have still any confusion about how to use a ratchet wrench, contact the authority. And be sure to bookmark our website and check once daily for the latest and amazing updates about ratchet wrench.

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