The Cordless Ratchet is both Handy & Affordable–but Which One is Best?
While Cordless Impact Wrenches have enjoyed an increase in popularity in recent years, the less known but affordable and handy cordless ratchet has become an excellent accessory tool for pretty much every tool slinger. However, since it’s still at an early stage in the game, let’s take a look at a few of today’s top sellers to see which ratchets are hot and well-liked.
This is Part I of Which Cordless Ratchet is Best?
The Craftsman 19.2 Volt C3 Max Axess Power Ratchet (Bare Tool, Bulk Packaged)
This little monster from Sears is nearing the end of its run from what we can tell, as it’s not longer directly available from the manufacturer. However, if you’re looking for a nice, strong power ratchet and don’t mind poking around to find one, then this could fit the bill. Because of excellent warranties and product backing, we haven’t any qualms about adding this cordless ratchet to the list and keeping it there until it’s just no longer available.
From what we can tell, there are no immediate plans from Craftsman for a replacement model for this one–but that doesn’t mean there won’t be. Due to a new collaboration between Craftsman, Black & Decker, and Stanley, it’s quite possible that there could be a new and very different product on the market in the near future. If there is, we’ll be there to check it out, so stay in touch.
- Strong 19.2 Volt C3 Max Axxess power pack for both superb strength and staying power
- LED work light just below the ratchet head
- Bare Tool — No battery or charger included (sold separately)
- No-Load Speed of 0 to 225 RPM
- Torque range of 360 lbs/inch
- Forward and Reverse toggle switch to change directions
- Pass-Through wrench design eliminates the need for deep sockets
- Variable-speed paddle switch
- Lock switch to avoid accidental or unintended usage
- Includes four socket adapters for varying applications: 1/2″ socket, 7/16″ socket, 3/8″ socket, and 3/8″ square adapter
- Part Number: 38596
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.2×6.2×3.4 inches
- Model Number: 320.38596
- Color: Black Red
- Power Source: Battery Powered
- Voltage: 19.2V
- Package Quantity: 1
- Measurement System: Inch
- Batteries Included: No
- Battery Cell Type: Lithium Ion
With all cordless ratchets, the main benefits are of course having power apart from your own two hands, as well not needing any deep sockets to get over those long bolts. This, of course, is the same with the Craftsman cordless ratchet. However, this ratchet also offers a couple of extras that are a bit unique to it, which is why we made the decision to list it here.
First off, it boasts Craftsman’s 19.2V Li-Ion rechargeable battery system, which is quite the strong power source to have for a cordless impact wrench, cordless drill, or cordless driver. Having the extra power on the cordless wrench is super nice because it saves you from wracking your knuckles in places, but also lasts for a good while so you needn’t recharge it so often.
Second, this cordless tool is backed by Sears’ well-known name and warranty, which is easy enough to get assistance with either locally or online. Since I have a store nearby (and many people do), it’s easy enough to drop by if you have any issues or questions.
This tool also comes with the adapters needed for varying sizes and applications, which is nice because that isn’t always the case with other ratchets or wrenches. A small thing but worth mentioning.
POINTS TO CONSIDER
Okay, now here’s where it gets a bit tough.
We mentioned before that currently this ratchet isn’t available directly from Sears Craftsman. The truth is that you’ll have to find it on places like Amazon, Ebay, or similar retailers, unless you luck up and can find it in your local store. As of this writing (May 2017) the Craftsman ratchet is still available but supplies are dwindling–and there are no obvious plans for a follow-up (yet).
The big issue that man users have been having with this ratchet is how the 3/8″ adapter tends to fall out every time they begin to apply power and use it. For those of us who want it to work without a hitch, this is a glaring oversight in the design and cause for a lot of frustration, especially while using the tool in tight areas. If this were not such a fixable issue, then there is no way that we would rate this ratchet here on our list. However, since the adapter issue is actually fixable by the user in a few different ways (such as using a washer), we are willing to overlook it (a bit) because of how dependable and workable it is in tight spots.
While the Craftsman cordless ratchet is light, handy, and packs a nice battery, some users still find that its power is just not quite enough for heavy, tough, or professional work. That being said, if you are a home or non-professional user who is looking for a reasonably-priced, mid-range cordless ratchet, this one would suffice just fine.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Customer reviews online list this as one of the top-selling and highest-rated cordless ratchets, despite the issue with the adapter falling out (which is a chief complaint). The strength and stamina of the battery is good, but may not always be able to provide enough torque to do the heavy jobs. While not a tool for the professional, it is a light and useful tool for the right person and applications.
Our Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
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