Carpentry

Best Cordless Ratchets [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

Cordless ratchet tools are a game-changer. 

Regardless of whether or not you are a professional mechanic, a hobbyist that loves to work on cars, or just want to knock out regular maintenance in the comfort of your garage without having to pay a premium for dealers or mechanics to do it for you, these tools make life a whole lot easier.

Not only are you going to get more power from cordless ratchet sets than you will from manually operated tools, but you’re also going to get speed savings and extra leverage you wouldn’t have enjoyed otherwise, too.

At the same time, finding the best cordless ratchet set these days isn’t as easy as you might think.

No, it’s not that there are so few great options out there to pick and choose from. It’s that there are so many, all of which promise the moon and the stars when it comes to speed, performance, and reliability.

Comparison Table

PRODUCT FEATURES LATEST PRICE
1. Milwaukee 2456-21 M12
  • Super long-lasting 12 V lithium-ion battery
  • Absolutely effortless to use
  • Legendary reputation for durability and on jeopardy
  • Works with pretty much every kind of socket available
  • Delivers 30 foot-pounds of torque at maximum speed
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2. Ingersoll Rand R1120-K1
  • Perhaps the best reputation for durability in the mechanic tool world today
  • Fantastic power output with the ability to manually add extra torque as well
  • Ergonomically and intelligently designed to get into tighter spots
  • Specifically created with automotive applications in mind
  • Works with all types and sizes of sockets
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3. ACDelco ARW1210-3P
  • Super compact design fits into tight spaces while delivering consistent power
  • One of the most powerful 12 V lithium-ion battery-powered motors in the market
  • Variable speed control is more finely tuned than any other power ratchet out there
  • Build quality is off the charts
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4. AOBEN 3/8” 12V
  • Super versatile and flexible
  • Works wonders in professional garage settings
  • The very affordable price tag
  • Rock-solid build quality
  • One of the best variable triggers you’ll find
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5. Makita RW01R1 Cordless Ratchet Kit
  • Extreme versatility thanks to the inclusion of dual and interchangeable anvil heads
  • Capable of hitting speeds of 800 RPM while still delivering 35 foot-pounds of torque
  • Very well dialed in the variable speed trigger
  • Includes a 12 V lithium-ion battery with quick charge capabilities and a rapid charging station
  • Works with all other 12 V lithium-ion batteries from Makita
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6. SKIL Lithium-Ion Power Wrench
  • The very affordable price point
  • Easy to charge
  • Delivers 75 foot-pounds of torque
  • Well-made and compact
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But that’s why we have put together these cordless ratchet reviews. 

By the time you’re done with the inside information below, you’ll know exactly which of these tools are worth purchasing for your toolbox. We go over what we like about these tools, what we don’t love, and what separates them from the rest of the pack – and then highlight our all-time favorite at the end, too. 

Ready to jump right in? 

Let’s do it! 

Our Best Cordless Ratchet Reviews and Comparisons

1. Milwaukee 2456-21 M12

Product Highlights 

Milwaukee tools are always a favorite of professionals and this cordless ratchet is no exception. 

Well-made, super powerful, and as reliable as they get, it’s really not hard to be excited about everything this Milwaukee ratchet brings to the table. 

The build quality, the adaptability, and the usability of this cordless ratchet are also all off the charts. If you want to get your hands on just one cordless ratchet for the rest of your life you have to seriously consider it is this one from the folks at Milwaukee. 

What We Like About the Milwaukee 2456-21 M12 

Let’s start with the legendary reputation that Milwaukee tools have for power, performance, and overall reliability. 

Milwaukee tools are found in professional garages all over the country (and all over the world, really) and are relied on by expert mechanics because of their reputation. 

These tools are some of the most powerful cordless offerings on the market today, utilize smart technology that delivers that power intelligently, and have a reputation for lasting a whole lot longer than anything else out there.

The heartbeat of this Milwaukee cordless ratchet is the lithium-ion battery system. 

Running off of a 12 V configuration, you get a 2000 mAh battery system that delivers plenty of power where it’s needed most – producing 30 foot-pounds of torque without any extra effort on your end whatsoever. 

Best of all, the lithium-ion battery is engineered to deliver 100% power whether you have a full battery or are nearly dead. That’s a huge leap forward over the previous generation NiCad (nickel-cadmium) options. 

Add in the ability to use quarter-inch, three-eighths, and half-inch ratchet drives with this system (pretty much every type of ratchet you’ll ever come across), and moving forward in this direction is a real no-brainer. 

What We Don’t Like About the Milwaukee 2456-21 M12 

Honestly, there’s really not that much to dislike when it comes to this Milwaukee cordless ratchet. 

Some people find it to be a little bit heavy and a little bit bulky, but that’s a personal choice kind of thing. 

Other folks feel that it has a slightly lower power output than some of the other choices on the market, but few find Milwaukee unable to go toe to toe with those options. 

All in all, this is a really solid set up if you need to add a single cordless ratchet to your garage. 

PROS

  • Super long-lasting 12 V lithium-ion battery
  • Absolutely effortless to use
  • Legendary reputation for durability and on jeopardy
  • Works with pretty much every kind of socket available
  • Delivers 30 foot-pounds of torque at maximum speed

CONS

  • A little bit on the bulky side of things
  • A little bit heavier than other options
  • Slightly underpowered compared to some of the other premium choices

2. Ingersoll Rand R1120-K1

Product Highlights 

Perhaps not the household name that a company like Milwaukee is (at least outside of serious mechanics or tradespeople), Ingersoll-Rand products are a little more “niche” – but are always some of the most well-regarded options money can buy. 

Very much a high-performance power tool company through and through, you are likely going to be blown away when you get your hands on this Ingersoll-Rand cordless ratchet specifically designed with automotive use in mind. 

Running off of a 12 V power pack (lithium-ion battery technology), you’ll be able to deliver 30 foot-pounds of torque when running this cordless ratchet at top speeds. Even better than that, though, is the ability to easily add extra manual torquing to your project with the help of this ratchet, too. 

The unique design of this Ingersoll-Rand product separates it from the rest of the pack in a big way, but that’s something we’ll touch on in just a moment. At the end of the day, this is a top-quality option that you’re going to want to seriously consider if you need a new power ratchet.

What We Like About the Ingersoll Rand R1120-K1  

Durability is never a question when you’re talking about Ingersoll-Rand products, and this power ratchet isn’t going to disappoint you, either. 

Well-made, smartly engineered, and featuring one of the most intelligent designs of any cordless ratchet system there really isn’t anything else out there quite like this power tool. 

The unique adaptable design allows this to twist and flex in ways that other cordless ratchet sets can’t. That lets you get into spots that would have been almost impossible to get to otherwise, all while delivering the full power of this cordless ratchet at the same time. 

Speaking of power, the 12 V lithium-ion battery technology in this tool lets you push 30 foot-pounds of torque (and extra manual torque) at speeds of up to 260 RPM when you run it at full bore. 

This is more than enough torque to let you tighten or loosen bolts and nuts on a vehicle, and it’s fast enough to get the job done quicker than you would expect as well.

What We Don’t Like About the Ingersoll Rand R1120-K1  

The premium price point of this Ingersoll-Rand cordless power ratchet is going to put some people off to be sure. 

At the same time, as most pros know, you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to power tools – especially cordless power tools. 

The internal gear system is a little bit of a pain to work on because of the unique design of this ratchet as well. As long as you don’t have to do a lot of maintenance to your Ingersoll-Rand cordless ratchet that won’t be a concern. But the second you have to pop it open things are going to get a little hectic. 

PROS

  • Perhaps the best reputation for durability in the mechanic tool world today
  • Fantastic power output with the ability to manually add extra torque as well
  • Ergonomically and intelligently designed to get into tighter spots
  • Specifically created with automotive applications in mind
  • Works with all types and sizes of sockets

CONS

  • The price point will give some people sticker shock
  • Internal gear configuration is totally unique and (somewhat) frustrating to work with

3. ACDelco ARW1210-3P 

Product Highlights

A lot of cordless ratchets promise that they work well in tight spaces, but few of them are designed specifically for those hard-to-reach areas the way that this ACDelco ratchet is. 

Plenty of professional mechanics use this as a “specialty” ratchet, making sure that they have it close at hand when they have to squeeze into tight spots. 

Running the same kind of 12 V lithium-ion battery that a lot of other cordless ratchets use, the engineers at this company were somehow able to get it to produce nearly 60 foot-pounds of torque compared to the 30 foot-pounds of torque most other tools deliver. 

That’s a big deal. 

On top of that, the fastening speed of this particular power ratchet is and what you get from most other units. You’re going to love using this tool. 

What We Like About the ACDelco ARW1210-3P  

Being able to double the maximum torque available from a compact tool like this is almost unbelievable until you see it in action. 

We don’t know exactly how the folks at ACDelco were able to pull this off. All we know for sure is that they did pull it off – and it’s game-changing technology to be blunt. 

Having the opportunity to slide this super-compact cordless ratchet into hard-to-reach areas on a vehicle, attach it to any not or bolt (thanks to the variable socket size options you can use here), and then apply up to 60 foot-pounds of torque with the press of a trigger is fantastic. 

Combine all of that with the super ergonomically designed handle that makes it easy to add quick, light adjustments or to go “full bore” when you have to really get after something makes this tool a no-brainer to this list. 

Mixing the way that this cordless ratchet feels in the hand and you’d have to be at least a little bit crazy not to seriously consider adding it to your tool arsenal ASAP! 

What We Don’t Like About the ACDelco ARW1210-3P  

The price of this cordless ratchet is really going to be the only thing that holds people back from getting their hands on this tool. 

It definitely has a goosebump-inducing price point compared to some of the other options on our list, but we can tell you that plenty of people feel this premium price tag is justified – and maybe even a little less than it could be! 

Only you will be able to tell if this cordless ratchet fits your budget or not. 

PROS

  • Super compact design fits into tight spaces while delivering consistent power
  • One of the most powerful 12 V lithium-ion battery-powered motors in the market
  • Variable speed control is more finely tuned than any other power ratchet out there
  • Build quality is off the charts

CONS

  • The price point will make you blush the first time that you see it

 4. AOBEN 3/8” 12V

Product Highlights 

Another very flexible power ratchet, anyone that needs to get into hard-to-reach areas will want to be sure that they have one of these power ratchets close at hand. 

Capable of delivering just slightly more than 30 foot-pounds of torque, this is one of the higher RPM cordless power ratchet options money can buy. That means you’re going to be able to spin off hard to move nuts and bolts with just a quick press of the trigger, but that you’re also going to have the ability to “feather spin” some of the more delicate components you’re working with, too. 

One of the most impressively built options we’ve come across while doing these cordless ratchet reviews, this company doesn’t necessarily have the same kind of name brand recognition that some of the other choices do. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a worthy contender! 

In fact, our research showed time and time again that people are absolutely crazy for everything that this cordless power tool brings to the table – especially its affordable price point. 

One thing you won’t have to worry about with this cordless ratchet is paying a premium just for the name brand on the side of the tool. 

What We Like About the AOBEN 3/8” 12V 

The versatility of this power ratchet is what helps to separate it from all others on this list. 

Not only is it capable of handling all different kinds of sockets (three different sizes, too) but it’s also capable of working with eight bolt configurations. 

This means you’re going to have a lot more options available to you when you fire this tool up, giving you every opportunity to work on the projects you have in front of you without reaching for more tools every time something new pops up. 

On top of that, this ratchet has one of the top three triggers in the cordless power ratchet arena we have an opportunity to try. The variable speed control is off the charts, the feedback is fantastic, and the sense of total control that you’ll have every time you reach for this tool is unparalleled. 

Combine all of that with no-load speeds whatsoever in the ability to fire this up to 280 RPM with the slightest flick of your trigger finger and it’s not hard to get excited about this power ratchet. 

What We Don’t Like About the AOBEN 3/8” 12V  

This isn’t to suggest that there are no negatives or downsides to using this power ratchet, though. 

Sure, this tool is more affordable than most of the other choices around – making it a great value in and of itself – but it is also one of the heaviest and bulkiest you’re going to get your hands on, too. 

Not nearly as ergonomic as most of the other top contenders, sometimes you are going to feel like you are fighting this tool more often than not. The heavyweight does help with stuck on bolts and nuts that need to get persuaded a little bit. But more often than not you wish this was a lighter power tool for sure.

PROS

  • Super versatile and flexible
  • Works wonders in professional garage settings
  • The very affordable price tag
  • Rock-solid build quality
  • One of the best variable triggers you’ll find

CONS

  • A bit on the big side
  • A little bit heavier than most other options

5. Makita RW01R1 Cordless Ratchet Kit

Product Highlights

Makita tools have an incredible reputation in the professional world, relied on by mechanics, contractors, and tradespeople more often than not when they need to know that their investment in tools is going to be money well spent. 

Compared to a lot of the major tool companies, Makita continues to press forward and innovate more rapidly than anyone else – constantly introducing new tools, new technologies, and new solutions for a tool community that sometimes feels like it has seen everything before already. 

This specific power ratchet set is one of the most innovative options money can buy, exactly what you would expect from the folks at Makita in the first place. 

Slim and ergonomically designed, unbelievably powerful, and about as flexible and has customizable a power ratchet as you are going to see these days, Makita has hit another home run with this cordless ratchet system. 

What We Like About the Makita RW01R1 Cordless Ratchet Kit

To begin with, we absolutely love the fact that Makita doesn’t just turn you loose with a power ratchet and then things a day – they give you (pretty much) everything you need to use this tool right out of the box.

Not only do you get the cordless ratchet itself as well as two different “anvils” to run pretty much any kind of socket you could imagine with this tool, but you also get a quick charging station, two batteries, and a soft-sided tool bag. 

All you have to do is throw in your favorite socket sets (any size will do), and you are off to the races!

Makita power is on full display with this cordless ratchet, too. This is a 12 V lithium-ion battery-powered setup, but it’s capable of producing 35 foot-pounds of torque at speeds that reach 800 RPM – or almost 3 times faster than nearly every other cordless ratchet on this list. 

That’s a lot of juice!

Most impressively of all, though, has to be the way that the folks at Makita have been able to implement all of this power into a super compact and ergonomically designed form factor.

Though it can’t reach those hard to get to spots quite as easily as some of the really bendy options in our lives, you’ll likely not be having any trouble whatsoever getting this Makita into tight spots to get nuts and bolts tightened or loosened with this tool. 

Finishing things off is the top-tier reputation Makita has for durability.

Sure, this tool comes with a premium price tag (like everything else Makita) but at least you know for certain that your money isn’t ever going to be wasted when you go with these blue tools.

What We Don’t Like About the Makita RW01R1 Cordless Ratchet Kit

The placement of the battery on this specific cordless ratchet kit is a little bit less than intuitive, something you’ll have to fiddle with a little bit until you become comfortable running it.

It’s just weirder compared to some of the other more traditionally designed ratchet sets on this list. It’ll take maybe an hour or so to get used to the difference, but after that, it shouldn’t be all that much of a hurdle to clear. 

This Makita power tool is also a bit heavier than what you expect from some of the other choices, too.

It weighs in at north of 5 pounds (really chunky) but the extra technology shoehorned in is what allows it to hit speeds of 800 RPM while delivering 35 foot-pounds of torque at the same time.

PROS

  • Extreme versatility thanks to the inclusion of dual and interchangeable anvil heads
  • Capable of hitting speeds of 800 RPM while still delivering 35 foot-pounds of torque
  • Very well dialed in the variable speed trigger
  • Includes a 12 V lithium-ion battery with quick charge capabilities and a rapid charging station
  • Works with all other 12 V lithium-ion batteries from Makita

CONS

  • Battery placement is definitely a little bit weird and nontraditional
  • This is a chunky power ratchet to be sure

 6. SKIL Lithium-Ion Power Wrench

Product Highlights

SKIL power tools have gotten a bit of a bad rap over the last few years, often compared to Black and Decker tools that are definitely designed for homeowners in mind and really have no place in professional or serious DIY toolboxes. 

We can tell you conclusively, though, that the last thing you want to do is underestimate this SKIL cordless ratchet. 

Capable of putting out 35 foot-pounds of torque and spinning nuts and bolts north of 200 RPM, the variable trigger speed control, build quality, and overall longevity of this particular ratchet are all off the charts.

If you don’t want to break the bank while still getting a top-quality cordless ratchet system, this is where you want to spend your money. 

What We Like About the SKIL Lithium-Ion Power Wrench 

Where do we start with the SKIL lithium-ion power wrench?

Kicking things off, the power to weight ratio of this SKIL power wrench is absolutely nutty. 

As highlighted above, you’re going to be able to get 75 foot-pounds of torque out of this wrench without any extra effort whatsoever. That’s almost triple the number of foot-pounds of torque you can expect from most of the other options in these cordless ratchet reviews. 

That’s a lot of power! 

On top of that, the SKIL power wrench is super flexible and lightweight. 

Unlike the Makita option we just reviewed a moment ago (weighing in at north of 5 pounds), this SKIL option only weighs 1.8 pounds. You won’t have to worry about hand cramps or fatigue when you are using this power tool over extended amounts of time, that’s for sure.

Maybe most impressively of all, though, is how well the 7.2V lithium-ion battery in this particular unit holds a charge.

The manufacturer claims that the tool can hold a charge for up to 18 months before it needs to be recharged again, and with just a little bit of regular maintenance you should be able to get anywhere between five and seven years of utility out of this power ratchet.

What We Don’t Like About the SKIL Lithium-Ion Power Wrench

There are some hangups with the SKIL power wrench that we need to clue you in on, though.

For starters, that 7.2V lithium-ion battery is built into the unit itself. This internal battery cannot be removed, cannot be hot-swapped out, and cannot be replaced after it (inevitably) dies and cannot be charged any longer.

That’s a completely different approach to building a cordless power tool than most of the other options in our cordless ratchet reviews and one that you may or may not be comfortable with. 

Secondly, that 7.2V lithium-ion battery is considerably smaller than the other options on our list, too. 

That means this tool isn’t going to run as long as the other options, may not be able to provide as much juice as the other options, and is going to take longer to charge and other options, too. 

All of the issues with the SKIL power wrench circle back to the choice this company made with their battery.

PROS

  • The very affordable price point
  • Easy to charge
  • Delivers 75 foot-pounds of torque
  • Well-made and compact

CONS

  • The battery is internal and cannot be swapped out or replaced
  • Longevity is a little bit of a question mark, depending on how well your battery holds up

Final Verdict 

Though there are a lot of great cordless power ratchet options to pick and choose from in this detailed breakdown, one of them stands head and shoulders above the rest of the pack – and that is the Milwaukee 2456-21 M12.

As we mentioned earlier in our cordless ratchet reviews, Milwaukee makes some of the best power tools (especially cordless power tools) money can buy.

Not only are there tools well-designed and smartly engineered, but they are also made of high-quality construction components across the board. That combination results in a cordless ratchet set that isn’t just one of the best performing tools on the market today but also one of the best long-term investments in tools, too. 

You won’t have to worry about replacing this Milwaukee power ratchet anytime soon. 

Of course, the folks at Milwaukee also provide an amazing warranty so that you are covered should anything go wrong with your tool as well. That’s just another reason to consider moving forward with this as your cordless ratchet. 

Relatively compact, very powerful, as reliable as they come, and a rock-solid performer across the board, if you’re going to spend money on a new cordless power ratchet you might want to make sure that it is a Milwaukee unit! 

Buyer’s Guide 

There are a couple of things that are most important to consider when purchasing a new cordless ratchet. These are the real “make or break” factors you need to know about.

We highlight the most influential key factors you’ll want to zero in on below. 

Ease of Use

Straight out of the gate, the new cordless ratchet you choose has to be easy enough to use without having to completely retrain yourself on power tools. 

The whole point of this tool is to save you time, save you energy, and save you effort. If the cordless ratchet you pick is a nightmare to use it’s going to get pulled out of the toolbox a lot less often than you’d like – and that’s a waste of time, energy, and money. 

Look for a cordless ratchet that is as easy to use as any of your standard rachet sets and you’ll be good to go. 

Size and Weight

You really need to think about how often you are going to be reaching for your cordless ratchet before you pull the trigger on this kind of purchase. 

Compact and lightweight ratchets are perfect for lighter work and simpler projects where you won’t be dealing with rusted-on bolts that want to fight you every step of the way. 

Conversely, heavy-duty ratchets that are a bit bigger and a bit bulkier won’t be able to fit into the tight spots on vehicles or projects the way smaller units can – but they have the “meat” to pull off bolts and nuts that would have resisted smaller tools. 

It’s all about finding a tool that feels comfortable in your hand but offers plenty of power for the kinds of projects you’re going to be using it on. 

Torque and Speed 

The beautiful thing about all of the tools featured in our cordless ratchet reviews had a torque output of at least 30 foot-pounds – and sometimes a whole lot more than that. 

30 foot-pounds of torque will be more than enough to handle the overwhelming majority of ratchet applications you’ll come across (especially on a vehicle), but every now and again you might need a little extra “juice” – and we broke down tools that deliver that in spades, too.

Speed is also of the utmost importance. You’ll want a cordless ratchet that can deliver at least 200 RPM at the socket point. This moves projects along much faster than you be able to with a manual power ratchet. 

Safety Features

Building safety features are always a bonus when you’re talking about power tools.

You want something with a well-designed trigger that isn’t just going to go off on its own, smartly designed grips that let you get a bite on the tool when you are using it for heavy-duty applications, and a battery technology that keeps you and the tool protected from failure.

Other safety features are nice but it’s really important for you to familiarize yourself with how your tool works more than anything else. The safer you are with the tool the safer everyone will be!

Adaptability

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to get your hands on a brand-new power ratchet that can’t work with the socket sets use all the time now does it?

 Look for power ratchets that can work with pretty much every socket under the sun, from standard to metric, and every connection size imaginable as well. 

The more adaptable your cordless ratchet is the more you are going to use it. Look for something that is very “future proof”, something that can be relied on to help you with projects you may not have yet purchased sockets for.

The flexibility and adaptability of your tools is a huge piece of the puzzle. 

Battery Power and Performance

Nobody wants to worry about their cordless power ratchet dying in the middle of a project, but that’s something that happens a lot more frequently than most of us want to admit. 

Look for cordless ratchets that have great battery capacities, quick charging capabilities, and batteries that can be swapped out on-the-fly with fully charged ones to keep you working nonstop. 

Quick charging technology is – almost – standard on all lithium-ion tools these days, but it’s still worth double-checking that your new cordless power tool can be quickly charged as well.

Warranty

Finally, you need to be sure that your money isn’t going to be wasted on a power tool that falls apart sooner than you expected with a warranty you can’t rely on.

Most cordless power tool warranties stretch for at least 12 months, but some of the companies on this breakdown offer 24 months to 36 months warranties – and many have “unofficial” lifetime warranties that you can use to replace your tool later down the line for any reason whatsoever.

The warranty that your new power tool includes tells you a lot about how confident the manufacturer is in that tool and how seriously they take your customer satisfaction.

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Author

Timberland Enthusiast Jan 1977 – Present Columbia, South Carolina Since graduating from law school I have worked in various capacities within the real estate, timber management, lumber production and pine straw harvesting markets in South Carolina. Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler May 2016 – Dec 2020 Columbia, South Carolina Det Bowers joined Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler in May of 2016. Prior to joining Wilson Kibler, Mr. Bowers served as a licensed attorney practicing in Federal, State and Municipal Courts. Other business involvements have included real estate development, retail development and operations, agribusiness, forestry products, outdoor advertising and insurance.

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