We all want to save ourselves a bit of time and effort when we can. Adding a cordless ratchet to your toolbox is one of the best ways to do it. Manually loosening or tightening a single bolt can be time-consuming. If you’re working on a large project, you could spend over an hour working on the nuts and bolts alone.
Why rely on elbow grease when you can embrace a bit of laziness and use a cordless ratchet to get the job done in a matter of seconds? They’re much more efficient than using a traditional ratchet, and you’re less likely to scrape your knuckles to hell and back, too.
But how do you know which is the best cordless ratchet for you? I’ve weighed the pros and cons of numerous different cordless ratchets, and these are my top picks. Let’s take a look.
Cordless Ratchets Reviewed
Buckle up, and pay attention. This is where I’ll share everything you need to know about some of the best cordless ratchets on the market.
- 35 lb-ft of torque
- 250 RPM
- 12-volt motor
- Redlink intelligence prevents battery overload
- Lightweight design is easy to use for extended periods
- Ratchet charges within 30 minutes
- Battery and charger are not included
- Only 35 lb-ft of torque, so you may need to break stubborn nuts and bolts loose manually
The Milwaukee 2457-20 is a lightweight (4.63 pounds) cordless ratchet with a brushed motor and a narrow head. You can fit it into cramped spaces easily, meaning you won’t have to twist yourself into a pretzel to work with it. This cordless ratchet also offers Redlink intelligence, which prevents the battery from overloading while prolonging battery life. Another cool feature is the LED lights, which make it easier to see what you’re doing in dark areas.
Milwaukee’s cordless ratchet gives you excellent control thanks to its variable-speed trigger. This ratchet is small, 9.47 x 2.94 x 1.76 inches, but it’s tough as nails, too. The reinforced steel housing means you don’t need to be afraid of banging your ratchet into anything. Trust me — it can take the abuse. It has a backward switch to prevent accidental actuation, which is the last thing you want when you’re working with power tools.
But there are a couple of bummers with this model, most importantly the absence of a charger or the required M12 battery. You also might need to break the nuts and bolts loose before you start. That being said, it’s a high-quality, affordable cordless ratchet from a reputable brand, and they offer a 5-year warranty. I just wish this ratchet came with everything you need to get to work right away.
- 40 lb-ft of torque
- 400 RPM
- 12-volt motor
- Comes with everything you need in the carrying case
- Ultra-lightweight design
- Long-lasting battery charge
- Takes an hour to charge
KIMO’s ⅜” cordless ratchet comes in a full kit with everything you could possibly need to get started on your project as soon as possible. You’ll get two batteries, seven sockets, a ⅜” to ¼” adapter, and a charger in your carrying case. There’s also a 2-year warranty, so you won’t have to worry about losing your cash if it breaks down.
Capable of exerting an impressive 40 lb-ft of torque, you’ll be able to break stubborn nuts and bolts loose in a snap. It’s 8.23 x 14.21 x 4.61 inches in size, so it will fit perfectly in your hand. The rugged, ergonomic handle is constructed with two pieces of rubber to resist corrosion and give you a steady grip as you work. There’s also a lock switch to prevent accidental activation.
Best of all, it has a slim head and built-in LED lights, so you can maneuver the ratchet into small, dark spaces without any difficulty. Weighing in at only 2.2 pounds with the battery, this ratchet is comfortable to use while working on longer projects.
My only gripe with this cordless ratchet is that it doesn’t offer the same generous warranty you’d find with the Milwaukee ratchet. Otherwise, it’s pretty close to perfect.
- 35 lb-ft of torque
- 800 RPM
- 12-volt motor
- Great versatility thanks to its interchangeable bolts
- Only weighs 2.35 pounds with the battery
- 3-year warranty
- Pricier than other options on the list
- Not the best at loosening stubborn nuts and bolts
Featuring an interchangeable bolt that lets you switch from a ⅜” to a ¼”, this cordless ratchet is pretty damn versatile. You can pop out the adapter with the head of a screwdriver and slot the other one into place. Then you can get right back to work, all without having to spend your hard-earned cash on a second ratchet.
Makita’s product offers a variable speed trigger for extra control over the whopping 800 RPM this beast puts out. It also has a built-in LED light so you can see what you’re doing while you’re working.
The rubberized grip adds comfort and stability, and the brake means you won’t turn it on unintentionally. It’s also one of the lightest cordless ratchets I’ve seen, weighing in at a mere 2.35 pounds with the battery in place.
But here’s the downside: it’s not that powerful. 35 lb-ft of torque isn’t always enough to loosen snug nuts and bolts, and you might want to tighten them manually for added security when you finish up. That’s not to say it’s a bad ratchet, but it’s something to keep in mind while you’re making a buying decision.
- 40 lb-ft of torque
- 280 RPM
- 12-volt motor
- Provides eight bolts for extra versatility
- Very affordable for what you get
- Has a locking switch to prevent accidental actuation
- It’s a little on the heavy side
While AOBEN doesn’t have quite the name-recognition of brands like Milwaukee and Makita, I happen to think it should. This is a powerhouse of a machine, and it’s definitely the best bang for your buck on the list.
It comes with two batteries, eight bolts that can be used with nuts and bolts of various sizes, a charger, and a heavy-duty carrying case. Its dimensions are 12.00 x 10.00 x 3.50 inches, so it’s not too bulky to fit into small spaces.
Charging time is an hour, which isn’t too bad considering you get two batteries. Keep them both charged, and you’ll just have to switch them out and keep working while the other recharges.
It has plenty of torque, great for when you’re working with stubborn nuts and bolts some other ratchets can’t budge. The zippy motor can hit 280 RPM, and the variable-speed trigger makes it easy for you to control all that speed.
There’s a backward switch on the head to prevent accidents, and the handle is comfortable to hold thanks to its ergonomically-shaped design. And this cordless ratchet comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
My only gripe with AOBEN’s cordless ratchet is its weight. Clocking in at 4.77 pounds, it’s the heaviest cordless ratchet on the list, but it’s also one of the best in terms of value for money.
Cordless Ratchet Buyer’s Guide
When you’re on the market for a cordless ratchet, you’ll obviously want to find the best product your money can buy. But there are a few more factors in play that I think are every bit as important as the price tag. Here are some things you should consider before you make your purchase.
Size and Weight
No matter how convenient a cordless ratchet is, you’re not going to use it if it weighs a buttload. You also don’t want a huge, bulky ratchet that makes your hand ache after the first five minutes, so keep an eye out for ratchets that don’t weigh too much.
Around three pounds is considered ideal for professional use. If you’re big into DIY and plan on using it a lot, stick with professional guidelines. On the other hand, if you’re not going to use it very often, using something a little bit heavier won’t be a major deal.
You’ll also want to find something that isn’t too big. You need to maneuver your ratchet into some tight spots, so I’d recommend something between 12-14 inches (Hint: every ratchet on this list fits the criteria). Try to get your hands on the model you’re interested in buying in the store to make sure you can hold it comfortably for extended periods of time.
Power and Speed
The vast majority of cordless ratchets have anywhere from 250-500 RPM and 30-50 lb-ft of torque. The higher the torque, the more powerful the ratchet will be when it comes to tackling nuts and bolts.
But don’t worry about how the torque and RPMs will affect your hands. Most modern-day cordless ratchets have shock insulation that prevents too much vibration while you work. Another factor to consider is how long it takes for your cordless ratchet to charge.
KIMO and AOBEN both provide two batteries, so if you keep them both charged and switch them out, you can get a lot of work done without running out of juice.
One of the best ways to know you’re getting a high-quality project instead of a hunk of junk that will fall apart after two uses? A manufacturer’s warranty. Most manufacturers offer a satisfaction guarantee at the very least, but you’ll have more peace of mind if you can find a cordless ratchet with a warranty. Every ratchet on my list has one.
You know I have to discuss the proverbial elephant in the room. Look, cordless ratchets don’t cost the same amount as a cup of coffee. You want to make sure you’re getting the best value for money possible. You can still get a top-notch cordless ratchet if you’re on a tight budget, but you should also consider how often you’re going to use it.
If you’re a professional, get the best ratchet you can afford. You’ll be getting a lot of use out of it, so you want something that will hold up under a heavy workload. If you’re looking for something to use on the occasional DIY project, then consider buying a mid-price ratchet.
Safety features should always be a priority when you’re buying power tools. When you’re looking for the best cordless ratchet around, make sure you find one that has top-notch safety features. Things like a built-in LED light, a switch to prevent accidental actuation, and a solid, durable body are all good indicators of a safe, reliable ratchet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I came across.
What is a cordless ratchet?
A cordless ratchet is the electrical equivalent of a manual ratchet. Whether you’re tightening or loosening a bolt, the ratchet only rotates in one direction.
How does a cordless ratchet work?
Cordless ratchets have a motor that operates at a high RPM. The motor shifts into something called planetary gearing, decreasing the speed and increasing the torque. This is what allows you to loosen up those stubborn nuts and bolts. Gearing output drives a crankshaft with a pin attached into a yolk, and every rotation brings the yolk full circle.
The inside of the yolk is lined with teeth that surround a pawl, which allows the ratchet to rotate in one direction without allowing the bolt you’re loosening or tightening to spin out in the opposite direction. It works the same way as making a single pass with a manual ratchet, only it rotates much, much faster.
What’s the best cordless ratchet?
We all have individual needs, so only you can decide which cordless ratchet is the best one for you. That being said, the best one on my list has to be the KIMO. It’s lightweight, and it has a locking mechanism to prevent accidental actuation. Not to mention the fact that you’ll get two batteries, seven sockets, an adapter, a charger, and a carrying case.
It does take an hour to charge, but having two batteries pretty much makes that null and void. The warranty isn’t quite as good as Milkwaukee’s, but that’s my only complaint. If you want a high-quality, affordable cordless ratchet with everything you could possibly need? Get a KIMO.