A ratchet set is a tool used to tighten or loosen bolts, nuts, and other fasteners. It typically consists of one or multiple ratchets, sockets of various sizes to fit different fasteners, and sometimes other drive tool accessories like extensions, adapters, and universal joints to help you access difficult fasteners. The ratchet mechanism allows the user to tighten or loosen the fastener in one direction and turn freely in the other direction without movement to the fastener, making it easier and faster to use than a traditional wrench. Ratchet sets are commonly used in automotive repair and maintenance and DIY projects.
The three standard ratchet drive sizes are 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch. The size refers to the square drive on the end of the ratchet that connects to the corresponding square drive on the socket. Each size is designed to work with a specific range of sockets and fasteners.
A socket set is a collection of various sized sockets that can be attached to a ratchet or other tools with a compatible drive size. Socket sets are the attachment used to tighten or loosen nuts, bolts, and other fasteners.
A ratchet is a tool that has a ratcheting mechanism that allows it to turn in one direction while maintaining contact with the fastener. The ratchet handle can be used with sockets of various sizes.
In other words, a socket set is a collection of sockets, while a ratchet is a tool that can be used with sockets to tighten or loosen fasteners.
A wrench, also known as a spanner, is a hand tool with a fixed opening that fits over the fastener and into spaces where a ratchet typically can not. The user then applies force to the wrench to turn the fastener.
A ratchet is a tool that has a ratcheting mechanism that allows it to turn in one direction while maintaining contact with the fastener. The user applies force to the ratchet handle, which turns the socket attached to it.
The main difference between the two tools is that a wrench requires the user to remove and reposition the tool after each turn, while a ratchet can be used to turn the fastener continuously in one direction.
Socket extensions: These are used to increase the reach of the ratchet by attaching to the square drive and the socket.
Universal joints: These are used to allow the ratchet to turn at an angle to reach fasteners in hard-to-reach places.
Adapters: These are used to change the drive size of the ratchet, allowing it to work with sockets of different sizes.
Spark plug sockets: These are used to install and remove spark plugs.
Crowfoot wrenches: These are used to work on fasteners in tight spaces or where a socket cannot fit.
Swivel sockets: These sockets have a swiveling joint that allows them to turn at an angle to reach fasteners in hard-to-reach places.