Why the Right Angle Impact Wrench is the Best Wrench (and not the Ratchet)

It’s no surprise that impact wrenches are popular again with DIYers. They can handle any task because of their sleek appearance and ergonomics. Sometimes you only need a ratchet, which has different features than a power tool. We’ve listed both tools’ strengths and cons to help you decide.

Right Angle Impact Wrench

Women working with right angle drillBolts, nuts, and screws can all be fastened or loosened with the use of a right-angle impact wrench. The “right angle” triangular handle design is featured at one end. An opening shaped like a hexagon is located at the opposite end of the handle, where the hexhead screwdriver is placed.

A right-angle impact wrench comes in handy for a variety of home and yard maintenance tasks. It can be used on any material, including wood, metal, and plastic, to loosen fasteners. It works great for maintaining and repairing bicycles, snow blowers, garden tools, and lawnmowers. The hex key can be inserted into the socket’s open end with ease because of its ergonomic design.

Hex-head bolts (also known as Allen-head bolts) and socket-head bolts (also known as Phillips-head bolts) can be tightened with the correct-angle impact wrench. Tools with a flat or hex head are used to loosen or secure fasteners. A right-angle impact wrench is available wherever regular impact wrenches are sold.

Pros and cons

The predominant benefit of a right-angle impact wrench lies in its compact design, which enables it to snugly fit into constricted spaces while simultaneously delivering the requisite torque to secure or disengage bolts. Moreover, its superior power output gives it the capability to competently tackle the most arduous, heavy-duty applications. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the trade-off, as the drawback of a right-angle impact wrench is its exorbitant price point, surpassing that of a ratchet, in addition to its higher maintenance requirements to ensure seamless operation.


ratchetThe ratchet, a mechanical device that aids in tightening screws and bolts, is an indispensable tool for any handy person. It is a fastener of unparalleled versatility, alongside ratchet straps, a type of fastener that facilitates expeditious screw tightening and loosening without the requirement of a cumbersome wrench.

The Ratchet is an innovative multitool that has changed the game by being both cheap and simple to operate. It’s a fully-featured toolbox that can store a wide variety of implements. Its ergonomic build guarantees unrivaled user-friendliness, and its novel layout maximizes space for storing and organizing tools. The Ratchet is a revolutionary piece of engineering that has immediately gained acclaim in the industry.

Pros and cons

The quintessential merit of a ratchet is indisputably its inherent simplicity. Its operation necessitates no supplementary power sources and is thus easily wielded by the operator. Additionally, it can be acquired for a price that is substantially more affordable compared to that of a right-angle impact wrench. However, it is crucial to note that the demerit of a ratchet is its restricted power output, rendering it unsuitable for demanding, heavy-duty applications. Furthermore, when operating in cramped, constricted spaces, it can prove to be an arduous task to employ this tool effectively.

Comparison of Right Angle Impact Wrench and Ratchet

When it comes to mechanical work, having high-quality equipment can make a significant difference in the output. In this regard, two essential items every mechanic and do-it-yourselfer should consider having in their toolbox are the right-angle impact wrench and ratchet. These tools differ in design, performance, price, and applications.

Differences in Design

The small and space-saving form of the right-angle impact wrench makes it a great choice for use in tight quarters. Its great power output belies its compact size, making it preferable to the ratchet in this respect. The ratchet, on the other hand, is easy to operate and doesn’t need batteries or other power sources. However, it is not suited for heavy-duty uses because of design constraints.

Differences in Performance

The right-angle impact wrench is vastly superior to the ratchet in terms of productivity. It is the go-to power tool for demanding jobs in the automotive, construction, and industrial industries because of its variable torque output of 50–2,000 foot-pounds. In contrast, the ratchet works best for moderately demanding jobs like home maintenance and minor construction. It’s not powerful enough to handle heavy-duty tasks because of its modest torque output.

Differences in price

When considering the price discrepancies between a right-angle impact wrench and a ratchet, numerous factors come into play. The first of which is the marked difference in design complexity and multifaceted nature of the former, resulting in a higher degree of power output. This, in turn, translates to a wide range of prices for top-tier right-angle impact wrenches, with some going as high as a staggering $800, whereas high-quality ratchets remain relatively less expensive, typically ranging between $20 and $200.

Differences in Applications

Regarding applications, the two tools have distinct uses due to their performance capabilities and design. The right-angle impact wrench excels in heavy-duty applications that require high torque output, such as automotive repair, construction, and manufacturing. Additionally, it’s beneficial in tight spaces where other tools cannot reach. The ratchet, on the other hand, is more suitable for light- to medium-duty applications like household repairs and DIY projects. It also proves beneficial for applications that require precision, such as tightening bolts to a specific torque.

Comparison table for the right-angle impact wrench vs. ratchet:

Feature Right Angle Impact Wrench Ratchet
Design Compact and angled Straight handle
Power Output High torque Lower torque
Applications Heavy-duty and tight spaces Light to medium-duty and precision work
Price Range $150 to $800 $20 to $200
Maintenance Requires more Requires less

Which should I buy: a right-angle impact wrench or a ratchet?

The characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of ratchets and right-angle impact wrenches are now clear to you. I advise knowing the requirements for your project before purchasing any tools. Don’t forget to keep your budget in mind as well.

Purchase the right-angle impact wrench if you like power and can handle a lot of tightening or unlocking chores. For professional work in the automobile industry, this tool is a wise choice.

A ratchet will be a better choice for domestic use, in contrast. They would also be helpful for novice technicians because of their cost-effective characteristics.

Final Words

In conclusion, the cost and utility of a right-angle impact wrench or a ratchet are factors to consider. Both methods have their uses and limitations, so picking one over the other depends on the task at hand. With the data shown here, readers can pick the optimal solution for their specific needs.