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I'm deliberating about whether or not to buy a few ratchet spanners - not a full set, just the three main sizes that I seem to need, 7/16", 1/2" and 9/16".

Does anyone out there have a view on whether or not they are a good idea and if so, from where?

Rgds Ian

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Hi Ian,

I keep being tempted to get some ratchet spanners. They certainly look handy.

Having had a look at ebay there is a vast range of prices £10 for 5 spanners up to £150 for 8  (Facom).  I would suggest don't buy the cheap ones.

Annoyingly Halfords do not have imperial sizes.

Roger

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I have a ‘cheap’ set and a few ‘nice’ Wera Joker combination spanners.

the Wera ones are lovely

steve

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I have exactly that same combination in Snap-on as an addition to my regular spanner and ratchet sets. Extremely useful, bit of feel-the-torque thing too. Snap-on may be over the top price wise, so is Facom. My other sets are Genius brand - bullet-proof, half the price of Snap-on/Facom and (my) life time guaranteed.  You may find them online by the piece or set i.e. http://www.toolninjas.com/product-p/gw-7708s.htm 

Edited by Geko
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I have a metric Gedore set, and hardly use them, also because the are flat.

I would recommend the ones that are slightly bent/angled (not flat) or if you prefer, the ones with a “knee” joint in them.

Think it boils down to personal preference.

Waldi

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i have a few ratchet spanners, but find the walls of them a bit thick and cant use them in tight spaces, they are not cheapos . maybe the more expensive ones are better.

when you can use them they are great

Len

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Laser Tools are decent brand name these days   https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LASER-TOOLS-RATCHET-COMBINATION-RATCHETING-SPANNER-SET-SET-AF-IMPERIAL-1-4-3-4/162172240054?epid=2282418325&hash=item25c23800b6:g:Y5sAAOSwawpXtHXf  very reasonable price.

Shop around for a better price. I have "Britool Expert" Imperial Ratchet Spanners, can't seem to find them online right now.

Richard.

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I am a big fan of ratchet spanners, I brought most of mine while in the United States where AF is the norm - Sears Craftsman range used to be tremendous value when the exchange rate was more favourable, they are are still ok if you catch one of the numerous sales - quality is very high.

the downside is that many Sears stores have closed as part of their restructuring :( 

i have only brought a metric set over here though - Halfords (with trade card) is good quality and value.

......

Andy 

 

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On Sidescreen cars fitting and removing wings is simplified with my Snap-On 3/8-7/16 ratchet ring I also use 1/2-9/16 for things like suspension. The only other one I own is 1/4-5/6 which seldom gets used. I bought them in the '70's when it was 3  dollars to the pound and I mended aeroplanes as a living. And they were expensive  then. .....

The other godsend is a 1/4 drive socket.  Once loosened

 

Cheers 

 

Peter W

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At the recent Chiltern Hills Rally (near Aylesbury), I acquired in the auto jumble a set of about five or six new (in a sealed pack) Imperial ratchet spanners for £15.  They are flat and I don't envisage needing to use them very often, but there's certainly a job when one of them should save me time, and that's the removal/replacement of the oil filter can, which is very difficult to access on my car because of all the other things which get in the way!  Using a flat, open-ended spanner and flipping it back & forth to get a twelfth of a turn has always been a pain.

Ian Cornish

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Would not be without them have straight, flexible heads and stubby ones. Halfords where possible but would not recommend cheap as they are generally larger increments and harder to use in tight spots where fine is better.

For the odd tight spot I grind a decent ring spanner down.

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I too like ratchet spanners but I find the cheaper spanners have few large ratchet teeth and in a limited space they are difficult to use effectively. I like Wera ratchets which have fine ratchet teeth and can operate with limited access.

Alan 

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10 hours ago, barkerwilliams said:

I too like ratchet spanners but I find the cheaper spanners have few large ratchet teeth and in a limited space they are difficult to use effectively. I like Wera ratchets which have fine ratchet teeth and can operate with limited access.

Alan 

+1 - the ability to use ratchet spanners in a confined space really is dependent upon number of teeth on ratchet

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I have a set of six Halfords AF ratchet spanners bought in one of their sales a few years ago.  Good quality and very handy in many situations.

Mike

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I can't help with brands in the UK, but I highly recommend them.  Mine have flexible/angle-able heads and there are some jobs that are HUGELY easier with them.  I have 7/16, 1/2 and 9/16.

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I have some cheap ones, in metric and imperial, and yes, they are very useful.

Pete

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Also picked mine up in the states. Found the ones that have a lever to reverse the direction are less robust than the simpler ones where you reverse the spanner to reverse the direction. However in my opinion both are invaluable

Tim

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The rarer option are “open” ratchet spanners which are even harder to come by but are very useful in difficult access situation.

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3 hours ago, Andy Moltu said:

The rarer option are “open” ratchet spanners which are even harder to come by but are very useful in difficult access situation.

That’s a new one on me, never come across them, sound useful though 

Cameron

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I have several sets in the garage tool boxes and in the TRs. Some with levers, some that you have to turn over. I dont know how we survived before these were available. My only problem is a couple that got too close to the 80 grit aluminum oxide in the blast cabinet and now they stick occasionally. 

Stan

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I still have a 1/2” 9/16” Snap On ratchet spanner from around 1973 which is still working.

But do beware of a worn ratchet as ones knuckles can receive a serious pasting if it decides to suddenly slip (so I found out).

Kevin

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Thks all, the consensus seems to be that they are a good idea. I have seen some middle of the road (in terms of quality) Elora ones on eBay that I will probably go with. The first set of spanner’s I bought were made by Elora (back in 1967) and they are still in my toolbox and being used. 

Rgds Ian

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On 6/16/2019 at 11:06 AM, Andy Moltu said:

The rarer option are “open” ratchet spanners which are even harder to come by but are very useful in difficult access situation.

+1

i have a seldom used  Snap-On set of 4 ratchet open Enders from 3/8 AF. They have limited use except in narrow  spaces on stiff or nyloc nuts. , the need to 'ratchet' every 60 degrees due to the odd leg design encumbers  the swing. Too often it would be easier to use an open ender and keep turning it over after each 'turn'. As ever the right tool will be best for the right job....

cheers

Peter W

Edited by BlueTR3A-5EKT
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