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Flexible Ratchet spanner challenge

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Ady119/10/2017 02:06:45
3249 forum posts
423 photos

Have used a Stanley socket ratchet for a couple of years now and it started getting a bit wobbly recently, nearly all my bolt-on bits, vices etc use 8mm hex cap sockets and it gets well used but it seems a bit silly to trash an entire 1/4 inch socket set for one-off jobs

Sooo, I'm going ratchet spanner, with the flexible head types, plugging in a hex socket bar and holding it in place with a couple of split washers

The old and new systems are pictured below, first away is a halfords advanced which seems to be a nice wee bit of kit


I also have an 8mm Teng on order

All competitors will be well used tightening and loosening bits and bobs over the years and losers/winners will be cruelly exposed if they give up the ghost

All recommendations, preferably based upon previous experience, will be viewed with definite interest

I am using flexible head ratchet spanners, not the fixed ones, and with small heads, so they fit into tight spaces


Edited By Ady1 on 19/10/2017 02:20:13

Raymond Anderson19/10/2017 05:56:57
700 forum posts
132 photos

Ady1 Why not just get a new ratchet ? If you are after a recommendation then "Stahlwille ". Ratchets / spanners don't come any better, built to last.


Brian G19/10/2017 09:46:53
301 forum posts
8 photos

I can see the point as ratchet spanners are often smaller than flex ratchet handles but why make an adaptor? Halfords do a set of three for 11 quid **LINK** and a heavy-handed mechanic tells me they honour their lifetime guarantee.


Ed Duffner19/10/2017 09:56:17
694 forum posts
61 photos

Snapon used to be guaranteed for life I believe - could this be an option? - maybe sell one of your Strats ?


Edited By Ed Duffner on 19/10/2017 09:56:55

Ady119/10/2017 10:15:54
3249 forum posts
423 photos

I've got a bit of a soft spot for nice engineering in tools, some folk like nice shirts, or nice shoes, or a nice watch, or a nice car

While they should all start off well I'm interested in seeing which ones survive best

I'm assuming any participants will have a guarantee which will be honoured by the manufacturer

A guarantee which I will not be invoking because this is only about which one can best handle a specific relatively heavy duty requirement

martin perman19/10/2017 10:18:55
1254 forum posts
57 photos

I have both and they both have their uses, you can get the spanner into spaces which you couldn't get a ratchet and socket.

Martin P

Nick Hulme19/10/2017 13:12:35
542 forum posts
26 photos
Posted by Ed Duffner on 19/10/2017 09:56:17:

Snapon used to be guaranteed for life I believe -

Everything Snap On of mine that had the lifetime guarantee looks like lasting it out without a claim.

The best thing about Snap On ratchets was the ease of obtaining and fitting a service kit which comprised all the moving parts subject to wear.


- Nick

Edited By Nick Hulme on 19/10/2017 13:12:55

Ian S C19/10/2017 14:09:23
6909 forum posts
224 photos

Snap On will last for ever(at the price it would need to), My socket sets 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" are all SK Wayne. I would not use a 1/4" ratchet for a 8 mm Allen wrench, use a 3/8" ratchet. For home use, a good, cheap 3/8" drive set (going by prices here) would cost less than 20 UK pounds.

Ian S C

Neil Wyatt19/10/2017 14:10:52
13843 forum posts
583 photos
68 articles

I split a 19mm Halfords socket and they replaced it without question.


ChrisB19/10/2017 16:51:16
176 forum posts
80 photos
Posted by Raymond Anderson on 19/10/2017 05:56:57:

Ady1 Why not just get a new ratchet ? If you are after a recommendation then "Stahlwille ". Ratchets / spanners don't come any better, built to last.


Cant agree with you there, at work we use Stahlwille aerospace series tooling, most of the ratchets 3/8" and 1/4" drive have to have their internals replaced yearly, they simply wear out and starts slipping, but at least you can replace the internals. Bahco is the same, true they get used and abused but never had any issues with Snap On ratchets we also have. My personal tools are Blackhawk, they are also very good.

MadMike19/10/2017 18:00:23
181 forum posts

Just buy a new ratchet from your preferred manufacturer. I have the swivelling ratchet ring spanners and they are great when you have a particularly difficult access proble, but for your use a new ratchet is the easiest and most cost effective solution frankly.

vintagengineer19/10/2017 22:09:26
462 forum posts
6 photos

Most tool manufacturers offer life time guarantees as the cost of making the tools is very cheap. I personally wouldn't buy Snap-on tools as they are over priced and not very well designed.

I have always bought Stahlwille as a first choice, they are very well designed, light and stronger than any bolt.. They also make their own steel and they make them in Germany not China!

mgnbuk20/10/2017 10:53:55
450 forum posts
10 photos

Local Aldi today were "remaindering" a set of 5 or 6 flex head ratchet spanners (from 8-19mm AF IIRC) for £4.99 the set - 3 year warranty too. Quite a pile of them to shift. As SWMBO was with me on this occasion (car in for looking at) I was forced to resist !

Nigel B

Ady131/10/2017 08:50:08
3249 forum posts
423 photos

Got a winner already.

There's a new (ish) ratcheting system out there which uses open end spanners, I've seen SATA and Britool stuff with it and got one by accident when I got the wrong bit of kit sent to me

So you get the access of an open end spanner, most of it's "strength/power" (say 75%), and the convenience of a ratchet

You can only turn it in one direction though, it must be flipped over to go the other way

I was so impressed I grabbed a whole set

This is the sort of thing I got (not this brand tho)

Means I can now ratchet a hex socket or a nut in a silly place with ease (don't ask, will explain later)

Edited By Ady1 on 31/10/2017 08:57:27

Michael Gilligan31/10/2017 08:59:46
11460 forum posts
492 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 31/10/2017 08:50:08:

... and the convenience of a ratchet


If it does what you want, Ady ... that's good.

Unfortunately the 'ratchet action' is only six-tooth [because it's dictated by the nut], which I find very restrictive. A conventional ratchet typically has a much finer action.


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