Goat Tool Day 21


A few months ago I bought a Milwaukee power ratchet. This thing is great!

Years ago I had a Skil power ratchet, and it was pretty weak. It could run bolts down, but there was no way it could ever break anything free. It had internal NiCad batteries, which took a long time to charge. It was helpful, but underwhelming.

The Milwaukee is an entirely different beast, bragging Li-Ion battery packs (the M12 Fuel batteries), brushless motor, variable speed, and a 55ft-lbs max torque rating. I’ve got the 3/8" drive, but they also make 1/4" and 1/2" drive models. There’s a battery gauge on the handle, as well as a lockout switch. There’s a LED work light too. Reversing is handled on the head, like a normal ratchet. I got mine for around $200, list is $250 for the kit (tool, 1 battery, & charger).

This is the second generation tool from Milwaukee. The earlier one has a lower torque rating, a brush motor, and slightly different design. This photo shows the three drive sizes of the new model, and the old style on the left.

The new design looks a lot stronger to me. If you want the new one make sure you look for the “M12 Fuel” ratchet, with Fuel being the key word. The old one is also called the “M12 Ratchet”, but no “Fuel”. Are they being deliberately confusing?

The M12 Fuel has no problem all breaking loose smaller bolts. It’s not as strong as an impact gun, but it will get into places they can’t.

Of course there’s competition. The Snap-On has more power and is more expensive. $400

The AC Delco is comparable in specs, and less money, but a bulker tool. $150

Ingersol Rand makes a powerful tool, but it’s huge. $150

And of course Harbor Freight has one as well. It’s cheap ($130), and it’s cheap.