Ratchet Wrenches

The air ratchet (or 'ratchet wrench') combines power and portability, allowing professionals to fix or loosen fixings and fasteners with ease. Their extremely light and ergonomic design allows for effortless all-day usage.
Cromwell stocks a wide range of air ratchets, from trusted brands used by professionals around the globe.

What are air ratchets?

Air ratchets are similar in design to a standard battery powered ratchet wrench, however without a heavy battery pack bolted on. Instead, air ratchets are connected to an air motor that turns the socket drive. There is a switch that lets the user easy switch the direction the socket drive turns, allowing quick changes between fastening and unfastening.

Whilst more than powerful enough for most fasteners, air ratchets are designed for speed over torque. This makes them ideal for fastening bolts that impact wrenches would overpower and break, however when it comes to very heavy-duty applications an impact wrench may prove superior.

Why an air ratchet?

Simply put, air ratchets are undoubtedly the best way to tighten or loosen bolts and fittings.

They boast 3 main advantages over their battery powered counterparts - Comfort, control, and convenience.

Their highly ergonomic design results in comfortable usage, and the lack of a heavy, bulky battery pack means air ratchets are surprisingly lightweight - so users can work all day without tiring.

The greatest advantage of an air ratchet is just how much time and effort they can save over the course of a working day. It's not uncommon for automotive garages to earn back their investment in a relatively short period of time, thanks to the time-saving advantage provided by an air ratchet.

When are air ratchets used?

Wherever there's fasteners and fixings to tighten or loosen on a large scale, you're highly likely to find professionals using air ratchets to get the job done quickly. They are utilised across a variety of professional settings, including:

• Assembly

• Construction

• Aerospace

• Automotive industries

• Garages

• Factories

• Workshops

• DIY applications

If you're looking for the ideal tool for your job, feel free to ask our experts for specialised advice.

Considerations when choosing an air ratchet

• Air compressor - As with all air tools, air ratchets require an air compressor to work. It's important to get a compressor with enough power to effectively run your air ratchet, so make sure to check the product description or manufacturers website before buying to see what kind of air compressor you'll need.

• Straight vs 90 degree - Some people prefer air ratchets to have their heads at 90-degree angles. This is especially useful in the automotive industry, or in other industries where bolts can be awkwardly places and hard to reach. Consider whether a 90-degree socket would be preferable for your jobs.

• Size - Air ratchets are available in ¼-inch, ½-inch and 3/8-inch sizes, which affect the power of your ratchet. ¼ inch ratchets are lightweight and ideal for light use, ½ inch ratchets deliver the highest torque at the highest air cost (often requiring a bigger air compressor), and 3/8 inch ratchets are the most commonly used - providing a good middle-ground between the two.


What size air compressor do I need for air ratchet?

Most air ratchets are able to run off any air compressor that has an output of 90-100 PSI. 3 CFM minimum is required in terms of air volume, however it's important to check the requirements with the tool manufacturer when purchasing any air tool.

What is a reactionless air ratchet?

Many newer models of air ratchet are 'reactionless'. This is a safety measure that prevents the ratchet from rebounding and snapping the handle away from the users hands. This can prevent injury or damage, meaning reactionless ratchets are often favoured in the workplace.