More than any different tool, a ratchet will last you a lifetime. Quality ratchets can be serviced inexpensively and so should never degrade. Sockets happen to be interchangeable because they are all standard. Buy the greatest ratchet you are able, even if you get inexpensive sockets to start with.
Sockets are held onto the ratchet by using a minor spring-loaded ball on the side of the square travel. After applying a whole lot of force, I’ve frequently found sockets get trapped on the Ratchets Wheel travel and the only path to get them off is normally to hammer the ratchet on the floor or even hold it in a vice. Top quality ratchets add a button on the trunk which easily pushes off the socket while you are ready to release it.
1/4 ” – Used for smaller sockets and precision work. Useful for dismantling individual elements on the bench.
3/8 inch – The middle sized, and in my opinion, most readily useful size for standard use on an automobile. A 3/8″ travel can travel sockets of most sizes. It is big enough to use quite a lot of force, but not too big to fit into tight spaces
1/2 in . – 1/2″ sockets are generally applied for nuts and bolts from around 10mm and up. A 1/2″ drive socket can apply enough push to undo all nuts on an automobile.
There are also 3/4″ and 1″ ratchets but these are used on trucks, tanks and industrial machinery.
Inside a ratchet you will find a toothed wheel which lets it freely rotate as you tighten the nut. Each simply click you hear is usually a tooth passing the ratchet. The more the teeth there are, the a smaller amount movement is necessary on the gain stroke. A ratchet with 75 teeth will continue to work considerably faster when compared to a 32-tooth ratchet. Making excessive tooth-counts requires top quality engineering and production, so as an over-all guide the better top quality tools will have an increased tooth count.
All ratchets accept sockets using a square travel and mostly there are three sizes of drive. Everywhere in the environment these sizes are given in inches – even when the sockets are metric.