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10 Best Flex Head Ratchets Compared & Reviewed

Last Updated: 01.07.20

 

Best Flex Head Ratchet Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide

 

Here you can find the best flex head ratchet for the money, especially if you are short on time. After looking at what the top-rated models in this line have to offer, we have concluded that the model that offers the performance, durability, and dependability that customers demand is the GEARWRENCH 3/8″ Drive 120XP Flex Head Teardrop Ratchet. The two double-stacked 60 tooth pawls found on this unit provide a 3-degree swing arc so that you can easily fasten bolts even in tight confines. The two tooth pawls engage alternately, and this will provide you with exceptional strength so that you can turn even very tight nuts or bolts. Furthermore, the head design is enclosed, which means that it is resistant to dirt infiltration, and it will deliver exceptional performance for years to come. If your first option is unavailable, another affordable flex head ratchet that you can get is the TEKTON WRN57110 Flex-Head Ratcheting Combination Wrench.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

10 Best Flex Head Ratchets (Updated Reviews) in 2020

 

 

With so many cheap flex head ratchets available on the market, it is quite difficult to identify the products that can truly deliver great performance, reliability, and quality. To make it easier for you to get the best flex head ratchets on the market, we have gathered some of the critically acclaimed products and showcased them below.

 

 

1. GEARWRENCH 3/8″ Drive 120XP Flex Head Teardrop Ratchet 

 

The advanced design of this model gives you 120 positions in every full turn since it comes with two double-stacked 60 tooth pawls, and this delivers exceptional strength and mobility. The double-stacked tooth pawls provide a 3-degree swing arc that will make it easier for you to turn fasteners even in very tight confines.

The tool features a teardrop low profile head as well as a flush-mounted on/off switch that allows the ratchet to reach extremely tight spaces. Add to that the fact that the head is flexible, and you should have no problem getting to even the most inaccessible fasteners.

This model comes with an enclosed head design that allows it to handle heavy use since dirt won’t be able to infiltrate inside and ruin the smooth mechanism of this ratchet. It is easy to get the tool you need for the job since this option is available in multiple sizes and styles.

 

Pros

The double-stacked pawls engage the 60 tooth gear alternately, and this helps provide exceptional strength so that you can loosen even a rusty fastener.

It comes with on/off markings on the head that are very visible, and they should allow for very fast size identification.

The tool doesn’t just perform great, it also looks the part since it comes with a bright, full polish chrome finish that is corrosion resistant and that wipes clean easily.

You can trust this model to deliver smooth performance for years to come since the head features an enclosed design that gives it superior resistance to dirt infiltration.

 

Cons

The stem on the ratchet is a bit too thin, and this causes it to flex and bow a little when you apply a lot of torque.

The quality control could have been better since some units can arrive with little scratches on them out of the box.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.11)

 

 

 

2. TEKTON WRN57110 Flex-Head Ratcheting Combination Wrench 

 

This model is characterized by its fast and agile performance since it boasts a 6-point box end that can pivot 180 degrees around obstructions so that nothing can get in your way. It comes with a 72-tooth ratchet gear, and it has a short 5-degree swing arc that will let you turn fasteners quickly and easily even in very tight confines that don’t allow much mobility.

Furthermore, this option will also protect the fasteners you’re working with since the box end opening is designed to only grip the flat sides of the fastener head, not the corners. This will prevent round-off so that even when turning a very tight bolt, you won’t risk damaging it if you apply too much torque.

The open end of the tool is angled 5 degrees so that you can flip the wrench over and engage the fastener twice as often, and this will prove very useful when you are working in tight spaces.

 

Pros

The box end features a 180-degree flex head that can hold any angle so that you can easily slide the end onto fasteners even when you have to navigate around obstacles.

The 6-point box end provides a secure and snug fit on hex-shaped fasteners, and it is resistant to slipping off so that you can save your knuckles from too much hard work.

The ratchet gear has 72 teeth, and it requires just 5 degrees of swing to reach the next tooth position, allowing you to work even in places where there isn’t a lot of room to move.

It is a very affordable option that delivers great performance, and it is available in a wide variety of sizes.

 

Cons

The main issue with this unit is the lack of a lock on the flex head, and this can make it more difficult to use the tool in certain situations.

The screw that holds the swivel head in place looks and feels flimsy.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($12.99)

 

 

 

3. EZRED 4S12L Silver Combination Stick Flexible Dual Ratchet 

 

With this combo ratchet, you get two tools in one since the unit comes with a square drive on one end and a magnetic bit drive on the other. Both heads deliver excellent performance, and they can pivot and lock to 180 degrees, which should make it incredibly easy for you to use the tool in constricted spaces.

The custom switches will let you change direction easily while the knurled thumbwheels deliver the extra precision on the torque that you need to handle difficult fasteners. This versatile product is great for bodywork, big machinery, HVAC, plumbing, electrical work, and much more.

The tool is very easy to use, and it measures 12” in length so that you can use it to reach areas that would not be accessible with other standard ratchets. As is the case with most EZRED products, this one is made of premium materials that are durable and can handle use in rough environments.

 

Pros

The slim design of this tool, combined with the two heads that can pivot and lock to 180 degrees, makes it possible to access even the tightest spaces.

The superior construction and the attention to detail that EZRED has put into this option make it ideal for both professional tradespersons as well as home DIY’ers.

The switches are reversible and will allow you to change the direction of the head pivot so that you can get better mobility in hard-to-reach spaces.

It is a versatile tool that can handle many uses, and it is great for plumbing, HVAC, electrical work, motorcycles, bodywork, and much more.

 

Cons

The reverse switch feels a bit cheap, and it is hard to trust it to handle more difficult tasks, such as loosening rusty fasteners.

The mechanisms at both heads of the ratchet are made of plastic, which can shorten the expected lifespan of this tool.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($32.61)

 

 

 

4. TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive by 9-Inch Quick-Release Swivel Head Ratchet 

 

This model delivers exceptional mobility in tight spaces since the round head can swivel to an impressive range of 270 degrees, which means that it can tighten or loosen bolts at any angle. The 72-tooth round head ratchet only requires a 5-degree swing arc. Thus, you can use it to tighten or loosen fasteners more easily and with fewer adjustments.

Another impressive feature that this model offers is the quick-release drive. The drive tang can engage and retain sockets with a detent ball that’s backed by a locking pin. This means that once engaged, the socket will stay securely locked on. You can get the detent ball out of the way by pressing the release button.

The ratchet is easy to use by everyone since the single pawl can maintain 15 teeth in contact with the gear at all times. This helps ensure that the tool will never slip or skip under stress.

 

Pros

This option is built to last since it features a gorged and heat-treated chrome molybdenum steel construction that is covered with a corrosion-resistant chrome-plated finish.

It is built to be easy and comfortable to use, hence why it comes fitted with a non-slip molded handle that delivers a soft yet secure grip even with greasy hands.

The round head can swivel continuously up to 270 degrees, and this will allow you to find the perfect angle for your task.

It is available in multiple sizes that can fit different needs, and they all share the same high-quality construction and ease of use.

 

Cons

The tool has a sharp edge on the shaft on the area where it splits in half for the head to swivel, and this can cause accidental scrapings.

While it can fit in tight spaces, since it is only 9.5” in length, some spots will still be difficult to reach.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.25)

 

 

 

5. Crescent 3/8″ Drive 72 Tooth Quick Release Flex Head Teardrop Ratchet 

 

With a 3/8-inch drive, the Crescent teardrop ratchet delivers great flexibility, and it is a good choice for light and medium-duty applications. It boasts a chrome vanadium alloy steel body with a polished finish that will keep the tool looking great and protect it from damage caused by corrosion. The polished chrome finish also makes the unit easier to keep clean.

The mechanism of the ratchet requires only a small 5-degree swing, and the head is flexible enough to maneuver itself through hard-to-reach areas. This model has an overall length of 11.34”, which is enough for you to reach around obstacles that other shorter ratchets can’t even come close to.

Lastly, this product comes with Crescent’s Surface Drive technology that is designed to eliminate the rounding of fasteners. This way, you can apply as much torque as you want without risking damaging the fastener that you’re looking to tighten or loosen.

 

Pros

The 72-tooth design means that the tool can operate with a turning arc of only 5 degrees so that you can use it in very tight places where you don’t have a lot of room to work in.

The ratchet has a highly polished chrome finish that protects it from corrosion and makes it easier to keep clean after a long day of work.

Crescent puts a lot of care into each of its products and guarantees that every model will arrive free of defects in material and workmanship.

The handle is slightly curved to accommodate the shape of your hand, and it provides excellent grip with the bare hand but also when wearing gloves.

 

Cons

The vanadium chrome finish tends to wear out with time, but the process usually takes years, and in the meantime, the tool will still work fine.

If you push too hard while bending into a sharp angle, the screw that keeps the handle and head together can get damaged.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.74)

 

 

 

6. Capri Tools 3/8-Inch Drive Low Profile Flex-Head Ratchet 

 

The flex-head ratchet can make even the hardest job seem easier since the 5 degrees of space needed for each turn will allow you to squeeze it in very narrow spots. It doesn’t just get the job done quicker, but it also delivers excellent comfort since the smooth ratcheting mechanism is very easy to use, and it won’t get you feeling tired.

The flex head has an arc of 180 degrees, which makes it possible to navigate some very odd angles and tight corners. The dual direction ratcheting gear will let you rapidly switch between directions with a quick flip of your thumb.

This option is also equipped to handle heavy use in rough environments since the anti-dust design will seal out specks of dust and debris so that they can’t reach the gear. This way, the internal mechanism will remain properly lubricated so that the tool can deliver high performance for years to come.

 

Pros

It features the new advanced SmartKrome plating that will keep the exterior of the tool protected against corrosion, and it makes it easy to clean the grime off of it after each use.

The ratchet is constructed with a fine 72-tooth gear that allows a small 5-degrees of swing so that you can work in tight areas more efficiently.

The flex head swivels to 180 degrees so that you can navigate around the tightest corners, pesky obstacles, and oddest angles.

This model is available in different sizes and styles so that you can get the perfect tool for the job that you have in mind.

 

Cons

The ratchet lacks a quick-release button, and this makes it more difficult to get it off sockets.

The use of premium materials makes this option a bit expensive, and it is not the ideal option for people who are looking for a budget product.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.99)

 

 

 

7. GEARWRENCH 81306F 1/2-Inch Drive Full Polish Flex Head Ratchet 

 

It is built using an impressive 84-tooth design, which allows this model to achieve a small 4-degree turning arc. Thus, you can trust this model to give you access to the smallest space, especially since the ratchet head is very thin. Don’t let the thin construction fool you since this unit is more than capable of producing the torque you need for heavy-duty applications.

The product is built to meet and exceed the specifications needed for a high-quality product in this line, and the ½” flexible head ratchet can handle not only home use but also industrial applications. With a length of 18”, this model is long enough to maneuver through difficult obstacles and reach fasteners that are positioned in awkward spots.

What’s more, the performance that this model can deliver in tight spaces is enhanced even further by the flexible head that can pivot as much as 90 degrees.

 

Pros

The innovative design of this flex head ratchet ensures easy access to narrow spaces thanks to its thin construction and 4-degree swing arc.

It features a low-profile head, the thinnest you can find in this price range, and this allows the unit to access tight confines and give you up to 20% more access compared to its competition.

The thin design of this model is achieved without sacrificing performance since the unit is still capable of producing the torque needed for heavy-duty applications.

It is durable enough to handle heavy-duty work but still versatile enough to be used in most work conditions.

 

Cons

The ratcheting teeth have a tendency to strip with time, and while this isn’t a widespread issue, it is still a problem that we didn’t expect to find on a product in this price range.

The finish doesn’t do a great job of protecting the tool from scratches.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($43.73)

 

 

 

8. Steelman Pro 72-Tooth Extendable Flex-Head Ratchet Tool Set 

 

This 3-piece tool set is dependable and versatile since the included ¼”, 3/8” and ½” ratchets are professionally made to handle various applications around the house or in the garage. Each tool shares the same strong and durable heat-treated chrome-vanadium steel construction and is equipped with TPR comfort grip handles.

The smallest ratchet can extend up to 8.75” while the larger one reaches up to 19” so that you can be prepared to handle any task and reach even fasteners that require a long tool. All the items in this set feature flexible heads that can rotate 180-degrees to help you reach nuts and bolts at almost any angle.

To add to that, the ratchets are also equipped with a 72-tooth reversible ratcheting mechanism that needs only a 5-degree arc to operate. The customer feedback for this option is very positive with most buyers praising the performance, durability, design, and value that this 3-piece toolset offers.

 

Pros

All the items in this set are made of very durable materials that deliver exceptional performance and can handle loosening very difficult nuts and bolts.

Each ratchet includes a quick-release button that will make it easier for you to remove the socket so that you can complete each task faster.

The handle of each ratchet is extendable to let you reach every fastener, and the extendable length will also improve the torque of the tool.

The 72-tooth reversible ratcheting mechanism can get into very tight places, and it can move easily around obstacles since it only needs a 5-degree arc.

 

Cons

The flexible head doesn’t always stay in place once you apply torque to the wrench, and this means that you may need to readjust the tool mid-task.

While the advanced features make it easier to maneuver the ratchets in tight places, the heads are a bit thick, and they may slow you down in very narrow spaces.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($66.99)

 

 

 

9. Powerbuilt 649953 Pro Tech 3/8-inch Drive x 17-inch Long Reach Ratchet 

 

The 3.8” ratchet offered by Powerbuilt is well-balanced and handy, and it has the advantage of a long 17” handle that allows it to reach places that were previously impossible to access with a standard tool. The product is also guaranteed to last for a very long time since it features a chrome vanadium steel and chrome-plated construction.

The head features an anti-dust cover that will protect the inner mechanism and keep it properly lubricated so that you can enjoy a long-term performance. The tool has a 72-tooth geared action, and despite its larger size, it weighs only 1 pound, which makes it easier to use for a longer period without your hands getting tired.

Furthermore, the flex-head allows you to swivel the ratchet head up to 180 degrees. This gives a clear advantage when dealing with fasteners that are placed in hard-to-reach spaces where you need increased mobility to maneuver around obstacles.

 

Pros

The compact head is designed to be slim so that it can reach tight and crowded spaces with great ease, making this unit a good all-around ratchet.

This tool is plated with chrome vanadium steel that delivers excellent durability and a stylish look that is very easy to keep clean after a long day of hard work.

The contoured handle offers great comfort and grip so that you can have more leverage when tightening or loosening difficult nuts and bolts.

This model is available in multiple sizes so that you can expand your tool collection and get all the items you need for all your daily tasks.

 

Cons

The length of the handle is perfect, but it feels a bit too thin, which means you don’t get the best grip because of it, and this can make you second guess yourself when applying a lot of torque.

The switch on the back of the tool is a bit stiff.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.97)

 

 

 

10. Craftsman 1/2-Inch Drive Flex Head Quick Release Teardrop Ratchet 

 

This option boasts a rock-solid construction and a tightly toothed ratcheting mechanism that allows it to deliver hard-turning action for many years to come. The flexible end is highly versatile since it can handle tight turns to a wide variety of angles that other standard ratchets don’t even dream of reaching.

The ½” ratchet features a 10-degree ratcheting arc that can spin fasteners with very little wiggle room. The tool delivers the control and grip that you need. What’s more, the teardrop shape of the tool’s head allows you to access tight spots more easily and navigate around obstacles.

This unit measures 16 5/8” in length, which means that you get extra leverage so that you can put some serious muscle behind every turn. This way, even when you need to loosen rusted or difficult fasteners, the ratchet will have your back and deliver your full strength to get the job done right.

 

Pros

The one-handed reverse button allows you to stay in permanent contact with the fasteners so that you can tighten or loosen them without needing to readjust the tool permanently.

The unit is light and comfortable to use, and its compact size allows it to fit nicely in any tool bag so that you can always have it at your side and ready for some hard-turning action.

The product is backed by Craftsman’s Lifetime Guarantee since it boasts a durable construction that will deliver exceptional performance for a lifetime of hardworking service.

The ratcheting mechanism has very little wiggle, and the 10-degree arc allows it to handle tight spaces and maneuver around obstacles.

 

Cons

It is not the most affordable option out there, and the higher price point is hard to justify.

It appears that when used intensively in professional environments, the teeth can begin to skip after just a few months.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($51.81)

 

 

 

Our Comprehensive Buying Guide

 

Flex head ratchet wrenches are a mechanic’s most used tools, but in today’s market, it can be difficult to know which model to get since tools are now available in a variety of sizes and designs. If you want to find a good flex head ratchet wrench, you might want to take a look at our buyer’s guide below.

We have gone through some of the most popular flex head ratchet reviews, specialized resources, and consumer reports to identify the key features everyone ought to keep in mind before purchasing this type of product. Thus, whether you are looking for a budget option, or you want to get the best Gearwrench flex head ratchet, the guide below will have you covered.

Drive size

The most important factor that you need to consider when picking a ratchet is to look at its drive size. The size of each ratchet refers to the diameter of its drive square or anvil, namely the place that you attach the socket.

Thus, the size of the drive tells what jobs the ratchet can perform. For example, a ¼” ratchet may not be able to deliver the same performance as a ½” one for heavy-duty applications, but a ½ ratchet may have difficulties getting in tight spots.

Most buyers prefer getting a 3/8 flex head ratchet since this size delivers a happy middle ground. It offers great strength, but it can also handle light-duty tasks and narrow spaces.

 

Strength

A ratchet needs to be constructed of durable materials since its strength will dictate if it can handle heavy-duty tasks or not. You don’t want your wrench to break when you’re applying a lot of force, or worse, when you’re barely using it.

As such, before you purchase a flex head ratchet set, you should double-check to make sure that the product can deliver on strength and durability. If you’re purchasing online, and you have no way to test the tool before you buy, you should stick to brands that have a proven track record. Getting a Tekton, Gearwrench, or Craftsman flex head ratchet is always a safe bet.

If you’re having second doubts about a model, you can always take a quick look at the customer feedback section. Reading an in-depth flex head ratchet review can also help you get a better idea of what a product has to offer.

 

Gearing

The gearing of the ratchet tells you how the tool will perform in tight situations since a standard 36-tooth gearing allows for a 10-degree ratcheting arc. If your focus is on working in tight spots, then we recommend getting a tool that has at least a 72-tooth gearing that cuts the ratcheting arc down to just 5 degrees.

A 5-degree arc is great when you’re working in very narrow enclosures, and you don’t have room for large movements. You can go lower than that if you can afford to, but we found that for most affordable flex head ratchets, a 72-tooth gearing delivers the best value.

Weight

Lastly, you’ll also need to consider the weight of the tool since it makes a noticeable difference in the way that the product will feel in your hand. A Tekton flex head ratchet can be heavier or lighter than a Craftsman model of the same size. This is because each brand uses a different design and sometimes different materials.

Similarly, just because a model is heavier doesn’t necessarily mean that it is also more durable. Pick the weight that you feel most comfortable with, especially if you intend to use the ratchet for projects that will require you to keep the tool in your hand for hours on end.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q: How do you use a flex head ratchet?

Once you’ve selected the right flex head ratchet, using it is very simple. The first step is to attach the socket to the ratchet drive. Next, you should check the turning direction. To loosen the socket, it needs to be turned counterclockwise. To fasten it, it needs to be turned clockwise.

Once you’ve familiarized yours with the right way to turn the socket, you can place it onto a nut or bolt. Make sure to align the socket properly onto the fastener head so that you get a secure fit and so that you can be better prepared to rotate. If the socket is not aligned properly, it will be harder for you to loosen or tighten the fastener.

Lastly, you can start to twist the handle of the ratchet so that you can begin to loosen or fasten the bolt. Repeats may be required as much as you need to tighten the fastener properly or to remove it.

Q: What is a flex head ratchet?

Compared to a standard ratchet, flex head ratchets, as the name implies, come with a flexible socket that has a built-in joint. The unique design of the socket allows the tool to access tight spaces more easily. You can also handle the ratchet at different angles, and this is a very useful feature that allows these tools to deliver superior versatility.

Most flex head ratchets currently available on the market can lock and pivot to 180 degrees, and this makes even fasteners found in hard-to-reach places easily accessible. If you need to work in very tight places, make sure to choose a tool with a slim head.

Other than that, a flex head ratchet is just as easy to operate like any standard ratchet. The flexible head makes the unit a bit more expensive to produce, but even so, the market has plenty of options that you can choose from. Finding a cheap flex head ratchet that delivers great quality shouldn’t be an issue.

 

Q: How do I know what size ratchet to get?

The size of a ratchet refers to the small square connection fitting that’s found at the end of each tool. The fitting can only accept sockets of the same size. There are three common ratchet drive sizes. A ¼” ratchet is designed for tasks that require precision and low torque. It is usually used for interior work. This ratchet should be used with a socket size of 12mm or smaller.

For situations where you need a lot of torque, such as when driving large lag bolts into walls, you will need a ½” ratchet. This tool delivers a lot of torque, and it is ideal for heavy-duty applications. It is generally used with 19mm or larger sockets.

A 3/8” ratchet delivers a lot of versatility, and it is the size that most people use. You can employ it for all-purpose use around your home, but it can also handle more difficult tasks, such as engine work. For this ratchet, you’ll want to use 12mm to 18mm sockets.