The Right Ratchet

Ratchets have a square shaft that holds the socket. The size of this shaft determines the drive size. Heavy-duty automotive work generally requires the strength of a 1/2-in. drive tool which has a longer, thicker handle to provide maximum leverage. A 3/8-in. ratchet is a good all-round size. 1/4-in. ratchets are smaller and ideal for lighter tasks in tighter work areas. Drive adaptors are available that convert sockets from one drive size to another. You should avoid using a small socket on a 1/2-in. drive ratchet, because the excess torque can damage the smaller tool.
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