Whether it’s for a holiday or birthday, this Tools Under 30 Dollars Gift Guide Series shows you important, yet somewhat uncommon, tools that any gearhead would want.
Today, let’s talk about Stubby Ratchets.
When it comes to ratchets, bigger does not always mean better.
But what about the flipside of that equation?
Say you have a bolt or nut that shouldn’t be snugged down tightly, like an oil pan drain plug or an interior trim bracket. For those situations, you don’t want a lot of leverage.
Or say you’re in a tight engine bay and don’t have the space to fit a normal-sized socket wrench.
Enter our friend, the stubby ratchet.
A stubby ratchet is simply a socket wrench with a short, stout handle. And as alluded to above, it can be darn handy in a lot of situations.
For starters, it’s our go-to choice for oil changes, as the short lever mitigates the chance of us accidentally over-tightening a drain plug—or an oil filter, if you’re using an oil filter socket.
It also saves a ton of frustration in a cramped space: Ever spent 10 minutes listening to the thunk-thunk-thunk of your ratchet handle knocking against an obstruction while you make 1/16 of a turn at a time? Then you know what we’re talking about here.
All told, the stubby ratchet is a tool you get, toss in your toolbox, and thank yourself for buying it every time you grab it.
A short-handled stubby ratchet is an often overlooked tool, even for die-hard gearheads, making them excellent gifts to give and receive. Best of all, they can be pretty affordable, so there’s a good chance you can get a nice stubby ratchet for under 30 bucks.