Whether you’re a professional mechanic or a weekend enthusiast, time is something you probably don’t have enough of. And while many of us enjoy working on our cars, most people don’t tend to prefer spending more time completing a repair task than is absolutely necessary. For any car project, having the right tools is always going to save you time and allow you to work more efficiently. One such tool that can quicken your projects is an air ratchet. Since 3/8” drive sockets are the most common size used in the garage, the most useful air ratchets are going to be 3/8″ drive.
The best 3/8” air ratchets will have ergonomics that allow for a comfortable grip on the tool, will be quick to loosen or tighten a fastener, and will be durable and long lasting. As there are many air ratchet variations on the market, we figured we would help narrow your search by providing our recommendation for our favorite air ratchet.
The Best 3/8” Air Ratchet
Ingersoll-Rand has been designing and producing world class tools for the last 100 years or so, so it comes as no surprise that the Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA 3/8-inch Air Ratchet Wrench fits the bill for a high quality yet powerful and lightweight tool that offers a long service life. This air ratchet features an optimized gear ratio to maximize performance during use. Its speed is 220 RPM with no load and it will deliver up to 70 ft-lbs of torque at the operating air pressure of 90 psi. Inside the ratchet features the Ingersoll-Rand twin pawl head design that provides exceptional durability for the rotational components.
The 109XPA is 13-inches in length and weighs just over 3-pounds. It is light enough to not wear your arms and hands out when using it all day in the garage. The noise level is just over 92 decibels, so you may want to consider wearing hearing protection while using the tool. The tool features a reversible rotation design meaning it can be set to turn in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise direction to suit the job at hand. The exhaust port of the tool features a 360-degree design that allows you to turn the exhaust port in any direction to direct the airflow away from you as needed. Operation is a simple push button at the top of the handle that will allow variable control over the speed of the tool.
To achieve maximum performance, some other things need to be considered to compliment the Ingersoll-Rand 109XPA for performance. You should have an air hose with a minimum size of 5/16” to keep the 90 psi air flow at the optimum flow velocity. You also need a compressor that can stay at 90 psi under load and continuously supply on average 4.0 CFM (cubic feet per minute). At no load the tool will use 24.0 CFM. The tool requires a 1/4-inch NPT fitting to connect to your air hose, which is sold separately.
As far as available purchasing options, Amazon’s attractive pricing makes it the best value we are aware of. The 109XPA is among the best 3/8″ air ratchets on the market due to the thoughtful design and high degree of reliability. We think you will be extremely happy with it and give it a solid recommendation for any air ratcheting you may need to do. Happy wrenching!