After raving about the utility of tools like Stanley Proto’s Rotator Ratchet — which allows you to drive the ratchet by rotating the handle with your wrist as well as turning it the normal way — I came across the tool pictured above in the bottom of my “spare sockets” drawer. Turning the T-handle at the left rotates the ratchet head.
It’s branded Popular Mechanics, and I can’t imagine that it’s anywhere near new. Most of the stuff in the drawer where I found it came from a similar drawer in my Dad’s roll-away.
Since I found it, I’ve used it a couple of times. It’s certainly handy for situations where clearances are tight, but I’m not much of a fan of the ratcheting mechanism. And turning the T-handle while holding the ratchet in place requires two hands. Though I think I’d like Proto’s wrist-action design better, I imagine I can make more torque with this one.
Of course, there is one big advantage (for me, anyway) of this wrench over the Proto: I already own this one.
Note: If you have a cool old tool lying around in your collection, why not drop us a description and a link to a picture of it using our contact form? I bet other readers would enjoy seeing it, and I know we would.