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Indexable Ratchet

Instead of disassembling an obstruction to get behind it, sometimes you can get around it with an indexable ratchet. The ratchet head on this 1/2″ drive model from Pittsburgh swivels 360° and locks into various positions allowing you access to locations otherwise impossible to reach. This might not be a tool for every day, but when you need it you’ll be glad you have it.

Pittsburgh makes the reversible ratchet from heavy-duty chrome vanadium with a polished chrome finish. The ratchet measures 12-13/16″ long, and the handle features an ergonomic rubber grip.

On special, I’ve seen this ratchet go for as low as $13.  Sure, you can buy quality indexable ratchets from respected companies like Stanley Proto and MAC — but unless you use it regularly, you might be better off with this economical version.

Indexable 1/2″ Ratchet [Harbor Freight]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


6 Responses to Cheap-Ass Tools: Harbor Freight Indexable Ratchet

  1. SITO says:

    Pittsburgh???? I’ll pass… not worth the steel scrap

  2. Josh says:

    Funny how most people pass on Pittsburgh, but my brother who is a uses them daily doesn’t seem to mind. He has been in the auto service industry for 14 years and owns many craftsman, snap on, mac, matco, sk and others, but when he took his latest job he started buying Pittsburgh just because he didn’t see the point in claiming he had 20K in tools and still three empty drawers.
    Depending on which tool you buy some of them are quite nice. The Professional series is stuff to buy. We have used them on several motor swaps and other stuff around house with very few issues and they are backed by lifetime warranty. The ratchets I am a little leary of if I have to apply some real torque on, but the tools seem to hold up well.

  3. Here’s the way I look at tools from Harbor Freight: If it’s something I know I’m going to use and depend on, I’ll go buy a better quality tool. If it’s a tool that I might use once in a while I’ll go buy a cheap one from Harbor Freight or where ever. If I break a cheap tool, I’ll go buy a better one because now I know I’ll actually use it.

    I do have to say that the Pittsburgh screwdrivers are crap, though. The bits deform under moderate torque. I’m not sure about the professional series, I’ve never scene those.

    On the other hand I have a ratchet set from Pittsburgh and it works well enough for the few odd toy assembly jobs. The ratcheting action may not be the smoothest, but it works OK for an extra household set.

  4. eschoendorff says:

    SITO’s comments are way off base… I was just playing with this ratchet at a Harbor freight store yesterday and I was VERY impressed with the quality when you consider it costs only $13-20.

    The quality of this ratchet is as good as anything by Stanley or Husky, and is even superior to the standard Craftsman ratchets that are made in the USA.

    For more of my thoughts, please click here;


  5. Chris says:

    I have some hammers, an anvil, welding magnets, etc. from Harbor Freight. Every single thing I have bought from H.F. that has moving parts has broken. If you buy something with moving parts from them, you will eventually have to buy another one from somewhere else. If you aren’t going to use it often, go ahead. But even their hammers fall apart after a while.

  6. I was in Harbor Freight today and I took a look at this ratchet. It actually seems pretty solid and the ratcheting action was pretty smooth. I know that doesn’t really say anything about how well it’ll hold up.

    I also wasn’t sure whether you could unlock the the ratchet head so it would swing freely like it’s more expensive cousins. I’m glad to report that it does. does. This is a big plus because this allows you to pump the handle back and forth to tighten and loosen bolts, rather than swinging the handle. This allows you to use the ratchet in really tight quarters.

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