Shortly after discovering the Best Damn Screwdriver Idea In A While, I ran into the quintessential Tool Gone Wrong: the 48-in-1 Ratcheting Rotary Socket Wrench. If you take a dog bone wrench and wrap a double-ended ratcheting box-end wrench around it, you’ve got the concept. What’s next? Giving the wrench flexible heads?
The photo does the wrench no justice — this is a big tool. Listed at 1.5 lbs, the larger end of the wrench is a little smaller than my fist. I can’t imagine why you’d grab a wrench with such a monster of a head for a 9/16″ bolt.
So where does the 48-in-1 designation come from? The manufacturer designed the sockets to be compatible with six different types of bolts: square, 12-point, hex, rounded hex, Torx, and Spline. But can’t you use a twelve-point socket for 6-point fasteners? There are eight different sized sockets: 5/16″, 3/8″7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″,5/8″, 11/16″, and 3/4″. If you accept their premise, then multiply six bolt types by eight sizes and you have your 48 functions.
Each end of the dog bone rotates in a ratcheting mechanism, somewhat like a ratcheting box-end wrench. And like many ratcheting box-end wrenches, to reverse the ratcheting direction, you flip a lever.
If you’re looking for a Christmas present for somebody you really dislike this year, the 48-in-1 ratcheting rotary socket wrench might be a $20 well spent.
48-in-1 Wrench [Home Depot]