The History Channel has been playing the damn Kobalt Double Drive mini-infomercial between breaks so much I would actually buy one if I thought it’d make them stop playing it. The funny part is, as much as I’d like to make fun of it, the twisty ratchet does look pretty cool. The basic premise is, if you click it to double mode, a barrel twist each way will advance the head in the direction you’d like to go.
The Double Drive form factor isn’t funky or out of line with what a ratchet should look like, and it delivers more functionality than a standard ratchet. It reminds us a little of when the GearWrench pass-thru system first came out, but not nearly as groundbreaking. For around $20 it seems a decent investment to throw down for.
Does it replace a standard ratchet? Yes, it can: if you do a load of work with bolts, it’s great to have in the toolbox. If not, the Double Drive is cheap enough you can have it for a just-in-case situation. True, it sounds a little gimmicky, but at its core, even if you don’t use the double function, it’s still a working ratchet. So spending the same as you might spend on plain model isn’t really a loss.
Double Drive Kits [Lowe’s]