Craftsman has come out with a new 26pc mechanics tool set. It features a 1/4″ 72T gimbal-style palm ratchet, a bit adapter, (6) 6pt sockets of unspecified sizing, and (18) 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits, model CMMT12004.
I love this gimbal-style ratchet, and felt compelled to give it a quick mention, even though we’ve seen it before.
Gearwrench introduced their gimbal palm ratchets in 2013.
Sears came out with Craftsman gimbal ratchets back in 2015.
Husky added a 100 position gimbal ratchet, featured in their mechanics tool set reviewed here in 2017.
And now, Stanley Black & Decker has introduced their own gimbal palm ratchet mechanics tool set. They went with a mix of 1/4″ drive sockets and screwdriver bits. It looks good, although I would have liked to have seen an updated color scheme unique to the Craftsman relaunch.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Palm ratchets are compact and allow you to work in tight spaces, and also pack up tightly, making them great for portable tool sets.
What the gimbal head does is improve that fastener accessibility further, allowing for off-access engagement in the same way as a wobble extension or universal joint. If it helps, think of it as a flex-head palm ratchet, but one that can flex in two directions at once, allowing for compact angles.
These aren’t high-torque tools, but they do work very nicely with screwdriver bits, and can be a problem-solver for reaching fasteners other ratchets might have difficult accessing.
This image of a Gearwrench gimbal palm ratchet might help you visualize things.
Gearwrench’s gimbal palm ratchets are priced at $12 to $14 individually. This is the money-saving way to go if you want just the ratchet.
Buy Now(1/4″ drive)
Buy Now(3/8″ drive)
Husky has a couple of options, and theirs has 100-position gearing for a finer swing arc.
The Husky 25pc set shown here seems to be on clearance, priced at just $10. It doesn’t seem to be available for home delivery, and so you might be out of luck if your local Home Depot stores don’t have any available for in-store pickup or purchase.
Husky 100 Position Gimbal Palm Ratchet
Husky 100 Position Gimbal Ratchet Tool Set
Husky 20pc 100 Position 1/4″ Ratchet and Socket Set
Husky 60pc Mechanics Tool Set
Husky 105pc Mechanics Tool Set
Napa had a set of gearwrench box end/ratcheting wrenches for $17 that came with the free hand gimbal. So i bought both lol
I’ve played with palm ratchets in the store before, but never bought one. I have trouble imagining when I would use it. Maybe that’s silly considering how many bit ratchets I have, but I keep thinking I would choose a regular ratchet when something is tight (or needs to be) and a bit ratchet for everything else.
Maybe now that I’ve announced that I don’t need one, I’ll come across a situation where it would be useful. 😉
I also have an SK, reviewed here – https://toolguyd.com/sk-thumbwheel-ratchet-review/ . That wasn’t my first palm ratchet.
With an extension, it’s like a stubby speed handle. With a bit holder adapter, it’s a stubby and higher torque ratcheting driver.
These gimbal ratchets could be used as plain palm ratchets, meaning you don’t need to use their off-axis capabilities.
My first palm ratchet was a Kobalt, sold as part of a set similar to this one. It might have been $15 for the set. Compared to that Kobalt, these are all-metal. But that makes them pricier and heavier.
These kinds of ratchets sometimes work well in place of bit ratchets, other times they don’t.
I’m not going to tell you that palm ratchets are must-haves, or that if you buy one you’re sure to find it useful. But, it might just be a “I don’t know what else to use this gift card or credit card rewards on” kind of tool purchase.
I have a 3/8″ S-K and 1/4″ Craftsman palm ratchets and find them handy for fasteners on car interiors. Low torque, limited access is where these things shine. I bought them cheap locally so it was a “why not?” purchase.
That’s definitely still the Apex-made version of the Craftsman gimbal ratchet Sears sold. I’d guess the sockets, bits, and everything else in the kit is still all Apex stuff as well.
Just interesting how much Apex stuff SBD is going with for the beginning of the launch. It makes a lot of sense for some of the tool sets and sockets and things, but I didn’t expect they’d do something like this gimbal ratchet set.
Makes me wonder if Apex still had a zillion of the 1/4″ Craftsman gimbal ratchets left over and they made a little set by just throwing in the adapter, bits, and the new engraved sockets, or if they just made new plastic caps, threw on the red inner ring they use for the 3/8″ Gearwrench ratchet, the black ring they use for the 100T Husky ratchet, and you have a new Craftsman gimbal ratchet.
It’s too bad they didn’t include some 1/4″ extensions instead of the sockets, which are likely SAE sizes. I would like to have seen a 1.5″, 3″ and 6″ extension instead, or maybe 8, 10, 12, 13, 14mm sockets.
My Home Depot has the Husky set but it is $31.97.
Maybe it’s regional? I am only checking online, and popping in different zip codes online, I still see the $10 price.
I picked one up for $10 thanks to the heads up. Many times when a store is out of stock on a clearance item it reverts back to original price. Thanks!
I also ordered the Husky at $10. I’m in IL at my dad’s for Easter and I couldn’t get it in the Peoria area but was able to order it to my home store in the Atlanta region. I must admit I’m unfamiliar with the Gimbal ratchet but for $10 with some sockets I’ll try it out. Thanks for yet another heads up Stuart!
I have a non-gimbal kobalt palm ratchet I got in a large tool kit. What I really like about it is that it has a 1/4” square drive in the side for using an extension when you need a little more torque. I’d like to see a feature like that in a gimbal palm ratchet.
The 3/8 gimbal ratchet was not marked with the sale price at my local HD this morning.
I was there buying some door varnish – and did not want to buy the ratchet – so I don’t know if they would lower the price if I took it to the service desk.
BTW – it bears UPC 037103292254 – so it was sourced from Apex
My bad – I re-read the post – it was the 1/4 set that was on sale for $9.97 – not the gimbal ratchets – that sell for $19.97 . So I guess if you want a 1/4 gimbal ratchet – buy the set and HD will pay you $10 for taking the extra 24 pieces.
Was looking for a Palm Ratchet for spark plug removed and insertion for my Dodge Hemi Truck. I skipped this type of pivoting Ratchet after reading reviews that stated it was too loose and would pivot when not wanted. I ended up purchasing the older version that many manufactures originally came up with that had the 1/4” drive on one side and the bit inset on the other. It’s definitely more of a “finger Ratchet” as it is small with knurling on the sleeve. Also purchased the apex version with finger type indentations. Between these two I have definitely used the smaller finger type Ratchet 75% of the time when space is an issue. Not much torque coming from your fingers but if I can get the fastener loose initially and then finish removal with the finger Ratchet. Also purchased the GearWrench micro Ratchet from Amazon recently when Toolguyd mentioned the great deal on it a couple of weeks ago. Already had a a micro Ratchet but didn’t like the way I was always seemingly battling flipping it to the other direction when in use so the GearWrench Set was a welcome addition!
The same is often true about flex-head and swivel-head ratchets. However, while unwanted flex or looseness can be a problem, many of these types of tools typically have Torx or other pivot hinge fasteners that allow for some friction adjustment. In that case, you can lock them down as tight as you want. Some tools don’t have adjustments, or don’t have effective adjustments, but the Gearwrench flex and swivel tools I’ve used all do.
And if the screws self-loosen over time, you could potentially use loctite or other threadlocker to help combat that.
I’m glad that the Micro Ratchet has been working out well for you!
Great heads up on the husky gimbal ratchet. I will be checking on those at my local stores.
Never seen a Palm-Sized one of these, always thought these were smaller, for just your fingers to use. I like the idea of the palm-sized better, as you can torque it tighter with the bigger fulcrum of your arms.
But it’s not a tool for me. ME being the key there. I can think of… let’s see… 5 different friends of mine who work on engines in their spare time? I wouldn’t regret getting a nice Gearwrench set for them, now that I know they exist. Especially if they came in a really nice gift/containment box to give them in? Yeah, That’d be a really nice gift for someone you consider a Brother or In-Law that you think is cool. Almost a kind of… Prestige Gift… “Check THESE out! No more tight spaces for YOU my friend!” Yeah… I’d totally be down to give these as gifts for people like that!