I bought this set of Gearwrench Roto Ratchets about a decade ago, for $40-$50 or so on sale. Right now, it’s on sale again for slightly less than $40 with free shipping!
Note: This deal might end at anytime. Please let us know if it sells out or the price jumps back up.
Benefits: These swivel-head ratchets are essentially flex-head ratchets that let you use them as screwdriver-style spinners for fast turning, and then you can switch them 90° for higher torque applications. Or, use them as non-locking flex-head ratchet.
Downsides: Some users prefer locking flex-head ratchets. Nearly all swivel-head-style ratchets let you tighten down the pivot action, but only Wera’s allow you to lock the head in any specific angular position. Also, there’s no quick-release function, which is also a pro or con depending on your preferences.
Should You Buy One? I bought a set, and continue to use them regularly. I don’t use them as much as I used to because I have also purchased Wera Zyklop swivel-head ratchets. Despite also having the Wera ratchets, I’m never giving up my Gearwrench ratchets, as they continue to come in handy. I use this style of ratchet all the time, and very highly recommend it. Gearwrench is a good brand. I’m going to say YES. If it doesn’t work out for you, Amazon has an excellent return policy.
Is This a Good Deal? At the time of this posting, Amazon has the 2pc set priced at $40, which is a great price. This set is usually priced at $48 and up. Some dealers have it for $60+.
If you miss out on this deal, chances are it will come around again at a later time. I can only recall one occasion when the price was better than $40.
What Else You Should Know: These Gearwrench ratchets have cushion-grip handles, you get both 1/4″ and 3/8″ ratchets in the set, and they have fine-tooth 72T ratcheting mechanisms with a 5° minimum swing arc. The 1/4″ ratchet is 6.5″ long and the 3/8″ ratchet is 10″ long.
Deal Price: $39.81
Buy Now via Amazon (with free shipping)
Compare via Home Depot
Compare via Acme Tools
How did we find this deal? Every now and then I use our Amazon Tool Deal Finder search helper. Amazon’s search results are a lot more cluttered now than when I first coded this helper script, but it still reveals worthwhile deals like this one on occasion. (If you need the link again, it can be found at the bottom/footer menu on ToolGuyd.com webpages.)
I have a set of these and a set of Wera zyklop ratchets. The Wera is definitely better. It costs more, but it’s awesome to be able to lock into place. You can also push the lock switch up to release the socket. What I mean is; if the anvil is inline with the handle (pointing up) you push the lock switch up to release the socket without having to rotate it back 90 degrees to access the button. Wera handles are amazing as well.
I have the Wera too in 1/4 and 1/2 sizes and they’re great no doubt. This whole Gearwrench set is around half the price of a single Zyklop though.
I loved my Gearwrench swivel head 3/8in ratchet. Right up until the time it was taken from me by the TSA coming BACK home through the same airport because it was clearly a weapon. I replaced it with the Tekton one (because I couldn’t justify rebuying the set and getting a duplicate 1/4in) which is decent but definitely not as good.
I became enamored with swivel heads from back when I worked at a garage and another mechanic had a Snap On swivel head that I loved and envied. While I like my flex handles as well (Gearwrench 84t), the swivel head just feels better most of time.
As for the Wera, I like their stuff but it looks the head locks in place with that thumb switch? If so, not interested. I prefer it to be free floating. I’ve been wrenching on something where I can’t make a clean arc without changing the angle of the head. I wouldn’t want to be locked into an angle.
Just a heads up but the Amazon link is saying it will be delivered Nov 18 – Dec 7 but also says underneath that it “usually ships within 1 to 2 months.” If going to cart it gives the estimated delivery as being between Nov 18-Dec 7. Home Depot says it can be shipped to my local store to pick up between Nov 5 -Nov 8 but nothing currently in stock near me.
I have a VIM swivel head ratchet that can either swivel freely or locked in position. It also has a quick release socket lock. I don’t know how it compares to the Wera but it was a fraction of the price
Laser and Wurth have 1/4 swivel head ratchets that can be locked in position too.
That’s the second time this week that a deal post has been really helpful. The other was the note at the bottom of your last post about the $85 1.25hp Bosch router.
Glad to hear it, you’re very welcome!
I was worried, thinking “will anyone really see this on a Sunday?”
Thanks. I also noticed that on Amazon it says delivers in 1-2 months so I ordered it for the same price at Home Depot and should have it in a week or two. Thanks again!
That’s why I included both links. =)
Personally I prefer at-home delivery, even if it takes a little longer, over in-store pickup for something that’s not already in stock.
Bought even though I have duplicates. Getting to the age where I would like sets in garage/basement/away from house sheds. Thanks!
If I wasn’t boycotting APEX I would pick this deal up!
It’s Apex. It’s a city near Raleigh, NC. Apex has a plant on Lufkin Road there.
I have the VIM version of this in 3/8″. It has the upgrade of having the angle lockable.
I also have a Pittsburgh Pro version for 1/4″ swivel ratchet.
So bottom line this is a great price but i will pass.
The VIM version is on sale for $25 on their site right now. The $15 for shipping, however, kills the deal for me.
Price jumped up to $40 – which if I correctly recall is still a deal, albeit not quite as HOT as it was earlier this week.
Hmm, it looks like the Amazon-direct listing is gone. I’d check back in case the deal returns, but it looks sold out right now.
Thank you all for your helpful posts. I am currently in an automotive tech school and trying to start building my own tool set. Please keep the comments coming as I share them with my class.
I have the snap on version of the smaller ratchet, but in 3/8 drive. Its my go to ratchet for most lighter tasks. I highly recommend the swivel style ratchets.
So Amazon must have had some supply issues as these just arrived today. They initially said closer to the end of the year, then pushed it back, then made me reconfirm my order on a computer (couldn’t do it via smartphone).
However, now that they’re here, I’m really excited about these. 🙂 I’m doing an alternator replacement on a Land Cruiser this weekend and I’m really looking forward to having these new ratchets.
My order kept getting pushed back but finally shipped yesterday…I should have them by Friday. I only had to wait 6 months.
Better late than never?
Not to rain on the Gearwrench parade but, Cripe Distributing sells the same two piece roto ratchet set in Crescent trim for $24 plus $8.75 shipping. It’s a nice set for the money.
Cheapest shipping on the Cripe website was $16 for me at checkout making the total $40. Otherwise I would have jumped on them. Thanks for the tip.
try their ebay store.
I have these and rarely use them because they don’t lock, but more so because they reverse direction too easily.
Another option to consider: Husky makes a pair that look similar. I haven’t tried the Gearwrench to compare.
My Husky versions are handy problem-solvers that I enjoy using. The handle on my 1/4″ came loose – but I glued it back on about a year ago and it’s still going strong. Husky has a lifetime warranty too (so I could have just exchanged it).
Matt the Hoople
So, is there any significant difference between these and the Crescent CRW17 set? Just a ‘heads up’, The crescent seems to be regular priced on Amazon at $42 so even if one misses out on this deal there’s an alternative. Cripe distributing has the CRW17 set on their eBay store with limited stock for $24 plus $8.75 shipping for a total of $32.75. I may just have to snag one. Don’t really any more ratchets but ‘need’ seldom has anything to do with my tool purchased these days. Really been interested to try this type of ratchet.
I have a question on Gearwrench’s warranty. I used to be big on Craftsman though-out the ‘90s and ‘aughts due to the ease in replacing broken tools. Now that Sears is gone around me and the tools are all pretty much junk, I’m done with them. As for Gearwrench, I’ve seen many reviews on various retailers sites “including Amazon” stating difficulty getting tools replaced. Many requiring a receipt proving purchase from them. I’ve also seen umpteen mentions of working directly through Gearwrench as not being any better. I’m wondering what other’s experiences have been and if they’ve found a foolproof way to get Gearwrench tools warranted without too much fuss.
Just FYI, Craftsman tools – even the Sears stuff – can be warrantied through Craftsman SBD. You just won’t get the same tool since SBD makes their own Craftsman tools.
Matt the Hoople
Yes, I am aware. Lowe’s will replace items for which they sell a match. Even if they don’t have an exact match, I’ve gotten them to make an exchange for items that looked almost the same (ie: replace a broke 12 pt socket with an equal 6 point). This is probably the easiest route. I heard ACE will do this also but only exchange like for like on stuff they stock which is more limited than Lowe’s.
Lowes is still not ideal as they have a limited range of what they carry and, of course, the quality is nowhere near what it was when I acquired most of my Craftsman stuff decades ago. They were good for replacing about 30 of my 50 plus screwdrivers where the acetate handles were developing the puke smelling fuzz coating on them. Just carried in like 3 or 4 at a time each visit for months.
For new purchases, I’m considering most tools as disposable as I loathe mail in warranties and it seems hit or miss as to whether stores will warranty.
Exceptions may be Husky, Kobalt, Pittsburg, Icon, Klutch store brands. Problem is their quality is often hit or miss and they change models often so not sure how that impacts future warranty coverage. Sears carried a lot of the same tools forever. Harbor freight seems to have stepped up their game recently and appears to have one of the best/easiest warranty exchanges but I’m still jaded by their Pittsburg line of the 90’s being complete throw away budget garbage. I know todays Pittsburg is better but I’d have a hard time making the jump just based on past experience.
I really don’t know.
Here are the Crescent’s: https://www.amazon.com/Crescent-CRW17-Drive-Ratchet-Piece/dp/B00YP1ZI4S/?tag=toolguyd-20
The head design looks a little different, but there’s a similar photo for the Gearwrench ratchets – it looks like it could have been minorly updated.
The grip looks a little different.
If I had to guess, I’d say there are probably aren’t measurable differences, and that the tools were aimed at different industries.
I haven’t had to use Gearwrench’s warranty process yet, and I’d also be curious to hear about others’ experiences.
I did buy heavy duty pants directly from Amazon once, and when they ripped unexpectedly the brand directed me to Amazon for warranty replacement and Amazon handled it with ease. This was a few years ago though.
SO my only real gripe with swivel heads and I say this as I look for one in 1/4 in drive – is the head is not a 90 tooth. I’d think by now these would be updated to run 90 tooth like their counterparts.
Otherwise I’ve had my eye on a tekton or VIM due to the QR mechanism. Otherwise I might give a wera a go. Hazet sells one too not sure the price difference.
Matt the Hoople
To me, 72 teeth is adequate for 95% of applications. Chances are, if I’m in an area tight enough to need a smaller arc swing between teeth, I likely also need a more compact ratchet head. Swivel ratchets are round heads. I wonder if round heads are limited to fewer teeth since the gear is machined on the inside of the body. I hadn’t researched it but it seems like all of the high tooth count ratchets I normally see are pear head. This could be due to design limitations of round heads or the aforementioned need for more compact tools in tighter spaces in general driving the market.
while I do agree that mostly a 72 tooth is plenty it’s just odd to me that I can buy a stronger ratchet with more teeth and a QR for usually less money. and I don’t consider swivel ratchets stable due to the fork in the handle – but you aren’t supposed to use them at high torque either.
Eitherway I do find that in the 1/4 drive capacity they are excellent use around the car especially in and around the dash.