Shown here is Tekton’s new folding ratchet, a tool style I haven’t quite come across yet.
It seems to be part stubby ratchet and part… ultra-stubby?
There are two versions, with and without a quick-release button.
The Tekton folding ratchet has a 90T gear mechanism, for a minimal swing arc of 4°.
When unfolded, the ratchet has somewhat of an offset stubby ratchet geometry. When folded over, its size is just about halved, for use in compact spaces.
Tekton promo videos show the ratchet being used in somewhat of a palm ratchet manner. So maybe it’s half palm ratchet, half stubby?
We asked Tekton what they were going for with this ratchet, and if it was meant to be a stand-in for flex-head and stubby ratchets. Here’s what they said:
This ratchet is not meant to be a replacement for flex-head and stubby ratchets—those other tools have their place and we plan to continue offering them as a part of our line. Instead, the Folding Ratchet is just specially designed to work even better in spaces where access is very limited.
Thus, it’s more of its own thing. Can we call it a half stubby, half ultra-stubby hybrid? Or is there a different way you would describe it?
Here’s some video action:
Tekton Folding Ratchet Specs
|Folded Working Length||2.0″|
|Open Working Length||4.1″|
|Height at 90 Degrees||3.7″|
|Country of Origin||Taiwan|
The ratchet can be used folded, unfolded, and with the handle sticking up at 90°.
At this time, only 3/8″ ratchets have been announced, and so there is not yet word as to whether this style will also be available in 1/4″ and 1/2″ ratchet sizes.
Buy Now: Standard via Tekton
Buy Now: Quick Release via Tekton
ETA: Spring 2021
Tekton released a limited run, and is planning a wider release sometime in 2021.
So, what do you think – is this something you could use?
In the words of OMC….How Bizarre!
A solution in search of a problem looks like…maybe an engineering interns project?
Tekton was on a roll with good stuff, idk wtf this is.
This would be useful for those times that you put just a socket on to hold a nut/bolt, or spin a nut/bolt down. Just a bit more width/grip on the socket.
The shorter length could also reduce folks really torquing down nuts – instead of just finger tight plus a 1/4 or 1/2 turn.
Hmmm. Interesting. I could imagine some cool uses for it, but if you already have a flex ratchet and an SK thumb spinner? I could see myself using the 1/4 and a 3/8 ratchets, but I think one made for 1/2 drive would be unweildy (quite a chunk of steel) when folded up.
I do like the form factor, and I agree it seems like it may well be one of those tools you keep to tighten down the nut, while the bolt is going in on the other side…
THAT said… Maybe I’m just a sick puppy that needs his head checked to see if the Hamster is still on the Wheel in there… but something about this makes me think you could machine that tiny folding handle into a T-Shank standard interface, and it would suddenly fit the Leatherman Surge’s Blade Exchanger… Giving you ratchet function on the go, using the Surge as a kind of Torque-Bar. Sell that in a set, and I bet you’d have some EDCers going nuts for these… Pun is accidental here…
Okay, having seen some more of the posts below mine, I think I might be sold on a set of 3 of these. Handle at 90 degrees turns this into a hand-crank as well… Hadn’t thought of that, and now that it’s in my head, that makes this pretty perfect for hose clamps when you’re in the field, and you can’t grab a power tool.
I can see this being one of those tools you almost never need, but when you do need it, you REALLY need it. IDK, some place so tight you don’t even want to start with a spinner and switch to a stubby flex because you’re afraid you might not squeeze in there a second time?
Seems like one of those palm ratchets when you want speed instead of torque and then a stubby ratchet when you want to tighten more than hand tight. I could see myself buying one and using randomly.
I mean seeing that – just picture alone not held in hand.
If I was going to buy a stubby – which I don’t own – I would seriously consider that.
Going one more spot – make the stub handle removeable , and perhaps give me say alternate handles. That might become an instant go bag ratchet.
Depending on price if I was getting a dedicated stubby – vs that. I’d really consider buying that.
OH and with the other versions of palm or finger ratchets on the market already – they get to bypass any potential patent issues there.
Oooh… Or just a hole in the end… a 1/4″ hex? Magnet inside to hold it in… Drop a 1/4″ Hex end ANYTHING in there, suddenly you have a longer handle for torque. Ranged all the way up from a genuine stubby, to a T-Handle Allen Wrench, or a dedicated single hex bit driver with a 1/4″ hex bit IN it for the interface… Suddenly it’s a full-sized, torqueable ratchet.
NICE idea, Nathan! I like that even better than my Leatherman idea!
With the handle in a vertical position you could use this to quickly spin the bolt like an offset phillips driver for electrical work
Sometimes a little bend or offset in the handle might help. I have an old Blackhawk bent handle flex head ratchet that has been useful on occasion:
Williams also used to make a modular 3/8 inch drive ratchet that consisted of a 3 inch long head (BT-50) to which you could plug in one of 2 handle extensions (BT-104 – 4inch or BT-106 – 6 inch) add a handle universal joint (BT-40) and an end cap (BT-70) that had a hole for asliding t-bar (BT-20) . The ratchet head was non reversible – and their was a pass-through drive plug (BT-150).
They did a pre-production run of 100 pieces. I bought one, and it’s a very nice piece of work, and very clever. I think the use cases are quite limited. I don’t often need something with so little leverage, nor do I often need something like a spinner (which is almost what this is, when folded up). Still, it’s a fun little oddball tool. But that fact that mine is sitting on my desk rather than in a tool drawer says something.
It reminds me somewhat of a 3/8″ drive Craftsman (pre-China) short handled folding ratchet that I kept in the toolbox in my truck for a while. The thing about that was that the handle was so short that you really couldn’t put a lot of torque on a stuck faster, or even one with a high torque spec. That would be true to an even greater degree with this little ratchet.
Hmm. I don’t think I need this, but there’s a chance I might buy one when they come out.
Price isn’t crazy. 90 teeth is nice for confined space. The unique handle positioning options might be valuable to have available.
You know what would make me even more excited? If they put the 3/8″ drive-square in a 1/4″ ratchet body with the same handle design.
Several companies have ratchets like that: SK, Wright & Proto come to mind. Wright even has a flex-head version (but not offset like the Tekton). I’ve been thinking of buying one just to have a very small ratchet-head option for use with larger-size sockets. I think it could work really well in a design like this because the short handle means the ratchet gears don’t need to be uber-strong.
Sold out! The power of the toolguyd.
They had very limited inventory and sold out in minutes earlier this month.
The Williams Palmster BSP-52 Is a similar and more refined and compact design. Sometimes called the TORQBONE. When closed, it is compact with a good grip and access to the ratcheting mechanism. Open, it remains compact, tight and provided ample leverage. I have several in multiple tool boxes.
That Palmster looks pretty cool! Doesn’t seem to be currently available, though.
I can see the advantage to using this in tight quarters… But have it made here for that price. They have a lot of their pliers and screwdrivers made here which are very reasonable in price. Regardless, I do think they make decent products and having them be available at my local Meijer big-box store, comes in handy now that my local Sears is no more.
I’m in for one to play with – I work in enough tight spaces that it’ll be either really useful, or not at all.
Fully extended, the handle should give your fingers more space with a conventional use, which already makes it more appealing when you have to avoid wires and belts.
I’m waiting on the non quick release version to come out. Excellent use of Tekton rewards. I would like to see a 1/4 drive version though. I know there were quite a few people bad mouthing these back when is was a just black drawing on Tekton.com. To sell a hundred in short order means someone’s interested.
Ok how many people flex a ratchet backwards towards the socket? It is a neat idea allowing a stubby to get even shorter if it comes it 1/4” I’ll buy it because their stubby 1/4” is really tiny
My dad is a mechanic and he uses a stubby 3/8 a lot especially if he’s going for speed for low torque fasteners. He would probably use this over his regular stubby and only grab his regular stubby if he absolutely needed the clearance though thats where he often would use a stubby ratcheting wrench. He would never use a palm ratchet. The snap on guy has given him one before but he never touches it.
Don’t understand its purpose. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not sure how I would use it. But, I am pretty sure I need one.
Pretty sure I don’t need one, but that is true for a third of the tools in my shop. Need is always a relative term and I’ve already tried to buy one. Looks handy for special use and to befuddle the boys when they say “where did you get that and what is it”. Those are moments a dad lives for.
This would be great in my motorcycle tool kit to save space!
I had a 2010 V6 Toyota Highlander. The 6 th spark plug was hidden under the firewall on the drivers side. The dealer wanted $250.00 to remove and reinstall the intake manifold to get the plug out since 2 universal joints could not reach it I was informed.
I bought 2 of the two jointed 3/8 ratchets from Harbor Freight. I made one 3 hinged ratchet out of one and a stubby one hinge ratchet out of the other.
I was able using the 3 joints to remove the problem plug. It just took even longer to get the new plug in since I wanted to be sure I didn’t cross tread the new one.I
I have not had a need to use it again but I it was a great conversation piece.
Stuart, They are back in stock…
Thank you for the update!
Just got mine today – it looks promising, if a bit specialized.
Just a note – this sucker is heavy; almost too heavy for use in spaces where you don’t have a solid grip. Trying to balance the weight while keeping the socket/bit/crowfoot/whatever in place might be difficult.
That said, I’d really like to see this in 1/4″ drive.