We received a Triangle Tools Nano-Ratchet and a few accessories to test out, and have used them interchangeably with our other drive tools for a couple of weeks. Then, we passed them along to a few colleagues for some rough and tough evaluation.
Triangle Tools is a Taiwan-based tool manufacturer that is trying to push into the US market. Their main products are their Uni-Grip socket system, which also includes a number of accessories, and Nano-Ratchet drive tools.
Triangle Tools Nano-Ratchet
We tested the 3/8″ ratchet Nano-Ratchet, which is also available in 1/4″ and 1/2″ sizes. These ratchets feature a minimal 2.5° swing, and exceed ANSI and DIN standards. A new Nano-Ratchet Plus, which features an “adjustable torque grip” is also available.
After using the ratchet a couple of times, one thing quickly became clear – the handle is spectacularly comfortably!
Although Triangle Tools focuses on the fine-tooth gearing of the Nano-Ratchet, what we all liked most was its handle. The handle has a smooth satin finish all the way around, and a gradual bulge at the bottom, for a more comfortable grip. Not everyone will like the shape or lack of texture of the handle.
Personally I would have preferred a slightly thicker handle, but never found the ratchet’s size to be an issue. In the end, I learned to appreciate the handle’s size, also remembering that less metal means less weight.
The direction selector switch is rotated easily and with reliable consistency. The gearing is as fine-toothed as Triangle claims, and we found it to be quite strong. I wouldn’t risk using a long cheater bar on the ratchet, but it’s plenty strong enough for most everyday use.
Although not the thinnest or smallest ratchet we’ve seen, the Nano-Ratchet head is fairly small in size, and should be able to access most easily-reached fasteners with ease.
The entire back of the ratchet head serves as a push-button quick release. But press it too hard, and the ball detent locks up, preventing socket insertion or removal. It does not take long to train oneself to only gently press the quick release, but those not in-the-know will likely be frustrated by this initially.
Uni-Grip sockets are available in metric sizes and 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ drive sizes. Groups of ribs on the sides of the sockets help provide a secure finger-grip, and prevent the sockets from rolling. The number of ribs in each grouping can also be used to quickly identify a socket’s drive size.
The sockets have the same satin finish as the Nano-Ratchet, and are described as flank drive, which helps promote perfect torque transmission. Each socket is marked with both its drive size, and corresponding fastener size.
Overall, we were all quite pleased with the quality and performance of these sockets. We only had two to test – 8mm and 10mm, but what we’ve seen should apply to the other sockets in the line.
At first, the benefits of the Uni-Grip ridges were lost on us, but with time we grew to appreciate them, wishing all our sockets had this feature. Wera’s sockets have a more uniform knurling at their base, which I personally prefer more, but it’s hard to find fault with Triangle’s Uni-Grip design.
Triangle offers several extension lengths in 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ drive sizes. We tested the 6″-long 3/8″ extension. Triangle laser-etched a measurement scale along the extension handle. While I thought this was handy, I never really got around to using it, probably because the markings are only in metric.
The extensions feature flat parallel sizes so that you can use an 11mm wrench to apply more torque. Unfortunately, I (surprisingly) don’t have any 11mm wrenches around, but I was still able to use an adjustable wrench to the same effect. While I never took advantage of this feature in practice, I like knowing that I can use an adjustable wrench to create a T-handle-like high-torque configuration if or when necessary.
Triangle’s U-joint is built with dual internal springs that helps avoid what they describe as traditional floppy behavior. Does it work better than ordinary universals? Absolutely! I have a set of Craftsman universal adapters, and Triangle’s proved to be more comfortable and effective to use.
I hope that Triangle Tools got DC-Comics to approve their use of Superman when naming these universals!
It’s hard to say whether these tools will stand up to day to day use, but we didn’t see anything that suggests they cannot. Overall, the build quality, finish quality, and size tolerance of the tools met our stringent standards. Everyone we passed the tools along to liked the Nano-Ratchet and all of the Uni-Grip products as well.
The only complaint I had was about the quick-release mechanism, but as mentioned, that frustration disappeared once I developed the habit of pressing the release button gently.
What stands these tools apart from others in their class and price range are the Uni-Grip ridge/rib pattern (which really do make it much easier to finger-spin sockets!), exceptionally clear socket size markings, and the smoothest most streamlined ratchet handle I’ve ever used.
We definitely do recommend these tools, and their pricepoint will make them attractive to a wide audience.
You can also purchase these tools via Triangle Tools directly.
Thank you to Triangle for providing the samples for this review unconditionally. Review samples are typically returned, donated, or in some cases retained for further testing or benchmark and comparison purposes.