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Whether you're trying to remove or install bolts and nuts, ratchets and sockets are essential, easy-to-use tools that make a variety of projects around the home or office simple. For accessing fasteners that are just out of reach, add extensions to ratchets, and for handling a variety of fastener sizes, use adapters. Complete a variety of tasks and do-it-yourself activities with plenty of common hand tools, larger tools and other equipment to choose from.
Ratchets are a type of wrench and are also known as ratcheting socket wrenches. A ratchet features an attached socket at one end, which can be used to loosen or tighten bolts and nuts that are fitted to the socket. The way ratchets are designed allows a user to tighten or loosen fasteners in small increments via twisting motions without disconnecting the tool from the fastener's head. Look for ratchets with thin heads to access fasteners located in tight, compact spaces.
Most ratchets can be used with multiple sockets, which are cylinder-shaped objects that come in a wide array of sizes. Sockets fit onto a ratchet via a square connecting knob. Choose sockets that fit around corresponding fasteners and make sure sockets are made of corrosion-resistant alloy steel for years of use.
When you need to reach into deep, narrow spots, extensions come in handy. Extensions attach to ratchets and sockets, allowing access to bolts and nuts that are tucked away in hard-to-reach areas. Keep a variety of adapters on hand to eliminate the need for multiple drive tools. Adapters with chamfered lead-ins can be placed on fasteners quickly and easily. Choose adapters with size markings on them, so you can easily identify each tool.