How to Use a Ratchet Screwdriver

Ratcheting screws are the most reliable alternatives to screwdrivers and drills. And even though they are meant to be used by professionals, their simple design makes them a handy tool for anyone who wants to drive or remove screws.

As you are probably aware there are many different types of screwdrivers, and if you are new to using the ratchet screwdrivers then this is what you must know, first that the ratchet screwdrivers are available in three sizes, 3/8 inch which is the biggest, the ½ inch, and the ¼ inch. They are available in different sizes because of the myriad of applications that they can run but mostly to operate the different types of sockets.

Noteworthy is that the ratchets that have a higher tooth count will allow you to work but with little swing motion. This particular characteristic makes it reliable in situations where you have to fix a screw but there isn’t much room.

The ratchets are also available in two distinct types, one that operates with a roller bearing and which when used will have the operator initiate smaller movements to turn the fasteners. We then have the geared drive ratchet that might have more or less tooth count.

How to properly use a ratchet screwdriver

Ratchet screwdrivers are made with a ratchet inside the handle, and which is made complete with the gear wheel and the two pawls. To efficiently operate the screwdriver, you have been provided with a switch that has been conveniently located on the handle.

When using the ratchet screwdriver the operator is free to select the restricted direction but by turning the handle counterclockwise. The handle can also turn clockwise but this it does independently.

Step one

Identify the bit that you want to use with the ratchet screwdriver. Most of the screwdrivers come equipped with a couple of bits that you can interchange. So, the first step is to pick a bit from the collections and insert it at the tip end of the ratchet.

Step two

Once the bit is in place, you will want to work the screwdriver and all you have to do is twist the driver without moving your hand. One twist swing will send the bit rotating fast where it will perform the intended operation.

Step three

Most ratchet screwdrivers have a switch at the handle, so with regards to the operation that you want to run, you can either flip the switch to the forward mode or the reverse mode. The above operations allow one to either tighten or loosen up the screws.

Features of other types of ratchet screwdrivers

  • Some ratchets are jointed and the advantage of using this type of ratchet is that it will allow you to perform tasks in tight areas. Most ratchets have a glass fiber construction at the handle, and which offers an overall comfortable and soft grip. The latter enables an ergonomic feel and will let you work for extended hours.
  • Some ratchets only have two twist positions reverse and forward, while other ratchet screwdrivers have more up to three twist positions. You will, therefore, get the forward function, revers, and locked, the latter is used to operate the screwdriver manually.
  • Most ratchet screwdrivers have incorporated a free-turning collar that makes controlling the screwdriver easy. And some ratchets have been made with a bit compartment on the turning collar that comes complete with a lock system.
  • You could also find a ratchet that can hold more bits, a feature that makes it more versatile. In most cases, the storage compartment would be incorporated at the back of the handle and you can easily screw it in or out to store or remove the bits.
  • Remember we said that the ratchet screwdriver is more of a professional unit, and which can be proved by the number of bits that can be used with one driver. So, apart from the inbuilt bit storage feature, some ratchets come with a separate bit holder, designed to hold even more bits. This we must say qualifies such types of ratchets as professional, as they can handle many applications.
  • Ratchets are made of sockets used to loosen or tighten fasteners. Some ratchets are made with locks that keep the sockets intact and prevents them from sticking on the fastener. The socket is usually placed on the driver of the ratchet or the square extension.


A ratchet becomes extremely useful when it comes equipped with a wide selection of bits. The ratchet screwdriver is therefore cable for replacing your bulky screwdriver set, and even works twice faster when compared to your traditional screwdriver. What’s more, is that you get to carry almost all the bits with you without feeling weighty. make sure you see our Best Ratchet Screwdriver UK edition.


Do ratchets use batteries?

No, ratchets operate manually, they don’t use batteries.

Are ratchets efficient?

Yes, ratchets are efficient, they work fast and are pretty straightforward to use.