Ratchet wrenches, socket wrenches and torque wrenches are common bolt removal and tightening tools in everyday life. In industrial production, these three wrenches are one of necessary tools.

So, do you know what is the difference between these three types of wrenches?

Now, TorcStark will give a detailed introduction.

Ratchet Wrench

What is a ratchet wrench?

Ratchet wrench is a manual screw tightening tool, single-head, double-head multi-specification movable handle ratchet torx wrench (fixed hole). It is connected by the main plum blossom sleeve and the slave plum blossom sleeve of different specifications and sizes through the engagement of the female key and the male key of the hinge key. Since a plum blossom sleeve has two specifications of plum blossom through holes, it can be used for the tightening of two specifications of screws, thereby expanding the scope of use and saving raw materials and labor costs. The adjustable trigger can easily adjust the angle of use of the wrench. The wrench is used for tightening the screw and has the characteristics of strong applicability, convenient use and low cost.

The principle of the ratchet wrench

A ratchet wrench is rotatably connected to the end of the lever. The ratchet wrench comprises a weight connected with an operating rod. The weight can slide along the length direction of the operating rod, and a front weight-bearing part is provided on the operating rod at the front of the weight to block the impact of the weight. Alternatively, there is a rear weight-bearing portion on the operating lever at the rear of the weight that blocks the impact of the weight. Also, the operating lever may have both a front weight-bearing portion and a rear weight-bearing portion.

Features of ratchet wrench

  • The air pressure rod top cover device makes opening the box cover more labor-saving, smooth and fast.
  • The safety cylinder lock device is stronger and has better anti-theft performance.
  • Sand paint surface, anti-scratch, anti-dissolution, strong anti-rust ability.
  • The unique combination structure of the box lid and box body is strong and strong.
  • Specially designed heavy-duty R-angle drawer handles make it easy to pull and close.
  • Double ball slide rail design with self-locking function.
  • Plastic-coated side handles make it easier to drag.

Ratchet wrench applications

  1. Mechanical maintenance: When disassembling and assembling mechanical parts, the ratchet wrench can easily tighten or loosen fastening bolts and nuts, and is used in machine tools, ships, agricultural machinery, and other fields.
  2. Car maintenance: The ratchet wrench is one of the most frequently used car maintenance tools. It can complete tasks such as tire replacement, engine disassembly, and brake system repair.
  3. Construction installation: In construction installation, ratchet wrenches can be used to fasten connectors and lifting equipment, and are used in steel structures, glass curtain walls, doors and windows, etc.
  4. Furniture assembly: Ratchet wrenches can be used in furniture assembly to easily tighten furniture screws and nuts to make the furniture firm and strong.

Socket Wrench

What is a socket wrench?

The socket wrench is composed of multiple sockets with hexagonal holes or twelve-pointed holes and is equipped with various accessories such as handles and posts. It is especially suitable for screwing bolts and nuts in very narrow places or screwing bolts and nuts in deep places.

The principle of socket wrench

A socket wrench is generally called a socket: it is composed of multiple sockets with hexagonal or twelve-sided holes and is equipped with various accessories such as handles and posts. It is especially suitable for screwing bolts and nuts in very narrow places or screwing bolts and nuts that are deeply placed. There are metric and imperial sleeves. Although the inner concave shape of the sleeve is the same, the outer diameter, length, etc. are designed according to the shape and size of the corresponding equipment. There is no unified national regulation, so the design of the sleeve is relatively flexible and meets the needs of the users. Socket wrenches generally come with a set of socket heads of various specifications, as well as swing handles, posts, universal joints, screw joints, elbow handles, etc., which are used to insert hexagon nuts. The socket head of a socket wrench is a concave hexagonal cylinder. The wrench is usually made of carbon structural steel or alloy structural steel. The head of the wrench has a specified hardness, and the middle and handle parts are elastic.

Features of socket wrench

  • It is suitable for steel connection construction in reinforced concrete structures of various types of buildings that can withstand two-way forces of tension and compression.
  • Material and energy saving are not limited by the composition and type of steel bars.
  • Can be connected in all directions.
  • It can be prefabricated in advance, factory-like operation, does not occupy the construction period and can be constructed around the clock.
  • The operation is convenient and fast, and the construction speed is fast, which can greatly shorten the construction period.

Application of socket wrench

It is used when the nut end or bolt end is completely lower than the surface to be connected, and the diameter of the recessed hole cannot be used for open-ended wrenches, adjustable wrenches, and ring wrenches. In addition, the space for bolt parts is limited, so only a socket wrench can be used.

Torque wrench

What is a torque wrench?

A torque wrench, also known as a torque adjustable wrench, is a kind of wrench. The main feature of the torque wrench is that the torque can be set and the torque can be adjusted. According to the power source, it can be divided into electric torque wrench, pneumatic torque wrench, hydraulic torque wrench, and manual torque wrench. Manual torque wrenches can be divided into: preset type, fixed value type, dial type, digital display type, slip type, bending type, and kilogram wrench. When screw and bolt tightness is critical, using a torque wrench allows the operator to apply a specific torque value.

Principle of torque wrench

By setting the torque value, precise torque output can be performed. Generally, the tightening of high-strength bolts requires initial tightening and then final tightening, and strict torque requirements are required for each step. A constant torque wrench must be used for the initial and final tightening of the large hexagonal high-strength bolts. Therefore, torque wrenches are often used in applications with strict bolt-tightening requirements.

Torque wrench features

  • High precision: The torque wrench can precisely control the torque and send a warning signal to avoid over-tightening when the required value is reached.
  • Easy to use: The torque wrench has an ergonomic design that reduces user fatigue.
  • Wide Applicability: Torque wrenches can be used for a variety of different types of work, such as machining, car repair, etc.

Torque wrench applications

  1. Construction field: In the construction field, torque wrenches can be used for fastening steel structures to help improve the stability and durability of terminal boxes.
  2. Transportation field: In the transportation field, torque wrenches can be used for the maintenance of high-speed rails, subways, airplanes, trains, and cars to ensure the service life of the vehicles.
  3. Automotive: In the automotive field, torque wrenches can be used to remove and install tires and can help ensure that the correct torque value is applied to the wheel bolts. This will avoid over-tightening, which can cause damage to the wheel bolts.

Torque wrenches are widely used in the fields of engineering machinery, petrochemical pipelines, construction tower cranes, and automobile tires.

The principle behind the “knocking” sound produced by a torque wrench

  1. When the torque wrench makes a “knocking” sound, it indicates that the torque value you require has been reached.
  2. The “knock” produced by the torque wrench is produced by its internal torque release structure, which is composed of three structures: a pressure spring, a torque release joint, and a torque ejector rod.

First, set the required torque value on the torque wrench (the spring is sleeved on the ejector rod to apply pressure on the torque release joint), lock the torque wrench, and start tightening the bolts. When the bolt reaches the torque value (when the applied torque is greater than the pressure of the spring), an instantaneous disconnection effect will occur. At the moment when the disengagement effect occurs, the joints tap and the metal shell of the wrench makes a “clicking” sound. This serves as a reminder to confirm that the torque value has been reached (similar to the principle that if our arm joint is bent at 15 degrees and placed in an iron pipe, it will immediately straighten and then touch the steel pipe).


The main difference between a torque wrench and a ratchet wrench, a socket wrench is simply that a fixed torque value can be set on the torque wrench. Ratchet wrenches can be used to tighten bolts quickly and with less effort. Socket wrenches are mainly used to tighten bolts and nuts in very narrow places or bolts or nuts in deep places. These three types of wrenches have their own professional application fields. Choosing different wrenches for different conditions will help you tighten bolts or nuts faster and better.

If you need more professional bolt-tightening tools, you can check out our hydraulic wrenches, electric/pneumatic torque wrenches, torque multipliers, bolt tensioners, and other bolt tools.

You can also contact us at any time for professional bolt-tightening solutions.