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    Bahco Shifters

    Bahco ratchets are ratchet tools made by leading international tool manufacturer Bahco. Bahco has been producing tools for over 130 years and is considered one of the most trusted names in tool manufacturing worldwide.

    Ratchets are a type of turing tool noted by their inclusion of a ratcheting mechanism. They are used to tighten or loosen fastenings like nuts and bolts through the use of head attachments, such as a socket or spanner head. The ratchet mechanism allows the user to use the spanner to tighten a nut or bolt, then move the handle back to the starting position with the head remaining on the nut or bolt without loosening it.

    Turning tools like spanners and ratchets work using torque. Torque is a rotational force that is measured in Foot Pounds (ft-lb) or Newton Meters (Nm).

    Bahco ratchet spanners are a ratcheting hand tool with a square output drive. They are used in conjunction with various head attachments such as sockets and bits to create a complete turning tool. RS carries a few different Bahco ratchet spanners with ¼ inch,⅜ inch, and ½ inch drive sizes. That said, we do carry an extensive selection of Bahco socket sets that include both ratchet spanners and head attachments in one convenient set.

    Understanding the Different Drive Sizes on Bahco Ratchets

    Drives are measured using SAE units by the fraction of an inch. The bigger the drive size, the bigger the attachments can be. Attachments such as sockets are measured first by the input drive size, to match with the right spanner, and second by the diameter of their output, measured typically in metric units (mm). This means that you only need one turning tool and a handful of attachments to make a set of complete tools.

    Bahco ¼ Inch Ratchets - The smallest drive size size, ¼ inch drives support sockets ranging from 4mm up to around 15mm. These are ideal for use in confined spaces, or where a small gauge of fastener needs to be adjusted or removed.

    Bahco⅜ Inch Ratchets - Also on the small side, ⅜ inch sockets support sockets from around 5.5mm up to 22mm. While there is crossover with the sockets that can be used with different drive sizes, it's important to remember that the larger the drive, the more force can be applied.

    Bahco ½ Inch Ratchets - Mid-range drive size that supports sockets ranging from 8mm-32mm. ½ inch drives occupy a nice middle ground between large and small drives, and are arguably therefore the most versatile. That said, it might be wise to use a spanner with a larger drive for anything over 24mm, as you probably want more turning power.

    Insulated Ratchets

    Insulated ratchets are ratcheting hand tools that have a thick rubber insulation wrapped around the metal too to protect the user against electric shocks. Electricians and those working near live electricity trust in insulated ratchets to protect them from shock in the unfortunate event that their tool becomes an unwanted conductor of electricity.

    In addition to providing insulation, the thick rubber secondarily acts as a grip for the user to hold. In most turning situations, the user needs to apply maximum force to tighten or loosen a fastening, opening them up to risk of having the tool slip in their hands. Having an insulated handle mitigates some of that risk as the friction from the rubber keeps the tool from slipping within a hand.

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