Reach the Most Awkward Bolts in Your Engine Bay With a Bent-Handle Ratchet

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Reach Awkward Bolts With a Bent-Handle RatchetIllustration by Brown Bird Design

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Work on enough engine bays, and you'll wish your hands were about half the size. There are so many nooks and crannies that are either hard to reach, hard to see, or hard to fit a tool. Often times, it's all three. That's why I always like to keep a bent-handle ratchet by my side.

Bent-handle ratchets are exactly what they sound like: normal ratchets with bent handles, designed to help users get leverage on awkwardly placed or hard-to-reach nuts and bolts that might not be accessible through a normally shaped ratchet tool. Most bent-handle ratchets also come with a pivoting or "flex" head, allowing the user to change the angle of the ratcheting mechanism to best suit their needs.

Ratchets like this one can be used to reach all sorts of strangely placed fasteners within your engine bay or any other part of your car. Tightly packaged suspension, like on the German stuff I usually work on, is tough to take apart unless you have a bent-handle ratchet like this one to help break loose nuts and bolts on control arms and uprights. These specialty ratchets are even useful for interior work, as they can allow you to squeeze sockets into tight areas like under seats or dashboards to reach stuff you otherwise wouldn't be able to.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Bent-Handle Ratchet Kit</p><p>$37.99</p><p></p>

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Bent-Handle Ratchet Kit


Offset-handle ratchets are more expensive than your average straight-handle ratchet, but not by much. Gearwrench makes a $37.99 kit that not only comes with a 3/8-inch bent-handle ratchet tool, but also a set of spark plug sockets and an extension piece for easy spark plug jobs. If you just want the ratchet by itself, Amazon will sell you the tool for $46.

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