GearWrench 'Ratcheting' Combo Wrenches
The easy way to get to those tough to reach bolts! Short Cuts
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By: C. Andrew Zook - 11/2000

These trick little wrenches come in very handy in a tight spot!

A friend of mine who is a mechanic for Continental Airlines first told me about these 'ratcheting' combination wrenches. Word is spreading through the shop where he works, and people are constantly asking him where he bought them. After he had used his wrenches daily for about six months, I finally broke down and bought a set.

The 'box' end of these wrenches ratchets similar to the way a normal ratchet works. Unlike a standard box end wrench that you must fumble around with in a tight space to remove a bolt, you only need to move the wrench back and forth to tighten or loosen a bolt. You can turn a bolt with as little as five degrees of wrench rotation. This allows you to get at those annoying nuts and bolts in tight spaces where a normal combination wrench would take forever, and a socket just won't fit!

This ratcheting end of this wrench is much smaller than gear wrenches of the past. The size of the head is hardly larger than the head of a normal Mac or Snap-On box end wrench. You choose to loosen or tighten bolts by simply flipping the wrench over.

The label on the box says that the wrenches are manufactured by KD Tools. I did a little research online and found out that the GearWrench is actually sold through Ace Hardware stores. I bought my set at a local Parts Plus automotive store and paid only $54.00 for a 7-piece metric set which includes - 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, and 18mm wrenches. My only gripe is that a 17mm was not included in the set. This is a size that I often need on my Toyota.

The wrenches have a lifetime warranty and if you break one you can take it to the local Ace hardware store and exchange it for another. Although they are manufactured in Taiwan, they are very high quality, hardened, mirror-finished tools.

I have had these wrenches about eight months, and they have proven to come handy in many situations. I have not had any problems with them even when torquing the ratcheting end rd against rusted nuts or bolts. I have found them to be a must-have tool, and a real bargain at $54.00!

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