What's Your Lowest Profile 1/2" Ratchet?

I’m looking for a very low profile 1/2" Drive Ratchet. So far the lowest profile I have been able to find is GearWrench 81361T

Which has an overall head thickness of .64" or 16.256 mm.

I got this ratchet from Home Depot.

I checked Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Harbor Freight, Napa, O’Reilly, AutoZone, Advance Auto and NAPA for anything thinner.

Lowes had a Kobalt one that was almost the same thickness and slightly thicker, but was incredibly long. I believe this one
They also had a Craftsman ratchet that also looked about the same thickness, but the handle wasn’t long, and with the addition of the quick release button, was likely slightly larger. I believe ti was this one.

Harbor Freight had a knock off of the GW 90T

Was slightly thicker, probably from using cheaper materials and worse tolerances. But it looked nearly identical in person, except for the obvious color differences, and the missing groves underneath the switch.

I have already checked Koken, and the Z series head thickness of 18.2 mm, so thicker than the GW 90T

Looking through Snap On, Mac, and Matco catalogs, they don’t publish their head thicknesses online. I tried calling Mac and Matco, and they said the information wasn’t available, so they couldn’t confirm how thin their low profile ratchets were. I emailed snap on and waiting to hear back.

So I was hoping someone on here has a super low profile 1/2" Snap On, Mac, or Matco (or others) ratchet and can measure the head thickness and let me know how thick they are. Short of someone measuring it, I don’t think we will get the information otherwise. The next time I see a tool truck I might go on it and see if they have anything thinner than the GW 90T.

My thinnest is about 15mm. It is a racheting wrench set. Very handy for tight places that a conventional ratchet and socket won’t fit.


If space is the deciding factor, then Ratchet Wrenches might be the way to go…


I apologize if I missed it already, but why/what are you looking for a thin headed 1/2" drive ratchet for?? I mean, what are you going to be using it for, doing with it?? Serp belt tensioners or???

Me thinks he wants to adjust the lifters without removing the value cover and re-torque the main bearings without removing the oil pan… L :rofl: L …



Lol I was in a pickle, power steering pump, bolts through the holes in the pulley, little to no clearance, didn’t want to jack up the engine to provide more clearance. Eventually I was able to get it with the GW 90T. I need some vertical distance.

Snap on said that they don’t sell low profile ratches in 1/2 drive, but that their 1/2 ratches are 3/4 inch in head thickness
But if anyone is curious.

The gearwrench 90T 1/2 ratchet, .64 inches is for the head thickness only
By the time you include the square anvil you get 1.3 inches, so the square anvil is 1.3-.64 = 0.66 inches
The direction switch plus the head thickness is .73 inches, so the switch is .73-.64 = 0.09 inches

switch + head thickness + square anvil is = .64 + 0.66 + 0.09 = 1.39 inches = 35.306 mm

I was convinced that the GW 90T was the lowest profile 1/2 drive ratchet

But then I found Tone

RH4FCHS, RH4CH have an overall tool height of 29.5 mm, and I believe to be the lowest profile 1/2 ratchet. It even includes a quick release button lol. So it is approximately 5.806 mm slimmer than the GW 90T or about 16.5 % slimmer.

But at 227 mm in overall length for the long one, it is only 8.93701 inches long vs the GW one that is 16.5 inches long.

The warning “Do not apply excessive force on compact head” would make scared to use a cheater bar on it.

I believe Tone is slimiest.

Those bolts are small and do not require a lot of torque (what 30-40 ft-lb?), a 1/2" ratchet is way overkill for that job normally, use a long handle 3/8" ratchet and if you need a little more pulling power, slide a pipe over the handle… So basically this whole thing was all for nothing… lol

Heck, I would almost bet my 1/4" Snap on ratchet would have broke those bolts loose with a little help from a bottle jack handle… I’ve done worse… lol

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Never thought of using a bottle jack on a ratchet handle!

They were a pain! I pried up on the GW90T so hard. I thought that I needed to get a longer one. Or that I was accidentally tightening them. But after checking several times I pried even harder and heard a snap. Afraid that I snapped the head of the bolt, I double checked and they broke free.

I needed a 14 mm socket between 30 mm and 38 mm in overall length. My 3/8 was 30 mm in overall length and to shallow. I had a shallow 38 mm in overall length for a 14 mm socket, and was able to get a ratchet on there.

Was in a situation where my 3/8 shallow socket was to shallow, and my 3/8 deep was too deep. The need for semi-deep I guess! Which I didn’t have.

Buy a cheap deep well and grind it down to fit…
They also make adaptors to go from 1/2 to 3/8 drive and 3/8 to 1/2 drive, not to mention ones for 1/4 to/from 3/8 drive… 3/8 ratchet with adaptor to 1/2 drive socket, done it many times, more room then a 1/2 drive w/1/2 drove socket… Or just don’t be lazy and put a 2x4 on your jack and jack the engine up a little, motor mount my have enough give in it to give you the room you need…

Best advice I got one time was if something is in your way and it would take less time to remove/loosen that given part then to fight with working around it or whatever, then remove/loosen the damn thing…


Here are two more thoughts on this. Did you even glance at YouTube to see if there was a video of someone else doing it? Did you consider stopping by the dealership and speaking to a few mechanics and ask them how they did this? I know it may be too late for the OP, but there is the next member in line who might benefit…

Yea an easier method is to jack up the engine a little, which I was trying to avoid, didn’t want to strain the flex section of pipe, or put a strain on the engine and transmission from the axles. Didn’t have spare axle nuts.

But yea jacking up the engine would provide a little bit more clearance than I had, and would have made it easier.

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Why would you need to remove the axle nut to jack the engine up a tad, the axles by design are able to compress and extend, that is why the don’t bind up when the suspension compresses and then fall apart when you jack the car up and let the suspension hang… If the flex pipe can’t take a little flex then why even have a flex pipe, again it is by design able to flex… Unless the engine/transmissions mounts are already broke (or already needing replacement), you are not going to hurt anything jacking the engine up a little bit, heck, remove the upper mount on most engines at the timing belt and you can move the engine up and down a lot with out hurting anything… The engine is designed to move around a little in the engine compartment, that is why the engine doesn’t use solid mounts, as well as cut down on vibrations…


How about something like these hex drive sockets? Combined with a ratcheting box end wrench?

I don’t think they make shallow versions, though.

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I interpreted DMP’s comment that he placed the bottle jack’s handle over the end of a ratchet handle as a "cheater’, to provide some extra leverage. Not that the bottle jack was used to apply force to move a ratchet.

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Ah my bad. I think your right

With regards to the Tone ratchet, the warning does seem a bit scary.

But just wondering has anyone on here ever broken a ratchet before with their own two hands, without a tool to assist you in applying more force. I’d imagine your hands would be severely injured?

I sheered the anvil once of a 3/8 ratchet using a very long cheater bar.

I interpreted to mean he used the jack itself to push the handle. Let gravity bust it loose. Since I work on the floor with jackstands, I too have used my floor jack on a breaker bar or ratchet. Whatever works!

LOL… Yes George had it right!!..

I meant take the bottle jacks handle and remove it from the bottle jack, leave the bottle jack wherever and put the jacks handle over the end of the ratchet as a cheater bar/pipe to make the handle much longer for added leverage…
Sorry for any confusion…

But I am not against using the pressure from a bottle jack to help out either, I’ve done worse things… Whatever works…

I recently used a floor jack to lift a section of cement sidewalk. Agree, do whatever works.

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