It is difficult to answer because it depends on the size of the ratchet, the size of the socket, and the strength of the person using it. However, as a general rule, you can apply around 50-250 foot-pounds (ft-lbs) of torque with a ratchet.
Depending on the size of the ratchet, the torque is the following: a ratchet with a one-inch drive can apply up to a torque of 250 foot-pounds. A ratchet with a three-quarter inch drive can apply up to a torque of 175 foot-pounds. And a ratchet with a half-inch drive can apply up to the torque of 100 foot-pounds.
What does torque depend on?
The amount of torque you can apply with a ratchet is directly related to the amount of leverage it provides, so smaller ratchets are capable of providing less torque than larger ones.
More specifically, the size of your socket matters as well. A larger socket will provide more contact area and thus more grip on the bolt or nut you are trying to tighten or loosen, which will result in more torque.
Finally, your strength and handgrip also influence how much torque you can apply with a ratchet. Generally speaking, the stronger you are and the better your grip, the more torque you will generate.
Can too much applied torque damage a ratchet?
In general, it’s essential to use the correct amount of force. Excessive force can cause the gears in the tool to bind and wear down, which may eventually lead to failure. On the other hand, too much torque can even warp or break the ratchet head in some cases.
Too much-applied torque can undoubtedly damage a ratchet, but it’s also possible to use too much force when tightening a bolt with a ratchet. It can cause the bolt to snap, which will damage the ratchet. In general, it’s essential to use the correct amount of force.
How to avoid the damage of ratchet?
There are a few ways to avoid the damage of ratchet.
To avoid damaging your ratchet, be sure to use only the torque needed for the job. If you experience problems with your ratchet, such as gear binding or excessive wear, take it to a professional mechanic for repairs.
Another way to avoid the damage of ratchet is to use a hollow handle ratchet. A hollow handle ratchet can allow you to get more torque on the fastener, but it also allows some room for deformations between the handle and the fastener, which prevents damage to both sides.