GearWrench 120XP Ratchet - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

This new design features 120 ratcheting positions in a 360° rotation, providing a 3° swing arc. The very narrow swing makes this ratchet much easier to use in cramped spaces where you wouldn't be able to use a ratchet with a wider swing.


GearWrench 120XP Ratchet

GearWrench recently introduced a line of 120XP ratchets, which incorporate a new ratchet design that delivers 120 ratcheting positions in a 360° rotation, providing a 3° swing arc. This very narrow swing makes the ratchet much easier to use in cramped spaces where you wouldn't be able to use a ratchet with a wider swing.

The new design also features a teardrop shaped head that has a lower profile than found on other ratchets. The head also has a flush mounted on/off (tightening/loosening) switch. These two features make the 120XP ratchet better able to fit into narrow spaces than ratchets with thicker heads.

The 120XP ratchets exceed ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) B107.14 specifications for torque performance.



Available in three drive sizes

The 120XP wrenches are available in three drive sizes - 1/2" (81304P), 3/8" (81211P), and 1/4" (81011P). The ratchets are also available as a set (81206P) that includes all three drive sizes. Additionally, you can purchase each ratchet packaged with a set of SAE and metric 6-point standard and deep sockets: a 1/4" set with 51 pieces (80300P), a 3/8" set with 56 pieces (80550P), and a 1/2" set with 49 pieces (80700P).

I tried the 3/8" ratchet, which has an overall length of 8-3/8" and weighs approximately 10.5 ounces. The ratchet is made of premium alloy steel and has a chromed finish.


Comfortable chromed handle

The bottom part of the arm -the handle - is about 3-3/4" long, and 21/32" at its thickest. There is a slight tapering towards the end, which provides a natural resting place for your small finger. Overall, I found the handle very comfortable. What I particularly like about all chromed tools is that they're very easy to clean - just wipe them down with a rag at the end of the day.


Compact head design

The teardrop shaped head on the 120XP is noticeably more compact than on other ratchets I've used. It's 1/2" thick and 1-3/16" at its widest. The on/off switch is raised above the head by only 1/16", yet is easy to manipulate with your thumb. This ultra low profile relly improves access in tight spaces.


3/8" drive with ball detent

The 3/8" drive has a standard spring-loaded ball detent mechanism to hold sockets firmly in place. A metal cover plate with a snap ring seals the gear and pawls from dust and other debris.


60-tooth gear attached to drive head

With the cover plate removed you can see the ratcheting gear and just below it the pawls. The gear has a series of 60 teeth milled into its circumference. The gear and pawls are made of a proprietary steel alloy that is designed for long-term durability under extreme stress loads.


Gear removed showing stacked pawls and spring loaded plunger

With the gear removed you can see that there are two pawls, one stacked on top of the other. The top pawl has 10 teeth, while the bottom pawl has 11 teeth, and they alternately engage the 60 teeth on the ratcheting gear. It's this alternating motion that creates the short, 3° movement of the drive.


Smooth ratcheting action with an exceptionally short swing

What you get with the GearWrench 120XP Ratchet is a well-designed tool with superb fit and finish. It's comfortable to grasp, and is well-balanced in the hand. 

The ratcheting action is very smooth, and it has the shortest swing of any ratchet on the market. The 120XP comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and can be had for under $45.


  • 8-3/8" long
  • Polished chromed steel body
  • Double-stacked pawls
  • 60-tooth gear
  • 3° arc swing
  • 3/8" drive
  • Low-profile teardrop head
  • Flush-mounted tightening/loosening switch
  • 10.5 ounce weight
  • Limited lifetime warranty

MADE IN:Taiwan
SOURCE:Locate a Retailer
Carl Duguay, February 2013
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