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Essential Automotive Tools

Like that favorite set of ratcheting hand wrenches, these cordless introductions promise to become an indispensable part of your shop tool arsenal. That prediction is based on these tools’ compact designs; they let you readily work in tight engine cavities. 

1 Super-powerful angle ratchet
The 20-volt battery on Ingersoll Rand’s ½-inch anvil R3150 ratchet wrench provides the power needed to turn out operating torque similar to a comparable air tool. Offering up to 54 foot-pounds of torque, the ratchet employs an all-metal gear train for long life.

The slim-line design combined with the 16-inch-long reach of the 4½-pound (with battery) tool provides for easy access into the smallest work spaces. The 20-volt ratchet is also available in a ³∕8-inch anvil-drive model. 

The list price on the R3150 (tool only) is $371, which includes a three-year warranty. For more information, go to

2 Ratchet fits over any length bolt
What makes Craftsman’s cordless ratchet unique in the marketplace is the tool’s Max Axess pass-through design. It lets you work with long rods and bolts without employing super-deep sockets. Instead, the tool employs Craftsman open-end ³∕8-inch sockets that snap into the driver.

The low-profile design and 9-inch-length of the Max Axess Auto Ratchet allows it to reach into narrow work areas to readily loosen or tighten fasteners.

The CMC3 ratchet has a 19.2-volt lithum-ion battery and turns out 360 inch-pounds of operating torque. 

Features include forward-reverse operation, a variable-speed trigger, dual LED work lights, and an all-metal head construction for durability.

Suggested list price for the tool (no battery or charger) and four Max Axess sockets is $69.99, which includes a one-year warranty. For more, go to

3 Grinder designed for tight spaces
Weighing 4 pounds and measuring 112∕3 inches long (without the battery), Hitachi’s 18-volt grinder powers a 4½-inch-diameter wheel (employing a 7∕8-inch arbor) at speeds up to 9,100 rpm. 

With an aluminum gear case for durability and strength, the lithum-ion-powered G18DSLP4 features a small-diameter grip covered in soft elastomer for a slip-resistant hold. 

An overcurrent protection circuit shuts down power in the event of overload, reducing the risk of causing permanent motor damage. 

The tool offers externally accessible brushes for easy replacement.

The suggested retail price on the G18DSLP4 tool (no battery or case) is $89.98, which includes a one-year warranty. For more information, go to

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