Tool Review: SP Air 3/8" mini impact air ratchet

The SP Air 3/8" mini impact air ratchet, No. SP-7722A, provides a maximum speed of 500 rpm and a maximum torque of 55 ft/lbs. The tool includes a patent pending reaction-free impact mechanism that helps minimize damage to the user's wrist and knuckles. Comes in a compact size to safely and efficiently reach tight, space-restricted areas. The air ratchet weighs 1-3/8 lbs and is 6-1/8" long.

The review

Lou Fort, lead technician at Huntingburg, IN-based K.A.R.S. Inc., tested the 3/8" mini impact air ratchet and concluded that the tool was a real time saver.

How much time? The mini impact air ratchet "will easily cut 15 to 30 minutes off many of today's common repair jobs," according to Fort.

To put the tool to the test, the mini impact air ratchet was employed on a few lower intake manifold gasket replacements on both 3.1L and 3.4L GMs and on a Ford 2.0L SOHC alternator job.

The feature that makes the mini impact air ratchet such a timesaver is its least advertised feature: its rotating head. Fort was very impressed. "Knowing the head would rotate allowed me to position the trigger in a manner that allowed me to use the ratchet in otherwise inaccessible places," said Fort.

The articulating head came in real handy when doing the alternator R&R. "This is the one job where I made use of positioning the trigger 180 degrees from the head of the ratchet," explains Fort. "Doing so allowed me to remove the alternator's lower mounting bolt with air power over hand power."

Ease of use and the tool's inherent speed also stuck out. "The speed of the ratchet is amazing; it is equally fast in both forward and reverse," said Fort. "Nothing could be easier, hook up your air hose – put the socket you need on – select the direction and power level you want, then squeeze the trigger."

It is also worth noting that in real shop conditions the tool was as powerful as advertised. "The SP-7722A delivered a consistent 40 ft/lbs of force in forward and in reverse it had no problem removing bolts torqued at 45 ft/lbs," noted Fort. "SP's mini air ratchet is a clear contender, if not the champion, in this class of impacting air ratchets."

Fort's verdict? "The SP-7722A is an easy 10 at this time." He acknowledged that there was no sure way of knowing long term reliability, but he believed the tool felt solid. "The manual has an excellent breakdown of the parts make-up of the ratchet, handy for future repair needs," he also noted. For this reason, Fort should be able to enjoy using his SP mini impact air ratchet for many years.