Tool review: Ingersoll Rand R3130 3/8" 20V cordless ratchet

Jim Phillips a tech at Lau’s Tire and Auto in Milwaukee, WI, claims to be a cordless power tools skeptic. But, he also doesn’t like dealing with the air hose, so he gave the Ingersoll Rand R3130 3/8" 20V cordless ratchet a shot.

"When I researched the product before receiving it, I rolled my eyes on the point made of not having to get the air hose," says Phillips. "But then, I used it and found myself recalling that each time." While Phillips says using an air hose isn’t that cumbersome, it is one more step that he can avoid when using the R3130.

"There’s also the time savings of not having to switch my air hose from my 3/8" impact to the 3/8" ratchet," says Phillips. Calling it a "mind-saver" versus a time-saver, Phillips adds,"When I’m in a hurry, I’m trying to stay focused on the job, and finding the coupler at the end of the 3’ whip hose to change it over, or stopping to move my hose out of someone’s way, all adds clutter to my train of thought."

Phillips used the tool straight out of the box, and found the operation easy and straightforward. When he had to charge the battery, he liked that the charger displayed the current state of charge, and notified him when it was done charging.

"I’ve never used a cordless ratchet before, and I love this one," says Phillips. "I love the variable speed control, and the great torque, as well as the halting when it reaches its max torque. Rather than breaking my knuckles by pushing it into something, as air ratchets do, this one simply stops turning. Then I would release the trigger and reapply."

"I initially thought the size would get in the way, but found I could work around most of the confined areas, including dashboard work."

In addition to interior/dash work, Phillips used the tool for work on water pumps, spark plugs, battery cable ends, exhaust, steering and suspension parts.

"It has become my first choice whenever possible," says Phillips.

He also mentioned that he appreciates the durability and light weight of the tool.

While he found many great features, Phillips has one suggestion for an improvement. He says he’s continually looking for ways to reduce fatigue on the job since he deals with arthritis in his neck that affects his arms. He found the directional change switch on the R3130 requires a second hand. His one suggested change to the tool would be to re-position this switch for easy, one-handed operation.

Although he doesn’t require it for most of his work, Phillips is interested in the optional greater capacity battery for longevity, and he thinks an LED on the unit might help illuminate the area for some repairs.

Overall, Phillips rates the R3130 an eight out of 10. His main concern is long-term use of the battery for the cordless tool, and how much it may cost for battery replacement in the future. Otherwise, the ratchet works just as intended, and Phillips appreciates the cordless feature for the jobs he needs to complete.