Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


DeWalt Atomic 20V and Xtreme 12V Cordless Ratchets

DeWalt Cordless Ratchets Bring New Options for Mechanics

DeWalt Cordless Ratchets come in various degrees sizes and they have models that operate on either the 12V Xtreme or 20V Atomic platform. DeWalt’s new cordless ratchets join products from other manufacturers who have released similar automotive tools. Will these new DeWalt Atomic 20V ratchets and 12V Xtreme ratchets provide a suitable solution for mechanics who need a solid combination of torque and speed?


DeWalt Cordless Ratchets Common Features

Each of the DeWalt cordless ratchets features a brushless motor. The tools also include a handy LED light to make it easier to work in dark spaces. Mechanics should definitely find this convenient when working underneath hoods and chassis as well as when repairing larger machinery and equipment.

DeWalt designed these ratchets for both their Xtreme 12V Max line as well as their Atomic Compact 20V Max line of cordless power tools. Each platform boasts its own combination of size, torque, and runtime. The DeWalt Xtreme 12V ratchets focus on 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch drive sizes while the 20V Atomic model includes 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drive heads. All models feature the expected forward and reverse two-finger switch along with variable speed control.

DeWalt Xtreme 12V Brushless 1/4 in. Ratchet (DCF504B)

The design of the DeWalt Xtreme 12V 1/4-inch ratchet allows it to remove small nuts and bolts, even in compact areas. Automotive work tends to be greasy, but the standard glass-filled nylon tool housing resists many automotive fluids. This should make it easy to wipe off the tool and keep it working over time. Look for this DeWalt cordless 12V ratchet to provide around 40 ft-lbs of max torque to its 1/4-inch square drive.

Additional Features

  • Speed: 250 RPM (variable)
  • Compatible with all DeWalt 12V batteries and chargers.
  • Trigger lock
  • Forward/reverse switch

You can buy the DeWalt DCF504B at Acme Tools or your favorite DeWalt retailer for $179 as a bare tool. The 12V battery and charger are sold separately.

DeWalt Xtreme 12V Max Brushless 3/8 in. Ratchet (DCF503B)

Another size variation, the DeWalt 3/8-inch Xtreme 12V cordless ratchet is much like the 1/4-inch listed above. It bears the same glass-filled nylon tool housing and you get the same 250 RPM maximum speed. The main difference between these two tools is power and torque. With the DeWalt DCF503B 3/8-inch cordless ratchet, you get up to 60 ft-lbs of max torque. That’s a 50% increase over the 1/4-inch ratchet and lets you tackle even more projects.

Additional Features

  • Speed: 0-250 RPM (variable)
  • LED Light
  • Compatible with all DeWalt 12V batteries and chargers.
  • Trigger lock
  • Forward/reverse switch

The DeWalt DCF503B is a bare tool and the same price as the 1/4-inch model. Pick it up for around $179 at Acme Tools. The battery and charger are sold separately.

DeWalt Xtreme 12V Brushless 3/8 in. Extended Reach Ratchet (DCF503EB)

The final tool in the DeWalt 12V Max cordless line is the 3/8-inch Extended Reach Ratchet. DeWalt designed this tool to help mechanics and technicians reach well into confined workspaces. Its long, extended neck provides a few more inches to extend into those tight areas. It has the same amount of max torque, 60ft-lbs, as the 3/8-inch ratchet.

Additional Features

  • LED Light
  • Speed: 0-250 RPM (variable)
  • Compatible with all DeWalt 12V batteries and chargers.
  • Trigger lock
  • Forward/reverse switch

The DeWalt Xtreme 12V Brushless 3/8 in. Extended Reach Ratchet retails for $189 as a bare tool. Pick it up at Acme Tools or your favorite DeWalt dealer.

DeWalt Atomic Compact 20V Brushless 3/8 in. Ratchet (DCF513B)

Getting into the more powerful of the DeWalt cordless ratchets, the DeWalt powers its Atomic line of cordless ratches with a 20V battery instead of the 12V packs. Right off the bat, this ratchet gets more power, at 70ft-lbs of max torque. It is, however, still compact enough to reach into tight areas to get the job done. It was engineered for versatility, being on the higher end of power for a cordless ratchet.

This model is available now at your favorite DeWalt retailer.

Additional Features

  • Speed: 0-250 RPM (variable)
  • LED Light
  • Variable speed control
  • Compatible with all DeWalt 12V batteries and chargers.
  • Trigger lock
  • Forward/reverse switch

You can purchase this tool starting in July 2022 as a bare tool for $199. It’s also available as a $239 kit (DCF513D1) with a contractor bag, battery, and charger.

DeWalt Atomic Compact 20V Brushless 1/2 in. Ratchet (DCF512B)

Finally, there’s the 20V Atomic Brushless 1/2-inch Ratchet. This 1/2-inch ratchet delivers up to 70 ft-lbs of torque. It has many of the same features as the rest of DeWalt’s list of ratchets.

Additional Features

  • Speed: 0-250 RPM (variable)
  • LED Light
  • Variable speed control
  • Compatible with all DeWalt 12V batteries and chargers.
  • Trigger lock
  • Forward/reverse switch

You can buy the DeWalt Atomic Compact 20V Brushless 1/2 in. Ratchet as a bare tool for $199. Pick it up at Acme Tools or your favorite DeWalt retailer.

Final Thoughts

Look at many 3/8-inch air ratchets, and you’ll see torque numbers between 30 and 50 ft-lbs. That places even the smaller 12V DeWalt ratchets in reach of their pneumatic counterparts. For the 20V tools, you potentially get even more power. We like that.

Their 12V Xtreme line features a bit more power than the Milwaukee M12 ratchets (and approximates the M12 FUEL high-speed ratchets which run at 450 RPM). Both Milwaukee Tool and Makita have higher speed options, however, if that’s your preference. The DeWalt 20V cordless ratchets definitely present the highest power available that we’ve yet seen in a cordless tool. Look to those if the increased battery size isn’t problematic. If you want a true nutrunner at the expense of power, the Makita XRW01 still blows away the competition at a stout 800 RPM—but a the expense of a maximum 35 ft-pounds of torque.


These DeWalt cordless ratchets look to fill what was an obvious gap in the company’s automotive tool lineup. We like the inline design, and the company hits many of the major touchpoints for what mechanics need in a tool like this.

Shop for DeWalt power tools on the Acme Tools website.

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