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Ratchet handles are used together with sockets; the ratchet handle is the lever arm that lets you apply torque using the socket attached to it. The reversible mechanism lets the socket turn in both directions for tightening and loosening. The design and dimensions of 1/2 inch ratchet handles are ideal for automotive maintenance and general mechanic work , in situations where higher torque is required and there is more room for work. The maximum recommended torque for a 1/2 inch ratchet handle is 4500 in-lbs.