CMS-Japanese Motorcycle Supply Parts

Nepros NBR290 90-tooth 1/4 Inch Ratcheting Wrench Review


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The Nepros NBR290 is a Japanese-made fine tooth quarter inch drive ratchet that I am reviewing today (available on eBay US, eBay AU and Rakuten).

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Nepros is the premium lineup within KTC's tool range. The NBR290 arrives in a very nicely presented box, reminiscent of high-end electronics more than ratchets:

Here is a review of the KTC Nepros NBR290 90-tooth quarter-inch or 6.35mm drive ratchet wrench, made in Japan to an extremely high quality.

Here is a review of the KTC Nepros NBR290 90-tooth quarter-inch or 6.35mm drive ratchet wrench, made in Japan to an extremely high quality.

Here is a review of the KTC Nepros NBR290 90-tooth quarter-inch or 6.35mm drive ratchet wrench, made in Japan to an extremely high quality.

The wrench inside:

Here is a review of the KTC Nepros NBR290 90-tooth quarter-inch or 6.35mm drive ratchet wrench, made in Japan to an extremely high quality.

Here is a review of the KTC Nepros NBR290 90-tooth quarter-inch or 6.35mm drive ratchet wrench, made in Japan to an extremely high quality.

As it proudly says on the head, it has a 90-tooth gear setup providing a 4° swing before the next tooth is engaged:

Here is a review of the KTC Nepros NBR290 90-tooth quarter-inch or 6.35mm drive ratchet wrench, made in Japan to an extremely high quality.

On the underside of the head we have the 1/4" (or 6.35mm) square drive. The socket retention mechanism is the usual ball bearing. I do like that the ratcheting mechanism can be disassembled with nothing more than a cross-head screwdriver.

Here is a review of the KTC Nepros NBR290 90-tooth quarter-inch or 6.35mm drive ratchet wrench, made in Japan to an extremely high quality.

The wrench is quite petite - the head is 22mm wide at the widest point, 11mm high excluding the square drive, is 125mm long and weighs 110gm. I find it a good size for this class of ratchet wrench - if I need the added leverage I will be using a breaker bar like this one (Nepros NBS2L review) to break a bolt free and if I'm working in a tight space inside a motorcycle frame or car's engine bay I really appreciate the smaller ratchet's ability to swing in more confined spaces than a longer one could manage.

Speaking of swing, the 4° is no joke - there's no slop in the mechanism when you start your swing, which is more than I can say about some other 120-tooth ratchets I sampled recently. The ratcheting mechanism feels crisp and tight and the backdrag is easily amongst the best (ie lowest resistance) of any ratchet wrench I have used.

If the 125mm length isn't to your liking Nepros do also offer a shorter one in the NBR290S (80mm long, eBay US, eBay CA, eBay AU) and longer in the NBR290L (175mm, eBay US, eBay CA, eBay AU). After a flex-head instead? Then you want the NBR290F (150mm, eBay US, eBay CA, eBay AU) or the NBR290FS (100mm, eBay US, eBay CA, eBay AU). Oh, and there's a stubby ratchet in the NBR290H (49mm, eBay US, eBay CA, eBay AU). All of those are 90-tooth.

Here is a review of the KTC Nepros NBR290 90-tooth quarter-inch or 6.35mm drive ratchet wrench, made in Japan to an extremely high quality.

In use the ratchet feels nice in the hand and it both looks and feels like it has been finished to a very high standard. Compared to my previous go-to 1/4" ratchet with 48 teeth the Nepros 90-tooth unit is definitely more useful in a confined space and has not skipped teeth at all when breaking loose stubborn small fasteners.

The sockets are held on well as you'd expect and the release button's action is smooth with the sockets falling away easily. I have arthritis in my fingers and a quick release button is a must-have for me - the more hand strength I expend pulling sockets off square drive pegs the less wrenching I can do that day. Others may prefer a wrench without - and I don't believe Nepros offer a 90-tooth non-quick-release ratchet at the time of writing.

Rebuild kits are available and Nepros cover the wrench with a lifetime warranty (abused tools etc. obviously don't qualify, and I think the internal gear mechanism probably counts as a consumable).

The direction selection mechanism is crisp and easy to move with your thumb.

If you're in the market for a quality high-tooth-count ratchet the Nepros offering is well worth a look. Check them out on eBay US, eBay AU and Rakuten or buy direct from Nepros.



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