This study intends to compare ratcheting response of 42CrMo, 1020, SA333 and SS304 steel alloys over uniaxial stress cycles evaluated by a parametric ratcheting model and Bower's hardening rule. The parametric ratcheting equation was formulated to describe triphasic stages of ratcheting deformation over stress cycles. Mechanistic parameters of mean stress, stress amplitude, material properties and cyclic softening/hardening response of materials were employed to calibrate parametric equation. Based on the framework of cyclic plasticity theory, the modified Armstrong–Frederick nonlinear hardening rule of Bower was employed to assess ratcheting response of steel alloys under uniaxial stress cycles. Bower's model was chosen mainly due to simplicity of the model and its lower number of constants required to predict ratcheting strain over stress cycles as compared with other hardening rules. Ratcheting strain values predicted by Bower's model showed good agreements over stage I of stress cycles as compared with experimental values of ratcheting strain. Beyond of stage I stress cycles, Bower ratcheting strain rate stayed constant resulting in an arrest in ratcheting process. The predicted ratcheting strains based on the parametric equation were found in good agreements over three stages of ratcheting as compared with those of experimentally obtained.