Updated: November 2017
Socket Wrench Reviews:Best Socket Wrench Sets - Tools are really the best evidence of man's evolution and advancement. That and our ability to operate them. From the first rudimentary stone tools to today's complex designs and capabilities, man (and woman) has a natural instinct to create new, more effective tools to make their lives easier. Of course other species have been known to use tools - but we're pretty sure they don't use socket wrenches. A socket set is one of the most essential of tools and a must in anyone's tool set - whether you are a professional mechanic or builder or you want to do your own repairs. If you're among the latter group, you may be overwhelmed at the selection of socket wrenches on the market. Are they all the same? What makes one socket wrench better than the other? Which ones do you need for your particular purposes? Instead of going into the store, picking up the first - or cheapest - socket set you see, take a bit of time to determine what you really need. You'll save time and probably a great deal of money. But it is definite that you will save yourself a lot of aggravation when you're working on a project. So let's delve into the fascinating world of socket wrenches. Well, if not fascinating, then certainly utilitarian.
Socket Wrench Basics - Socket wrenches should be a part of your standard tool box, as we mentioned. But why? What do they do? Wrenches in general have one job: to hold nuts, bolts, caps, screws, and other threaded pieces in place and turn them. There are various kinds, including pipe, adjustable, combination, and box wrenches. Socket wrenches have a drive piece (like a handle) that has a spring-loaded bearing on the end. To this, you can lock your sockets, which typically have 6 or 12 points. Sockets come in different sizes to accommodate different jobs. The advantage of using a socket wrench is that they can be used at any angle, so you can fit into some pretty odd spaces that other wrenches can't. They are also better for tightening or loosening nuts faster and easier and provide a secure fit so you don't slip. Socket wrenches are widely used in the automotive field, as well as any field which involves machinery. They can really be used anywhere there are nuts and bolts - which is everywhere! A handy tool to say the least. Choosing the Best Socket Set - Fortunately, there is a wide variety of socket wrenches to complete a range of jobs. Unfortunately for tool novices, however, that means there is a flood of products with different attributes and features. There is no one single perfect socket set for every job. But fortunately again, there are great socket sets that include ratchets (the socket wrench handle thingie in layman's terms) and a wide selection of sockets for them. We deduce that if you're reading this guide, you most likely want a standard set for general uses. Here are some suggestions before you buy:
*Sockets come with either 6 or 12 points. Twelve points are designed to grab the points of a nut or bolt. It seems that the 12 point would be better, right? More is better. Not really in this case though. The sockets with 6 points make better contact with the bolt or nut so you have a much firmer grasp. This makes it less likely that you will strip a bolt and also makes it possible to grab stripped bolts.
*Look for a 3/8-inch set. This is the most appropriate for your everyday needs.
*Don't go super cheap. We know that price is important, but so is quality. If you buy a cheap socket set, the quality of the metal is lower. This means that the tools won't be effective. And that you have to go back to the store and get a more expensvie set.
*Either get two sets - one with metric sockets and one with standard - or get a set that has both. Different bolts have different measurements, and metric and standard tools are not interchangeable. A good example of why you'd need both: the same car will require both metric and standard sockets. Browse the best selling sockets sets online here.