A socket set is used for fastening and loosening nuts and bolts. Sockets of varying sizes can be attached to a torque wrench and used as a tightening tool for a variety of purposes.
It is imperative for you as a home or car owner to have this essential tool to ensure that fasteners are tightened completely and to the right level. This will ensure the safety of your car and other appliances.
Choosing the right socket for your particular purpose may not be easy. Below is a rundown of factors you should consider to make the right choice when shopping for a socket set.
1. Socket Sizing – Metric and SAE units
The proper socket size is extremely important. However, as you consider the right size, you have to keep in mind that some sockets come in metric measurements (millimeters) only while other are in SAE (inch) measurements only. Others have both SAE and metric units. Although most American products have inch-based measurements, some foreign products use metric nuts and bolts. Thus, it would be wise to buy a socket set that caters for both metric and SAE bolts and nuts.
2. Impact vs Standard Sockets
If the purpose you intend to use your socket set requires an impact wrench, you may need to choose sockets that are made for impact applications. This is because impact sockets can tolerate high torque created by impact tools. Although this may seem like a trivial consideration, it is important to note that using a standard socket with impact tools can jeopardize your safety because the sockets may fail and cause pieces to break away.
3. Drive Size
The work you do will determine the drive size of your socket and the equipment you are likely to be working on. However, it is advisable to buy a large socket size because it will come with a variety of socket and ratchet sizes. This will ensure that you can work on a wide range of tasks.
4. Deep vs Shallow Depth Socket
One of the benefits of a socket wrench set is that the head of a bolt can fit sideways onto a ratchet tool. This can help you to get into tighter spaces. However, with a shallow socket head, it may be impossible to get into some spaces. On the other hand, deep well sockets can work even for jobs that require relatively longer sockets for the bolts that may be deep within.
5. Six or twelve points
It is important to remember that there are six-point and twelve-point sockets. Point, in this case, refers to of angle cuts into your socket. Twelve-point can be used to handle common household projects and repairs. However, if your socket set is for motorcycles, cars, and mowers, it is advisable to go for six-point sockets.
6. The Socket Organizer
A case is necessary for keeping your sockets organized and ready to use. When shopping for a socket set, you will find that they come in different types of cases. In most cases, high-quality sockets also come with durable cases. Remember that when it comes to buying sockets, you get what you pay for. Thus, you will have to strike a balance between quality and price to get a durable case in addition to a superlative socket set.