Socket sets are a critical part of every toolbox, due to their diverse range and convenient storage. Whether you need to tackle smaller tasks around the house or do complex engineering, socket sets will allow you to get the job done.
In essence, a socket set is a bundle of nuts and bolts that come in a variety of shapes and sizes ideal for most, if not all, fastening tasks. Often packaged in a single briefcase or box with removable attachments, socket sets are a handy solution to several different applications. The apparatus included in these sets come in many sizes, each suitable for different types of tasks.
To help you figure out which socket set is perfect for you, we’ve put together a list of the best socket sets available on the market in 2022.
This socket set is a great option due to its superior materials and smart design features. Including a lockable, stackable case with a removable inner tray, this socket set is both convenient and portable. The socket set features sockets with hard-stamped markings for clear identification as well as knurled rings for better control. The best part is that the product even comes with a lifetime warranty, perfect for those who have lingering doubts when making purchases online.
The only downside to the product is that the case is not magnetic, so the screws and bolts fall out easily from the handle, which is a big inconvenience.
RAK Universal Socket Set includes socket wrenches with adjustable wrench handles and power drill adapters ranging from 1/4-inch to 3/4-inch. This tool enables simple access to difficult-to-reach locations. Its small size, lightweight, and ergonomic shape make it easy to use for extended periods of time. The universal socket wrench’s 54 separate steel springs in each super socket ensure a secure hold on hex nuts, hooks, and other fasteners. Whatever you’re working on, you’ll be able to obtain a firm grasp with the help of these versatile socket tools. They can withstand a torque of over 125 pounds (7mm-9mm).
Made of chrome vanadium steel with a full-polished chrome finish, this socket set is one of the more sleek-looking options available on the market. The set contains123 pieces of socket bits, with some of the most common screwdriver bits included as well. In addition, the product is designed to have a quick-release switch and a reversible mechanism for easy operating, and the case is overall compact and portable.
However, as inexpensive as this product is, the quality is subpar when compared to other AmazonBasics. The socket pieces are not well fitted in the case, causing small parts to pop out once open, which is a big annoyance.
Available in two options, one with 40 pieces and a 72 tooth ratchet and the other with 46 pieces with a 92 tooth ratchet, this product is both lightweight and well-designed. In addition, this socket set is made from treated chromium-vanadium steel alloy and is chrome-plated and mirror polished, making it corrosion-resistant and stylish.
Included in the set is a sturdy organizing case, making storage effortless. However, the case is very lightweight, so it is not as durable. In this price range, this is a great option!
If you’re searching for a high-quality socket set with a sizable parts range and sleek finish, then the LEXIVON Master HEX Bit Socket Set is your best choice.
The bits included in the set are made of drop-forged heat-treated S2 alloy steel, making them durable and long-lasting. In addition, sizes are stamped on both the sockets and the storage case for accurate precision. One of the most attractive features of this product is that it is a risk-free investment, as it comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. However, they are one of the more expensive options on the market, and might not be worth the extra budget if you are alright with compromising on quality.
Made of adaptable materials which allow for greater torque endurance, this product is a great option for engineers who are looking for a set that packs a lot more strength. The set includes 13 pieces measuring in the range of 7 mm to 19 mm. The 6-point socket design allows for exceptional grip strength on all sides of fasteners, and the extra-deep broach is also very accomodating. This socket set also strives for longevity, as it is made with heat-treated chrome vanadium steel and coated in corrosion-resistant black-phosphate finish.
The product claims to have easy-to-read high-contrast laser etching on the pieces, but the markings are difficult to read and often incorrect, making organization confusing and difficult.
Allows for greater torque endurance
Grippable 6 point socket design
Durable and robust in quality
Marking is not very readable
Less variety in pieces than other options
Best Socket Set Buying Guide
If you are looking for a socket set to add to your collection but don’t know where to start, then this is the right place. Our take on the best socket sets in 2021 will be sure to clear your doubts and suspicions.
Traditionally, good quality wrenches were considered sufficient to handle tasks involving tightening nuts and bolts, but a ratchet coupled with a socket set is undoubtedly the more convenient choice. A good socket set has a wide range of bits in varying sizes, a sturdy case, and a durable ratchet. From fixing large vehicles to taking care of menial machinery like lawnmowers, sockets sets are a great tool to have on hand at all times for any project involving machinery. However, figuring out which socket set to invest in can be a confusing task- which is why we have prepared this buying guide to help you make your decision with ultimate confidence.
What’s Included in a Socket Set?
Depending on the brand, price, and quality, each socket set has a different variety of pieces included in the set. In essence, a socket set should include a sizable range of sockets for most fastener types, primarily aimed to fit different nuts and bolts. Commonly found accessories in socket sets include ratchet, ratchet handles, extensions, universal joints, and bit adapters. A more industrial socket set can contain extra tools like pliers, hammers, or a spanner. Which accessories to look for when purchasing a socket set is entirely up to you and your needs. For the most part, you should look for a socket set that contains a good variety of socket types and sizes, a quality ratchet, and a few extensions good for hard-to-reach areas.
Sizing in Socket Sets
Socket set bits come in a variety of sizes, and it can be easy to get lost in the different dimensions if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. When purchasing a socket set it is essential to be aware of the sizing of the various parts included and whether they are appropriate for your needs.
The first concept to be tackled when it comes to sizing is which metric is followed. Many sockets catering to older domestic vehicles are measured in inches, while modern-day sets have measurements mentioned in millimeters, following the metric system. Often one socket set will have some pieces labeled in inches and others in millimeters, depending entirely on the part.
The actual size of the socket set is measured in two ways. One is the measurement of the drive socket, which is the part attached to the socket wrench. This is usually given in inches, with examples of common sizes being 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", or 1". The other measurement is that of the socket head. The size of the socket head is often in tune with the size of the drive socket.
Other than the size of the actual socket, it is important to be aware of the overall sizing of the entire set, as that is what determines what the set can be used for.
Small socket sets often have drive sockets measuring 1/4" or ⅜ inches. Head sizes in small socket sets range between 3mm to 22mm. These sizes are best for use in tight spaces.
The medium socket set has a ½” drive socket with head sizes ranging from 8 mm to 32 mm. This size is good for most standard fastening or securing tasks.
A large socket set has ¾” or 1-inch drive sockets. The head size in a large socket set will range from 19mm to 50 mm. These are required for larger fasteners where a greater force is required when tightening.
Different Types of Socket Sets
Besides the many size variations within the parts of socket sets, there are also different types of sets altogether. The type of socket set affects its make, quality, and purpose, so be careful in your selection.
Following are a few types:
Impact socket sets
The key difference between impact socket sets and standard sets is in its name. These sets are designed for a greater torque impact and are especially useful for more heavy-duty operations such as use in power tools. This quality is achieved by using softer but thicker alloys such as chrome-molybdenum steel in the material of the set.
Hex socket sets
Also known as a 6-point socket set, a hex socket set is designed in such a way that it fits over a standard hexagon-shaped nut or bolt. The alternative name of the set comes from the 6-side property of the hexagon. This socket set is easily the most common, owing to its versatility. This socket set can fit most fasteners and is suitable for all operations due to its handy 6-points of contact feature.
Does Finish Matter?
When browsing various socket set options, you will come across different types of finishes being described. To the average layman, these may seem like just a simple aesthetic feature, but the finish plays a role in the overall durability and longevity of the product.
Black oxide and chrome plating are the two common finishes that are applied to socket sets to prevent both typical wear and tear and provide anti-corrosion properties. Black oxide is the finish of choice for most impact socket sets while chrome plating is found on other standard options. The reason for choosing black oxide for impact sets lies in the chip-prone property of chrome plating. As impact sets are often subject to a greater force, a more protective layer of finish is preferred. In addition to chrome and black oxide, satin and matte finishes are also common. For extra durability, socket sets are often also heat-treated and made water-resistant. All these features make for a better product with greater robustness.
Best Socket Sets FAQs
Q: What is a socket set?
A: A socket set is an encased, organized toolbox of a variety of socket bits in many sizes. The primary function of the bits and pieces of a socket set is to fasten and secure nuts and bolts of any size or shape. You can find socket sets of varying quality, variety, and make depending on what you are looking for.
Q: What size socket set should I buy?
A: Which size is best for you is entirely up to the purpose of your purchasing a socket set. If you are looking for just a set of handy tools for use around the house, then a smaller socket set would be just fine. For more professional tasks, a larger, more heavy-duty set would be the better option. Larger sets often are heavier with big cases, so be sure to only put your money into something as convenient as it is useful.
Q: Can I use a regular socket on an impact wrench?
A: An impact socket can be used on a regular ratchet, but vice versa is not recommended. This is because impact sockets are designed for greater force and torque strength, and using a regular socket on a wrench that is expecting a socket of greater stress and impact may be damaging. The socket may shatter and in turn injure you as well, which is very dangerous.
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