What to Consider When Buying Socket Sets

socket setAn assortment of high-quality sockets, ratchets and accessories are essential for many different jobs, from the easy to the most complex maintenance work. They come in different sizes with wrench heads to match the individually sized bolts. Here are some things to consider when buying a socket set.

Socket Sizes

The different socket sizes include SAE, metric, andWhitworth sockets. The Standard Sized Socket (SAE) has its measurements in inches, which is practical for mechanics working on older car models while the metric tools are essential for working on the latest domestic and import cars with the sizes in millimetres.

A garage should have the right tools for the type of vehicle they service. However, a combination of metric and SAE is the most practical option to ensure that tools are useful for many mechanical jobs. Whitworth sockets are the third type which is likely to be featured on the British vehicles.

Drive Size

The metric and SAE sockets are available in a range of sizes which includes3/8-inch, ¼-inch, and ½-inch. The variety of sizes is to make it easy to work with different ratchets and may even require an extension unit for it to work efficiently. For those that are limited to purchasing a single drive set, it is best to go with the 3/8-inch drive as this can work with most sockets.

The ¼-inch drive sockets are preferred when it comes to working on bolts that are in tight spaces, while the ½-inch drive socket is ideal for the most substantial fasteners and can accept more torque. This socket may need a ratchet or breaker bar to tighten or loosen bolts fully.


The shape of the sockets ranges from a 12 pointed star to the six-pointed hexagons. A six-pointed one is a reliable option because its walls can sit flush to the sides of the nuts. They are ideal for applications that need more torque or rely on large hardware. But, the 12 point socket, on the other hand, is the most convenient as it is the easiest to get into position and line up, and it is intended for lighter work.

Alloy Steel

The strength and durability of a socket set can vary significantly. One tough choice is alloy steel which is heated forged with several other materials. Reliable equipment is essential as you can expect long-term service and can handle demanding jobs. When it comes to buying sockets, always do proper research before making a choice. Also, buy only from reliable dealers. It is perhaps the only way that you can get sockets that fit your needs.