A great socket set is one of the most significant things to have in a tool collection. It is easy to skip on some tools without facing significant challenges, but this is not one of those tools. If you are the individual who likes to work on your motorcycle or car during the weekend, a socket set is ideal for you. It features various cylindrical sockets that fit over bolts and nuts.
The sockets can also be fitted to a ratchet, 90-degree socket wrench, or other torque handles to assist you in tightening and loosening bolts and nuts. This can also be achieved with a conventional spanner. You can use the sockets to unbolt alternators and whip off tires. However, determining the suitable socket set for your car can be challenging if you lack the appropriate guidance. Luckily, with this buying guide and review, you can find the best socket sets for you.
Best Socket Sets Buying Guide
Considerations to Make When Purchasing Socket Sets
1. SAE or Metric Sizing
Bolts and nuts are available in either SAE or metric sizing. Therefore, you require checking the fastenings on your car prior to buying a socket set to assess the measuring system you need, or if you want the option of both.
2. Fastener Types
The most popular bolt shape is the 6-sided, hexagonal bolt, which is the shape of the majority of socket sets. But you can find other styles and shapes in the market. Hence, be sure to confirm the fastener type you are using prior to purchasing a socket set. For instance, certain cars feature numerous Torx screws, which would require a Torx socket set.
3. The difficulty of Reaching Fastenings
Based on the location of the fasteners, you may opt for a socket set that features extension bars or deep drives to make sure you can reach all the bolts and nuts. For instance, you might need an extension when accessing engine spark plugs.
4. Non-impact or Impact
You also need to consider whether you need a non-impact or impact socket set. However, this depends on whether you are searching for a socket set for occasional car repair and DIY, or if you will be involved in more intense construction work and are looking for an impact wrench, whereby you will require particular impact sockets.
Benefits of Socket Sets
1. Better Access
Slender ratchet handles, universal joints, extension bars, and deep drives all result in easier fastening and loosening bolts and nuts that are hard to reach.
2. Easier to Use than a Spanner
The idea behind employing a socket and a ratchet system is to make it easier to tighten and remove fastenings. A socket is going to fit snugly around the bolt or nut, and the mounted turning tool can be ratcheted by as little as five degrees in easily tightening and loosening the bolt.
3. Little Likelihood of Damaging the Fastener
Hex sockets offer six points of contact with your bolt instead of the two of the conventional spanner, which makes them less likely to ruin the bolt when turning since there is even distribution of pressure. Numerous sockets also have an internal radius corner design that makes sure the socket grips the bolt’s flat edges, which reduces the likelihood of the corners wearing away.
4. Space Saving
Owning a socket set with numerous sized options at a go together with a single turning tool saves space more than owning the same number of spanner options stored in your garage.
5. Has Universal Sets
Whether you are tinkering your car or bike, a socket set will always offer you the appropriate size for any bolt you encounter. A proper comprehensive socket set will have all the common fastener sizes, which ensures you can work without interruptions.
Types of Sockets
The most popular socket type in the market is the non-impact socket designed from polished metal like chrome. It is normally suitable for use on a motorcycle and car repairs as well as light DIYs. The second socket type is the impact socket that has a carbonized surface and thicker walls. It has been made to be used with an impact gun when it comes to heavier-duty jobs, which involve higher impact.
The most popular socket shape is the six-point or hexagonal. Other shapes include 12-point or double hexagonal, rounded, and square shapes. Socket sets also come with socket drives of various sizes including ¼ inch, ¾ inch, ½ inch, and 3/8 inch. These can also include deep or shallow varieties. You need always to apply the proper drive size for the specific task.
You can find socket sets in various sizes too. The bigger the set, the more options for sockets you will find. The best size for you relies on the use you are planning on as well as the variety of tasks. A universal socket set will normally have an excellent socket selection and is an ideal option if you are not sure of the socket set to buy.
Best Socket Sets Reviewed
At times, you might have a set in your garage that only requires adding some additional capabilities. This set will assist in adding deep socket capabilities ranging between 10mm and 24mm. It is a solid set but performs well when it comes with a nice half-inch ratchet. The set features impact sockets that are ideal for use with pneumatic tools. It is an excellent set to purchase if you have been utilizing cheaper options that have limited capabilities. Moreover, it features a nice carrying case to help organize your tools. If you want to add deep impact-ready sockets to your arsenal, this one is ideal.
- Highly durable
- Impact tool ready
- Variety of sockets
- Comes with an organizer
- Half-inch drive
- Sizes are not completely sequential
If you want to upgrade from hand tools, then these uniquely designed sockets offer a suitable option. The set includes 81 sockets that are designed for pneumatic tool usage. While standard tools cannot withstand extreme pressure produced by air-tools, these sockets have been engineered not to break under high torque. It features a 3/8-inch drive set with various sizes ranging between 7mm and 22mm when it comes to metrics and between 5/16 inches and one inch when it comes to standard SAE.
The sets can work with any bolt, but the set fails to feature a ratchet and extensions. These sockets are heavy-duty and have been designed for a shop setting and cannot assist you much if you have a specialized vehicle at home. But if you are looking to venture into intense mechanics, these sockets are for you.
- 6-point sockets
- 3/8-inch drive
- Variety of sizes
- Solid enough to withstand air tools
- Unsuitable for hand tools
If you are looking for a budget socket set to repair your vehicle, this one is perfect for you. The set features 69 sockets and two ratchets as well as a 3/8-inch drive. The kit is versatile and lets you repair your car at a home garage as long as you have the skills to do so. However, these sockets are unsuitable for power tools because they have been made from chrome-vanadium alloy. But the material assists in making the sockets resistant to corrosion in case you forget them on the ground for some time.
It has both deep and standard sockets in various sizes in both SAE and metric. It even features two spark plug sockets. Another drawback of the set is that it is bound to have cut corners. But the sockets will remain intact as they sit in the molded plastic.
- Very cheap
- Chrome coating
- Full set for auto repair
- Fast release ratchet
- Has shallow and deep sockets
- Unsuitable for impact tools
- A substandard case
This set features 57 sockets but lacks popularity like seen in other socket sets. However, if you are a beginner, the set will be a perfect fit. The ranges of the size are excellent, especially when you consider the price. It comes in any required size for both metric and standard measurements. The sockets are 12-point, which makes them fasten and loosen the intended bolt efficiently.
However, they don’t have the power you will find in hexagonal sockets. It might not be perfect for a person with experience, but it is novice-friendly. The set comes with two extensions and two ratchets as well as a 3/8-inch drive. However, the drive will prevent you from employing it with bigger sockets if you buy them in the future. The ratchets also fail to have a fast-release, leaving you to have to manually push and pull the sockets for fitting. If you want a cheap set that can handle most basic tasks, this set is the one for you.
- Reasonable price
- 57 pieces
- Two ratchets
- 12 point sockets
- Two extensions
- Ratchets lack a fast-release mechanism
- Loose carrying case
If you want a socket set that will serve you for life, then this one is suitable for your repair needs. It features an astounding 192 pieces. It also has a total of three ratchets including 1/2 –inch, ¼-inch, and 3/8-inch ratchets as well as five extensions. The package features bit sockets and assorted specialized pieces to fit in drivers and drills. Moreover, the brand is popular for offering quality products. Al the sockets are six-point, making them perfect for you if you have experience. However, they can be hard to use when it comes to beginners. What’s more, it has an excellent carrying case. But the case can be too bulky for long distances.
- Superior solid case
- 192 pieces
- Three ratchet sizes
- Numerous accessories
- High-quality construction
The sockets in this set are designed from a robust steel alloy that can safeguard them from damages like rust. All the components of the case are marked to ensure you can identify them easily. However, it only has 24 pieces that offer limited options. But they come in high-quality, and the sizes are suitable for the majority of common jobs. The set also features a half-inch drive that will suit your repair needs. The ratchet set has been ergonomically engineered to offer sufficient grip as well as support.
- Lifetime warranty
- Affordable price
- The ratchet has quick release
- Do not offer a broad spectrum of sockets
The Mannesmann Socket Set offers numerous options that come in 130 pieces or 215 piece sets. Many of these pieces will let you operate with intricate jobs without flustering. The cost you incur for all the sockets is fantastic. It’s very budget friendly and the six-point sockets will provide a firm grip as you work on various bolts.
- 10-year warranty
- Amazing price
- Good package
- Cannot do heavy duty jobs
- Weak bits and ratchets break under pressure
This is a lightweight set, which makes it suitable for carrying it for long distances. It comes with 45 pieces that you can employ in your repair jobs. Every piece in the case is marked and allocated its space, which makes organization easy.
- Good quality tools
- Affordable price
- Small size
This socket set has very high quality and comes with 106 pieces for your use. The sockets have been designed from vanadium steel, meaning they can withstand a lot of pressure. The socket set has a half-inch and quarter-inch drives.
- Strong carrying case
- Variety of pieces
- Lifetime warranty