A socket set is an essential tool to keep at home or in the car. It allows the user to tackle a number of different jobs a lot more efficiently than wrenches will often complete it. Owning one of these sets is essential to a wide variety of people who prefer to work with their hands including DIYers, homeowners and mechanics. Sorting through them and finding the best socket set can be frustrating, however. There are an almost endless variety of sets available. There are SAE or metric ones, shallow and deep sockets, and all kinds of extensions and other tools that can be found in them. That’s why I’ve listed ten of the best socket set products that are currently out there.
10. Neiko 03043A Right Angle 17-Piece Set
This socket and dual-drive head ratchet wrench bit set comes with a number of sockets which make it extremely useful. It comes with 1/4-inch drive sockets and drive bits from 3/16-inch through 1/4-inch. It also comes with a Philips #1 and #2, 5mm and 6mm slotted bits and a number of Torx including T8, T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, and T30. The bits in this set are made of chrome vanadium steel and are designed to be resistant to corrosion and to be extremely durable. This set is an inexpensive and simple solution that’s designed to handle all kinds of tasks.
9. Stanley STMT71651 85-Piece Set
This 85-piece set features some of the more popular sockets that a user needs to complete repairs around the home or for car repair. All of the tools in this set are made out of chrome vanadium and is forged to provide the user with durability and high-strength. And the tools have quick release switches and reversible mechanisms that make them easy to use. They are stored in a blow molded carrying case that keeps them organized and safe. It has a nice combination of SAE and metric sockets that have a chrome finish and are resistant to corrosion.
8. Crescent CSWS10 52-Piece Set
This set comes with a 72-tooth crescent ratchet that’s designed to deliver a 5-degree swing arc and are coated with a chrome vanadium steel coating that’s polished to a mirror surface. It also comes with a 6-inch extension, a variety of 6-pt sockets include 5/32-inch, 3/16-inch, and 1/2-inch sizes, as well as 6-pt deep-sockets including a 7/32-inch, 1/4-inch, and 7/16-inch sizes. And it’s all stored in a durable case that’s designed to keep the ratchet, the sockets and the extension stored safely inside and organized. It’s a durable set that’s quite useful for DIY enthusiasts.
7. Sunex 3342 Drive Master 42-Piece Impact Set
This set contains a fine selection of metric, deep metric, SAE and deep SAE sockets which make it useful for any job it’s tasked with doing. They are designed from high-impact grade steel and are engineered to be extremely durable and to be strong. Some of the sockets in this set include SAE and deep SAE 5/16-inch, 9/16-inch and 11/16-inch sockets, Metric and deep metric 10mm, 14mm, 16mm and 19mm, a 3-inch extension and a 3/8-inch U-joint. It’s a set that’s designed to be versatile and to give the user the options they need to perform any job.
6. Capri Tools CP30002 S2 Metric 13-Piece Set
This socket bit set is made from heat-treated and drop-forged steel that makes it one of the longest lasting bit sets in its size. This metric set features some of the more common sockets needed for working on automobiles, lawn mowers, farm equipment, and appliances. The bits in this set meet or exceed ANSI standards and are backed by a lifetime replacement guarantee from the manufacturer. Some of the sizes included in this set are 2mm, 2.5mm, 4mm and 6mm sets in 1/4-inch size; 7mm, 8mm, and 10mm in 3/8-inch size and 12mm and 14mm in 1/2-inch size.
5. EP Auto 40-Piece Set With Reversible Ratchet
Manufactured using a chrome vanadium steel alloy that makes them resistant to corrosion, this 40-piece set has a number of sockets which make it useful to own. It comes with a 1/4-inch drive with a 6-inch spinner handle, a 3/8-inch reversible ratchet, a spin disk, a 3/8-inch x 1/4-inch adapter, a 3/8-inch by 3-inch extension bar and a variety of metric and SAE sockets. And all of these tools come in a molded case that helps to keep them secure and organized so the right tool is always at hand. It’s an ideal unit that’s designed to handle even tough jobs.
4. Tekton 1/2-Inch Shallow Impact Metric Set
Designed to be used with impact wrenches, this 14-piece set is designed to only deliver the basics without having a bunch of sockets which the user doesn’t need. Their shallow socket depth allows the user to get to nuts that are located in tight spots and are designed to be strong and reliable. These sockets are made from forged and heat treated chrome vanadium and is coated with a black phosphate finish to resist corrosion. These sockets range from 11mm to 32mm and are encased in a storage case that keeps them secure and organized.
3. Alltrade 648635 Axle Nut Kit
Designed exclusively to remove front wheel drive axle nuts, this set contains a 30mm, 32mm, 34mm and 36mm sockets that can cover just about any car. They are impact-rated 6-point sockets made out of chrome vanadium and are designed to be corrosion resistant and durable. This set comes with a storage case that keeps all of the sockets together and contains usage instruction on the inside of its lid. It’s a set that can be appreciated by mechanics or auto enthusiasts who need high-quality sockets to get their work done.
2. Dewalt DWMT73813 23-Piece Set
This set has a unique case which allows it to connect to other compatible Dewalt sets so they can be easily transported or stored. The case is lockable and durable and has a transparent lid. Inside of this innovative case are 23-pieces which include a 1/2-inch drive quick-release ratchet, a 5-inch extension, 1/2-inch SAE sockets include 1/2, 9/16, 5/8 and 11/16 sockets; 6-pt metric sockets which include 13mm, 15mm and 24mm sockets and a drill driver adapter. This may not be the biggest set but it does contain a wide variety of sockets that is useful for all kinds of different jobs.
1. Dewalt DWMT75049 192-Piece Mechanics Tools Set
This 192-piece mechanics tool set not just contains a selection of commonly used sockets but it contains almost every socket a person would need for working on cars, for appliance repair or any other conceivable job. The pieces are made of knurled beauty rings that provide a non-slip surface that’s easy-to-hold and grip. Included in this set are three pear head ratchets, extensions, adapters and universal joints. All of the sockets are laser etched with the socket size for easy identification. And all of these pieces are in a highly-durable case that can be transported easily to a work site.
Socket Set Guide
With so many different types of socket sets to choose from, it can be hard to tell a good deal from a bad one. There is a lot of quality out there, but some companies prey on those who aren’t as knowledgeable.
To stop them from taking advantage of you, educate yourself with our guide to socket sets. We will look at why they are a good idea, and what you should look for.
There are a few to choose from and you need to make sure you get it right. Check with the sort of screws your car works with before purchasing but the most common types are the hexagonal bolt which you will find to be the easiest socket set to get your hands on. Don’t get caught short when trying to use them for the first time and make sure everything is correct.
Only use impact sockets with an impact gun as they have been designed to withstand the higher torque.
To make things a little more confusing, there are different types of sizing to add to the different fasteners. Metric and SAE sizing are what you will need to consider, find out the one that is appropriate for your vehicle before buying.
You might not need the added reach for the first job you use a socket set for, but this doesn’t mean that the next one will be as straight forward. This is why it is always good to purchase a socket set that comes with deep sockets, just make sure they are in the sizes appropriate for what you usually use them for.
When investing in something like a socket set, it is always a good idea to protect your purchase by making sure it comes with a warranty. Because the higher-quality products comes at a price, you’d expect them to come with some sort of guarantee that makes the decision easier.
What Type Of Work Are You Doing?
For infrequent DIY enthusiasts, you won’t need the heavy-duty impact socket sets that are used by the experts. A non-impact socket set might be fine for the work you are going to be doing, although there is nothing wrong with upgrading.
Impact socket sets are more expensive so make sure the purchase is necessary before buying.
Why Should I Use A Socket Set?
The short way of talking them up is by saying they are more convenient than other methods, but here is everything you need to know:
They Make The Job Easier
When using a spanner, there is a lot of labour intensive work involved which can take its toll over many bolts. A socket set allows you to loosen and tighten the nuts and bolts with ease.
They Are Convenient
The alternative to buying a socket set is to make sure you have the correct sized tools for the job. Otherwise, you face having to buy a multitude of spanners to make sure you always have the right size and shape for the work you are doing. A socket set packs away conveniently, usually in a box where everything has its place.
Less Likely To Cause Damage
Because a socket set allows you to grip the bolt from all sides, it is less likely to damage the fastener than a 2-sided spanner. Because socket sets are designed to grip flat edges, they protect the corners from wear and tear, making it easier to loosen and tighten them again next time.
They Have Many Uses
Most people immediately think of cars at the mention of a socket set and although this is the most common use, other jobs are made easier by having them around. With the right socket, you can also be used on the side of computer hard drives and some even use in-hex sockets on bikes.
How To Maintain A Socket Set
The key is to treat them as though you want them to last. Always clean away dirt by brushing the surface to increase their longevity. The easiest way is to use an old toothbrush. Dry them off with a paper towel to make sure they do not rust and always store them in the designated case to keep everything together.
With a lot to choose from, you can guarantee there is a product that is right for your needs. Be sure to check on the sizing asnd fastener type you require before you buy and if you can, try and buy a complete set to make sure you only ever need one.