A brief guide to purchasing socket sets

There are many types of socket sets available in the market for you to buy, but before we look at the various classifications, let’s delve into what a socket set is.

What is a socket set?

The purpose of a socket set is to enable mechanics and maintenance workers to quickly slacken, tighten or remove bolts altogether from vehicles and machines in various tasks. Sockets sets differ in the grade of a set, as there are sets for beginners up to professional level and are available in hard carry cases to make them highly portable for use in maintenance or garage settings or trays which are perfect to store in a toolbox.

Socket set measurements

Traditionally, socket sets were measured imperially, such as the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) type of socket used in the US on domestic vehicles. Contemporary vehicles generally need metric sockets measured in millimeters and are commonly found in most UK garages. If you run a busy garage, it’s best to have both types of sets on hand for all eventualities.

Drive size

Metric and SAE socket sets come in three distinct drive sizes – 1/4″,3/8″ and 1/2″.Each different drive size will use a specific size ratchet handle and potentially an extension for removing stubborn nuts or bolts. As you would anticipate, the smaller sockets are for use by smaller drive sizes and vice versa for larger sockets. The smaller1/4″ dr ves are helpful primarily for smaller nuts or bolts located in restricted spaces. In contrast, the larger1/2″ drives are best suited to more extensive and robust fasteners that need a ratchet or breaker to tighten or loosen.

Shallow or deep sockets?

Shallow sockets have a wide range of applications and are commonly used for smaller nuts and bolts. Deep sockets are convenient when the nut you are attempting to tighten or loosen is especially large. A shallow socket won’t reach the nut before the bolt connects with the end of the socket, but a deep socket will comfortably house the bolt and fit the nut to enable you to perform the task. Without a set of deeper sockets, you would need a spanner to finish the job.

Types of finish available for socket sets

Socket sets are given a surface finish to protect them from corrosion and wear and tear from general usage. Chrome plating and black oxide are the two main finishes applied to a socket set. Chrome plating is widely seen on most sockets, whereas black oxide is only used for impact sockets that must undergo a power tool’s stress and rigour. While a chrome plating finish is perfectly suitable for manual operation, the power of an Impact wrench would damage the plating and leave the socket with little corrosion resistance.

Buy your socket sets from FJW online

At FJW,we stock a full range of socket sets, including all drive sizes and impact socket sets,to satisfy your automotive requirements when tightening or loosening fasteners. Check our online store to review our range of innovative and high-quality Welzh Werkzeug socket sets.