All About the Different Types of Socket Sets

types of socket sets

Simply socket means a hollow cylindrical tube that fits into something to revolves. A socket set is a combination of a number of sockets of usual sizes that are used for fastening or loosening any fasteners.

To work with a socket, you will need a ratchet or driver. This is also possible to add extensions with them to work in hard to reach positions. Using universal joint sockets can be driven at any angle. Socket sets are available in different sizes, shapes, and types to deal with different situations.

There is a large variety of socket available for different tasks. Here we will discuss only the most common types of them.

Six Point or Hex Sockets

This type of socket is widely used. They are for six-point fasteners. They can be different in size like deep, shallow, semi-deep. Generally, they are forged from chrome vanadium steel and suitable for light to moderate mechanical tasks. 

Universal Joint

Generally, a socket can be driven vertically or horizontally but what if you have an inclined position? In such a situation, a universal joint is a good solution. There is to hinge on this type of sockets that can move in two directions and thus give the user an inclined driving facility.

Pass-Through Sockets

Pass-through sockets are used when the shaft of the fasteners is large. This type of socket has passed through the hole in them. To drive this type of sockets you will need a pass-through ratchet. Where regular sockets can’t reach, this type of sockets can help you.

Star Socket

For star type fasteners they are used there is no big difference between hex and star type of sockets except the shape. They can be standard star socket and star plus socket. They are used for new model wheel fasteners.

Spark Plug Socket

Spark Plug sockets are for removing Spark Plugs of motor engines. Generally, they have the size of 3/8”.

Bit Socket

Bits socket is simply a combination of bit and socket. Bits can be of any size and shape and the sockets are of hex shape. They are used as a screwdriver.

Impact Socket

Impact sockets are used by professionals and mostly work with the impact wrench. Due to the heavy torque of impact wrench, these sockets have greater strength and forged from chrome molybdenum steel. This type of steel is very hard and also brittle. So care is needed while driving these type of sockets. Make sure you don’t apply an excessive load to them for removing any rusted fastener. You will find a wide use of these type of bits in the automobile manufacturing factories and professional garages.

Combo Wrench Set vs Socket Set – Which is Best?

A combination wrench has two turners, one open end and another socket at the other end. This is an old type of tool that was widely used in the past and now the usage of it is going lower.

Pros for a Combination Wrench Set

  • No need to attach any extensions.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Ratio maintain size and handle

Pros for a Socket Set

  • Easy maintenance.
  • Easy to organize and carry.
  • Can reach the harder places.
  • Attaching extension is possible.

Cons for Combination Wrench

  • Takes more place to room.
  • Heavyweight.
  • Can’t reach complex places.
  • Fixed handle length.
  • A socket is used for fastening fasteners with the help of a ratchet. This is no widely used for mechanical works.

Cons for a Socket Set?

  • Needs to be attached with a ratchet for use.

Between these two, I prefer socket sets for work because of their ease of use.


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