Socket Sets – All You Need to Know

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Best Socket Set

Anyone who has a wide range of jobs to complete, or is just wanting to save themselves time and money, is going to need to purchase a socket set. A socket set basically comes with a number of different sockets that you will be able to add to your tools. They are usually used by mechanics or car enthusiasts, where a number of different sockets are needed on different parts. However, they can also be used for DIY jobs around the job when looking to remove nuts and bolts.

Using an incorrect socket or a “best fit” can lead to you damaging not only whatever it is that you are working on but also the tools themselves! This can be costly and cause future problems, which is why you are always better using the right tool for the job.

There are loads of different socket sets out there to choose from, all with different variations of sockets – some coming with 10 sockets, others coming with 100! This is why we creating this article so that you can find the best socket set for you!

Best Pick – Socket Set

WORKPRO 172-Piece Socket Set 1/2" 3/8" 1/4" Drive, Cr-V Metric Sockets with 72-Teeth Quick Release Ratchet Handle, Extension Bar & Universal Joints, Useful for Car Repairs, Professionals, Mechanics
  • 【Professional Socket Set with DIN Standards】This WORKPRO mechanics tool set is made of heat-treated hardened high-quality chrome vanadium steel for high strength and durability. Allowing for greater contact with fasteners and greater torque for easy tightening and loosening. Especially the bits and the bit sockets are made of S2 material which provide higher hardness, more wear and impact resistance.
  • 【All in One】This socket set provides comprehensive METRIC sockets and accessories for you to freely match and use as your needs. Incl.: 20pcs 1/4" Dr. socket; 16pcs 3/8" Dr. socket; 22pcs 1/2" Dr. socket; 5pcs 1/4" Dr. torx socket; 6pcs 3/8" Dr. torx socket; 2pcs 1/2" Dr. torx socket; 3pcs spark plug socket; 30pcs 1/4" bit socket; 20pcs 1/4" bits; 24pcs 5/16" bits; 7pcs hex key; 5pcs extension bar; 3pcs universal joint; 3pcs coupler; 1pc spinner handle; 1pc 1/4" sliding bar; 1pc 3-way adaptor.
  • 【3PC 72-Teeth Reversible Ratchet Handles】This heavy duty sockets set is equipped with 1pc 1/4" ratchet handle, 1pc 1/2" ratchet handle and 1pc 3/8" ratchet handle to meet your different needs. The 72 teeth design of these ratchet handles can offer a better grip and the reverse switch on the head allows you to quickly change the turning direction of the ratcheting mechanism. The quick-release button helps you to quickly change the sockets and accessories.
  • 【Easy to Use and Storage】All the sockets are marked with high visible sizes and there are also size markings in the storage case for you to easily identify and use. The sturdy blow molded case make the storage and carry more easily. Each tool and accessory sits in their own positions, keep them organized and you will always find the right tool. Carrying case dimension: 45cm x 10cm x 33.5cm.
  • 【Wide Applications】Since this WORKPRO professional socket set includes a variety of sockets, several extensions and adapters, make it can meet almost all your needs. Like cars, motorcycles, bicycles repair and household maintenance or others. You can keep it in the garage or car, or take it with you. It's must-have socket set for mechanics, car repairmen.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Our article aims to set you off with all you need to know about different socket sets and their features so that you can find one that is going to be right for you. We have also given you some of our favourite socket sets to help make the search even easier!

What is a Socket Set?

A socket set is basically a goody bag of different socket adaptors that can be attached to a socket wrench. The purpose of this is to have multiple different cylindrical sockets that will fit over different shapes and sizes of nuts and bolts – meaning that there is no job that you don’t have a correct tool for.

Once you have found the socket that you need for a particular job, you simply secure this onto the wrench, or other ratchet handle to help you work on the nut or bolt. This handle will make it much easier to tighten or loosen the fastening  that you are working with, and will also allow you more grip so that you can make sure they are tight enough to hold. Not only this, but by having such a range of sockets all in one place, you can avoid nuts and bolts becoming rounded and worn away by trying to use the wrong tool.

A socket set will give you easier access to difficult to reach areas, leave you less likely to damage the fastener that you are working with and mean that all of your sockets are held in one place, as we have to admit they are the types of things to regularly go missing if not kept safe and all together!

Only Got 5 Minutes?

If you are sick of trying to work on nuts and bolts without the right kit, or have one too many ruined DIY jobs because of bolts that have been rounded off when you’ve tried to remove them, then this is the part of the article that you need to be reading. All of the main things that you need to consider before purchasing a socket set – and all in one place.

What To Look For When Purchasing A Socket Set

There are some main things that you need to look for if you are planning on purchasing a socket set. Our article will tell you everything you need to know, and more.

Number of Attachments

There are various different sizes of socket sets depending on exactly what you are looking for and your budget. Some socket sets will be as small as 10 pieces whereas commercial/industrial sets can include over 500 pieces! Obviously, you know best what you are going to need for the jobs that you are completing, but we would always recommend getting as many attachments for your money as you can – otherwise you may find yourself needing to buy additional add-on sets at a later date.

TOP TIP: Some socket sets come with spanners and other wrenches that you may already have in your tool shed at home. If this is the case then you may be better off opting for a socket set with just the attachments, and then buying a wrench separately if you need one of these.


There are many different fasteners that your socket set will be able to be used with. Depending on the kit that you purchase they will basically be able to work with ANY nut or bolt that you need them to. This makes the socket sets perfect for those people who are wanting to nabble in both DIY around the home but also like tinkering in their garages on cars or other vehicles at the weekend!

The most frequently found bolt is hexagonal (in different sizes) so it is rare that you will find a socket set that doesn’t include these types of sockets – however it is still worth making sure that these are included.

Best Budget – Socket Set

Rolson 36109 40 pc 1/4" & 3/8" Dr. Socket Set
  • Combined 40 piece 1/4" & 3/8" Drive socket set (39+1 storage box=40 pieces)
  • Complete with ratchet and extension bar
  • Screwdriving handle and socket convertor
  • Range of metric and imperial sockets
  • Blow moulded storage case. For best results please use lubricant such as WD40

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases


Different socket sets will be advertised in either imperial or metric sizings so make sure to check for this before purchasing so that you don’t end up with the wrong size. It is important to think about the fasteners that you are going to be working with the most, and make sure that your socket set is going to be able to be used on those, but also make sure to choose a socket set with a wide range of sizes so that you are not going to be let down when trying to complete different jobs. 

The most common sizes range from ¼ inch to ¾ inch, but they also vary in their depth so that there is enough variety to find one that is perfect for the job that you are trying to complete. We found the ⅜ inch ratchet sizes to be the best option as they will be able to be used on bigger and smaller fastenings with an adaptor in place, so you will be increasing the amount of jobs that you can work on for the same price!

Impact Sockets

One of the main things that you need to consider is whether you are going to be using your sockets with an impact wrench or not. An impact wrench is essentially what the name suggests – it will use impacting force to work on different fastenings, instead of you doing the hard work with a manual tool. They are great tools, but will put your socket attachments under a lot of pressure, so you will need to choose a set that is going to be able to take this force if you are planning on using an impact wrench (we would recommend looking out for ones with thicker walls and carbonised surfaces). Whereas if you are planning on working with the fastenings manually then you can choose pretty much any socket sets, such as ones made out of chrome or other metals. 

Impact sockets will tend to be more costly as they need to be made in such a way that they can withstand the increased force, but this does mean that they will be likely to last longer.

Spanners and Wrenches

There are different types of spanners and wrenches that will usually come with your socket set. The ones that are right for you will depend on the types of jobs that you are usually going to be completing.

  • Wrenches – the two main types of wrenches that you will find in your socket sets are socket wrenches and L-shaped wrenches. These are both essentially a long handle that can be secured over the top of the specific socket that you have attached to the fastening, so that you can get a better hold over the fastening and put more force into loosening or tightening it. The main difference is that an L-shaped socket wrench has a head that is at a right-angle to the rest of the handle, which can make them better for tight spaces that you may be working in.
  • Spanners – There are many types of spanners that you could find in your socket set, from adjustable spanners to open-ended spanners or ring spanners. We would suggest adjustable or ring spanners to be the best to be included in socket sets as they will usually be best suited to working with the sockets to get the job done.

What Else Do I Need to Know When Buying a Socket Set?

  • Difficult to reach fastenings – Fastening at awkward angles (which is near enough ALL fastenings if you are working on cars) may need an extension bar that can be fitted to your wrench. This will make it easier for you to get into hard to reach places and still be able to enforce the amount of power that is needed to loosen/tighten these fastenings. Not all socket sets come with extension bars but as far as we are concerned they are essential!
  • One thing that is better not learnt from experience is purchasing a socket set with a poorly built/designed case. The case that you choose is going to need to keep all of your sockets organised, safe, clean and protected in one place so that they are ready every time that you may need them. If you opt for a socket set with a cheap plastic case then we found the locking system on the case can be prone to breaking or losing grip after multiple uses. This could leave you with a tonne of sockets and nowhere to keep them (or even worse – missing sockets when you need them most!). We found metal cases to be the most hardy, but there are some tough plastic ones available on the market that will be up to the task.
  • Most socket sets will come with a lifetime guarantee (you can’t argue with that for product reliability!). This means that we would urge you to question ANY socket set that does not offer this, as it suggests the company has less faith in the product that they are selling. Make sure to check the details of the warranty though, as some are less generous than others in what they will allow you to claim for!

How Can I Look After My Socket Set?

If you are going to be spending money on a decent quality socket set then it is crucial that you look after it so that it can stand the test of time.

  • Make sure to clean your sockets after using them so that they do not become damaged by dirt and grease or become corroded.
  • Make sure sockets are entirely dry before putting them back in their carry case as if they become rusted they could damage the nuts and bolts that you are working with.
  • As mentioned in more detail above – make sure to only use impact sockets with an impact wrench.

Best of the Rest

VonHaus 130pc Socket + Bit Set Including 72-Teeth Ratchet Handle - Useful for Everyday DIY, Bike Repairs, Light Duty car Repairs & Screw Driving
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Your VonHaus socket set is constructed of robust tempered carbon steel with chrome vanadium on selected parts, so you can have peace of mind that your tool set will see you through many jobs.
  • TOOLS ON DEMAND: Thanks to the heavy duty case and carry handle, you'll never lose your tools again! The inner blow moulding displays each tool in a logical sequence, so you can stay organised.
  • ALL YOU NEED: With a 72-teeth ratchet handle and a range of 13 sockets (4-14mm), 7 Allen keys (1.27-5mm), 104 bits (25mm, 50mm, and Y shaped), and much more, your 130 piece ratchet set caters for all your DIY needs.
  • VERSATILE USES: Suitable for an endless range of jobs around the home, in the workplace, and for vehicles, this socket wrench set is your new best friend – you won’t want to be without it!
  • THE VONHAUS PROMISE: All our products are backed by a minimum 2 year warranty, so you can be safe in the knowledge that if anything happens we're here for you. Use our products with confidence.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

52pcs Multi-Tooth Inch TORX Gear Lock Profile XZN E-Profile Socket Set 12-Socket Hexagonal - Harley - Metric -1/4 & 3/8 - Nut Bits 4-19mm
  • 52 x gear lock ratchets set, all inserts with gear-lock profile, for hexagon, 12-bolt screws, outer torx in imperial or metric sizes.
  • Socket keying:1/4 inch and 3/8 inch, ratchet with push button, latch and quick release, with reversing lever, 200 mm, real 72 teeth, handle screwdriver with (1/4 inch), front and rear, extension 150 and 75 mm, Cardan, 60 mm
  • 1/4 inch (M) x 3/8 inch (F) adapter spark plug wrench, 16 mm, length 65 mm, adapter 1/4 inch, square to 1/4 inch, hex (for the bits), telescopic magnetic lifter magnetic rod, telescopic magnet extendable from 13-64 cm.
  • Technical information:Socket keying:1/4 inch and 3/8 inch, for the following metric sizes with (1/4 inch):4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 mm - for the following metric sizes (3/8 inch):14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 mm, 1/4 bits x 25 mm (L) made from S2 steel with the following sizes: Torx:T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30, slot:SL3, SL4, SL5, SL6, SL7 - cross:PH0, PH1, PH2, PH3, PZ0, PZ1, PZ2, PZ3 - hex:H2, H3, H4, H5, H6.
  • Facts: special gear lock profile - can be used for 6-point, 12-point, E-profile, Torx, metric and inch sizes - hardness and torque in accordance with DIN - excellent ratchet function smoothly, genuine 72 teeth, robust quality with a long service life. The special shape of the nuts makes it possible to loosen a nut orscrew even if the head the base of the nut/screw up to a certain level is worn sockets made from chrome vanadium steel, bits made from S2 steel.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Nestling 108pcs Socket Set 1/4" 1/2" Drive Ratchet Set,Flexible Operation Just 5°,Widely Used in Home Repair,Workshop,Engineering Professional Study
  • ✔Flexible Ratchet Set:1/2 and 1/4 ratchet spanner, socket set, extension, screwdriver, bayonet matching, quick combination, saving repair costs.
  • ✔Oil and Corrosion Resistant:chrome vanadium material, tool set hardened to 60 HRC, coated for double the resistance to wear and tear.
  • ✔Multiple Professional Needs:Pet kennel building, yard maintenance, emergency tools for outdoor trips, even professional lessons for kids, gifts for dad.
  • ✔Energy-Saving Construction:Flexible tooth construction, 5 degrees of rotation, narrow spaces with extensions for fast work.
  • ✔Quick After-Sales:The positive opening effect is better, and transportation may cause you to reposition some parts. If you have any questions during the product use, please contact us for a quick and effective solution.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stop fasteners from rounding off when using a socket?
Rounding off is a common problem when working with nuts and bolts, as if the job is not done correctly they can quickly become worn down. Make sure that you are using the right size socket for the fastener that you are working with (one with more sides will be better as it will allow you to build more traction). It is also important to make sure that the socket is not moving around the fastener when you are working. If you are still struggling – try heating up the fastener first as this can loosen it!

Will a standard socket set come with deep sockets?
This really depends on the size of socket set that you purchase, but most average to large socket sets will come with a few deep socket as well as standard sockets. However, there wouldn’t usually be enough deep sockets in a standard set to work on a wide range of jobs so you would probably need a specialised deep socket set if you are going to be using them regularly.

Is a screwdriver set the same as a socket set?
Screwdriver sets and socket sets are often names used for the same products. A socket set will often hold attachments that can be used in a screwdriver fashion, equally a “screwdriver” set will often have attachments that can be used as they would in a socket set. Specific, specialised sets are few and far between, so most that you will find will contain both.

What are the four main types of sockets?

There are four main types of sockets and these are the different sizes that you are going to be able to purchase. Most sockets will be either 3/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 3/8 inch or 1/4 inch. The different shapes and fittings will normally fit into one of these size categories.

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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