13 Types of Socket Sets + Characteristic & Usage (Clear Guide)

Types of Socket Sets

As the realm of tools continuously evolves, the intricacies of socket sets become ever more diverse. Linquip, your trusty companion in the world of machinery and equipment, offers this detailed guide to help you navigate through the varieties of socket sets available.


Socket sets are essential tools with different varieties tailored for specific tasks. The main types include Standard, Impact, Deep, Universal Joint, Crowfoot, Spark Plug, Magnetic, and Colored Sockets. Factors to consider when purchasing include material, drive size, measurement system, and socket points. Modern socket sets feature innovations like quick-release ratchets and non-slip designs. Linquip offers a wide range of high-quality socket sets, backed by expert recommendations and user reviews.


What is a Socket Set?

At its core, a socket set comprises different-sized sockets paired with a ratchet handle. These tools are pivotal for mechanics, plumbers, builders, and DIY hobbyists, streamlining the process of turning a variety of fasteners.


Types of Socket Sets

Here are the most common types of Socket Sets

  1. 6-Point (Hex) Sockets
  2. 12-Point Sockets
  3. Standard (Shallow) Sockets
  4. Impact Sockets
  5. Pass-through Sockets
  6. Socket Bits
  7. Insulated Sockets
  8. Spark Plug Sockets
  9. Deep Sockets
  10. Universal Joint Sockets
  11. Crowfoot Sockets
  12. Magnetic Sockets
  13. Colored Sockets


Types of Socket Sets Table with Characteristics and Usage

Socket Set Type Characteristic Usage
6-Point (Hex) Sockets 6 points of contact. Strong grip on fasteners; reduces chance of rounding them off.
12-Point Sockets 12 points of contact. Quicker positioning on fasteners; versatile positioning.
Standard (Shallow) Sockets Short depth; typical profile. General fastening where depth isn’t a constraint.
Impact Sockets Thick, robust, typically black in color. Use with impact wrenches; high-torque applications.
Pass-through Sockets Hole through the entire socket. Accessing long threaded rods or bolts.
Socket Bits Sockets with built-in or attachable bits (e.g., Torx, Phillips). Driving specific types of screws or bolts.
Insulated Sockets Electrically insulated for safety. Working on electrical components without risk of shock.
Spark Plug Sockets Rubber or foam insert; specific sizes. Installing and removing spark plugs in vehicles.
Deep Sockets Extended depth compared to standard sockets. Accessing nuts on longer bolts or hard-to-reach areas.
Universal Joint Sockets Pivoting joint allowing for angle flexibility. Accessing fasteners at an angle or in tight spaces.
Crowfoot Sockets Open-ended socket; resembles wrench head. Tight spaces where a regular socket wrench handle won’t fit.
Magnetic Sockets Equipped with a magnet inside the socket. Holding onto bolts/nuts securely, preventing dropping.
Colored Sockets Color-coded based on size or function. Quickly identifying the right size or type of socket needed.

These are broad descriptions and uses for each type. When using sockets, it’s crucial to ensure you have the correct size and type for the specific task to avoid damage to both the tool and the workpiece.



6-Point (Hex) Sockets

6-Point (Hex) Sockets
6-Point (Hex) Sockets (Reference: ebay.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Six-sided, providing maximum torque.
  • Usage: Best for tight spaces and stubborn bolts, as they reduce the chances of rounding off fasteners.


12-Point Sockets

12-Point Sockets
12-Point Sockets (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Twelve-sided, allowing faster placement onto the fastener.
  • Usage: Ideal for lighter tasks; not recommended for high-torque applications.


Impact Sockets

Impact Sockets
Impact Sockets (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Thicker walls and durable material.
  • Usage: Specifically designed for impact wrenches, they can handle a lot of torque.


Pass-through Sockets

Pass-through Sockets
Pass-through Sockets (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Hollow design that lets long bolts pass through.
  • Usage: Suitable for long-threaded bolts.


Socket Bits

Socket Bits
Socket Bits (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Combines a socket with a bit, like hex or Torx.
  • Usage: Used for specific fasteners that regular sockets can’t turn.


Insulated Sockets

Insulated Sockets
Insulated Sockets (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Coated with an insulating material.
  • Usage: Essential for electrical tasks to ensure safety.


Advanced Types of Socket Sets

Spark Plug Sockets

Spark Plug Sockets
Spark Plug Sockets (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Typically deep with rubber insert.
  • Usage: Specifically for removing and installing spark plugs without causing damage.


Deep Socket

Deep Socket
Deep Socket (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Longer than standard sockets.
  • Usage: Necessary for bolts that protrude out or are set deeper than surface level.


Universal Joint Sockets

Universal Joint Sockets
Universal Joint Sockets (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Swiveling socket end.
  • Usage: Offers angled access to hard-to-reach bolts and nuts.


Crowfoot Sockets

Crowfoot Sockets
Crowfoot Sockets (Reference: ebay.co.uk)
  • Characteristic: Resembles an open-ended wrench but attaches to a ratchet.
  • Usage: Useful for tight spaces where a typical socket can’t navigate.

Factors to Consider When Buying

  • Drive Size: Depending on the task, choose from the common drive sizes: ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, and ½-inch.
  • Material: Opt for chrome-vanadium for durability.
  • Coating: Some sockets come with a protective coating against rust.
  • Compatibility: Ensure the sockets fit your ratchet’s drive size.


Top Socket Set Brands on Linquip

Linquip boasts many top-notch brands, revered for their quality and innovation. A few standouts include:

  • Craftsman
  • Bosch
  • Husky
  • Klein Tools


Specialty Socket Sets at Linquip

At Linquip, we recognize the ever-growing needs of our customers. Our platform not only provides standard socket sets but also specialty ones that are curated for specific tasks. A few of these unique offerings include:

  • Magnetic Sockets: These sockets have a magnet inside to hold the bolt or nut, ensuring they don’t fall off in tricky positions.
  • Colored Sockets: Simplify your toolbox organization with color-coded sockets, ensuring that you can quickly identify the one you need.


Maintenance and Care

To ensure longevity and optimum performance from your socket set:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe them down after each use to avoid dirt accumulation.
  • Lubrication: Occasionally lubricate the ratchet mechanism for smooth operation.
  • Storage: Store in a cool, dry place preferably in a case or a tray to prevent loss.


Safety Tips

While socket sets are relatively straightforward to use, a few safety precautions are worth noting:

  • Correct Fit: Ensure that the socket fits the bolt or nut snugly to avoid slipping.
  • Avoid Over-Torquing: Applying too much force can strip the bolt or damage the socket.
  • Wear Protective Gear: Especially when using impact sockets, protective eyewear is recommended.


Linquip’s Customer Support

Should you be uncertain about which socket set to choose, or if you need advice on usage and care, Linquip’s dedicated team is just a click away. With extensive industry knowledge and a commitment to assist, our customer support ensures that your queries never go unanswered.


Factors to Consider When Purchasing Socket Sets

Material and Construction

Socket sets can be made from different materials, but chrome-vanadium is often the most popular due to its durability.

Drive Size

Depending on the work, you’ll need to decide between a 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, or 1/2-inch drive size. There are also larger drive sizes for industrial applications.

Measurement System

Depending on your geographical location and the kind of work you’re involved in, you might need metric, SAE, or both measurement systems.

Socket Points

The number of points (corners inside the socket) can vary. The most common are 6-point and 12-point, but there are also 8-point sockets mainly used for square hardware.



Socket sets, while seemingly simple, offer a plethora of choices to cater to diverse tasks. Whether you’re a professional mechanic or a DIY enthusiast, understanding these varieties will undoubtedly benefit your endeavors. And with Linquip’s vast collection and unwavering support, you are bound to make the perfect choice every time.


Download PDF for Types of Socket Sets

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