Car maintenance and repair is something expensive but something you need to do frequently. That is why there are many people who choose to learn about it to save money, investing in automotive tools instead.
If you are a mechanic who is planning to open your own garage workshop, then you must know that sockets are essential tools for automotive works.
For you to understand the uses of the different types of socket sets, this article lists them some of the most common and special types of sockets that every aspiring mechanic should know below.
The most common types of sockets are the hex sockets. They have six sides like most bolts or fasteners you will see in modern and old cars.There is a square drive at the other end where the turning tool like a ratchet should be attached.
This type can be classified into two kinds, by the number of points: the 6-point and 12-point (or double-hex) sockets. The 6-point sockets are preferred by many because they are more precise and leave no room for error.
They also prevent bolt heads from rounding because torque is greater. In other words, there will be no slippage when loosening or tightening any bolt. On the other hand, 12-point sockets are more flexible.
For example, if you do not have a socket that fits exactly the same size ofbolt you are working, a 12-point socket that is closest to that size is your best option. There is more room for wiggle, thus the risk of bolts rounding during the process is high.
Impact sockets are black in color and have an industrial surface finish instead of polished metal. This is because the metal used for this tool is more durable, softer, and tougher than the regular sockets.
As the name suggests, this type of socket is designed to withstand high impact or force. It is not advisable to use a regular ratchet for this socket or the ratchet will break in time.
In the same way, you cannot use an impact wrench with a regular socket. Thus, impact sockets are for impact wrenches because they can manage all the power and vibration. Impact sockets are great for bolts or fasteners that need greater torque power, which is something a regular hex socket cannot offer.
When working with spark plugs, you cannot just use a regular socket or impact socket. There is a special type of socket, called a spark plug socket, that is designed for removing those spark plugs from the engines.
This type is longer than a regular socket and has a foam rubber insert to set the socket snugly and prevent it from getting damaged.
When you use a spark plug socket, make sure that you pick the right size for your car. Using the wrong size of spark plug socket can lead to damage, or worse, you won’t be able to remove it at all.
Bit sockets are sockets with screwdriver bits. Like any kind of sockets, this one also has a square end for the ratchet. You can use it together with impact drivers and other manual tools.
Now, there are two types or designs of bit sockets on the market. There are bit sockets that come in one part where the screwdriver bit is fixed or attached permanently on one end.
There also a type that comes in two parts, allowing you to replace the screwdriver bits from time to time. Like screwdrivers, bit sockets have different styles of bits for a particular bolt or fastener.
Unlike other sockets, pass through sockets do not have a square drive on the other end. Instead, they have a particular ratchet, called a ratchet spanner. The sockets allow bolt shaft passes through the center because the socket is hollow.
Often times, this special socket can be used remove or replace nuts that deep sockets cannot reach. This also means that this socket can be used on any bolt, regardless of its length.
Insulated sockets are another special type of socket used when dealing with high electrical currents. They have a coating that makes them insulated from the AC and DC current. This coating is two layers that are often red and yellow. An insulated Socket set usually contains an insulated turning tool for extra protection.