Best Socket Set: An Essential Investment for DIYers

Aug, 2017
Best Socket Set

If you are into DIY tasks, such as when fixing minor issues in your vehicle and performing maintenance works, you need to have a socket set. It has the nuts and bolts that you will need for different jobs, among other tools. While they may all seem the same, the truth is, they are different in a lot of ways.

In the rest of this post, we will help you find the best socket set that is available on the market today. Aside from discussing the essential factors to consider, we will identify five of the products that should be on the top of your mind, including the reasons why they are incredible picks.

Choosing the Best Socket Set

We’ll start by sharing with you some of the most important factors that you need to consider to easily narrow down the possibilities and choose which one is the best amongst the rest:

1. Box

One of the most important for a socket set is to have a solid case, which will help in keeping the pieces well-organized. Without the box, the sockets will be easily lost or misplaced. The box also makes it possible to bring all the sockets regardless of where you intend to work. See to it that the box comes with a solid construction, making sure that it will last for a long time.

2. Material

In this case, we are referring to the materials that are used in the sockets. Most of the good options in the market are made from alloy steel, which is a combination of steel and another material that is equally superior. They are combined through heat forging. Make sure that it is made from tough materials that will withstand even the toughest jobs and frequent use.

When evaluating the material, take a look at the finish as well. Most sockets have black oxide or chrome plating as their finish. See to it that the finish will provide protection from corrosion.

Still, with regards to the materials that are used, it is important to be aware that not all sockets are compatible with power tools. With this, if you intend to use the sockets for an electric or pneumatic impact wrench, make sure that they are impact sockets. They are made from thicker and stronger materials, making sure that they will not easily break when they are used in a high-torque tool.

3. Drive Size

Aside from looking at what sockets are included in the set, you should also consider their drive sizes. Consider the type of job that you will be performing often to determine what size is the best. A good choice is a set that comes with a variety of drive sizes, making sure that there is one that you can use for every job.

When it comes to sizes, you also have to consider whether they have metric or inch measurements. SAE or standard-sized sockets have inch measurements and they are used for older vehicles. For the newer ones, on the other hand, most of them will require metric sizes. For versatility, a better choice is one that comes with both sizes.

4. Markings

How exactly will you be able to determine the size of each socket? A mere look at each of them will not be enough. You cannot just guess which one to pick. With this, it is also important to choose a product that comes with clear or etched markings on the side. The markings should be large and clear enough so that it will be easily visible, even in broad daylight.

5. Points

This will refer to what you can see at one end of the socket. If you want one that is stronger, choose those with 6-point socket, which is constructed in a manner by which the six walls will sit against the inner wall. On the other hand, if convenience and ease of use are more important for you, a 12-point socket will be the better option.

6. Pockets

In evaluating the sockets that are included in the set, you also need to determine whether they are deep or shallow. A normal socket is shallow, which means that it may not touch the nut before the top part touches the end of the socket. With this, it will be better if there are deep sockets in the set. One of the advantages of the latter is that it will easily fit sideways on the ratchet even if it is positioned sideways. It will also effectively accommodate a bolt’s long end and will have a snug fit on the nut.

7. Ease of Use

To avoid headaches in your DIY tasks, see to it that the sockets in the set will be user-friendly. One thing that will make it user-friendly is the presence of parts that are easy to snap on the ratchet. It must be effortless for you to attach it and it should not fall off easily. The ratchet must also block the sockets and it will also be good if the ratchet is reversible.

8. Warranty

Similar to the case of buying any other product, extensive warranty coverage is a sign of a superior product. Many will have a warranty that lasts for one year, but a better option would be one product that comes with a longer warranty coverage. If possible, pick a product with lifetime warranty. This means that at any point, the manufacturer will extend free repair or replacement, provided that you are able to satisfy the terms and conditions of the warranty.

Best Socket Set Reviews

In this section, you will know more about some of the best models you might want to include in your list, as well as their notable features. We will also identify a few of their pros and cons, making it easier for you to evaluate the possibilities.

1. Stanley STMT71652 123-piece Socket Set

Stanley STMT71652 123-Piece Socket Set

With 123 pieces in this set, you can be confident that you have everything that you will need for a specific task. The nuts and bolts are available in different sizes and you will also have the other tools that you will need.

In terms of construction, this is an exceptional choice. One of the reasons for such is that the body is forged with chrome vanadium, which is the one that is responsible for durability and torque. The pieces are also fully-finished, which allows it to prevent corrosion.

If you are looking for a set that is user-friendly, you have another good reason to include this in your list of choices. It is designed in such a way that even beginners will be able to use it without difficulty. The reversible mechanism and quick release switch also make it user-friendly.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the manufacturer is offering a lifetime warranty for this set. If you are unhappy with the product or if it shows signs of defects, you can return it to the manufacturer and they will do what it takes to deliver a high level of satisfaction.


Pros:

  • Wide selection of tools
  • Built using anti-corrosive materials
  • Has a heavy-duty case
  • Pieces fit snugly in the box
  • Extensive warranty coverage

Cons:

  • Markings are difficult to see
  • Tools are not greased

2. TEKTON ½-inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set

TEKTON 1/2-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, Inch, Cr-V, 6-Point, 3/8-Inch - 1-1/4-Inch, 14-Sockets | 4880

With this socket set, you will be able to enjoy a variety of sizes, which range from 3/8 to 1 and ¼ inch. They are designed in such a way that they will make it effortless for you to loosen different fasteners.

Looking for sockets that will be able to withstand the test of time? This will also be an impressive choice if you want one that will be durable. The chrome that is used in the sockets is forged and heat-treated, allowing it to demonstrate exceptional longevity. It also has a black phosphate finish, which allows it to resist corrosion.

It is also a good thing that the socket comes with high-contrast laser markings. They are easy to see, regardless of the condition of the external environment. You can be sure that you will be picking the right one for the job.

Lastly, it is also worth noting that it has passed the ANSI performance standards. The latter is an assurance that it does not only pass, but even exceeds global standards.


Pros:

  • Box comes in a handy size
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Can resist corrosion
  • Perfect even for heavy-duty tasks
  • Printed socket size

Cons:

  • Limited drive sockets
  • Can easily fall from an impact wrench

3. Neiko 10288A Socket Set

Neiko 10288A Master Hex Bit Socket Set, S2 Steel | 32-Piece Set | SAE and Metric

One of the things that we loved the most about this set is that they offer a high degree of precision, guaranteeing its reliability for every job. The bit tips are automatically machined, making sure that the size is accurate.

It also demonstrates high-quality construction, which is even made better by the fact that it comes with an affordable price. They are made using S2 alloy steel, which has incredible hardiness. The material of choice makes it not easily prone to wear and tear.

Another thing that we loved the most about this product is the high-strength chrome vanadium steel socket. The latter allows it to deliver superior torque and strength in every turn.


Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Comes with every hex key you will need
  • Available in different sizes
  • High-quality construction
  • Has a handy box

Cons:

  • May not be good for heavy-duty use
  • Case has shallow grooves

4. BOSTITCH BTMT72287 65-piece Socket Set

BOSTITCH BTMT72287 Pass Through Socket Set, 65-Piece

With 65 pieces in one set, this socket tool box will provide almost everything that you will need to accomplish a specific task. The sockets are available in different sizes with clear markings, making it easy to see which one is needed.

With chrome vanadium steel construction, you can also expect nothing but the best when it comes to durability. Even through the years, you can expect that it will deliver the best functionality.

It is also worth noting that it comes with 72-tooth gear. The latter is the one that allows exceptional ratchetting and improved accessibility.

Still not convinced to buy this socket set? Your mind might change after knowing that the manufacturer is offering a lifetime warranty. This means that throughout its functional life, you can expect support from the manufacturer.


Pros:

  • Sockets have an excellent finish
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable case
  • Lots of sizes to choose from

Cons:

  • Hollow sockets
  • May not always stay on the ratchet

5. Dewalt DW22812 Impact-Ready Socket Set

DEWALT DW22812 1/2-Inch 10-Piece IMPACT READY Socket Set

This socket set is made by Dewalt, one company that has built a solid reputation in the market for DIY tools. This is more than enough to provide you with peace of mind and assurance that it will deliver superior reliability.

It is inclusive of six of the most common sizes of sockets that you will need for various jobs – 7/16, 9/16, 11/16, 13/16, ½, 5/8, ¾, and 7/8 inch. All sockets have etched markings that are easily visible, making sure that you will pick the right one all the time.

This product is also worth commending because of its durability, one thing that Dewalt is known for. It is made using high-impact materials, which will allow it to withstand wear and tear.

While most of the products in this post come with a lifetime warranty, this socket set has a warranty that lasts only for three years. Still, this is better than the standard one-year warranty.


Pros:

  • Made by a trusted brand
  • Reasonable price
  • Easy to identify markings
  • Can be used for both corded and cordless wrenches

Cons:

  • Case is too big
  • No lifetime warranty

Conclusion

So, what is the best socket set? In my honest opinion, Stanley STMT71652 123-piece Socket Set is a notch above many others. With its high-quality construction, ease of use, and versatility, you will have countless reasons to choose this above many of its competitors. It is sure to make any DIY job a lot easier to accomplish.

Are you looking for other products that you can use for DIY tasks? Click here and allow our buying guides to help you make a decision that you will never regret.