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What's The Difference Between Impact Sockets And Regular Sockets?

Many people ask this question. Apart from the difference in color, the next question we usually hear is, “what can these do that regular sockets can’t.

The best way to explain is to focus on 4 specific areas.

 

1. Color

Impact sockets are typically black. This is because the surface is carbonized in order for it to harden. Ensuring that the surface is hard allows the sockets to absorb sudden torque changes i.e. “impact” a lot better. The difference in color also helps you to quickly distinguish impact sockets from standard sockets in a tool box.

 

2. Metal

Regular sockets are typically made of chrome vanadium whereas a good impact socket is made from chrome molybdenum. Chrome molybdenum is a ductile metal which is durable and can withstand vibrations.

 

3. Uses

Standard sockets are typically used with 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch or 3/4 inch ratchets to remove bolts that are not tightly fastened in place.

However, impact sockets are nearly exclusively used with powered impact wrenches or drivers where greater force can be applied and are usually used by mechanics to remove seized nuts and bolts from vehicles. Impact sockets are designed to cope with the vibration caused by an impact wrench.

NOTE:

If you were to apply high impact to a regular socket it could shatter because the steel isn’t hard enough to withstand the force.

 

4. Locking Pins

The drive socket end of impact sockets has a grooved ring to enable a locking pin and ring to be used. Locking pins are extremely useful as they prevent the socket from coming off the end of an impact wrench due to vibration.

 

What Type Of Impact Sockets Can You Buy?

We have a wide range of impact sockets available in 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch and 1 inch drives in both metric and imperial sizing. All of the socketry is made from chrome molybdenum according to GGG-W-6608 to guarantee the highest material quality.

We also have a full range of accessories including extension bars, adaptor drives and universal joints which can be ordered individually or in sets in DIN or ANSI standards.

Check out our full impact range here and remember, all of our tools come with a lifetime warranty!

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15 comments

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  • Otis: November 11, 2020

    Hi guys I hate to be a bit of dick but that is completely incorrect regarding the information above. Impact sockets are made of a softer steel allowing the impact sockets to absorb the impact sustained during use. The reason why normal sockets split, shatter (usually split) when used excessively on impact gun’s, impact ratchets etc… is because they are made of a harder steel.

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  • JD: January 31, 2020

    Is it possible to use three quarter-inch impact sockets on a 3/8 inch driver?

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