Socket wrenches are used to fasten or loosen fastenings in a similar way to spanners and wrenches, but their differences in design and functionality allow them to deliver more torque than other hand tools. Socket wrenches can also be used for a longer period without fatigue, especially when they are designed with an ergonomic, sturdy grip that guarantees safe and comfortable operation. You can learn more in our complete socket wrenches guide.
By employing the use of sockets and an internal ratchet system to assist in the turning of rotary fastenings such as nuts and bolts, socket wrenches eliminate the need to remove and adjust the tool after every turn. With a switch lever to active a quick change of direction, socket wrenches are incredibly versatile tools that are used across a spectrum of industries and applications. A quick-release system also means that the sockets can be changed quickly and easily between different fastenings, rather than having to locate a different tool.
Our range of socket wrenches features products from leading brands such as Bahco, Facom, Gear Wrench, Stahlwille, Stanley, Gedore and RS PRO.
What drive sizes and shapes are available?
Our selection of socket wrenches features a wide variety of imperial and metric drive sizes, with square and hex drive shapes available. From 1/4in to 3/4in and 6mm to 32mm, we're sure to have the drive size you're looking for.Popular sizes include 1/2in, 1/4in, 3/8in, 8mm, 10mm and 15mm.
How do they work?
The handle of the socket provides the leverage to turn the nut or bolt to loosen or tighten. A square-shaped projection at the top of the handle accommodates the socket. Handles come in various lengths, with the most common being around 8 in.
The ratchet mechanism within the wrench keeps the grip on the socket tight when turned in the right direction, turning the socket and therefore the fastening underneath it. When the handle is turned in the other direction, the grip on the socket is loosened and allows the handle to be readjusted while remaining attached to the socket, rather than lifting the tool away and reattaching. This allows for a quicker completion of the job as contact with the socket and fastening is maintained throughout.
Socket wrenches are commonly used by professionals in a variety of industries, including car mechanics, engineers, builders, and DIY enthusiasts.