Just like modern problem requires a modern solution, modern impact wrenches need the best impact sockets. With the advancement of impact wrenches, they are now more powerful than ever.
These can now produce more torque and more impact power, and for that reason, a good quality impact socket is essential to withstand that power of a modern impact drill or a wrench.
High-quality socket sets are made from a flexible and dense material that can easily handle the high impact of a wrench. Nowadays, every garage owner or a DIY hobbyist has one or two impact tools of their own.
Whether you get the deep orshallow sets, it’s important that you get a set that has all the sizes. My only complaint about them is that some manufacturers tend to skip sizes, which is really frustrating.
Fret not; we have compiled a list of top 10 impact socket sets that has all the sizes, no compromise in the quality, and will ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 3 Impact Sockets
How to Choose the Best One?
You don’t want your sockets to be rounding off the fasteners or not fitting correctly. Speaking of fitting, socket retention is also a major deciding factor. You don’t want them falling off impact extensions or the tool itself.
These are the important factors that one must look at before buying a socket set. Apart from these, there are other key factors, which I will discuss in the following section.
- Durability and Design
You need to pick a set that has a good warranty. This is usually an indicator of how long the socket pieces will last. You should also look at the material of the sockets as this will tell you how durable the pieces are.
Going with a reputed brand of socket manufacturer means you won’t have any issue regarding breaking, splitting, cracking, or anything like that. They are usually well made, and they will also hold up really well.
- Socket Pieces
The size and number of socket pieces are the second most important thing you should look at. You need to make sure the set you are buying doesn’t skip any sizes.
Let’s say you are out working on a vehicle, and you need specific one or two sizes that the manufacturers didn’t include, but you actually need them to finish the work; this is where things get really frustrating.
You don’t want to end up buying another set of impact socket just for those missing pieces. That’s why a full complement of the socket is necessary if you want to use them for work.
10 Best Impact Sockets Review
1. 97-126 11 piece ½ inch drive metric deep impact socket set by Stanley
A common issue that many who use socket wrenches face is inconsistent fasteners. When fasteners are rusted, frozen, or otherwise altered by elements, they can be difficult to work with, often slipping whenever a socket is inserted. The sockets in Stanley’s set are designed to work with these types of fasteners a little easier and are a bit more forgiving with fasteners that are less than perfect.
It is also difficult to organize sockets as they are pretty small and can be misplaced easily. Stanley’s set also comes with an organizer that separates each piece in the set. This is much different than other socket sets that may have a case, but no real organizers to help you keep track of what you have.
It is very easy to see the sizes of the sockets in Stanley’s set as well. The sizes are etched onto the set and are in clear view. They will not fade either, no matter what kinds of elements interact with it.
While the sockets in Stanley’s set are able to prevent frozen or rusted fasteners from slipping, impact wrenches are a different story. If you plan to use Stanley’s socket set on impact wrenches, prepare to work a little harder as they will slip away from impact wrenches.
- This set of sockets can work with rusted fasteners
- It does well in preventing fasteners’ slipping
- As it features an organizer, the pieces are easy to identify
- Each piece has its size engraved in it
- The sockets tend to slip when used with impact wrenches
2. ½ inch 10 piece impact ready socket set by DeWalt
Some sockets only work for corded or cordless impact drivers, but never both. This is unfortunate since most shop workers own both corded and cordless impact drivers, they are in demand for sockets that work for both.
To the delight of those who own both corded and cordless impact drivers, DeWalt’s socket set is compatible for both. This makes things very convenient and is makes DeWalt’s set much more valuable for any shop worker regardless of what features any other socket set would have.
The sizes on DeWalt’s socket set are very, very easy to see. Containing white lettering on their black colored sockets, you will never be confused as to what size socket you are using when working with DeWalt’s set.
Something that a lot of socket owners desire, as well as a newer development in socket technology, are magnets. If a socket is magnetic, it is much easier to attach it to something. Unfortunately, the sockets in DeWalt’s set are not magnetic, and this can be inconvenient for those who are used to magnetic sockets.
- The sockets are etched with info for identification and size
- These work on both corded and cordless drivers
- A convenient storage option is available with pivoting organization pins
- Due to recessed corners, the torque distribution is proper
- These aren’t magnetic, but you have to practice a few times before switching from magnetic to these
3. 29 piece ½ drive deep metric impact socket set by GearWrench
Something that a lot of workers who use sockets deal with is not having the right sizes. Rather, they need to make do with what limited sizes of sockets they have for certain situations and know that if they had a more diverse set, they would be able to have a much easier time.
While most socket sets come in packs of 10 or so, 29 sockets come in GearWrench’s set. This makes things very, very convenient for anybody who regularly uses sockets in their impact drivers. It will be possible to complete any job that involves sockets with GearWrench’s set.
It is also very easy to detect the sizes of GearWrench’s sockets, as they contain white lettering on their black surfaces. This also gives who ever works with sockets a much easier time, and it makes them much better than most other sockets that usually just have an engraving of their size on them.
However, there is a downside to the sizes of GearWrench’s sockets with the way they are displayed. If they are exposed to certain elements or if they just encounter normal wear and tear, there is a good chance that the print on the sockets can wear off. This is not a problem with sockets where the sizes are engraved, but it is a problem with GearWrench’s set.
- The sizes are printed in the sockets’ body
- These are super easy to work with
- The set comes with a handy case for storage
- It has 29 sockets, which ensure better odds at finding just the right one
- The sizes are not carved into; they can fade
4. 43 piece ½ drive master impact socket set by Sunex
You will never need to worry about having the right size of socket in Sunex’s set of sockets. With 43 pieces in the set, there is certainly a socket for every situation. While most other sets only contain about a dozen or so sockets, Sunex’s set contains over three times as many different sizes. If you work with a lot of materials that require sockets, Sunex’s set is for you.
A lot of sockets apply torque on fastener corners. This can cause a lot of wear and tear and can also make a connection almost too tight, requiring a lot of effort to remove the socket from the fastener at times. Sunex’s sockets instead are designed to apply force to the fasteners walls, which will reduce wear and tear.
You will always be able to identify the sizes of Sunex’s sockets as well. Not only are they printed on the sockets, but the print is also laser etched. This means that wear and tear will not wear down the labels on the sockets in Sunex’s set.
Despite all the sizes that Sunex’s socket set contains, there are three that it does not contain: 25mm, 28mm, and 29mm. These size sockets are some of the most demanded, and it is very unfortunate that Sunex’s set does not contain them.
- Torque is distributed in such a way that the sockets are less impacted and thus, offers durability
- The set comes with a myriad of sockets to choose from so that you can use it for almost any fastener size
- Sizes are immune to impact as they are laser-printed
- These are built with Cr-Mo steel for flexibility
- You do not get the 25mm, 28mm, and 29mm sockets in this set.
5. SATA Impact Socket Set ST34398T
It can be frustrating when your favorite socket set does great with fasteners but not so well with impact wrenches. In that case, SATA’s ST34398T socket set can be your new favorite. Each socket features a groove to connect wrenches nicely.
You also get the option to insert a retaining pin; this helps fit an O-ring so that it stays put. This set comes with 13 socket pieces of variable sizes, which are solidly built with the chrome-molybdenum body.
Its high-quality structure ensures increased longevity and endurance. Unlike traditional sockets, this set’s thin-wall outlets provide excellent performance in tight spaces.
The socket set offers you deep and shallow pieces of each size. Its six-point design facilitates all mechanics to work well with impact or manual drive tools. These traits make it more than a competent tool for professionals.
It comes with a handy case for storage with a friendly, comfortable handle, and a rubber grip. This feature is great for travel yet heavy-duty. But it is too large for some customers’ taste, who would prefer it to be more compact and simpler to save space.
- The set comes with thin-wall sockets for confined places
- There are varying kinds of outlets and each with deep and shallow sizes
- It works excellently with impact wrenches
- This product is sturdy
- It comes with a case that could be smaller
6. TEKTON Deep Impact Socket Set 4885
Sometimes sockets are damaged for the lack of right torque distribution, which happens when they are built to put too much force on the corners. But not Tekton’s 4885 impact socket set though; it was made using 6-point geometry, and its design distributes toque on the flats as well as the corners to resist round-off.
This set comes with 14 sockets. The sizes of each are engraved in their body, which stands out in low light. These high-contrast markings are easy to understand. Because the engravings are done with a laser, it does not wear off quickly like printed marks. It makes the sockets effortless to identify.
A great thing about this set is that the sockets are solidly built, with chrome-vanadium steel and black phosphate finish. The steel is heat-treated, and the finishing is corrosion-repellant.
The devices feature quite deep broaches so that longer fasteners can fit. These ensure high-quality performance from the socket set. It can surpass ANSI performance standards. Many cars require 16mm sockets. Although this set contains many different sizes, there is no 16mm socket, which can be frustrating.
- The set is strong and durable
- It has a black phosphate finish, which protects the pieces
- The laser-etched sizes are easy to read
- It comes with a storage case
- The set does not contain a 16mm socket; still, its functionality exceeds the price
7. TEKTON Drive Impact Socket Set 4888
Boasting 38 sockets, Tekton’s 3/8, and ½-inch 4885 impact socket set is one of the bests you can find. These drive sockets are built to be used with impact wrenches to loosen stubborn nuts and crank bolts without strenuous efforts. Its exclusive design and performance guarantee users’ satisfaction.
This set of sockets is great at effectively distributing torque in the flat sides of nuts and bolts, which helps repel damage. When it comes to preventing drive end round out, it does much better than many of its counterparts thanks to the sockets’ sturdy chrome vanadium steel body.
The material gives the set enhanced permanence and robustness; enough to excel in an ANSI standards’ test. This set features a 6-point socket design with high-torque.
Not unlike some other Tekton impact tools, an extra-deep broach comes with the deep sockets so that the whole length of a fastener can be covered, and high-contrast laser-etched markings to display the pieces’ sizes. The markings are in such a way that you can see it even in low light.
You can pack the set in a case, and it comes with the labeling of which socket size fits which cutout. But there isn’t a clear indication which side of the case is the lid; you might open it the wrong way, spilling the sockets.
- The sockets have their sizes laser-etched on them
- This set comes with extra-deep broaches
- It can quickly get rid of exhaust bolts and rusted suspension
- These sockets provide high torque withstanding capacity
- The top and the bottom look the same, so you might want to mark the lid
8. DEWALT DW22838 Impact Ready Socket Set
There’s no point in having unnecessary stuff lying around. DeWalt agrees with you because they have an impact ready socket set with only the most commonly used eight 3/8-inch pieces and two ¼ inch adapters.
These ten pieces are built with high impact repellant material and almost always at the top of their game.
The set is optimal for convenience. There are socket sets that deliver excellent performance yet are hard to carry. But at only 4lbs, this product is portable. The sockets have thin walls so that you can work in constricted places.
You can have either corded or cordless impact drivers and wrenches, these works both ways and let you save some money, as well.
This item comes with a bunch of cool features like pivoting organization pins to enable customizable storage options based on application, recessed corners so that torque can be spread throughout the flats, and laser markings for precise identification of the socket sizes.
It comes with a case which, unlike the sockets, does not do so well in quality. The cutouts are not as well-proportioned as they could have been. Unless you’ve placed them carefully, the lid does not shut.
- This product contains pivoting organization pins
- The sockets can work with both corded and cordless impact tools
- This set’s construction features high-quality materials
- It is great for travel
- The case could be built better
9. Williams MS-2-13H Impact Socket Set
It’s hard to find a quality socket set that works on both pneumatic and electric impact wrenches. But Williams’ drive metric shallow impact socket set might be it. This guy comes with 13 socket pieces, all of which work equally well in airpower as well as electricity.
This set keeps things simple; you don’t get 50 sockets, but the ones you get are reliable in performance. These are 3/8-inch-long drive metric shallow impact sockets, which range from 7mm to 19mm.
The walls are not too thick or thin, but these are tough, durable, and safe thanks to the quality constituent materials and special heat treatment. In addition, the socket set offers excellent value for money. The 6-point method is used in its design, which ensures maximum engagement.
Another great feature of the torque is that it allows higher turning power but does not warp the fasteners, which is enabled through its use of “SUPERTORQUE” lobular openings. This product is long-lasting, as well as handy.
There is a drawback to this product, and it’s that it does not come in a case. A case is good to have for secure storing options, but this particular set does not have that.
- It uses the 6-point method for efficiency
- These sockets can range from 7mm and 19mm
- It is a lightweight product
- The socket walls are strong and light
- It does not come with a case
10. ARES 70073 Impact Universal Joint Set
There are some significant impact universal joint sets in the world. But it is hard to beat ARES’ 70073 Joint Set.
You get three pieces of joint here: a ¼ inch drive, a 3/8-inch drive, and a ½ inch drive. This exclusive set comes with a unique ball design so that the torque can be distributed appropriately.
These sockets are compatible with pneumatic and corded or cordless electric impact tools. It comes with spring-loaded detent balls, which are easy to be latched.
The outlets were made up of high-quality materials such as chrome molybdenum body. Its design makes it a durable item with top-notch performance. The product quickly excels at passing the ANSI and ASME standards.
You don’t need to worry about corrosion because there is a coating of manganese phosphate, which goes a long way to prevent that.
Some sets have sockets where the sizes are printed. But this print is prone to wear off by a bit of impact. Here, instead of print, they have used laser-engraving in the sockets’ body. Even in dimmer light, you can identify the plugs quite easily.
This product is a genuinely cost-efficient one that you can find in the market. The set comes with some handy swivels for transmission. But the problem is, these are too few.
- It can satisfy and even surpass ANSI/ASME standards
- It has corrosion protective coating made of manganese phosphate
- This set comes with a ¼ inch drive which is extremely hard to find
- It works excellent in constricted spaces
- Only a few swivels come with the product, but the good news is that these are long-lasting
Why Impact Sockets?
If you use a lot of power tools like impact guns, drivers, or ratchets, it’s a good idea to use impact sockets. They are designed for power tools because of their ability to withstand heavy pressure and torque.
Impact sockets are also made a little softer than chrome sockets to prevent damaging the anvil of your impact gun. They perform better on the friction ring of impact guns.
Plus, they come in sets which are a lot cheaper. Most of the brands have a good warranty period, so when the sockets wear out, return them and get new ones.
You can use an impact socket on a hand tool with a ball retainer as long the wall of the socket is not too thick for your application.
But you should not use a chrome socket on an impact tool for two reasons.
1. It is incompatible with the forces that are going to be applied against it, and it will crack and break.
2. The retention system is also incompatible with the socket because the hog ring will fill up the detent and will so positively lock this on the anvil, and you will have to pry it off with a screwdriver. You will probably break the screwdriver or do that enough times, and you will wreck the hog ring.
What’s the Difference Between Impact Sockets and Regular Sockets?
You have probably been told or heard a million times not to use a regular socket on an impact gun.
Maybe you never knew why that was. Well, in this section, we are going to look at some of the major differences between the two and see why an impact socket is a smarter choice.
1. You never use a regular socket on an impact gun. They are not designed for that because of the high torque generated by an impact gun will ruin the bolts or end up injuring your hand.
2. Impact sockets have better ductility so that it can reform or deform its shape under the higher stresses of being hammered away on by an impact gun. Both sockets are designed for very different applications.
3. You can use an impact socket in a lot of places where you could use a regular socket when using a hand tool. That’s why most of the time, you won’t even need regular sockets.
4. Unlike regular sockets, impact sockets have better retention capability. You don’t have to worry about their grip or rounding up nuts and bolts. If you plan on doing a lot of automotive work, you need a good set of impact sockets.
Shallow VS Semi-Deep VS Extra Deep Well – Which One Do I Need?
Get all of them. You never know which one will come in handy. Personally, I prefer the deep ones as they keep my knuckles out of the way. For most close works, deep sockets are ideal.
If you think that each of them has their own perks and one of them is better than the other, you are wrong. There are applications where you will need to use all of them.
Some users prefer to use deep 1/4″ sockets because the ratchet and the socket combination is better and more comfortable to hold. When working with tires or engines, you will need the mid-depth first.
When you go deep, that is where the extra-deep sockets come in and, consequently, the shallow sockets also come in. As I’ve said before, you will need all 3 of them. If you don’t plan to get all of them, you could get away with owning just a semi-deep.
But you need to plan ahead, and this largely depends on the task you are doing. For the nuts or lugs that sit an inch or more below the stud or top of the bolt, deep sockets are ideal. And for more cramped spaces, shallow sockets are the tools to go with.
Why Are Impact Sockets Black?
Impact sockets are black because of the carbonized surface, also known as drop-forged. The sockets are made that way to harden the surface. It’s not about aesthetics only.
This hardening of the surface allows the sockets to cope with the sudden torque changes. Since impact sockets are made from softer steel, they can easily reform or deform.
This coating also improves the resistance of the sockets from liquids and other damages from friction. Another reason for this black coating is identification. You don’t want to confuse a regular chrome socket for an impact socket.
Which Socket Drive Size Should You Get?
The main socket drive sizes are ½ inch, ⅜ inch, and ¼ inch. You will mostly use the ⅜ inch drive size because it is kind of the standard size for lug nuts and bolts. Think of it as your main socket size.
When you have to do some fitting into tight spaces, you will need ¼ inch sockets. They are useful to have around
when you have to work with a lot of small bolts and nuts.
Half-inch socket size is widely used with high-torque power tools like an impact drive or an impact wrench. This the recommended drive size where the use of a breaker bar or a long ratchet is necessary.
Steps For Grounding Electrical Sockets
This is one of the most common do-it-yourself projects that anyone will take on when they are looking at renovating their homes: moving and replacing wall sockets. Easily done by the average electrician, in today’s economy, more people are trying to reduce costs by doing it themselves. This is not something that you can just learn on the fly, you have to know what you are doing to be successful at grounding electrical sockets.
Making sure that this task has been done correctly is very important, beyond just having access to power through that particular socket. By grounding electrical sockets correctly you are protecting anyone who uses it from being shocked, and you prevent any chance of an electrical fire from ever occurring. This is extremely important if you are renovating an older home, as most of them were constructed without grounds for electricity usage, primarily because some of them may not have had electric power when they were built.
You will need grounding wire, standard three-pronged outlets, wire cutters, pliers and a screwdriver. The first step is to cut the power to the socket. Make sure that you can run the copper grounding wire safely to the fuse box from the outlet. If yes, wrap one end of the wire to the grounding bar inside the fuse box, and make sure it is firmly attached. The other end will be run through the wall and connected to the green grounding screw located inside the outlet box.
If you cannot successfully ground the outlet safely, call an electrician. Some modifications may require medium other than the copper wire, and an expert would know at a glance what a novice will not. You will need to make sure that the fuse box is properly grounded, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can impact sockets be used as regular sockets?
Yes, you can use them as regular sockets for some odd jobs here and there.
2. Are impact sockets stronger?
If used with the right tools, these sockets are stronger than regular sockets. However, in terms of material construction, they are actually softer because they need to withstand strong impact force.
3. Why do impact sockets have a hole?
The hole is intended to be used on an impact tool that has a pin retainer system. Instead of a hog ring, some tools have a spring-loaded pin on the anvil of the impact tool that pops out and positively locks on to the hole.
4. Do I need impact sockets for impact drivers?
5. Can I use my impact driver to remove lug nuts?
That is what they are built to do.
For the price point, there are some brands that make incredible impact sockets. You just have to know what to look for and where to look. If you are tight on a budget, it will be hard to find a good set that will go past 19mm for 3/8. However, follow this guide and see our list of best impact sockets, and you will get your money’s worth.