How to use a socket wrench

A socket wrench is a wrench that consists of a socket to fit a bolt or nut and a handle to attach to the socket. There are probably many workplaces that have a complete set of socket wrenches, but are not able to use all of them. We hope you will find this article useful as a handy set of tips for utilizing socket wrenches.

Socket wrench applications

Socket wrenches are tools used for tightening and loosening hexagonal bolts and nuts. Socket wrenches are used in an extremely wide range of applications, such as brake pad replacement for automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles, battery replacement, and other maintenance work, as well as assembly of machinery and furniture. The following are typical types of sockets, handles, and attachments, their characteristics, and the purposes for which they are used.


A socket wrench consists of a socket part and a handle for turning it. The types of sockets include hexagonal sockets, dodecagonal sockets, deep sockets, and hexagonal sockets. They are used by changing them according to the shape of the bolt or nut to be installed, or the depth of the installation site.

Hex socket


Twelve square sockets


Deep socket


Hexagon socket



There are various types of handles for operating sockets. Typical examples include ratchet handles with a ratchet mechanism for continuous tightening without the need for re-fitting, spinner handles that can be fixed at any angle and can be used for a wide range of applications from fast turning to tightening, T-shaped slide handles that can be changed to L- or T-shape, and speeder handles with a crank for fast turning.

Ratchet handle


Spinner Handle


T type slide handle


Speeder handle



Various attachments for connecting sockets and handles can be used to expand the range of applications if used properly. For example, an extension bar is used to extend the handle when tightening and loosening bolts and nuts in deep places. Universal joints are used to change the angle of rotation when working in intricate areas where it is difficult to work in a straight line. Adapters are used to connect sockets with different insertion angles to the handle.

Extension bar


Universal joint




*Electric (impact) type

Sockets for impact and attachments for impact for use with electric models are also available.

Tips on how to use a socket wrench

Socket wrenches are very useful tools, but they require a few tricks to master. Here are some points to pay attention to in order to use it efficiently?

Use the correct size

Prepare a socket that matches the size of the bolt or nut you want to handle.

Ensure that the socket is securely coupled to the bolt and nut

A socket wrench is a tool that can exert a large amount of torque when a hexagonal or dodecagonal socket is firmly seated on a bolt or nut. If the bolt or nut and socket are not well connected and there is rattling or distortion between them, not only will the tightening fail, but the machine will be damaged. The socket should be inserted deeply until it completely covers the bolt or nut. The same applies to the attachment joints.

Pay attention to the operating direction

When working with a socket wrench, operate the handle only in the direction of tightening or loosening the bolt or nut. Applying force in an unreasonable direction will damage the machine.

Use with proper torque

Do not strike the handle with a hammer or use a pipe spliced into the handle. Do not apply torque beyond the allowable range of the tool. Alternatively, excessive torque may damage the machine when removing rusted screws or other difficulties are encountered. If it does not seem to come off easily, try using a lubricant.

Use with care

Use the product with care, avoiding rough handling such as using it as a hammer, leaving it wet, dirty with oil or dust, or subjecting it to impact. Be especially careful with joint parts, as they have a delicate structure and are less shock-resistant than other parts.


Socket wrenches are extremely versatile tools that can be utilized for a wide variety of parts and tasks. By familiarizing yourself with the roles and uses of different types of socket wrenches, you can use them effectively in your work.