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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set

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06-03-2013 12:48:20

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hate to hijack the thread with a different question, but it is related.

Has anybody ever had a socket - new, used, cheap, expensive, no-name, high-end name, or otherwise actually FAIL?

In all my years I don't think I've ever had a socket NOT do its job.


IS there a reason to spend any more than bottom dollar on sockets?

Any socket I've ever owned has worked. I've never picked up a cheap one out my box and had to put it down to find a better one.

I'm as big a tool snob as anybody, but in my old age I think I'm getting wiser - and I'm thinking it really doesn't MATTER what kind of sockets you use.

Get cheap ones.

(and I'm not talking $5.00 for 100 sockets cheap - I mean REASONABLY cheap - harbor freight-ish)

A socket wrench is different - I know the difference between a good socket wrench and a bad one.

But for sockets, I've got millions - and often use my grandfather's old Chinese sockets that were made before the Chinese knew how to make anything, even poorly.

They work just as well as any sk or big brand name.

just throwing that out there to see what others think.

I'd forget my tool snob roots and tell you to try some harbor freight sockets. When they fail to meet your requirements, then decided to spend some real money. I think you'll find that moment never arrives.

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06-18-2013 16:46:55

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 Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set in reply to JRSutton, 06-03-2013 12:48:20  
Yes. I had a 13mm socket crack recently while trying to remove hub bearing assembly.It was a taiwan made socket.

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Paul Modern

06-04-2013 14:29:25

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 Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set in reply to JRSutton, 06-03-2013 12:48:20  
Years ago I lent a Craftsmen ratchet and socket (don't recall sizes) to a "friend".He used as a lug wrench and broke/cracked the socket. Sears replaced it.

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dr sportster

06-04-2013 07:50:36

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 Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set in reply to JRSutton, 06-03-2013 12:48:20  
You must not work on old junk that is rusted on.

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06-04-2013 09:18:01

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 Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set in reply to dr sportster, 06-04-2013 07:50:36  
I've hardly ever worked on anything that ISN'T all rusted and frozen. I live in the northeast with lots of road salt and mixed weather.

And I always tend to buy older vehicles - current truck is an 88, jeeps a 96. Any tractor/equipment I work on is pre 1960.

In fact, maybe that's exactly why I don't have the trouble.

I learned long ago not to be shy about using heat - if it even looks like it's going to be trouble, I might try an impact, but more often I just heat it, remove it, and move on, don't waste time fighting with it. I actually use the torch more often than an impact gun.

Even so, my breaker bar still gets plenty of use on blind bolts, etc. - but I guess just not enough to break anything.

I do find it surprising so many of you say this is a common occurrence (with the cheap stuff anyway).

I will look at it a little differently now - but still - if I had to pull my checkbook right out... I'm not convinced enough to say I wouldn't go cheap on sockets.

Apologies again to the guy that started this thread - kinda branching off here, not answering your question.

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06-03-2013 16:47:18

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 Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set in reply to JRSutton, 06-03-2013 12:48:20  
I bought a 3/4 drive cheap set, the sockets split very easy. I think every socket that we used split. I bought a new SK set and have not had a problem since. Buy a good set and you don't have to keep buying sockets and tools.

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06-03-2013 15:16:52

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 Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set in reply to JRSutton, 06-03-2013 12:48:20  
I'd have to wonder how much wrenching you do if you've never split a socket... Seriously. I've split more of them than I care to remember and those were good ones. I break allen bits and round them off on a regular basis. I constantly break adapters. Tear the teeth off the cogs in ratchets... and the list goes on. The cheap stuff just breaks easier. Some of the real cheap stuff is very bad for damaging fastners because it fits so poorly or flexes enough to spin...


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06-04-2013 08:38:30

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 Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set in reply to RodInNS, 06-03-2013 15:16:52  

I've really never broken one.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong??? :)

I'm by no stretch a professional mechanic, but I also can't remember the last time ever needed a pro.

I've been doing my own work since I had a tricycle. Countless engine builds, the high school muscle car years, the trucks, tractors and equipment repairs -restorations, used to work with an oval track racer, etc, etc..

Not into it as a living, but I've certainly had my share of chances to break a socket or two.

Socket wrenches absolutely, been through them, but never a socket.

Interesting that several of you have - but that's why I asked. I'm not trying to declare I know all, and state that they never break.

I realize I could just be lucky.

But just saying - from my personal experience of what I've seen with eyes, I can't justify spending a lot of money on them.

I've got pretty much all I'll ever need, but if I had to buy more, or if they were all stolen from me - I honestly think I'd start replacing what I could from harbor freight. I've got several from them now, and never a problem.

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06-03-2013 17:50:52

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 Re: 3/8 Drive Ratchet and Socket Set in reply to RodInNS, 06-03-2013 15:16:52  
+1 I've split my share of sockets too.

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