What is a Socket Set and What are They Used Clockwise?

You may have been watching people working with a socket set and they use it in the clockwise direction. But ever wondered why or what is a Socket Set? Let me describe to you.

We use it for any type of projects that relates to nuts or bolts. Moreover, for DIY projects it is a must-have tool set. So, here we are talking about the socket sets and the use of it. Hope you are here in search of it.

What is socket?

A socket is a mechanical tool that attaches anything to a socket wrench, torque wrench or ratchet. So, you can use another turning tool for tightening or loosening a fastener by turning it. Moreover, with the fastener, I meant a nut or a bolt.

How the concept of sockets came?

If we look back to past, we can see that, spanners are the main tool that people used to use for any turning fasteners. So, the perfect substitute for spanners is a socket. So, here is a short list of why socket took place of the spanners:

  • Sockets take less space than spanners.
  • It has a large number of variables.
  • The turning got easier in it.
  • Holding socket is way comfortable than a spanner.

The socket was used as non-ratcheting wrenches. At that time it was not so widely used. Moreover, at that time the common application was the key of wind clocks.

Parts of a Socket

Firstly, drive socket is a part of sockets. This part is used for connecting the socket to a wrench or any other turning tools. So, its end is driven by the turning tool. That’s why it names as drive socket.

There is another end of the socket. We call it the head. Moreover, this is the most important part of the socket. The head can be of any size and shape as the nuts’ or bolts’ shape is.

So, to make the variation, it has a various number that makes sure to ease choosing the size by numbers. The most common shape is the hexagonal sockets.

In socket, we can see a part called ‘Socket Bits’. It has protruding male head and female head. Besides that, the male head inserts on the corresponding female head. 

In the female part the male part fits into and by turning them we can fasten or loosen a nut or bolt.

Stay with me.

What is a Socket Set?

Are you a DIYer? If you are then socket set is your most useful companion. For the novice, socket set is a set of sockets which contains different socket heads. So, with this set, we can fasten or loosen different shaped nut and bolts.

Most importantly, if your work is related to nut and bolts, you must have it with you. So that it makes our project lot easier.

How does it work?

Sockets got to fit around or fit inside the head of a fastener. It turns corresponding to the turning tools like a wrench. So you can tighten or loosen the fasteners.

For the clearer concept, let’s think about a socket of 13 mm. it can fit around the head of the same sized bolt. So it is easy to find out and use. Moreover, all the fasteners have standard size and thread.

Therefore, if we turn them in a clockwise it will tighten the bolt or nut. On the other hand, if we turn it anti-clockwise it will also loosen them.

What’s the bottom line?

Various types of Socket Sets

As sockets are a popular mechanical instrument we use most often. It has various compatibility. Therefore, it has some types which define the characteristics and shape or size of the socket. So, in this part of the article we are going to know about the types of sockets:

Socket Bits

It is a combination of various types of screwdriver bits that are combined with a hex socket. They can be threaded or multi-shaped. Moreover, their size can vary as for their use. In this type of socket, there is a driver that helps the socket bit to turn. These sockets are made of solid metal. So it is sturdy and dependable.

Hex Sockets

Hex sockets are one of the most popular sockets of all time. So, you may use one of them. They are hexagonal shaped and they gave female heads. Moreover, they can be bi-hexagonal shaped. So, your hexagonal socket may have six to twelve points.

Impact Sockets

It is designed for impact drivers. So if you are using an air gun, you may have seen it. These sockets are capable of delivering a great amount of torque. 

They are different from other drivers or wrenches. Moreover, they can produce vibration from the impact action. So you should use it only for a particular purpose. 

They are made of ductile steel. But the steel must have a small brittle grade. So it can cope up with the great torque as well as impact vibration. These sockets may come with a various color option.

Pass-Through Sockets

Unlike other ordinary sockets, pass-through sockets are free from the square drive. They are most likely spanners but they fit on the head of a socket. So it works like a socket though its look is different. This socket is designed with a hollow into it. So this hollow allows operating long bolts.

Insulated Sockets

If you are using a socket in the electrical project, you should have insulated your socket. Because all the sockets are made of metals. From this idea, insulated sockets are used. These are like all other sockets but with a coating on them. So, this coating prevents the electricity to flow to the user. Therefore, their safety is ensured by the manufacturer.

Bolt Grip Sockets

In our daily work, we may end up using a corroded or seized fastener. In that case, our regular sockets may not work on it. To solute this problem we use bolt grip sockets. Bolt grip sockets are solid and their sizes may vary from the users’ demand. We use these sockets to remove damaged fasteners. So this is very helpful sockets that we use.

Spark Plug Socket

Inside an engine, we see multiple spark plugs plugging in. If we have to remove any of them we should use spark plug sockets. Most of them have rubber inside.

These rubbers sit into the sockets. They prevent any kind of sparks or damage. There is also some variation in size in this socket. So, we have to be careful using the right sized sockets.

Oil Filter Sockets:

When we are going to remove oil filter from your vehicle you should use this type of sockets. They are not so sturdy because you shouldn’t tighten the oil filter hardly. Therefore, the thread of this socket comes into a plastic body. This socket has square drives. So, they can fit in on your vehicles’ oil filter and remove it when you need.

Adjustable Multi Sockets:

This is a multi-socket that is adjustable to hold any size of fasteners. Though they have a jaw so that it uses the jaw and adjust to fit in any fasteners. Therefore, you can use this socket to use any kind of fasteners. The jaws of this type of socket distribute an equal amount of force to every corner of the drivers.

So it is easy to handle and needs less force to use the fasteners. But there is a limitation of this socket. You should use a large or small turning tool to operate this socket.

Universal Sockets:

The universal socket comes with huge numbers of spring-loaded pins. Those pins are on the socket head. So, when you place the socket over the fasteners’ head, it depresses all the pins touching the fastener. Moreover, the remaining pins surround the fastener head and make a strong grip. This design helps the universal socket to fit in any size of fasteners.

What are sockets using for?

We use sockets mainly for tightening or loosening fasteners. But there are many types of fasteners. To use these fasteners, we need socket sets. We can use the socket sets for following jobs:

Socket Using with Ratchet Wrench

We can use ratchet wrench with sockets. To use it rightly, we have to select the right size of the socket. So, the perfect size of the socket will be the best and helpful for using ratchet wrench.

But to do that, we have to know the size of the fastener. Then we have to attach the socket to the ratchet wrench. Moreover, attachment of socket with the ratchet wrench should be tight and solid.

There are various kinds of ratchet wrenches. So we have to use the particular one for particular projects. After that, we should check the turn direction.

Also, placing the socket onto fastener will complete the set. Then turn the fastener to tighten or loosen it.

Using For Spark Plug Removing

In an engine, we have spark plugs. If we need to remove them, we can use spark plug sockets. These are very impressive in quality and easy to use. So, if you have an engine tool you should have one of them.

Using For Electrical Projects

If you are on a project where you should use fasteners, you should use impulsive sockets. As we know they are coated that prevents the electricity flow to the user. So, it turns out to be an important thing for any electricians.

Using To Remove Oil Filter

The oil filter is an important part of your vehicle. But it is a fastener type. So you must use a socket to remove it. We know that plastic oil filter socket is very useful in this term. So, we can use this socket for removing the oil filter.

Why should you use a Socket Set?

Socket sets are the replacement of spanners. We all know how important spanners are. So, we have to use sockets as they are versatile in use.

In a socket set, you will get a hand bar and different sizes of sockets. You have to choose the right size for the right job.

That’s it, it is ready with a blink of an eye. Therefore, we should keep a set of sockets with us if we are DIYer. Moreover, for household jobs, we also may end up needing a socket set.


If you are a technician or DIYer, there is no option of having a socket set with you. Because you know it is common to have a fastener in your job.

But without professional purpose, you may have a socket set for household use. Or if your hobby is to make various mechanical projects you may use it.

Overall, from this article we can know the correct definition of sockets, how should we use it and where. This article is the answer to ‘what is a socket set’ and ‘what are sockets use for’.

John Bryan

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