5 Best Impact Socket Sets
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Most recommended
Drive Impact Socket Set
  • Brand Neiko
  • 44 Piece Master Set
  • Material Heat-Treated
A good choice too
Inch Drive Master Impact
  • Brand Sunex Tools
  • Size SAE & Metric
  • Material Metal
A good choice too
Drive Impact Socket Set
  • Brand TACKLIFE
  • Size Metric
  • 0.5 inches
Drive Deep Impact Socket
  • Brand HORUSDY
  • 14.1 x 10 x 2.5 inches
  • Chrome Vanadium Steel
Drive 70pc Impact Socket
  • Brand TIGHTSPOT
  • Material CRMO, CRV
  • 1/2″ Drive 70pc Impact

Choose the Best Impact Socket Set

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Impact Socket Sets

4 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

25% of users selected Drive Impact Socket Set, 0% selected Inch Drive Master Impact, 25% selected Drive Impact Socket Set, 50% selected Drive Deep Impact Socket and 0% selected Drive 70pc Impact Socket. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

There are some really great impact socket sets on the market today. The best ones include heavy-duty metal construction and high-quality components, as you would expect from any good toolset.

Impact socket sets are perfect for automotive and industrial applications. The impact wrench is much easier to use than a traditional ratchet, but it’s also less durable. Impact sockets will last longer as long as they’re used appropriately (i.e., not driving bolts in or out with force where the teeth might break).

The first reason you should buy an impact socket set is that most home mechanics don’t need one – unless, of course, you do a lot of work on your car or bike at home! But if you have any significant auto repairs, modifying cars, or re-building engines then there’s really no better tool for the job than an impact socket set.

There are many types of socket sets that you can purchase. The problem is it can be difficult to know which one will work best for your needs. Experts have done the research and have come up with a list of the top 5 impact socket sets on the market today!

NEIKO 02440A 3/8-Inch Drive Impact Socket Set – the Editor’s choice!

Do you find yourself needing to remove nuts and bolts on a regular basis? Then the NEIKO 02440A 3/8-Inch Drive Impact Socket Set can be perfect for your needs.

This 44-piece kit comes with a variety of sizes (SAE 5/16″ – 3/4″ and metric 8 mm – 19 mm), along with heat-treated components, which are constructed from drop forged premium chrome vanadium Cr-V steel.

You don’t want your nuts loosening while you’re driving over them or using an impact wrench. Make sure that they stay tight in place by investing in this set!

Pros
  • Heat-treated Cr-V steel;
  • Standard and metric sizes;
  • 44 pieces;
  • Laser-etched markings;
  • Easy to use and read;
Cons
  • Better for light-duty projects;
  • Plastic wrapping is flimsy;

The Neiko set does more than just make it easy to get the job done. It will help you reach the goal faster, easier and sooner with its set of 44 pieces, all constructed from heat-treated Cr-V alloy steel.


Sunex 1848, 1/4 Inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set – the best for lifetime warranty!

The Sunex 1848 48-piece set has everything you need to make your next project great with a complete set of tools that are designed for heavy-duty torque. Keep your sockets organized with this box, plus racks that work on both Metric and SAE measurements.

Sunex’s patented design features radiused corners to resist wear – even in high torque situations. Dual size markings are permanently laser etched onto each socket for easy identification when loading into your toolbox or repair kit, while chamfered openings make installation quick and easy by automatically centering fasteners over drive tools such as an impact wrench.

This premium quality product also meets ANSI standards so you know it will get the job done every time.

Pros
  • 48 pieces;
  • SAE and metric sizes;
  • Lifetime warranty;
  • Cr-Mo steel;
  • Dual-size markings;
  • ANSI standards;
  • Heavy-duty storage case;
Cons
  • A 10mm socket is really a 9mm socket;
  • Holes through the sockets;

The lifetime warranty of this Sunex impact socket set guarantee means you can be confident in this purchase and the serious protection makes it easy to transport your tools safely from place to place.


GEARWRENCH 39-Piece ½-inch Drive Impact Socket Set – the best for beginners!

Combine forceful torque and reliable precision with this 39-piece ½-inch drive socket set! With a specially designed impact driver head, your gear wrench will increase productivity by always having the right ratio. Isn’t it time you invested in something that is guaranteed to last?

Keep your powerful tools close by with a blow mold case that has reinforced steel hinges and buckles for continued strength! This product lines out at 1.1 lbs., which gives it an extremely handy size.

Pros
  • Made with chrome molybdenum steel alloy;
  • Phosphate coating;
  • Highly visible laser-etched markings;
  • Hard stamping on part number and size;
  • Includes a blow-molded case;
Cons
  • Not rust-proof;
  • Too thick to fit in tight spots;

This chrome molybdenum alloy steel socket set is designed with manganese phosphate coating to resist corrosion so you can tackle any job without fear of failure.


HORUSDY 1/2-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set – the best for the storage case!

This Horusdy ½-inch set features high quality forging that is durable and hard to wear down. The size designations are clear with the laser marking, making it quick and easy to tell what you need while in poor lighting.

The 10mm-24mm deep sockets are forged from heat treated chrome vanadium steel which will maintain the product’s integrity for many years. This incredible product also comes with different sizes plus a custom storage box so nothing becomes lost or misplaced.

Pros
  • Variable sizes from 10 mm to 24 mm;
  • Heat-treated chrome-vanadium steel;
  • Black phosphate finish;
  • Corrosion-resistant;
  • Clear laser markings;
  • Reduced wear;
Cons
  • Only 19 pieces;
  • The sockets are way too thin-walled;
  • Not compatible with a Milwaukee impact gun;

This HORUSDY set is a must-have for anyone who wants their tools to be accurate, long lasting, and safe. The storage case is durable and comfortable for transportation.


TIGHTSPOT ½-Inch Drive 70pc Impact Socket MASTER SET – the best quantity!

Get this Tightspot master set to remove nuts and bolts, tighten lug nuts and more without worry. These tough but flexible impact sockets are made from top-grade steel for power and durability that will last years.

They have smart features like a radius corner design so there’s less risk of rounding off fasteners on impact, their exclusive faster gripping design for smoother operation as well as other great extras like adapters and extension bars so you can use them with any tool.

Pros
  • 70 pieces;
  • SAE and metric sizes;
  • Deep and standard impact sockets;
  • Aerospace grade steel;
  • Smooth fastener gripping;
  • Lifetime warranty;
Cons
  • Expensive;
  • Flimsy plastic latches;

Conquer any job with this epic set of impact sockets that features faster grip, more power behind each swing, and smoother operation.


The Buyer’s Guide

The most important thing to know when picking out a socket set is that they can be categorized into 3 different groups

  1. Impact sockets are designed specifically for use on impact tools (wrenches). They have a special type of rubber lining in them called “torque bands” or “shock absorbers”. This helps prevent over tightening bolts so it’s not as necessary to check each time whether you’ve reached your desired torque setting, saving yourself some time. These sockets also require additional power from an electric drill due to their construction style. The advantage of these sockets is that they offer much more power than a regular socket wrench, meaning it’s faster and easier to remove stuck nuts or bolts;
  2. Regular (or “standard”) sockets are designed for manual use only, so you’ll need an electric drill if you want to keep using them with impact tools. These can be used partially on the shaft of your electric drill as well. The advantage of these sockets is that they’re cheaper which makes up for not being able to drive in heavy duty screws while also offering good torque and speed qualities when removing jammed fasteners without breaking anything else nearby like other types of impacts might do. However, this type will require some effort from hand strength because there’s no external force applied by an impact driver – it’s all up to what you’re able to do;
  3. Combination sockets have a 12 and 24 point on the same drive head, which is useful for situations where something needs an extension but also needs to be driven in at the same time (think about installing furniture or putting together some type of complicated structure). The advantage of these sockets is that they can help save space because one socket will replace two tools – it’ll act like your regular impact driver as well as your standard wrench so if there are any odd jobs around then it’s super convenient;

Impact Sockets Types

There are two different types of impact sockets: universal and deep. Universal sockets, also known as standard, are one size fits all. They work well for most jobs but not so well with specialized applications such as rebuilding a transmission or engine head gasket. Deep impact sockets have three sizes including shallow, medium, and deep to fit the job more precisely than universal sockets. 

There are 4 additional types of sockets:

  • universal with a ratchet;
  • deep impact socket only (no wrench);
  • an individual size that you can buy separately;
  • a set;

Impact sockets come in sets ranging from 12-pieces to 200+ pieces so be sure the one you’re buying has enough different sizes for your needs before purchasing or choose another type as these include all three sizes needed when rebuilding engines.

Universal sockets with ratchets attach onto wrenches and provide greater speed while tightening rusted bolts on cars using repetitive force which means less time spent working on them than not having them at all. 

Deep impact sockets are designed to fit over fasteners without damaging delicate threads – this is especially useful when driving out seized screws such as those found on brake calipers.

Individual sizes include shallow, medium and deep sockets as well as combo sets that have all three included in one set with a variety of other pieces such as screwdriver bits and ratchets. If you’re looking for heavy duty use or need to tighten rusted bolts then this is the best choice but if not it’s up to your preference. 

Sets are generally meant for people who work on cars often or those buying them for someone else like their father or husband so they can be gifted without having to worry about what size socket fit which bolt at home – just buy everything in one set!

Important Features:

Size

The size and weight of a socket set will take into consideration how heavy the sockets are, as well as whether or not you require an impact wrench to be able to use it. If you do need an impact driver for your work then look out for sets that have this included in the kit.

The sizes of impact sockets are usually measured in inches and letters. The most common size is a ¼-inch drive socket, which is the same as an SAE (standard) inch sizing convention. 

To convert between metric-sized tools and English-sized tools, divide the metric measurement by 25.40 or multiply it by 0.0254 respectively. 

Pneumatic drivers often have smaller tool diameters than electric drivers. 

For example, there is no such thing as a 19 mm (0.75 inches) air wrench because this would be too big for practical use with small nuts on plumbing fittings – but you can find 18mm (15/16 inches), 16mm (~13/16 inches) and 14mm wrenches instead! You’ll typically find SAE drivers in larger sizes than metric-sized tools.

In the U.S., a typical size might be ¾-inch drive, which is equivalent to an inch-sized tool; you can convert this to either 16mm or 13/16 inches. Incidentally, “inch-pound torque”, meaning torque measured with pounds of force and inches of movement, is not a valid measurement for air tools because they’re designed only for rotational power – but you’ll often see it on electric impact sockets anyway. Pneumatic tool manufacturers don’t use this term at all.

Depth

The depth of the socket refers to how deep it can accommodate a bolt head. The most common depths are 12mm, 14mm and 16 mm. A good rule is that if you’re working with nuts or bolts up to 16mm then an impact set will do just fine. If your projects utilize larger hardware (bolts over 20mm) then you may want to consider adding more extensions in order for your sockets to have the room they need for their full range of motion while tightening/loosening these large fasteners.

Drive

What is the drive of impact sockets? The drive of an impact socket refers to how deep it can be inserted into a nut or bolt. This measurement, in conjunction with the length and size of the tool, determines which fastener will be removed from its installation first. 

A metric-sized screwdriver has a shallow drive compared to that found on an inch-based wrench. In general, short drives are reserved for smaller hardware while long drives are used for larger nuts and bolts because they have more torque applied when driven with force due to their longer lever arm. 

Additionally, there may also be different types of tools – socket wrenches or ratchet wrenches – with differing degrees of extension available depending upon what you need them for.

The drive is the part of a socket that attaches to an impact wrench. 

The most common types are:

  • 12-point (a.k.a. “six sided”) sockets which have six equally spaced points around them; these were originally designed for manual use but can now also be used with an impact driver or torque wrench. These sockets will not fit on extension bars and they cannot be used when inserted into another type of tool than an impact wrench because there’s no space in between each point to attach anything else;
  • 24-point (a.k.a. “eight sided”) sockets which have eight points evenly spread out around it so that extensions can easily be attached by sliding onto one side of the head at any time and then removed again without having to remove any extensions. The sockets are more expensive than 12 point ones but the lack of points sticking out on either side make them a good choice for use with both impact drivers and torque wrenches;
  • 36-point (a.k.a. “six sided”) sockets which are basically two 24-point heads put together, so it has 16 evenly spaced points instead of six or eight. They offer no benefits over a 24-point socket other than being able to attach extra accessories like an extension bar if needed while using at the same time as an impact driver or torque wrench;
  • 37-point drive – this drive type offers all the pros from both 12 and 24-point drives, plus it can be used in conjunction with some tools that cannot take advantage of the 12-point drive;
  • 41-point drive – this is just like 37 point but with only one head instead of two, which offers more space for attaching extensions and accessories;

Material

If you’re looking for a set of impact sockets, the material type is one of the key features to consider. Socket sets can be crafted from aluminum, steel, or brass – which all have their advantages and disadvantages. If your work requires you to use them on a daily basis then it’s worth considering what kind of wear-and-tear they’ll get as well as how much weight they will bear over time.

Steel sockets are inexpensive but lack durability; while aluminum ones may not last as long either (depending on whether they are covered with chrome). But aluminum sockets offer increased corrosion-resistance in moist environments such as an automotive repair bench where tools might come into contact with oil spills and other fluids that could corrode iron metal fasteners easily.

Brass sockets are the best choice for those who need their tools to last, as they offer increased durability and resistance. The material is also more expensive but typically not significantly more than a high-quality steel set. It’s worth noting that some people may experience an allergic reaction if handled by bare skin so it might be necessary to wear gloves when handling brass products in these cases.

Differences between a regular socket and an impact socket

Regular sockets are great for everyday use, but they cannot withstand the force of an impact socket. Impact sockets have a heavy-duty design that is built to withstand twisting and torquing forces with ease. These tools can be used instead of regular hex key wrenches or chisels because they work on rounded bolts, nuts, bolts, and nuts in tight spaces without damaging them. 

Unlike most other wrench types which require some type of movement before it grips onto its surface (such as ratcheting), these spanners grip surfaces quickly and powerfully due to their ability to generate high torque by increasing the contact area between the bolt head/nut face while also having shallow angles between fastener faces. The typical material for making this kind of spanner is chrome vanadium steel.

How to use an impact socket set?

An impact socket set can be used for many different things, such as removing broken bolts or screws from an engine that has rusted in place. The key to using a good quality impact socket is the right size and shape of both the sockets and bits. A socket will only fit around a bolt with matching dimensions on either side; you cannot use just any sized bit with every size of wrench (because it would not have enough grip). So when choosing your choice, think about what you want to accomplish first – then pick out your tools based off of those specifications.

It’s important to know how much torque you need before selecting which kind of fastener/bolt to remove too! If there are multiple types involved, make sure to use the right kind of socket for it.

Do not over-tighten! Use just enough force necessary so that you can easily remove the bolt or screw, and then back off a little bit more; this will make sure that everything is nice and tight without risking stripping out your bolts.

Get an impact wrench if possible – they are much easier on access points in cars because there is less risk of breaking anything when using them with ease (impact wrenches do cost slightly more than regular ones). Impact sockets sets are usually cheaper than having to buy each piece separately, but also come at a higher chance of breakage. 

FAQ

Can impact sockets be used as regular sockets?

Impact sockets can be used as regular sockets and vice versa. But the question is, would you want to? Impact sockets are designed for heavy use because they work by using a hydraulic jack on the side of the socket that forces it tighter around whatever part you’re trying to unscrew. 

If your impact wrench has enough power (amps) then there’s no need to put any more wear and tear on an already overworked socket than what it was made for in the first place. Regular ratchet or combination wrenches will do just fine most times when working with nuts and bolts at home, so save those pricey impact tools for jobs where they’ll actually come in handy like removing stuck lug nuts from tires.

Is it bad to use impact sockets for everything?

No, it’s not bad to use impact sockets for everything. Impact sockets are designed with a higher torque output than standard socket sets so they can be used on stubborn nuts and bolts (a good example is an engine mounting bolt). However, this does mean that the life of your socket set will decrease more quickly as well because of all the extra wear and tear on the gears inside. This also means you need to change out your tools regularly or most likely replace them entirely after only a few years if you plan to keep using them heavily.

Why is it bad to use chrome sockets on an impact?

Chrome sockets can lead to a higher possibility of rounding off the head of bolts or nuts when being tightened with an impact. This is because chrome is softer than steel and brass, which are materials that are more commonly used for socket heads. A bolt that has been rounded off by using chrome sockets will not be tight enough on the threads and could result in stripped screws if it’s over-torqued to compensate.

Are Snap-On impact sockets worth it?

Are Snap-On sockets worth the extra expense? Are they better than other brands like Craftsman, HF, or Matco that are a fraction of the price? The short answer is yes.  Snap-On sockets have a lifetime guarantee and are better for heavy-duty use than other brands. This means that you will be able to use them for longer, especially if working on tough jobs like welding or in the automotive industry where they see more wear and tear.

Are all impact sockets black?

No, there are two types of impact sockets: black and silver. They both look very similar but the silver ones will corrode faster than black ones. Silver is a different metal composition so it’s more likely to rust when exposed to moisture or air for extended periods of time.

Is it ok to use impact sockets with a ratchet?

Some people recommend using impact sockets with a ratchet, while others say that it’s best not to use them together. Impact sockets are designed for high pressure and should never be used on anything else. They can cause damage to the socket or the bolt head if you continue turning after hitting the nut – which is why some experts don’t like to mix them with standard hand tools such as wrenches. You wouldn’t want your wrench slipping from the handle because of an impact socket failing under pressure!

Do impact sockets hit harder?

Impact sockets hit harder because they use springs or rubber that can be compressed by the impact, and then release energy when released. They also have a long handle for more power to help you remove stubborn bolts. Impact socket sets are heavier than regular ones as well as being bigger in size due to their extra features.

But there is no difference between an impact socket set’s performance on brass or steel nuts and bolts – it only depends on the quality of materials used in its construction.

Why do impact sockets have a hole?

Most impact sockets have a hole in the center of them. This is important because it allows you to use an extension bar or pipe for extra reach when working on your project and get that final torque out from the socket wrench. The only downside to this design could be if there are cross-threads in the threads which can make it difficult for you to grip onto with just two hands trying to unscrew it by hand.

Do you need impact sockets for a torque wrench?

No. Torque wrenches and impact sockets work differently, so you can’t use one for the other. Impact socket sets are designed to be used with an air hammer or a power drill. You need these tools in order to use them effectively.

Useful Video: Top 5: Best Impact Socket Set For The Money 2020 [Tested & Reviewed]

Final thoughts 

Hopefully, this list of the top 5 impact socket sets on the market today has helped you narrow down your options.  Whether it’s something simple, like a basic set, or more complex, such as an impact socket set with ratchet and extension bars, the experts have provided some recommendations that will work well no matter what type of toolkit you are looking to build.


I’m a Matthew Johnson, and I’m a motor mechanic. I like my profession and every day I use many tools, but a torque wrench is most useful of them. I’m going to write about my experience of using different torque wrenches and share with you.

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