How does a socket wrench work?

To begin with, not everyone has the basic skill set to work with tools for it is not as easy as it looks. A lot of us struggle to get a handle on basic tools to work with it. Otherwise, we end up calling the professionals to do the job. However, a socket wrench is quite a tool that is useful for many things. It is known to be the modern man’s guide to tools.  Let us introduce you to what it is and then we shall divulge more into the subject.

What is a socket wrench?

Many of you do not know what a socket wrench is or could be. When a person hears it first, their first question is about what this object is. For those of you, who are associated with it or have basic knowledge about it, know how amazing the tool is. Therefore, a socket wrench is a type of wrench or a spanner (a tool used to provide grip and mechanical advantage when applying torque to turn objects), which has a socket attached to its one end. The socket that is attached to one end is used to a turn a fastener. The most common form of a socket wrench is the ‘ratcheting socket wrench’. It is commonly often called a Ratchet among the people. It is a device within the hand tool (any tool that is powered manually by hand and not by a motor), in which a metal handle is attached to a ratcheting mechanism that attaches to the socket. It fits onto a type of bolt or a nut (not the edible nut, it is a fastener with a threaded hole). Want to know more about socket sets? Linda Baily write awesome post about socket set. See this article now.

Socket wrenches come in many types. They are as follows:

  1. Fixed socket: It is a non-ratcheting socket wrench where the socket is attached to the end of an L-shaped or X-shaped bar.
  2. Powered socket: These are the versions of ‘air; ratchets that use compressed air to drive air powered socket wrenches that tighten or loosens a nut or a bolt.
  3. Interchangeable socket
  4. Ratcheting: It is the most common type of socket wrench. The ratcheting mechanism allows the nut to be tightened or loosened with a reciprocating motion.
  5. Non-ratcheting: It is a bar that attaches to the standard square recessed socket drive with a ball detent. These bars are usually longer and built more sturdily than the usual handles.

Now that we have covered about the basic knowledge one needs about a socket wrench, let us move on to its working mechanism. For, beginner and learners need an insight into the object (tool).

How does a socket wrench work?

  • Ways to use the socket wrench:
  1. First, find the correct size socket for the bolt or nut.
  2. Second, attach the socket.
  3. Third, flick the switch of the wrench for loosening or tightening.
  4. Fourth, attach the ratchet to the bolt and then push or pull.

Please note: Remember this quote, ‘Lefty lose, right tight’. Meaning, by turning it the left side, you loosen the hold or grip of the socket to the bolt. By turning it to the right, you tighten the hold or grip.

Working mechanism:

The steps mentioned above is what one needs to do first. Failing to do so will result in wastage of time for the socket wrench will not work. It is important to find the correct socket size for the nut or bolt. Generically, the sockets and nuts are manufactured in a standard unit of measurement. That is why there will always be the perfect sized socket for a nut or bolt. After which, place the socket firmly in place and fit it well down to the bolt, failing to do so strips the heads of the bolt.

Then you are to turn the bolt right for tightening it. If for any reason, you wish to unbolt it, then simply turn it left, which will loosen the bolt. If the ratchet is turned to the other direction, the ratchet does not turn the sockets but allows the handle to be repositioned. After repositioning, it is turned once more while it stays attached to the bolt or nut. There is a switch built into the ratchet head, which allows the user to apply the ratcheting action in either direction as required. It could be to loosen or tighten the nut.

We are hopeful that the information provided will help you work with a socket wrench. Now on, you can do it yourself without having to call a professional.