impact sockets vs regular sockets

Discussion in 'Tools and Fabrication' started by CELICA XX, May 23, 2010.

  1. CELICA XX

    CELICA XX

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    I need to buy a set of bigger sockets 19, 21, 22, 24, 27, etc... and I thought about buying impacts.

    I've been wondering if impact sockets should ONLY be used for their intended special application of impact torquing.

    Is the material of the impact socket less brittle but more malleable ?

    In other words, if I use the impact socket for regular bolts on a breaker bar, is it going to deform or damage the socket in any way ?

    Thanks.
  2. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Dave's not here! SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,127
    Location:
    Western AZ
    Buy the impacts and use them with your breaker bar. No worries. The only limiting feature I can think of would be impact socket wall thickness making engaging a fastener tight to a corner a hassle.
  3. Joe_E

    Joe_E

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    3,342
    Location:
    the NJ word..
    Always use the six point impact socket to remove the fill plug on your axles.
  4. Rambrush

    Rambrush

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    358
    Location:
    NW Az
    Like posted the Impacts are the way to go, however if using OEM wheels. Some have tighter/skinner holes and the impacts wont fit in and you would have to use a 6 point std deep socket.
  5. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
    20,708
    Location:
    Central California
    As mentioned, when you get to the larger sizes, they are thick.

    You have the larger sizes in mind but I do not think you pinion flange or the rear drive shaft flange on the T-case allows for a thick socket.
  6. AShoe

    AShoe

    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Unless you have a big impact wrench just get regular sockets. My 500 ft/lb impact wrench just gathers dust because 9/10 times it won't do the job. I would trade my 1/2 inch impact set for a 1/2 inch 6 point regular socket set any day.
  7. spressomon

    spressomon glutton

    Messages:
    11,251
    Location:
    Central Coast
    Impact sockets are slightly softer than regular hard chrome sockets. This is to protect the impact wrench square drive mandrel. You can cheat in a pinch, as Ali showed me, by using a short impact extension with the hard chrome/standard sockets. Yes 6pt on impact.
  8. KLF

    KLF Frame waxer

    Messages:
    5,535
    Location:
    Southern NH
    This may seem like a good idea until the impact gun shatters the socket and blows sharp metal chunks into your face. Seen it happen.

    There are a few times when an impact socket won't fit, such as the 32mm nut on the t-case output. Otherwise I always use them with my gun.
  9. Rambrush

    Rambrush

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    NW Az
    There are those times when you have to use a Std 6 pt socket. I have used a quick wrap of Duct tape around the socket. This helps contain the shrapnel if it should shatter.
    Not saying this has to be the way but in a pinch you have to do what you have to do.
  10. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

    Messages:
    18,192
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Correct, chrome sockets are slightly harder, but it's the chrome that causes the majority of the anvil wear. For home/occasional use it's probably not a big deal, in everyday use anvils get eaten pretty quickly.

    I'm not going to call total BS, but close.:hillbilly: In my experience have heard this tons of times and classify it as an old [STRIKE]wife[/STRIKE] mechanic tail. No matter how the load is applied, there is some risk of a socket failing, but have never seen/heard of a documented case of one failing with enough force to cause serious injury.
  11. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

    Messages:
    18,192
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    This one I have to call BS.:hillbilly: If your talking in context of this forum, Cruiser work, I can only think of a few times when I was denied with a good 1/2 gun. In fact most of my Cruiser work is done with a 3/8" gun. Ether your "500 ft/lb impact" is wimpy or your being denied working on heavier equipment?:hillbilly:

  12. fj40charles

    fj40charles GOLD Star

    Messages:
    2,801
    Location:
    Texas
    What brand/model 1/2" impact are you using?
  13. romegadave

    romegadave

    Messages:
    1,223
    Location:
    rome, georgia
    I've got the bigger Husky's at Home Depot........69.95 for 11 sockets.
  14. neufab

    neufab

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    inland empire
    i have several impacts,and sad to say my 20year old alltrade has never let me down.iv'e rebuilt my snapon 2 times,craftsman 2 times and is broke agian.bought the old alltrade for 4.99 at picknsave.whats funny is the houseing is interchangeable with the $$$$ snapon.6pt will usually do the trick w/out impact.rember to allways use antiseize.sorry for the ramble buy bolth.high qualty thin wall.impact could probly get buy with harbor if budget wont allow high quality.
  15. AShoe

    AShoe

    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    My impact gun doesn't move the bolts on my tractor (some call for 1500 lb/ft). I don't use it on cars, too many broken bolts.
  16. fieldsken1

    fieldsken1 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,487
    Location:
    in my little world
    if you go to sears and buy regular sockets use them cheaper and thinner but still guaranteed so no biggie if you break them you always get a new one
  17. :popcorn:I purchased Jet sockets then later upgraded to Mac sockets, much smaller and fit into tight areas.


    Rob
  18. Sc0-

    Sc0-

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Houston
    Agreed, not all impact sockets are alike. Some brands of sockets have thinner walls than others, Snapon, Mac, Matco, I/R might fit into a tighter spot than the S&K, Sunnexx, gray pneumatic, harbor frieght, Northern Tool, etc.

    I have used a few chrome sockets for items when I was in a pinch. I have noticed that for some reason the chrome socket was NOT able to remove a fastener but a impact socket did.

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