Do You Need a Driver or Impact Socket Set?

Many home owners would like to save some of their budget by doing more of the maintenance and repairs on engines they have around the house rather than to pay a professional to do the job. You can find many very good instruction manuals on-line to repair most of the small engines, cars, and appliances around the house. Most of these will need assembly or dis-assembly, and a lot of you will use socket sets to do this. But the standard one you own is probably made from chrome plated or chrome-vanadium steel, which is brittle and dangerous.

The reason they are dangerous is when removing exceptionally difficult nuts and bolt the socket can fragment and cause some pretty bad injuries. They are stiff and unyielding and if you encounter a nut that’s ridiculously hard to get off you may apply so much torque and power that the socket can shatter before the nut gives way. They explode like shrapnel.

The industry has recognized this problem and because of the demand for safer sockets for engine repair came up with the impact socket. The impact socket sets are made from a chrome molybdenum steel alloy which is softer and more malleable than the chrome vanadium steel and chrome plated steel sockets. Because they are a softer metal alloy they can grab onto the nut snugly no matter how damaged the nut is. But the nut may be on so tightly that your socket gives way before it does best impact wrench . The advantage is the impact socket breaks into two or three pieces but, because of the softer metal, it doesn’t explode. These sets can come with a ratchet wrench and a T-bar for manual loosening and tightening. They can also be used with powered drivers.

If you are not familiar with power drivers are, they are electric or air driven, and come in the same standard sizes standard socket ratchet wrench handles do, ¾ inch ½ inch and ¼ inch sizes. The drivers have the same drive shaft that the familiar ratchet wrench does and the sockets snap on the same way. They look like an electric drill but instead of a chuck they have a place to snap on sockets. The impact socket sets are used by professionals on cars, trucks, boat engines, industrial equipment, small engines and appliance motors. Professionals also have a 1 inch driver with a shaft for large impact socket sets, but that’s usually used on larger equipment than you have at home.

If you are not familiar with power drivers are, they are electric or air driven, and come in the same standard sizes standard socket ratchet wrench handles do, ¾ inch ½ inch and ¼ inch sizes. The drivers have the same drive shaft that the familiar ratchet wrench does and the sockets snap on the same way. They look like an electric drill but instead of a chuck they have a place to snap on sockets. The impact socket sets are used by professionals on cars, trucks, boat engines, industrial equipment, small engines and appliance motors. Professionals also have a 1 inch driver with a shaft for large impact socket sets, but that’s usually used on larger equipment than you have at home.

I hope you wear safety glasses and heavy clothing for protection using any tool that can fly out of your hand and cause injury, but I especially hope you do using the brittle socket sets. Give impact socket sets a try. If you’re on the strong side the manually driven impact sockets probably will work for you, but a power driver can make engine repairs much easier. Good luck, and enjoy your new endeavor. It’s challenging to take on engine repair but worth it.

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