made in deep lengths to fit over spark plugs and
extensions, universals, adapters, and a variety of
long bolt ends.
sockets. See figure 2-2.
There are four types of handles used with these
sockets. See figure 2-2. Each type has special
SOCKETS.-- A socket has an opening cut in
advantages, and the good mechanic chooses the
one end to fit a drive on a detachable handle. The
one best suited to the job at hand. The square
handle drive is usually square. On the other end
driving lug on the socket wrench handles has a
of the socket is a 6-point or 12-point opening very
spring-loaded ball that fits into a recess in the
much like the opening in the box-end wrench. The
socket receptacle. The tool design holds the
12-point socket needs to be swung only half as
assembly together. This mated ball-recess feature
far as the 6-point socket before it may be lifted
prevents the parts of the wrench from falling apart
and fitted on the nut for a new grip. It can be used
during normal usage, but a slight pull disassembles
in closer quarters where there is less room to move
any wrench connection.
the handle. Most sockets have 12 points. Use the
6-point socket with nuts made of stainless steel.
RATCHET HANDLE.-- The ratchet handle
Stainless steel is a harder metal than that of the
has a reversing lever that operates a pawl (or dog)
wrench. Extensive use of a 12-point socket on such
inside the head of the tool. Pulling the handle in
nuts or bolts would cause excessive wear on the
one direction causes the pawl to engage in the
12 points. The socket might fail to hold. By con-
ratchet teeth and to turn the socket. Moving in
trast, because of the greater holding surface, a
the opposite direction causes the pawl to slide over
6-point socket holds the stainless steel nut better.
the teeth, permitting the handle to back up
The 6-point socket offers less chance for wear of
without moving the socket. This feature allows
rapid turning of the nut or bolt after each partial
Sockets are classified for size according to two
turn of the handle. With the reversing lever in one
position, the handle can be used for tightening.
factors. One is the drive size or square opening,
which fits on the square drive of the handle. The
In the other position, it can be used for loosening.
other is the size of the opening in the opposite end,
which fits the nut or bolt. The standard toolbox
HINGED HANDLE.-- The hinged handle is
has sockets that have 1/4- and 3/8-inch-square
also very convenient. To loosen a tight nut, swing
the handle at right angles to the socket. This gives
drivers. The openings that fit the bolt or nut are
the greatest possible leverage. After loosening the
graduated in 1/16-inch sizes. Sockets are also
Figure 2-2.-Typical socket wrench set.