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December 20, 2022 3 min read


Every DIY job requires differently sized sockets but it can be difficult to sort through the abundance of types. At first glance, they all seem to be the same. If you're not sure what each socket does, don't worry about it. In this blog, we'll examine the various socket types, outline their functions, and discuss their salient features.


Types of Sockets


Confused about how to use the various types of sockets in your socket set? Here is a list of some of the most typical types of sockets.


1)  Hex Sockets

 A set of hex sockets in a green container

Credit: Envato Elements/ NomadSoul1


A hex socket can be useful for removing bolts and nuts from multiple locations. These tools can be of two types—hex/6 point and bi-hex/12 point. They have a socket head on one end that is used to spin fasteners like nuts and bolts and a square drive socket on the other that is used to attach them to a ratchet.


2)  Impact Sockets

 A pair of black sockets showing two different sizes

Credit: AAA Traders


Impact sockets are intended to be used with power impact wrenches. These sockets have thicker walls than standard sockets and non-corrosive coatings to withstand the higher torque and impact vibration that could cause a standard socket to break.


3)  Spark Plug Sockets

 Three silver spark plug sockets

Credit: Intuitech


Spark plug sockets do exactly what their name implies—they remove or insert spark plugs into engines. These sockets have an extended length and a rubber insert. As a result, they do not damage the spark plug while the wrench is turning.


4)  Bolt Grip Sockets

 A silver bolt grip socket with a silver bolt

Credit: Envato Elements/ joebelanger


A bolt grip socket is used to remove a defective fastening. They are not intended to tighten a fastener. These sockets have an angled or slanted tip that grabs hold of the damaged fastener thereby preventing the socket from damaging the bolt further.


5)  Pass Through Sockets

 A pass through socket used to loosen or tighten sockets that cannot be reached easily

Credit: Canadian Tire


Pass-through sockets are used to tighten and loosen nuts on threaded rod lengths that deep sockets cannot reach. These sockets firmly grip and wrap around the fastener's entire head to prevent it from coming loose.


6)  Universal Sockets

 A Dia Grip universal socket set in its black box

Credit: Dia Grip


A universal socket resembles a typical deep socket, but its head is packed with tiny metal pins. Due to this construction, a universal socket fits completely with almost any fastener, bolt, ratchet, or breaker bar.

If you're looking for excellent, dependable universal socket wrenches, check out Dia Grip. These wrenches help you in any emergency and are designed to simplify your life.


7)  Flex Sockets

 Three silver flex sockets

Credit: Envato Elements/ cristi180884


Flex sockets can tighten and loosen fasteners in confined locations where a normal socket cannot be used. These sockets are hinged in the middle, can spin, and can handle most angles. To prevent the socket from coming loose, they include an enclosed head that wraps around and tightly grips the fastener's entire head.


8)  Insulated Sockets


Four different size orange insulated sockets
Credit: Eintac


Insulated sockets provide safety from the risk of electrical shock when it is necessary to tighten or loosen fasteners close to electrical circuits. When used with a similarly insulated ratchet or breaker bar, these sockets can prevent electrical shock to the tool user as well as accidental arcing or short circuits that can damage equipment.


9)  Oil Filter Sockets

 An oil filter socket used to remover and insert oil filters in cars

Credit: OTC Tools


Oil filter sockets are shallow, large sockets that are used to remove and insert oil filters into vehicles. These sockets usually have significantly thinner walls than ordinary sockets of the same size since they do not need to withstand large torque forces. They function by fitting into a square drive socket of a turning tool. 


10)  Adjustable Multi Sockets

 An adjustable silver socket set with several different sizes

Credit: FindThisBest


This type of socket can accommodate several fasteners. They have movable jaws that can be tightened or loosened to meet the fastener's size. By turning the outer part of the socket, the jaws can slide inward or outward to clamp down on the sides of the fastener you need to work on. Adjustable multi sockets can be used for a variety of tasks around the house, outside, or in the shop.




Despite the variety of socket types, they all share a certain trait. Their function is to simplify your life by making it simple for you to tighten or loosen fasteners. If you are looking to build your socket set with top-notch universal socket wrenches, head over to Dia Grip. This portable, lightweight socket wrench is easy to store and has a compact design that makes it always available for use.


Alex Wittle
Alex Wittle

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