Best Impact Sockets of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Whether you are a mechanic by profession or just love heavy-duty trucks and vehicles, you are likely to own an impact wrench. But if you do not have a good quality impact socket, then you are not going to make the full use out of it.

An impact socket is very different than normal sockets, as it is able to withstand greater power, shock, and vibration. An ordinary socket will shatter under such power.

With recent advancements in technology, impact wrenches have become more refined. To complement them, the best impact sockets also have gained new features and functions. In this article, we'll take a look at those developments and review the five best options on the market.

Comparison Chart of the Best Impact Sockets

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Stanley 97-126 11

  • Each socket is of ½ inch
  • Sockets come in a pack of 11
  • Best overall that is backed by a lifetime warranty
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GEARWRENCH 29 Pc. 84935N

  • Comes with a molded case
  • The set includes 29 sockets each
  • Runner-up on our list with its chrome molybdenum alloy steel construction
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DEWALT DW22812

  • Compatible with cordless and cord impact drivers
  • Includes eight common-sized, and 2 ¼ inch sockets
  • Laser-etched markings make it the best for the money
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Sunex 3657

  • Each set includes 10 pieces
  • Laser-etched markings on the sockets
  • Chamfered opening makes it the best impact swivel sockets
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TEKTON 1/2-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket 4885

  • Features black phosphate finish
  • Meets ANSI performance standards
  • 6 point socket design makes this the best deep impact sockets
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What is an Impact Socket?

An impact socket is very different from an ordinary socket that you may use. Impact sockets are only used for impact wrenches since they work with high torque power. In professional garages, impact sockets are important components, especially if you are going to use high-power tools such as electric wrenches. For electric, air, or manual wrenches, normal or ordinary wrenches are not appropriate to be used. 

What is a Deep Impact Socket?

For areas where bolts in joints are far deep inside where it is difficult for a normal socket to access, a deep impact socket is what works the best. These are not very commonly found for sale and are only used in professional garages. Bolted joints such as those in automotive exhausts are an example of where deep impact sockets are widely used. 

What is a Flip Impact Socket?

Flip impact sockets are the most commonly used for wheel rims, wheels, and lug nuts. These are dual-sided, which makes them perfect for lug nuts and allows simultaneous use. 

How to Choose Impact Sockets 

Before you go ahead and read our reviews of the best impact sockets, you will need to know the key factors that need to be present in a good quality unit. Let's take a look at those features:

Clearly Labeled

Even the most experienced professionals and mechanics are sometimes unable to tell between different sockets. Therefore, it is important that the ones you are choosing to buy have clearly labeled heads that you can quickly refer to when using. This can save you from many safety hazards and also ensures efficiency in performance. 

GEARWRENCH 29 Pc. 84935N clearly labeled each socket 

Good Brand Reputation

While material quality is an important factor to consider, you cannot tell whether a socket is made of good quality steel just by looking at it. Therefore, brand reliability comes into play. If the socket you have chosen to buy has a good brand reputation, then you can make your judgment based on valuable customer feedback. 

Sturdy Storage Case

No matter what brand and size of impact sockets you choose, make sure they come with a storage case. Storage cases are essential even if you are going to use the sockets very few times. A storage case will prove to be highly beneficial in the long run, both for convenient storage and for protecting your sockets from damage. 

Quick Take: Best Impact Sockets

Want to skip the review? Here is a quick look at the best impact sockets:

1. Stanley 97-126 11
2.
GEARWRENCH 29 Pc. 84935N
3.
DEWALT DW22812

Review of the Best Impact Sockets

Let's move on to an important section of the article, which contains in-depth reviews of the five best impact sockets. Make use of these reviews to find the best, most suitable product for yourself!

Best Overall:
Stanley 97-126 11

Stanley 97-126 11 Piece 1/2-Inch Drive Metric Deep Impact Socket Set,One Color

PROS

  • Comes with a sturdy organizer
  • Great quality at affordable price
  • Lifetime warranty ensures reliability
  • Industrial finish with powder coating
  • Deep impact socket, perfect for professional use

CONS

  • Some buyers received missing pieces in the set 
  • Other users reported that sockets do not remain attached to the wrench 

What Recent Buyers Report

The feedback from the buyers of this product is highly satisfactory and positive. Users and buyers have found these sockets to be highly affordable while still providing great quality performance. It has proved to be a long-lasting product as well; some buyers have used these sockets for many years now.

The only complaints that we came across were regarding some issues with the delivery of missing pieces in the set. However, other buyers reported that the case that comes with these is highly functional, sturdy, and provides great support.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason why this particular set of 11 sockets impresses us is that it is packed with all the essential features at a considerably affordable price. The sockets all come with an organizer/bag that makes storage a piece of cake for all kinds of users. Plus, they are perfect for rigorous professional use as they are industrial-grade quality.

Who Will Use This Most

We would recommend this product to anyone who needs a deep impact socket for deeper bolted joints. This is a great choice for beginners, as it is budget-friendly. Meanwhile, professionals can also make great use out of its industrial-grade build. 

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this is a great product for absolutely anyone. It will feed all purposes and will last for a long time. All these great features come at a more than reasonable price, which is another plus. 

GEARWRENCH 29 Pc. 1/2' Drive 6 Point Deep Impact Metric Socket Set - 84935N

PROS

  • Highly visible and clear labeling
  • Features corrosion-resistant coating 
  • Sturdy and durable mold case for easy storage
  • Versatile compatibility can be used with conventional ratchets 
  • Conforms to ASME B107.2 specifications, ensuring reliability and durability 

CONS

  • Slightly more expensive than other alternatives
  • Issues reported with the delivery of defected products

What Recent Buyers Report  

Recent buyers have found these sockets to be highly satisfactory in terms of durability and longevity. They had not rusted for a long time, which added great convenience and value as they did not need to be replaced. Some buyers reported that damaged products were delivered to them, but their complaints were solved by the manufacturer's customer support, adding to the brand's reliability. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were impressed by the mold case quality of these sockets. The case ensures security and safety for your product while also ensuring comfort and ease of management. Moreover, we also found the corrosion-resistant build of these sockets to be highly impressive. This makes them unusually reliable and durable, which is an important factor.

Who Will Use This Most

With 29 pieces in a set, we think these sockets are best for professionals and mechanics. They also come with an industrial-grade case as well, which will be really useful for professional garages. Bear in mind that these are somewhat pricey, so we don't recommend them for home use or beginners. 

Bottom Line

Undoubtedly, this runner-up set is a great buy for anyone who wants both quantity and quality. It's a bundle of highly versatile and essential features, including rust-resistance and clear labeling, which ensure high-quality performance. 

Best for the Money:
 DEWALT DW22812

DEWALT Impact Socket Set, SAE, 1/2-Inch, 10-Piece (DW22812)

PROS

  • Affordable alternative with great quality
  • Includes a carry case for ease of storage
  • Clear and visible markings for ease of use
  • Sturdy and corrosion-resistant build quality 
  • Recessed corners allow better distribution of torque
  • Versatile compatibility can be used with all kinds of impact drivers 

CONS

  • Sloppy packaging; sockets keep getting out of place 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of this affordable set of 10 sockets find the product to be highly durable and sturdy through their course of use. They also reported that they were very easy to take out from the case and then put back in, which added great convenience. Plus, many buyers used them for professional purposes and found them highly sustainable. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most important reason why we have added this product on our list is that it is packed with several reliable features that are offered at a surprisingly affordable price. With ten sockets in a strong and helpful case, this is a rather efficient alternative. It has also impressed us with its versatile compatibility, along with an intelligent design that features recessed corners for better torque distribution. 

Who Will Use This Most  

We highly recommend this budget-friendly product to be bought and used by beginners and first-timers. It is cheap but has great features, which also makes it a suitable product for professionals as well. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, these sockets are going to add great value to your purchase with their great range of features. They are built with highly durable materials that can sustain all kinds of impacts and usage. Plus, they include a storage case for even more user-friendliness. 

Best Impact Swivel Sockets:
Sunex 3657

Sunex 3657, 3/8 Inch Drive Universal Impact Socket Set, 10-Piece, Metric, 10mm - 19mm, Cr-Mo Alloy Steel, Radius Corner Design, Dual Size Markings, Heavy Duty Storage Case, Meets ANSI Standards

PROS

  • Strong storage case included
  • Backed by a generous lifetime warranty
  • Laser-etched markings for better visibility 
  • Radius corner design ensures better torque
  • CR-MO steel ensures sustainability for a long time 

CONS

  • Durability issues reported by users 
  • Tough bolts broke the sockets for some users 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that these rather affordable sockets are very similar to higher-end, more expensive products that they used before. Moreover, users also commented that they measure exactly as claimed, which ensures great reliability and peace of mind.

Some users experienced faulty sockets that broke when used with really tough bolts. However, most buyers were satisfied with their lifetime warranty and sustainability. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most distinctive feature of this product is its radius corners. The corners are specially designed to make the sockets durable as they ensure minimum contact with fasteners, which reduces wear and tear. Other than that, we also feel like the red, vibrant, and solidly built bag is another cherry on top of this brilliant product.

Who Will Use This Most

Buyers of this product have mostly been professional mechanics. Therefore, we think that it will be a great choice for professionals. With its affordable price range and extraordinary features, we also think it's a good choice for beginners and first-timers. 

Bottom Line

Sunex sockets are an amazing product overall. They have laser-etched precise labeling, which makes them easy to use, even for professionals. They also have great durability considering they are made with high-quality metal that is also resistant to rust and corrosion. The radius design also decreases wear and tear.

TEKTON 1/2 Inch Drive Deep 6-Point Impact Socket Set, 14-Piece (11-32 mm) | 4885

PROS

  • Includes 14 sockets
  • Affordable alternative
  • Easy-to-read laser-etched labels 
  • Recommended for professional use as well
  • Reliability guaranteed by meeting ANSI standards
  • One storage case included, adding purchase value
  • Phosphate covering is resistant to corrosion and rust 

CONS

  • Some sockets were missing when received by buyers

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers who have used these sockets highly appreciated the quality of performance. Many professionals also reported that they do not break or damage rusted bolts and take them out very smoothly. There were a few problems experienced by buyers who received missing products. Other than that, buyers also reported that the case it came with was of exceptional quality and fitted all the sockets perfectly. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most distinctive feature of these sockets is their phosphate black finish. This coating provides a great look that sets them apart from regular sockets. Plus, it also ensures longevity as the coating is resistant to corrosion and rust. Therefore, we have added this product to our list of best impact sockets. 

Who Will Use This Most

We think that this product would be beneficial for both professionals and beginners. With its easy-to-view laser-etched markings, it will be very convenient for beginners. Meanwhile, the sturdy storage case will help professionals keep their garage organized. 

Bottom Line

In conclusion, these deep impact sockets by TEKTON are highly reliable and durable products. They come in sets of 14 and have a 6 pin design that ensures longevity and minimum wear and tear. These are definitely among the best deep impact sockets. 

Why Do I Need New Impact Sockets?

You might be wondering why you need new impact sockets, rather than simply investing in normal sockets. Here is a list of benefits that will help you make a better decision:

Softer Steel Construction Allows Better Resistance to High Power

Softer steel is more ductile and therefore sustains more impact and power than an ordinary socket. An impact socket is able to withstand and is more compatible with high torque power, which makes it a great choice for people who want to use electric, hydraulic, and other powerful wrenches. High quality steel construction also allows them to withstand constant exposure to high impact and shocks. 

Compatible With Powered and Manual Tools Both

Whether you need to use a powered or a manual tool, impact sockets will always work for you. This makes them versatile and suited for more than one occasion and purpose. 

Lesser Chances of Socket Shattering and Injury

When ordinary sockets shatter under lots of pressure or impact, they can cause injury or pose a safety hazard for both you and the machine. Therefore, you need to prevent such incidents from occurring and use an impact socket to avoid any shattered steel pieces from hurting you. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before you go ahead and buy the ideal impact socket for yourself, we advise you to consider the following aspects before your final purchase.

Size

By size, we are referring to both the size of the whole package and the size of each socket. The size of the package means how many sockets you will get, and this totally depends on how you plan on using them. Furthermore, the size of a socket changes as its features and functions change. There are ¼-inch, ⅜-inch, and ½-inch socket sizes available. Of these, the most common and relied upon and widely used size is the ⅜-inch. 

Durability

The durability of the sockets is always going to be the number one consideration when you are buying impact sockets. They should be made with high quality, soft, and ductile steel that will not be impacted if used with high torque power. Durability can also be determined by the brand's warranty policy and reliability in the market. 

Type

You will find deep, shallow, and extra deep sockets most commonly. It depends on where and how you need to use the sockets. You will need to measure the depth of bolt join, nuts, and lugs that you will be using the socket on to decide which option will be ideal. 

Conclusion

If you have finally decided to invest in a new impact socket, make sure you consider the important factors of durability, brand reputation, size of the package, ease of storage, and type of socket. Make sure to perfectly match your use and need for impact sockets with the ones you are buying. 

People Also Ask

You might have picked up the best impact socket that you think is perfect for your use. But before that, we want to clear out each and every confusion you may have left behind. Here are some very common questions that all impact socket buyers have. Take a look:

Can Impact Sockets Be Used as Regular Sockets?

Yes, if necessary, impact sockets can be used in place of regular sockets. However, it also depends on the kind of wrench you are using in order to match the size of the socket with the wrench being used. Use them in lieu of regular sockets only when you don't have other options. 

Are Impact Sockets Stronger Than Regular Sockets?

Definitely yes. Impact sockets are specifically designed to be more powerful and sustainable than regular sockets. This is the key difference between them, as they are made with different kinds of softer steel than the material used for making regular sockets. They might have the same mechanisms to work, but their purpose and build are entirely different. Regular sockets cannot be used in place of impact sockets. 

Do You Have to Use Impact Sockets with an Impact Driver?

It's highly unsafe and dangerous to use regular or chrome sockets with impact drivers. They can easily shatter and damage your vehicle and tools and also cause you physical harm. Therefore, it is necessary that you use impact sockets, particularly with impact drivers as they sustain the pressure and power. 

What is the Difference Between Impact Sockets and Normal Sockets?

First of all, all impact sockets are different in terms of color from normal sockets. Impact sockets have a carbonized coating that makes them "black" and allows them to be distinguished easily at first glance. Secondly, they are different in terms of metal quality. Normal sockets are made with chrome vanadium whereas impact sockets are made with chrome molybdenum. Third, the two types of sockets are different in terms of their locking pins.