A socket wrench is a wrench with interchangeable heads called sockets that attach to a fitting on the wrench, allowing it to turn different sized bolts and other fasteners. The most common form is a hand tool popularly called a ratchet consisting of a handle with a ratcheting mechanism built in, so it can be turned using a back-and-forth motion in cramped spaces. A socket has a cup-shaped fitting with a recess that grips the head of a bolt. The socket snaps onto a male fitting on the handle. The handle supplies the mechanical advantage to provide the torque to turn the socket. The wrench usually comes in a socket set with many sockets to fit the heads of different-sized bolts and other fasteners. The advantage of a socket wrench is that, instead of a separate wrench for each of the many different bolt heads used in modern machinery, only a separate socket is needed, saving space.
There is also a power tool version, in which a socket set is used with an impact wrench. The wrench is usually powered pneumatically, although electric versions are not uncommon. Hydraulic motor versions are rare outside of heavy industry. The sockets for impact duty (called impact sockets) are made with thicker walls and tempered to a lower hardness so as not to shatter under the impacts. They are typically finished in black oxide rather than the chrome plating typical of the hand-tool variety. Hand-tool sockets (i.e. non-impact sockets) should never be used with impact wrenches as they will shatter.
The principal application of socket wrenches is to loosen and tighten fasteners such as nuts and bolts.
Nut drivers also use a female socket to envelop and drive a male fastener head. From an etic perspective they are a variation of the socket-as-wrench theme, but they are not emically classified in English by the name "socket wrench".
Other articles related to "socket wrench, socket, wrench, sockets":
... socket wrenches Extensions, sometimes called "extender arms", attach to a socket on one end and a ratchet on the other end of the extension ... These "extend" the length of the socket and allow access to nuts or bolts that are difficult to reach ... Wobble extensions have their socket attachment ends ground to allow the socket-extension interface to bend up to about 15 degrees ...
... American name British name Description Group box-end wrench ring spanner Widely regarded as "the king of wrenches," this is a one-piece wrench with an enclosed opening that grips the faces of ... common spark plug wrench box spanner / tube spanner A tube with six-sided sockets on both ends ... common combination wrench combination spanner A double-ended tool with one end being like an open-end wrench or open-ended spanner, and the other end being like a box-end wrench or ring spanner ...
... is a long non-ratcheting bar that is used with socket wrench style sockets ... the same amount of force to generate significantly more torque than a standard length socket wrench ... also prevents damage to the ratcheting mechanism of a socket wrench ...
Famous quotes containing the word wrench:
“That is what we must make people feel... the catch in the throat, the wrench to steady the nerves, the determination to carry on.”
—John Dos Passos (18961970)