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Thread: What Socket set?

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    Senior Member Smudger's Avatar
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    What Socket set?

    My recent adventures in taking apart a slide have told me my current sockets are really not fit for purpose, particularly where domed nuts are used, can anyone recommend a reasonable (price and function) socket set?

    I've had e-mails from Toolstop that mention Bahco sets, are they any good?

    This one caught my eye:

    https://www.toolstop.co.uk/bahco-s46...R6S89K,RDHW0,1

    Usage won't be massively frequent, I think I just need a couple of steps above toy-level...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: What Socket set?

    I use Halfords Advanced, lifetime guarantee and very good tools.
    Jon

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    Re: What Socket set?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    I use Halfords Advanced, lifetime guarantee and very good tools.
    +1 don't have my own but they're what I borrow when I need them and no complaints.

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    Re: What Socket set?

    The one you listed is a quarter inch drive, thats incredibly small
    Jon

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    Re: What Socket set?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    The one you listed is a quarter inch drive, thats incredibly small
    That's what she said

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    Re: What Socket set?

    Tha Halfords Advanced stuff is pretty good, specially if you can get it around half price which is quite common.

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    Re: What Socket set?

    As others have said Halfords Advanced/Pro is good and the warranty is often honoured as long as you keep the receipt. Also Bahco is a very good brand as well although as mentioned unless you're working on small stuff like bicycles you probably dont want 1/4" .

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    Re: What Socket set?

    Halfords user here and Halfords used by all the local mechanics I care to know.
    Find the biggest set you can afford, then get the next size up.
    Smaller ones come in handy in tight spaces more often than you'd think.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    I dare anything... I am Skeletor!!!!

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    Re: What Socket set?

    Thanks all...

    The 150-piece set is at £121 at the mo, is this likely to come down, or is that a good price?

    Edit: this one: https://www.halfords.com/tools/hand-...et-735906.html

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    Re: What Socket set?

    You may find it will have a half price sale at some point but when that maybe is anyone's guess.

    Good thing about the Halfords advanced set is if any piece fails you just take that piece to the store and they replace it
    Jon

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    Re: What Socket set?

    Thanks, I'm in no great hurry. The slide's gone now, and the goal built to go in it's place, so no immediate need, but it's something I feel I should have as a proper grown up; my own socket set.

    Edit: that's not saying I haven't got sockets, just they're cheap nasty things that came from Argos, I think

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    Senior Member Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: What Socket set?

    Absolutely, you need your own socket set, its like a rite of passage
    Jon

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    Re: What Socket set?

    First off... Bahco make great kit. Truly great. But there resellers do tend to take photo's out of size context!

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bahco-SL25-...y%2C140&sr=1-1
    that's a tiny set.. but I used mine twice last week and once yesterday so...

    that's a beauty of a small kit

    I also have a Draper VOrtex kit.. it allows the bolt to go right through the socket .. they now call them "GO Through" and Bahco also make some

    Draper in recent years have ... slid in quality to be honest.

    Halfords are worth a look every time for their owb brand stuff

    Please though... get a set that covers metric AND Imperial...only yesterday I was servicing my lawnmower, which has metric nuts on the body and wheels etc.. only to find it was Imperial on the engine as it's a Briggs & Stratton engine on an Italian machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Re: What Socket set?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smudger View Post
    Thanks, I'm in no great hurry. The slide's gone now, and the goal built to go in it's place, so no immediate need, but it's something I feel I should have as a proper grown up; my own socket set.

    Edit: that's not saying I haven't got sockets, just they're cheap nasty things that came from Argos, I think
    When you do get a new set, compare the RATCHET mechanism... that's where the weakness shows first.
    Obviously you will keep the old set for holding that second nut ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Senior Member Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: What Socket set?

    My Halfords advanced set has both metric and imperial
    Jon

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    Re: What Socket set?

    Bacho stuff is awesome. I bought an impact driver and it came in a proper metal box! The quality and the sheer gravity of the thing are evident.

    I have a Draper Expert socket set. It sees light use. When I need a socket for applications where high or repeated torque is expected, and I can't afford to be using a nut lathe, I buy a high quality socket for the job (example being when I buy a new motorbike and the axle nut takes a lot of torque). The ratchet system on the Draper is fairly poor and you can feel it'll be the first part to go with any kind of heavy use.

    With sockets, the application is important when considering the type as well. 12 point sockets are supposed to give two contact point and be easier to use. They are easier to use however, for high torque applications you really do increase the risk of rounding off your nut if the tolerances are poor. The reason you pay more for an expensive socket is the tolerances and replacement of the tooling far more frequently. A six sided socket is essential if you're going to use it on a high torque application and you must buy a decent one where the tolerances are good.

    Imperial - I've never ever used the imperial stuff. If you are the kind of person who needs imperial, you know you need it. I'd Frankly, I'd save the money and if you need one, buy the size you need when you need it.

    If you can afford Bacho's stuff, my experience has been that they are tools for life. I also rate King Dick very highly - I have a mighty King Dick torque wrench and the build on it is really something else. Again, it is a tool for life. My mighty...er.... Dick was a replacement for an exact same spec Draper torque wrench which jammed up on a critical nut, stripping an aluminium thread in a braking system. You could argue I should have known something was wrong, but I got the torque wrench due to my distinct lack of touch, feel and delicacy. The difference between the Draper and the King Dick is night and day. I'd say the Draper feels like a rattly liability whereas the King Dick is precise and solid in every way.

    So, it depends on your use. If you're going to use it for the occasional round the house DIY on non critical stuff, Draper will be fine. For anything of any value or where failure is more than a mild inconvenience, I'd avoid Draper like the plague that it is. If you're mid way through a job on your car and you need it to get to work the next day, that ratchet mechanism failing could be a nightmare, requiring taxis to and from Halfords, for example. As I've discovered, that one failure usually wipes out any savings from buying Draper.... Indeed the Bacho tool above seemed stupidly expensive but buying the decent one paid off and just the first job being done without problems meant it already paid for itself.

    I'd also consider if you want 1/2" or 1/4". Myself, I prefer 1/2" as everything is more robust but, it really depends on your application. I've not found a time when 1/2" is too big and cumbersome to work but it has been close a couple of times. I've not used the go through ones but if you are considering one of those, remember adaptors and extensions will remove that capability so they look to be a poor substitute for anyone with deep socket needs in tight spots. Looking at the mechanism on those, I can't see them being very robust but I could be wrong. For me, they're barge pole material.

    As mentioned above, Halfords Advanced sockets (I specify Advanced and sockets only) have a good reputation, have a lifetime guarantee and are often on offer.

    If you can get hands on, you can't check for the quality of the steel mix but the price will tell you a lot about that (Sealey, Laser, Draper = likely cheap steel). Part of the cost is going to test the steel they're using and also if there's a shortage, they can spend that bit more to ensure they can still get steel in spec. Cheaper brands will just take what they can get. What you can check is the condition of the tooling. Poke around the inside and see if the edges feel crisp and sharp (not mincing fingers sharp). You can see if things are finished properly or left.

    Get something with a decent box that'll last. The reason being if you have the box break and they end up in a mess in the bottom of your tool kit, it'll add a stupid length of time onto every job and it also increases the chance of you losing things by means of not seeing it's all put away at the end of a job.

    Personally, I think that Bacho set looks just fine and pretty comprehensive.

    Have I rambled enough?

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