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6 point vs. 12 point sockets


bluevp00
05-08-2006, 09:06 PM
I was wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are with 6 point and 12 point sockets & wrenches. Or if one type is better in certian situations than the other (i.e. impact sockets are always 6 point).

In my tool set all of my 3/8 drive sockets are 12 point, and my 1/4 sockets are 6 point. I have the "starter" set, but I noticed that the "professional" sets contain both 12 pt. and 6 point for 3/8 and 1/2 sockets (all 1/4 sockets are 6 point).

'97ventureowner
05-08-2006, 11:21 PM
From my many years of experience and what my father told me a long time ago. a 6 pt socket is better to use over a 12 pt on most bolts because there is less chance of slippage and "rounding off" the bolt head. This is especially true of cheaper quality sockets . The 6 pt seems to grip better and allow you to use more force to loosen a bolt. I have also found a 12 pt. comes in handy with slightly rounded off bolt heads where a 6 pt doesn't seem to want to fit properly. I have been known to use a hammer to pound the 12 pt socket on the slightly rounded bolt before I attempt to get the bolt loose. A slightly smaller size socket works well with this attempt. I know what i just said kind of contradicts the earlier portion of this post, but there are certain circumstances where one type works better than the other. In my younger days, I was known to use 12 pt.SAE sockets to remove metric bolts, because I didn't have enough money at the time to have a proper metric socket set:lol: Seems many of the cars I owned back in the '80s from the '70s era had a mix of SAE and metric bolts on them which at the time was a pain in the ass when you didn't have the proper tools. Now I know better.

rhandwor
07-29-2010, 07:57 PM
I was wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are with 6 point and 12 point sockets & wrenches. Or if one type is better in certian situations than the other (i.e. impact sockets are always 6 point).

In my tool set all of my 3/8 drive sockets are 12 point, and my 1/4 sockets are 6 point. I have the "starter" set, but I noticed that the "professional" sets contain both 12 pt. and 6 point for 3/8 and 1/2 sockets (all 1/4 sockets are 6 point).
You need 12 point for 12 point nuts and bolts. Occasionally a five point or 10 point are being used on some cars.

jdmccright
10-27-2010, 10:47 AM
You should use 6-point sockets when using a torque wrench, especially for larger bolts.

6-point is common for smaller sizes since there is simply not enough surface area contacting the bolt head to apply the needed torque without stripping the head if a 12-point socket were used.

But 12-points are common to provide a wider range of accessibility and ease of use...a lot faster to put a 12-point socket onto a bolt head.

Finally, use only sockets made for impact wrenches if at all possible...they are all 6-point. Regular 6-point sockets can be used if absolutely necessary but 12-points are not advisable at all.

Scrapper
10-27-2010, 10:51 AM
i agree 6 point all the way because they wont slip if you put it on rite size of bolt.

Poff
10-27-2010, 02:37 PM
I prefer 6 points but there are 12 point bolts out there so you need both. I agree with '97ventureowner (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/member.php?u=232082), there is less chance of sipping or rounding with a 6 point, especially on small sizes (below 1/2").

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