What is an Impact Socket?

First off you would need to know that there is a difference in sockets. There is your standard chrome socket, shallow socket, deep and impact. I am sure I am missing a couple, so feel free to add your comments. A standard is typically made out of chrome to use with a socket wrench by hand. They come in 6 point and 12 point configurations, with an occasional 8 point, but those are typically needed to be ordered from the manufacturer due to the rarity of them. A 12 point works great on square nuts and fasteners, however can easily slip and cause rounding of the nut or fastener due to so many points. A 6 point is usually used when a greater amount of torque is needed and provides less slipping.

Impact sockets are typically used with pneumatic tools or an impact wrench.They can be used with hand tools as well, but are designed for the high speed tools. A high strength fastener is needed when the correct amount of torque is needed or required to loosen or tighten, depending on the job at hand. Impact sockets are made of a softer steel that will split and deform under pressure rather than shattering as a regular chrome socket would. Impact sockets are also black. That helps them be identified quickly when searching for the proper socket. Do not be fooled though, there are some that are also black but are stamped on the end NON- IMPACT. Be sure you are getting the correct socket for the job at hand.