Whether you use standard or metric, finding the correct socket conversion size will always be part of the job.
But what is the conversion from a 1/2″ socket to mm?
For a 1/2″ socket to mm, you can use a 13mm socket with a decimal of .500/12, 1/2″+.012=13mm. Although 1/2″ is often considered equal to 13mm and either will work fine in most cases, 1/2″ is actually 12 thousandths of an inch smaller.
So, if you have both sockets available and 1/2″ works well, I would use the 1/2″ because you will get a tighter fit and less stripping.
Note: Less than .005 thousandths of an inch is usually not noticeable, meaning it is nearly identical. And more than .010 thousandths of an inch may not fit depending on the particular bolt or nut.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Standard and Metric Sockets
- Six and Twelve Point Socket: In a Nutshell
- Chrome vs. Impact Socket
- Can You Use Impact Sockets For Everything
- Why Do Impact Sockets Have a Hole
- Three Types of Socket Sets and Their Uses
Understanding Standard and Metric Sockets
The essential thing to know is the difference between metric and standard tools.
One of the standard system’s main measurement units is the inch.
I think everyone can agree that they’ve heard of an inch before.
Generally, here in the U.S., we measure almost everything in inches if we’re talking about distance.
And when we’re talking about standard tooling, for example, a half-inch socket, we’re saying the inside diameter.
So for a standard socket, we’re measuring the inside diameter of fractions of an inch, for example, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 9/16 inch, etc.
Related 3/4″ Socket to mmFor more on 3/4″ socket to mm read the full article.
Now let’s move to the other end of the spectrum, which is the metric system.
One of the metric system’s most common units of measurement is the meter.
And when we measure tools in millimeters, there are 1000 millimeters in a meter; again, when you measure the inside diameter of a socket.
To accurately measure your sockets, use a digital caliper for best results.
Related 1 1/16″ Socket to mmFor more on 1 1/16″ socket to mm read the full article.
When to Use Standard or Metric Sockets
Some of the best ways to tell if you should use metric or standard sockets are to fit the fastener and test it; chances are, if it’s metric, they’re all metric.
And if it’s standard, they’re all going to be standard for whatever you’re working with.
If you notice a good fit on the fastener, that’s what you need to use.
But if you notice too much slop in the screw, you probably shouldn’t use it and keep testing until you find the right bushing size, whether metric or standard.
Related 1/4″ Socket to mmFor more on 1/4″ socket to mm read the full article.
Using the Wrong Socket on a Fastener
One of the biggest problems when using the wrong socket on a fastener is that if you use a standard one where you should have used a metric, and it is a little too large, you can round off the top of the bolt or nut and then you have problems.
Six and Twelve Point Socket: In a Nutshell
Six Point Socket
Six-point sockets are best for heavy torque applications, whether tightening something or loosening a bolt.
Because they have fewer points, six-point sockets have thicker walls on the side.
That’s why most impact sockets are six-point because they’re already thick and need thicker walls to absorb that torque.
They have thicker walls designed to contact the fastener away from the corners.
And what I mean is that the corners are rounded, and the socket entrance is also rounded to allow it to slide easily onto the fastener.
Related 3/8″ Socket to mmFor more on 3/8″ socket to mm read the full article.
Twelve Point Socket
Twelve-point sockets are usually suitable for light duty, probably for about 150-foot pounds or less.
A twelve-point socket is easiest to get on a fastener that you can’t see or is in a tight spot.
So that’s where the twelve sockets come in handy because you can quickly get the twelve points in the twelve corners of the fastener.
One of the disadvantages of twelve-point sockets is that they wear out much faster than six prongs.
Related 1 Inch socket to mmFor more on 1 inch socket to mm read the full article.
Chrome vs. Impact Socket
If you use a chrome socket instead of an impact socket, here’s what will happen:
Don’t use a chrome socket on an impact tool or under heavy torque for two reasons:
1. Metallurgically, a chrome socket is incompatible with the forces that will be applied against it. It will crack and break.
2. The retaining system is incompatible because the retaining ring will fill the retainers and lock the socket into the impact tool. You will have to pry to remove the chrome socket and eventually break your power tool.
Related 13/16″ Socket to mmFor more on 13/16″ socket to mm read the full article.
So, let’s compare the two types of sockets, chrome, and impact, to understand both dynamics better.
As we already know, metallurgically chrome and impact sockets are very different; both are made of chromium steel alloys.
- The chrome socket is usually made of chrome vanadium steel or 8650 steel.
- The impact socket is made of chrome-molybdenum or chrome-molybdenum steel.
- The chrome-plated socket will be harder and more brittle than the impact socket.
- The impact socket will be softer and have more excellent ductility.
This means impact sockets can deform and reform their shape under the higher stresses of being hammered by an impact power tool simultaneously.
The two chrome and impact sockets are designed for very different applications.
For example, to compare, some of the outer diameters of a chrome socket are 25.9 millimeters. The wall thickness is 3.7 millimeters.
And the outside diameter of the impact socket is 28.03 millimeters, and the wall thickness is 4.47.
And as you can see in the example above, impact sockets do not fit some tight applications because of their robust design.
Can You Use Impact Sockets For Everything
You can use an impact socket in many places where you could use a chrome socket with a hand tool.
However, the chrome socket will be your choice if you need a thinner wall application socket.
And because the chrome socket is more brittle than the impact socket, the impact socket is better for power tool applications. Still, again, you can use it with hand tools as well, including a torque wrench.
Why Do Impact Sockets Have a Hole
The impact socket hole is intended for use in an impact power tool with a pin retainer system.
Most impact power tools have a spring-loaded pin in the anvil section where the socket is inserted into the impact power tool.
The pin retainer pops out and locks into the impact socket hole.
Now, to remove the socket from the impact power tool, you have to take a unique tool and press the pin so that the socket slides out of the impact power tool.
Three Types of Socket Sets and Their Uses
Now that we know the dynamics of impact and chrome sockets, let’s refresh and see a quick analysis on how to choose the right set, including:
- Impact socket set
- Chrome socket set
- Universal socket set
Impact Socket Set
Impact socket sets are for heavier duty jobs requiring primarily pneumatic or electric tools. You can also use them with a torque wrench.
Impact sockets are built to resist higher torque due to their malleable steel composition.
Chrome Socket Set
Chrome sockets are the most common type available.
These sockets are ideal for automotive repair, household jobs, and outdoor projects involving non-powered hand tools.
Universal Socket Set
Universal socket sets are ideal for do-it-yourself projects.
All in one convenient set that can handle six different types of fasteners will do well, including:
In addition, these sets are ideal for smaller jobs or tasks requiring multiple types of fasteners.
Different drive sizes have different strengths, so ensure that the drive size matches the job.
And again, avoid using non-impact sockets with an impact wrench.
Knowing the basic types available and the distinctions between them is crucial.
Socket sets are standard or metric, and most sets offer both options.
For example, some basic multi-piece sets often include:
- 6-1 Screwdriver
- Regular and deep sockets
A smaller set is good for the simplest everyday tasks. In comparison, a more extensive set can offer additional deep sockets and multiple drive sizes.
By choosing the suitable socket set and size, you’ll be ready to tackle any project that comes your way.