Thin Wall Socket Vs Regular (Differences and Usage)

When it comes to handling tools, sockets are the most common thing you need. And with all the sockets option out there, it’s easy to get confused. 

You will often find yourself wandering in a hardware store. Do I need a thin wall socket or the regular one? 

But, thin wall socket vs regular, which one should you choose? 

Thin wall sockets have thinner outer shells than regular sockets. Thin wall sockets are used in narrow areas where regular sockets can’t enter. There are weigh lighter than the regular sockets. But Thin wall sockets are not for use everywhere. There are weaker than the regular sockets. 

This is just a compressed answer. Keep reading the article. You will know more about the difference between a thin wall socket and a regular socket.

Thin Wall Socket Vs Regular: Quick Comparison

Different wall sockets have a different use. Also, there are other attributes that make them different. Let’s see a quick comparison between these two types of sockets. 

FeatureThin Wall SocketRegular Wall Socket
Outer ShellThinThick
Strength WeakerStronger
Used inNarrower, deeper spaceWider, shallower space
Uses with Impact WrenchesNot recommendedCan be used

So, here is a quick comparison between them. But to understand better and decide where to use which one read the in-depth comparison. 

Thin Wall Socket Vs Regular: In-depth Comparison

Here, we are going to discuss in detail the features we have seen above. Before starting the discussion, you can learn about different types of sockets and their application

Now, let’s move on to our discussion. 

1. Outer Shell

The outer shell or wall of a regular socket is usually thicker. On the other hand, thin wall sockets have a thinner outer shell.

A thin wall socket’s wall is usually 2mm. And the regular wall socket’s wall is thicker than that. 

2. Weight

The thin wall sockets are usually lighter than the regular sockets.

Depending on socket size and cover, a thin wall socket can weigh 0.45 – 7 ounces. And for regular sockets, this weight can go from 5.5 – 13 ounces. 

You can check out the thin wall and regular sockets of different sizes from here. 

3. Strength

Regular sockets have a thicker wall also heavier in weight. So,  they are stronger than the thin wall sockets.

Thin wall sockets tend to crack easily under pressure. Regular sockets can take more pressure. 

So, it is not recommended to use thin wall sockets everywhere. Sometimes the regular socket can’t reach an area that is really narrow. Only then use a thin wall socket. 

4. Used In

Regular sockets can be used in fastening almost anything. But sometimes you will find areas where regular sockets cant enter. 

Such as any fireplace, pipe, wheel, etc. in that case, thin wall sockets are important. They can get access to more restricted areas than regular sockets. 

Also, thin wall sockets are longer than regular ones. So they can go deeper areas. Regular sockets cover only shallower space. 

5. Uses with Impact Wrenches

Before starting with this point, we want to notify you of an important thing. You may think, that an impact is a versatile tool and can be used in everything.

But, remember that, there is some time when you can’t use an impact wrench

A thin wall socket is more brittle than the regular one. So you should never use it with an impact. Impact works with a lot of pressure while fastening. A thin wall socket won’t be able to take that. 

Regular sockets are stronger and can be used with an impact. Although impact wrenches are better used with impact sockets. 

Impact sockets are usually thicker than regular sockets. Although some impact sockets are claimed to be thin-walled. But still, they will be thicker than the regular thin wall sockets. 

Impact wrenches have different usage too. Removing lug nuts is one of them. Size specification of impact wrench for removing lug nuts is a thing you need to consider. 

So, here are the difference between thin wall sockets and regular sockets. 

Final Verdict: Thin Wall Socket Vs Regular 

So, the socket type you need depends on where you gonna use it. If you using it somewhere with a bigger space, regular sockets are good to go.

But if the area is more restricted and hard to find space for a regular socket, use a thin wall one. 

Another factor you should keep in mind. Which is shallow sockets vs deep sockets. 

Usually, shallow sockets are our regular thick-walled sockets. They are most commonly found and used. They come with the wrench set, so you may even not have to buy them alone. 

But there is a problem with shallow sockets. If the nut is in deeper than an inch or so, shallow sockets can’t reach it. 

In that case, you have to use a deep socket. Thin-walled sockets are usually used as a deep socket.

They are longer and go deeper about 2-3 inches while fastening. So, it’s not a problem if the nut is in a deeper place. 

So, this is the difference between shallow and deep sockets. Also, socket sizes such as ½, ¼, and ⅜  have different applications


Should I Get Deep Or Standard Sockets?

Getting deeper or standard sockets depends on the things you are fastening. If the nut is within an inch, getting a standard socket would be enough.

But the nut can be in deeper, say for 2-3 inches. Such as in pipes or wheels. In that case, you gonna need a deep socket. 

Why Don’t You Put Chrome Sockets on an Impact?

Impacts tend to put a lot of pressure on the socket while fastening. Regular chrome sockets are not very strong. So, in the pressure of an impact, they tend to get shattered or bent.

To work with an impact, there are impact sockets. They are thicker and stronger. 

Do Impact Sockets Make a Difference?

Impact sockets are more durable and thicker than normal ones. They don’t easily shatter or crack. They can take a lot of vibration and shock. So, the impact sockets are safe to use.

And other tools associated with them are also safe because of this. 

What Socket Is Better 6 Or 12 Point?

12-point sockets are better for use in a narrower space. because the socket wall of 12 point socket is thinner. But it should not be used always. 6 point sockets will give you a good grip.

If the fastening is hard or stubborn, there is less chance for the socket to slip. 

Final Word

For most of the regular fastening, a regular socket is enough. Use the thin wall ones for a tighter space.

So, now you know everything about thin wall socket vs regular wall socket. I hope this article will help you make the decision on which socket you need. 

That’s all for now. I hope you have a good day.

Jim Boslice

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