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If you work in the automotive industry, invariably you will come across a rounded bolt head (it was always the last guy that did it, right!?). It is challenging and tedious to try to remove damaged bolts, especially if the bolt is over-tightened and you don’t have the right tool to get the job done.
Extractor wrenches and twist sockets (also known as turbo sockets or extractor sockets) make it much easier to get rid of rusted, decayed, or rounded-off fastener heads. Most of the time, they will never fail you, but there are some circumstances in which a tool might be handier than the other, so we will compare them to know the best option for your projects.
Extractor Wrenches vs. Twist Sockets Comparison
While turbo sockets have an internal thread design that can dig into 50% to 80% rounded-off bolt heads, the gripping power of the 6-point box end design in our bolt extractor wrenches puts the force almost directly on the middle of the bolt head flank. Not only does this help prevent further damage to the fastener, the tool can extract up to 85% rounded bolts and nuts. On top of that, since the design is engineered to keep the load off the corners of fasteners, these extractor wrenches can actually be used in normal circumstances and prevent rounding of bolts, whereas extractor sockets can only be used once a fastener is damaged beyond repair.
Tighten and Loosen Bolts
Unlike extractor sockets which only work to loosen a fastener, and typically cause further damage in the process; our extractor wrenches are able to both tighten and loosen fasteners, even if they have some damage or rounding to them. Imagine you’re working to finish a job on a tight timeline and have a slightly damaged bolt you need to undo: with an extractor socket you might further damage the bolt and waste precious time trying to source a replacement, but with Olsa Tools’ extractor wrench you may still be able to reuse the same fastener and reinstall it securely until a suitable replacement can be found.
Ease of Use in Tight Spaces
Picture this: you have to remove a hard-to-reach bolt on the underside of your intake manifold. Accessing that bolt is hard enough as-is! To make the situation worse, it is a rusted and rounded-off bolt. What would you do to get this bolt out?
Maybe you’re thinking of using a twist socket, but this might not be the best option. Using a twist socket will require working with a ratchet and some extra tools. With most twist sockets, you may first need a hammer to fit the socket into the fastener head. Then, the depth of the socket might be too deep to even allow for a ratchet or breaker bar in such a tight space.
Since ratchets and breaker bars add more height in addition to the socket, which is not good when you barely have enough space to move your hands, our angled offset extractor wrenches are a great replacement for twist sockets. The 45-degree offset makes it easy to get into tricky places while completing the job with the least effort. The set comes in Metric and SAE, as well as a long 0° offset version, giving you multiple options for a variety of tricky jobs.
There are moments when you need more torque or access into tighter areas. An extractor socket would be a good fit, but only when you have enough space.
If you want a tool that gives you the extra torque you need in awkward positions, the long metric variant of these extractor wrenches has your back. The zero-offset design makes it easy to get into really narrow spaces where extractor sockets simply wouldn’t fit, while its long length gives outstanding leverage to break free stubborn fasteners.
Twist sockets and extractor wrenches come in handy when removing stripped bolts. However, for working in really tight or hard-to-reach areas, these extractor wrenches take the win.
The easy-to-use 2-in-1 wrenches exceed ASME standards for box-end wrenches, are polished to perfection, and chrome plated to protect them from rust for years to come. Additionally, they are covered by our limited lifetime warranty like all of our other hand tools.
Treat yourself to an extractor wrench set today and the next time you run into a troublesome bolt, you’ll be prepared!