The Origin Of Tools: Sockets

The Origin Of Tools: Sockets

It is hard to imagine a mechanic without sockets in their toolbox. Whether they are chrome sockets or impact sockets, both are both must-have tools in any professional garage or workshop. Do you know how they were designed and how they evolved over the years? You will find these answers in this blog.

History Of Sockets 

Olsa Tools Chrome Sockets


J. J. Richardson was the inventor of the first “ratcheting wrench” (or ratchet) to use with interchangeable sockets. The patent was granted in 1863 and the first illustration of this wrench appeared with two different sizes of interchangeable square sockets in a 1864 issue of Scientific American.

First Ratcheting Wrench By JJ Richardson
United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent #: US000038914

The invention of the ratchet was revolutionary for mechanics; no longer was it required to painstakingly install and remove nuts and bolts with a traditional wrench, but mechanics could now make quick work of their nuts and bolts with a quick back and forth ratcheting motion. 

Modern-Day Sockets

Olsa Tools Deep Impact Sockets


Without a doubt, the socket is one of the most important tools for a mechanic. There are many types in the market ranging from shallow to deep, 6 pt or 12-pt, as well as many other shapes, sizes, and features!

Sockets typically come in two different unit systems: metric sockets in millimeters and SAE sockets in imperial units (inches and fractions). However, there are also many specialty sockets such as E-Torx, triple square, and bit sockets

Metric fasteners are typically found on European and Japanese vehicles with imperial (SAE) sizes being more prevalent in American-made vehicles. However, with more globally sourced parts and more standardization, it’s not uncommon to find both standards used in a single vehicle. Because Metric and SAE sockets are not perfectly interchangeable, and using the wrong size socket on a nut or bolt could damage the fastener head, most mechanics find themselves owning both Metric and SAE sockets.


Sockets are a must-have tool. With the variety of shapes, sizes, and features available at Olsa Tools, you can find one that will make your job easier. As always, we offer our 30 day risk free returns on all purchases so you can buy without worry. We also back all our hand tools with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee & Limited Lifetime Warranty! You can see our selection of sockets and related tools below.


Shop Our Sockets and Related Tools 

Deep Impact Sockets- Olsa Tools

Shallow Impact Sockets- Olsa Tools

Professional Swivel Head Ratchet





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