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Ultimate Guide To Socket Sizes And Measurements Chart

Arranging or sorting your sockets based on the size may sound easy. But it is not. Especially when there are two measurement standards, SAE and metric, which you need to keep in mind. However, if you just bought your set of sockets, we can help you arrange them

Below, you’ll find the necessary information about sockets, their types, and sizes. You’ll also find a detailed chart for easy conversion. So, let’s begin.

Common Drive Socket Sizes

You can think of a drive socket as the hole (square) for attaching the socket to a turning tool like a wrench or a ratchet. There are three commonly found standard sizes according to what you need it for. Here are the common sizes:

  • 1/2″ Drives: Such drives are mostly used for heavy jobs where the nuts are massive and need more force or torque. ½” drives are mostly used in 19mm socket sizes. You can use these when driving lag bolts into the walls for mounting your LED TV.
  • 3/8″ Drives: Such drives are more versatile. It’s because you can use these drives to cover sockets and areas for different jobs. It is used both at homes and workshops.
  • 1/4″ Drives: When it comes to low torque jobs, you can go for 1/4″ drives. You can use such drives for small sockets with a maximum size of 14mm. It’s used for precision or interior jobs.

Different Types of Sockets

There are different sockets suited for different jobs. If you’re in the mechanical field, you’ll find the below information useful.

Here are some common types of sockets:


Impact Sockets: Most of the time, people prefer hand tools. It’s because they are old school and have a sturdy build. However, most socket types don’t attach with such tools. And this is where impact sockets come into the picture. Impact sockets are specially designed to fit in such tools.

For example, let’s suppose you’re working with a pneumatic or electric wrench. Now, for such tools, you need sockets that are sturdy and can withstand high torques. And impact sockets get the job done here as they are sturdier and more robust than conventional sockets.

Point Sockets: Next on our list are the point sockets. Such sockets, especially the 12-point one, are very easy to fit and use. You can easily slip this socket over the tool in any of the available 12 positions. So, even if you’re a newbie, you can easily use it, as there won’t be an alignment problem.

The 12-point sockets are usually meant for light household tasks. However, there’s another category to this socket known as a 6-point socket. The 6-point socket is used for heavy jobs that require the application of heavy or substantial torque.

In such cases, the 6-point sockets are less likely to slip or move. They are considered more durable and sturdier than the inner walls. So, if you need a socket for lightweight jobs, go for the 12-point socket. Otherwise, go for a 6-point socket.

Shallow vs. Deep Sockets

The shallow socket is the other name for a normal socket. In some cases, it might not touch the nut before the bolt hits the end of the socket, which makes the job hard and sometimes not doable. In such cases, mechanics use deep sockets.

Usually, measuring one inch in length, you can use deep sockets in inaccessible places. You can do this only if your driver has an extension.

Metric Socket Sizes Chart

Here are the metric socket sizes and measurements:

3/8″ Drive 1/4″ Drive 3/4″ Drive 1/2″ Drive
5.5mm 4mm 19mm 8mm
6mm 4.5mm 20mm 9mm
7mm 5mm 21mm 10mm
8mm 5.5mm 22mm 11mm
9mm 6mm 23mm 12mm
10mm 7mm 24mm 13mm
11mm 8mm 25mm 14mm
12mm 9mm 26mm 15mm
13mm 10mm 27mm 16mm
14mm 11mm 28mm 17mm
15mm 12mm 29mm 18mm
16mm 13mm 30mm 19mm
17mm 14mm 31mm 20mm
18mm 15mm 32mm 21mm
19mm   33mm 22mm
20mm   34mm 23mm
21mm   35mm 24mm
22mm   36mm 25mm
    38mm 26mm
    40mm 27mm
    41mm 28mm
    42mm 30mm

SAE Socket Sizes Chart

Let’s learn about the SAE socket sizes: –

3/8″ Drive 1/4″ Drive 3/4″ Drive 1/2″ Drive
1/4″ 5/32″ 7/8″ 3/8″
5/16″ 3/16″ 15/16″ 7/16″
3/8″ 7/32″ 1″ 1/2″
7/16″ 1/4″ 1-1/16″ 9/16″
1/2″ 9/32″ 1-1/8″ 19/32″
9/16″ 5/16″ 1-3/16″ 5/8″
5/8″ 11/32″ 1-1/4″ 21/32″
11/16″ 3/8″ 1-5/16″ 11/16″
3/4″ 7/16″ 1-3/8″ 3/4″
13/16″ 1/2″ 1-7/16″ 25/32″
7/8″ 9/16″ 1-1/2″ 13/16″
15/16″   1-5/8″ 7/8″
1″   1-11/16″ 15/16″
    1-3/4″ 1″
    1-13/16″ 1-1/16″
    1-7/8″ 1-1/8″
    2″ 1-3/16″
    2-1/8″ 1-1/4″
    2-3/16″ 1-1/2″

SAE to Metric Socket Conversion Chart

Sometimes when you have a wrench in the metric units and a nut in Imperial units, you would not know whether it’ll fit or not. In such cases, you need to know how to correctly convert one unit into another. And the below chart will help you easily convert the dimensions from SAE to Metric or vice versa.

SAE Size Metric Size Inches Decimal  
5/32″   0.156 5/32″ and 4mm are
  4mm 0.157 close enough
  4.5mm 0.177  
3/16″   0.188  
  5mm 0.197  
  5.5mm 0.216  
7/32″   0.219  
  6mm 0.236  
1/4″   0.25  
  6.5mm 0.256  
  7mm 0.276  
9/32″   0.281  
5/16″   0.313 5/16″ and 8mm are
  8mm 0.315 close enough
11/32″   0.344  
  9mm 0.354  
3/8″   0.375  
  10mm 0.394  
13/32″   0.406  
  11mm 0.433 7/16″ and 11mm are
7/16″   0.438 close enough
15/32″   0.469 15/32″ and 12mm are
  12mm 0.472 close enough
1/2″   0.5  
  13mm 0.512  
17/32″   0.531  
  14mm 0.551  
9/16″   0.563  
  15mm 0.591 19/32″ and 15mm are
19/32″   0.594 close enough
5/8″   0.625  
  16mm 0.63  
21/32″   0.656  
  17mm 0.669  
11/16″   0.688  
  18mm 0.709  
23/32″   0.719  
  19mm 0.748 3/4″ and 19mm are
3/4″   0.75 close enough
25/32″   0.781  
  20mm 0.787  
13/16″   0.813  
  21mm 0.827  
27/32″   0.844  
  22mm 0.866  
7/8″   0.875  
  23mm 0.906 29/32″ and 23mm are
29/32″   0.906 close enough
15/16″   0.938  
  24mm 0.945  
1″   1  


Socket Size Chart – FAQs

1. What socket sizes are required for my task?

Ans: Select the drive size of ratchets and sockets based on the diameter of the bolt or nut. For fasteners around 1/4″ or 6mm, use the 1/4″ drive. For hardware approximately 3/8″ or 10mm, choose the 3/8″ set.

2. What is the typical use or purpose of a standard socket size?

Ans: The standard socket size is determined by the opening on a socket wrench, designed to fit a specific nut or bolt size. Common sizes include 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch, with additional sizes available for specialized applications.

3. What socket size is typically required for lug nuts?

Ans: For lug nuts, the most common socket sizes are 17 mm, 19 mm, 21 mm, and 22 mm in metric, as well as 11/16-inch, 3/4-inch, 13/16-inch, and 7/8-inch in SAE. These sizes can be found at Olsa Tools.

4. Which socket is typically required for changing a tire?

Ans: To change a tire, you typically use a lug wrench, which is a type of socket wrench, to loosen the lug nuts. Ensure you follow proper safety precautions and use the correct tools for the job.


Being a mechanic is a tough job. And if you’re dealing with a socket set or socket organizer, the job becomes even harder. There are different sizes, types, and even measurement units for sockets. And without adequate information, everything could sound gibberish.

However, the above information is enough to enlighten you. We have discussed the sizes of drives and types of sockets. You can check the size of sockets in the metric as well as in the SAE system. Also, you can find a conversion chart for converting the sizes into the desired unit type. This way, you can sort the sockets the way you want and save some time while doing the job.

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