Tips to avoid rounding off bolts with socket sets


Tips to avoid rounding off bolts with socket sets

Take a look at the nuts and bolts around you? Do they have the sharp corners they had when they were purchased or have the edges degraded which make it difficult to work with? Have you used your socket set too harshly to degrade your nuts and bolts?

A nut or bolt that is degraded or gets stripped can be extremely frustrating to work on, especially when working on a huge project. However, this is a very common issue that can be avoided with little practice and by following a few important steps.

We will discuss a few tips to avoid rounding off bolts with socket sets.

Invest in an array of open-end and box-end socket sets in different sizes

The best way to avoid rounding off bolts is by owning a top-quality socket set that is made with more precision so that they correctly fit the nut or bolt. RS Components have an assortment of socket sets that come in different sizes and last a lifetime.

The standard socket sets can be found in the following sizes.

  • 1/4-inch or 0.6 cm: One of the smallest socket sizes, these are used for smaller and precision works.
  • 3/8-inch drive or 0.9 cm: One of the commonly used socket sizes which are used in the automobile sector. 
  • 1/2-inch drive or 1.3 cm: This can be used for fasteners that are around 10 mm and up.
  • 3/4-inch drive or 1.9 cm: Mostly used in industrial applications and car service stations and workshops.

Use the right type of socket

Never use the wrong type of socket. Socket sets are available in various shapes to fit the different bolt heads. Observe the fastener head and choose the socket type as mentioned below.

  • Six points (hexagon): The six-point sockets fit ordinary hexagon bolts.
  • Eight points (double square): the eight-point sockets fit square bolts.
  • 12 points (double hexagon): the 12-point sockets fit both hexagon and square bolts.

Always align the socket with the fastener

Usually, in confined spaces or hard-to-reach places, it is difficult to get the socket wrench flush on the nut or bolt. If the socket is not properly set on the bolt, it will slip and cause rounding off the bolt head. To avoid slipping, place the socket on the fastener as square as possible. Align the surfaces of the socket with the surfaces of the fastener to the socket in the correct position. Do not push the socket from an odd angle to avoid slipping. A socket on an angle is at a high risk of slipping.

By taking preventative measures and using the right tools, we can prevent nuts and bolts from being rounded off in the first place. Socket sets are used to fit a wide range of nuts and bolts and some come with several interchangeable attachments. There are an array of nuts, bolts, and fasteners in varying sizes available in the market, making it impossible for a single socket set kit to contain all the fasteners you may need.

If you need help finding the right socket set for your project, visit RS Components and browse to take a look at all the high-quality brands available.

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