Difference Between Impact Sockets and Regular Sockets

What is the Difference Between Impact Sockets and Regular Sockets?

What is an impact socket? Impact sockets are usually used by modern tools these days on impact wrenches and hand tools. The sockets are used when the working rate is flat or when the users try to make their work more efficient. You do not need to go back and forth. You can just fit your sockets on fasteners.

But it is important to know the difference between impact sockets and regular sockets so that you can choose the one that will suit your work more. It might be confusing in the beginning, but after you learn about them, you will find it easier to make a choice.

Difference Between Impact Socket and Regular Socket

You will learn about the difference between impact sockets and regular sockets in the table below.

FeaturesImpact socketRegular socket
MetalChrome molybdenumChrome vanadium
ThicknessThicker than regular socketsNot so thick
UsageCan be used with torque gunsNever with high-torque guns

A Detailed Comparison Between Impact Socket and Regular Socket


You might be asking what impact sockets are made of. They are made of metal. But the impact socket is made of a different metal than the regular chrome socket. Impact sockets have chrome-molybdenum as their base metal. They are very ductile. They are long-lasting and can endure vibrations, whereas regular sockets are made from chrome vanadium.


You might be thinking about what impact sockets used for are?  Let me answer that question for you.. The regular sockets are usually used with the 1/ 4 inch, 3/ 4 inch, or 3/ 8-inch ratchets to remove the bolts that are fastened tightly anywhere.

But the use of impact sockets is exclusive, and they are only used with the powered impact wrenches for which you need more force which can be possible to apply with the impact sockets. They are mostly used to remove the bolts and seized nuts from the vehicles. Impact sockets are great at coping with vibration compared to the impact wrench does.


Impact sockets are different in color than regular sockets. Impact sockets are generally black as they have carbonized surfaces to harden them. In that case, the surface can absorb the sudden torque changes.

Locking Pins

On the end side of the impact socket, the drive socket has a ring that enables a lock pin. They are handy as they can prevent looseness so that the sockets do not come off quickly. 

What is Better to Buy: Impact Sockets or Chrome Sockets?

Both the impact socket and regular socket are great. But as there are so many impact sockets in the market that are not thick-walled and will have a warranty of lifetime, many technicians have opted to buy the impact sockets.

On your hand wrenches, you can use impact sockets without a doubt but do not do it the other way around. If you like to do things yourself or are beginning as a technician, then the impact sockets are highly recommended. Use the high-quality sockets at the start and then transition to chrome hand sockets on your works. Take the thin-walled impact socket with lifetime warranty.


Do you have to use impact sockets with an impact driver?

You should never use the sockets with the impact driver. Standard chrome plated sockets will shatter or crack and might hurt the others.

Can I use impact sockets for everything?

You can use impact strokes with everyone, in everything. Without freedom, they are sort of useless words.  As the impact sockets are faster, so it has

Can impact sockets be used as regular sockets?

You can use impact socket instead of regular socket with regular ratchet and use impact socket with hand ratchet.

Last Words

Impact sockets have helped bring a change in the socket industry. It has changed the way projects are done and what people choose to do with their tools. Learning the difference between impact sockets and regular sockets will help you to buy the right one.

Between impact sockets and regular sockets, you should pick out the socket which is good for your projects and enjoy working with the sockets instead of crying about the imperfect ones. Remember the above discussed points before picking the tool when handling a fastening or unfastening project.

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