LAST UPDATED: July 3, 2019
Best Socket Organizers: Maintain A Well-Organized Tool Box
Store all your sockets in one well-organized place with our top picks for the best socket holder
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PUBLISHED ON July 3, 2019
If you keep all your sockets in a drawer, toolbox, or a plastic tray, then you know how hectic it gets to find the right tool for a quick repair. What you need is a socket organizer that keeps all your sockets neat and organized. It helps you know what socket size to pick for a specific job. If you already have a socket organizer that doesn’t work well or is of poor quality, our review will help you pick out some better options so follow through.
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Benefits of a Socket Organizer
- Quickly find the right sockets. A socket organizer typically groups the sockets according to their size. It also secures each socket firmly on the tray. You would no longer have to deal with sockets that roll around the toolbox or fall off the workbench, especially when you are in a rush.
- Organize your tool chest. Imagine having about 30 sockets in one toolbox. The toolbox would look chaotic, and you would have to sort through a number of sockets to find the right one that you need. A single tray of a standard socket organizer can hold up to 40 sockets and it would look neat in your tool chest.
- Protect your sockets from rust and corrosion. Most socket organizers are often made from plastic or non-reactive metal plated material that's rust- and corrosion- resistant. By extension, the inner lining of your sockets are kept in good shape and resistant wear brought on by corrosion.
- Transport your sockets with ease. A socket organizer makes it easier to carry all your sockets to the workplace. If you fix things for a living, you could simply place the socket organizer in your toolbox and drive it anywhere you go.
- Avoid losing sockets. A socket organizer puts all your sockets in one place where you can find them. You would no longer have to waste time trying to find a lost socket or waste money by replacing your sockets.
Types of Socket Organizers
A pouch organizer may not be the neatest design, but it is portable and available in a variety of designs. It has a simple design of a pouch with pockets for the tools and is easy to use since there is no installation process involved.
The construction entails metal rails with metal or plastic clips that hold the sockets in place. These rail systems are fully customizable, and you could add or slide off some clips from the rail. They are also the most expensive types of systems since they are sold in three to six pieces.
Magnetic socket holders are one of the most secure socket organizers available. They are typically made of a plastic frame with a built-in magnet that attracts the sockets and holds them in place. It could also be made of a plastic frame with drilled holes that are made of magnets.
A tray organizer is one of the most efficient systems as the sockets are arranged according to their size. They are often plastic, wooden, or metal prongs that sockets slide into. The tray sets typically fit in a standard toolbox.
There are plastic, metal, and padded foam drawer inserts. They are usually bulky, heavy, and can fit a lot of sockets. Drawer insert socket organizers are common with mechanics who have a lot of sockets that can't fit in a standard tray container. However, they aren't portable.
Olsa is a new company in the industry that was started in 2015 but has taken the industry by storm with its high-quality products that keep your workspace clean, and your toolbox organized. The company makes wrench organizers, T-handle holders, pliers racks, screwdriver organizers, and socket organizers. Some of its best toolbox socket organizers are the Olsa Tools Portable Socket Organizer Tray and the Olsa Tools Aluminum Socket Organizer.
Tekton is a family-owned company based in Grand Rapids, Mich. The company designs hand tools for the medical, furniture, and the automotive industry. It has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, China, and the United States, and their products include screwdrivers, angle-head wrenches, and nut drivers. Try out the Tekton 1882 Drive Socket Holder and Organizer, which is a cheap socket organizer from the brand.
ARES deals in automotive tools for electrical, industrial, automotive, and general tools applications. The company is headquartered in Tukwila, Wash., and deals in some of the best ratchets, pliers, screwdrivers, socket adapters, nut drivers, hex bit sockets, extension sets, and socket adapters. One of its best socket rails is the ARES 70204 Aluminum socket Organizer and the ARES 70235 Metric Socket Holder.
Best Socket Organizer Pricing
- Under $20: Products within this range are mostly pouch organizers, single rail socket holders, and magnetic socket holders that can hold a maximum of 16 sockets. The rails could carry sockets of the same size or sockets of varying sizes. They are generally used by DIYers for basic home and garage applications.
- $20 to $40: The higher you go on the price scale, the more sockets the holders can carry. You will mostly find socket rails, magnetic socket holders, and tray containers. The sets typically have a holding capacity of at least 40 sockets and come with durable construction. The majority also comes with wall-mounting options.
- Above $40: This higher price range is for premium socket holders that are portable, corrosion-resistant, and feature a high-end construction. The socket holders here either come as socket trays containers, magnetic holders, or drawer inserts. They have a higher holding capacity of about 100 sockets of different sizes.
Capacity here refers to the number of sockets that can be held by the socket organizer. The more sockets a socket organizer can carry the more expensive it will be. Most professionals go for socket trays that can hold up to 60 sockets due to the nature of their work. However, you could go for a smaller tray if you are a DIYer and don't use that many sockets.
Look into how well the socket organizer can secure the sockets on the tray. Some models keep the sockets firmly in their place, and they won't fall off even if you hold the tray upside down. Other low-quality models spill off the sockets when the trays are knocked over or dropped. Most socket organizers feature a twist-lock mechanism, which is secure and user-friendly.
Socket organizers are either made of plastic, wood, or metal. Go for a durable construction that can stand the test of time and give you a longer service life. High-end socket holders are made of aluminum, which is long lasting, but most socket holders are made of heavy-duty molded ABS plastic that is also durable.
- Mounting Options: Some sockets organizers can be mounted on a wall or hang on a pegboard. However, it's not a deal-breaker if the socket tray doesn't have a mounting option but can secure all the sockets.
- Size: Ensure that the socket organizer can fit in your carrying bag or toolbox if you carry your tools to work. Alternatively, you could go for a large drawer insert for your garage where you keep all your other tools. However, a large socket organizer may be heavier, expensive, and less portable.
Best Socket Organizer Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Olsa Tools is a three-piece set that can hold up to 16 sockets on each rail. Each rail includes a 3/8-inch, ¼-inch, and ½-inch socket rail. The model is made up of sturdy rails and has ball-bearing clips with springs that secure each socket in position to prevent spilling. Such a design is ideal for storing regular sockets as well as impact sockets. Its sleek design can easily fit in a toolbox.
The drive socket holder gives the user the allowance of sliding clips on and off the rail. You could spread out the clips on the rails for easier access to individual sockets, or make the rail seem less cluttered. The rails measure 17 inches long and fit in the majority of toolboxes. The rails can also be mounted on a workshop wall for easy access.
The downside of the product is that the aluminum construction doesn’t stretch to the ball bearings. You would have to store the socket organizer in a humidity-free room lest the bearings get rusty and the sockets get stuck. Also, the rails cannot be bought separately, which makes them an expensive option for someone who only needs a single 16-socket rail.
This 19-inch socket organizer allows you to neatly organize sockets in a garage or a workshop. It has three socket rails that can accommodate 45 drive sockets. You can use it to hold your sockets on a bench or to organize things in a drawer. The socket organizer offers unlimited configuration options and lets you label socket sizes using ID stickers. You can also add or remove socket clips and swap out drive sizes.
This socket organizer tray has 15 clips per row for differently sized drive sockets: ¼-, ⅜-, and ½-inch. Twist-lock clips secure the sockets for transportation and also prevent tool loss. Ernst Manufacturing also includes ID stickers for easy socket identification.
But there have been complaints that the twist-lock clips do not work as they should. They don't hold sockets in place so you may misplace a few. The socket organizer is also not painted well and the paint flakes off.
The MLTOOLS set has two rails organizer set that can carry 45 sockets each. It’s suitable for ⅜-, ¼-, and ½-inch sockets. Each tray has three rails that hold 15 clips each. The manufacturer provides an accompanying tray with the socket holder to make it easier to set it down on a flat surface. Each tray measures 20 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 1 inch tall. The set is also available in red for easy identification amongst a set of tools.
The socket rail has a labeling system for easy identification of each socket size. It has a twist and locks feature that ensures that nothing shifts around when the tool is moved around in a toolbox. The unit is lauded for its durability as it’s made mostly out of aluminum. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
A major complaint about the product is that the ¼-inch socket holder feels a bit loose, and the twist and lock feature doesn’t do much to prevent some sockets from slipping off. Some parts like the accompanying tray are made of fragile plastic material. There is also no way of adding extra slots on the socket rail.
If you don't store your sockets well, they will end up getting lost. Socket organizers like the Hansen Global 92000 SAE & METRIC organizers put your sockets within reach and ensure they don't get lost. Each of them has posts with markings showing different socket sizes, allowing you to easily store and retrieve your sockets. The posts have thick bases and securely hold sockets. Edge tangs make for easy handling.
These socket organizers are ideal for professionals who want to organize all their sockets for easy access. They can hold SAE and METRIC socket sets. They are made of ABS plastic and are oil-resistant and gas-resistant. You can easily get your sockets because you store them facing down. The socket organizers are super sturdy, easy to use, and allow you to quickly find sockets when you're in the middle of a project.
However, they are not devoid of faults. They are only ideal for people with a few basic sockets, as they lack posts for a few unpopular sizes. Also, the quality of the plastic could be better, as it is very rigid and a little brittle.
If you‘re looking for a high-quality socket organizer tray that can accommodate deep and shallow sockets, this one may just be it. Olsa Tools sells three socket organizers in a set, saving you both time and money. The organizers are ideal for most types of sockets. They are built with high-grade polypropylene and will serve you for years.
Olsa Tools has designed these magnetic socket organizers to hold 68 SAE sockets: ¼-, ⅜-, and ½-inch. They have a rubberized magnetic base that doesn’t scratch steel surfaces. You can mount them on your toolbox or on a steel wall. Their strong ferrite magnet base holds your sockets in place. Your sockets will only leave the trays when you remove them. High contrast labels allow you to easily find the right socket. Once you get these socket holders, you’ll never have to worry about misplacing your sockets.
However, they do have a few issues that need to be addressed. They are not ideal for impact sockets and the diameter of the holes is too small for some sockets. You may also have difficulty getting the shallow sockets out because they sit too far in the holes.
If you’ve been using socket organizers for a while, you know that it is not easy to find a high-quality one that can hold different types of sockets—but the Neiko 03969A socket holders can. They can hold up to 48 sockets: ¼-, ⅜-, and ½-inch. Each organizer has holes for loops on its ends and in the middle that allow you to hang it on a workshop or garage wall.
Because these socket holders are lightweight, you can use them to transport your sockets easily. They are coated with nickel and are designed to withstand long-term use. They are also better than plastic socket organizers. Curved clips securely hold sockets and also ensure they are easy to remove.
These socket organizers make it easy for you to store and retrieve your sockets. But they have a few disadvantages. There have been complaints that they hold sockets loosely, which could be a problem if you're transporting your sockets. They are also not very stable when placed on a solid surface.
Most people who use sockets while working are a little rough, so adding a little strength to socket holders can be very helpful. These socket organizers by OEM Tools are some of the most durable on the market and hold both deep and shallow sockets. They are designed not to tip and have extended bases that secure sockets in place. They can hold up to 170 sockets and allow you to keep all your sockets in one place.
OEM Tools has used different colors to help you easily identify your metric and SAE sockets. The green socket organizers hold 80 SAE sockets while the black organizers hold 90 Metric sockets. The posts are clearly labelled for easy identification. Each of the organizer trays can hold sockets of different sizes. And the best thing is that they fit in most tool chests and workbenches.
The lightweight socket holders are made of rugged ABS plastic and are tough enough to last a lifetime. They are specially designed for professionals. However, despite what the manufacturer says, they are only ideal for thin-wall sockets and may not hold some common SAE and Metric sockets. Their posts also tend to break easily.
These socket trays can hold both deep and shallow sockets. They will do away with toolbox clutter and keep your sockets organized. The sizes are marked on the posts for easy socket identification. When you need to get a specific socket, all you have to do is check the markings.
The manufacturer has used ABS plastic to make these socket organizers, so they are resistant to gas and oil. They are highly durable and will last for years. The organizers can hold sockets of all sizes and cover the complete SAE and metric range, including 1/4, ⅜, and ½ inch. They can also hold impact sockets.
But while these socket organizers are highly rated, they have a few issues. For starters, they do not fit in standard drawers—only deep ones. This means you’ll have to buy a larger tool cabinet. And because the sockets are held in place by gravity, you won't be able to move around with the organizers.
- Ensure that you wipe off the grease from your sockets and hands before placing them in the socket organizer. The grease may cause the sockets to slip off, or it may give you a hard time securing the sockets, especially with a twist-to-lock mechanism.
- If you have a plain socket organizer with no markings, you could use sticky notes to denote the size of each socket size. Use different sticker colors to avoid mismatching the sockets, or to separate sockets from different brands.
- Ensure to clean your socket organizer at least once a month. Especially when you use a tray container, magnetic holder, or a drawer insert organizer as they tend to gather more dust and debris with time.
- Do not let water accumulate in the holes, corners, or other hard to reach areas of the socket storage tray. It can leave a bad order or lead to a nasty mold buildup that may extend to your sockets.
Q: How can I prevent my socket from getting stuck on the clip?
A: First off, if your socket sticks on the clips, it could be an indication that you have the wrong size of the socket holder, or that either the sockets or the socket clips are rusty. Purchase the rights socket organizer for your socket size, or use coconut oil on the posts to slide the sockets off with ease.
Q: Can I cut my socket rail in half if it’s too long?
A: Yes, you can cut the rail if it’s too long to fit in your toolbox. Just make sure to make a neat cut and reinforce the ends with rubber if the set is made of aluminum. You could also purchase a separate end cap to reinforce the caps. Other materials like plastic don’t need to be reinforced.
Q: What should I use to clean my socket organizer?
A: You should use a clean toothbrush, paintbrush, or a dry cloth to clean the holes and corners of the socket organizer. If it seems too greasy or oily, you could give it a power wash, run it with hose water, or wipe it with a damp cloth and wipe it dry to prevent rust. However, you should only do that at least once in a few months, or when you are having trouble securing the greasy sockets.
Our top pick is the Olsa Tools Aluminum Socket Organizer, as it has a decent carrying capacity and heavy-duty aluminum construction.
If you are on a tight budget, consider getting the Ernst Manufacturing Multi-Drive Socket Organizer which offers bang for your buck.