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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 guide will help you choose some better options.
Olsa Tools Aluminum Socket Organizer
Ernst Manufacturing Multi-Drive Socket Organizer
MLTOOLS Twist Lock Socket Rail
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 2021
- 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.
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