The Best Socket Holders (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022
It’s always the simple things that make a major difference in your working experience.
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BY Hank O'Hop / LAST UPDATED ON August 24, 2021
It really doesn’t matter what type of project you’re tackling; organization is key to a successful working experience. It can be frustrating to continuously sift through a bag or box to track down the exact tools you need. Having everything neatly sorted cuts down on the amount of time you spend doing so, effectively speeding up the entire project. Furthermore, the likelihood of sockets going missing multiplies if you don’t actively keep them organized.
A socket organizer is an essential part of a tool collection because it works to your advantage when keeping track of tools and keeping any project moving along. Luckily, there’s not a whole lot you need to consider when making a selection. But, there are a ton of options on the market. We’re here to help you sort through those listings and find the organizer that will serve you best.
Stationary socket organizer that’s perfect for any tool box. The extensive inclusion of socket holders and labelled callouts help to organize any collection.
- Includes six organizers for great storage potential
- Labeled for easy identification
- Spacing may be too small for some socket collections
Affordable socket holder with twist-lock socket clips. The small size is perfect for transporting sockets to remote projects.
- Twist-lock system for secure fit
- Labeled for easy identification
- Excellent price point
- Plastic clips are short lived
Stationary socket organizer designed to work with all socket sizes. Three rows of labelled socket holders make for maximum storage capacity and easy identification.
- Includes six three-row organizers for maximum storage potential
- Labeled for easy identification
- Structural integrity is questionable
- May be too tall for many tool boxes
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Socket Holder
- Stay organized. The apparent benefit of socket holders is that they help organize your tools. Doing so prevents you from tracking down or replacing tools and can ultimately save you a ton of money.
- Easy access. Organization makes it easy to find precisely what you need in a timely manner. This can help increase productivity and positively impact your working experience because you’re not wasting time finding tools instead of working.
- Easy loadouts. Portable socket holders are great for setting yourself up to tackle remote jobs. Rather than carrying individual sockets and potentially losing them, you can take the holder along with you.
Types of Socket Holders
Most of us probably think of portable holders when this subject comes up. The intent of these holders is to give you the ability to carry your sockets in your tool bag or box without a snag. These are generally smaller than stationary holders, but they do exist in a variety of sizes. They can be equipped to organize a handful of frequently used sizes or an entire collection. It goes without saying that beyond being portable, they do a great job at managing your primary tool box.
A stationary holder might not be the first thing you go looking for. After all, portable holders offer dual purpose. However, a stationary setup has some significant benefits. In most cases, they are far more aesthetically pleasing. When used in the top compartment of a box or on a workbench, they create a much more organized and purposeful look. Many also have clear readings of which sockets go where to help increase proficiency during projects.
With a headquarters in Memphis, Tenn., OEM Tools is a known supplier to weekend warriors and trade professionals. Its presence on Auto Parts chain stores' shelves is probably how most of us have grown to be familiar with the brand. The OEM Tools 22233 6 Piece Socket Tray Organizer Set is one example of its useful and competitively priced offerings.
Located in Nisku, Alberta, Olsa Tools got its start in 2015. The young founder's intention is to develop high-quality tools one can rely on for years to come without spending a small fortune. The brand offers hand tools, tool accessories, and organizers such as the Olsa Tools 6-Piece Socket Organizer Trays.
Ernst Manufacturing has been at the forefront of tool organization since 1981. The company works out of Sandy, Ore., and is known for producing quality parts with pricing professionals and home mechanics favors. The Ernst Manufacturing 8411 8-Inch Socket Organizer is our pick for Best Value, but the fact that it's made in the USA makes it even more desirable by many.
Socket Holder Pricing
- $5-$10: Socket holders in this price range are portable and only hold a small number of sockets. They are ideal for keeping in boxes or bags that you carry to remote projects.
- $10-$50: This price range includes a range of portable and stationary holders. Their quality, size influence price and how many pieces are included in the sale.
- $50 and up: Most holders above $50 are stationary and best for use on workbenches. However, premium brands offer portable systems that can list within this price range on account of their size and features.
The amount of sockets a holder can store determines how much space it will take up and what projects it’s useful for. Obviously, smaller holders are more convenient for storing in a bag that you’ll carry, while larger ones are awesome for use around the shop. With that said, you may end up needing to invest in multiple to meet your needs. If that’s the case, you may want to consider our buying guide to Socket Sets to build a more efficient tool collection.
By security, we are referring to how the sockets attach to the holder. Some use spring tension, others use detents, and there is a wide presence of twist locks. How these systems work determine how quickly you can attach and remove sockets. Be mindful that if the sockets are easy to remove by hand, they are likely to fall off the holder during transport, creating a headache.
Socket holders may have a magnetic base that secures it inside a tool box or on any metal surface. Whether or not the holder you invest in should have this comes down to personal preference. While it offers better security and helps prevent the sockets from rolling around, it might not be something you necessarily want in something you’re hauling to a project site. If you are in favor of magnetic tool storage systems you ought to check out our buying guide to Magnetic Tool Holders.
- Legible Indicators. Not keeping sockets in any type of order on a holder can limit their potential to streamline the working process. If you use one with legible markings that indicate socket sizes' coordination, you are ensuring a smooth selection process. Not all socket holders feature this, but it's worth looking for your primary concern for total organization.
Best Socket Holders Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Socket holders aren’t all that complicated, but not all are the same. All features come down to personal preference and which you believe will have the best impact on your experience.
- As great as socket holders are, you still need to make sure you use them correctly. Being mindful of staying organized as you work helps you to get the most out of these systems.
- If you’re tempted to grow your tool collection during this shopping trip, we’re glad to help with our guide to Mechanics tool Sets. But it’s best to be mindful of your budget and only invest in what’s actually useful to you at this point in time.
Q: What is the best way to organize sockets?
Organizing sockets goes beyond the size of fasteners they will work with. Keeping similar sockets together is essential as well. Socket depth, point count, and all features should come into consideration when organizing.
Q: How do you store impact sockets?
You should organize impact sockets the same as you would chrome sockets. Organizing them separately is critical, though, as either type serves you best in specific circumstances.
Q: How do you organize a tool bag socket?
Socket holders with a twist lock system are likely the best for tool bags. This feature prevents sockets from falling free as the entire holder moves around during transportation.
The OEM Tools 22233 6 Piece Socket Tray Organizer Set is our top pick, but we understand that it is only useful as a stationary solution. We also know that the low price and high quality of the Ernst Manufacturing 8411 8-Inch Socket Organizer is something many will find attractive. But ultimately, what’s going to work for you comes down to a whole bunch of factors your situation presents.