A Complete Guide To Universal Sockets

Around the world, there are up to 15 different types of sockets in use. Although most countries have embraced a single standard plug and socket system, a few have not. They’re now stuck with a collection of incompatible systems from other countries. Some people are hence putting universal sockets in their homes to solve the problem. Let us learn more about them.

A universal socket is a deep socket with multiple small metal pins in its head, commonly known as a universal wrench socket. The pins on the socket enable it to function with a wide range of fasteners, including bolts and nuts. A universal socket’s head looks like a standard deep socket, yet it’s packed with tiny metal pins. As the name says, they work with a wide range of fasteners and bolts. This makes them a great tool for any DIYer or professional who uses sockets frequently.

What is the function of a universal socket?

When the universal socket is pressed against the fastener head, the pins are driven back, and the springs are compressed. The universal socket’s head has spring-loaded pins. As the socket is placed over the fastener head, the pins in contact with the fastener head are depressed, leaving the remaining pins to encircle and grab the fastener head.

Universal sockets can accommodate a wide range of fastener sizes and head types. In some cases they can turn impaired fastener heads, thanks to their design.

Because the pins inside the socket head do not depress very far, the universal socket can only grab the top of a fastener’s head. General socket sets may include universal sockets.

What are the available universal socket sizes?

Universal sockets come in several sizes, although the standard and large are the most common. The standard size has an overall diameter of 1”  (25.4mm) and can be used on fastener heads ranging from 14 to 34 inches (7mm-19mm). For connecting a turning tool, a 38″ drive is included.

The large size has an overall diameter of 112″ and can be used on fastener heads with diameters ranging from 7/16″ to 114″. (12mm -32mm). The 12″ drive size universal socket is large.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using universal sockets?


  • You can use fasteners in both metric and imperial sizes.
  • Turns a wide range of fastening head designs.
  • Wear or damaged fastener heads are turned.
  • It can accommodate different sizes of fastener heads.


  • Applying the same amount of torque as a conventional socket is impossible.
  • It can be rounded off if it doesn’t quite fit the fastening head.
  • Because pins do not depress far enough, bolt head clearance is limited.
  • Because it has a larger diameter than many small sockets, it may be difficult to reach fastener heads in confined locations.

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