Which is Best 6 or 12 Point Sockets?

Sockets and wrenches are generally available in one of these two varieties. Each has advantages and use cases that can favor one over the other depending on the task. So we won’t say which is better in general, but we’ll go through the differences between 6-point and 12-point sockets and wrenches so you can see how each kind can help you work on different sorts of fasteners.

Even the most skilled mechanic is as good as their toolkit allows them to be. A good set of essential hand tools helps a mechanic of every skill level to complete various jobs quickly and effectively. A good set of sockets is one of the most important of these fundamental tools. Sockets exist in multiple shapes and sizes, each with its unique functions. It, however, presents a problem for individuals looking to complete their tool collection. When compared, the relative worth of 6-point and 12-point sockets is perhaps the most difficult to determine. Therefore, we will acknowledge everything regarding the 6 & 12 point sockets.

Which Is Best, 6 Or 12 Point Sockets?

6 Point sockets are the best. Six-point sockets are hard to slip off and are more round towards the corners. 6 Point sockets have several advantages over 12-point sockets. However, these sockets offer their own set of benefits and drawbacks.

6 vs 12 sockets

The walls of six-point sockets are thicker than those of twelve-point sockets. As a result of the thinner material, 12-point sockets frequently come out of the fastener. The 6-point sockets, on the other hand, have no such issue. The 12-point sockets then often fall out, which is inconvenient. Furthermore, it’s much more aggravating to try to correct them. As a result, 6-point sockets receive bonus points once again. It is because they have extremely little probability of sliding.

Furthermore, six-point sockets are pretty durable. When subjected to high force, it will not fly or slip and will not be harmed. However, if you apply a lot of pressure on anything, it should be able to withstand it. It is something that the six-point sockets can do. As a result, you can entrust it with complex tasks. In addition, six-point sockets have fewer angles than twelve-point sockets. As a result, they might have more excellent contact inside the socket. Six-point sockets can also withstand more pressure than twelve-point sockets. Another reason to choose 6-point sockets over the other is that they are more durable.

Do 12-Point Sockets Work For 6-Point Bolts?

Yes, 12-point sockets work for 6-point bolts. The 12-point socket’s shape allows it to slot into 6-point nuts with a spacing of 30° increments. As a result, it will function correctly when the tool is fitted to the bolt. People also like to match 12-point and 6-point sockets appropriately.

It indicates that consumers typically prefer a 6-point fastener to a 6-point socket and a 12-point socket to a 12-point socket for a 12-point fastener. However, there are situations when the tools and bits do not match, but you must meet the needs. As a result, individuals must understand how these sockets and nuts are made and whether you can use them interchangeably!

Twelve-point sockets, like six-point sockets, have their applications. And there are some jobs where you can’t use anything except 12-point sockets. Nonetheless, a 12-point socket is commonly used for the following purposes: You will encounter several difficult-to-reach areas while working. On the other hand, people refer to these regions as “problem spots.”

Additionally, 12-point sockets are ideal for working in these regions. Twelve-point sockets are handy when working in confined spaces. They have a greater number of vertices or points than six-point sockets. As a result, 12-point sockets are more convenient to work with and tighten, and individuals prefer to utilize them in congested regions.

Are 12-Point Sockets More Likely To Strip?

No 12-point sockets are not likely to strip. A 12-point socket will not deny the bolt or screw head faster than a 6pt socket as long as you can retain the socket on the nut or bolt head. The 12pt socket will offer you six extra slots to start from in tight spaces.

If you can securely hold the socket above the bolt head with the assistance of a wrench, a 12-point socket will not strip the nut. Furthermore, a 12-point socket will let you begin your task from six places, allowing you to work around tight corners. This is the case because of the smaller walls and lesser torque transfer.

Fasteners and bolts can shred thin-walled sockets when force is applied to them. Although breaking tools can happen if a socket slips or is misused, breaking tools are complex. Therefore, while a 12-point connection might be advantageous in some instances, such as working in tight spaces, six-point sockets are always preferable when a greater force is necessary.

When Would You Use a 12-Point Or 6-Point Socket?

Twelve 12-point sockets are used in tight spaces. They allow you to connect to the fasteners at more angles. Correspondingly, 6-point sockets are used in the thickest part to contact the head of the socket away from the corner.

Both 12-point & hexagonal head screws are tightened and unfastened using 12-point sockets. Working with 12-point fasteners like ARP engine bolts is required because no other socket will fit. Compared to a hexagonal nut or bolt, a 12-point socket on either a 12-point head will give the most contact surfaces and reduce the likelihood of stripping. They’re also well-suited to low-impact hexagonal fastening applications. Scaffolding, machine shops, tool rooms, and the like regularly employ 12-point box and ratchet wrenches.

Although you could use six and 12-point sockets simultaneously in most instances, some conditions necessitate using one over the other. Six-point fasteners are often better suited to high-impact scenarios or circumstances requiring a lot of force. They win because of their superior wear resistance and lower danger of stripping a bolt head.

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If you’re working in a limited space and don’t need a lot of force, go with a 12-point socket. In tight spots, a 12-point socket is more maneuverable. It pairs nicely with a ratchet with a high teeth count. Because no other socket will fit 12-point fasteners, you’ll need a 12-point socket for the job.

What Is the Difference Between 12-Point And 6-Point Sockets?

A 6-point socket is a hexagonal shape. It contains six vertices or points, each equal distance between them and a 60° angle. A 12-point socket, on the other hand, is a double hexagonal socket with 12 vertices or points. The increment space around the circle is 30° each.

The design of 6 and 12-point sockets is the most noticeable difference. Because the teeth within the tool (socket or wrench) are more prominent and have more material to grab onto fasteners, a 6-point tool is built to sustain higher torque values. In addition, off-corner loading is an extra function of the sockets. To avoid rounding the corners, off-corner loading implies that the tool makes contact with the flats of the fastener. Looking at the location within the socket, you’ll note that the edges are somewhat chipped away, indicating this functionality.

This design structure allows them to handle higher torque applications than a 12-point design and lowers the possibility of rounding your fasteners, saving you time and reducing damage and wasted time. While a 6-point socket or wrench has a broader engagement arc, your capacity to spin the socket and re-adjust the tool is considerably more significant. In confined locations, it might be more challenging to accomplish the appropriate tightness or find the perfect position to break off a trapped fastener.

A 12-point socket and wrench are best for any light-duty operations you would encounter daily, but it doesn’t imply it’s better than a 6-point. The 12-point wrench or socket is more accessible to place on the fastener than a 6-point wrench or socket because it has fewer teeth and a smaller engagement area. The 15-piece combination wrench set boasts a 12-point precision design and a 15-degree angle offset, making it more straightforward to reach around obstacles. A 12-point wrench is also helpful in loosening damaged fastener heads. Still, if you need to work on heavy-duty activities that demand tremendous torque, the smaller teeth and narrow walls are more likely to cause fastening when too much tension is applied.

Can You Use a 12-Point Socket On Lug Nuts?

Yes, you can use a 12-point socket on lug nuts. However, if the socket and lug nut are worn out, the nut is more prone to slip and cause harm. Avoid this by using an excellent, high-quality 12-point socket.

Working in high-risk situations is the most compelling reason to use a 12-point socket. There are instances when you can only reach a few inches inside an area. It’s conceivable that you won’t be able to see what you’re doing in certain regions. The 12-point socket is ideal for working in confined locations because of its extra points. A 12-point socket can connect faster than a 6-point connection at more angles. When getting to the socket is difficult, connecting it should be. It’s also a lot easier to use a 12-point socket than it is to use a 6-point socket.

When operating in confined spaces, range of motion is one of the most important considerations. The faster you can remove the fastener, the more room you have to maneuver. A 12-point socket is handy for increasing gripping angles. The catch here is that if you have a ratcheting socket wrench, you won’t need it. The most obvious use for a 12-point socket is when working with a 12-point fastener. The good news is that these fasteners are relatively uncommon, so you should not encounter them frequently.

Why Did They Design 6-Point & 12-Point Sockets?

The manufacturers design the 12-point sockets to slide easily in a hex nut. The 6-point Sockets are built to sustain higher torque values because the teeth within the Sockets are more prominent and have more material to grab onto fasteners.

6-point sockets are commonly utilized in high-torque situations where “rounding off” is a concern. Furthermore, most impact sockets on the market today are 6-point designs. 12-point sockets are commonly used for light-duty maintenance and repair. This socket type is best used when minor corrosion is present, and just a tiny amount of torque is required.

When removing or installing double-hexagonal specialty fasteners, 12-point sockets are commonly utilized. Because of their universality, 12-point sockets are becoming increasingly popular. The requirement for extra tooling is reduced since you can use 12-point sockets to install & remove a wide range of fasteners due to the simplicity of engagement provided by a 12-point socket’s double-hexagonal shape. A substantial segment of the market also prefers this type of socket.

Can You Use Regular Sockets With Impact?

No, it would help if you did not use regular sockets with impact. When using an impact driver, you should avoid chrome-plated sockets. Sockets made with regular chrome plating are prone to cracking or fracturing, sending bits flying. Instead, stick to impact-rated sockets and nut drivers if working with a minor cordless impact driver.

Have you ever used a chrome-plated socket to tighten a nut and drive a few lag screws with an impact pistol or cordless impact driver? If you do this, you’re putting your life at risk. It would help if you did not use impact drivers with chrome-plated sockets. Standard chrome-plated sockets are brittle and prone to breaking, spewing metal fragments everywhere. No matter what type of power tool is used, you should always choose a socket designed to withstand the high-impact forces generated by the device. Significantly toughened, they are less prone to break while in use.

Several things can happen if there is a break or fracture. If the socket breaks, the wheel can bear the brunt of the damage if it’s in a tight spot like a lug bolt opening. Socket fragments that break off when nothing is holding them together become free-falling missiles that can land anywhere. As a result, the user (i.e., you) is at risk of being struck by flying shrapnel from a socket. The user is at risk of being seriously injured or killed by these flying fragments.

What Is a 6-Point Socket Called?

The 6-point socket is called hexagonal. A hexagonal (six-sided) nut or bolt head requires a “hex” socket, which is called “hexagonal.” Hex sockets are divided into two types: six-point and twelve-point. Inside the bolt end, the six-point hex socket contains six moments (angles), forming a precisely equal hexagon.

A 6-point socket wrench has six corners and sides at 60° angles in a socket well. It is available in standard and deep-well sizes and can tighten and loosen bolts and nuts. Deep-well sockets, on the other hand, have a good depth of one inch or more, depending on the diameter of the bolt.

Using 6-point sockets can be difficult in limited places, especially if your ratchet has a low tooth count. Because the socket has only six engagement locations with the nut, you must turn it 60 degrees to reach the next possible position. Because you don’t always have the excellent swing arc available in limited locations, using a 6-point socket becomes tricky. In addition, because 6-point sockets can not fit on 12-point nuts and bolts, you cannot use them in all situations. However, as compared to hexagonal bolts, 12-point bolts are less prevalent.

Why Are 12-Point Sockets Cheaper?

A 12-point socket can often be used on a 6-point socket without rounding it off, making it cheaper for the user to purchase a set that works with more bolts.

Twelve-point sockets are designed for use with twelve-point bolts or cap screws, whereas six-point sockets are designed for use with six-point bolts. There are also square bolts that you can access with either an eight-point or four-point socket. In response to your query, a twelve-point socket can often be used on a six-point bolt without rounding it off, making it cheaper for the user to purchase a socket set that works with more bolts.

A 12-point socket can be easy to attach to the fastener. It is because it has more points. As a result, it is readily inserted into the socket. It makes your work much more manageable. Although 12-point fasteners aren’t often used, they are required for specific jobs. As a result, you’ll need a 12-point socket. And in such situations, these plugs might be handy. For example, working in a confined space requires a wide range of motion. So, in certain conditions, a 12-point socket is more valuable than others.

Can a 12-Point Socket Be Used On Hex Head Bolt?

Yes, you could use 12-point sockets on hex Head Bolts. The main differences are convenience and torque—the more points on a socket, the more contact points available. In addition, a 12-point socket has twice as many points as a 6-point socket, making it easier to slip onto a hex nut.

When working in limited quarters can save you time and make life simpler. 6-point sockets, on the other hand, help decrease nut corner wear and offer more excellent torque performance than 12-point sockets for two reasons: A 6-point socket’s flanks are thicker than a 12-point socket’s, so you can apply torque uniformly on both sides of the hex nut. The sides of the nut or bolt bear the torque power load rather than the corners.

However, it would help if you used a 12-point socket with a 12-point fastener (such as the old Camry internal bolts). Finally, every competent artisan should own a complete set of 6-point sockets. It’s good to have a 12-point socket set, even if it’s not strictly essential. Snap-On patented their 12-point flank drive in 1996 to decrease hex nut and bolt wear. This innovation is still one of the most widely used socket patents today.

What are The Most Common Socket Sizes?

The most common socket sizes are 10mm & 36mm. For the 10mm, the SAE size is roughly 13/32″. They’re the most commonly utilized as screw socket sizes.

Sockets are divided into two sizes. There are two types of sockets: SAE and metric. The sizes are frequently interchanged. If you need to use your sockets often, you should know both. The metric size chart is the most frequent size chart for sockets. With a few exceptions, they’re used throughout the world. This chart is for you if you live in a section of the globe where the metric system is used.

When picking the correct socket, ensure the size corresponds to the size of your drive. The SAE measuring system is a little tricky to understand. It’s more popular in the United States and adjacent areas. Instead of using metric measures, SAE measurements are employed. It might be challenging to find your way around.

The socket’s primary component is the drive. The hole through which a turning tool’s socket is attached is like a ratchet or a wrench. The work determines the sort of drive required at hand. The 12″ drive is the biggest drive available. They are a must-have in every mechanic’s workstation because they’re often employed for heavy duties.

These drives are commonly found in 19mm socket sizes. They’re widely used to attach televisions or secure shower vents. The 38″ drives are the most popular type of drive available. They’re available in various socket sizes and are quite adaptable. It’s a good idea to have a couple of 38″ drives on hand.


The war between 6 and 12-point sockets and wrenches is now over. As you can see, there is no definite answer as to which is superior; as with any tools of any trade, each is created for a particular purpose, and knowing when to utilize which instrument will serve you best. The six-point design is perfect for heavy-duty operations or applying strong torque. At the same time, the 12-point socket or wrench is usefulheuseful if you’re on a motorbike repair or a lightweight project or don’t have enough room.

We’ve covered everything you need to know about 6—and 12-point sockets, so choosing your work socket should be easier more accessible. However, in some circumstances, you can utilize both of them. Because of its longevity and other benefits, we prefer to use the 6-point socket. We hope you have acknowledged everything regarding 6—and 12-point sockets.

Mark Brown

Mark Brown

Mark Brown is a construction engineer from California who has been working as an independent contractor and writer for the past 15 years. From 2022 onwards, Mark has also been contributing author of home repair articles at nimblefreelancer.com. Read more on Mark Brown's biography page. Contact Mark: mark@nimblefreelancer.com

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