Sockets/Universal Sockets/Spline Drive

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ShawnR

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So I'm trying to lighten my load in regards to gear that I pack into my rig. I've been looking at the universal sockets and the spline drive pass through sockets. Has anyone had any experience with these newer sockets? I still use traditional sockets but am wondering if I could reduce the size of my tool box going to a universal or pass through type set up. I doubt these would completely replace traditional sockets. But I'm wondering how they perform and if the universal have the gripping power they claim to have. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks.
Here's one of the examples I've been looking at from Crescent.
 

jkxranger

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I have a set of craftsman ones ( http://amzn.com/B01632NC7Q ), I like how they work but I still carry my standard socket set when I go out, But they are half the price at Sears.
 

ShawnR

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I have a set of craftsman ones ( http://amzn.com/B01632NC7Q ), I like how they work but I still carry my standard socket set when I go out, But they are half the price at Sears.
Do you find that they grip bolts securely? I've read good and bad reviews about universal sockets and there doesn't seem to be any grey area. People either praise them or loath them. Just trying to shed some weight. But it seems like I'm better off just sticking to my traditional socket sets.
 

jkxranger

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I don't think I would go out of my way to buy them... I got mine as a gift. But they serve there purpose.
 
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@ShawnR are you carrying a complete socket set or just the specific sockets you would need for your rig? I have talked to a lot of people that put their tool kits together based on using only certain tools that are required for their rig. You could look at what you would need to perform the repairs you are able to do and keep just those tools with you.
 
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ShawnR

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@ShawnR are you carrying a complete socket set or just the specific sockets you would need for your rig? I have talked to a lot of people that put their tool kits together based on using only certain tools that are required for their rig. You could look at what you would need to perform the repairs you are able to do and keep just those tools with you.
That's the problem. Not sure if I should just drag around a whole socket set or just what's needed for anything on the trail. Plus standard, deepwell, etc. That's why I was considering the spline drive with pass through. Still haven't decided yet. lol
 

WUzombies

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I don't think I would go out of my way to buy them... I got mine as a gift. But they serve there purpose.
I have the same set and I came to possess them in the same manner. That set lives in my van, along with a pattering of other tools, including a wrench set.

I expect the goofy pass through Craftsman to perform well for basic repair items I would expect to do in my normal travels (alternator, shocks, etc), but when it comes to what would be considered a major roadside or trailside repair, well, they wouldn't hold up. I replaced the ball joints on my van this weekend, the original set pressed into the spindles 13 years ago came out after a long battle that included me fabricating a heavy duty all steel work table to remount my bench vice because I broke it free from my sturdy wooden work table while using a 4ft long cheater bar to turn the ball joint press with a 1/2" drive breaker (including beating the business out of it all with a BFH). That pass through socket set would have broken and possibly (by some chance) caught on fire during all of that.

There's guys who carry emergency stick welders and there's guys who only carry a spare set of sunglasses. Somewhere in between would lay most of us (I would guess) and in that manner we have to determine to what length we're going to be repairing our rigs while out. Some of that comes down to having a solidly maintained rig before backing out of your driveway, some of it comes down to using some of the HP between your ears while driving. The rest comes down to luck and how much risk you would expose yourself to if you had a catastrophic failure. Solo expedition across northern Alaska? Ok, carry your ARP bolt tool to replace a rod if you toss one. Group drive across a popular forestry road? Maybe double check you have the local repeaters programmed into your HAM radio?
 

TreXTerra

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@ShawnR are you carrying a complete socket set or just the specific sockets you would need for your rig? I have talked to a lot of people that put their tool kits together based on using only certain tools that are required for their rig. You could look at what you would need to perform the repairs you are able to do and keep just those tools with you.
If light weight kit is your goal, then this is my suggestion as well. Most vehicles use about 5-6 bolt sizes throughout the vehicle so you can trim your set substantially. Getting a ratchet handle and sockets separately means you will still get a decent quality set of tools without taking up a bunch of space or adding weight. In some cases, you might want two ratchets and double up on key sockets or make due with one set of sockets and a few hand wrenches.

A good way to build a kit is to start doing your own work at home, make a list of all the sizes you are using and the type of wrench. That will be your list of essentials for the truck.

EDIT: Oh, and be sure to have a good handle on what different torque specs are. Some people use the Tight-enough-that-it-won't-fall-off method of a well calibrated arm, others prefer to carry a torque wrench to avoid sheering a bolt or stud in the middle of nowhere. Craftsman has torque wrenches on sale right now for less than $40.
 
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ShawnR

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If light weight kit is your goal, then this is my suggestion as well. Most vehicles use about 5-6 bolt sizes throughout the vehicle so you can trim your set substantially. Getting a ratchet handle and sockets separately means you will still get a decent quality set of tools without taking up a bunch of space or adding weight. In some cases, you might want two ratchets and double up on key sockets or make due with one set of sockets and a few hand wrenches.

A good way to build a kit is to start doing your own work at home, make a list of all the sizes you are using and the type of wrench. That will be your list of essentials for the truck.

EDIT: Oh, and be sure to have a good handle on what different torque specs are. Some people use the Tight-enough-that-it-won't-fall-off method of a well calibrated arm, others prefer to carry a torque wrench to avoid sheering a bolt or stud in the middle of nowhere. Craftsman has torque wrenches on sale right now for less than $40.
Thanks for the info. Right now I have a torque wrench from HF, and it does decently. But I looked at the Craftsman and think I'm going to pick one up if they are on sale. I'm trying to downsize my toolbox, but I have a bad habit of overpacking. But I'm definitely trying. lol
 

TreXTerra

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I just junked both my HF wrenches. One broke and literally dumped it's guts out when I tried to use it last, the other stopped clicking and I sheered off a caliper bolt. I had to buy a new caliper pin and bolt from the dealer for $20.
 

Mad Garden Gnome

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Universal sockets are nice for tight access but don't depend on them for a stand alone socket. I have from Snap On u sockets all the way down to Astro Pneumatic u sockets, depending on whether they were going to the hangar set or going home. Your week point shouldn't be whether or not the socket grips a fastener, unless you've really gone to a low end tool, your week point will be the u-joint and whether it takes the load you are putting on it.
 
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