The answer will be based on your circumstances. The tool will function most effectively if it fits perfectly onto the fastener. You must use a 12-point tool if your fastener is 12-point, which is not very common. A 6-point tool is the finest option for 6-point fasteners. By aligning the tool’s and fastener’s points, you may increase the amount of steel that comes into contact, which reduces the likelihood that the tool will slip or break. This is crucial when exerting a lot of effort, particularly if the fastener is rusty or broken.
6 Point Sockets
A 6-point end contains six points, or vertices, that are uniformly distributed at 60-degree intervals around a circle, giving it a hexagonal shape.
Let’s Look at Some Advantages of 6 Point Sockets:
- Perfect for tasks requiring a lot of force.
- The socket is less prone to slide thanks to more contact area along the flat sides.
- Slipping strips bolts, which is something you really don’t want to do.
- The larger walls significantly increase overall strength.
Let’s Look at Some Disadvantages of 6 Point Sockets:
- Unsuitable for Small Spaces
- Six-point sockets cannot be used with 12-point bolts
12 Point Sockets
A double hexagon with 12 points, or vertices, uniformly placed at 30-degree intervals around a circle is known as a 12-point end (sometimes known as a “double hex”). Furthermore, a 6-point fastener can accommodate this form.
Let’s Look at Some Advantages of 12 Point Sockets:
- These sockets are simpler to attach to fastener heads because to the extra points.
- If you want to work on a fastener that is difficult to see or that you can’t see at all, this is great.
- Due to their ability to attach to a fastener at a variety of angles, 12-point sockets are also excellent for usage in confined places.
Let’s Look at Some Disadvantages of 12 Point Sockets:
- Hex bolts are more likely to be stripped.
Does a 6 Point Socket Outperform a 12 Point Socket?
While most simple repairs may be done using 12-point sockets, hard twisting requires a six-point socket. A six-point socket is significantly less likely to round the corners or come loose from a difficult fastening.
This is why: (1) Six-point sockets are less prone to fly because they have thicker walls. (2) A six-point socket is constructed to make contact with a fastener’s head far from the corners, making the thickest section of the fastener the point of contact. This significantly lowers the possibility of slippage and corner rounding. And (3) a socket’s edges are slightly slanted back to allow the socket to glide over a fastener. Again, a six-point socket has greater contact area inside it since the angle is smaller than that of a 12-point socket.
Both 6-point and 12-point kinds of sockets are often produced. Pick a 6-point socket for a 6-point fastener and a 12-point socket for a 12-point fastener for the optimum fit.
When Should I Use a 6 Point or 12 Point Socket?
While 6 and 12 point sockets may be used interchangeably in the majority of circumstances, some demand the selection of a particular one. Generally speaking, 6-point fasteners are better suited to high-impact or force-intensive applications. They triumph in this situation because to their improved wear resistance and lower potential for stripping a bolt head.
If there isn’t much force needed, choose a 12-point socket for working in small places. In cramped quarters, a 12-point socket is easier to move. It functions nicely when used with a ratchet with several teeth. You will need a 12-point socket if the application calls for 12-point fasteners since no other socket will work.
|Usages||6 Point Socket||12 Point Socket|
|With long handle wrenches||✗||✓|
|When space is a constraint||✗||✓|
|Require a large amount of force||✓||✗|
|Lower potential for stripping a bolt head||✓||✗|
I’m done now. This is my concise explanation of 6-point vs 12 point sockets. Use 6 point sockets for removing rusted, jammed, or any sort of fastener that has been tightened to a high torque. If not, 12 point sockets will work just fine.
When purchasing sockets for the first time, I advise starting with several 6 point sockets and then, if necessary, extending your collection. I regret not purchasing 6 points initially since I did it the other way around.
Tips and Tricks
The majority of premium sockets have chrome plating on them to stop corrosion and make cleanup simple. However, the chrome finish might flake off with repeated usage. If the chrome on a socket is flaking, avoid using it. The chrome will have razor-sharp edges. Any reliable tool manufacturer will replace a tool with flaking chrome.
So, which one you should use? Well, it depends on the job you’re looking to do. Work in restricted places is made much easier by the versatility of 12 point sockets, which may be used on both hexagonal and 12 point fasteners. However, because there is a higher chance of removing the fastener head, they are not appropriate for high-impact applications. High-impact applications need 6 point sockets, which cannot be utilized with 12 point fasteners.