As a car mechanic, there is no doubt that you start to accumulate a ton of tools over time. While some of these tools such as torque wrenches, hammers, breaker bars, and impact guns are easy to keep track of, others are smaller and easily lost. One type of tool in particular that a mechanic will acquire an especially large amount of over time is sockets! Between deep sockets, shallow sockets, impact sockets, thin walled sockets, and spark plug sockets all in both metric and SAE sizes, a good mechanic can literally have hundreds! While sockets are usually come in sets, there are many circumstances under which you acquire loose ones. Maybe someone gifted you an old tool set or you had to buy a few individual sockets for special projects. Whatever the reason, every mechanic has at least a few loose sockets sitting at the bottom of their tool box.
Fortunately, sorting and keeping track of sockets is a simple task these days and the best way to organize sockets is with a socket organizer. A socket organizer is a metal tool that has fittings on it that you can snap your sockets into. These are usually aligned in a row or a set of rows which allow you to place them in any order you please. Socket organizers can then be placed on a wall, hung from a pegboard, or otherwise made easily accessible somewhere in your garage. A lot of people like to get socket organizers for all of their sockets so they don’t have to go hunting through socket set cases or tool chests to find the sockets that they need.
The Best Socket Organizers
When it comes to choosing the best socket organizer, the main differentiator is build quality. Below we have chosen two of our favorite socket organizers that should rightfully have a place in your garage due to their quality.
Olsa Tools 3 Piece Aluminum Socket Organizer
The Olsa Tools socket organizer is an extremely high quality tool. First, it comes as a set of three rails fabricated from aluminum. Each of these rails holds 16 sockets apiece which gives you a total of 48 sockets worth of storage. Each rail corresponds to a different drive size, so you can store one rail worth of 1/4″ drive sockets, one rail worth of 3/8″ drive sockets, and one rail worth of 1/2″ drive sockets.
Attached to each rail are plastic socket holders that feature a spring loaded ball bearing retention system. When you slip your socket on the holder, the ball pushes into the detent in the socket to hold it in place, much like the ball bearing retention on your socket wrench does. This feature holds your sockets far more securely than some of the bent sheet metal socket organizers out there. These holders can also be purchased without the rails in packages of 6 so if you want to store more than 16 sockets on a rail you can add some holders without having to buy another rail.
As far as mounting features, the Olsa Tools organizers have slots on each end. These slots allow you to easily hang your sockets on a wall or from a pegboard. They also do quite well laying flat, as these are sturdy enough not to warp and bow upwards like the cheaper sheet metal versions. We should also mention that the coating is decent and will definitely inhibit moisture based corrosion.
Overall, we think you’ll be extremely happy with the Olsa Tools socket organizer and we are confident it will treat you well for quite a long time.
Tekton 1885 3 Piece Socket Holder Set
If you are looking for the best budget play, Tekton has you covered. The Tekton socket organizer is made out of an all steel sheet metal construction. The steel is nickel plated for corrosion resistance, and the steel sheet metal itself is formed in such a way that it provides a rigid structure that is resistant to bowing.
The socket attachments are formed into the sheet metal itself. The steel is heat treated so that it retains its original shape after being deflected (aka it’s spring steel) so you essentially snap the sockets onto the holders, they squeeze the metal slightly, and the friction holds them in place. Despite what we say about most sheet metal designs, the holders on the Tekton work well and you won’t have to worry about your sockets falling off.
Like the Olsa Tools socket organizer, the Tekton sports 3 different rails, each corresponding to a different drive size. This particular set comes with 1/4″ drive, 3/8″ drive, and 1/2″ drive socket mounts so you should be able to get an entire tool kit worth of sockets onto these rails. As far as mounting features, the Tekton socket holders have generously large holes on both sides which allow you to screw them to a wall or hang them from a pegboard.
While the Tekton socket organizer may not look as fancy as the Olsa Tools organizer, it works well and a good socket holder can’t be had for cheaper. If you want the absolute best socket organizer around, spring for the Olsa Tools version, otherwise, the Tekton will treat you just fine.
Hopefully our recommendations for socket organizers have steered you in the right direction as far as sorting your tools is concerned. While these are our favorites, there are many options out there so feel free to have a look at other socket organizers by clicking here if these don’t quite fit the bill for you. Happy wrenching!