What about the size of the rest of a socket?
As well as knowing the socket head size and drive socket size, it can sometimes be necessary to know other dimensions of the socket as well. This is often the case if you need to reach a fastener that is located in a recessed cylinder.
The five other key socket measurements you may need to know are:
Socket end diameter
This is the external diameter of the socket head end of the socket. It can sometimes be necessary to know this measurement if the socket has to reach inside a cylinder or recess.
Some manufacturers make thin walled sockets that reduce the socket end diameter slightly, allowing them to fit in areas regular sockets will not.
Drive end diameter
This is the external diameter of the drive end of the socket. It is usually smaller than the socket end diameter on most sockets, however on some very small sized sockets the drive end diameter may be larger than the socket end diameter. This is why it can be important to know the drive end diameter, as when using very small sockets, if the fastener is recessed, having a larger drive end diameter may prevent the socket from reaching the fastener head.
This is the internal depth of the socket that the bolt or fastener shaft can travel into before reaching the drive square of the turning tool. This can be important to know if the bolt shaft protrudes a long way above the nut you need to turn.
If the bolt clearance of your socket is not sufficient, then you may need to use a pass through socket instead seefor more information.
This is the total external length of a socket. It can sometimes be important to know this measurement, as some situations may need the use of a socket in a confined area and deep sockets may be too long for this. One example would be accessing the bolts on a scooter transaxle without removing the wheels.
Some manufacturers make mid-length sockets for rare situations where a socket longer than standard is required but the area the fastener is located means that a deep socket (deep sockets are longer than standard sockets) will be too long to fit.
Sockets are available in standard and deep lengths, while some manufacturers also make mid length sockets that are longer than standard sockets but shorter than deep sockets. For more information see
This is the internal depth of the socket that the bolt or fastener head can travel into. Deep sockets have a much greater opening depth allowing the bolt head to travel up into the socket. You may need a socket with a longer opening depth if you need to turn a nut on a long bolt shaft.
The wall thickness of a socket is the thickness between the outer edge of the socket head and the internal walls of the socket.
Some deep or long-reach sockets will have a thinner wall thickness than other sockets in order to reduce the total diameter of the socket, enabling it to fit into narrow recesses easier. This does however weaken them so they should only be used if a normal deep or long reach socket is unable to reach the fastener, if it was located in a narrow cylinder for example.
The chamfer angle is the angle of the chamfer that is put on the end of a socket.
The narrower the chamfer angle, the easier it will be to locate the socket onto the head of a fastener.
However, having a narrow chamfer angle reduces the contact area between the socket and the fastener, which increases the chance of rounding the fastener head (when a socket applies too much torque to the corners of a male fastener head and deforms it and reduces the torque that can be applied to it.
For more information on rounding a head, see:
Where can these sizes be found?
While the main sizes of a socket, head size, drive size and length are usually included in the description advertising the socket, many other sizes may not be. These will however be included in the product specification or data sheet for the socket.
You should be able to obtain a copy of the product specification or data sheet from the retailer or they can often be found on the socket manufacturer's website.