Can You Use Regular Sockets With an Impact Wrench?

If you’ve ever tried to use a regular socket with an impact wrench, you know that it doesn’t work very well. The metal sockets tend to deform under the impact of the wrench, which can make it difficult to remove the nut or bolt.

can you use regular sockets with an impact wrench

However, there are some exceptions. If you’re using a thick-walled or deep socket, you may get away with using a regular socket on an impact wrench. Just be careful not to overtighten the nut or bolt, or you may damage the socket.

Features of a regular socket


A regular socket can tighten or loosen normal bolts and nuts easily. It is made of metal and has a square or hexagonal hole in the center, allowing it to fit over a bolt or nut head. The socket is attached to a handle, which provides leverage when tightening or loosening the bolt.


Most people are familiar the regular metal sockets. However, there are also plastic and rubber sockets available. Plastic sockets are generally used for light-duty applications, while rubber sockets are better suited for heavy-duty applications.

Rubber sockets are more durable than plastic sockets, and they can withstand higher levels of torque without breaking. They’re also less likely to slip off the nut or bolt. If you’re looking for a socket that will last long under heavy use, then a rubber socket is the way to go.


Regarding safety, using a regular socket with an impact wrench can be dangerous. If you overtighten the nut or bolt, you may damage the socket or cause it to fail. This could lead to serious injury.

So, if you’re using an impact wrench, ensure to use a set of impact sockets.


A regular socket has a cylindrical shape and a series of notches on the sides, which allow it to be attached to a wrench. The purpose of a normal socket is to provide a tight fit on a bolt or nut so that it can be turned. Different types of sockets are designed for different purposes, such as impact sockets able to withstand high torque without breaking.

Sockets are typically made from materials such as steel or Chromoly that are strong and durable. When using a socket, it is crucial to make sure that it is adequately secured to the wrench so that it does not become loose and fall off.

Can you use regular sockets with an impact wrench?

Unlike a regular drill, an impact wrench delivers high torque output with very little input from the user. This higher torque makes it ideal for applications requiring a lot of force, such as loosening or tightening lug nuts.

However, it’s important to note that impact wrenches use a different kind of socket than regular drills. Impact sockets are constructed from stronger materials and have a thicker wall to prevent them from shattering under the high torque output of the wrench.

For this reason, it’s not ideal to use regular sockets with an impact wrench. Doing so could damage the socket or cause it to fail, leading to serious injury. So, if you’re planning on using an impact wrench, be sure to pick up a set of impact sockets as well.

What happens if you use regular sockets with an impact wrench?

Impact wrenches are powerful tools designed to loosen tight and stubborn nuts and bolts quickly and easily. They work by using a combination of rotational force and concussive blows to break the bolt free.

As a result, they can exert a tremendous amount of force, which can damage regular sockets. Impact sockets are made from a more rigid material that can withstand the forces generated by an impact wrench without breaking.

In addition, they typically have a thicker wall than regular sockets. This wall will help to distribute the load more evenly and prevents them from being chewed up by the wrench. So, it is always best to use impact sockets with an impact wrench to avoid damaging your sockets and preventing them from working correctly.

You may also like: Torque wrench vs socket wrench

Which socket is ideal for use with an impact wrench?

When using an impact wrench, choosing the right type of socket is essential. Impact sockets are designed to withstand the high torque of an impact wrench and are less likely to slip or round off a bolt head.

In contrast, regular sockets are not as durable and can be damaged by an impact wrench. For this reason, it is typically advisable to use an impact socket with an impact wrench.

However, if you only have a regular socket on hand, you can still use it with an impact wrench. Just be sure to use caution and not apply too much pressure, as this could damage the socket or cause it to slip off the bolt.

These things to keep in mind when using a regular socket with an impact wrench

Some critical factors should be considered when using a regular socket with an impact wrench.

  • The socket size should be appropriate for the removed bolt or nut size.
  • It is essential to ensure that the socket is compatible with the type of impact wrench. Not all sockets are compatible with all impact wrenches, so it is necessary to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before use.
  • The socket should be securely attached to the wrench. Impact wrenches generate a lot of torque; if the socket is not correctly secured, it can fly off and cause injury.
  • The socket should be made of a durable material that can withstand the high speed and forces exerted by the impact wrench.

Considering these few factors, you can help ensure your project goes smoothly and safely.

Why is it essential to use the correct socket sizes with an impact wrench?

If you use a socket that is too small, it will not fit properly and could slip off, which could damage the tool or cause injury. In contrast, using a too-large socket may not grip the nut tightly enough and could also slip off.

In addition, using the wrong size socket can put undue stress on the impact wrench, potentially damaging the tool. So, it is essential always to use the correct size socket when using an impact wrench.

Final thoughts

Standard sockets cannot withstand the higher forces that are exerted by the impact wrench. So, It’s usually not wise to use regular sockets on an impact wrench. However, if you must use a regular socket, ensure it’s firmly attached to the wrench. Have you ever used a regular socket with an impact wrench? Let us know in the comments below!

See also:

Can I use chrome sockets on impact wrench?

What Size Impact Wrench for Lawn Mower Blade?

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