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#792075 - 12/19/06 06:44 PM 6 point vs. 12 point socket
Thorn Offline


Registered: 03/15/05
Posts: 167
Loc: NE Pennsylvania
Other than the obvious, what is the difference between 6 point and 12 point sockets? Is one better than the other for certain things, or is it just a matter of personal preference?

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#792076 - 12/19/06 06:46 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: Thorn]
brianl703 Offline


Registered: 05/07/04
Posts: 10487
Loc: Manassas, VA
As far as I can tell the only difference is that a 12-point socket is easier to put on the bolt you're removing.

6-point sockets are supposedly less likely to strip/round off the bolt. I have no 12-point sockets. I don't miss them.

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#792077 - 12/19/06 06:47 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: Thorn]
-Clayton- Offline


Registered: 10/27/05
Posts: 1261
Loc: KY
I prefer 6 point sockets myself, They tend not to round off stuff as easily.
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#792078 - 12/19/06 07:14 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: -Clayton-]
Tempest Offline


Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 10464
Loc: Las Vegas NV
All 6 points here. They make it almost impossible to round off a hex. Especially the shapes that Craftsman and Metrinch use. It also makes it more likely to grab a nut that is already rounded.
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#792079 - 12/19/06 08:55 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: Tempest]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10819
Loc: The Motor City
When I started wrenching on cars 30 years ago, within a year I replaced my hand-me-down 12-pts with 6-pt impact sockets and never looked back. I'm still using the same set this day.

Only rarely have I seen a 12-pt bolt head -- mostly on aircraft.
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#792080 - 12/19/06 09:15 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: Kestas]
Win Offline


Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3346
Loc: Arkansas
6 point sockets put pressure on the flat of the fastener, where you can apply the most force. 12 point sockets put the pressure on the corners.

A 12 point can be easier to get on a fastener in a tight spot. I try to use 6 pointers as much as I can.
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#792081 - 12/19/06 09:18 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: Kestas]
punisher Offline


Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 1923
Loc: snowblind in TX
Quote:

When I started wrenching on cars 30 years ago, within a year I replaced my hand-me-down 12-pts with 6-pt impact sockets and never looked back. I'm still using the same set this day.





Same here. The only 12pt I use is the 12mm for R&R of Ford driveshafts. I don't really even use chrome sockets at all anymore, except for 1/4" drive stuff.

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#792082 - 12/19/06 11:06 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: punisher]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24000
Loc: ME
If you can't get a socket on something, spin the wrench a little. If you're using a cheater bar or torque wrench, pull the socket off and put it on the square peg 90 degrees off. This will offset the 60-degree hex 30 degrees from where you started.

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#792083 - 12/20/06 04:50 AM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: eljefino]
alreadygone Offline


Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 3161
Loc: North Arkansas
Kestas and Punisher are dead on. Originally break over bars were used a lot. 12 point allowed for more "bites" in tight spaces. With the widespread use of ratchets, need for 12 point is nil. With exception of above mentioned drive shaft bolts and wheel bearing bolts on late model Dodge PU's.

Bob
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#792084 - 12/20/06 05:10 AM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: alreadygone]
oilboy123 Offline


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 6552
Loc: Everett, Washington
I concur with said info.
Coming from my vast experience.............:) Well lets just say I have been around the block enough to know what they say is good info from my experience.
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#792085 - 12/20/06 05:57 AM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: oilboy123]
TheTanSedan Offline


Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 1880
Loc: Corpus Christi, Texas
I appreciate, too, the answers given.

With that in mind I would still pick up a 12-pt (quality; garage sale/pawn shop) in a size such as 9/16 where I seem to use it a great deal. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but sooner or later that 12-pt socket will be handy.
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#792086 - 12/20/06 07:25 AM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: TheTanSedan]
bdcardinal Offline


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 6521
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
ive only seen 12pt on Ford Driveshafts, the pinch bolts on some Ford Twin I-Beam bushings, and some dodge pickups. other then buying sockets for that specific reason, i have all 6pt. all my wrenches are 12pt though. i do alignments a lot, so i need to get into weird tight spaces on some really poorly designed suspensions.
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#792087 - 12/20/06 05:19 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: bdcardinal]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4719
Loc: MI
Just to throw a "wrench" into this discussion.....the rounding of corners should be a moot point according to Snap-On, who I "think" first patented the 12 point socket that grabs the nuts (ouch) away from the corners. The patent must be elapsed because Craftsman and others now have this design.

Having said that, I also chose 6 point sockets on my last new tool set.

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#792088 - 12/20/06 07:13 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: doitmyself]
blupupher Offline


Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 1859
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
Older Jeep Driveshafts are held in with 12 point bolts also.

I used to like 12 point till I found out (the hard way) that they strip bolt heads easier.

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#792089 - 12/20/06 07:17 PM Re: 6 point vs. 12 point socket [Re: blupupher]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10819
Loc: The Motor City
Except for the Ford and Jeep driveshafts, I'm curious why the automakers don't use 12-pt fasteners more often like the aircraft industry does? It seems the auto industry prefers using torx heads for premium fasteners.
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