The nuts and bolts of heavy industry require powerful tools like an impact socket to fasten in place. The super-strength of an impact socket tool comes from the chrome moly steel it is cast from and can essentially give superpowers to the one who wields it.
“Impact Sockets are designed to receive higher torque loads, which are delivered by a percussive method,” says Tom Tucker, Founder and Director of SP Tools. “This load needs to be accounted for in the design, therefore impact sockets are designed to be thicker and made from a more durable material.”
SP Tools has become the industry leader in standards for both large and small fasteners. SP impact sockets are constructed from chrome molybdenum steel, a ductile material that adds additional elasticity to the socket and tends to bend or stretch rather than shatter.
SP Tools premium range of impact sockets and accessories have been designed to withstand the rigors of industrial use, according to Tom. He describes of the scope of SP impact sockets by the breadth of their application.
“Impact sockets are used on a wide and varied range of heavy industry applications like cars and trucks, mining equipment, maritime equipment, ocean liners, large-scale plumbing and piping, and installation of power generators, primarily because of its higher breaking strain.”
“A normal hand socket is made from chrome which works well for small spaces where a component can be easily removed,” he says. “It’s easier to manufacture a small standard socket, but with larger impact sockets, you need a better quality, more flexible material,” says Tom.
To put the importance of an impact socket’s quality in perspective, Tom explains with a safety example.
“If you apply several thousand pounds of torque through an inferior tool, the part will explode doing grave damage to its surroundings. Therefore, the quality of an impact socket is also paramount to the safety of workers.”
The material difference between a standard chrome hand socket and impact socket is that an impact socket is made from chrome molybdenum steel. Molybdenum is a strong mineral, graphite coloured in appearance and the impact socket endcast is constructed from this compound, resulting in a more solid tool through and through.
“BSC is one of the exclusive distributors of our impact sockets,” says Tom. “Their business is all about heavy-duty bearings, and heavy-duty bearings go into heavy duty machinery. To do that type of work with rolling assemblies, you need effective tools such as impact sockets to mount and dismount bearings of that strength, size, and calibre.”
BSC’s National Product Manager – Tools, Lifting and Rigging, Wheels and Castors, Engineering Consumables – David Malthouse weighs in on the usage and performance of the product.
“Every workshop and engineering space will have an impact socket,” he says. “Impact sockets have a lot of presence in on-site maintenance practices. Anywhere where something is being fitted or cannot physically be removed by hand.”
In application, David explains, “When bolting a tire in, the fastener needs to be very tight, and typically a rattle gun or a torque wrench will be used which will leave some steel etching in the thread of the bolt. This becomes very difficult to get out after a while, which is where an impact socket comes in.”
Dave notes importantly that BSC has seen the sale of impact sockets increase significantly in the renewable energy market.
“Renewable energy is one of our fastest growing markets right now, especially in tooling,” says Dave.
“One of the biggest growth areas for the use of impact socket tools is for offshore wind turbines and tidal power generators. As well, the fitting of solar panels requires the use of what is known as an impact hex key.”
The SP tools impact socket category covers a very large range of drive sizes. The drive sizes include connection point sizes ranging from as small as 3/8”, 1/2”, 3/4”, up to 1”, 1-1/2”, 2-1/2”.
In addition to this, SP Tools manufactures a large range of specialty impact sockets and accessories such as wheel-nut sockets for both cars and trucks, extension bars, wobble drives and many adaptors to get the right size socket onto job.
As an exclusive distributor of SP Tools products, an SP Tools shelf can be found front and centre in most BSC locations.
SP Tools Impact Tool Options:
• 6 point Hex Metric 7mm-200mm
• 6 point Hex AF ¼” – 8”
• 6 point Deep Hex Metric 7mm-120mm
• 6 point Deep Hex AF ¼” – 4-3/4”
• 6 point Stubby Hex Metric 10mm-24mm
• 6 point Inhex Metric 4mm-32mm
• 6 point Inhex AF 3/16” – 1”
• Torx T20-T70
• Spline, Double Square M12-M18