The 8 Best Universal Socket Wrenches
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Regardless of whether you're a full-time mechanic or just an occasional DIY-er, a good socket wrench is likely to be one of your most-used tools. The only problem is that finding the right attachment for the job at hand can be tedious and time consuming. If you have one of these universal models, though, you never need to struggle again, as they're able to instantly conform to nearly any bolt. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 18, 2021:
It ended up being quite a busy round of updates. While the Z Zanmax was the only model that we removed due to availability issues, we also eliminated the Dfute 360 in favor of the Tiger Wrench, recognizing that, not only does the 360 seem to be a knockoff of the Tiger Wrench (which you may remember from its TV infomercial), but it’s also considerably more expensive.
We added the Doublesmt Adaptive All-Fitting, which separates itself from push-pin models like the Dia-Grip Multifunctional and QST Magic Spanner with a spring-loaded design that clamps down on bolts from six sides. This leaves the tool limited to use with hex-head hardware, but the consensus seems to be that it can handle much more torque than designs similar to said alternatives. This model had to review quite well to earn a spot on our rankings, but I’m still curious to see it in action because its design reminds me of a discontinued multidriver that Klein Tools used to make, which brings me to our next new addition…
The Klein Tools 32807MAG is the next generation of the discontinued driver I just mentioned, and it sports a completely different design. This is probably because, quite frankly, the former design – which employed a clamp-down mechanism like the Adaptive All-Fitting – wasn’t all that good (notably, this is the only bad experience I’ve ever had, amongst dozens of purchases from Klein). The new design actually manages to house seven separate sockets, cleverly nested in such a way that they’re able to fit into one compact driver. It goes without saying, of course, that this option really isn’t a wrench, but we thought it was still worth including lower down on our list, as the concept and utility it brings to the table are quite similar to other options in this category, even if the execution isn’t the same. You can expect its durability to be second to few.
The Wetols WE-885 is a ratcheting screwdriver that, in addition to a universal socket and compatible adapter, comes with 10 assorted Philips and Torx drill bits, and even an extension that lets you decide whether to operate it as a standard-length or stubby unit. On top of all this, it comes in a serviceable magnetic gift box, and at a very low price, so it’s an option worth considering as an inexpensive housewarming gift or stocking stuffer for a new homeowner or DIY handyman.
Our last new addition is the Mommax Magic Wrench, a two-headed monster that can handle hardware from 5/16 to 1-3/4 inches, which is a decent range if you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all solution to have around the house in case of an emergency.
Models in this category can be a good idea, for users who would like to have a few resources around the house, but would rather not clutter the whole place up with a massive tool collection, but most professionals will concur that they’re no substitute for the real thing. If you want to get serious about getting your garage geared up, we’ve got lists of ratchet sets, socket holders and impact wrenches.
February 18, 2019:
The smartly-designed handle on the RAK Multi-Function went a long way towards helping it claim the top spot (and all the extra included hardware didn't hurt, either). We favored durable models as well, but be forewarned that none of the models on this list are likely to be able to stand round-the-clock use. They're all inexpensive enough, however, that you shouldn't go bankrupt even if you need to replace them once or twice a year. We included the Dfute 360 despite its different appearance to appease traditionalists who want the sturdiest sockets possible.
Toler Tools The Union This gadget's one of the most advanced multitools on the market, and offers a self-adjusting, ratcheting wrench that's ready to take on 1/4- to 3/4-inch fasteners. If you think it's a bit on the bulky side, it comes apart and is equipped with two pocket clips, making it easy to carry both halves separately. tolertools.com
Leatherman Tread While this multifunctional bracelet might not agree with everybody's sense of style, some gearheads will love the look of this 29-tool apparatus. It offers seven wrench sizes, and in addition to the bestselling original option, the company also offers a metric model, and a slighter LT version. leatherman.com