socket organization


Old 06-06-05, 07:40 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 109
socket organization

Hello all-

Boy hindsight being what it is...

I have a 254 piece mechanics tool set from Sears (Craftsmen) and a rolling Kobalt tool chest. 254 is a lot of loose pieces! I want someway to organize them where I'm not constantly searching for the right sockets. I was at Sars the other day and saw a great socket organizer - came with 3 sets - 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" drive SAE and metric. I thought the problem was solved. Only my drawers aren't deep enough to handle the Craftsmen organizer!

What do all of you do to hold, in organized fashion, all of your sockets?? I have the handles with a bar on them with the little pieces you stick the sockets on, but these dont hold very well - especially the heavier large size deep sockets.

Any ideas are appreciated!
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Old 06-06-05, 07:57 PM
IBM5081's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 655
Bailing wire. The amount varies depending on whether they are deep sockets or regular sockets. I do this with closed-end wrench sets as well. Similar to a very heavy-duty necklace chain.

Another approach would be a magnetic strip.
Old 06-06-05, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Tujunga, CA, USA
Posts: 209
I have used Snap-On socket rails and clips for years without to much problem. If anything, the 1/4" seem to be the ones that give me the most problem coming loose. If the clips you have are metal (like Snap-On) you can try spreading them a little bit to see if they hold the sockets better. By the way, the Snap-On rail and clips are not as ridiculously high priced as many of their tools.

Are yours drawers deep enough for the sockets to stand on end? If so, you can take a piece of nice 3/8" plywood and bore holes in them a little bigger than each socket. I have done this for some of my sockets and it keeps them from falling over and rollin all over the place when you open the drawers. I actually made little pin from welding rod (you could use anything - maybe nails) and put them in the plywould to separate ratchets and extension. I just made nice little pins, drilled a hole in the plywood a liitle smaller than the pins, and tapped them in place. It is nice to have a custom fit spot for each and every ratchet, extension, etc. I need to make a new one soon, my original one is 15 or 20 years old and has served me very well.
Old 06-07-05, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Yellowknife, NT, Canada
Posts: 76

A few months ago I was in the same boat as you are now. I have a whack of sockets and was looking for something to finally get them all organized and in place. Problem was, I couldn't find anything that was perfect. I tried the strips (magnetic and clip) and didn't like them. I looked at those craftsman trays but they are too finicky. The placemat styles didn't cover the breadth of sizes I wanted and I had the same problem with them fitting in the box. I ended up going with plastic trays with spindles (for a picture go to ) and am quite pleased with them. They keep the sockets tidy, and retrievable with one hand (an essential feature) and it is easy to find the socket you are looking for since each spindle is labeled. There are spindles for regular and deep sockets.

Only drawback to this kind of tray (and I expect with a 254 piece set you will find this as well) is that there are no spindles for some of your larger (or smaller) sockets. For example, my rarely used 26mm sits on the side. Of course you will need something else for your hex sockets and other bits. If you do go for what I have sggested, make sure you get the "newer" ones. They have changed them in the last couple of years to add a couple of extra socket sizes.

I haven't found anything that is perfect but these came the closest, hands down.

FWIW - in a mechanics tool chest, sockets belong on the top area, under the lid.
Old 06-07-05, 05:44 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 109
Thanks everyone for the suggestions - seems like Stephen's idea is a good one - and is what I envisioned from what Phil talked about. Question for IBM - so what is the best way to get to just one socket - I guess you would slide them around the wire until the one you want is right at the connection of the wire ends? And if so - how do you connect the 2 ends - a knot? Seems like this would eventually break after many times being fastened and unfastened. Elaboration would be very helpful!

Also Stephen - I unfortunately don't have a lid on this tool chest - it is a 7 drawer rolling model. But thanks for the insight!
Old 06-07-05, 06:40 PM
Lugnut's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
Posts: 1,172
I have owned every worthless type of socket holder known to man. lol.

Like Stephen mentioned, I have the plastic rails with spindles and I love them. Easy on, easy off and each spindle is marked with the socket size.

I have them all; metric and engish, 3/8" and 1/2" drive and I have several of each since I have a top notch socket collection, deep well, 6pt, 12pt, up to 1 1/4" , etc and I have two of every size. Mostly KD and other top names.

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