Socket Sizes in Order from Smallest to Largest

Using a wrench can be accessible when you need to tackle jobs in your shed or around the home. However, when you have many varying sizes to work on, you can quickly overload your portable workbench.

Choosing socket sets that display all the sockets in order from smallest to largest isn’t the full story. You need to consider if you are working with SAE and metric nuts and bolts. Besides, you have different drive sizes so that some socket drives won’t fit with individual sockets.

Here you can find all you need to know to make sure you are using the right socket wrench sizes, and you have the correct drive size to match.

SAE and metric nuts and bolts

Most Common Drive Sizes

The drive on your socket wrench is the square section sitting on the ratchet. Certain sizes accept a varying number of sockets that can be either metric and SAE.

You tend to find three standard sizes, although there are others available.

  • 1/4” Drives: You find these used for low-torque work and are usually for smaller sized sockets possibly up to around 14mm as a maximum.
  • 3/8” Drives: You find these as the most versatile as they can cover sockets to cover areas from jobs around the home to your car and many others.
  • 1/2” Drives: Usually in use for more substantial jobs on vehicles where the nuts are more substantial and need more torque. You find them in use for 19mm socket size and above.

Types of Sockets

While you have a large number of metric and SAE standard socket sizes, you can have differing wrenches to use these.

With the following wrenches, you can see why they quickly become some of the more popular tools you can keep in the shed.

Impact Sockets

Many people have hand tools, and many sockets, unfortunately, don’t work with these. Impact sockets are made in such a way they work with these other tools. A prime example is an electric or pneumatic impact wrench.

If you use these, you will need a socket sets built to withstand these higher torques. Such sockets will be made to be more robust than your conventional sockets.

Point Sockets

A 12-point socket is convenient and easy to use. You can slip it over the hardware in any one of 12 positions, which makes it easier to align.

While 12-point sockets are well suited for most light and household tasks, six-point sockets, on the other hand, have been chosen for more significant hardware situations that require substantial torque.

Six-points have a lower chance of slipping in this situation. It is thought a six-point socket will be more durable than a 12-point because its inner walls are set against all six sides of the hardware.

DEWALT (DWMT75049) Mechanics Tool Set, 192-Piece

Shallow vs. Deep Sockets

Conventional shallow sockets may not touch a nut or bolt before the top of the stud or bolt hits the top of the socket, or you are working in a confined space. Spark plug sockets are a good example, as are some wheel nuts.

Socket Size Charts

In the following charts, you can find the sockets sizes in order for metric sockets, and SAE socket sizes.

Metric Socket Sizes Chart

1/4” Drive3/8” Drive1/2” Drive3/4” Drive1” Drive
4mm5.5mm8mm19mm36mm
4.5mm6mm9mm20mm38mm
5mm7mm10mm21mm41mm
5.5mm8mm11mm22mm46mm
6mm9mm12mm23mm50mm
7mm10mm13mm24mm54mm
8mm11mm14mm25mm55mm
9mm12mm15mm26mm58mm
10mm13mm16mm27mm60mm
11mm14mm17mm28mm63mm
12mm15mm18mm29mm65mm
13mm16mm19mm30mm67mm
14mm17mm20mm31mm70mm
15mm18mm21mm32mm71mm
19mm22mm33mm75mm
20mm23mm34mm77mm
21mm24mm35mm80mm
22mm25mm36mm
26mm38mm
27mm40mm
28mm41mm
30mm42mm

SAE Socket Sizes Chart

1/4” Drive3/8” Drive1/2” Drive3/4” Drives1” Drives
5/32"1/4"3/8"7/8"1-5/8"
3/16"5/16"7/16"15/16"1-11/16"
7/32"3/8"1/2"1"1-3/4"
1/4"7/16"9/16"1-1/16"1-13/16"
9/32"1/2"19/32"1-1/8"1-7/8"
5/16"9/16"5/8"1-3/16"2"
11/32"5/8"21/32"21/32"2-1/8"
3/8"11/16"11/16"1-5/16"2-3/16"
7/16"3/4"3/4"1-3/8"2-1/4"
1/2"13/16"25/32"1-7/16"2-3/8"
9/16"7/8"13/16"1-1/2"2-1/2"
15/16"7/8"1-5/8"2-5/8"
1"15/16"1-11/16"2-3/4"
1"1-3/4"2-15/16"
1-1/16"1-13/16"3"
1-1/8”1-7/8”3-1/8”
1-3/16"2"
1-1/4”2-1/8”
1-1/2"2-3/16"
2-1/4”

Socket Conversion Size Chart

Here you can find the socket sizes in order from the smallest to the largest you are most likely to use in the home or on your vehicle.

You can quickly use the conversion chart to check your metric socket sizes against your SAE socket size and vice versa.

SAE to Metric Conversion Chart

SAE to Metric Conversion Chart

SAE SizesMetric SizesSimilar Socket Sizes
5/32”5/32” and 4mm are almost the same
4mm5/32” and 4mm are almost the same
4.5mm
3/16”
5mm
5.5mm
7/32”
6mm
1/4”
6.5mm
7mm
9/32”
5/16”5/16” and 8mm are almost the same
8mm5/16” and 8mm are almost the same
11/32”
9mm
3/8”
10mm
13/32”
11mm7/16” and 11mm are almost the same
7/16”7/16” and 11mm are almost the same
15/32”15/32” and 12mm are almost the same
12mm15/32” and 12mm are almost the same
1/2”
13mm
17/32”
14mm
9/16”
15mm19/32” and 15mm are almost the same
19/32”19/32” and 15mm are almost the same
5/8”
16mm
21/32”
17mm
11/16”
18mm
23/32”
19mm3/4” and 19mm are almost the same
3/4”3/4” and 19mm are almost the same
20mm
13/16”
21mm
27/32”
22mm
7/8”
23mm29/32” and 23mm are almost the same
29/32” and 23mm are almost the same
29/32”
15/16”
24mm
1”

You will find this socket size chart more useful because if you use a non-metric socket on nuts of around 14mm, 17mm, or larger, which needs some force, you can quickly round off the corners, and you are stuck with a nut you can’t remove.

Once you glance down the list of socket sizes in order, you can see there are quite a considerable number of differences, and only a few can use interchangeable sockets from either SAE or one that is metric.

Read more Tools Guides

Socket Sizes in Order from Smallest to Largest

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