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Tool Review: Milwaukee 1/2” Drive 46-pc Ratchet and Socket Set

Feb. 6, 2020
The reviewer enjoyed the non-traditional shape of the sockets saying their new design saved him time and energy on everyday jobs.

The tools and equipment found in automotive shops are constantly evolving and changing. Though some tools seem like they’ll never change, there’s always room for improvement. According to Randy Kaiser, a technician with Rost Motor, Inc. in Manson, Iowa, the Milwaukee 1/2” Drive 46-pc Ratchet and Socket Set has made a change for the better.

“The sockets in this set aren’t the traditional cylindrical shape,” Kaiser explains. “The bottom portion that goes over the nut or bolt head is round, but that tapers off to a square shape on the other end.”

Kaiser says this new design gives him the ability to easily turn the sockets by hand, saving him time and energy on everyday jobs. Some technicians may be hesitant to stray from traditional rachets and sockets, but Kaiser provides the following example for some perspective.

“Imagine that you’re trying to break loose a very stubborn bolt or nut,” he says. “You’re struggling but just can’t get it to break loose. Your buddy stops by, so you have him grab an open-end wrench and put it on the socket and pull while you tug on the ratchet. The extra force is just what you needed, and it finally breaks loose. Or … you put [Milwaukee’s] 6-point socket on it, turn the socket with a wrench, and the problem is solved.”

Another feature of this set that Kaiser found useful was the knurled shafts on the two extensions included in the set. He notes this feature made the extension easier to hang onto and turn with your fingers. This knurling feature is one Kaiser would also like to have added to the flat surfaces of the sockets.

 “The sockets have a highly polished chrome finish,” the technician explains. “While this makes them very attractive, it also makes them very slippery to hold onto.”

Adding the knurling would make them easier to grip.

When Kaiser received the set, it arrived in a sturdy, suitcase-style carrying case, which made portability a breeze. Kaiser notes the tool tray within the case is removable, making it simple to switch from storing the tools in the case to storing them in a toolbox.

Kaiser used the ratchet and socket set on a variety of tasks around the shop, such as changing oil and tires, replacing water pumps, engine disassembly, and fuel pump replacement.

“All in all,” Kaiser says, “it’s a unique new approach to a time-honored design that definitely has some merit.”

About the Author

Emily Markham | Assistant Editor | Vehicle Repair Group

Emily Markham is an assistant editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

With an education based in writing and editing, Markham uses her knowledge to assist with the creation of content for Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group’s publications—Fleet Maintenance, Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN), and Professional Distributor—as well as their website, VehicleServicePros.com. 

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