The Instructions that came with my gp CrMo sockets say:

Only use impact sockets with power driven or impact tools. Do not use impact sockets with hand tools such as ratchets, breaker bars, leverage bars or torque multipliers. (Safety Instruction #2)

Why is this so? I understand using a Cr-V socket on an impact wrench can have the socket burst without warning, or damage the wrench. However, this is the only reference I found that the opposite is not allowed (as per safety!) -- anyone know why this might be?

  • 3
    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Really? I have no clue. I use them all the time. They've worked just fine for me over the past 35+ years using impacts either with an impact gun or on a ratchet/breaker bar. Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 22:06
  • I have shattered ordinary sockets trying to undo tight nuts by hand. Asked Snap-On who advised the impact version and never bust one of those...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 5:34
  • There is a contact link on that page you attached, why don’t you ask them and report back?
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 9:55
  • Cost could be a reason to choose a tool suitable for the job - An impact socket will cost more than the comparable normal one.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 10:01
  • 2
    These days it was probably poorly translated from Chinese and doesn't convey the real meaning. There is some (minor IMHO) danger in using standard sockets with an impact driver (although I've done it plenty of times without any issues) but using a stronger impact socket with a hand driver is not going to be a problem.
    – jwh20
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


Impact sockets I have had were thicker than standard sockets so there may be a few locations which are not accessible with impact sockets. But I think the primary reason is to get customers to buy two sets of sockets . Or maybe three sets; 12 point, 6 point and impact. The alloy makes very little difference , although I have many books that recommend different alloys for different applications. Other than carbon, the alloys primarily affect the hardenability ,so full hardness can be reached to the center ( for this application).

  • 1
    I'd speculate that the only genuine reason would be that impact sockets might be heavier so would be more fatiguing. The manufacturer might have thought it necessary to protect himself against liability in jurisdictions that concern themselves with such things. Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 20:34
  • Did he say something about them being heavier?
    – Alex
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 22:35

My guess is to avoid liability of damaging your hand tools. When you use regular sockets and hand tools on a stuck nut, most likely the socket would be broken first. However, when you use impact socket instead, the hand tools are the weak point now.

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