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How to Loosen or Fasten with a Socket Wrench – Tips & Tricks to Use

A socket wrench is a tool that helps you fasten or loosen bolts more easily and quickly than a regular wrench. When working in a limited space like a corner, using a socket wrench is very beneficial as it does not need to be removed and fitted every time. Here we will help you with uses and tips regarding how to use a socket wrench.

What is a Socket Wrench Used for?

A wrench is used to couple or loosens a bolt. Where a regular wrench needs to be refitted in every turn, a socket wrench need not be refitted. It eliminates the chance of missing the bolt using its ratcheting feature. Hence, it makes it easier and quicker to complete an assignment. It is very useful when working in tight spaces.

How to Use a Socket Wrench to Loosen or Tighten?

The socket mechanism of the wrench enables it to be in place while the handle is pushed or pulled to turn a bolt by the operator. A simple mechanism and an essential tool make it highly demandable for carpenters, mechanics, and other operators.

However, there are certain steps that you will need to follow to use a socket wrench to its full potential, which we will help you with:

Step 1: Choosing the Correct Socket Size

There are many sockets in a socket set, and selecting the correct size for the bolt is essential. If you know the size of the bolt, you can directly use the appropriate socket size as most sockets have their size written on them.
However, the hit and trial method can also find it out. If you don’t know the exact bolt size, try any similar size-looking socket on the bolt and attempt to turn it. If it is too tight, go for a larger size. Avoid trying large sockets as it will blunt the edges of the bolt and make it impossible to turn them.

Step 2: Attaching the Handle

After affixing the bolt to the socket, attach the handle by sliding the socket in the square hole. A click indicates its perfect fitting.

Step 3: Checking the Wrench

Once trying on an actual bolt, just try if the wrench is working completely fine. Hold the handle with one hand and rotate the socket back and forth.

Step 4: Fixing the Fastener

So, which way is loosen on a socket wrench? and which direction to fasten? The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that if you rotate the socket clockwise, it will fasten, and if you rotate it anticlockwise, it will loosen. Directly opposite of the socket is a switch that enables the wrench to tighten or loosen. Rotate it to the right for tightening and to the left for loosening.

Step 5: Fixing the Bolt to the Screw

Now rotate the wrench handle in the desired direction for the needed task. If in a tight space, once you reach a dead end, you don’t need to refit the wrench to the bolt. Rotate the handle in the opposite direction and repeat until the bolt tightened or loosened.

Press the unmount button to release the nut when the task fulfilled. If there is no unmount button, you will need to remove the socket manually.

Tips for Using a Socket Wrench

  • When in confusion for the socket size, always try with a smaller one as using a frequently larger size will make the bolt’s edge lose its sharpness. Hence, making it impossible to turn in the upcoming future.
  • The handles come in various sizes for different sizes of bolts. Larger handles for bigger bolts and smaller handles for smaller bolts.
  • For tightening a screw, rotate the handle clockwise.
  • For loosening a screw, rotate the handle anticlockwise.
  • You can opt for a wrench with an unmount switch, or there is always an option to do it manually.
  • Other components like size adapters, ratchet spinners, and extensions are also used with a socket wrench.


Being affordable and extremely handy, a socket wrench makes the operator’s work easy and enables them to complete the assignment quickly. A socket wrench is a pocket-sized tool and you can carry it anywhere without taking much space. Some tools are a must in a worker’s inventory. The best socket wrench set is one such thing.

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