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Señor Conductor: Proto sockets Q


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So I'm looking to fill out my assortment of 1/4" sockets (finally! Seems like I've been dragging my feet forever)

Metric deep

SAE standard and deep

All 6 point

(I'll get the SK mid-length 6 point as well, to match my 12 point Snap On)

This will be replacing CM sockets from the 37 dozen piece kit I bought in the mid '90s. Dull chrome, and I can't read the markings any more (damn 47 year old eyes!) plus I've been wanting to give some Proto stuff a try, but can't seem to come up with the extra cash for the ratcheting combos.

I have heard at one point the Wright 1/4" stuff only had one detent in the socket (or maybe it's Cornwell). Goofy crap like that drives me crazy, so before I take the plunge, I'm interested in your experience and opinions.

Thank you sir!

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Well, Proto has 4 dentents, so no worries there. They also use an off corner engagement design like the truck brands do and the TorquePlus 12 pt design (introduced 1994) is one of the better designs out there. I've actually gotten damaged fasteners off with them that a 6 point wouldn't.

I suggest you check out Blackhawk sockets. They are the same as the Proto sockets but less expensive. Aside from price, the only difference is that the size stampings on the Blackhawks is small. If you use Hanson trays or something that shouldn't be an issue though. The early Stanley era Blackhawk sockets (late 80's/early 90's) had no dentents at all, but recent models all have 4 dentents.

I'll be home in a few and will post up some pics.

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Here we go. In the first pic we have the larger size stamping on the Proto's


Here you can see the smaller stamping of the Blackhawk


Both Proto and Blackhawk have nice dentents the play well with wobble extensions


Both brands feature the TorquePlus design


Notice the flanked corners found on both brands


To summarize, both brands are very good quality and if you can live with the smaller stampings, the Blackhawks are very good quality, full featured, USA made, and very affordable. You know me, I don't fool with sub-standard tools, and I have no reservations at all about recommending Blackhawk sockets or wrenches for professional use. They are the best value in sockets IMO.

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Thank you, sir! It looks as if the Blackhawks are stamped with a smaller number, but deeper, correct? The Protos don't look to be stamped very deeply...

You are correct...kinda. Blackhawks are stamped, Proto's are engraved on the bigger sizes and stamped on the smaller. The ones that are stamped are stamped bigger than the Blackhawks.

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Here is another Proto Puller Set, an Oil Filter Wrench Set, and my other DuraTek set, and I don't even have pics of the ton of Proto sockets I have or the older stuff I've got stuffed in random drawers. I have Proto stuff coming out my ass.

Big Mike: The air rat is nice. It's strong for a 3/8" too. I use it occasionally, mostly on hard to reach stuff, but I don't use it all the time. The Proto air impact wrenches are awesome too!

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