Socket Sizes in Order From Smallest to Largest

Sorting socket by sizes in order from smallest to largest is not as simple as one might think. First, you need to know which size of the drive you are using.

Most common dive sizes are:

  • 1/4″ drive
  • 3/8″ drive
  • 1/2″ drive
  • other drive sizes

Also, there are 2 main measurement standards:

  • Metric
  • SAE

Socket Sizes in Order From Smallest to Largest - Conversion Charts Included

 

You may already own some socket or a set. Most likely you are missing one or more sizes and you need to get them to complete the set. Just down below you will find reference charts so you can quickly find out which socket sizes you are missing. They are also sorted by size, from smallest to largest.

 

Pro Tip: Don’t expect any set to have absolutely all sizes from the chart list, and you will never need all of them. So, consider your tooling needs first to determine which sizes you need to be present in the socket set.

You can download PDF version of tables here.

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" Drive1" Drive
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"1-1/4"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"

SAE to Metric Conversion Chart

In this world where dual standards in engineering coexist together you will often find yourself having a bolt or a nut and will not know which exact socket size or wrench to use. If you for example have a nut with a 5/16″ (ANSI or Imperial units), and you have a wrench in metric units, you will have to use 8mm wrench to tighten it. This is what the SAE to Metric conversion char shows.

SAE SizeMetric SizeInches Decimal 
5/32"0.1565/32" and 4mm are
4mm0.157close enough
4.5mm0.177
3/16"0.188
5mm0.197
5.5mm0.216
7/32"0.219
6mm0.236
1/4"0.25
6.5mm0.256
7mm0.276
9/32"0.281
5/16"0.3135/16" and 8mm are
8mm0.315close enough
11/32"0.344
9mm0.354
3/8"0.375
10mm0.394
13/32"0.406
11mm0.4337/16" and 11mm are
7/16"0.438close enough
15/32"0.46915/32" and 12mm are
12mm0.472close enough
1/2"0.5
13mm0.512
17/32"0.531
14mm0.551
9/16"0.563
15mm0.59119/32" and 15mm are
19/32"0.594close enough
5/8"0.625
16mm0.63
21/32"0.656
17mm0.669
11/16"0.688
18mm0.709
23/32"0.719
19mm0.7483/4" and 19mm are
3/4"0.75close enough
25/32"0.781
20mm0.787
13/16"0.813
21mm0.827
27/32"0.844
22mm0.866
7/8"0.875
23mm0.90629/32" and 23mm are
29/32"0.906close enough
15/16"0.938
24mm0.945
1"1

Drive Sizes

The drive size on a ratchet (aka: socket wrench) is the small square connection fitting at the end of the ratchet. This fitting accepts sockets of the same size. There are 3 common ratchet drive sizes used in shops and home garages but other drive sizes also exist.

1/4″ Drive

Used for low torque, precision, or interior work. Usually you want to use with a socket size 12mm or smaller (but up to 14mm for low torque applications).

3/8″ Drive

The most versatile and useful drive size for most people. Use it for engine work or all purpose use around your home. It allows you to apply quite a bit of torque yet fits in spots that a 1/2″ drive won’t. Generally, you’ll want to use with 12mm to 18mm sockets (or larger if the torque won’t be too high).

1/2″ Drive

Used for instances where a lot of torque is required such as a car’s lug nuts or exhaust system or if driving large lag bolts into your wall studs to install a flat screen TV. Generally used for 19mm and larger sockets or impact sockets.

Other Socket Drive Sizes

While most individuals will never need anything other than the three drive sizes above, ratchets with 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/2″, and higher drive sizes do exist. These are most often used for industrial applications or on vehicles such as large trucks, tractors, and tanks.

Once you have handled the socket sizes, consider pairing them with one of the best socket organizers to have every socket stored in appropriate place.

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