Wouldn't it be great to replace all the heavy and expensive sockets in your tool box by a single little item? Advertising videos for universal sockets claim exactly this. But do the promises hold? We tried a universal socket regarding its usability on board a boat.
After stumbling upon the following video, I was wondering if the socket shown might be a useful addition to my tool box on board. I did not like the aggressive voice and the way it was promoted, but the universal socket in itself looked quite interesting.
Video Ad for a Universal Socket
So I decided to give it a try and buy one for myself. There was not much to loose, as these sockets are quite cheap on Amazon. While the video above presents a universal socket by Gator Grip, I actually got mine from DrillPro, which was even cheaper but had similar reviews. Meanwhile, there are also other manufacturers whose products got even better ratings.
My Review of the Universal Socket
Here I will show you some pictures of my experience with the universal socket so far. In general I am quite impressed on how well it grips to most nuts and hooks. It has a clear limitation regarding the size of the nuts though. While it seems much more solid and durable than I expected, I still would not use it under heavy load. In this case, a proper socket in the right size or a wrench would be the right way to go.
So far I had the bit on board for one season and it has lasted quite well. I did not use it under harsh conditions though, so I can't tell (yet) how it deals with salt spray and the generally wet climate on board a boat. While I would not want to trade any of the "real" tools in my boat's toolbox for it, it is a great little helper to keep next to the companionway. Whenever there is a loose bolt or anything I want to screw back in, the universal socket comes in handy. I will not have to go through my toolbox to find the right sized socket anymore.
We will keep you posted regarding the durability on board over time. Make sure to sign up for the Bosun's News to never miss an update!
And make sure to leave a comment to share your own experience with this or other tools you like...