Holiday Gift Guides / Product Profiles

Tools Under $30 Gift Guide: Socket Extensions, Wobbles & U-Joints

A simple socket U-joint or extension bar can save the day when you’re working in a tight space.
(Image/Summit Racing)

Whether it’s for holidays or a birthday, this Gift Guide Series shows you important, yet somewhat uncommon, tools that any gearhead would want.

Today, let’s talk about Socket Wrench Extensions, Wobbles, and U-Joints.

Have you come across a bolt that’s so difficult to reach, you’d need octopus arms to get at it?

Well, there is a solution—and it doesn’t involve training a cephalopod.

We’re alluding to socket extensions. And they come in a few key variations.

For starters, simple extensions can give you a few extra, precious inches on your socket wrench to reach that pesky bolt head.

Then there are wobble extensions, AKA wobble bars. These give the socket head a few degrees of play in any direction, so you don’t have to be dead-on center to turn a stubborn nut.

For extreme jobs (ahem, Subaru spark plugs, we’re looking at you), there are U-joints. These allow for several degrees of movement to attack bolts and nuts from more dramatic angles.

In short, these adapters and extensions can save the day on a frustrating job—and they’re just as handy on dishwashers and lawn furniture as they are on engines.

A lot of folks don’t know about all the different types of socket extensions and adapters out there, so they’re often a smart gift to give and receive. Better still, there’s a good chance you can find some handy extensions or versatile U-joints for under 30 bucks.

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