Whether it’s for a holiday or birthday, this Tools Under 30 Dollars Gift Guide Series shows you important, yet somewhat uncommon, tools that any gearhead would want.
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.