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Ratchet Sockets: Chrome Vanadium Steel or Carbon Steel?

VIEW:   DATE:2018-12-12 11:46

Some may not care about whether sockets they are going to buy are made of Cr-V steel or carbon steel, they just want low rates, so am I. But as famous line going "You got what you pay", sometimes you buy so-called "CRV RATCHET WRENCH" is not the Cr-V ratchet wrench. Lasered or printed with CRV ratchet wrench on their handle has nothing to do with the Cr-V ratchet wrench.

Here comes our basic topic, how to tell your Cr-V steel ratchet socket is made of Cr-V, not carbon steel or even lower grade steel? The reason we choose carbon steel and Cr-V steel is that many manufacturers claiming their Cr-V steel podger ratchets with carbon steel indeed. After you finish this article, surely you will know how.
Three double sized sockets are given in above picture. left to right, Chrome Moly socket, CrV socket and Carbon steel. We start from the last one carbon steel socket.

Following is closeup of carbon steel socket.

Carbon steel socket corners are more like V, W, feeling of sharpness, and its inner surface looks like many tracks, reminding us of car lefting tracks on muddy roads. I am not a superficial man, sometimes superficial is useful and "You can judge a book by its cover". So next time when you find sharp feeling corners and tracks on the inner surface of socket, odds-on that they are made of carbon steel.

Next up my favorite, the Cr-V steel sockets, we will find more, just enjoy its closeup first.
Obviously, Cr-V steel socket surface is smooth and corner is round-curved, looks like they are crafted, and well-dressed. And what's more we notice two inward protruded circles in the junction of sockets, this is another features of Cr-V steel sockets, while we find just a step between carbon steel socket. The protruded circles design help scaffolders to quick confirm position of nuts by merely hand feeling, in case of using opposite size socket or causing damage to socket when applicaiton is on long nuts. So Cr-V steel sockets are not only nice looking but high torque capacity are bestowed to, 800N/M is an easy job. 

There is another flush type socket with silver color in first picture, which is Chrome Moly alloy steel socket, which is better again than Cr-V steel ones. You may find this design from brands like Tiger UK, MNT UK, if you are interested in hearing more about this design, just send email to, a friendly answer will soon to you.

So remember left to right: Chrome Moly steel socket, Cr-V steel socket and carbon steel socket.


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