I was browsing some coverage of the 2019 National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) show and discovered these Makita impact-ready hollow sockets I had never seen before. After some digging I learned that these sockets have actually been available since 2015, but I thought they were still interesting enough to cover.
At some point, we’ve all had to deal with spinning a nut down a long length of threaded rod and tightening it. If you work on mechanical systems in buildings, it’s probably something you encounter on a regular basis, as much of the infrastructure in commercial spaces hangs from the ceilings on threaded rod.
Makita hollow sockets have a smooth hole bored along the entire shaft, so that threaded rod can safely pass through without damage. The 12-point socket head can handle both 6 and 12 point nuts (yes there are 12-point nuts).
The corrosion resistant sockets have 1/4″ hex shanks press fit into them and are impact-ready so that you can use them either with a drill or impact driver.
Makita offers these hollow sockets in two different nut sizes, 9/16″ and 3/4″, corresponding to the most common sizes of threaded rod used: 3/8″ and 1/2″. The sockets come in 5 different lengths: 3″, 6″, 12″, 18″, and 24″. Following is a table of all the hollow sockets sizes, part numbers, and their weights.
- B-43290: 9/16″ x 3″ — 0.1 lbs.
- B-43309: 9/16″ x 6″ — 0.2 lbs.
- B-43315: 9/16″ x 12″ — 0.3 lbs.
- B-43321: 9/16″ x 18″ — 0.4 lbs.
- B-43337: 9/16″ x 24″ — 0.55 lbs.
- B-43343: 3/4″ x 3″ — 0.2 lbs.
- B-43359: 3/4″ x 6″ — 0.3 lbs.
- B-43365: 3/4″ x 12″ — 0.45 lbs.
- B-43371: 3/4″ x 18″ — 0.65 lbs.
- B-43387: 3/4″ x 24″ — 0.85 lbs.
I couldn’t find one retailer that had the best pricing for all of the sockets, so here are a few retailers that carry them. Each socket will cost somewhere between $25 and $60 depending on its size and length.
My favorite way of dealing with nuts on threaded rod is to chuck one of those rubber sanding mandrels into a drill and press it against the nut like in the post below.
Of course there are other methods of threading nuts onto threaded rod, such as hollow nut drivers and pass-through ratchets, but I like this hollow socket solution because it’s potentially faster.
The downsides are the length and weight of the sockets. A 24″ long socket could be awkward to wield in many situations, thus Makita offers varying lengths. Also, when you get up to the 24″ long 3/4″ socket it weighs 0.85 lbs. That’s a lot of weight over a long lever arm to be twisting around, I imagine you’ll build some wrist muscles using it.