I’ve been using a couple of Wera Zyklop socket extensions for several years now, and nearly every time I use them I think to myself that I must write a quick review post about them. Since I’m referencing these extensions in a review tomorrow, it’s as good as time as any for a quick writeup.
These extensions are sold individually, and are also included in all of Wera’s Zyklop ratchet and socket sets. They are available in 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ sizes.
Aside from the nice satin finish, well-machined and finished drive ends, and knurled female end, one major feature stands out – the free-spinning plastic sleeve.
The plastic sleeve cannot possibly cost a lot to manufacture – aside from initial molding expenses – and the extensions do not look to require much machining to accept said sleeves. But this simple and inexpensive component offers a lot of benefits during use.
I should point out that these extensions are not suitable for all applications. I don’t use these extensions exclusively, and don’t have a complete set.
There are two ways I use the spinning sleeves on these extensions. First, is with regular ratchets. The sleeve provides a handy gripping area that potentially allows for slightly better control than if I were to grip a rotating traditionally designed extension directly.
To be frank, I don’t think there’s not enough added benefit when using these with ratchets in ordinary situations to justify replacing quality extensions you already have. But it might be a good idea to buy just one for your toolbox. That’s what I did – I started with just a 6″ locking extension and acquired the others I own through Wera socket sets.
Second, I absolutely love using these extensions with direct-drive tools, such as sliding T-handles. It’s this type of configuration where these extensions really shine.
When used with a sliding T-handle and bit sockets, or any sockets, you can hold the extension with one hand and very quickly spin the T-handle to quickly install or remove longer fasteners. This of course requires that there be enough clearance where a ratchet isn’t needed.
These extensions are available in 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ drive sizes and in both regular and locking styles. They’re fairly priced at about $10-20 each.
Wera also makes wobble extensions that do not come with free-spinning sleeves.
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As mentioned, I don’t think these are good enough to warrant buying a complete set if you already have a couple of nice socket extensions already in your toolbox. But I absolutely recommend them. I bought my 3/8″ 6-inch locking extension over 4 years ago, and use it regularly. I use other sizes as well, but only because they came included in Wera socket sets.