When the large numbers of bolt-type fasteners used in the USA follow the one or other measurement scales, the actual difference between metric or SAE and their respective sockets are as similar to yards and meters. They are almost similar, but not quite. Each of them represents a varying standard which may or nearly matching sizes of the other. Depending on our needs and requirements, we can differentiate which Sockets Set should I need both metric and SAE sockets or not.
Before we dig into our ultimate question, we need to know about metric and SAE sockets. If you don’t know them in a proper way, then how can you make your buying decision?
Metric is the most picked measurement type throughout the world. The metric measurement is more accurate than friction on an inch. Based on the millimeters, metric sockets have come in sizes such as 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, etc. Actually, they are the exact representation of the diameters of the head of the fasteners. For more than 30 years, imported cars used metric measurement in them.
The root of the SAE measurement comes from English or Imperial. The SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers. The sockets of this standard are typically marked on fractions on an inch for example 1/2″, 3/8″, and 13/16″, etc. In the 1970s, it was used as a standard parameter on the U.S. to made trucks and cars.
Metric VS SAE Chart
When SAE, metric sized sockets come with the measurement in inches and widely used for domestic vehicles, most modern vehicles mainly use metric measurements. It’s very crucial to choose SAE and metric depending on your requirements or store of your garage will ensure you always have the best tool for the job.
Should I Buy Metric or SAE Sockets?
Whether your plan is to work on a foreign or imported car such as Hyundai, Toyota, Subaru, Kia, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, etc you will require for metric sockets and don’t need to use SAE sockets.
Based on the different static, it’s being said that, if you are going to work on both foreign and domestic cars, you will largely need both metric and SAE Sockets. Mostly, all the Korean, German, and Japanese brands are used metric sockets. Some U.S. brands use all metric or all SAE sockets even sometimes they use half SAE and half metric sockets for certain years.
I know it’s the quite worse thing. Actually, it would be better if all the companies agree and use the same kind of sockets for fasteners. Some trucks used the metric system of fasteners while some cars used both metric and SAE fasteners. It’s because the engine may be imported from foreign that’s why its use metric system and the body may be assembled from the USA that’s why SAE used. However, these are the real pain at the end.
If you are passionate about imported cars or just to prefer them to work on, then metric tools give you real pleasure. So, you don’t need to buy SAE tools to accomplish your most jobs.
This is the reason, I mostly recommend filling up your socket set with metric tools and then choose any SAE tools if you think you need to. It really depends on what’s your interest section or what kind of cars you have. However, the trend is moving away from SAE fasteners to metric. For this reason, metrics are more in demand and more companies are going to be 100% metric.