DIY Magnetic Sockets
Are you trying to install a fastener in a hard to reach area? Constantly dropping bolts when you go to tighten them?
We’ve all played the balancing game of trying to keep a bolt in a socket while we turn it over only to have it fall out of the socket and into the depths of you engine bay never to be seen again. We sat down (in frustration) with our fastener expert Bob and he gave us a quick tip on how to avoid this issue in most situations.
What You’ll Need
- Crazy Glue
- A Small Round Magnet
- Socket Wrench Extension
How It Works
Take the socket wrench extension and place the magnet on top. Make sure the magnet, when seated in the middle of the extension allows the socket to still slide over the top and connect. At this point you have one of two options:
- Use this as a temporary solution so you can remove the magnet once completed
- Remove the magnet, coat the bottom in crazy glue and reapply it to the extension, creating a permanent solution.
Now that your magnet is installed, all you need to do is choose the right socket for your bolt and place it on the extension. Slide the bolt into the socket and the magnet will grab the bolt. On some metals such as plain steel, the magnet should grip the bolt firmly, On stainless steels (which are all partially magnetic) there should be a light grip, but unfortunately on non-magnetic materials such as aluminum there still isn’t grip. These bolts are still going to be a pain for all of us.
Aside from non-magnetic fasteners, the only other time this fix will not work is when the extension is too long. Often, there is little space where the bolt needs to be installed so adding the extension to the wrench will make this task unlikely if not impossible to complete.
Overall, this easy and cheap trick can save us all a lot of time, searching for bolts that never hit the floor but seemingly vanish from existence and the frustration of dropping a bolt repeatedly. If you have a spare socket extension or a few bucks lying around, give this a try and let us know how it works out for you.