Tool Review: Makita Impact GOLD 9-pc 3/8” Drive Socket Set

Feb. 5, 2019
With their durability and precision, these socket sets impressed Lead Technician Lou Fort.

The Makita Impact GOLD 9-pc 3/8" Drive Socket Set comes in Metric (No. B-49862) and Standard (No.B-34833) sizes. The set offers a 1/4" hex to 3/8" square drive socket adapter which tilts up to 15 degrees for use in tight spaces. The sockets are made from heat-treated alloy steel for high-torque applications, and are ideal for use with impact drivers, impact wrenches and ratchets. The black oxide coat on the sockets is designed to resist corrosion. The socket set comes in a flexible boot for storage. The metric set comes with the following 3/8” drive impact sockets: 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 18mm. The standard set comes with the following 3/8" drive impact sockets: 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 9/16", 5/8", 11/16" and 3/4".

The review

The fear of rounding off a fastener due to a loose fitting and poorly made socket is a real one for Lou Fort, lead technician at K.A.R.S Inc. in Huntingburg, Indiana. But with the Makita Impact GOLD 9-pc 3/8” Drive Socket Sets that feeling was eliminated.

“I was very surprised to find how precise all the sockets were,” Fort says. “Even after some very heavy usage with high impact air tools these sockets are keeping true to their sizes.”

Fort used the sockets, both in Metric (No. B-49862) and in Standard (No. B-34833), while performing daily repairs in the shop, from rebuilding differential assemblies to removing dash assemblies required for heater core replacement.

“All of the sockets have taken a beating with no signs of wear,” Fort says.

The set also comes with a 1/4" hex to 3/8" square drive socket adapter which tilts up to 15-degrees for use in tight spaces, which Fort used with a Makita Impact Driver [No. XDT15ZB] when possible. To use the adapter, users must attach it to a driver and then attach whichever socket is needed.

“One does need to pay attention to the orientation of the ‘Hole’ in the sockets side so it lines up with the ‘Ball’ of the adapter,” Fort advises. “Failure to do so will reduce the angle it will work at.”

The 1/4” Hex Shank Adapter was a stand-out addition to the sockets sets. He says although the adapter seems like a “little thing,” on certain jobs that adapter makes the biggest different.

“I am also quite impressed to how well the bit drive adapters are holding up,” Fort says. “I honestly expected to break them in short order but haven’t broken one yet.”

For more than 10 years, Fort has used sockets from all makes and types, and he still walks away impressed by these socket sets.

“These sockets are amongst the highest quality sockets I have ever used and the adapters are, so far, a step above all the others I have owned and used,” Fort boasts.

The Metric set does not have an 11, 16 or 19 mm socket, so Fort advises purchasing both sets together.

Both socket sets come with a silicone-formed holder to keep the sockets and adapter organized. The standard set’s organizer is red whereas the metric set is Makita’s signature color.

The sockets include size markings, but Fort says these are a “little hard to read, especially in low-light situations.”

“If I could, I would add size marking to the silicone organizers for easier socket identification,” Fort suggests as a future update to the tool. “I would also like to have the size markings on the sockets easier to read, colored laser etching perhaps?”

Overall, these socket sets are durable, even with daily use, and leave this technician of 10 years impressed.

About the Author

Vesna Brajkovic | Associate Editor - Vehicle Repair Group

Vesna Brajkovic is a former associate editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

Brajkovic has covered the transportation industry for a number of trade publications, with a focus on the vehicle maintenance and automotive aftermarket industries since 2016. Prior to that, she covered the global aviation industry as assistant editor for Endeavor Business Media's AviationPros.com, and held a number of editorial positions at an award-winning community newspaper.

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