The Best Pass Through Socket Set

Imagine you’re working on the car changing the spark plugs and you reach for your socket set that you use for everything. You grab your 5/8″ socket and attach it to your ratchet. You place it on the spark plug but it doesn’t reach the bottom of the spark plug to turn counter-clockwise! Now you know why you need a pass through set.

Let’s take a deeper dive and see why home professionals and mechanics would use this specific tool.

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What is a Pass Through Socket Set?

Most sockets have a limited length to accommodate the bolt you are working with. However there are times when the bolt is longer than the socket. Think of threaded rod or any long bolt. Also called pass-thru or deep socket set, it will help with access and eliminate your need for deep sockets.

What is a Vortex Socket?

Another name for a pass-thru socket, a vortex socket has a hollow inside so you can gain access to the fastener where a deep socket wouldn’t be able to reach.

What Does a Socket Set Do?

A socket set is a tool used to tighten or loosen fasteners, or nuts and bolts. Sockets come in metric or imperial, and are attached to a ratcheting wrench for quick removal. The ratchet can be configured to turn in either direction aiding in quick removal of fasteners.

How Deep is a Deep Socket?

There’s some variation between manufacturers, but most deep sockets are about 1″ deep. If you look between individual sockets in the same set you may see some shorter and longer depending on the length.

Why Would You Need a Pass-Thru Socket Set?

If you own a vehicle, work on a farm, or perform your own mechanic work, chances are you may eventually need a deep socket set for removing fasteners from a long stem. Some applications include valve stems, engines, and places where there’s very little clearance.

Some pass through socket applications include:

  • Plumbing valve replacements
  • Engine valve stems
  • Semi truck work
  • Long studs with a nut several inches down
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Features and Benefits of the Bostitch Heavy Duty Ratchet Set

First off, the construction of the set is very solid. Chrome vanadium is a steel alloy with its industrial code being ASTM A-231. On the Rockwell Hardness Scale, chrome vanadium is C41-55. It can withstand high amounts of load and penetration. That said, chrome vanadium is a perfect alloy for sockets.

Next, is the usability of the set. The sockets come in a plastic case with outside measurements of 14″ x 11″ x 3.25″. The sockets are seated tightly so it may be helpful to use a screwdriver to get them out. But once you attach the socket, the ratcheting action leaves a very satisfying feeling.

  • SAE and metric sizes both included
  • Comes with two ratchets
  • Adapter for regular 1/2″ and 3/8″ sockets included
  • Pass through design enables you to remove a nut from a long bolt where a deep socket may not be able to reach
  • High quality chrome vanadium steel alloy
  • Sturdy plastic case that holds each socket in its place

What Does it Come With?

  • Two pass through ratchets
  • 3/8″ drive metric: 6mm to 22mm in all sizes
  • 3/8″ drive SAE: 1/4″ to 13/16″ in 1/16″ increments
  • 3/8″ drive: 9/32″ and 11/32″
  • 1/2″ drive SAE: 7/16″ to 1-1/16″ in 1/16″ increments
  • One 3/8″ drive pass through extension
  • One 11/32″ drive pass through extension
  • Three adapters for standard socket to pass through ratchet


  • Highly durable – they’ll last many years
  • Versatile – it can perform the function of regular sockets and deep sockets, so no need for both.
  • Comes with many socket sizes in both SAE and metric
  • Amazing lifetime warranty that you don’t find with every company – A quick call to their warranty dept (800-556-6696) and they’ll ship you a new part


  • The plastic case is so tight that you may need a screwdriver to remove them from their place.
  • The ratchet connector is proprietary so you can’t use the sockets with any other ratchet. It does come with an adapter if you want to use regular sockets with the pass through ratchet.
  • Ratchet handle could be longer for more torque
  • May need longer extensions


Q: What is the maximum socket size?
A: 27mm and 1-1/16″

Q: What is the smallest socket size?
A: 1/4″ SAE and 6mm metric

Q: What is the warranty?
A: Lifetime warranty

Company Profile

Founded by Thomas Briggs in 1896, the Boston Stitch company got their start making wire stitching machines for books and other items. If you’ve ever used a professional stapler, you’ve used a Bostitch innovation. Bostitch also helped innovate the framing nail gun in the 1970’s. Most framers today use a type of air powered nail gun that got it’s start with Bostitch.

Warranty Support: 800-556-6696

In Conclusion

Given the design of the open ratchet and open socket, the sockets are actually a bit thicker than their non-pass through counterparts. Pass through sockets work great when you need them for long bolts but they may be a bit bulkier for some other locations. Every tool has a specific job.

Overall, a pass through socket set servers a specific purpose in specific applications. It’s great when you need it and can be a life saver when you’re under the hood in a tight spot. The Bostitch is superior to other pass through sets

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