There are at leat 3 metric "standards" and each uses a few different
sized bolts, and different head sizes You have the German DIN system,
the Japanese SI and the American ANSI/ASME
The SI is actually common pretty much world wide except America and
Germany - there are exceptions.
Depending on the market you may get 10mm and not 11, you may or may
not get either 12 or 13mm, and 17 or 18mm - and some get 15, others do
I've worked on vehicles using every one of them (not all on the same
vehicle) - I'd have been totally lost without a minimum of 8, 10, 12,
13, 14, 15, 17, 18. 19, and 21 mm
On Toyotas the 11 and 13 and 18 were not required - on American iron
the 10 and 12 are pretty much redundant - along with the 17, I
If a nut is so rusty you can't get the correct wrench to fit, it's probably
time to take other measures. Wire brush the rust, apply penetrating oil,
maybe apply heat, use vice grips, etc.
On Volkswagens, the most used wrench sizes are 10mm, 13mm, 15mm, 17mm, and
However, brake bleeders require a 7mm, 8mm, 9mm, or 10mm wrench, depending
on the brand and location of the bleeder.
I also need an 11mm wrench to remove my carburetor cover.
I think the front strut nuts need a 22mm wrench.
12mm, 14mm, and 18mm are probably the sizes I use the least, but
occasionally I'll run across a fastener than needs those too.
On Tue, 13 Sep 2016 04:09:07 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband
You never mentioned the 16mm. My set lacked that one, and I have needed
that one numerous times. I found a few others that were missing. One day
I just bought all the individual wrench sizes that my set lacked, and
made a complete set. I did that for my box wrenches, sockets and nut
drivers. I dont think I've ever found a complete metric set in the
Oops, yep, I guess I forgot the 16mm. I don't have a wrench that size, and
apparently have never encountered a nut or bolt that needed it.
I have a full set ranging from 7mm through 15mm. Then I have 17mm, 19mm,
and 22mm. That seeems to cover everything I work on.
I also inherited a small collection of imperial wrench sizes from my step
dad (maybe 5-7 wrenches total). I don't use those much, but every now and
then they come in handy.
My 6-sided sockets are more complete, running from 4mm all the way up to
30mm for my axle nut.
I bought wrenches and sockets over time as I needed them. So the collection
I have seems to accomodate everything I'm working on, and I didn't spend
money on sizes I never use.
The stores all carry Asian junk. Even NAPA. Online is a different
<(Amazon.com product link shortened) 25&creative5953&creativeASIN°01HWDX7W#productDetails> ****OR****
My first metric socket set was an S-K set (45+ yrs ago). I don't
recall any missing sizes.
That's funny, my first metric socket set was S-K brand too. They were the
first tools I bought when I started driving. I think I may still have one
or two of those sockets left. They were fairly good quality compared to the
cheap bargain store sockets my step-dad always bought.
Most of my hand tools now are Craftsman's that I've had for 30 years or
If yer Craftsman tools are really 30 yrs old, they are probably better
than what Sears is offering, today. Most Craftsman tools --not all--
are currently made in China. This unlike S-K Tools, which are still
made in the USA. ;)
Yep, I bought most of my hand tools in my late teens and early 20's after I
first started driving. I'll turn 53 in a few months. :)
I occasionally still buy a Craftsman wrench or screwdriver if I'm missing a
size or something, but that's fairly rare. I haven't noticed any major
difference in quality though, compared to my older hand tools.
I haven't seen S-K tools in my area for a long time. I didn't know they
were still being made.
Actually, I bought a few "Husky" brand hand tools at Home Depot to keep in
the car recently. I'm sure they're made in China (everything is) but they
seemed to be decent quality.
I remember the cheap sockets my step-dad used to buy. The chrome was
peeling off, and they would either strip out inside or just crack in half
when you put any pressure on them. I quickly learned to buy my own tools
and not borrow his. :)
They are currently under the Ideal Tools brand and are sold to any
high-end mfrg company that may still be in existence and/or can afford
to pay "tool reps". I recall my company's relation with Ideal Tools.
Hot, cute, tool reps to sell you tools at insanely high prices, less
than ethical shipping practices, after you've ordered.
I'm not a China hater. I figure China is to mfrg, now, what USA was,
back in the 50s-60s. They will provide the quality they are paid to
provide. No more, no less. At least Husky has the "Forever
Being retired, I don't hafta worry about tool quality as much as when
I was a pro. This is fortunate, as the tools now available are crap,
compared to 30-40 yrs ago. OTOH, I recently bought some Craftsman SAE
combo wrenches. I held out until the "Made in USA" wrenches were on
sale. Yes! Sears offers both domestic and foreign made tools under
the Craftman name. Yer choice. I don't wanna guess "where" in the
the USA these tools were made. Hopefully, not on Guam.
BTW, my chrome S-K sockets never lost their chrome plating, even when
I used 'em on air impact tools. Too bad they were stolen. :(
There are still decent quality tools available - comparable to the
Craftsman tools of the late 60s - and the surprizing thing is they
don't cost much more than the Craftsman tools did back in the time.
I have well over $20,000 invested in mechanics hand tools - many
purchaced when I was making significantly under $5 an hour.
I could replace virtually all of them for under $8000 today - with
equivalent or better quality and warrantee. (and I earn a lot more
than $5 an hour today!!!) Back then I could by a nice new mustang for
under $3000 0 making that $20000 more like 200000 today!!!
I'm guessing he means "common".
I've often been able to use one of the standard sizes in place of the
less common metric sizes such as 18mm. Otherwise, an adjustable wrench
has saved me, though, in some tight spots, it's not always the answer.
Overall, I nice ratchet/socket set with all sizes usually suffices.
I was guessing they are a close match to SAE sizes, although that took
some guesswork. At first I thought he was saying 10 and 12 were about
the same thing and could be used interchangeably, which makes no sense.
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