A socket wrench is a tool used for tightening, or loosening a bolt. It is a wrench, with a given size socket at the end of it. With a regular wrench, you have to physically lift the wrench and readjust it back to your starting position. With a socket wrench, this can be done without lifting the ratchet or socket at all due to a special locking mechanism found in the ratchet head.
Using a socket wrench is quicker, and less troublesome than using a regular wrench. Ratchets also has the advantage of having a better handle than a wrench, and comes in different lenghts. Length directly correlates to the amount of torque you can apply(Longer = more torque), making it easier to use the correct one for your application.
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