LAST UPDATED: January 08, 2019

The Best Socket Organizers (Review) in 2021

Best Choice olsa tools 3 pcs aluminum socket organizer Olsa Tools 3 Pcs Aluminum Socket Organizer
Premium Pick hansen global sae & metric socket organizer trays Hansen Global SAE & Metric Socket Organizer Trays
Best Value tekton 1885 3-piece socket organizer set TEKTON 1885 3-Piece Socket Organizer Set

Any mechanic, car enthusiast or weekend tinkerer knows the frustration of hunting through a drawer full of loose sockets, trying to find the one you need (why do they all have to look the same?) If you’ve wasted enough hours of your life socket hunting – or if you just want your workbench to feel less chaotic – it might be time to invest in a socket organizer to keep your sockets neat, tidy and easy to find when you need them.

But which socket holder should you choose? After all, it’ll need to be pretty well designed to hold all those heavy metal sockets securely without breaking. Luckily, we’ve put together this handy buying guide to the best socket organizers on the market to help you weigh the pros and cons of each and make an informed decision. We’ll have your prized socket collection proudly on display in no time.

The Best Socket Organizer

Number one on our list of the best socket organizers is the Olsa Tools 3 Pcs Aluminum Sockets Organizer. This handy set can hold a total of 54 sockets in 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drive sizes (20 x 1/4-inch, 18 x 3/8-inch and 16 x 1/2-inch). These rail socket holders are available in six snazzy colors, so they’ll brighten up even the most boring toolboxes!

Made from high-grade aluminum, these socket organizers are strong and robust, with no flex even when fully loaded with sockets. Spring-loaded clips hold the sockets firmly in place, and many customers comment on how secure their sockets feel in these clips (unlike some other models). Each organizer bar has a rubber cap on the end to contain the clips, although it’s possible this may not be strong enough to hold the sockets if mounted vertically – you may need to pinch the bottom of the rail with pliers or drill a hole and use a nut to stop the sockets sliding off.

Key Features
  • Made from high-grade aluminum with plastic clips
  • Holds 54 sockets
  • Holds 3 drive sizes (1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch)
  • Available in 6 colors
Specification
  • Brand Olsa Tools
  • Model ALSRBLUE
  • Weight 15.2 ounces
PROS

Strong and robust rails, no flex

Spring-loaded clips hold sockets securely

Direction of clips is reversible, so you can organize your sockets the way you like them

Can be mounted horizontally or vertically

CONS

Rubber caps on end of organizers may be insufficient to keep clips in place when hung vertically (modification may be required).

If you’re looking for a socket organization system to hold your complete socket set, you can’t go wrong with these Hansen Global SAE & Metric Socket Storage Trays. A total of six trays hold all your SAE and metric sockets of 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drive sizes. They come in a combination of red and grey – red for SAE and grey for metric – so you can tell which are which at a mere glance. To help you identify your sockets even more quickly, the organizers come with all common socket sizes marked on the plastic (although you may find this limiting, depending on your socket collection.)

These Hansen socket trays are made from a durable ABS plastic – some users comment that this material makes the smaller socket prongs brittle and prone to breaking, while others state that they are in fact sturdy enough, providing you treat them with care.

Key Features
  • Made from durable ABS plastic
  • Holds 6 drive sizes (1/4-inch SAE and metric, 3/8-inch SAE and metric, 1/2-inch SAE and metric)
  • Available in a combination of red and grey
Specification
  • Brand Hansen Global
  • Model 05199004688
  • Weight 2 pounds
PROS

Socket sizes marked for easy identification

Holds both SAE and metric sockets

CONS

Plastic prongs may be prone to breaking in the smaller sizes

Cheaper sockets with smaller diameter holes may not fit

Another heavy-duty plastic socket tray is this Ernst Manufacturing Socket Boss 3-Rail Multi-Drive Socket Organizer. This one has three rails with enough twist-lock clips to hold 45 sockets (15 x 1/4-inch, 15 x 3/8-inch and 15 x 1/2-inch drive sockets).  The real highlight is the ability to customize it to suit your socket collection. You can detach rails to transport them separately as well as mix and match the socket clips provided and purchase more if required.

Even better, and unlike with the Hansen socket tray set, the socket sizes are not marked on the trays but are provided on stickers, so you can customize and leave off any sizes that you’re missing. The Ernst socket organizer is available in three colors (red, blue and high-visibility yellow) with the manufacturer recommending red for SAE and blue for metric (and high-vis for…your nighttime sockets?)

Key Features
  • Made from heavy-duty plastic
  • Holds 45 sockets
  • Space for 15 x 1/4-inch, 15 x 3/8-inch and 15 x 1/2-inch drive sockets
  • Available in 3 colors
Specification
  • Brand Ernst Manufacturing
  • Model 8451
  • Weight 1.2 pounds
PROS

Fully customizable – remove rails, add and remove clips, swap out drive sizes etc.

Twist-lock clips keep sockets secure for transport, even when upside-down

Easy-to-read I.D. stickers for socket size identification

CONS

May not be suitable for use with impact sockets

The second metal socket organizer on our list is this TEKTON 1885 3-Piece Socket Holder Set. The set includes three nickel-plated steel rails for 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drive sizes with enough space for 16 sockets on each. Sockets are held securely in place by spring-steel clips, which allow the rails to be mounted vertically above your workbench, if required.

Although you shouldn’t need to worry about smaller sockets falling off this TEKTON socket organizer, some users mention that the clips struggle to hold the larger sizes of the 1/2-inch drive sockets. It should be fine if you intend to store them horizontally in your toolbox though, and the general consensus is, it’s a great product for the price point.

Key Features
  • Made from nickel-plated steel
  • Holds 48 sockets (16 on each rail)
  • Holds 3 drive sizes (1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch)
Specification
  • Brand TEKTON
  • Model 1885
  • Weight 8.8 ounces
PROS

Spring-steel socket clips hold sockets securely

Can be mounted horizontally or vertically

Good price point

CONS

Reportedly too weak to hold larger 1/2-inch drive sockets

For those looking to transport or hang their sockets vertically, the Tooluxe 03966L Universal Socket Holder by Neiko comes complete with a metal carry handle to make this as easy as possible (no drilling required!) There’s enough room to store an impressive 80 sockets on this one tray with space for 20 x 1/4-inch, 30 x 3/8-inch and 30 x 1/2-inch drive sockets in either metric or SAE sizes.

The tray is made from a powder-coated metal, while the sockets are held in place with nickel-plated steel clips. Although the tray has received many compliments for its strength, some users comment that the clips are brittle and do not slide easily along the rails with the ones for the 1/4-inch drive sizes being particularly prone to breaking.

Key Features
  • Nickel-plated steel clips and rails on a metal powder coated tray
  • Holds 80 sockets
  • Space for 20 x 1/4-inch, 30 x 3/8-inch and 30 x 1/2-inch drive sockets
Specification
  • Brand Neiko
  • Model 03966L
  • Weight 1.9 pounds
PROS

Handle makes transport and vertical mounting easy

CONS

Difficult to slide clips along rails

Some clips, particularly the 1/4-inch, reported as ‘flimsy’

Another great option for anyone looking for a complete socket storage solution is this Grip 6 pc Socket Organizer Tray Set. Made from heavy-duty molded plastic, the set comes with three red and three blue trays with the red intended for SAE sockets and the blue for metric sockets. There’s a tray each for 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drives, and they’re suitable for both shallow and deep sockets.

As with some others on this list, all the common socket sizes are marked on the trays in white to help you identify your sockets easily – although this does remove the option for customization of the trays (the plastic prongs are unmovable) and could be frustrating if you have some less common sizes that aren’t marked or if you’re missing a few socket sizes, leaving you with an incomplete tray.

Key Features
  • 6 socket organizer trays
  • Made from heavy-duty molded plastic
  • Storage for 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drive sockets
Specification
  • Brand Grip
  • Model 67246
  • Weight 2.5 pounds
PROS

Red and blue trays, for easy identification of metric and SAE sockets

Sockets sizes marked on trays

Suitable for shallow and deep sockets

CONS

No option for customization or to hold less common socket sizes

The second socket organizer from TEKTON on our list (proving the brand really is an expert at this) is the 1882 3/8-inch Drive Socket Holder and Organizer with 14 Clips. This single rail socket organizer can hold 14 x 3/8-inch drive sockets (there’s also a 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch version in the same style).

The patented ‘twist-to-lock’ socket clip design ensures that your sockets are held securely in place even when mounted vertically using the keyhole slots. If you need more space, extra socket clips are available to purchase separately, and if you want to get really fancy you could purchase the additional side mount ratchet and extension bar holder set, to turn this TEKTON socket organizer into a wrench organizer too!

Key Features
  • Holds 14 sockets
  • Compatible with 3/8-inch drive sockets
  • Patented twist-to-lock socket clips
Specification
  • Brand TEKTON
  • Model 1882
  • Weight 4.8 ounces
PROS

Fully customizable – add or remove clips, or add a ratchet holder extension

Can be mounted vertically using keyhole slots

CONS

Only holds one socket drive size

Those ‘twist-lock’ socket clips sure are popular; they’re also a feature of our next socket organizer by MLTOOLS. This set consists of two plastic socket trays in blue and red (for metric and SAE sockets, respectively), and they’re a very similar design to the Ernst socket organizers.

As with most of the best socket organizers, these trays can be customized to suit your needs. Swap out rails, add or remove clips, add I.D. stickers, or purchase the additional ratchet holders – pretty much anything is possible with these versatile socket holders.

Key Features
  • Set of 2 plastic socket trays
  • Holds 90 sockets in total
  • Each tray has space for 15 x 1/4-inch, 15 x 3/8-inch and 15 x 1/2-inch drive sockets
  • Twist-lock socket clips
Specification
  • Brand MLTOOLS
  • Model T8252
  • Weight 2.3 pounds
PROS

Red and blue trays for easy identification of SAE and metric sockets

Fully customizable – add I.D. stickers, swap out rails, add socket clips etc.

Lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer

CONS

Tray made entirely from plastic, no metal

The ARES 70232 26-Piece SAE Magnetic Socket Organizer differs from the others on our list in that that it uses an internal magnet. This ensures your sockets stay on the tray even when upside down, while the tray itself will stick to any ferrous metal surface. This is perfect if you want to store your socket tray in a metal toolbox or workbench drawer. The strength of the magnet is top notch, so you can rest assured it will stay firmly in place.

This magnetic socket holder is made from strong ABS plastic, with this particular model designed to hold a total 26 x 1/4-inch drive SAE sockets (13 shallow and 13 deep). Although, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drive and metric versions are also available (metric trays are blue).

Key Features
  • Made from high-impact ABS plastic
  • Holds 26 sockets
  • Fits 1/4-inch drive SAE sockets (13 x deep, 13 x shallow)
  • Uses magnets to hold sockets
Specification
  • Brand ARES
  • Model 70232
  • Weight 11.2 ounces
PROS

Magnetic tray will stick securely to any metal surface

No clips or prongs that could be prone to breaking

Rubberized tray bottom prevents damage to surfaces

CONS

Not suitable for use with Snap-on impact sockets

Need to purchase multiple trays to store a full set of sockets

We’re finishing our list of the best socket organizers as we started with another option from Olsa Tools – the Portable Socket Organizer Tray. Unlike our earlier option by ARES, this tray is an all-encompassing storage solution for your full socket set, with four rails and space for up to 80 sockets (20 x 1/4-inch, 30 x 3/8-inch and 30 x 1/2-inch drive sockets).

This socket organizer has much of the same design features as our top pick, including metal rails with plastic spring-loaded clips, but instead of separate rails everything is attached to a sturdy metal plate with a convenient handle for easy transportation. As portable socket organizers go, you can’t go far wrong with this one.

Key Features
  • Holds 80 sockets
  • Space for 20 x 1/4-inch, 30 x 3/8-inch and 30 x 1/2-inch drive sockets
  • Spring-loaded ball bearing clips to hold sockets
Specification
  • Brand Olsa Tools
  • Model 1047
  • Weight 1.9 pounds
PROS

Carry handle for easy portability and hanging

Customizable – add and remove clips

CONS

No socket size markings

Metal plate reportedly prone to bending when used to hold deep sockets

Best Socket Organizer Buying Guide & FAQ

Like the look of these socket organizers, but just can’t make a final decision? We feel you. It’s a tough call. Hopefully our buying guide and FAQ will help you see the ‘rail’ ahead more clearly.

What is a Socket Organizer?

A socket organizer is a device for storing and displaying sockets. It usually consists of a rail or tray lined with clips or prongs, onto which the sockets are secured. Using a socket organizer makes it easier to locate individual sockets, and is also a great way to transport your socket set.

torx for socket spanne

What to Look for When Buying a Socket Organizer

  • How many sockets does it hold?

When investing in a socket organizer, you’ll want to choose one with at least enough space to accommodate all the sockets you already own.

  • Is it customizable?

Many socket organizers are customizable, allowing you to add and remove clips, and purchase more if needed, which is ideal if you’re planning to keep expanding your socket collection.

  • Socket sizes

Again, it goes without saying that you’ll need to purchase a socket holder to fit the drive sizes of your sockets. If you’ve got all of the three most common drive sizes, choose a multi-drive option, or a set of socket trays, to fit them all.

  • Markings

Some socket organizers come with socket sizes marked on the holder, or with separate I.D. stickers to allow you to mark the sizes on yourself. You may find this useful, as it can help you to your identify sockets more quickly.

  • Material

The material a socket holder is made from is important, as you need it to be strong enough to hold all your metal sockets without breaking. Socket organizers are usually made of either metal or plastic, with some of the best-rated socket holders being a combination of both, such as our top pick, the Olsa 3 Pcs Aluminum Sockets Organizer. In this design, aluminum rails ensure the device is strong to hold a full set of sockets with no flex, whilst the plastic spring-loaded clips are sturdy enough to grip individual sockets, without being brittle. Avoid flimsy plastic prongs, or cheap metal clips, that may be prone to breaking, and look for reviews that comment on the durability of the product material.

  • How is it mounted?

Consider where you would like to store your sockets. If you want to hang them on a wall over your workbench, you’ll want to choose a design that can be hung vertically, probably one with a handle, or keyholes for mounting. If you want to lay them flat in a drawer or tool box, you’ll need a socket set that sits well horizontally (most of them will), and perhaps one that’s magnetic, to keep it secure (assuming your drawer/toolbox is metal, of course!)

  • Size of socket organizer

Don’t forget to check the overall size of the socket organizer, to make sure it will fit in your tool box, or intended wall space. Also, consider how much the size will expand once it’s loaded with your sockets.

  • Portability

If you’ll be moving your sockets around a lot (perhaps you’re a mechanic, or a travelling socket salesman!) you might want to consider an all-in-one socket tray option, with a built-in carry handle. Of course, if it won’t be leaving your toolbox, you’ll just want to make sure it fits in there securely.

Why Do You Need a Socket Holder

  • Keep your sockets organized

A socket holder will keep your sockets together and displayed in order – perfect if you start sweating every time you think of a disorganized drawer of mismatched sockets (or if your partner is tired of finding random sockets all over the house!)

  • Save time searching for the right socket

Following on from the above, having your sockets in the same place and organized according to size will save you eons of time searching for the correct one for each job. There’s nothing more frustrating than being able to find every socket but the one you need!

  • Avoid losing sockets

Having all your sockets together means you’re much less likely to lose one. You’ll be able to tell instantly from the empty clip if a socket has gone missing, and (especially if you choose a socket organizer with markings), you’ll know exactly which size needs to be tracked down.

  • Transport your sockets easily

Another benefit of using a socket organizer is how much easier it becomes to transport your sockets. Simply grab your socket rail or tray, throw it in your toolbox or the back of your van, and go!

Types of Socket Organizer

Socket rail

Some socket organizers consist of metal rails with either metal or plastic clips to hold the sockets. The advantage of this type of socket organizer is that they are generally customizable, meaning you can add and remove clips by sliding them on and off the rails.

Socket tray

Another type of socket organizer is the socket tray. Generally made from plastic, socket trays usually feature plastic prongs that the sockets slide onto for storage.

Magnetic socket organizer

Magnetic socket organizers are usually plastic trays with a built-in magnet to attract the sockets and hold them firmly in place, as well as sticking to a metal surface themselves. This is one of the most secure types of socket organizer.

Related Posts: Best Magnetic Tool Holders and Magnetic Wristbands

Drawer insert socket organizer

If you have a lot of sockets and related tools to store – such as a professional mechanic working in a garage – you might have a drawer insert socket organizer system. This type of socket organizer will offer a lot of storage space, but isn’t very portable.

socket wrench

Other Ways To Keep Your Tools Organized

  • Tool pouch

If you only have a few tools, or just want to keep your most important ones close-to-hand, a pouch could be a good tool storage solution for you. Tool pouches usually consist of a fold of fabric or leather, with inner pockets for tools such as spanners. Some even attach to your belt, so it’ll literally always be by your side!

  • Toolbox

This is by far the most common method of organizing tools – everyone from professional mechanics to amateur DIY-ers use toolboxes to keep their tools safe and secure. Tool boxes vary in size and style, but they’re generally a good way to store a reasonable amount of tools, whilst still being portable.

  • Workbench

If you work in a fixed place, for example at a garage, or in your garden shed, a workbench can be a great option for storing and displaying your tools. As well as in-built drawers and cupboards underneath the bench, you could mount shelves, a magnetic tool strip, hooks or a peg board above the workbench, to maximize tool storage space.

  • Works van

If you’re on the move a lot, but your tools are too big or too many to be contained to a tool box, you might consider transporting them in a van, with built-in storage and shelving. However, always be wary of leaving expensive tools in a van overnight, as they can be a target for thieves.

Our Top Pick

Although there are 10 truly great socket organizers on this list, our favorite has to be the Olsa Tools 3 Pcs Aluminum Sockets Organizer. These aluminum socket rails are strong and flex-free, can be mounted horizontally or vertically, and support multiple drive sizes ((1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch) – all whilst remaining fully customizable, so they’ll accommodate almost any socket set. Best of all, the rails come in a choice of 6 bright colors, so you’re not limited to boring old, ‘red for SAE’ and ‘blue for metric’. This awesome socket organizer set ticks all the right (tool)boxes!