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Cal-Van Converter cropped

Most socket sets include a downsize adapter for driving 3/8″ sockets from a 1/2″ ratchet, but they never include an upsize adapter. Cal-Van helps us out with this tremendously clever double-ended adapter that can convert in either direction! Check out the deceptively simple mechanism after the jump.
To drive a small socket with a large ratchet, push the central bar one way:

calvan-patent1.jpg

And to drive a large socket with a small ratchet, just push the central bar through the other way:

calvan-patent2.jpg

Thanks to the knurled body, you can spin it with your fingers, in either configuration. It also functions as a short extension, but its length could make it awkward in tight spaces. But, hey, if things are that tight, just go get the right ratchet!

Cal-Van makes one version for 1/4″ and 3/8″ and another for 3/8″ and 1/2″ drives. This little piece of American ingenuity will set you back about $8, unless you have to pay shipping. Try your local Sears.

3/8″ to 1/2″ Drive Converter [Sears]
Cal-Van Twin Spin Drive Converter
[Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

2 Responses to Cal-Van’s Socket Drive Converter

  1. Stuart Deutsch says:

    I saw that just yesterday and wondered why it was so long.

    I don’t like to use up-converters for fear that I’ll overtorque and damage my ratchets. Am I just being over protective?

  2. Nate Bezanson says:

    If you’re using enough torque to damage a ratchet with an upsize adapter, it’s also enough torque to damage the ratchet with a regular socket in its normal drive size. Smaller ratchets have shorter handles, and I trust my hand to tell me when I’m exerting too much force.

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