Draper Expert 19-piece 20mm Metric Vortex Socket Set – Complete Kitcar Review

Draper Expert 19 Piece 20mm Metric Vortex Socket Set Stock no.40197

The February 2015 Issue of Complete Kit Car reviewed and performed a tool test on a range of Ratchet Wrenches including the Draper Expert 19-Piece 20mm Metric Vortex Socket Set (Stock No.40197)

Drive: Adaptor allows both 1/4in and 3/8in
Contents: 10 to 22mm sockets. 3 x extension bars. 2 x socket converters.
Other products in range: Other wrenches, sockets and extension bars available individually.
Guarantee: 1-year guarantee
Expect to pay: £50-£60 (list price £61.79 plus VAT but many deals online).

Draper’s Vortex set is different to the other samples provided, in that it needs to used with it’s own supporting sockets. Adapters are supplied to use the wrench with standard sockets, both 1/4in and 3/8in drive, but the key functionality offered is down to the socket and wrench design. Rather than the socket fitting to a standard driver, the ratchet features a toothed hole which engages with the outside of the chosen socket. This results in the socket and wrench providing a clear hollow center that can pass over bolts. This therefore avoids the need for deep sockets, which can be cumbersome to use. Despite the wrench having to grip the outside of the socket, the overall diameter of the wrench head remains comparable to the other wrenches reviewed. The thickness of the wrench is significantly reduced when compared to a conventional wrench, and with the socket fitted, the height is much reduced allowing access to areas where normally a socket would not fit.

I found locations on the buggy engine, such as fuel pump pedestal, that only this wrench could access. If looking for a complete set this is a very interesting concept. In other locations, such as the exhaust manifold bolt tested in many of this article’s photographs I did find the reduced offset between wrench and socket prevented access, but a simple extension bit provided with the set resolves this where it does present difficulties. Movement of the wrench is simple, with it only requiring five degrees of movement to engage the mechanism. The set comes in a neat blow molded case which clips shut.”

Complete Kit Car – February 2015.