Most American mechanics have to spend money on both metric and SAE (inch) equipment because we use products from all over the world in our country.
In addition to purchasing metric and inch equipment, they must also have a variety of 6- and 12-point sockets and wrenches.
For the average person growing their homestead, you will need a variety of automotive equipment even if you don’t plan on doing any serious maintenance. These days, just changing the oil in a small engine requires a fair amount of tools. Plus, you never know when you might need a particular tool for other tasks.
So, when deciding between 6- and 12-point, here are some differences:
Used for more heavy-duty work where strength is a priority.
Has more contact with the actual fastener.
Has a lower chance of breaking because the side wall is usually thicker than a traditional 12-point socket.
Better for tight spaces because it gives you the ability to more easily maneuver the socket over the fastener.
In some instances, the 12-point socket could possibly be used on a square nut. However, there are sockets on the market specifically designed for use with square nuts.
For heavier applications, the 12-point socket can cause rounding on the pointed edges of a standard six-sided fastener because the pressure is not being put on the flat sides.
These are just some characteristics between the 6- and 12-point sockets. Either way, it’s always a good idea to buy a quality brand with a good reputation and warranty because you never know when something will break.