Wire Rope Sockets

What are wire rope sockets ?

Wire rope sockets are intended to be permanently fixed to the very tip of the wire rope. They provide the rope with a solid fitting for easier anchoring. Sockets are available in a variety of styles which are suitable for particular applications. The main types are spelter sockets and swage sockets. Both of these are available in open and closed formats, and swaged or swageless. There are also poured sockets which use resins to bond to the wire.

Sockets are utilised as an anchoring device and are frequently used in areas such as; oil platforms, bridge construction and towing.

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Wire Rope Sockets Available

Wire rope sockets are possibly one of the strongest fittings for a wire-rope. A socket is permanently fixed to the end of the rope and is ideal as an anchoring system for oil rig anchor ropes/cables, tow ropes or for fastening ropes/cables in construction type applications, e.g. Bridges and roofing.

Sockets come in a variety of options. Open sockets, closed  sockets, open and closed spelter sockets, open and closed sockets, Wedge sockets and button spelter sockets. These sockets can be used to secure wire rope to a fixed point to which the socket will be connected.

Available from Rope Services Direct in various types & sizes  closed spelter, open wedge, open swage & closed swage. Available in high tensile steel 1/4″ to 2 1/4″.

Socketing must always be done by professionals!  Swage sockets need to be crimped and secured with the correct dies. All need specialist machinery to apply the tons of force needed to securely fix the socket in place. As we are specialists in wire rope we have their own pressing machines for this purpose.

Swageless sockets can be applied with just a pair of pliers, but won’t be as strong. Experienced riggers can carry out some swaging onsite with the use of specialist, portable swaging tools and resins.

Sockets are possibly the strongest of all wire rope end fittings. If fitted correctly it will match the breaking strength of the wire rope. All socketed wire rope must be load tested prior to use,

wire rope sockets



A wedge socket termination for wire ropes may be practical when the fitting needs changing frequently. i.e. if the end of the wire rope is in a high wear area. The rope might be trimmed periodically, which results  in the end termination being detached and re-applied. An effective case is on a dragline, where the end loop of the wire rope enters a tapering opening inside the socket, wrapped around a separate part known as the wedge. This arrangement is hammered into place, and the load slowly fitted onto the rope. As the weight increases on the wire rope, the wedge will become safer, gripping the rope more tightly.


These specific poured sockets are widely used to create a very strong, permanent end termination. Poured sockets possess a tapering cavity in the line with the proposed course of strain. The end of the wire rope is inserted from the small end with the wires being splayed out within the cone. The cone is subsequently filled up with molten zinc, or an epoxy resin.

Need More Help?

If you would like more help in choosing the correct socket for your needs then just contact us and a member of our team will be only too happy to help.