Wrenches fasten a nut and bolt joint. These are also called spanners. Wrenches are made of chromium-vanadium alloy, which does not let it rust. There are several kinds of wrenches, each serving either a unique or varied purpose. The wrenches also come with distinct features. Listed below are some of the common types of wrenches that find use in our day-to-day lives.
Common Wrench Types
Wrenches are of many types, but you will need just a handful of them. Most of the wrenches are versatile, serving varied purposes. The others, however, can be used for a single purpose only. Therefore, it pays to have the working knowledge of the standard wrenches that are available.
1. Open-Ended Wrench
As the name says, the open-ended wrench has open ends on both sides. Both the openings are in the shape of a U and not of the same size. You will be using this wrench when dealing with nuts and bolts that are not easily accessible. The open-ended wrench makes it easy to turn nuts and bolts.
2. Adjustable Wrench
The adjustable wrench features an open end with a fixed spiral screw. It opens or closes the crescent when you turn it. These are some of the commonly available wrenches available, and it is also known as the crescent wrench. The adjustable wrench can perform the essential functions of a whole combination set or a set of open-ended wrenches. The only drawback of this wrench is that since it is thicker, it needs more space.
3. Box-Ended Wrench
The box-ended wrench is fixed or open-ended. It has a box or a closed circle shape instead of an opening in the form of a crescent. The box-ended wrench fits in the nut entirely and thus offers more leverage. You cannot use this type of wrench in tight spaces with insufficient clearance to slide the wrench on the nut. You will have to carry the complete set of these wrenches since you cannot adjust the size of the wrench head. The wrench finds use in tightening or loosening the fasteners.
4. Die-Stock Holder Wrench
The die-stock holder wrench forms the basis of the dies set. It is available for the male as well as the female dies set. The wrench is double-handed, allowing you to hold the die in its center using screws to tighten them. The wrench creates a thread on the nuts and the bolts. It finds use in threading operations.
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5. Dog-Bone Wrench
The dog bone wrench has a shape that resembles a dog bone. It is also called the dumbbell wrench. The wrench has two box ends and has many socket sizes. The wrench is used to maintain and repair cycles. However, since it sets in various nuts and bolts, you can use this everywhere.
6. Drum Key
A drum key is a special purpose wrench used to turn a drum or a percussion instrument. It has a flat handle and a square-shaped socket that fits precisely into the head of the nut and bolt. Drum keys with a long handle offer more torque than those with a shorter handle. You can quickly identify the drum key with its T-shape.
7. Fan Clutch Wrench
As the name suggests, the fan clutch wrench is used to remove the fan clutches on the cars. The wrench has a U-shaped head and an attached handle. The kit contains different sizes of wrench. The wrenches will have a square opening towards the end to open the hexagonal-shaped nut and bolt. The other end is used to hold the clutch.
8. Fire Hydrant Wrench
It is again a special kind of wrench that is used for a fire hydrant. You cannot use this wrench for any other purpose. The wrench has a five-sided head. A long handle is attached that offers it torque. You can adjust the handle to let it perform the desired action. The wrench is used to open the hydrant cap and the valves of the hydrant.
9. Torque Wrench
The torque wrench regulates and applies a torque on the nuts and bolts. The tools find use to replace wheels in mechanics and automobiles. The torque wrench is available in varied types. Make sure to follow the torque mechanism of every vehicle because excess torque can damage the thread.
10. Ratcheting Wrench
A ratcheting wrench is like a combination wrench but with a ratcheting device inside one of its ends. It loosens the nut or the bolt without readjusting or removing the wrench. The ratcheting wrench is ideal if you wish to work in a compact area.
11. Combination Wrench
A combination wrench is a combination of an open and a box end wrench. You enjoy the versatility that the open-end wrench offers, allowing it to fit in tight spaces. At the same time, you also get the power of a box-end wrench. You can use the combination wrench to loosen a difficult nut with the closed-end and then remove the nut with the open end, thus making your task easy and quick.
12. Alligator Wrench
The Allen wrench is shaped like an alligator’s mouth and thus gets this name. You will notice teeth on the inner upper jaw of its head, and the bottom jaw of this wrench is plain. The wrench finds use in handling square heads of nuts and bolts. It was widely used in agriculture and the automobile industries. However, these are not commonly used today and have been replaced by hexagonal shaped heads.
13. Crowfoot Wrench
The crowfoot wrench has a crescent head but does not feature a handle. Instead, it is connected to a ratchet socket extension which lets you fix the wrench in complex places with compact space. You will use this wrench to handle bolts found in difficult areas like, say, in a machine frame. You can use this wrench easily for its purpose without having to separate the nearby machinery parts.
14. Armorer’s Wrench
The Armorer wrench is a special kind of wrench with a C-shaped opening on its one side, which has teeth that grip the nuts and the bolts easily. This wrench finds use to tighten the nuts and bolts in rifles, guns, and armorers. There is a round or a square hole in its handle that attaches the ratchet handle. You can find the armorer wrench in various shapes and sizes designed as per the rifle or gun.
15. Pipe Wrench
The pipe wrench is designed to grip itself around a pipe. It features a slack through which the pipe fits. It has angled teeth that bite into the tube to quickly latch on, enabling you to get the tightening swiftly done. The wrench rotates one side freely and then gets locked into the pipe when you turn the wrench on the opposite side. You can use this wrench to get the threaded pipe into the coupler.
16. Impact Wrench
The impact wrench are of two types. One is the air impact wrench which functions with an air compressor. The other is a cordless impact wrench which works with the help of batteries. The impact wrench is also called an air wrench or air gun. These find use in auto repair shops where the mechanic has to work hard to remove nuts and bolts. The impact wrench applies a high torque and unscrews the bolts. The wrench is not ideal for general use, as it can damage the nut and bolt thread.
17. Basin Wrench
If you wish to fix the areas under the sink, toilet, or basin, you will need the basin wrench. The jaw of this wrench has teeth that help to achieve a better grip. There is a transverse handle on the other end. The wrench is also known as the faucet wrench.
18. Flare Nut Wrench
The flare nut wrench is used for gripping and plumbing the nuts in the tube’s end. It is similar to an open-ended wrench but with a wider opening. The wrench is made to fit across a tube that can grip the nuts and the bolts. The wench is used in softer plumbing that can get damaged with an open needed wrench.
19. Pedal Wrench
The pedal wrench is used for boat and bicycle pedals. These are used primarily for this purpose. The wrench has either one or two U-shaped openings, and it features a handle.
20. Plumbers Wrench
The plumber wrench has jaws designed to grip the hexagonal bolts and nut fittings. It is used to work on fittings and pipes in plumbing. You can adjust the jaws according to the size of the fitting or the tube.
21. Spark Plug Wrench
The spark plug wrench is used to tighten and loosen the spark plug. The wrench is shaped like a T with sockets on either end. You will find them in bike repair shops and workshops where engine maintenance and service work is done.
22. Spoke Wrench
The spoke wrench is used to repair or maintain the bicycle spokes. You can see them in any bicycle shop. These are tiny and have slits toward the end that can easily fit around the spoke to tighten or loosen them. The wrench is compact and can rotate at 360 degrees without having to remove it.
23. Strap Wrench
The strap wrench has a leather or strap attached to the handle that can tighten by itself. It is used to grip any smooth or cylindrical object which is hard to hold with a standard wrench. The wrench is also used for greasy and oily things.
24. Cone Wrench
A cone wrench is used in places where you cannot use the open-end wrench. The wrench is thin and has a broadhead. However, these have less strength. You will see them used in bicycles and to adjust the leveling feet of any washing machine.
25. Oil Filter Wrench
The oil filter wrench is used in the automobile industry to remove the cylindrical oil filter. There are four different types used depending on the car’s brand. The wrench is either a chain or a strap type that uses a loop to wrap through its filter casing.
Wrenches are an everyday tool, and most of the time, we grab one without thinking. However, it is interesting to know that there are various wrenches, many of which are for a specific task only.
Wrenches could be either male or female. The male wrench inserts like a screwdriver head. The female wrench has a socket that fits over or around the object that you are turning. Both of them tighten bolts and nuts and even the mechanic casings and caps.
Though wrench sets do not find use in every DIY project, it does pay to have at least a few multipurpose wrenches to drive in the lagging screws. The best is to get a combination of a few adjustable wrench varieties along with a few specialty wrenches that you may need for your business.