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Encyclopedia > Wrench
Combination wrench, or combination spanner (left: box-end/ring, right: open-end)

A wrench or spanner is a tool used to provide a mechanical advantage in applying torque to turn bolts, nuts or other hard-to-turn items. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 424 KB) Combination spanner // Maulringschlüssel Photographer: niksan a. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 424 KB) Combination spanner // Maulringschlüssel Photographer: niksan a. ... A modern hammer is directly descended from ancient hand tools A tool or device is a piece of equipment which typically provides a mechanical advantage in accomplishing a physical task. ... In physics and engineering, mechanical advantage (MA) is the factor by which a mechanism multiplies the force put into it. ... Torque applied via an adjustable end wrench Relationship between force, torque, and momentum vectors in a rotating system In physics, torque (or often called a moment) can informally be thought of as rotational force or angular force which causes a change in rotational motion. ... Screws come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different purposes. ... A nut is a type of hardware fastener with a threaded hole. ...


In American English, wrench is the standard term, while spanner refers to a specialized wrench with a series of pins or tabs around the circumference. (These pins or tabs fit into the holes or notches cut into the object to be turned.) The most common shapes are called open-end wrench and box-end wrench. For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ...


In British English, spanner is the standard term. The most common shapes are called open-ended spanner and ring spanner. British English (BrE, en-GB) is a broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere. ...


Wrenches are typically made from a chromium-vanadium steel alloy. General Name, Symbol, Number chromium, Cr, 24 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 6, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Standard atomic weight 51. ... General Name, Symbol, Number vanadium, V, 23 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 5, 4, d Appearance silver-grey metal Atomic mass 50. ...


Hinged tools, such as pliers or tongs, are not generally considered wrenches. Needle-nose pliers Pliers are hand tools, designed primarily for gripping objects by using leverage. ... Tongs used for cooking or serving food Tongs are gripping and lifting tools, of which there are many forms adapted to their specific use. ...

Contents

Common wrenches / spanners

Double open-end wrench or open-ended spanner
Double open-end wrench or open-ended spanner
  • Open-end wrench, or open-ended spanner: a one-piece wrench with a U-shaped opening that grips two opposite faces of the bolt or nut. This wrench is often double-ended, with a different-sized opening at each end. The ends are generally oriented at an angle of around 15 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the handle. This allows a greater range of movement in enclosed spaces by flipping the wrench over.
Ring spanner (UK) or Box-end wrench (USA) (double-ended offset example)
Ring spanner (UK) or Box-end wrench (USA) (double-ended offset example)
  • Ring spanner, or box-end wrench: a one-piece wrench with an enclosed opening that grips the faces of the bolt or nut. The recess is generally a six-point or twelve-point opening for use with nuts or bolt heads with a hexagonal shape. The twelve-point fits onto the fastening at twice as many angles, an advantage where swing is limited. Eight-point wrenches are also made for square-shaped nuts and bolt heads. Ring spanners are often double-ended and usually with offset handles to improve access to the nut or bolt (as illustrated).
  • Combination wrench, or Combination spanner: a double-ended tool with one end being like an open-end wrench or open-ended spanner, and the other end being like a box-end wrench or ring spanner. Both ends generally fit the same size of bolt.
  • Flare-nut wrench, or tube wrench, or line wrench: used for gripping the nuts on the ends of tubes. It is similar to a box-end wrench but, instead of encircling the nut completely, it has a narrow opening just wide enough to allow the wrench to fit over the tube. This allows for maximum contact on plumbing nuts, which are typically softer metals and therefore more prone to damage from open-ended wrenches.
Adjustable wrench or adjustable spanner
Adjustable wrench or adjustable spanner
  • Adjustable end wrench, or Adjustable spanner, or Shifting spanner (commonly known as a shifter): an open-ended wrench with adjustable (usually smooth) jaws, also sometimes called by the original patent holder's brand name as a Crescent® Wrench (Crescent Tool and Horseshoe Company).
  • Monkey wrench: an old type of adjustable end wrench with a straight handle and smooth jaws. These are also known in the UK as gas grips.
  • Crescent® wrench: the brand name of an improved version of the adjustable-end wrench (see the photo at right) developed by the Crescent Tool and Horseshoe Company. Often used as a generic term.
  • Pipe wrench: an adjustable-end wrench with self-tightening properties and hard serrated jaws that securely grip soft iron pipe and pipe fittings. Sometimes known by the original patent holder's brand name as a Stillson® Wrench.
  • Socket wrench: a hollow cylinder that fits over one end of a nut or bolt head. It may include a handle, but is usually used with various drive tools. It generally has either a six-point or twelve-point recess, may be shallow or deep, and may have a built-in universal joint. The drive handles generally used are:
  • Break-over (or hinged) handle: This handle is also known as a jointed nut spinner or flex head nut spinner, and often as a breaker bar in the United States.
  • Ratchet handle (contains a one-way mechanism which allows the socket to be turned without removing it from the nut or bolt simply by cycling the handle backwards and forwards).
  • Speed handle (sometimes called a crank handle or speed brace).
  • Screwdriver handle (for use of the socket as a nutdriver).
Sockets are often sold as a set containing a collection of sockets of various sizes and associated drive tools; usually including, as a minimum, extensions, a ratchet driver, and a universal joint. Sockets are also used with various power tools.
  • Crowfoot socket wrench: a type of socket designed to fit some of the same drive handles as the regular socket but non-cylindrical in shape. The ends are the same as those found on the open-end, box-end, or the flare-nut wrenches. These sockets use for use where space restrictions preclude the use of a regular socket. Their principal use is with torque wrenches.
  • Saltus wrench: similar in concept to a socket wrench. A Saltus wrench features a socket permanently affixed to a handle. Sockets are not interchangeable as with a socket wrench. The socket often rotates around the handle to allow the user to access a fastener from a variety of angles. Commonly a Saltus wrench is part of a double-ended wrench, with an open-end type head on the opposite side from the socket head.
  • A mole wrench, also known as a mole grip, is not a wrench but a type of self-locking pliers.
  • A box spanner (UK) is a tube with 6-sided sockets on both ends. It is turned with a short length of rod (tommy bar or T bar) inserted through two holes in the middle of the tube.
  • Slogging Spanner: A spanner (both open and ring types are available) with a block end to the handle specifically designed for use with a hammer. Typically used to release large nuts and bolts where the shock of the impact is useful in breaking rust or paint.

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 128 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (219 × 1024 pixel, file size: 16 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photograph taken by Paul Crawford, 30 Nov 2006 I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 128 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (219 × 1024 pixel, file size: 16 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photograph taken by Paul Crawford, 30 Nov 2006 I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... General info: Adjustable wrench Size: 6. ... General info: Adjustable wrench Size: 6. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Monkey Wrench Modern version The monkey wrench is an adjustable wrench not much used today. ... A genericized trademark, generic trade mark, generic descriptor, or proprietary eponym, is a trademark or brand name which has become the colloquial or generic description for a particular class of product or service. ... new pipe wrench 1869 patent drawing The pipe wrench, or Stillson® wrench is an adjustable wrench used for turning soft iron pipes and fittings with a rounded surface. ... A socket wrench is a type of wrench, or tightening tool, that uses separate, removable sockets to fit many different sizes of nuts. ... A universal joint A universal joint, U joint, Cardan joint or Hardy-Spicer joint is a joint in a rigid rod that allows the rod to bend in any direction. ... A socket wrench is a type of wrench, or tightening tool, that uses separate, removable sockets to fit many different sizes of nuts. ... A torque wrench is a wrench used to precisely set the torque of a fastening such as a nut or bolt. ... Needle-nose pliers Pliers are hand tools, designed primarily for gripping objects by using leverage. ... Needle-nose pliers Pliers are hand tools, designed primarily for gripping objects by using leverage. ...

Other general wrenches / spanners

  • Wrenches for screws and bolts with internal sockets are generally referred to in the UK as keys, and include:
    • Hex key wrench, Allen wrench or Allen key: a (usually) L-shaped wrench fabricated from hexagonal wire stock of various sizes, used to turn screw or bolt heads designed with a hexagonal recess to receive the wrench.
    • Bristol® wrench, or Bristol spline wrench: another wrench designed for internal socket-head screws and bolts. The cross-section resembles a square-toothed gear. Not a common design, it is chiefly used on small set screws.
    • TORX® wrench: an internal socket-head screw design. The cross-section resembles a star. Commonly used in automobiles, automated equipment, and computer components.
  • Strap wrench or chain wrench: a self-tightening wrench with either a chain or strap of metal, leather, or rubber attached to a handle, used to grip and turn smooth cylindrical objects. In bicycle repair circles it is known as a chain whip and is used to remove and install cassettes on rear hubs.
Schematic showing how an alligator wrench allows the user to grip square-headed fasteners of various sizes.
Schematic showing how an alligator wrench allows the user to grip square-headed fasteners of various sizes.
  • Alligator wrench: a formerly common type of wrench that was popular with mechanics, factory workers, and farmers for maintenance, repair and operations tasks in the days when fasteners often had square rather than hex heads. The wrench's shape suggests the open mouth of an alligator.

An Allen wrench, Allen key, hex key or hex head wrench is a tool used to drive screws and bolts with a hexagonal socket in the head. ... A Bristol wrench is a fastener driving tool used on Bristol spline drive fasteners. ... A set screw, also called a grub screw in British English, is a type of screw generally used to secure an object within another object. ... TORX, developed by Textron Fastening Systems (formerly Camcar Textron), is the trademark for a type of screw head characterized by a 6-point star-shaped pattern (in the same way that slotted heads, Phillips, Hex, and Robertson have flat, ×-shaped, hexagonal, and square tips, respectively). ... On a bicycle, the cassette or the freewheel is the set of rear sprockets that attaches to a hub on the rear wheel. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 501 pixelsFull resolution (1350 × 846 pixel, file size: 71 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 501 pixelsFull resolution (1350 × 846 pixel, file size: 71 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Maintenance, Repair and Operations or Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), is fixing any sort of mechanical or electrical device should it get out of order or broken (repair) as well as performing the routine actions which keep the device in working order (maintenance) or prevent trouble from arising (preventive maintenance). ...

Specialized wrenches / spanners

  • Spoke wrench or spoke key: a wrench with a clearance slot for a wire wheel spoke such as a bicycle wheel and a drive head for the adjustment nipple nut.
  • Peanut butter wrench or crank (bolt) spanner: a wrench used by cyclists to tighten cranks (wheel nuts), and to scoop out peanut butter from a jar!
Double handled tap wrench
Double handled tap wrench
  • Tap wrench: a double-handled wrench for turning the square drive on taps used in threading operations (cutting the female threads such as within a nut) or a precision reamer.
  • Die wrench: A double-handled wrench for turning the dies used in threading operations (cutting the male threads such as on a bolt).
  • Torque wrench: a socket wrench drive tool that measures the amount of rotational force applied to the socket—this may be indicated visually with a rod or dial or may simply slip when a set torque is exceeded. The torque wrench would also be categorized as a measuring tool.
  • Drum wrench: a tool commonly used to open bungs on large 55 gallon drums.
  • Lug wrench: a socket wrench used to turn lug nuts on automobile wheels. Commonly known in the UK as a wheel brace.
  • Plumber wrench: a tool to screw (rotate with force) various pipes during plumbing.
  • Tuning wrench: a socket wrench used to tune some stringed musical instruments.
  • Oil-filter wrench: a type of wrench for removing cylindrical oil filters. It may be either a strap-type wrench or a socket.
  • Sink wrench: a self-tightening wrench mounted at the end of a torque tube with a transverse handle at the opposite end. Used to tighten tubing connections to washstand valves in ceramic sinks—the nuts are often located deep in recesses. The self-tightening head may be flipped over to loosen connections.
  • Podging Wrench or Podger: A steel erecting tool which consists of a normal wrench at one end and a spike at the other, used for lining up bolt holes. In the U.S. often called a spud wrench.
  • Golf shoe spike wrench: a T-handle wrench with two pins and clearance for the spike—allows removal and insertion of spikes in shoes.
  • Head nut wrench: a flat wrench with a circular hole and two inward protruding pins to engage slots in the nut. This type of nut is used on bicycles to secure the front fork pivot bearing to the headpiece of the frame.
  • Fire hydrant wrench (hose connection): The hose connection has a threaded collar with a protruding pin. From the handle of the wrench an arc has at its end a loop to engage the pin.
  • Fire hydrant wrench (valve operator): This is a pentagonal (five-sided) box wrench. Avoiding a hex shape for the lug makes the valve tamper-resistant: with the opposite faces nonparallel, unauthorized opening of the hydrant is less likely, because the would-be opener lacks a suitable tool.
  • Chain wrench: Similar to a pipe wrench, but uses a chain similar to a drive chain, instead of an adjustable jaw. The links of the chain have extended pegs which fit into grooves in the front of the handle, with one end of the chain attached permently to the handle. This is used in situations where pipe wrenches can't maintain a proper grip on an object such as a wet or oily pipe.
  • Left-handed wrench: A non-existent tool which is often the object of a fool's errand.
  • Air impact wrench: A compressed air (pneumatic) powered wrench commonly used in car garages and workshops to tighten and remove wheel nuts.
  • Arclight Spanner: An Engineering tool. requiring a skill of 50 to create. The arclight spanner is required for some engineering schematics.

A spoke wrench that fits three common nipple sizes A spoke wrench is a small wrench used to adjust the tension in the spokes of a bicycle wheel by tightening or loosening individual spokes. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Drawing of two-handled wrench. ... Drawing of two-handled wrench. ... Two Bar tap wrenches and a T style tap wrench A tap wrench is a hand tool used to operate any small tool that has a square driving head as part of its body. ... Taps and dies are generally metalworking tools for the creation (cutting) of screw threads in metal parts. ... A reamer or ream is a tool for enlarging holes and is used in metalworking. ... Taps and dies are generally metalworking tools for the creation (cutting) of screw threads in metal parts. ... A torque wrench is a wrench used to precisely set the torque of a fastening such as a nut or bolt. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... A type of wrench used to shift Stuart Brookes if he is in your way. ... Karl Benzs Velo (vélo means bicycle in French) model (1894) - entered into the first automobile race 2005 MINI Cooper S. An automobile (also motor car or simply car) is a wheeled passenger vehicle that carries its own motor. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Plumber wrench - a tool to screw (rotate with force) various pipes during plumbing. ... A plumber wrench for working on pipes and fittings Plumbing, from the Latin for lead (plumbum), is the skilled trade of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures for potable water systems and the drainage of waste. ... T-shaped tuning wrench A tuning wrench is a specialized socket wrench used to tune string instruments such as the piano, harp, and hammer dulcimer, that have strings wrapped around bolts with square heads. ... Oil-filter wrench. ... In the field of computer security, system hardware is said to be tamper-resistant if it is difficult to modify or subvert, even for an assailant who has physical access to the system. ... new pipe wrench 1869 patent drawing The pipe wrench, or Stillson® wrench is an adjustable wrench used for turning soft iron pipes and fittings with a rounded surface. ... Roller chain and sprocket Mack AC delivery truck at the Petersen Automotive Museum with chain drive visible Chain drive was the main feature which differentiated the safety bicycle introduced in 1885, with its two equal-sized wheels, from the direct-drive penny-farthing or high wheeler type of bicycle which... A snipe hunt, also known as a fools errand or wild goose chase, is one of a class of practical jokes that involves experienced people making fun of newcomers by giving them an impossible or imaginary task. ... A 1/2 drive pistol-grip air impact wrench An impact wrench (also knows as an air wrench, air gun, or just gun in some contexts, as well as rattle gun in some countries) is a socket wrench power tool designed to deliver high torque output with minimal exertion by...

Spanners in popular culture

  • Spanner is a slang name for someone who is not very intelligent.
  • To throw a spanner in the works means to ruin or frustrate some system or plan, usually by accident. U.S. Americans may be more familiar with the equivalent phrase to throw a monkey wrench in the works.

External links

Look up wrench, spanner in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wrench


WikiProject Metalworking: This article is part of Metalworking hand tools. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... Image File history File links Blacksmith-hammer-anvil-50x50. ... Turned chess pieces Metalworking is the craft and practice of working with metals to create structures or machine parts. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Torque Wrench (206 words)
There are two fl tick marks on the wrench to indicate the scale used for one unit of all of torque, force, and length.
See how adjusting the wrench and moving the force vector effect the magnitude of the torque.
Greg Denevan is using it to tighten the valve cover retaining bolts on the 3-71 GMC diesel generator used in a USNA Yard Patrol Craft.
Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Glossary W (2591 words)
They are substantially stronger than open-end wrenches, and are the best use for high torque applications, both because the wrench is stronger, and because it can contact more than two corners of the fastener.
Pipe Wrenches are similar to monkey wrenches, except that they have serrated jaws, which are designed with a bit of play which causes them to grip more tightly when turned in the appropriate direction.
Wrenches are sometimes confused with pliers, and naive users sometimes try to use pliers for jobs that really require a wrench.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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