How to Shop for Wrenches?
Wrench Types: Open End & Closed End
Open end wrenches are used for adjusting the position of parts. They have no other purpose than this.
A closed end wrench is used for tightening or loosening the screws and bolts in your car, house, office, etc.. These wrenches are usually made from steel and have a handle with a flat surface on it. They are used for tightening or loosening the screw threads.
The most common type of open end wrench is the Phillips head. There are many different brands and models of these wrenches, but they all work in the same way.
When you turn a knob on one side, the wrench turns on another side to tighten or loosen the part being adjusted.
A Phillips head is also known as a T-head. Some of them are called “T” heads because they have two tines instead of one.
The tine closest to the head is the flat side and the opposite tine is the sharp edge. The flat side will go against a hard surface while the sharp edge goes against plastic or rubber.
Some adjustable wrenches are called ring wrenches, although they have no rings. Ring wrenches have an expanding beam that can be adjusted to fit around a round or odd shaped part.
The handle has a tight grip around the beam and makes it easier to turn than if you were using only your fingers to turn it.
The most common type of closed end wrench is the pipe wrench. There are many different types and styles of pipe wrenches.
A pipe wrench is designed to turn and tighten screws and bolts that stick out from a pipe or bar. Some pipe wrenches are made for turning nuts or square shaped pieces that go inside a pipe.
A socket wrench has an adjustable ring on one end and a socket on the other. The adjustable ring fits over the top of a bolt or nut and then tightens down to it by twisting the socket.
The socket fits over the nut or bolt and is then turned by a handle to turn the nut or bolt.
A combination wrench has one end that adjusts and the other end fits multiple sizes of nuts and bolts. These wrenches are also known as “crow foot” wrenches.
The adjustable ring goes over the head of the bolt you want to adjust and the different sized ends fit various sized nuts and bolts on your car, truck, or machine.
There are many different types of combination wrenches, but they are all designed to fit over and turn the nuts and bolts on your car or machine.
Socket & Wrench Combos
There are many different types and styles of wrench and socket combo tools. They all have a socket on one end and an adjusting ring on the other.
When you need to adjust the position of a part that does not have a nut or bolt sticking out, you use the wrench end. When you want to turn a nut or bolt, you flip it around and use the socket end.
The most common style of wrench and socket combo tool is the crescent wrench. The handle of this wrench fits in the palm of your hand making it easy to grip and turn.
It has a ring on one end that adjusts to fit over a nut or bolt head and a socket on the opposite end.
The strap wrench is a crescent wrench with a strap attached to the handle. The strap is looped around the nut or bolt head.
By squeezing the handle, you can get more leverage to turn a stubborn part.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Double-coded wrenches and sockets (W Kupfer – US Patent 5,079,978, 1992 – Google Patents)
- Torque indicator for torque wrenches (AE Thorne – US Patent 2,651,935, 1953 – Google Patents)
- Multi-functional double-ended socket wrenches (RE Gramera, DB Wuchert – US Patent 5,048,379, 1991 – Google Patents)
- Partial lamination cracks in the jaws of wrenches (EI Malinkina – Metal Science and Heat Treatment, 1970 – Springer)
- Review of occupational standards and guidelines for hand-arm (segmental) vibration syndrome (HAVS) (PL Pelmear, D Leong – Applied Occupational and Environmental …, 2000 – Taylor & Francis)
- Fabrication of Essex EVA ratchet wrenches (CN VanValkenburgh, TE Loughead – 1982 – core.ac.uk)