Tips on Choosing Wrenches
Wrenches are basic tools for every workshop, and different kinds are designed for specific jobs. Here are some tips for choosing the right wrench.
A box wrench (also called a ring wrench) is a closed-ended wrench. It usually has six to 12 points around the inside diameter of its jaws, which give it a firm grip. Box and ring wrenches are excellent for leverage but not suitable for tight spaces.
An open-ended wrench has flat jaws that slide around the heads of nuts and bolts and are levered for loosening or tightening. The open end permits the tool to be slid over a nut in a tight space. This sort of wrench is usually the quickest and easiest to use.
A combination wrench has an open-ended jaw at one end and a boxed end of the same size on the other end.
A self-adjusting wrench can be used on any size bolt. Most self-adjusting wrenches adjust to fit nuts and bolts from 1/2 inch to 15/16 inch. Self-adjusting wrenches are self-ratcheting, meaning you don't have to remove them from the bolt to tighten it.
An adjustable wrench also accommodates nuts and bolts of various sizes. It's designed to move in only one direction, which prevents putting too much stress on the screw that sits just below the head of the wrench. An adjustable wrench's head is offset a little, which helps when loosening or tightening.
A socket wrench is good for working on automobiles and other machinery. These wrenches come in two types: those with deep sockets for bigger bolts and those with shallow sockets for smaller bolts. Both can tighten nuts in tight spaces.