A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Wrench

a wrench

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A wrench is a tool used to convert rotational motion into linear motion. But which type of wrench is best for you? Well, it depends on what you want to use it for. Here are a few things to consider when buying a wrench.

Wrench Type

There are basically two types of wrenches: open-end and box-end. The open-end wrenches have a straight rod with one end that is notched simply for grabbing onto bolts, nuts, and other objects.

Box-end wrenches have a shape that’s either square or hexagonal to give more room for grabbing onto bolts, nuts, etc. The main difference between the two types is that the open-end wrenches will have a bigger jaw opening, but will also have bigger gaps between the jaws. The box-end wrenches will be smaller in both jaw openings and between the jaws.

Wrench Material

There are basically three types of wrench material: carbon steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel. Alloy steel is also known as “mild” or “high carbon” steels (which differ based on the alloying elements). The two main alloying elements you should consider are chrome and vanadium. Chrome has a higher resistance to corrosion, but vanadium is a stronger alloying element that increases the material’s strength.

Wrench Size/Length

The length of a wrench will depend on what you intend to use it for, as well as the type of fastener or bolt that you’re trying to tighten or loosen. Generally, wrenches have been designed with 1/2″ increments from 2″ long up through 18″ long as far as wrench types go. The length of a wrench will affect its weight, but it’s important.

wrench-set

Wrench Grip Comfort and Shape

Wrenches typically come with a handle and some sort of gripping area. The handle of a wrench can be made from wood, plastic, or metal; the gripping area of a wrench typically has knurled or non-knurled sections for comfort and anti-slip sections. Wrench handles come in different shapes, such as round, oval, and D-shaped (specifically designed for turning nuts/bolts).

Wrench Shape/Style

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a wrench is its shape and style. The shape and style of a wrench will affect how you can use it to get the best leverage from it. The main shapes include straight, offset, and curved/bent styles, whereas the styles include combination, adjustable, and ratchet types with various features such as work lights or laser sighting.

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tant to have the right size wrench for the right job.

 

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