Wrenches (also known as spanners) provide grip and mechanical advantage in applying torque (rotational force) to turn objects. This is usually in the form of fasteners such as nuts and bolts, and pipes.
There are a variety of different wrenches, each with unique features for specific applications. Selecting the appropriate wrench depends on the fastener’s design, size and ease of access to the fastener.
Higher quality wrenches are typically made from chromium-vanadium alloy steel, such as the Bahco 80 Series Chrome Adjustable Wrench which is tough and durable. They are frequently chrome-plated or black phosphated to resist corrosion.
Some wrenches, such as the Failed to find Product or Vise-Grip adjustable wrench have comfort grips which are ergonomically designed for more efficient use and user comfort.
Wrenches stocked by Toolbank include Adjustable Wrenches, Auto-adjustable Wrenches, Leader Wrenches, Pipe Wrenches, Hook Wrenches, Stillson Wrenches, and Strap Wrenches. For Combination, Open Ended, Ring, Flared Nut or Podger spanners these can be found within our Mechanics Tools section.
As their name implies, the jaws of these wrenches are adjustable to suit various sizes of bolt and nut head. This is particularly useful when only a limited number of tools can be carried in a tool kit on site.
The size of an adjustable wrench is usually expressed as the overall length of the tool, and not the jaw capacity. However, jaw design greatly affects the capacity, and a well-designed wrench such as the Bahco Extra Wide Jaw wrench may have a considerably better jaw capacity than other brands of the same length. Wide mouth spanners have the largest jaw capacity.
Adjustable wrenches can also come in the form of reversible jaw wrenches, such as the Bahco 8031 Pipe wrench, where the jaw has a serrated underside, which can be reversed to provide a pipe wrench. In addition, some wrenches like the Bahco Black Adjustable Wrench have an alligator jaw at its other end for use on square bolts and nuts.
Some adjustable wrenches, like the Stanley 85-610 Locking Adjustable Spanner have a locking mechanism which maintains the grip on the fastening, whilst minimising hand fatigue.
Many other wrenches also have adjustable jaws, but are classified into other categories due to their unique features.
Also with adjustable jaw size, the Snail brand auto-adjustable wrenches, such as theSnail SWB Auto Ajustable Wrench are traditional engineers’ wrenches, which adjust via a thumbscrew on the handle.
Pipe wrenches, such as the reasonably priced Failed to find Product have V grooved teeth for gripping smooth round pipes. They should not be used on nuts, bolts, hexagonal fittings or non-ferrous tubes and pipes where they may cause damage. They are adjustable and designed so that the housing for the hook jaw and the adjusting nut is an integral part of the handle. Due to their design, they have a higher jaw capacity compared to ordinary Stillson Wrenches of the equivalent length.
The Irwin RW58 Quick Wrench is a unique wrench built with convenience and durability in mind. The quick adjusting jaw allows one-handed operation and the broached teeth are ideal for most surfaces including black, galvanised, PVC and copper pipe, as well as nuts, bolts and couplings.
The Olympia Hexagon Pipe Wrench has a Cam-Action jaw mechanism which allows for single handed use.
Leader wrenches, like the Irwin 350 Leader Wrench are a type of pipe wrench. They have a one-piece ductile iron casting for excellent strength and are ideal for heavier duty work, heavy civil engineering and oil fields.
Stillson wrenches, such as the Bahco 361-8 Stillson Type Pipe Wrench and Record 300 Stillson Wrench are designed so that when pressure is applied, all the stress is transmitted through the steel hook and jaw and adjusting nut to the handle abutment. This provides maximum strength and leverage. The frame which holds the parts in place should not bear any load.
Used for many plumbing jobs, on cars and irregular shapes, strap wrenches provide pressure without marking the workpiece. These come in the form of chain strap wrenches, like the high strength 370-4 Bahco Chain Strap Wrench, and the compact Baby Boa Strap Wrench
The Britool Hinged Hoyes (hook) Wrench range have a unique hook at its end to work on a round nut which has a series of notches cut in its outer surface. The hook is placed in one of the notches and the handle turned to loosen or tighten the nut.
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