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Wrench Types and their Applications

Though not largely necessary when working with wood, it is important for builders to keep a few multipurpose, adjustable wrenches on hand, along with any trade-specific specialty wrenches in case their applications require driving screws, leveling equipment, or adjusting fixtures and appliances. Standard wrenches are designed to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts so that they may fasten joints. More specifically, wrench heads are able to fit over nuts so that they can provide the leverage necessary to either tighten or loosen them. Crescent wrenches are most commonly seen in home improvement applications; this one-sided wrench features a curved head and a single opening to slide around the nut. As the handle grows in size, so too does the leverage, and as the wrench head gets tighter around the nut, the grip improves which helps to loosen more difficult nuts. Those interested in learning more about different wrench types and their applications are invited to read on.

Out of the dozens of different wrench types available on the market, there are only a handful that are employed in more generalized settings, such as those used in construction. Crescent wrenches, as mentioned above, are known for their u-shaped ends; adjustable crescent wrenches are versatile, because knowing the exact size of the nuts ahead of time becomes unnecessary, making them perfect for last-minute fixes on the go. As such, since adjustable crescent wrenches can be used for multiple nut sizes, carrying a full set of wrenches in your toolbag becomes unnecessary. This makes adjustable crescent wrenches essential hand tools in any builder’s toolkit.

Another wrench type is called the open-ended wrench which is most often used in home toolboxes. These are built in the same shape as adjustable crescent wrenches, but are fixed, often featuring double sides with a different wrench size on each end. Open-ended wrenches only work on nuts with corresponding sizes, meaning that you will need to bring a full set of wrenches along with you to every application. Despite this inconvenience, using the exact size wrench head will always get a tighter grip on the nut than using an adjustable one, and its slimmer profile makes it more maneuverable in tight spaces.

Box end wrenches are another type of fixed wrench that feature a box or closed circle shape, rather than a crescent shape with an opening as described above. Their closed shape allows box end wrenches to fit completely over the nut, permitting more powerful leverage to be used. Despite this benefit, they are difficult to use in smaller spaces where there is not enough clearance for the wrench to slide over the nut. Moreover, these wrench heads are not adjustable, meaning you will have to carry a full wrench set for your operations.

Combination wrenches, on the other hand, feature traits of both an open ended wrench and a box end wrench, allowing these tools to fit into tighter spaces while maintaining the extra power that box end wrenches provide. They consist of an open end to remove nuts quickly and a closed end to loosen up difficult nuts. Another wrench type is the socket wrench, also referred to as the ratchet wrench; this is because the ratchet is the mechanism that allows you to wind the wrench without having to move the socket. Socket wrench sets often come with one ratchet and a set of differently-sized sockets that fit over the nut like a box end wrench, but with a deeper socket. This allows you to move the wrench without having to take it off of the nut, making them great for use in narrow spaces.

Two final wrench types are allen wrenches and pipe wrenches. To start, allen wrenches are cheap, lightweight components that are built to adjust other tools like table saws and chop saws, in addition to making slight adjustments to fixtures. Pipe wrenches, on the other hand, are built to grip pipes using angled teeth that latch onto and bite into said pipes for quick clamping. Additionally, they are especially useful for getting a threaded pipe into a coupler.

Those searching for high quality wrenches for their operations should look no further than Industrials 360, where we are committed to our customers. Our expansive inventory of more than 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find products makes it easy to fulfill the requirements of countless operations. We source all of these components from leading global manufacturers that we can trust as a part of our strict No China Sourcing policy. As such, countless parts available in our inventory are subject to varying levels of quality assurance testing to guarantee their form, fit, and function prior to your purchase. Moreover, we ship out all parts alongside their qualifying certifications and manufacturing trace documentation for your benefit. Call or email our team at any time to commence the procurement process with a partner you can rely on.


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