Know Your Tools 101: Different Types of Wrenches and Their Proper Uses

Different Types of Wrenches and Their Uses

Wenches really are amazing, aren’t they? These nifty pieces of equipment are so versatile that almost every industrial sector has its own version of wrenches. That is why there is a wide array of wrenches available in the market. Depending on what you intend to do, wrenches come in all sizes and shapes. So it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and lost when choosing the correct type of wrench for your specific need. To help you clear the confusion, today, we’ll check out the most prominent types of wrenches and their uses. You’ll know about different types of wrenches and receive a guideline on how to choose the best fit for your repair job.

By the time you go through this article, you’ll have the knowledge necessary for picking up the best possible wrench for your specific need starting from reaching tight spaces up to heavy-duty jobs. So, without any further ado, let’s start right away.


Different Types of Wrenches

There are a lot of different types of wrenches now in the market. Some of the most prominent types are as follows.

According to the Standard Types of Wrenches

1. Adjustable Wrench

These are the most common type of wrenches. Also known as the crescent wrench, this handy tool is the universal form of wrenches being used today. Each of them has an adjustable crescent and a screw that you can control.

2. Combination Wrench

Most wrenches come with either a crescent head (open-end wrench) or a close (close-ended wrench) one. But there is a type of wrench that offers both. They are called combination wrenches.

3. Pipe Wrench

They are nothing but a bigger, sturdier adjustable wrench. Mostly used by plumbers, these tools come in handy when you need to hold metal pipes and fittings together.

4. Chain Wrench

If you need to fasten or dismantle pipes or round jobs with a large diameter, you should pick this one. These tools will help you get a stronger grip and secure the position easily.

5. Oil Filter Wrench

The chain strap/metal strap style filters of an oil filter wrench are used to create a loop to protect the space around the filter casing. They are mostly used in the automotive industry.

6. Torque Wrench

If you need a bit more torque than usual to loosen the stubborn nut, this is the perfect tool for you. They provide a decent amount of torque without overtaking or tightening.

7. Ratcheting Wrench

They are somewhat similar to the combination wrenches or box-ended wrenches. These are good for reaching tighter spaces and come with a ratcheting device inside one of their ends.

8. Impact Wrench

They are among the heavy-hitters. They use an air compressor to provide smooth and effective turning. They look a bit like cordless drills and run on rechargeable batteries.

9. Socket Wrench

They are commonly known as ratchet because of the ratcheting mechanism they use. If you need to tighten or loosen the nuts or bolts quickly, this handy tool can be your best bet.

10. Crowfoot Wrench

This type of open-ended wrenches doesn’t have a handle. Instead, they offer a hole to be attached to a ratchet handle. This is especially useful to reach very tight spaces.  


According to the Special Types of Wrenches

1. Pedal Wrench

These specialized wrenches come with a round tip and one or two U-shaped openings/recesses. They are mostly used in repairing bicycles or pedal boats.

2. Alligator Wrench

This is a special type of wrench with s serrated tap jaw and a smooth rear. Though they are not in much use these days, You can still find some in your local store. These were manufactured to handle square-shaped heads.

3. Monkey Wrench

This handy little tool comes with one bigger jaw and one small one. The small one is movable over the big one and has threads, just like a pipe wrench. You can also use this type of wrench as screw wrenches.

4. Bung Wrench

They are socket-style wrenches available in a variety of styles. These are particularly helpful when you need to remove the plastic or metal caps from barrels or drums. They are also known as drum plug wrenches or drum drum wrenches.

5. Fan Clutch Wrench

These are flat clutch wrenches with a U-shaped opening at one end. They are specially designed to remove fan clutches on cars.

6. Plumber’s Wrench

If you are looking for the perfect solution for your plumbing needs, this is the tool you’ll need the most. With jaws shaped like hexagonal nuts, these tools can give you a firm grip and the power you need. Most professional plumbers use one of these.

7. Hammer Wrench

It is a short, thick wrench that has a block end. They are used to strike some additional force when needed, so whether you need to loosen a rusted nut or tighten large flange fittings/fasteners.

8. Torx Key

The Torx key is also known as a star-headed key. They are designed to fit into the star-shaped head of bolts/screws. Most multitool sets contain one of these.

9. Spanner Wrench

These wrenches come with a special curve the resembles a hook or C-shape. They have pins in them and can be used on a variety of items. These are hard to find nowadays.

10. Tap Wrench

Basically, this type of wrench is used as a key. Though they don’t look like a wrench, they are considered one and used to cut female threads.

11. Basin Wrench

Also known as a faucet wrench, basin wrenches have a long T-shaped wrench handle in a curved, serrated jaw. They help to get access to the heads under the sink and toilet.

12. Armorer’s Wrench

If you work with guns, you’ll probably need one of these. Their body consists of a C-shaped, serrated head and involves a square slot and a hole to attach the ratchet handle.

13. Dog Bone Wrench

As they resemble a dog’s favorite bone or a pair of dumbles, dog bone wrenches are sometimes called dumb-bell wrenches. They are used in bike maintenance mainly.

14. Garbage Disposal Wrench

If you need to clear clogs in your house, you’ll need one of these. Though they technically aren’t “wrenches,” many people still know them as one. They come in multiple styles and sizes.

15. Strap wrench

These are used to avoid the scratches a standard wrench would leave behind on a pipe. They come with leather or canvas belts instead of metal grips.

16. Tension Wrench

You have seen bad guys picking locks in a movie, right? Well, these wrenches are the things that are being used to pick locks in real life, movie, or games.

17. Spoke Wrench

Though they don’t look like traditional wrenches, the spoke wrench is a familiar name in the bicycle industry. Their special shape helps them to be rotated all around without having to remove and adjust the wrench

18. Pliers Wrench

They are the hybrid between a pair of pliers and a wrench. They are rarely used nowadays because of the improved and newer versions.


Final Words

There are so many types of wrenches that got untouched today. If you wish to know more info about different types of wrenches, we’ll try to cover them all in a long and detailed review article. Please let us know what topic should we cover next in the comment section below.

That’s all for today. I hope this article proves to be helpful to those in need. Thanks for reading this far. Stay safe and take care.

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