42 Different Types of Wrenches and Their Uses.

When it comes to fixing anything, mechanical wrenches have a lot to contribute in that aspect. While you may only know about the most common types of wrenches, several other types go unnoticed. So, that’s what we will be unveiling today.

There are so many different types of wrenches out there that you might not even know of. For the basic types, you get to see either male wrenches or female wrenches.

The male wrenches are the ones that you usually insert somewhere, almost like a screwdriver. And the female wrenches are more like sockets that fit over nuts or bolts.

Now, aside from these basic ones, there are so many distinctive wrenches for specific purposes. Let’s check them out one by one.

Types of Wrenches and Their Uses

I have divided all these wrenches into two parts. You will get 15 standard wrenches and 27 specialized wrenches that you should know for specific purposes. Let’s get going then.

15 common types of Wrenches

These are the wrenches that you will typically find everywhere, and their use is pretty common throughout different sectors.

Types of Wrenches

1. Pipe Wrench:

Pipe wrenches are usually a type of adjustable wrench that you can use for tightening or loosening pipes. It has got an F shape design with an adjustable gap where you can put the lines on.

Pipe Wrench

Image: Pipe Wrench

This kind of wrench is mainly used in plumbing work with metal pipes.

2. Chain Wrench

Chain wrenches are pretty similar to pipe wrenches and work the same way. Only they are a bit easier to adjust, and the sizes are more flexible than other types of wrenches.

Chain Wrench

Image: Chain Wrench

You usually see a chain attached to a metal rod that you can use for tightening or loosening stuff. The use of this wrench is very much versatile.

3. Socket Wrench

To work with different sizes and types of sockets, you must have specific socket wrenches. It’s the only tool that you can use for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts with a socket shape.

Socket Wrench

Image: Socket Wrench

This wrench is used in a lot of mechanical repairs, almost anything that uses sockets.

4. Torque Wrench

This one is a kind of socket wrench with some special abilities of torque calibration. It allows you to tighten or loosen within a proper amount and not too much.

Torque Wrench

Image: Torque Wrench

It is primarily used in automobile mechanics for tightening or loosening the wheel lug nuts. This wrench makes it very quick to work with any object.

5. Ratcheting Wrench

Ratcheting wrenches are great for using when you don’t want to remove the wrench every time you tighten or loosen anything.

Ratcheting Wrench

Image: Ratcheting Wrench

With this wrench, you can work on tight areas, especially when fixing up your car engine or bicycle or maybe even working with pipes.

6. Oil Filter Wrench

Oil filter is a special kind of wrench for repairing cars mainly. They come in 4 styles that have their unique purposes.

Oil Filter Wrench

Image: Oil Filter Wrench

Most of the time, these wrenches have compatibility in question. You will have to get a wrench based on the brand of car you have. They serve a specific purpose, so you can’t use them for versatility.

7. Combination Wrench

Combination wrenches are a combination of two wrench types that you usually use. It has got that box-ended wrench, one on the side and the open-ended wrench on the other side.

Combination Wrench

Image: Combination Wrench

It is excellent for having the facility of two types of wrenches on one. And these are the most basic types of wrenches that have a lot of use.

8. Adjustable Wrench

The most common and popular types of wrenches you get to see are adjustable wrenches. Almost every household has one, and it’s very versatile at the same time.

Locking Pliers

Image: Adjustable Wrench

You can use this type of wrench to fix almost anything related to nuts. And the best part is this is adjustable to different sizes, so one wrench is enough for multiple purposes.

9. Impact Wrench

When removing a car’s tires, you have to go through so many nuts and sockets. The process gets much easier with an electrical air impact wrench.

Impact Wrench

Image: Impact Wrench

This wrench looks more like a drill that you can use for removing or tightening nuts very quickly.

10. Crowfoot Wrench

Crowfoot Wrench is a wrench people use for working on very tight angles, especially in the automotive industry. It is an open-end wrench with a slot for an attachment.

Crowfoot Wrench

Image: Crowfoot Wrench

You can attach a ratchet handle or any socket extension on that slot to suit your need for this wrench.

11. Allen Wrench

You may have already seen this type of wrench. An Allen wrench is usually a male-type wrench that works more like a screwdriver. You can insert it into a socket and then tighten or loosen the mechanism.

Allen Wrench

Image: Allen Wrench

Usually, this is used in various mechanical items. Widespread use of this wrench is done in bicycles. Also, a lot of different machines tend to use this type of socket as well.

12. Box Ended Wrench

To work on bolts with a square or hexagonal shape, you need to use a box-ended wrench. It has got rounded ends on both sides where you will be inserting the nuts.

Box Ended Wrench

Image: Box Ended Wrench

You can use this wrench to remove various types of nuts that you may see in heavy types of machinery. You will have to use the proper size to get the results.

13. Lug Wrench

A lug wrench is mainly used for replacing or removing car tires. They usually have an L shape or an X shape. With the X shape lug wrench, you get four different sizes of sockets on the four other ends.

Lug Wrench

Image: Lug Wrench

The working mechanism of this wrench is quite interesting as well. If you use a longer lug wrench, you get more torque that helps apply a lot of force.

14. Open Ended Wrench

On an open-ended wrench, you get to see two “U” shape ends where you can fit the nuts. It’s the most standard type of wrench you can get in mechanical shops.

Open Ended Wrench

Image: Open-Ended Wrench

The purpose of this wrench is to loosen or tighten hard-to-reach bolts with ease. Also, both the ends have different sizes, so that you can work on two dimensions of bolts with a single wrench.

15. Flare Nut Wrench

Flare Nut Wrench is also a mixture of the box and open-ended wrenches that you get to see. They are perfect for working on lighter and weaker metals.

Flare Nut Wrench

Image: Flare Nut Wrench

This wrench comes with much wider ends while having a good grip over the bolts simultaneously. So, you can find a lot of use out of this one.

Now, aside from these 15 standard wrenches, various wrenches serve particular purposes. Let’s check them out one by one now.

27 Special Types of Wrenches

These wrenches serve particular purposes, so you may only get them or want to get them if you work in a specific field. Not everyone will find use out of these wrenches.

16. Pliers Wrench

Just as the name suggests, this is a combination of a plier and a wrench. While it may not have the looks of a typical wrench, it does function like one.

Pliers Wrench

Image: Pliers Wrench

You get to see a jaw-like shape similar to a plier where you will put the nuts and bolts. The whole thing works, centering a bolt that helps the jaws to move around.

17. Spanner Wrench

Now, this is a very specialized wrench that serves the purpose of working with spanner screws or retainer rings, or any similar items.

Spanner Wrench

Image: Spanner Wrench

It has got a C shape hook-type appearance that helps tighten or loosen the screws so you can work around it properly.

18. Pedal Wrench

When you have to work on pedals, motorbikes, or bicycles specifically, you can use this wrench. It serves the purpose of working with pedals effortlessly.

Grommet pliers

Image: Pedal Wrench

It has got a round shape head with 2 “U” shape recesses on both sides. You can use those recesses to fit in the nuts of the pedals.

19. Monkey Wrench

Although you don’t get to see this type of wrench nowadays, these used to work like adjustable wrenches back in the day. They have almost similar kinds of operating mechanisms.

Monkey Wrench

Image: Monkey Wrench

It looks like a pipe wrench, but the adjustability works like an adjustable wrench.

20. Strap Wrench

Strap wrench has to be the unique kind of wrench you might have ever come across. It is usually used for changing oil filters. It is excellent for grasping oily or rounded surfaces due to the rubber band on the wrench.

Strap Wrench

Image: Strap Wrench

It usually has a band made of metal or rubber or fabric that can grab onto slippery or circular shapes pretty well.

21. Plumbers Wrench

Plumbers wrench is almost the same as plier wrenches that I already talked about above. The only difference is in the jaw shape that it has got. Instead of a regular flat jaw, you get jaws with a curve on them to fit the hexagonal shape.

Plumbers wrench

Image: Plumber’s Wrench

These jaws on the wrench are adjustable and fit a variety of nuts. These are preferable for plumbing work.

22. Tap Wrench

A tap wrench is a wrench that you don’t get to see too often. You can’t even tell it’s a wrench when you look at it. It’s either a T-shape bar or bar with double handles and an attachment slot.

Tap Wrench

Image: Tap Wrench

It’s almost like a key that will fit on the taps square drive that you can use to cut female threads.

23. Spud Wrench

Here is another wrench that you don’t get to see nowadays. It has that usual functionality and use of an open-ended wrench.

Spud Wrench

Image: Spud Wrench

But on one end of this wrench, you get a sharp spike. That spike is used for lining up pipe holes on plumbing work. The modern plumber’s wrench has replaced this one.

24. Alligator Wrench

Alligator wrench has a smoother jaw on the bottom and a serrated jaw on the top. It’s a classic choice for any fixing work back in the day. These were used for tightening or loosening square-shaped nuts and bolts.

Alligator Wrench

Image: Alligator Wrench

Nowadays, people use pipe wrenches for similar purposes as it’s an upgrade to an alligator wrench.

25. Basin Wrench

Another name for this wrench is the faucet wrench which you may have heard of before. It has a T-shape handle with a curved, serrated jaw on one end.

Basin Wrench

Image: Basin Wrench

You can use this wrench for tightening or loosening fixtures under the sinks and toilets. It is still used for the particular purpose of working on those fixtures.

26. Armorers Wrench

Now, this is a type of wrench only used for repairing or maintaining guns. It comes with a serrated C-shaped head that serves the main functionality of the wrench.

Armorers Wrench

Image: Armorer’s Wrench

The wrench may also have a slot for attaching a ratchet handle to work more flexibly. Also, these come in specific sizes and shapes for specific gun models.

27. Dog Bone Wrench

Dog bone wrench is the next level of an open-ended wrench. While an open-ended wrench has only two sizes of socket size, on a dog bone wrench, you get a lot more.

Dog Bone Wrench

Image: Dog Bone Wrench

The wrench is shaped like a dumbbell or a bone that can fit into tiny spaces. It’s mainly used to maintain bikes and bicycles.

28. Drum Key Wrench

Drum Key is more of a key than a wrench. It has got a socket wrench functionality for square holes with a T-shape to handle to maneuver.

Drum Key Wrench

Image: Drum Key Wrench

Usually, this wrench is used for tuning various percussive instruments, including drums. With a longer handle on the wrench, you get more torque out of it for tightening with less force.

29. Bung Wrench

The specific purpose of using this wrench is to remove the caps or the metal bungs from barrels.

Bung Wrench

Image: Bung Wrench

It has got a socket style to it where you can see the slot that will fit in the barrels to remove the cap.

30. Fan Clutch Wrench

As you can tell from the name Fan Clutch Wrench, this is a wrench that you can use for working with the fan clutches of a car.

Fan Clutch Wrench

Image: Fan Clutch Wrench

It comes with a U-shape head with a flat spanner that specifically removes fan clutches. Some of them also have a square head.

31. Hammer Wrench

It’s a typical box end wrench that has a hammer block end on one side of it. This block helps you release any stuck or rusted nuts and bolts by hitting the league with a hammer.

Hammer Wrench

Image: Hammer Wrench

This one has a unique purpose that works in plumbing, electrical work, and metalwork as well.

32. Torx Key Wrench

This one is pretty similar to an Allen wrench in functionality, shape, and looks. The only difference is instead of a hexagonal, circular, or square-shaped head, you get a star-shaped head on this one.

Torx Key Wrench

Image: Torx Key Wrench

You can also see different types of screwdrivers set coming with this kind of head.

33. Cone Wrench

A cone wrench is an open-ended wrench that has been flattened by force. It’s the same as the open-ended wrench; only you can reach tighter areas with this one because of the flat thickness.

Cone Wrench

Image: Cone Wrench

You can use this wrench for bicycle maintenance and make adjustments to some appliances.

34. Garbage Disposal Wrench

Garbage Disposal Wrench is the kind of wrench you can use for unclogging any garbage disposal unit. It’s the only purpose you can use this wrench.

Garbage Disposal Wrench

Image: Garbage Disposal Wrench

You can get this wrench in different shapes and styles.

35. Tension Wrench

Now, this is a wrench that is used explicitly in lock picking. It’s one of the components for the lockpicking purpose utilizing the pick and this wrench.

Tension Wrench

Image: Tension Wrench

You can see the use of this wrench in several movies and shows. Usually, professional lockpickers use this wrench for picking locks.

36. Spoke Wrench

To repair the tires of bikes or bicycles, mechanics use this wrench a lot. It has got a slot that fits around the wires or the spokes of the tires. You can tighten or loosen the spokes using this wrench.

Spoke Wrench

Image: Spoke Wrench

Of course, you can find this at any bike repair shop as it’s the only purpose of using this wrench.

37. Bionic Wrench

Imagine a box-ended wrench with adjustment capabilities that work like a plier. It is the working mechanism of this wrench.

Bionic Wrench

Image: Bionic Wrench

You get a rounded end on one side and two handles on the other side. The rounded end opens up like pliers do when you move the handles around.

38. Die Stock Handle Wrench

Die Stock Handle Wrench is used to make threads on the screws or nuts that you generally see.

Die Stock Handle Wrench

Image: Die Stock Handle Wrench

It comes in both the male and the female end dies. It has handles on both sides, while the center has a hole where you can put the nuts and bolts in.

39. Fire Hydrant Wrench

You can already tell by the name that this wrench is used for opening fire hydrants. It serves the sole purpose of opening fire hydrants.

Fire Hydrant Wrench

Image: Fire Hydrant Wrench

It has got a long handle with a pentagon shape head on one end. The head matches the shape of the fire hydrant bolt.

40. Spark Plug Wrench

If you work with a car or any automotive maintenance, you probably have one of these. It’s a hexagonal head-shaped socket wrench with a T-bar handle to use.

Spark Plug Wrench

Image: Spark Plug Wrench

You can use this one to tighten or loosen the spark plug of your car or lawnmower, or any other engine.

41. Stubby Wrench

Well, this is nothing but a shorter variant of a combination wrench. It’s the same thing as a combination wrench, but it’s short and compact.

Stubby Wrench

Image: Stubby Wrench

The shape and size of this wrench allow it to reach areas that have a petite entry point.

42. Shower Valve Socket Wrench

Plumbers used to use shower valve socket wrench specifically for working with the shower valves. This wrench makes the work much more straightforward.

Shower Valve Socket Wrench

Image: Shower Valve Socket Wrench

You can still use other wrenches, but with this one, your job gets easier and quicker. It has a socket head on one end and a slot for a ratchet handle.


In short, there are lots of different types of wrenches, and their uses are diverse as well. Now that you know all about them, you can surely get the ones you need for your specific purposes. Having these wrenches can ease out the process of fixing stuff for you without any trouble at all.

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