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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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