Have you ever heard of an Alligator wrench? There’s not a lot of people these days who know about such a wrench. Because you don’t even get to see their use, and they have become more of a history.
Now, if you wonder about Alligator wrenches and how they used to be, I have got you covered. Here, I will go through several things that you should know about Alligator wrenches as a mechanic, at least.
So, stick with me till the end to know more about this peculiar and historic wrench type.
Alligator wrench is something you don’t see these days because there are better alternatives. But back from 1900 to 1955, they were the only source of a wrench to turn steel pipes that you can’t turn with regular wrenches. So, you can say it had more strength or capability to turn and twist harder items that you couldn’t do with a regular wrench.
How does it look?
Well, the name Alligator wrench comes mostly from the way it looks. The mouth of the wrench seems just like an Alligator mouth which is where it gets the name from. The upper jaw on the wrench is serrated, while the lower jaw is flat and straight. This unique design of the wrench gives it the functionality it serves. What is that? Let’s find out.
How does Alligator Wrench work?
The working mechanism of the wrench is a bit different than that of the wrenches we see these days. The wrenches we have now are mostly adjustable or have plier-like handles. Simply put, you can move the jaws of the wrenches we use these days.
Image: Alligator Wrench
But with the alligator wrench, there is no option for that. It doesn’t have any adjustability feature; you have to get the correct size for the particular job. The jaws are always open and kept at an angle, and you have to work around that.
To use the wrench, you simply insert it on the part you want to move or remove. For instance, if you were to work on pipes, you would just put the mouth of the wrench on the pipe as if it was eating the pipe. Then, you have to make sure that you have to proper grip on the upper jaws to turn the pipe.
It seems like a pretty viable choice, right? It makes you wonder why this wrench isn’t seen or used anymore. Well, several things go wrong with using this wrench. Going through them will give you a clear picture of what’s wrong with the wrench.
All in all, an alligator wrench is something that you can have for history these days. If you are thinking of using one, then you can’t get too much out of them. While they may have worked in the past, they will never work for purposes you need to fill these days.
Now, that’s mostly because far better alternatives work very well. These wrenches used to have a purpose only because people had no choices. Since there is always a choice now, you can’t expect to use them for real-world application.
However, if you plan to collect them or want to showcase them as a part of your history, you can surely do so as they are still a crucial part of mechanical history.