A spanner, or wrench, is a tool that applies torque and leverage to tighten or loosen objects such as nuts and bolts. Nuts and bolts are used in cars,
A spanner, or wrench, is a tool that applies torque and leverage to tighten or loosen objects such as nuts and bolts. Nuts and bolts are used in cars, machinery of all kinds, electrical equipment, plumbing and most metal structures – so spanners are a much needed implement.
To get the most out of your spanners, here a few useful tips from the experts.
Have a set of spanners
Spanner size is important when unfastening and tightening bolts. If the spanner is too big, the grip will be weak and it won’t be able to do the job. Keeping a good quality spanner set in your tool bag will ensure that you have the right tool at the right time. Sets are available from a six piece to 43 piece, in the specific type you require. Each set has its own case or box to keep the spanners protected and together.
Use the right type of spanner
There are around 12 different types of spanners available. The most common is the double ended open spanner with each end a different size opening offering two tools in one. Combination spanners that have a ring spanner on one end and an open spanner on the other are another favourite. A socket spanners features a tubular box around each end in different sizes and are used mainly when space is tight. A ratchet function allows the spanner to stay on the nut each time you turn it, instead of having to reposition it. Other familiar types of spanner are the box spanner for removing spark plugs, the hook spanner that is used for lock nuts and pipe fittings that are round and notched or multi-faceted and the adjustable spanner which can be fitted to a range of nut sizes.
The material of the spanner is also important. Chromium-vanadium steel spanners offer a hardened, durable spanner while the chrome coating allows it to retain its grip for longer. Beryllium copper is used in situations that require non-sparking metals such as the petrochemical and gas industries, and insulated spanners are available for working with live wires.
Use it to advantage
Your spanner is the right size, and the right material – now make sure you are using it efficiently. Pulling the spanner toward you instead of pushing it away ensures you more control and also limits damage to your knuckles once the nut is tight enough and the spanner slips off it. This also helps avoid becoming unbalanced. Other tips are to keep your spanners clean at all times, so the integrity of the grip and movement remains. And try to make sure you are turning the nut in the correct direction!
Your spanners will service you well and prove durable with the correct attention paid to using them correctly, choosing a quality set and making sure you use the right tool for the job. For more information on choosing the best spanner set, call or visit a componentry expert.