With the massive amount of ratchets, wrenches, and socket sets available nowadays, figuring out exactly what you need can be difficult, simply because there are so many types. In order to make the selection significantly easier, you should differentiate between the various types of spanners, know their intended use, and pick the correct size.
Usually, bolts are sized anywhere between 4-10mm for smaller mechanics, 10-23mm for common tasks, and all larger bolts are typically used for heavy mechanics. The most popular types include open-end spanner wrench, ring spanners, combination spanners, adjustable spanners, socket wrenches and torque wrenches.
- – An open-end spanner wrench usually has a single or two U-shaped openings that are different in size. They’re ideal for bolts and nuts which are placed in difficult to access spaces, and where other types of wrenches won’t be able to reach. These wrenches are ideal for general mechanics and plumbing tasks.
- – Ring spanners put pressure and power all around the bolts and nuts. These are also known now as ratchet spanners, which means there’s no need to detach the tool from the bolt or nut until the job is finished. Although they’re slightly more expensive, ring spanners are very convenient and compact.
- – Adjustable spanners feature a single open-end and a movable lower jaw that can adjust to any size of bolt or nut.
- – Socket wrenches are typically L-shaped and they fit completely over bolts and nuts, and allow for very tight fastening. The sockets are oftentimes interchangeable and come in sets.
- – Torque wrenches are similar to socket wrenches (in fact, they’re considered a type of socket wrench), and they provide a specific amount of torque which allows for precise fastening. These are usually used in industries where under- or over-tightening a bolt is important, such as in the automobile industry.
Some commonly used accessories that go with wrenches and ratchets include socket extensions, adapters, gimballs and bit holders. Socket extensions enable you to avoid obstacles and reach nuts located in orifices. Gimballs allow you to work on bolts which have screw axis that aren’t strictly perpendicular to the plane which you use the key on. Adapters allow you to fix small attachment sockets onto larger ones, and conversely, larger sockets onto smaller ones. Adapters are incredibly handy and can make the sockets interchangeable. Lastly, bit holders let you fix screw bits with a hexagonal shank onto socket wrenches or any other accessory.