A wrench is a tool that aids in doing up and undoing things like nuts and bolts. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes from standard wrenches to specialty ones. The most common standard wrench would be the adjusting wrench or adjustable spanner. For the specialty variety, it would be the lug nut wrench or tyre wrench. After all, every car should have one in case of a flat tyre. However, many people are unsure how to use a wrench set – especially new owners of wrenches. So, let’s have a look at how and why you would use a wrench set.
1. Using a spanner set
Your standard open-ended or closed spanner wrench is rather self-explanatory, you find the right size for the nut/bolt you are using it on, place the spanner so it sits around the bolt, and then by pulling or pull on the handle you release or tighten the object. Sometimes you may need one wrench to undo the bolt and another to hold the nut, so it doesn’t spin, preventing the bolt from being undone.
2. Using a socket set
A socket set will include cylinder pieces that fit over the nut or bolt, rather than around it as the spanner does. However, unlike the spanner, a socket does not have its own handle. The handle is a separate piece and often has a ratchet mechanism within it. To use a ratchet wrench, you must first find the right size socket to fit the item you are undoing. Now you attach it to the handle by pushing it on until it clicks. The special thing about the ratchet is that will only allow the socket to work in the direction you have the ratchet set to. Perhaps you are undoing a nut, so you set the ratchet to the left, this will allow the socket to move while you push the handle left. When you pull the handle right, the socket won’t move. So, unlike with a spanner wrench, when the handle runs into something you don’t have to take the socket off to get more handle room and start again. The ratchet wrench lets the handle move back into space without being removed or doing up the nut again.
3. Spanner or socket?
In many situations these two types of wrenches can be interchangeable in where they are used and what for. However, the socket set and ratchet wrench will make getting into tight, tricky spaces easier. A ratchet set will often include an extension arm that connects between the socket and the wrench, letting the socket get into deeper spots. Whichever wrench set you get, buy from a reputable dealer like RS.
Using a wrench for the first time is nothing to be worried about. The hardest thing is getting the right size. Just remember the saying ‘lefty loosey, righty tighty’. So, go left to loosen, right to tighten, and go to RS for quality wrenches and expert advice. Available online or call them.
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