Choosing the right spanners for you

In any toolbox regardless of the industry, the best friend of every mechanic is the spanner. Spanners – also known as wrenches in the United States – are used for loosening or tightening bolts, fixings and nuts.

The jaws of the spanner can be adjusted very easily around the parallel sides of a rotary fastener and torque then applied when twisting. However newcomers may have difficulty choosing between so many spanner types. So how do you purchase the right spanner for you?

Whether you require a single tool that can be used on nuts and bolts of different sizes or a tool with a tight, strong grip, there is a spanner that is right for you.

Adjustable spanner wrenches

Adjustable spanner wrenches allow for the size of the jaws of the spanner to be adjusted with the use of a worm screw. They are highly versatile, able to be used on many different sizes of bolts, fixings and nuts, but the downside is that the grip they provide is not as strong as is the case with a one-sized spanner. The great majority of adjustable spanners come with a handy size scale that offers both imperial and metric measurements. 

Combination spanners

The best of both worlds is provided by combination spanners, a double-ended tool that mixes up two of the most popular types of spanner. The open-ended spanner is able to fit around two parallel sides of bolts and nuts, while the fastener is gripped from all sides by the ring spanner. A combination spanner set is ideal for anyone who has to work with more than nut size. 

Flared nut open end wrenches

Flared nut open end wrenches are perfect to loosen bolts and nuts that have been attached to tubes. The flared style grip they provide goes around fasteners in a similar manner to a ring spanner but are open-ended so that tubes can slip through. Flared nut open end wrenches are also double-ended, able to be flipped to make the most of the turning arc, and are a vital part of plumbing or automotive work. 

The Open-end wrench

These are one of the most common spanner types, with open ended, C shaped jaws fitting around the two flat parallel sides on a rotary fastener, enabling it to turn. The head of the spanner is normally set at an angle of 15 degrees, which allows a wider turning arc. 

Ratcheting spanners

Ratchet spanners come with a ratcheting mechanism and can only turn bolts and nuts in one particular direction. This means that you do not have to continually adjust your grip, though the trade-off for this time-saving is a grip that is not as strong as with a fixed tool. 

Ring spanners

Ring spanners come with a looped end rather than an open one, tightly gripping rotary fasteners from all sides. The ring is just slipped around the bolt or nut and turned to tighten or loosen. 

Torque wrenches

These are specialist tools for fasteners that require being at a precise tightness. Featuring a ratcheting mechanism for speed and ease, users can adjust them to pre-set torque settings. 

The size of the right spanner for you depends on the fastener side you are working with. 

To find the best spanners for your needs visit  RS Online  today!

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