Different Types of Spanners and Their Uses

What is Spanner?

A wrench or spanner is a tool used to provide grip and mechanical advantage in applying torque to turn objects usually rotary fasteners, such as nuts and bolts or keep them from turning.

Higher quality spanners are typically made from chromium-vanadium alloy tool steels and are often drop-forged. They are frequently chrome-plated to resist corrosion and for ease of cleaning.

Hinged tools, such as pliers or tongs, are not generally considered wrenches in English, but exceptions are the plumber Spanners (pipe wrench in British English) and Mole Spanners (sometimes Mole grips in British English).

The word can also be used in slang to describe an unexpected obstacle, for example, “He threw a spanner in the works”

How to Use Spanners Properly?

A toolkit without a spanner is very hard to even imagine. There are a variety of spanners available in the market. Be it double end spanner or adjustable spanner, each has its utility. Spanners are primarily used for turning fasteners such as nuts and bolts. This tool is also known as wrenches in different parts of the world.

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Spanners are usually employed for gripping objects and turning fasteners. A vast majority of the spanners rely on manual operations for functioning. For Example, the slide style is more suited to rapid motions.

So, a tool owner should know exactly what type of tool they are dealing with.

Types of spanners

It is very important to use the right tool in the right manner. Here are some important tips for handling some of the most common types of spanners.

  • Adjustable Spanner: This type of spanner is easy to use and has a plethora of utilities associated with it. In order to turn it forward, you need to position your thumb on the gear of the spanner. This movement enables the adjustable jaw to spread out. This creates a bigger distance between both the jaws. This facilitates a simple grip and helps to rotate as many revolutions as possible. It is quite important to secure the fixed spanner jaws around the fastener and then turn the gear towards the handle until it sits tightly on the fastener. This tool is tailor-made for working in different types of machines. As a result, it is very popular in different garage and motor repairs work.
  • Slide Spanner: Handling a slide manner is not a Herculean task. All you need to do is to slide the adjustable thumb knob towards the handle. This will help to widen the jaws. The spanner should be positioned around the nut or bolt. Slide the adjustments to tighten it. Twist the spanner in an anticlockwise direction to tighten a fastener and in a clockwise direction to tighten the fastener. Slide the thumb near the jaw to free the nut by opening the jaw. This type of spanner can be used in a variety of purposes. They can work on different types of fasteners. As a result, they are very popular when it comes to different household maintenance works.
  • Automatic Adjustable Spanner: This spanner has wide-scale application. To widen the jaws, you need to press the button on the spanner. The jaws which are powered by the battery will open up as wide as possible. You need to position the spanner jaws around the fastener and then press the button again. This will enable the jaws to automatically close around the fastener. Rotate the spanner in the clockwise direction to fasten it or in the anti-clockwise direction to loosen it. This type of spanner is mainly used by plumbers for pipe fittings.

Types of Spanners

Following are the different types of spanners:

  • Open-end or single-end spanner
  • Double-ended spanner
  • Ring spanner
  • Socket spanner
  • Box spanner
  • Combination spanner
  • Hook spanner
  • Adjustable spanner
  • “T” Socket spanner
  • Magneto spanner
  • Allen key
  • Pin face adjustable spanner
Types of Spanners

1. Open End Spanner

In open-end spanners, as the name suggests one end is open which provides to hold the nuts or bolts heads or grip that to either tight or lose it. Open-end spanner is also known as single-end spanners their known size is basically the difference between their respective jaws. The selection of spanner would be the subject of based on the nut & bolts sizes to be used.

2. Double End Spanner

In the double end spanners, both of the ends are opened to hold the bolts & nuts with the help of this equipment. In double end spanners, both ends are formed at an angle difference of 15 -30 degrees in b/w their body. These spanners are the most widely used spanner in operation.

3. Ring Spanner

In these types of spanners, one or both ends are made of round rings to drip nuts and bolts, in order to tight or lose them. These rings are bent down in the opposite direction from each other.

Inside these rings, projected teeth are built with which six-sided nut bolts can be easily gripped. As it grips all the sides it does not slip. There are some ring spanners whose ends are not bent.

4. Socket Spanner

These types of spanners are in the form of a round socket. On one end of this spanner, a square hole is made. On the other end, grooves are cut outside in nut-bolt size, as in a ring spanner.

In the square hole, the Tommy bar is fixed whose shape is also square. These spanners are used where because of the paucity of space e ring spanners cannot be used. Besides this, socket spanners are also used where nut bolts are to be tightened by measuring them with a torque wrench.

These are available in small and big sizes in the form of sets. Tommy bar, Universal Tommy and Ratchet Tommy along with these spanners. With their help nut bolts of slanting, straight or congested space can be made tight or loose.

5. Box Spanner

Commonly made of steel tubes, the box spanner is typically used for removing spark plugs. They normally feature a six-sided ring-type head that fits the nut that has been pressed out of the steel tube during the manufacturing process. They are turned using a T-bar passed through the two holes in the middle.

6. Combination Spanner

On one end of this spanner, an open-end spanner, and on the other end ring spanner is made. At both these ends, the spanners are of equal size.

Combination spanners are double-ended tools. It has an open-ended profile on one end and a closed-loop on the other end. The two heads are usually at a 15-degree angle to the shaft for better access to the nuts or bolts. This single tool serves the functions of two spanners at once.

7. Hook Spanner

These spanners are made for those nuts which do not have holes on their periphery. There are no faces on these nuts. Thus, the pin of this spanner gets fixed in the hole and performs the function of revolving it for opening or tightening it.

8. Adjustable Spanner

Adjustable spanners can be used to fit a wide range of screws and bolts to save you having to carry around a wide range of different-sized spanners. The issue is that they can be tricky to use as they might not lock tight onto the nut or bolt.

Aside from this small drawback, they are very handy to have in the toolbox for one good reason – More often than not you may only have one of each size spanner and when it comes to undoing or doing up a nut or bolt, they are great for holding bolt heads while you tighten the nut with a spanner.

9. “T “Socket Spanner

These types of spanners are almost similar to the box spanner but it has a fixed hand on the top and in the bottom, a socket is built. These sockets are of different sizes. They are used in deep spaces.

10. Magneto Spanner

It is a bunch of small-sized single-end spanners. Spanners of different sizes are tied together for tightening or opening small nut bolts.

11. Allen Key

These are thin steel rods with six faces that are bent at 90° angles from one end.

They have a hole of six faces on the upper side. Such bolts perform the function of tightening while keeping the surface of the job equal. These are available in numbers and sets of different sizes.

12. Pin Face Adjustable Spanner

This type of spanner is made by joining two legs a rivet. At the end of its legs pin is fitted on each leg. It is used on round nuts having holes in the periphery to receive the spanner pin. The distance between its leg can be enlarged or narrowed down to use it on all types of nuts.