Industrial Engineering

Different types of wrenches and their functions

Wrenches come in a variety of forms and sizes and are used to grip, fasten, turn, tighten, and loosen items such as pipes, pipe fittings, nuts, and bolts. The majority of these wrenches are adjustable and have various opening ranges. In this article, you’ll learn the various types of wrenches and how they are used.

Types of wrenches

Types of wrenches

Wrench tools are classified into two;

According to the Standard Types of Wrenches:

    1. Pipe wrench
    2. Chain wrench
    3. Socket wrench
    4. Torque wrench
    5. Ratcheting Wrench
    6. Oil Filter Wrench
    7. Combination wrench
    8. Adjustable wrench
    9. Impact Wrench
    10. Crowfoot Wrench

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According to the Special Types of Wrenches:

      1. Pedal Wrench
      2. Monkeywrench
      3. Pliers Wrench
      4. Strap wrench
      5. Plumber’s Wrench
      6. Tap Wrench
      7. Spud Wrench
      8. Alligator Wrench
      9. Basin Wrench
      10. Armorer’s Wrench
      11. Dog Bone Wrench
      12. Drum Key
      13. Bung Wrench
      14. Fan Clutch Wrench
      15. Hammer Wrench
      16. Torx Key
      17. Cone Wrench
      18. Garbage Disposal Wrench
      19. Tension Wrench
      20. Spoke Wrench
      21. Spanner Wrench

According to the Standard Types of Wrenches

Pipe wrench

This spanner is used to fasten or dismantle pipes and their units, as its name suggests. It has forged tough steel in its jaw. Flat threads are cut on the moveable jaw, and a plate is linked with a groove on the fixed jaw. This groove is fitted with a knurled round nut. The moveable jaw moves up and down as the nut rotates, increasing or decreasing the size. Between the fixed and movable jaws is a spring that aids in the proper grasp of the task. 6″, 9″, and 12″ pipe wrenches are available.

pipe wrench

Chain wrench

A chain wrench is used to fasten or disassemble pipes or round projects with bigger diameters. The work is rotated while it is held in the wrench. Fitted is a plate with cuts in its mouth, which is riveted together. The chain does an excellent job of dripping the job.

chain wrench

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Socket wrench

The ratcheting mechanism in the socket wrench (or ratchet) allows you to quickly tighten or loosen nuts or bolts without having to remove the wrench from the fastener. This type of wrench comes with 1/4′′, 3/8′′ (the most common), 1/2′′, and 1′′ drives, which you may use to fit the exact size socket you need at the top of the drive. If you come into an obstruction when turning the handle, simply reverse the direction to give yourself more room and then continue working.

socket wrench

Adjustable wrench

These types of wrenches have an open end with a fixed spiral screw that you turn to open or shut the crescent. These are some of the most commonly used wrenches. A crescent wrench is another name for this tool. It can perform the same fundamental function as an entire set of combinations or an open-ended wrench for this purpose, however, it requires more space due to its larger size.


Impact Wrench

The cordless impact wrench uses a rechargeable battery while the air impact wrench uses an air compressor. An air wrench or air cannon is another name for this item. Its appearance is similar to that of a cordless drill. To extract tough nuts or bolts, this wrench employs high torque. They’re wonderful for managing a lot of nuts, but they’re not the best choice for any work that requires precision.

impact wrench set

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Crowfoot Wrench

This open-wrench doesn’t have a handle. Instead, the single head is designed to connect to a ratchet handle and socket extension, allowing it to fit into extremely small spaces. They put in a lot of effort to handle the bolts placed deep within the machine’s body when you don’t want to remove the surrounding parts first.

crowfoot wrench set

Torque wrench

These types of wrenches are designed to deliver a specific amount of torque without overheating or overtightening. There are a variety of options accessible (involving manual, digital, and other variations). It’s frequently used in the automotive industry to tighten wheel lug nuts. A torque wrench can be used on bicycles, farming equipment, or any other situation where a nut or bolt must be tightened to a certain torque specification set by the manufacturer.

torque wrench

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Ratcheting Wrench

A ratcheting type of wrench is similar to a combination wrench in that it has at least one end with a ratcheting device inside. This wrench allows you to tighten or loosen the wrench without having to remove it and reset the position of the wrench handle after each turn. This makes working in tight spaces a breeze.


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Oil Filter Wrench

Oil filter wrench types come in four different styles, all of which are commonly used in the automotive industry. A loop is applied to the chain strap and metal strap style filters to protect the filter shell. Finally, a socket-style filter wrench looks like a cup made up of cut pieces. These are used with a ratchet handle and fit under a filter cap.

oil filter wrench

Combination wrench

The combination wrench has a closed loop on one side for hexagonal or square nuts and an open U-shape on the other. It’s commonly used for hard nuts; the closed-end loosens the nut, allowing the open end to finish it swiftly. A combination wrench, like sockets, is available in a variety of sizes.

combination wrench set


According to Special Types of Wrenches

These types of wrenches are special, they are used for very specific purposes, and they are not common in most industries. Below are the special types of wrench tools.

Strap wrench

When we use a pipe wrench to hold pipes and round works, it produces bruising scars on the jobs. As a result, strap wrenches are employed in situations when scarring from the wrenches is a concern. The job comes with a leather or canvas belt that is rolled around the job and tightened with the buckle. The pipe is rotated with the help of its handle.

strap wrench tool

Plumber’s Wrench

The plumber wrench’s jaws are designed like hexagonal nuts. The plier’s wrench has a design that is comparable to this. The jaws may be adjusted to fit various pipe fittings. It’s especially useful in the plumbing industry for repairing pipelines and fittings.

plumber wrench

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Tap Wrench

This tap wrench is similar to a key that fits the square drive of the tap that is used to cut the female thread (such as the inside of the nut). T-shaped wrenches and double-handle bars with an attachment socket in the center are both options.

tap wrench set

Spud Wrench

The spud wrench, which had an open-wrench spike on the opposite end and was used to line the holes in the pipes, has fallen out of favor. The plumber’s wrench has subsequently rendered it obsolete, however, it can still be found in a toolbox now and then.

Alligator Wrench

The alligator wrench’s upper jaw is serrated, while the back is smooth. Because of the way it grabbed nuts, the alligator wrench was identified. This wrench’s handle resembles a pointed fang rather than a modern pipe wrench. Because they were designed particularly to accommodate square-shaped heads, they are rarely seen outside of movies.

alligator wrench

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Basin Wrench

A long T-shaped handle is attached to a curved, serrated jaw on this type of wrench. It is also called a faucet wrench since its main purpose is to tighten or loosen the heads under the sink and toilet.


Armorer’s Wrench

Each side of the dog bone wrench has two box-shaped ends that have a different socket size. This wrench is named after its bone-shaped appearance, which is sometimes called the dumb-bell wrench. These types of wrench tools are only used for bike maintenance, even though their ability to fit in small spaces sometimes makes them useful elsewhere. Some dog bone wrenches have swivel heads for greater flexibility.


Dog Bone Wrench

This armorer’s or single-piece wrench has a C-shaped, serrated head and a square slot or hole for the ratchet handle to be attached. They come in a variety of designs and are usually of the same type or size as the rifle. These are used to repair and maintain firearms.

dog bone

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Drum Key

A drum key, also known as a square-holly socket wrench, is a T-shaped tool with a flattened handle. It’s used to tune various percussion instruments, such as drums, as the name implies. Longer handles on a drum key allow you to apply greater torque than shorter handles.

drum key

Pedal Wrench

A spherical tip with one or two U-shaped recesses defines the pedal wrench. The wrenches used to fix the pedal are of this sort. As a result, it’s most typically found in bike stores or on fairground rides like pedal boats.

pedal wrench


This type of wrench is also similar to a spanner that can be adjusted. Its larger jaw has a handle integrated into it. The other jaw is moveable and is used to cut threads, similar to a pipe wrench. Its jaw has a flat surface, similar to an open-end spanner’s. A round nut can be used to modify them. It can also be used as a screwdriver.

monkey wrench

Pliers Wrench

A plier wrench is made up of flat-edged jaws that are at an angle and are each connected to a handle by a bolt. You may not recognize the names, but you may have used them at some point in your life. The wrench can be configured to accommodate multiple sizes of heads by sliding a bolt between two or more positions of an aperture on the upper jaw. The term comes from the manner this item is held in the hand, which resembles a pair of pliers.

plier wrench

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Bung Wrench

A socket-style wrench, known as a drum drum wrench, comes in a variety of forms. A drum plug wrench is another name for it. It was designed primarily to replace a drum or barrel’s plastic or metal dung (cap).


Fan Clutch Wrench

One end of these flat clutch wrenches has a U-shaped hole. They’re made specifically for removing fan clutches from automobiles. Any of these wrenches have a square opening on the other end, allowing them to act as a clutch hold tool while turning the hex nut with a second wrench.

fan clutch wrench set

Hammer Wrench

A hammer wrench is a short, thick wrench with a block end that is used to convey more force by striking it with a hammer. A striking wrench is another name for it. It’s used to tighten flange fittings and fasteners with big flanges. A hammer wrench can also be used to forcefully remove stuck or rusty nuts and bolts. This heavy-duty wrench is used for work involving metal, plumbing, and electricity.

Hammer wrench

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Torx Key

This Torx key wrench is designed to fit into bolts and screws with star-shaped heads. A star-headed key is another name for it. They come in the same L-shape as an Allen wrench, but they also come in a laid-back set that looks more like a Swiss Army knife than a wrench set.


Spoke Wrench

A spoke type of wrench is a simple tool used to keep the spokes on wire wheels in good condition. On one end, there is a slot that fits around the spoke, while on the other end, there is a drive head that fits around the nipple nut. Due to its size and shape, this sort of wrench may be turned in a full cycle without being removed. A bike repair shop is where you’ll find this tool. Some of the adjustments resemble a small open wrench, while others like curved, flat metal.

spoke wrench

Spanner Wrench

The spanner wrench is a unique piece of equipment with a curved end that resembles a hook or a C-shape. These types of wrenches are made up of pins that allow them to be used on a wide range of things, including spanner head screws and retainer rings.

spanner wrench set

Cone Wrench

On the conical part of a cup and cone hub, these wide and flat wrenches are employed. It’s designed to go around the leveling feet of a bicycle or washing machine, but it’s also useful for other light projects where a standard open-ended wrench would be too thick.

cone wrench

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Garbage Disposal Wrench

Many variants include a bigger Allen wrench, which is useful for removing obstructions. For clogged waste disposal, there are two types of wrenches available. Another sort of flat wrench with a squat, U-shaped head is rotated to handle larger nuts. Clogs were likewise disliked by this version in cutting forms, just as they were by Allen variants.

gabbage disposal

Tension Wrench

A tension wrench is the “key” component of the lock and comes in a variety of styles. They might be hard or soft, and they’re used to keep the pick in place as it works. If you’ve ever seen someone in a movie or video game lift a lock and wondered why only one of the two tools gets moved, the stable is a tension wrench.


That is all for this article, where the various types of wrenches are been discussed. I hope you learned a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you around!