Wrenches, or spanner in British, are common working tools. There are different types of wrenches that are used daily. Some are common where you can easily distinguish their use while others are specialized that only skilled professionals know how to use them to their advantage. Generally, wrenches are use to provide enough grip to turn objects or to keep them from turning. The application is usually rotary in motion in bolts and nuts. When talking about the different types of wrenches, you can come up with different categories and each category has a very long list.

most common adjustable wrench

Types of Wrenches by Group

Wrenches have been used for centuries and since then it has developed into numerous types where the first patented wrench was to given to Solymon Merrick in 1835. To make a comprehensive summary of the types of wrenches, it would be more convenient to divide them according to group.

  • Common – these types of wrenches are the “common” ones where at least one exists in every household. They have a fixed grip and they can be limited in use. You will usually buy a set with these types if you require working on different sizes of bolts and nuts. In this group you will find the box-end wrench, combination wrench, open-end wrench and line wrench among others.
  • Historical – this is where the oldest version of wrenches is included. In a practical approach, these types of wrenches are already outdated by the latest design but are still functional to do the job although disadvantages are very noticeable. It includes the monkey wrench and the alligator wrench.
  • Specialty – as the name suggests, this group are specially designed on specific tasks. There are features that are not present in other types of wrenches. They can be very thin in nature or the actual design itself does not resemble a common wrench where you have a handle and the grip on either or both ends and the name itself will usually tell what its intended use is. This group includes the strap wrench, fire hydrant wrench, cone spanner and oil filter wrench among others.
  • Power – these wrenches usually uses electricity to power the tool and compressed air for the working mechanism. It requires minimum manual effort since the tool itself is doing the job. This group includes the power wrench and the impact wrench.
  • Keys – an internal socket-head screw design, these types of wrenches works from the inside. They are designed in an L or T shape. Bristol wrench, allen wrench and torx wrench comprises this group.
  • Socket – this type encloses the whole circumference of the bolt or nut head to provide more torque when turning or keeping them in place. They are usually cylindrical in shape with a significant handle length. This type includes socket wrench, ratchet wrench and crowfoot wrench among others.
  • Adjustable – for practical use and functionality, these types are the best option. It can be very bulky in size to some extent but the ability to adjust to a specific grip overshadows size by its function. This is where the pipe wrench and adjustable wrench are grouped.

standard steel pipe wrench

Wrenches are a handyman’s best friend. Diy jobs are made easier because of these handy tools. As long as there are bolts and nuts to be loosened or tightened, there will always be the different types of wrenches to do the job.