What Is a Spanner Wrench?

Wrenches are tools that grip onto fasteners in order to tighten or loosen them. The term “spanner” is used redundantly in the case of spanner wrenches, as “spanner” is simply the way the British refer to these tools. While there are many types of wrenches, Americans consider the spanner variety a type of wrench with pins or tabs around their circumference.

Spanner wrenches are usually made of steel for strength and are chrome-plated for corrosion-resistance. There are many types of spanner wrenches, each of which looks like a uniquely-shaped hook. Keep in mind that some may be multi-tool variations with double-sided hooks.

Different Types of Spanners

The most common type of spanner wrench is the C spanner, with a C-shaped head and jaws that correspond to walnuts of similar size. Obstacle spanners, on the other hand, have jaws that are tilted more sharply so that nuts in compact spaces can be accessed. Next, ring spanners have a completely enclosed ring that is compatible with hex or square bolts. While ring spanners are difficult to place, they provide more leverage.

Another common type of spanner is a stubby spanner, or short body spanner, which fits in confined spaces. They generally hinge at the handle so that either end can be angled for a variety of uses. An adjustable spanner probably serves as the most popular type, with an open end that has spiral screws which open or close as you rotate it. The jaw width can be adjusted by turning a built-in screw at the base of the head.

It is important to note that spanner wrenches must be the correct size and properly seated around the nut before mounting them. Otherwise, they can slip off and damage the tool or injure the user's hand.

Other Types of Spanners

  • Stubby Spanner
  • Allen Spanner
  • Combination Spanner
  • Crowfoot Spanner

Different Types of Wrenches

As a commonly used tool in a wide range of industries, wrenches are available in numerous types. The most basic type of wrench is a pipe wrench, which is a large adjustable wrench utilized by plumbers to hold metal pipes and fittings together. An oil filter wrench is also quite a popular variation that is found in the automotive sector, and it is typically equipped with a chain strap or metal strap, depending on the user’s preference. In addition, torque wrenches are preferred when a specific amount of torque is required. 

Other Types of Wrenches

  • Armorer’s Wrench
  • Chain Wrench
  • Basin Wrench
  • Bionic Wrench

Applications and Benefits

Often used in plumbing to repair leaky pipes or faucets, spanner wrenches are lighter than pipe wrenches, providing flexibility to work in inaccessible areas. Additionally, they provide great turning force to open pipe connections that have been untouched for several years. Finally, they are also used in gas repairs to open gas pipes.


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