mini mechanic

Top Wrench Tips to Work in Tight Spaces, Avoid Injury, and Prevent Damage

As a kid, I spent my summers in a sheet metal factory in hot and sticky Georgia. Surrounded by Roughneck, we quickly bonded over tools, and more specifically.. How not to break their tools while I built my potato guns. Ha! In this article, I’m going to pass on pro tips on how to use a wrench.

Roughneck Wrench Tips

Pick the correct wrench size for your project To avoid damaging your bolts and yourself, always select the wrench size that corresponds to the bolt you are tightening or loosening. Make sure your wrench has as much contact on the bolt as possible before breaking the bolt. These simple tips will go a long way to prevent your wrench from slipping off the bolt and you bruising a knuckle or two.

Dealing with stuck bolts If your bolt is stuck and won’t budge, try a Penetrating Oil & Rust Solvent Spray. And if this doesn’t work, you can always try heat. Read more about this and other tips to break tough bolts in our Bolt Breaking Guide.

Pull the wrench, don’t push When using a wrench, you typically want to pull it instead of push it for a few reasons. Firstly, if the wrench slips off, you won’t bust your knuckle up. Secondly, you typically have more power when you pull.

Do not use a cheater bar on your wrench
Don’t use a cheater bar on your wrench! You risk damaging the wrench.

Don’t add more leverage with a cheater bar! One thing I saw the old chaps in the factory use is a cheater bar to add more leverage. Which this was a simple cheat to possibly get a bolt off, it damaged our tools more often than not. It can easily bend the body of the wrench. Here again, if you are dealing with stuck bolts, check out our Bolt Breaking Guide. Additionally, using a cheater bar will usually void your warranty!

Don’t use a damaged wrench If the jaw looks wider than it is suppose to, or the body is bent, look for another wrench. Most good wrenches have some type of warranty, so as long as you used this in spec, a warranty replacement could be in order.

Buy great wrenches Great wrenches last longer, and help you build up a great tool box over time. No one wants to leave 10 minutes into their project to get a replacement wrench after it just broke. Company’s like Jaeger Tools provide great quality wrenches at a fraction of the price of similar quality tools.

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