30 Types of Wrenches: Features and Uses

One common tool that appears useful for various applications is a wrench, as it comes in handy for various everyday uses and top professional applications. Hence, it is important to know the various types of wrenches and their applications. 

A wrench is designed to offer tight grips during torque application for turning various objects. Whether you are keen on losing or tightening bolts, nuts, screws, and different mechanical caps, you would need a suitable wrench. 

As an essential need for various auto repairs, wrenches are found in most mechanic toolboxes. Thus, you would often find wrenches among the common products supplied by various tool brands worldwide. In this piece, I will reveal the many types of wrenches and their uses.

Common Wrench Types and Their Uses 

open end wrench

Some folks tend to overlook the need to get wrenches until when tackled with a project. From everyday applications to professional use, wrenches appear to be a “must-have.”

You would often find top-quality options constructed with chrome plating to fight off corrosion and remain effective for a long time.

For most DIYers and automotive experts, wrenches are tools that come in handy for removing oil filtersdisconnecting batteries, and other similar applications. There are a handful of wrenches, and you may already own a couple of them at home. 

Nevertheless, most folks seem unaware of the wide range of wrenches and their varying applications. With that in mind, here is a list of some of the available types of wrenches.

1. Allen Wrench

Allen Wrench

This straightforward tool is designed to appear hexagonal. You would often find most of this type of wrenches L-shaped, while a few others are T-shaped. Folks can easily fit this tool on hexagonal recesses or holes of screws and bolts.

Top-quality Allen wrenches would often come constructed with durable metals that last for a long time. Kindly note that these options come in metric or SAE sizes to help you choose a suitable option.

Famous brands that supply excellent Allen wrench sets include Crescent, Draper, Silverline, Goodyear, and Wera. The cost of Allen wrench sets varies, but you can find suitable ones between the average costs of $13.99 to $64.95.

2. Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable Wrench

This tool is among the “everyday” wrench types, also known as the crescent wrench. It appears essential for most utility drawers and toolboxes; hence, such wrenches aid in adjusting the jaw width. It does so by turning built-in screws from the base of their heads. 

With its thicker size, this wrench type can only work in spacious areas. Nevertheless, it can offer the same services as an open-end or sets of combination wrenches. The versatility of the types of adjustable wrenches available in the market is pretty tremendous.

Tool brands that offer excellent adjustable wrench sets include Milwaukee, Channellock, Knipex, and Irwin. The average prices of adjustable wrenches range from $6.72 to $43.32; but, know that the cost varies and may appear higher.

3. Combination Wrench

Combination Wrench

As the name sounds, this tool comes designed looking like a combination of a box-ended and open-ended wrench. Thus, it comes with excellent versatility and can also fit into areas with smaller spaces.

Kindly note that the ‘close’ end works well on tougher nuts while the loose ends quickly unscrew it. Again, you can find the combination wrench sets having metric or SAE measurements. Some of the best brands that offer the combination wrench among their tool lineup include Tekton, Milwaukee, and Gearwrench.

There are excellent sets of combination wrenches in the market, and some have estimated prices starting from $7.99 to $164.87.

4. Oil Filter Wrench

An oil filter wrench is one essential tool for an oil change and filter replacement. This tool appears common in the automotive industry and works well for tightening the end hose of the oil drain valve. Please, note that it comes in different designs depending on the vehicle brand.

There are those with chain strap styles and some with socket styles. You would find a suitable oil filter wrench set within the estimated price of $10.00 to $39.00. Top brands that supply good oil filter wrenches include Craftsman, Tekton, Motivx, and Channellock.

5. Box-Ended Wrench

Box-Ended Wrench

Are you searching for a suitable wrench that would fit the heads of square or hexagonal bolts? Then, you should consider getting Box-Ended wrenches, as these options come having a closed-loop on both ends.

The enclosed loop on both ends of this “closed wrench” comes in different sizes. With such a tool, you can supply sufficient torque for loosening tough bolts. The estimated cost of getting excellent box-ended wrench sets starts from $7.97 to $99.99.

6. Open-Ended Wrench

Open-Ended Wrench

Open-ended wrenches are among the most popular options that you find. The U-shaped ends of this tool make it recognizable, and its open design makes it easier for folks to reach and get attached to nuts vertically or horizontally. 

Top suppliers of such type of wrench include Proto, Tekton, Armstrong, and GearWrench. Kindly note that one end always appears bigger than the other. 

Nevertheless, compared to other wrench types you find, this open-ended wrench would round the nut’s edges better. The estimated price range of a good set of this type of wrench is between $9.15 and $119.99. 

7. Lug Wrench

Lug Wrench

Lug wrenches are often referred to as “tire iron.” They often come to L-shaped with a single socket at the short end. You can also find some Lug wrenches appearing X-shaped, bearing three or even four sockets of varying sizes.

This type of wrench comes in handy for removing or tightening the lug nuts in cars. Thus, this tool is essential for tire replacements and is often kept with spare tires in the trunk of most vehicles.

 They often have varying costs, but you can get suitable options from $7.97 to $49.22. Please note that Tekton, Gorilla, GTE, and Cartman supply some of the best lug wrenches.

8. Impact wrench

Impact wrench

This pneumatic tool comes constructed with effective batteries or connected to air compressors that power it. As such, you would often find it more expensive compared to other types of wrenches. Hence, the estimated cost of such tools ranges from $29.97 to $199.00.

Impact wrenches appear like cordless drills and deliver high torque for loosening nuts. Thus, they are excellent tools for making some repairs in cars and trucks. Top brands like Hart, DeWalt, and Milwaukee offer some of the best impact wrenches available in the market. 

9. Crowfoot Wrench

Crowfoot Wrench

This tool type is constructed as a small crescent wrench without a handle. Thus, its excellent design allows it to be attachable to the handle of ratchets, ensuring it fits in areas with very few spaces. The use of this type of wrench is for bolts situated in places that appear hard to reach.

Tekton, Neiko, Grip, GearWrench, and Craftsman are top brands that supply quality constructed Crowfoot wrenches. You can find various Crowfoot wrench sets at different prices, and some excellent options come within the estimated costs of $19.11 to $119.37.

10. Ratcheting Wrench

Ratcheting Wrench

Although appearing like a box-ended wrench, you would often find ratcheting wrenches having a single end with the “ratcheting device” in them. Hence, this tool effectively tightens bolts and gets them untightened with to hassles.

Interestingly, you can use this tool within tight spaces, and as such, it appears among essential mechanic tools. You can find excellent options from various brands in the market, and they come at varying prices. Nevertheless, there are excellent sets that go from $19.99 to $131.99.

11. Alligator Wrench

Alligator Wrench

Although not among the common wrenches, Alligator wrenches come constructed to rip through nuts. Perhaps, it is not so common since most consumers rarely want to get nuts ripped, and it can only handle square bolts and nuts.

Nevertheless, these wrenches appear more in the movies nowadays. You would find the top of the wrench jaw to be serrated and its bottom very smooth—the estimated prices of this type of wrench range from as low as $8.52 to $90.68.

12. Torque Wrench

Torque Wrench

Torque wrenches come designed offering specific torque amounts, and as such, folks can easily change the torque amount they use for operations. In essence, this tool is suitable for different projects and has different types like manual and digital torque wrenches.

 This type of wrenches plays a significant role in various automotive applications. Thus, torque wrenches appear suitable for major works on the engine parts of vehicles and would help for brake adjustments.

ACDelco, Neiko, Tekton, and Capri are some excellent brands known for top-performing torque wrenches. Effective torque wrenches are available, starting from $21.99 to $84.49.

13. Pipe Wrench

Pipe Wrench

Pipe wrenches come looking like adjustable wrenches but are studier and bigger. This tool appears as a “must-have” for plumbers, as they aid in holding metal pipes and getting them fitted. However, it would interest you to know that the weightiness of such tools would often leave marks behind.

Although the cost of this toolset varies, you would often find excellent pipe wrenches between $6.94 and $55.02. Top brands that supply quality pipe wrenches include Ridgid, Irwin, Milwaukee, and Maxpower.

14. Armorer’s Wrench

Armorer's Wrench

This tool is one type of wrench designed for specific gun models, having C-shaped and serrated heads. You would find it having varying square slots and comes in different sizes, functional for attending to different gun repairs.

It is one basic tool that all AR-15 owners should have amongst their toolset. Armorer wrenches are available from $8.99 to $66.42, and there are excellent options from brands like Brownells, Magpul, and Wheeler.

15. Basin Wrench

Basin Wrench

Most people have seen this type of wrench in the past but trust me, very few folks realize that this tool is a wrench. It possesses a curved jaw resembling the top of an “S” and has handles that come T-shaped.

With its applications in toilets and under sinks, this tool is also known as the “Faucet wrench.” The price range of such tools is around $12.79 to $62.00. Hautmec, Ridgid, Tekton, and General Tools are top brands that supply some of the best basin wrenches.

16. Drum Key

Drum Key

Dum keys are wrenches that come in handy for tightening and loosening percussion instruments. Such tools are T-shaped, bearing flattened handles. You would find this tool suitable for drums, and it comes in a variety of designs depending on the kind of drum available.

If you are keen on getting this type of wrench, you can get excellent options from as low as $6.58 to $14.06. Various drum keys are available in the market, but top suppliers include Evans, Revolution, and Gibraltar. You can often find top-quality products from these brands mentioned above.

17. Fire Hydrant Wrench

Fire Hydrant Wrench

As the name suggests, fire hydrant wrenches are often used for repairs or works on fire hydrants. As such, there may be no need for you to get such a tool if you lack access to fire hydrants. Since it is niche-specific, these wrenches are less common, but you would find them having long handles and adjustable ends.

If you seek durable fire hydrant wrenches, it will help to look out for brands like Akron, TFT, ezSpanner, and Read Head Brass. The average price range of this tool is around $27.98 to $233.54.

18. Dog Bone Wrench

Dog Bone Wrench

Ever seen a dog bone? Dog bone wrenches come appearing same, and as such, some persons call them the dumb-bell wrenches. You can use this type of wrench for various bike maintenance, and since this tool can easily fit into smaller spaces, you can further employ them for other projects.

Top brands that offer excellent quality options for Dog Bone wrenches include Kobalt, Craftsman, and Pittsburgh. The estimated cost range of getting suitable Dog Bone or dumb-bell wrenches is from $6.99 to $66.70.

19. Fan Clutch Wrench

Fan Clutch Wrench

Are you thinking of removing the fan clutches in your vehicle? Then, you would need a suitable fan clutch wrench. These tools come in handy for such applications, as they are flat and have an end appearing U-shaped.

GearWrench, Lisle, ABN, and SMOTIVEPRO are among some of the best options you would find in the market, as these brands have a reputation for supplying top-quality fan clutch wrenches. The cost of such a tool ranges from $18.99 to $109.48.

20. Flare Nut Wrench

Flare Nut Wrench

The similarity of this wrench type to the open-ended wrench is pretty high, as it appears spacious to fit around tubes when the need arises. Nevertheless, you would also find this tool gripping nuts and bolts like the box-end wrench.

Kindly note that they work effectively for various plumbing projects associated with soft metals. Again, these sets of wrenches appear less common since most persons invest in the box and open-ended wrenches. 

Still, they are pretty useful and can help in fixing car brake lines. The average cost of such a tool ranges from $11.20 to $68.38, and top brand suppliers include Sunex, Teng, and GearWrench.

21. Pedal Wrench

Pedal Wrench

For most persons who appear familiar with bicycle repair shops, you must have seen the pedal wrench. This tool comes having a round tip, having U-shaped recesses. This wrench type comes in handy for repairs on bicycles and can effectively help in fixing fairground rides.

The estimated costs of such a tool are between $8.99 and $34.95. If you are concerned about getting top-quality pedal wrenches in the market, it will help if you look out for brands like Sunlite, Pedro, Bikehand, Icetoolz, and Lezyne. 

22. Spud Wrench

Spud Wrench

Although this tool does not appear known by some folks since it seems to have fallen out of its use, and plumber wrenches have rendered it obsolete. Nevertheless, such a tool still appears pretty much available in some toolboxes, and you can identify them with their open-wrench spike located at the opposing end.

Kindly note that this wrench type comes in handy for lining the holes on pipes. Brands like Crescent, Maxpower, and Klein tools offer some of the best spud wrenches that you can find. You can get a suitable spud wrench within the price range of $16.33 to $90.99.

23. Monkey Wrench

Monkey Wrench

The Monkeywrench is an excellent piece that comes having big and small jaws. This big jaw part of the wrench comes built with a handle; you would also find this tool having a smaller jaw that appears movable. Hence, the small jaw cuts threads as seen with the pipe wrench. 

You can adjust this tool around a nut and use it as a screw wrench. The estimated cost of getting a reliable monkey wrench is between $3.97 and $343.59, depending on the type you find available. The top brands that supply this tool include Milwaukee, Irwin, and Knipex.

24. Spoke Wrench

Spoke Wrench

The small size of this type of wrench makes it pretty unique as it is designed to maintain the spokes on wire wheels. Thus, this wrench type can effectively align the wheel spokes on bicycles. It can rotate in full cycles without pulling off, thanks to its shape and size. 

Please note that this tool has an end consisting of slots that can fit on spokes. Then, you would find its other end having a drive head that appears fitted on the nipple nut. There are excellent spoke wrenches, from $5.45 to $16.99.

25. Spanner Wrench

Spanner Wrench

This tool comes with a specific design, with its end appearing C-shaped. Kindly note that this wrench type often has pins that make them suitable for use on various objects. Hence, you can effectively employ them on retainer rings and spanner head screws.

Some top suppliers of this type of wrench include OEMTOOLS, GearWrench, Kako, and Houston. The cost of spanner wrenches varies, but you can get excellent options from $8.98 to $64.75.

26. Bionic Wrench

Bionic Wrench

This type of wrench tool appears as a special option constructed like a “wrench and plier.” Thus, it has handles like that on a pair of pliers, and you can squeeze them to get the holes tightened around bolts.

You would also find this tool working similarly to an adjustable wrench. The cost of getting bionic wrenches appears between $19.95 and $69.90. 

You would find the patented Bionic Wrench of Loggerhead tools pretty remarkable and easy to use. So, you can look through this brand and choose a suitable option.

27. Cone Wrench

Cone Wrench

This tool is designed to unfasten and fasten wide bolts and nuts. You would find it appearing like a flat open-ended wrench, and they work in the same manner. Nevertheless, this tool appears very suitable for light projects.

Thus, you can use them on projects on random appliances like the washing machine. Folks can comfortably get cone wrenches within the estimated prices of $5.95 to $78.95. You can look out for brands like Knipex, Sunlite, and Park Tool, as they offer some of the best cone wrenches in the market.

28. Bung Wrench

Bung Wrench

The Bung wrench comes having a socket-style design that aids in removing metal or plastic caps from drums or barrels. 

It comes constructed in many varieties, and as such, you can find the versions like the sparkles type that works well for flammable materials. Depending on the type, there are excellent bung wrench tools that start from $9.99 to $78.61.

29. Hammer Wrench

Hammer Wrench

This tool appears stubby and comes in handy for tightening fasteners. Folks often use this tool on rusted or very tough bolts that require much force to get them unfastened. 

Thus, you can hit this type of wrench with a hammer to transmit sufficient force to remove the nuts. Kindly note that reliable hammer wrench sets are starting from $7.89 to $50.89.

30. Garbage Disposal Wrench

Garbage Disposal Wrench

Although termed as a wrench, you would often find this tool useful for unclogging garbage disposals. This type of wrench comes in different versions, as they appear designed to reach varying places within the garbage disposals.

Thus, it may appear as a useful tool for homeowners to help fix such clog issues. Starting from $7.13 up to $49.00, you can find excellent garbage disposer wrenches that appear durable.

Kindly note that wrenches appear classified into subgroups for easier identification. The following are three major classes of wrenches you would find.

Sockets

This set of wrenches comes having handles connected to cylindrical sockets or appearing as a 0ne-piece tool. Based on the handle orientation, the socket is fitted over the head horizontally or vertically.

Key

Keys are among the old-fashioned types of wrenches that appear without “teeth.” Some common options in this group include the window cranks and Allen wrenches.

Spanner

This category of wrenches comes in handy for spanner heads, as they have hooks or pins that can turn these heads. Interestingly, you can use most socket wrenches for tight spaces.

FAQS

Q: How many types of wrenches are there?

When it comes to wrenches, there are varying types, and you can find over 40 wrench types available. These varying types of wrenches come with unique designs and have varying applications.

You would find wrenches very useful, from tightening and loosening screws, nuts, and bolts to fitting pipes together. The common types of wrenches available include lug wrench, box-end wrench, open-end wrench, combination wrench, pipe wrench, and impact wrench.

Q: What are the two main categories of wrenches?

Sockets and Keys are two major categories of wrenches both in the United States and the United Kingdom. You would often find sockets appearing as a single-piece tool, with a handle attached to a cylindrical socket.

On the other hand, Keys come constructed without having “teeth,” as the Allen wrenches. Aside from these two groups, there is a third category of wrenches (in the US) known as spanner, consisting of specialized wrenches that possess tabs or pins around their circumferences. 

Q: Who uses a wrench?

Wrenches are versatile tools that come in handy for various repairs and projects, and as such, they are used by different persons. You can find mechanics, tradespersons, carpenters, plumbers, and many DIYers using such a tool.

It would interest you to know that there are the “everyday” types of wrench that most folks have at home in their toolboxes and other niche-specific options that appear suitable for different professionals.

Q: What are thin wrenches called?

Wrenches with thin heads are often known as tappet wrenches. Such wrench types come in handy for tightening collars, sealing packing nuts, and locking nut rings. 

The ultra-thin nature of such wrenches ensures that they fit in tighter spaces and effectively handle some gentle projects. Remember, wrenches come in varying designs, as you can find some options appearing thin and others looking very thick.

Q: How many wrenches are in a full set?

Wrenches come in sets, and each set often has a varying amount of tools in them. However, you may find standard sets of wrenches with about 6-10 tools within and different measurements.

With most wrench sets having tools differing with an increment of sixteenth-inch, you can find excellent options within each set that would work for various sizes of bolts and nuts.

Q: What are the uses of combination wrenches?

Combination wrenches are excellent tools that easily unscrew or unfastens tough bolts and nuts and ensure that they get separated quickly to get ahead with your project. This tool works efficiently, having two ends; an open end and a closed loop.

Thus, you can recognize it as it comes looking like a combination of the box-end wrench and the open-end wrench (as its name suggests). Furthermore, you can use them horizontally or vertically as you get into action.

Q: Are wrench and spanner the same?

Wrenches are known as a spanner in places like the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. This standard term refers to such tools that offer excellent grip and mechanical advantages in aiding the movements of objects (nuts and bolts).

Nevertheless, in the United States, spanners appear to be a category of wrench that consists of options with hooks and pins at their ends. You would find such types of wrenches often employed to turn the heads of spanners.

Final Words

Tools are essential for handling various projects, and wrenches are among some of the everyday options needed. There are different types of wrenches, ranging from spoke wrenches to lug wrenches. 

These wrench types available come having varying features and come in handy for specific applications. Nevertheless, this piece on the types of wrenches holds a list of some of the wrenches that you should know.

Tito

Hi There, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I have been working as a mechanic for over fifteen years. I worked for a long time at Global Rebound Automotive companies (Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others ) as a Mechanic and Mechanics Supervisor.

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