By wrench, we thought the tools that can be used to fasten things like screws, nuts, bolts – but that’s just the definition of the wrench. 

Many of us are not familiar with different types of wrenches with different names, sizes, and designs.

That’s why we have prepared this complete guide with what is a wrench, how does it works, types of wrenches, sizes, usages of wrenches and features, where you are going to get a complete idea about wrenches. So let’s start our journey.

socket wrench

What is a Wrench

Wrench is one of the most used automotive repairing tools, also known as a spanner. It basically operates with the help of hands and easily tightens and loosening things like nuts, bolts, screws.

Types of Wrenches

What is a Wrench
Types of Wrenches

There are many types of wrenches, which come in different sizes and designs, so depending on the size and wrench, it is used in different work areas. Below we share some wrenches that are used in almost all cases.

1. Open End Wrenches

Types of Wrenches
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Open-end wrenches are the easiest and quickest tools that look like U shape; they are specially designed to easily fasten jobs in the tightest spaces. It has two different sizes of faces attached to both openings, which are designed to easily tighten and loosen the different sizes of heads of nuts and bolts.


  • It comes in both metric and standard sizes.
  • Easily tighten and loosen nuts and bolts.
  • Different sizes two open ends.
  • Its flex head wrenches help you work in different hard spaces.

2. Box End Wrenches

What is a Wrench
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The opening of these types of wrenches is enclosed, which is much like a ring; it can hold the head of nuts or bolts and leverage without slipping. They have 6 to 12 points inside the jaws, which helps in different types of gripping in different work areas. Another great aspect of box-end wrenches is that they are perfect for working in hard to reach spaces like open-end wrenches.


  • Enclosed opening both sides
  • Great for regular fastening work
  • It comes in both metric and standard sizes
  • Easily tighten and loosen nuts and bolts

3. Combination Wrenches

Combination Wrenches
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The combination of open-end and box end has been designed as a combination wrench. On one side, it has an open end shape, and on the other side, it has a ring shape, but both shapes are the same size. The primary purpose of this combination wrench design is that if you can’t reach with one type of wrench while working, then you can easily get the other wrench.


  • Combination of open-end and box end jaws
  • Great for regular and advanced work
  • It comes in both metric and standard sizes
  • It makes any fastening job easier.

4. Adjustable Wrenches

Adjustable Wrenches
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This type of wrench does not have two jaws like an open end, box end or combination wrench. There is only a completely adjustable jaw, which means you can adjust it according to the size of the nut, bolts without any hassles. It also has a lot of strength, which is suitable for fastening screws of different shapes in almost all types of projects.

Though these types are not seen to be used in such a way nowadays, these are much more budget-friendly than other wrench sets.


  • Easily tightening and loosening
  • Great for regular and advanced work
  • Completely adjustable jaws
  • Work with both standard and metric jaws.

5. Allen Wrenches

Allen Wrenches

Those are common wrenches that can be seen in the toolbox of all types of mechanics. It has been designed in an L-shape with a compact size steel bar. The shorter side of the L shape is called the head, which is used for fastening, while the longer side is the side of the handle.

Allen wrench is also known as hex key. However, there are many two-way observations about Hex key vs Allen wrench; in reality, there is no difference between them. They have many different sizes which are used in everything from industrial work to small repairing.


  • Easily tightens and loosens hex head bolt, screws
  • It comes with both standard and metric sizes
  • Also available are both L and T shapes

6. Socket or Ratchet Sets

Socket or Ratchet Sets
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Though it does not have a wrench tag with its name, it is one of the most widely used wrench tools in the wrench industry. The socket or ratchet tool is a very convenient mechanism, and a comfortable handle helps you tighten easily and loosen things like the wind of the wrench without moving the sockets perfectly nuts, bolts, sockets, and screws.

It has different sizes sockets to fit with almost all types of screws, as well as it can easily move nuts bolts, especially in narrow spots.


  • Variety sizes sockets allow you to fasten easily
  • Great wrench for tight spaces
  • Easily fasten without moving the wrench.
  • Easy to use

8. Pipe Wrenches

Pipe Wrenches
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The pipe wrench is specially designed to hold around the pipe easily. It easily grabs the pipe with its jaw teeth, rotates, and helps in fitting the pipe with different fittings. As its jaw is adjustable, it can be used in almost all work fields like plumbing, pipe repairing. 


  • Adjustable jaws for easy fastening
  • Great for any plumbing work
  • It comes with both standard and metric size

Most Common Wrench Sizes

You can see different sizes of wrenches in the market, which are designed to work in the right way. Though each wrench has many specialities, there are several common wrenches sizes, which are regularly used for almost all types of repairing, replacing, fastening work.

The most common wrench sizes are 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inches.

  • 1/2″ Wrench: This wrench size is mainly used in large projects, industrial work, or large vehicle repairing work. It is the largest size wrench among the common wrenches sizes. 
  • 3/8″ Wrench: This size wrench is usually seen by all types of mechanics because it is an average size wrench that is used in almost all types of repair work.
  • 1/4″ Wrench: This is the smallest wrench in a common size wrench, which is used for fastening small nuts, bolts, screws. It is also one of the best wrenches for any small size fastening and loosening work in detail.

7 Tips for Safely Use of Wrenches

Always try to safely use the industrial automotive and such repairing tools, as well as be very careful. Wrench is one of the most used repairing tools, there are many different types, and all of them are very similar, but for use safely, you must use certain aspects.

Use of Wrench

Though the primary purpose of the wrench is only nut and bolt fastening, different types of wrenches are used depending on the sector. As well as applying different torque for different tasks, if you apply torque in the wrong process, you have a chance of serious injury at any moment. To use the wrench safely, be sure to try to maintain the tips shared below.

Tips 1: Use Durable and Quality Wrench

The durable quality wrench is very safe, with no chances to easily slip from the hand while working, so it lasts for a long time. So be sure to use a quality wrench to protect yourself from any kind of injury.

Tips 2: Use the Perfect Size Wrench for your work.

To get your job done perfectly and achieve great leverage, you must use a wrench suitable for your job. On the one hand, you will be able to complete your work very quickly and easily, on the other hand, your time will be much safer.

Tips 3: Always Pull, Never Push The Wrench

When using a wrench, there are many risks due to the wrong application of torque. Always try to apply torque by pulling your wrench, so the risk is much less because while pushing, there is a risk of your body being injured after the hand slips suddenly.

Tips 4: Always Keep Clean Your Wrench

Always try to clean and store the wrench after use, as well as check whether it is dry before use.

Tips 5: Never Hit Your Wrench with a Hammer

Many people strike the wrench with the help of a hammer to give extra pressure while using a regular wrench, which is one of the biggest mistakes. Especially if your wrench is not designed to be hit resistant, then your wrench will be seriously damaged. 

Tips 6: Don’t try to Increase Leverage with Other Objects

Many people add long pipes or other longer things separately to increase the leverage of the wrench. It is a completely wrong process, as it damages the head and jaws of the wrench. On the other hand, there is a risk of a heavy accident. If extra leverage is required, purchase a long handle wrench.

Tips 7: Never Use a Degraded Wrench

Damaged wrench jaws are very weak, which is why they are not perfect for fastening. Avoid damaged wrenches all the time in your work area; they are very risky for you as well as your machine.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, you are almost familiar with wrenches and got many concepts about different types of wrenches, sizes, and safely wrench usability. Here is a lot more information related to wrenches. You can follow our other guides and reviews to choose the most suitable wrench depending on your work. We choose wrenches after thorough analysis and share a complete guide and review.

When it comes to tightening a nut or a bolt, the only thing you need is a wrench with a properly sized attachment and a long enough handle to give you the necessary lever. (And possibly a bit of arm muscle to tackle some of the rusty and tough-to-unscrew bolts.