Spanners and wrenches

Summary: Adjustable spanners and how to use them including auto-wrenchs, footprints, mole grips, wrenches and pliers.

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Over the last 10 years DIY Doctor has been asked to test spanners, wrenches, socket sets, pliers, footprints, ring spanners, box spanners, bulldogs, Allen Keys, Stilsons, Mole Grips and strap wrenches and any number of adjustable spanners.

The most important factor about an adjustable spanner is to be able to adjust it to the exact size of the nut. With just about all of the spanners on the market at the moment, this is impossible. The very act of turning the spanner puts a strain on the adjustment thread and this "stretches" the opening. Result? The spanner slips off and either rounds off the end of the nut or breaks your knuckles...............Sometimes both "

With the Auto Wrench this cannot happen. Unique precision jaws allow you to open automatically in 1mm stages. Once they are set to a size, that is where they will stay until you move them. There is no slipping and the jaws will not suddenly decide to open up and spoil your day.

 The Auto wrench can be put in your tool bag to replace many of the spanners and wrenches listed below.

Types of spanner and wrench include:

Open ended and ring spanners

Open ended spanners are the most popular spanners for both DIY and Motoring jobs. A set of these is usually inexpensive and most sets now come with a ring spanner on the other end to the open, or C, ended spanner. The Auto Wrench can do everything an open ended spanner can do and the need for a ring spanner, which is usually used to ensure there is no slippage, is somewhat depleted! This adjustable wrench will not slip.

Basin SpannerThe Basin spanner. A bespoke spanner for undoing the nuts and back nuts holding taps onto basins and baths. Even this "One Off" spanner could be replaced in the toolbox by the Auto Wrench . Push the Auto Wrench up to the tap nut and tighten the end of the jaws around it. Then insert a small screwdriver or short metal bar into the end ring on the Auto Wrench and turn. Because the jaws of this adjustable stay exactly where they are set, the tap nut can be undone with the minimum of fuss.

Box Spanners/Deep Sockets

Box spanners will still have their use even with the Auto Wrench around but, using the Auto Wrench in the way described above can stop you reaching for a box spanner at least 50% of the time.


Footprint Spanner


Footprints, Mole Grips and Pipe wrenches, in all but the larger size, need to look out also for the new adjustable spanner. The beauty of using a set of Footprints or Mole grips in the past has been the sheer strength of the grip the teeth on the jaws allow. Now, with the Auto Wrench , the same grip can be achieved with a spanner half the size and so much more easily manipulated.

Immersion Spanner

Very unlikely the Auto Wrench will help undo an immersion heater and an immersion heater spanner is an invaluable tool for a plumber. Having said that, all of the other nuts and compression fittings surrounding an immersion heater or hot water tank are childs play for the Auto Wrench.

Rachet Spanners

There will always be a place in the DIY sheds and motoring stores for the ratchet spanner which allows you to undo a nut without taking the spanner off. But only if you have the room to turn it! These great tools cannot be used in tight spaces and this is another scoring point for the Auto Wrench. Hold it on end, as discussed above, and the can be used in the tightest of spaces.


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