my Old Workshop

Eleven wrench tips

    We’ve looked at a bunch of wrenches you can call on for different types of jobs. Here are some tips on how to use your wrench safely and effectively.

1. Always use the correct size. The wrong size will damage the fastener and might hurt you at the same time. Sometimes a standard wrench might seem to fit a metric fastener, but don’t cut corners; do it right.

2. Make sure the nut, bolt, fitting, or pipe you’re applying force to is clean and free of oil.

3. Keep your wrist straight.

4. For difficult items, adopt a good stable stance, so you don’t lose your balance once you free it.

5. Always pull, rather than push. That way, sudden slippage is less likely to hurt your hand or throw you off balance.

6. Apply slow and steady force.

7. Make sure the wrench is in full contact with the fastener. Don’t cock an open-ended wrench. That is, don’t use it on an angle up from the fastener. It will slip. There are special offset wrenches designed for this.

8. Don’t add a cheater pipe to the handle. A wrench is built to withstand a certain torque. If you increase it with a longer handle, you could break the wrench… and hurt yourself.

9. Don’t use a cracked or damaged wrench.

10. While some wrenches are designed to be struck, most aren’t. Don’t hit it with a hammer.

11. Oh… and don’t use it as a hammer either.