|Focus||Turning Tools & Fasteners|
|Topics||Fasteners, Ratchets, Wrenches|
Wrenches are used with threaded fasteners like bolts and nuts. A bolt has external threads while a nut has internal threads and this thread pattern combination allows them to lock together and act as fasteners. Nuts come in a variety of configurations including wing nuts which provide appendages that allow tightening and loosening by hand, slotted nuts that use a cotter pin to lock the nut in place and prevent it from loosening, and lock nuts that also prevent loosening via nylon in their threads. Threads are identified by pitch which is the number of threads per inch.
A ratchet (or socket wrench) is a wrench that applies torque in only one direction with a handle that can be moved back and forth without losing contact with the fastener. A ratchet uses variable attachments called sockets which come in a variety of drive sizes based on the size of the opening that attaches to the ratchet. Sockets with the same drive size will vary in the shape (six-point, twelve-point) and size of the nut opening that attaches to the fastener being tightened or loosened. Smaller point sized sockets are stronger and can apply greater torque while larger point sizes allow easier alignment.
Wrenches are used to provide grip and mechanical advantage by applying torque to turn objects (or to keep them from turning). The longer the wrench, the more torque that can be applied. Wrench ends are available in two primary types, open-end and box-end. A box-end wrench encloses the bolt head and is useful when more torque is needed or to maintain contact in difficult to reach locations. An open-end wrench is designed for speedily loosening easier to reach fasteners. Wrenches that feature one open and one box end are called combination wrenches and adjustable wrenches feature an open end with an adjustable width.