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What is the Difference between Wrenches and Ratchets?

Wrenches and ratchets accomplish the same job — tightening and loosening fasteners — but there are variances and situations that need one over the other. A box-end wrench, for example, is a fantastic alternative for releasing stuck fasteners since it allows you to apply more force without risking ratchet mechanism damage. A wrench with an open-end fit around a fastener rather than over it, allowing it to be used in places where a socket would not fit. Always be sure the tool you're using is appropriate for the job at hand.

What are general safety tips when using wrenches?
  • Use the correct wrench for the job.
  • Discard any damaged wrenches.
  • Wear safety glasses or a face shield.
  • Position your body in a way that will prevent you from losing balance.
  • Use a box or socket wrench with a straight handle.
  • Ensure that the jaw of an open-ended wrench is in full contact.
  • Ensure that the teeth of a pipe wrench are sharp and free of oil.
  • Apply a small amount of pressure to a ratchet wrench.
  • Support the head of the ratchet wrench when socket extensions are used.
  • Pull on a wrench using a slow, steady pull.
  • Stand aside when work is done with wrenches overhead.
  • Make sure adjustable wrenches do not "slide" open during use.
  • Keep tools well maintained (cleaned and oiled).
  • Clean and place tools and wrenches in a toolbox, rack, or tool belt after use.
What should be considered when choosing a wrench?

Some of the factors to consider in designing or selecting a safe series of wrenches and fasteners include maximum tightening torque, maximum removal torque, minimum torsional strength, and torques from wrench specifications.