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Wrenches are made in various shapes and sizes and are used for gripping, fastening, turning, tightening and loosening things like pipes, pipe fittings, nuts and bolts. There are basically two major kinds of wrenches:
Wrenches may be adjustable to fit different sized pipes, nuts and bolts or may be a fixed size.
Adjustable wrenches include:
Fixed-sized wrenches include:
Fixed wrenches fit single, specific sizes. Metric wrench sizes are expressed as whole numbers (e.g., 8, 10, 14, 32) that correspond to the sizes in millimetres. Non-metric sizes used widely in the U.S. are also called S.A.E (Society of Automotive Engineers) sizes and are expressed as fractions of an inch; e.g., 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 1/4. Since both metric and S.A.E. fasteners (nuts, bolts, etc.) are used in Canada, users must select the correct type and size of wrench to prevent injuries and damage to equipment in case of slippage when force is applied to the wrench.
Hazards may vary depending on the work and can include:
Refer to OSH Answers General Hand Tool Operation for more tips.