Different Types of Wrenches – That Mechanics Can Work With

If you are familiar with what a mechanic does, you probably will recognize that they work with certain types of hand tools more than others. A very popular tool that they will have in their toolbox is a wrench. There are many types of wrenches that they can use because there are several that could be useful while working under the hood of a vehicle.

Although there are many styles of wrenches, there are two main types that you will see in a garage. Mechanics will distinguish these by being female or male. A wrench that does not need a socket head on it is referred to as a male wrench and the female wrench is the one that will need the socket head attached. Even so, both work for the purpose of loosening and tightening nuts, bolts, and screws among other types of lids.

Types of Wrenches By Description

Obviously, there are a few wrenches that are used mostly for other types of trades. A plumber’s wrench is usually used for plumbing pipes. In that case, you will more than likely not see an auto mechanic use a plumber’s wrench. However, let’s list some of the wrenches mechanics may use while keeping in mind that the main use of most of these wrenches is to loosen and tighten things under the hood of an automobile.

Types of Wrenches
  • OPEN-ENDED wrenches have two open ends of different sizes and the main use of this wrench is to loosen and tighten hard to reach nuts and bolts.
  • BOX-ENDED wrenches have a circle end with grooves inside of the circle that fit hexagon types of bolts. On each end of this wrench, the circle is different sizes and convenient when the open-ended wrench is not useful.
  • COMBINATION wrenches are open and box ends in one convenient wrench. So, if you don’t like to carry both carry one.
  • ADJUSTABLE wrenches are open at one end but have an adjustable feature that allows you to shrink or expand it to the size of the nut or bolt you are working on.
  • SOCKET wrenches fit completely over the nut or bolt and the socket can remain in place if you need to adjust or change the handle.
  • LINE wrenches are somewhat like a box-end and an open-end wrench, but these wrenches are made to deal with a more fragile nut or bolt.
  • RATCHETING wrenches are basically the same as the socket wrench, however, these wrenches are useful when you are in a hurry to get a job done.
  • TORQUE wrenches are used for a precise tighten on the bolt. An example of when to use this wrench would be if you are assembling an automobile.
  • CORDLESS RATCHET wrench is a must-have. This wrench for mechanics is a high powered tool which combines the quick use of a ratchet wrench with the precision of a torque wrench. Click to read more about cordless ratchets.

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There are some wrenches that are used for special purposes. I mentioned the plumber’s wrench earlier which is used around the house for tightening and loosening pipes under the sink. There is also a fire-hydrant wrench, which is obviously used to tighten and loosen the valve of a fire hydrant. And you have a dumbbell and spoke wrench that, you guessed it, are used on bicycles.

Types of Wrenches - Specialty

However, there are some specialty wrenches that are used for specific things on an automobile and they are:

  • SPARK PLUG wrenches are used for just what they are named for – spark plugs. They may look similar to a ratcheting wrench but can only be used to tighten or loosen spark plugs.
  • LUG wrenches are crossed-armed wrenches with four heads for different sized bolts. They are specifically used for the tires of automobiles.
  • DIE-STOCK wrenches are used for threading a nut or bolt. However, the male is used to thread the nut and the female wrench is used to thread the bolt.


From just wrenches alone, it is undeniable that a mechanic’s job is one that must be correct in what type of tool that they use on the specific parts of a car. The wrench has a main use to loosen or tighten, but it is crucial to know the wrench to use that will have the end on it that will be the best one to use for a specific area. It does take a knowledgeable mechanic to know how to get the job done right.

Here you have learned all types of wrenches that are a must for an automobile mechanic to work on a vehicle. I hope this piece of information has added some knowledge to you. If you like then don’t hesitate to share it.

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