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Locking Wrenches for Leverage

Got a stubborn nut or bolt that was cranked down by Hercules during the golden age of the Roman Empire? If you don’t have an impact wrench, cheater bar, or 26″ biceps, you might have a hard time breaking it loose. Before you attempt to karate kick your ratchet or bludgeon the offending piece of hardware with a hammer, head back to the tool box and grab a couple of combination wrenches.

craftsman wrench

For those who might be mechanically inept, a combination wrench is a single size wrench that offers an open end on one side and a ‘box’ end on the other. Although I’ve never quite understood the term box end as it’s actually circular. If I ran the world, it would be referred to as a spherical round loopy end. Unfortunately my master plan for global domination is taking slightly longer than anticipated. Anyway back to the tip.

Grab the appropriate sized wrench that fits the hardware you’re trying to break free and place the box end of it on the nut or bolt. Grab another combination wrench that’s one or two sizes bigger than the one you’re using and hook the box end of that wrench around the open end of the wrench on the nut/bolt. Instant leverage and extra torque!

It might take a moment to figure out the exact configuration. There is an IQ test element to this that’s pretty similar to those sadistic bent metal puzzles found at Pancake Houses. Unlike those puzzles, this is quickly solved without the aid of pliers. While this simple tip is handy for loosening obstinate nuts and bolts, I wouldn’t recommend it for tightening them. Over tightening can lead to stretched threads, sheared bolts, high blood pressure, and uncontrollable fits of profanity.

Written by

Geoff is the editor of Dual Sport Alchemy, a website that explores a grass roots sensibility to Dual Sport motorcycle riding with equal parts satire, sarcasm, and sincerity. A journeyman rider who enjoys all forms of off-road riding, Geoff has been exploring the trails and back roads of Central Oregon for over 16 years.

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