The Usual Suspects –WRENCHES & SPANNERS

Terms & Definitions

You might call a spade a spade, but there’s a lot of different terms floating around for wrenches and spanners. We’ve made sure to keep this website on the same page by adopting the following naming convention.


  1. A Socket Ratchet is essentially a handle with a ratcheting male square drive of variable size. Combined with a set of standard sockets, you can tackle many different fastener sizes.

  2. A Torque Wrench is similar to a socket wrench, however is precisely calibrated to apply an adjustable amount of torque.

  3. A Spanner is a tool with fixed capacity, available in single or double ended varieties. The most common are combination spanners, which combine open jaws with a ring. Spanners with two open jaw ends or two ring ends are also available. Slogging spanners are designed to be struck with a hammer to loosen the most stubborn bolts.

  4. An Adjustable Wrench is similar to an open‑ended spanner with jaws that can expand and contract. An essential and indispensible tool.


If a tool is ratcheting, this means it has a mechanism to allow back and forth movement during fastening or loosening. This removes the need to reset the tool in-between turns.

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