A wrench (or spanner) is a tool used to provide grip and mechanical advantage in applying torque to turn objects—usually rotary fasteners, such as nuts and bolts—or keep them from turning.

In British English, spanner is the standard term. The most common shapes are called open-ended spanner and ring spanner. The term wrench refers to various types of adjustable spanner.

In American English, wrench is the standard term. The very most common shapes are called open-end wrench and box-end wrench. In American English, spanner refers to a specialized wrench with a series of pins or tabs around the circumference. (These pins or tabs fit into the holes or notches cut into the object to be turned.) In American commerce, such a wrench may be called a spanner wrench to distinguish it from the British sense of spanner.

Higher quality wrenches are typically made from chromium-vanadium alloy tool steels and are often drop-forged. They are frequently chrome-plated to resist corrosion and ease cleaning.

Hinged tools, such as pliers or tongs, are not generally considered wrenches in English, but exceptions are the plumber wrench (pipe wrench in British English) and mole wrench (mole grips in British English).

Read more about Wrench:  History, Types, Other Types of Keys, Size Designations

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Famous quotes containing the word wrench:

    That is what we must make people feel... the catch in the throat, the wrench to steady the nerves, the determination to carry on.
    John Dos Passos (1896–1970)

    I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928)