Which is the proper position of the adjustable wrench for tightening a nut?


4 Answers

  • Adjustable wrenches aren’t made for tightening nuts. They are known for striping out the head of bolts. Use a box end wrench or a socket. Like my old shop teacher used to say many, many years ago, "Use the right tool for the job".

  • When I was young I was taught to turn the adjustable wrench so the pressure was applied to the base of the movable jaw. The idea was to put pressure where it had least leverage to create a gap. For a decade or two I have noticed adjustable wrenches are being made differently, with the movable jaw subtly angled in at the end. Some of them even have arrows to show the wrench is to be turned so the pressure is applied at the end of the movable jaw, which tends to make the jaw faces parallel under pressure. I now have in my tool box both styles, so when I use them I have to look at what I am doing.

    Anyway, old wrenches face with the movable jaw to the right to tighten, most new ones with the movable jaw to the left.

  • The movable jaw should be facing you, or the one going left first when tightening and going right first loosening a nut or bolt.

    If you do it the other way you will strip the head of the nut or bolt and bust some knuckles.

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