SAE combination wrench set

Alright so today on Repairs101 – we’re going to talk about wrenches.

So you know I get quite a few requests from people asking about the kinds of tools they’re going to need to collect in order to start working as Mechanics – and I’ll tell you straight up: you’re going to need a lot of wrenches. So here we’re going to talk about the “Must haves”, the “Should haves” and even some of the “Might needs” of wrenches.

Metric and SAE recess wrench sets   Tiny Snap-on 3mm combo wrench

So the first thing I’ll say is: buy your wrenches in sets – and that is to save money. You’re going to need a variety of wrenches in both metric and SAE in a variety of handle lengths. So at the top of my list is combination wrenches and that’s because I find myself reaching for combination wrenches more often than any other tool. So it’s called a combination wrench because it’s a combination of the open end wrench and the ring wrench or box wrench. And, of course, what kind of equipment you’re working on will determine whether or not you might need very large wrenches or very small wrenches. You’re definitely going to need several sets with a variety of handle lengths in both metric and SAE. I highly recommend a set of Ratcheting  wrenches and some Stubbies, even if you have to make your own. And you can always lock them together and do what’s called double wrenching.




So the next most important thing to have is a set of socket wrenches and I would say at the very least get yourself three-eights  drive and half inch drive to start with. And included with socket wrenches are things like Torque wrenches and Impact wrenches, Breaker bars, Allen wrenches, Torx wrenches.

The next most basic thing to have is, of course, adjustable wrenches. You do want to try to limit your use of them because they have a tendency to slip and round off your hardware. But they will prove to be invaluable in their versatility, as will Pipe wrenches.

Variety of adjustable wrenches

You’re going to need filter wrenches and failing that: a strap wrench.

After you’ve got yourself all the basics I would definitely go after a set of Flare-nut wrenches.

So you’ll find double open enders really handy and you want to collect them in different “offsets”.

Get all sorts of ring wrenches.

You’re going to want to invest in a chain wrench and probably a locking chain wrench.

And, of course, there’s no end of specialty tools that you’re going to need and, you know, there’s all kinds of tools that are designed to help you reach things in tight places. Again, what specialty wrenches you’re going to need will depend on what kind of equipment you’re working on.

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