What are the Different Types of Spanners and Their Uses?

Hello friends, Today I am going to discuss what are the different types of spanners and their uses.

The tool used to tighten and open the nut and bolt is called Spanner or Wrench.

Bolts and nuts are the types of the temporary fasteners.

The spanner's jaw fits over the hexagonal or square head of the nut-bolt.

Spanners are often made by drop forge Alloy Steel or Carbon Steel and Chrome vanadium Steel.

To increase the strength of spanners, they are also heat treated.

The wrench is named either by its size, its use, or its design which will be  know further in detail.

So without wasting of time let's start to know different types of Spanners and their uses.

Types of Spanners  

Spanners can be divided into following types

  • Open Ended Spanner
  • Box Type Spanner
  • Combination Spanner
  • Adjustable Spanner
  • Monkey Spanner
  • Allen Key  
  • Pin Hook Spanner
  • Pipe wrench
  • Chain wrench

Open Ended Spanner

Open ended spanners are those spanners which opened at each end.

It is also known as D - spanner.

These can be divided into two types
  • Single Ended Spanner
  • Double Ended Spanner

See figure open ended types of Spanners

what are the different types of spanners
Open Ended Spanner



Single Ended Spanner

A single ended spanner is one that is suitable for one size of a bolt, head or nut. 

Its opening is often offset at a 15° angle so that the hexagonal nut can be given complete rotation by the spanner's "flopping" in just 30°.  

Double Ended Spanner

Double-ended spanners have different sizes at each end like 6 × 7, 10 × 11, 30 × 32, etc.

It is used like a single ended spanner.

Box Type Spanner

Box type spanners are those spanners which closed at each end.

Box Type Spanner can be divided into following types
  • Ring Spanners 
  • Tubular Box Spanners 
  • Socket Spanners  
  • T-Spanner or T-Socket Spanner

See in figure box type Spanners

what are the different types of spanners
Box Type Spanner

Ring Spanners 

These spanners have holes at one or both ends.

Often 12 notches are made in the hole to grip the head of the bolt or nut from all sides.

These spanners are used where it is not possible to use open ended spanners.  


Tubular Box Spanners  

These spanners are often used where the hexagonal bolt or nut has to be fitted to a slightly greater depth. 

Tubular spanner is a long tube and both ends of these spanners are hexagonal.  

Both ends of Tubular Spanner have different sizes.

Socket Spanners  

These spanners are often used where the hexagonal bolt or nut has to be fitted to a somewhat lower depth.

It has grooves on one end, which forms a grip on the nut and there is a square hole at its other end, which is called tomy hole.  


- Spanner or T - Socket Spanner  

T - Spanner is used where a nut of the same size has to be opened and more torque is needed to open the nut.

So, now we discussed some other different types of Spanners which is also widely used in industries for different purposes.

There are following other types of Spanners

  • Combination Spanner
  • Adjustable Spanner
  • Monkey Spanner
  • Allen Key  
  • Pin Hook Spanners
  • Pipe wrench
  • Chain wrench

What are the Different Types of Spanners
Different types of Spanners



Combination Spanner

It is a combination of a ring and open end spanner. Both its ends are same size and nut-bolt of same size can be opened and tightened by these spanners.


Adjustable Spanner

Adjustable spanner can be adjusted for different sizes of nuts and is especially useful for nuts of uneven size. 

Corners of nuts deteriorate when this spanner is not properly accommodated on nut flats.  

Monkey Spanner

Monkey Spanner is also like Adjustable Spanner. Its large jaw serves as the handle itself and Its second jaw is movable on which threads like pipe spanner are cut.

Allen Key  

The socket and screw wrench is often called Allen Key, which is hexagonal that fits into the holes of the safety set screw or socket head set screw.

Pin Hook Spanners   

They are also called 'C' Spanners which are often used on slotted circular nuts. 

Pipe wrench

This type of Spanner is used to open and tighten the any type of pipe.

This type of spanner consists of a fixed jaw and moving jaw.

Chain wrench

These spanners are also used to open and tighten the pipe, but only difference is that it has a chain instead of the jaw.

Size of spanner

The distance between the face of a nut or bolt head is the size of the Spanner.  

The width of the jaw of the spanner is kept slightly more than the distance of the face of the nut, so that the spanner can fit correctly on the nut. 

Spanner's size is written on the body below its jaw.  

Spanner is often found in sets.

The set of spanners consists of 12 pieces from 6mm to 32mm size.  

Spanner is also available in sets of 6,8 and 10 piece.

The length of the spanner provides the torque required to tighten the nut.  

Each nut and bolt is tightened at a certain torque. 

Spanner is usually 10 times the length of his jaw.

How to find spanner or wrench size for a bolt or nut

For finding spanners size for a bolt and nut following two methods are used

1. Multiply with 1.5

2.Divide with 1/2 and then added


1. Multiply with 1.5

In this method simply multiply with 1.5 for given a bolt or nut size and which value is obtained that is the spanner size.

For example

If a nut or bolt size is 12 mm then its multiply with 1.5 and value is obtained 18 mm which is the spanner size to use open or closed 12 mm size bolt or nut.

2.Divide with 1/2 and then added

In this method firstly divide with 1/2 for given a bolt or nut size and then added these value with given nut or bolt size then after which value is obtained that is the spanner or wrench size.

For Example

If a nut or bolt size is 12 mm then its divide with 1/2 and value is obtained 6 mm now these value added with 12 mm after then getting 18 mm these are the spanner size.  

Safety and Precaution during operating the Spanner

The following safety and precautions should be adopted while using spanners

•Spanner should not force more than required. Because nut or bolt threads may be damaged. And a spanner may break due to which spanner slip can cause an accident.

• There should be enough space to operate the Spanner. 

• Oil, grease or any other type of lubricant should not be used in hand while using a spanner.

• Always choose spanners that can fit properly into nuts or bolts. 

• Spanners are safe to press instead of pulling. 

• Ensure that the nut is fully seated in the spanner jaws.

• When tightening and loosening the nuts, a quick jerk is more effective than static pressure.  

• Spanner should fit right on the nut, If it is loose fit or tight fit, both the nut and spanner will be damage.

Defect in spanners

For easy placement in the correct position spanners, a jaw is slightly larger than the nut. While using the spanner should apply such that they fit well on the nut flats. 

Spanners are spoiled by incorrect use.  

Flawed spanners are dangerous to use, so faulty spanners should be avoided.  

The following faults are often found in Spanners 

1. Defects are Found in Open-ended Spanners

(a) Crack 

(b) Opening of jaws 

(c) Junk wears and rounding. 

2. Defects are Found in Ring Spanners

(a) Cracks 

(b) Internal grooves worn and rounded.

3. Defects are Found in Socket Spanners

(a) Internal grooves wear out and round. 

4. Defects are Found in Tubular Box Spanners 

(a) Corner burst Din 

(b) Hexagon wear and roundness.


So,here we discussed what are the different types of spanners and also their uses. I hope you all enjoy these topics.


FAQ For Types of Spanner


Which of the following process is best suited for manufacturing basic shapes of spanners?

For manufacturing basic shape of spanner done by drop forging process with using a material like alloy steel or carbon steel and also chrome vanadium steel.


How to find spanner size for bolt?

For finding spanners size for bolt basically two methods are used first one is multiply with 1.5 for a given bolt size and which value is obtained that is the spanner size for bolt.

And in second method firstly divided by 1/2 with given a bolt size and then added it with same size of bolt after which value is obtained is the spanner size for bolt.


Number of notches in ring spanner may be?

In a ring spanner 12 number of notches are found which are used to grip the head of bolt or nut from all sides.


A torque wrench is a type of spanner for tightening?

A torque wrench is used to tighten the nut and bolt to a fixed torque.  

Its measures the twist and tension produced while tightening the nut and bolt.


Name three spanner types commonly used in the workshop?

Open ended spanner, box type spanner and allen key are those spanner commonly used in the workshop.

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