chair made out of old wrenches and socket sets
Photo: Kristine Larsen
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Combination Wrenches vs. Socket Sets

Q: Which is more useful: a set of combination wrenches or a socket set? —John Rolfe, Red Hook, NY.

A: Actually, you need both—and not just to build a comfy office chair, like the one shown here. (Nice, huh?) Combination wrenches, which have an open-jawed wrench on one end and a closed box wrench on the other, come in handy when space is tight. Sockets are real time-savers if you have enough clearance. Thanks to a socket's ratcheting handle, you don't have to remove and reposition it when the handle encounters an obstacle. Sometimes you'll need both tools at once: a combination wrench to hold a bolt head steady as you tighten its nut with a socket.
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