Home>Discussions>TV>Ask This Old House>How not to use a "Crescent" wrench
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How not to use a "Crescent" wrench

On several occasions, I've seen Richard use a crescent wrench backwards. You're supposed to turn it this way:
so that the adjustable jaw isn't subject to the torque. I've seen Richard apply force the other way, which tends to open the adjustable jaw by leverage, and can risk rounding the bolthead/nut.

Rich Grise

A. Spruce
Re: How not to use a "Crescent" wrench

There is little to no more force placed on the jaw whether you twist it in one direction or the other. Anytime you twist a wedge in a hole, it's going to want to open the hole as the "points" of the wedge are forced against the sides. The best option is to use a fixed jaw wrench, box wrench, or socket.

Or ... Visegrips. :D

Re: How not to use a "Crescent" wrench

whats not noted is that richard is a plumber, he deals with pipes. the seals that are on fixtures do no need very much torque to get the proper amount of tightness. my plumber sees it all the time. diy 'ers replace their bathroom or kitchen faucet and crank on the bolt underneath the sink which can damage the fittings. all thats needed is 1/4 turn past finger tight to get the proper tightness.

so this being said its not to big a deal for a pro to not hold the adjustable correclty . because a) not alot of torque required, b) he uses the tool all the time and has a very good feel for it

Re: How not to use a "Crescent" wrench

Actually, who says your link is right? If you look at the picture, you can see that "their" way puts a lot of force on the outer end of the movable jaw where it has a lot of mechanical advantage on that jaw to open it wider.

If you use it Richards way, the force is on the inner end of the movable jaw where it has less mechanical advantage on the movable jaw.

A crescent wrench is not a spanner wrench.

A. Spruce
Re: How not to use a "Crescent" wrench

Also notice that the jaws of a crescent wrench are at an angle to the handle. If you can't get a bite on the nut with the handle in one direction, you flip the wrench over and go at it from the other direction.

Regular open end wrenches work the same way for the same reason. It doesn't work with water pump pliers (slip joint pliers, channel locks ) because the teeth in the jaws are uni-directional.

Re: How not to use a "Crescent" wrench

Yikes --- if your worrying about rounding the head of a bolt or nut with an adjustable wrench then you're using the wrong tool.

Now what's the proper way to use this tool

Should it be held in the left hand and driven by the right hand --- or visa versa ?

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