In the United States of America and Canada, the crescent wrench is called an adjustable wrench. In Australia, the tool is called shifting spanner; they usually abbreviate it to shifter. Meanwhile, the British call it the adjustable spanner. So, what is a crescent wrench?
The tool has an end that is open with a moveable jaw. It is possible to use the wrench on various types of bolts and nuts (fastener head) instead of a particular size of fastener; much unlike the normal fixed spanner .
The tool comes in size ranges. They are usually four to twenty-four inches.
Furthermore, the crescent wrench has two jaws. One is immoveable but the other one can shift from side to side. This is what gave the tool the name, adjustable wrench; this is also what makes it suitable for the wench to work on many size ranges of nuts and bolts.
We know that the wrench is adjustable or moveable. But you have to be sure that the tool you are about to use is the correct tool for the work in view.
If you prefer learning by video, you can watch here:
History of the crescent wrench
It is said that the English Engineer, Clyburn Richard, was the one that invented the crescent wrench in the year 1842. However, there is another Engineer of English heritage who has the honor of being the one who invented the wrench. His name is Budding Beard Edwin.
On the 22nd day of September 1885, an engineer, Harris Enoch, was given the American patent 326868. This was for inventing a spanner that allowed the width of the jaw and handle angles to be locked or adjusted. This was an improvement on the one that Clyburn or Edwin made.
Bahco, a Swedish industry gave the patent of Sweden to the inventor and engineer Petter Johansson. This was in 1892. Clyburn Richard’s screw spanner was what Johansson improved upon.
In Canada and US, the wrench is called a crescent wrench. This is due to the fact that a particular brand called the Crescent tool in 1915 was given the American patent for an adjustable wrench. The company was very popular and designed lots of crescent wrenches. This was what made Americans to refer to the wrench as the crescent wrench.
Apex tools LLC is now the company that is in charge of the crescent company. They still make work tools till date.
In some parts of Europe, they call the wrench, Bahco. Just like the crescent wrench and Americans, the Swedes call it Bahco because that was the name of Johansson’s company. The Bahco is the short for Bernt August Hjort and Company.
The Swedes also refer to the Bacho as skiftnyckel. In English language this means the shifting key.
The adjustable wrench looks a whole lot like the screw spanner . In fact, the monkey wrench is a type of crescent wrench.
There is a type of wrench with jaws that form a right angle which is called the English key. The English key can also be called King Dick in UK.
The king dick is a brand of wrench that was very common during the early 1900s and in the second world war.
Types of crescent wrench
There are several types of crescent spanner available for purchase. You can find the taper locked wrench that needs hammer for its jaws to adjust to the nut’s head size. Also, there is the spanner that is screw adjusted.
Some of the adjustable wrenches available now do not need you to hit them with the hammer; they adjust automatically to fit the nut’s size.
Basic models use an edge that is serrated to lock the adjustable jaw to the size of the nut. The modern ones that are more sophisticated are digitalized. So, they use feelers or sheets to make the jaw fit the size of the nut.
Furthermore, the immoveable jaw has the ability to stand stress, much more than the adjustable jaw. This is due to the fact that the immoveable jaw is propped up by some flat surfaces that are on the left and right sides.
The tool is built in such a way that the adjustable jaw is close to the tool’s body. This means that the stress of the bending is less.
It is important that anyone using the wrench should not put a lot of pressure on the wrench while using it on a bolt. This is because that would cause the mouth of the wrench to expand. If the mouth of the wrench expands, it can no longer fit the bolt or nut heads.
Additionally, the excess pressure can deform the head of the bolt. It could also make the tool’s jaw to break.
There is another kind of crescent wrench which has a mouth that takes the shape of four sides of a hexagon. It is used mainly on hex nuts, hex screw caps and hex bolts.
The crescent wrench is specifically used to loosen or tighten hex heads or nuts. The wrench is not usually used in craft shops. Where you can mostly find their application is on vehicles for repairs.
The crescent wrench like the lug wrench could be used on trucks and cars in varying ways.
Video: What is a crescent wrench and how to use it?
Introduction: This clip teaches you how to use the crescent wrench
Mechanics advice that even motorcycle riders should have a crescent wrench under their seats as it can come in handy on some days.
The wrench has three parts: the moveable jaw, the fixed jaw that is attached to the handle, and the worm screw. It is the worm screw that helps to alter the space in between both jaws.
When you are using the wrench, make sure both jaws are clinging tightly to the fastener without shifting. You can make the jaws hold by adjusting the worm screw.
Let your hand be far from the jaw so you don’t hurt your hand when the wrench releases suddenly.
Don’t add length to the crescent or you would damage it.
Grease the wrench worm screws regularly.
Lastly, when you are done using the wrench, store in a dry cool place.