'A wrench by any other word would turn a nut as sweet... '
Ed's son John (my stepson, now) sent me information today that made me decide to follow up on the July 4th posting where there was some discussion of the proper word for an adjustable wrench. As you may recall, Eric, my niece's husband had told their son Skylar that the wrench he had was not a monkey wrench, as his tool-challenged wife, Corina, had suggested.
Eric said he was told to refer to it as a crescent wrench by a shop teacher during his younger days. It apparently set off quite a discussion in the south because when Ed read my blog he told me that a Crescent wrench was a brand name like Craftsmen and that he would just call it an adjustable wrench. Today, John sent me the following reference from Wikepedia, the on-line encyclopedia. This should put the question to rest once and for all, except I am not really sure what Sky's wrench looked like in the first place. Corina might have been right and it may have been a monkey wrench. Whatever it was, we all should know the difference after reading today's tool trivia.
A wrench or spanner is a tool used to turn bolts, nuts or other hard-to-turn items.
In American English, wrench is the standard term, while spanner refers to a specialized wrench with a series of pins or tabs around the circumference. (These pins or tabs fit into the holes or notches cut into the object to be turned.) In British English, spanner is the standard term. Hinged tools, such as pliers or tongs, are not generally considered wrenches.
Open-end wrench: a one-piece wrench with a U-shaped opening that grips two opposite faces of the bolt or nut. This wrench is often double ended, with a different sized opening at each end. The ends are generally oriented at an angle of around 30 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the handle. This allows a greater range of movement in enclosed spaces by flipping the wrench over.
Box-end wrench, or Box spanner, or Ring spanner: a one-piece wrench with an enclosed opening that grips the faces of the bolt or nut. The recess is generally a six-point or twelve-point opening for use with nuts or bolt heads with a hexagonal shape. The twelve-point fits onto the fastening at twice as many angles, an advantage where swing is limited. Eight-point wrenches are also made for square shaped nuts and bolt heads. Box-ends are also often double-ended.
Double Handled Tap Wrench
Combination wrench: a double-ended tool with one end being like an open-end wrench, and the other end being like a box-end wrench. Both ends generally fit the same size bolt.
Adjustable end wrench: an open-ended wrench with adjustable (usually smooth) jaws, also sometimes called by the original patent holder's brand name as a CrescentÂ® Wrench (Crescent Tool and Horseshoe Company). Often used as a generic term.
Monkey wrench: an old type of adjustable end wrench with a straight handle and smooth jaws, these are also known in the UK as 'gas grips'.
Hope you have a fun day ahead of you and that nobody throws a monkey wrench into your plans!
PS. After I posted this blog, I received this e-mail from my Dad:
The last two wrenches are a crescent wrench and a Stilson wrench (the red one). A monkey wrench is like the stilson wrench except it doesn't have the hinge like feature which lets it have a ratchet effect. It is used by plumbers
because it is made to work on round objects (like pipe) and the grip tightens as you apply pressure,
So I had to update the blog, set the record straight and find a picture of both Stilson and Monkey wrenches. Actually, I got the picture of the Stilson from Googling Monkeywrench. I want to thank Eric, Corina and Sky for starting this in the first place! And everyone else who So, even Google didn't know. Anyway, here is the followup:
Pipe wrench: an adjustable end wrench with self-tightening properties and hard serrated jaws that securely grip soft iron pipe and pipe fittings. Sometimes known by the original patent holder's brand name as a StillsonÂ® Wrench.
Here we go again! A Stillson wrench is really a brand name that has become generic in its use.
The Monkey Wrench is an adjustable wrench which is rarely used today. Its use has generally been replaced by the adjustable-end wrench, which has a compact head and so is more easily used in confined places.
The term "monkey wrench" is also used colloquially to refer to the pipe wrench.
Concerning the origin of its name, this from William Rogers, The Progressive Machinist, Theo. Audel & Company, New York, 1903:
In his interesting article upon the genesis of machine design, Mr. W.H. Sargent spoke of the slide which moves up and down in the handle of a monkey wrench as resembling a toy monkey, and thereby drew an analogy. To this Mr. H.E. Madden writes: "The wrench is not named from this, neither is it so called because it is a handy thing to 'monkey' with. The right name is 'Moncky.' Charles Moncky, the inventor of it, sold his patent for $2,000, and invested the money in a house in Williamsburg, Kings County, N.Y., where he afterward lived."
So there we go. Are we done yet? You all are driving me nuts!