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THE MISCONCEPTION IN THE TERMS”WRENCHES” & “SPANNERS” AMONG SOME TECHNICIANS

 

The use of both terms had been misunderstood often by some industrialists and technical related workers. Ideally, the two words mean the same thing i.e. the same hand tool. It somehow becomes a norm to see educated and uneducated technical workers referring to a particular category of the spanner as a torque wrench or wrench and calling some a spanner.

The difference that exists in the two names is not based on their types of the hand tool rather on the geographical locations. The North Americans call the spanner a wrench while some others across the globe call it spanner meanwhile, they all refer to one hand tool. For instance, the British English also refer to the wrench as a spanner.

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By definition, a wrench or spanner is a hand tool used for the driving of nuts and bolts by offering a mechanical advantage through the gripping force with the hand in other to apply torque to the object. The use of the hand tool had been in existence far-back when engineering started becoming acceptable to the global communities.

The term wrench used to be a general name for tools used on non-fastening devices like taps and pipes for those outside North America, though not formal ; words like pipe wrench, tap wrench, and other wrench names started coming up with the industrial workers but these words are not being used by the manufacturers in the hand tools name classifications. Meanwhile, in North America; wrench is a standard name for spanners irrespective of the type of spanner and such term is recognized both in the informal use and in the formal use. A good example of such name in the geographical location includes; open-end wrench and box-end wrench.

The American English recognized a special spanner that has series of pin s or tabs around the circumference such that the pins or tabs can fit into the holes or notches that exists in the object to be turned. Such spanner is usually referred to as spanner wrench by the American commerce to distinguish it from other types of a spanner in the British term for spanners.

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The making of the spanners or wrench follows the same process in their various categories. To ensure high quality, the manufacturers usually make an alloy of chromium-vanadium steel and drop-forged the material into the shape of the required spanner or wrench.

Here is a brief comparison between the British and American terms for the two words:

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BRITISH NAME

AMERICAN NAME CATEGORIES OF WRENCHES/SPANNERS
               Open-ended spanner            Open-end wrench Clé plate.jpg
             Ring spanner             Box-end wrench Kluc ockovy vysunuty.jpg
          Combination spanner           Combination wrench Kluc ockoplochy.jpg
         Ratcheting ring spanner            Ratcheting box wrench Point tailed ratchet spanner.jpg
Pin spanner/ hook spanner/c spanner Spanner wrench Spanner wrenches various kinds from Colvin and Stanley 1910 p64.png

The above comparison is just a few of the hand tool name variations and terms as being used in various places. It is very important that engineers and technicians have the proper understanding of how these tools are being classified and their formal names so that uniform understanding can exist in the field of work and also assist others working with them not to be confused by the two words.

 

Originally posted 2018-05-24 17:29:09.

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