Working With Tools: How to Get the Most Out of Using Your Wrenches

Fred's Appliance Academy
September 12, 2016

When you work with tools, and especially if you use your tools for appliance repair, you will inevitably need to effectively work with wrenches in order to get the job done. Much of what you do may seem obvious; still, a few tips and tricks can help you both make sure that you get the job done right, and ease the work in the process. Here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your wrenches.

1) Select the Right Size

When using a wrench, you should always make sure that the size you select matches the fastener or nut you need to tighten perfectly. If you don’t, you risk injuring yourself or damaging either the wrench or the nut.

This first step may seem obvious, but is absolutely important. It’s easy to choose a wrench whose jaw is a size too big, as it will still fit reasonably well. But especially as you tighten, you will notice the drastic difference to a wrench that matches the job that needs done perfectly.

2) Always Pull

Always pull, never push. You should always tighten or loosen nuts toward you, not away from you. Pulling gives you significantly more leverage and strength, allowing you to better tighten the nut or fastener.

In addition, pulling also helps you prevent injury. If you push, you have less control over what happens if the wrench slips off the nut or bolt. You risk injuring yourself, which you can avoid simply by positioning your body in a way that accomplishing the task requires pulling, not pushing.

3) Keep The Space Around You Free

For a similar reason as the above, preparing the space in which you’ll work is crucial to succeed. Being limited to pulling motions means you need a very defined work area that should be free of any obstacles or items that could get in your way.

The worst thing you can do is slip while using your body to leverage the wrench, only to seriously injure yourself or damage the appliance on which you’re working. Preparing the space by removing any items that could get in your way helps prevent that and increases your chances of not only completing a successful repair but also remaining healthy in the process.

4) Avoid Additional Tools

Sometimes, whether you are tightening or loosening a nut or bold, you may feel like you need additional leverage. As a result, it becomes tempting to use a hammer to turn the wrench just a little further than you could without additional help, or to use a pipe in order to lengthen the handle and increase your leverage.

Both of these, however, are bad ideas. With a hammer, you can damage your wrench while also minimizing the control you have over the lever. A pipe will lead to a similar loss of control, which can lead to damage or injury. Avoiding additional tools like a hammer or pipe also minimizes the chance that you will over tighten the nut or bolt.

5) Only Use Quality Products

Finally, while all of the above tips can help you maximize the capabilities of and success with your wrenches, they only make a major impact if the wrench you use is high-quality. A cheap product will not only degrade more quickly, but also slip more easily and thus increase the possibility for damage or injury.

When shopping for wrenches, look for brands like Craftsman that offer a long warranty on their products. Such a warranty generally indicates quality, ensuring that you will own and use a set of wrenches that will serve you well in your appliance repair endeavors for years to come. And when you have the right products, it’s time to start learning! Contact us today to enroll in appliance repair classes.

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