4 Best Applications for a Nut Wrench

loosening a fitting with a wrench

A nut wrench is a tool that grips a fitting on the end of a tube or hose. Using the wrench provides leverage which makes it easier to tighten or remove the nut. Nut wrenches come in many shapes and sizes. They are designed for many different applications. Nut wrenches often have a sharply curved neck to fit into tight spaces while still allowing the user to apply rotational force. The key to quickly and easily completing a repair is selecting the correct nut wrench for the job. In some cases, the equipment manufacturer may even include specialized nut wrenches with your order.

1. Plastic Basin Nut Wrenches

A plastic basin nut wrench is used to remove the plastic nuts on toilets and sinks. These specialized wrenches are made of soft materials to prevent damage to the fastener. However, in an emergency you could use a metal wrench as long as you don't over-torque. Shut off the water supply valves by hand before you begin loosening the basin nuts. Then, remove the hot and cold water lines with a crescent wrench. Next, ease the plastic wrench over the tabs of the two nuts holding the faucet in place. Loosen the nuts and remove them. You can now replace your faucet.

2. Barrel Nut Wrenches

row of rifles leaning against a wall

A barrel nut wrench is used to remove the barrel of a rifle for cleaning or repair. These tools may be included in the packing materials when you order replacement firearm parts. First, disassemble the rifle by removing the bolt and separating the action from the stock. Slip the barrel nut over the muzzle. Next, remove the extractor from the bolt head. Now use the wrench to remove the barrel nut. Rotate the receiver and remove it from the barrel. Remove the recoil lug, then remove the barrel nut and wrench. Finally, remove the barrel from the barrel vise.

3. Spanner Nut Wrenches

Spanner wrenches also take many shapes. They may resemble regular double-headed crescent wrenches, but some look like a large metal bubble wand. A spanner nut wrench is used to loosen the inner tub of a washing machine. Because the space is so tight, many people have trouble generating sufficient torque. Banging on the nut wrench with a hammer can loosen it. Do not be afraid to use a lot of force when striking the nut wrench. Penetrating oil is not recommended if you wish to use the machine for washing clothing.

4. Flare Nut Wrenches for Soft Fittings

flare wrenches

Flare nut wrenches are designed for use on fittings made from soft metals such as brass and aluminum. These kinds of fittings are found on air conditioner valves, fuel lines, and hydraulic cables. The best models of flare nut wrench are designed to push on the sides of a nut rather than the corners. This increases torque and limits deformation. Common flare nut wrench sizes range from 8 mm to 19 mm. These sizes increase in increments of 1 mm.