How to Use a Breaker Bar

Updated April 17, 2017

If you have a stubborn bolt or nut that requires a great amount of force to remove, one of your options is to use a breaker bar to work it loose. A breaker bar is a long non-ratcheting bar that is used to "break loose" fasteners that require a large amount of force to remove. The long handle of the breaker bar allows the mechanic to use body weight as leverage to break loose stubborn nuts and bolts. Breaker bars are very easy to use and handy to have if you perform your own automotive repairs.

Locate the bolt or nut on which you want to use the breaker bar. Make sure there is enough clearance available to use the breaker bar without encountering any obstacles.

Attach the desired socket onto the drive fitting, making sure it locks into place. Fit the socket and breaker bar onto the bolt or nut that needs to be loosened.

Turn the breaker bar counterclockwise, using the added leverage provided by the breaker bar, until the bolt or nut is loose enough to be turned with a regular socket wrench. It usually takes only a 1/2-turn for the bolt or nut to break loose. When finished, pull the socket away from the drive fitting and store the breaker bar in a safe place until it is needed again.


Do not attempt to use the breaker bar in areas with an insufficient amount of working space. Doing so can cause injuries to the user and damage to surrounding items.

Things You'll Need

  • Breaker bar
  • Socket
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About the Author

Mark Robinson is a freelance graphic designer and writer. Since 2008 he has contributed to various online publications, specializing in topics concerning automotive repair, graphic design and computer technology. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science in graphic design from Alabama A&M University.