How to Loosen a Nut With a Socket Wrench

Written by cameron easey
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How to Loosen a Nut With a Socket Wrench
You can use a socket wrench with a variety of socket sizes. ( Images)

Nuts and bolts that are used to secure objects, such as wood and metal, are tightened and removed with a wrench. You can use standard wrenches to loosen nuts, but a socket wrench will make the job easier. Socket wrenches have a ratcheting action that increases the efficiency of the wrench. Unlike the motion of a standard wrench, a socket wrench does not need to be removed and repositioned on the nut after each turn.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Socket wrench
  • Lubricating spray

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  1. 1

    Determine the size of socket that you will need by fitting a small socket over the nut and increasing the size until you find one that fits snug.

  2. 2

    Press the socket onto the handle of the socket wrench. Match the opening on the socket with the drive on the wrench. These openings are typically 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch.

  3. 3

    Set the lever on the handle to "Loosen" by positioning it to the left. Place the socket over the nut that you want to loosen.

  4. 4

    Pull the handle counterclockwise to loosen the nut.

  5. 5

    If the nut fails to move, remove the socket from the nut and spray the top and bottom of the nut with lubricating spray. Allow a minute or two for the spray to penetrate to the bolt threads.

  6. 6

    Place the socket wrench back on the nut and attempt to loosen it again.

Tips and warnings

  • You can extend the length of the socket with an attachable adaptor for those hard-to-reach nuts.

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