Adjustable Spanner Wrench Instructions

Written by mary lougee
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Adjustable Spanner Wrench Instructions
A standard adjustable spanner replaces several fixed-jaw wrenches. (crescent wrench image by Richard Seeney from

There are three types of adjustable spanner wrenches for use in loosening nuts, bolts and gripping objects. The standard style uses a manual operation for adjustments by turning, the slide style operates more quickly with one motion of the thumb and the automatic style is battery operated. All three types eliminate the need for an entire set of open-end or closed-end wrenches in different sizes.

Skill level:


    Standard Adjustable Spanner Wrench

  1. 1

    Open the jaws on the adjustable spanner wrench by turning the worm gear towards the jaws of the wrench.

  2. 2

    Place a thumb on the gear and roll it forward. This action activates the movable jaw so that it opens and creates a larger space between the two jaws. Turn as many revolutions as necessary to open the jaws larger than the item to be gripped.

  3. 3

    Place the wrench with the jaws around a nut. Hold the wrench in this position and roll the spanner gear towards the handle until the jaws clamp tightly on the nut.

  4. 4

    Turn the nut counterclockwise to loosen it or clockwise to tighten.

  5. 5

    Turn the worm gear towards the jaws of the wrench to open the jaws and remove it from the nut or object.

    Slide Adjustable Spanner Wrench

  1. 1

    Slide the adjustment thumb knob towards the handle to open the jaws of the wrench.

  2. 2

    Place the wrench jaws around a nut or other item and slide the adjustment towards the jaws of the wrench to tighten them onto the object.

  3. 3

    Turn the wrench counterclockwise to loosen or clockwise to tighten a nut.

  4. 4

    Slide the thumb adjustment knob towards the handle to open the jaws and release the nut.

    Automatic Adjustable Spanner Wrench

  1. 1

    Push the adjustment button in on the wrench with your thumb to open the jaws with no object between the jaws. The battery-operated jaws will open fully as wide as possible.

  2. 2

    Place the wrench jaws around an object or nut and push the thumb adjustment button. The jaws will automatically close tightly around the nut or bolt.

  3. 3

    Turn the nut clockwise to tighten it or counterclockwise to loosen.

  4. 4

    Press the thumb adjustment for the jaws to open and release the object.

Tips and warnings

  • If the worm gear on a standard adjustable spanner wrench does not turn easily, spray it with a spray lubricant. Turn the worm gear fully in each direction and loosen the worm gear.
  • All three types of adjustable spanners have a fixed jaw and a movable jaw for gripping objects.
  • Adjustable spanners either have straight handles or angled handles to aid in reaching objects in cramped areas.

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