This week’s blog explores where the spanner originates from, the different types of spanners and how they are used.

Where do spanners come from?

Spanners first appeared in the 15th century in the form of a box spanner. There was no standard size, therefore each spanner would have to be specially made by a blacksmith to suit your needs. Now however, the sizes of spanners are determined by the diameter of the bolt that fits into the spanner.

It is thought that the first spanners were used to wind up crossbow strings, tightening them so they were much tauter than a human hand could produce.

What are the different types of spanner?

  • Box Spanner

As mentioned above, this is where the spanner originates from. Today, they are typically used to slot over a nut and can tighten or loosen this by turning T-bar which passes through its two holes in the middle. This tool is great for instances when space is too tight for an open-ended spanner, for example, for use on spark plugs or nuts on pipes next to walls.

  • Combination Spanner

With one end open, and the other end a ring, they are super useful to have in your tool kit for when bolts need tightening and nuts need holding in place. They’re especially useful for DIY and motoring jobs. You can also purchase these ends separately, depending on what job you’re being faced with.

  • Adjustable Spanner

Can be used to fit a wide range of screws and bolts to save you having to carry around a wide range of different sized spanners. The issue is that they can be tricky to use as they might not lock tight onto the nut or bolt. However, they are great for holding things in place tighter than a human hand could. For example, holding bolt heads while you tighten the nut with a spanner.

  • Ratchet Spanner

Looks a bit like a ring spanner but has a ratchet mechanism inside the ring. This allows you to undo your nut without having to remove the spanner at all. Super time efficient but slightly pricier to purchase.

  • Pipe Wrench

Also known as a Stillson wrench. They are well known for having a super strong grip due too the teeth on the jaws.. These are an essential tool for all the plumbers out there, as they are perfect for pipe work. This is because the jaws can be adjusted to much larger diameters than a typical spanner.

Our range includes…

Mandy’s Tools has over 40 spanner and wrench listings available for purchase. Check them out here!