An adjustable wrench, also called an adjustable spanner or an adjustable crescent is a tool, which can be used to loosen or tighten a nut or bolt. It has a "jaw" (the part where the nut or bolt fits), which is of adjustable size [source: Websters]. The adjustable wrench works by turning a screw, which is usually located at the bottom of the head. While ordinary wrenches can only be used on a particular size nut, an adjustable wrench can be used on a much wider variety of nut sizes [source: Comcast]. Adjustable wrenches are very useful when working with your car or bicycle or when doing some plumbing [source: Do It Yourself]. Let's learn now how to use an adjustable wrench.
- Identify the nut or bolt you want to tighten.
- Open the adjustable wrench by turning the screw mechanism. This will open the jaw of the wrench. Check if you opened it enough for the nut to fit in, or if it needs to be opened more. Make sure it is open a bit more than the size of the nut.
- Slip the open jaw over the nut and hold it in place. Turn the screw mechanism so that it clamps tightly around the nut.
- Turn the wrench in a clockwise direction to tighten it, or counter-clockwise to loosen it. Keep on turning it until the nut is tight or loose enough to remove.
- Remove the wrench by loosening the screw mechanism [source: Do It Yourself].
Originally Published: Jun 13, 2011