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Open End Torque Wrench

Open-end torque wrench

Although not common, there are torque wrenches which are open end - meaning they are like a regular hand wrench with an open end to fit around a bolt head. Most torque wrenches use sockets, of course, but some come with interchangeable open ends for use as regular wrenches.

There are two common types in this niche tool set. The first is a pre-set torque wrench of various sizes and capabilities. Most are relatively small (1 inch or smaller) and have a 0-75ft-lb rating. They are "pre set" which means that they come from the factory with a specific torque setting that cannot be easily changed. This type of wrench is most often seen in manufacturing processes where a repetitive use on one application is expected.

The other type is an adjustable head (meaning the wrench had can be removed and replaced) torque wrench in a "clicker" setup. This allows the wrench head to be swapped through a set so that the desired size can be had. The torque is adjusted through the handle as with any micro-meter and "clicks" when the desired torque pressure is reached.

There are also some open-end wrench fittings that can be used on a socket-type torque wrench using special attachments called "drive tubes." These are similar to short socket extensions but with two female ends - one to attach to the wrench and the other to receive the wrench head.

In some applications, an open-end wrench head is required to get the job done. In tight quarters where direct access is not possible (thus eliminating a socket head), an open-end wrench may be a must.

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