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    The best way to use a crescent wrench

    A crescent wrench is often called a knuckle-buster. That's because this tool often comes loose from the fastener and causes your knuckles to slam into the nearest surface. Of course, this happens only when you are using the crescent wrench the wrong way. When using the crescent wrench, you must watch out for two things: first, the correct way of applying the wrench to the fastener and second, how your hand applies force on the wrench.

    The crescent wrench has three parts – the fixed jaw on the handle, an adjustable jaw and a worm screw to adjust the gap between the two jaws. When applying the wrench to the fastener, make sure the two jaws fit snugly on the fastener without any play. You can do this by adjusting the worm screw. Simultaneously, make sure you will be turning the wrench towards the adjustable jaw. Each time you reposition the jaws, turn the worm screw to make the jaws fit snugly on the fastener in at least three places.

    Once you have the wrench in proper position, hold the handle as far away as possible from the jaws and PULL towards you, adjusting your stance to prevent a fall should a sudden release occurs. When you are pulling, even if the wrench were to come loose, you will not be smashing your knuckles. If at all, you are not in a position to pull the handle and you can only push, use only the heel of your hand and do not close your fist. That way, if the wrench slips, you will not injure your knuckles.

    If the clearance does not allow you to fully rotate the wrench, you can flip the wrench to get maximum leverage. The jaws of the wrench are offset at an angle of 15° from the centerline, so flipping the wrench over will get you the maximum possible movement. Of course, you will be turning the wrench towards the fixed jaw for half the time, but that's acceptable as long as you are not applying too much force.

    Never attempt to increase the leverage of a crescent wrench by lengthening the handle with a pipe. If you cannot open a fastener with a crescent wrench, do not hammer the handle; use a longer wrench or a box-wrench of the proper size.

    When applying force on the handle of a crescent wrench make sure the jaws of the wrench move parallel to the work surface. Contact area between the jaws and the fastener reduces when the jaws are at an angle with the work surface and that reduces the applied force and increases the chances of slippage.

    Never grind a crescent wrench or expose it to excessive heat. A crescent wrench is tempered by the manufacturer and excessive heating or grinding may reduce the hardness, ruining the tool.

    Never use a wrench that is visibly bent, cracked or severely worn.

    Store your crescent wrench in a clean, cool, dry place. Lubricate the worm screw to keep it free and do not allow dust or rust to settle on your crescent wrench.

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