What do you call it?

Strictly speaking, the wrench pictured is a Crescent wrench, but the generic name I’ve always used is an adjustable wrench. I recently learned I’d been using them wrong my whole life as the arrow indicates on the handle next to the hanger hole below.

The reddit link is to a post where the names in the comments are gold. Some of my favorites are “All-Sixteenths wrench,” “Tennessee nut f**ker,” “Swedish nut lathe,” and “Adjustable hammer.”


And the fact that someone recognized the common use case and purpose-made a the adjustable hammer (AKA “Miner’s wrench” or “thumb detecting nut f**ker.) is a real hoot. And the direction arrow (above the 6” mark) on this indicates what I was taught and have always done - minimize the lever arm on the adjustable jaw as it is the weakest. Maybe Crescent is trying to maximize their replacement market.

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Crescent wrench is what I’ve heard it called most often, which like the act of xeroxing a document, asking for kleenex, or locking pliers are oft referred to as vise-grip - all apply regardless of the actual make.

But when one works on things with any intensity, the value of right-sized sockets and wrenches becomes readily apparent.


Nut lathe.

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