spanner

A spanner is a type of adjustable wrench. Outside of North America, spanner is just another word for “wrench.” If Americans want to ruin something, they “throw a wrench into it.” British people “throw a spanner in the works.”

If you've ever needed to assemble something — like bookshelves — and needed to tighten or loosen a bolt, you probably needed a spanner. A spanner is a type of wrench with an opening and sometimes little teeth: you can clasp it over the nut or bolt and get a good grip. In the US, the main difference between a spanner and other wrenches is the spanner is adjustable and works with many sizes of nuts and bolts.

Definitions of spanner
  1. noun
    a hand tool that is used to hold or twist a nut or bolt
    synonyms: wrench
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    types:
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    adjustable spanner, adjustable wrench
    can be changed to different settings
    Allen wrench
    a wrench for Allen screws
    alligator wrench
    a wrench with a v-shaped jaw and serrations on one side (resembles the open jaws of an alligator)
    box end wrench, box wrench
    a wrench with a closed loop (a socket) that fits over a nut or bolt head
    brace wrench
    a wrench shaped like a brace (has a handle shaped like a crank) and a socket head
    bulldog wrench
    a wrench designed to provide a firm grip on something
    carriage wrench
    a wrench designed for use with carriage bolts
    dog wrench
    a wrench with a handle shaped like a crank
    hook spanner, hook wrench
    a wrench with a hook that fits over a nut or bolt head
    lug wrench
    a wrench with jaws that have projecting lugs to engage the object that is to be rotated
    open-end wrench, tappet wrench
    a wrench having parallel jaws at fixed separation (often on both ends of the handle)
    pin wrench
    a wrench that has a projecting pin that fits into a socket on the object to be turned
    screw key
    a wrench for turning a screw
    socket wrench
    a wrench with a handle onto which sockets of different sizes can be fitted
    sparkplug wrench
    a wrench for removing or tightening spark plugs into the cylinder head of an internal combustion engine
    tap wrench
    a wrench for turning a tap to create an internal screw thread
    torque wrench
    a wrench that has a gauge that indicates the amount of torque being applied
    crescent wrench
    an adjustable wrench designed to fit hexagonal nuts with the adjusting screw built into the head of the wrench
    monkey wrench, monkey-wrench
    adjustable wrench that has one fixed and one adjustable jaw
    pipe wrench, tube wrench
    adjustable wrench for gripping and turning a pipe; has two serrated jaws that are adjusted to grip the pipe
    screw wrench
    adjustable wrench that has one jaw that can be adjusted by turning a screw
    S wrench
    a wrench with an S-shaped handle
    type of:
    hand tool
    a tool used with workers' hands
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