Gears are everywhere, from watches to toys. They've even invaded hand tools as simple as the common wrench. Far from being an invasive annoyance, the gear wrench has become a vital part of any mechanic's toolbox and even many home workshops, as well.
The gear wrench is a seemingly simple device, which at its heart is at least a century old. The wrench has long been a mainstay of toolboxes everywhere and has come in a vast variety of different sizes and specialties. The plumbers wrench, or monkey wrench, is an iconic tool, as is the open end and box end wrench. The gear wrench is an improvement on the box end wrench, allowing you to reverse the direction that torque is applied to the nut or bolt with a simple flip of a switch.
The gear wrench takes the ease of use provided by a ratchet and applies it to one of the simplest, yet most popular tools on the market today. With this magnificent creation, you can tighten or loosen without having to flip the box end wrench over and many times you can even avoid using a socket and ratchet, which means you run a lessened chance of stripping that nut or bolt.
These innovative advancements are made possible by one of the most ancient of machines: the gear. As the name implies, a gear wrench uses a simple system of gears to allow you to reverse the direction that the wrench turns. Even the interior of to box head itself is a gear, albeit with the teeth facing outwards, or into the structure of the wrench, rather than towards the object of your mechanical interest.
Flipping that little lever just below the box end will let you put opposing pressure on the nut. The wrench head is often angled, as well, to allow you to fit the gear wrench where other flat wrenches cannot go and bringing the wrench into domain that was once strictly the domain of sockets and ratchets. The gear wrench uses a system of precision engineered, tiny gears inside the housing of the wrench itself to perform this feat. The tiny gears are crafted from lightweight, strong metal and will stand up to years of the toughest abuse. That said, there are cheaper versions that use plastic gears rather than metal. Plastic gears are well suited to many applications, but within gear wrenches, the sheer force applied to these tools often makes plastic gears impractical.
Gear wrenches provide a versatile tool that can be used for many different applications. These tools go far beyond simply being wrenches; they provide convenience and durability in a unique design. All of this is provided by gears, one of the oldest tools of humankind. The system of gears found within the gear wrench goes far beyond what the ancients dreamed of, though and they provide the means to achieve as close to a single solution as is possible in today's hi tech environment. With a good set of gear wrenches at hand and a few other simple tools, you can accomplish amazing things.