Why does a spanner have an angle?

Why does a spanner have an angle? - Fix It Cape Town

Understand the Design of Spanners with Angled Jaws and How They Provide Better Access to Nuts and Bolts in Tight Spaces

Spanners, also known as wrenches, are essential tools in the world of mechanical work. These tools come in various designs, each tailored to different purposes. One design that stands out in terms of versatility and functionality is the spanner with angled jaws. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of its design and explore the benefits it offers in various applications.

What Are Spanners with Angled Jaws?

Spanners with angled jaws, also called offset spanners, are similar to traditional wrenches but with a key distinction. These spanners have jaws that are angled or offset at a certain degree from the handle, allowing them to access nuts and bolts in tight spaces where a straight-jawed spanner may fail to fit. The angle typically ranges from 15 to 60 degrees, depending on the model and intended use.

These angled spanners are available in both open-end and ring spanner formats. The open-end variant features a straight jaw on one side and an angled one on the other, while the ring spanner variant has an angled jaw integrated into a circular ring at one or both ends.

Why Do Spanners with Angled Jaws Provide Better Access in Tight Spaces?

The primary advantage of spanners with angled jaws lies in their ability to provide better access to nuts and bolts in tight spaces. The angled design allows these spanners to reach fasteners that are situated near obstructions or in recessed areas, where a straight-jawed spanner would struggle to fit. Some key reasons why they offer improved access include:

  1. Clearance: Angled spanners require less overall clearance compared to straight-jawed spanners. The angling of the jaws allows them to bypass obstacles or reach nuts and bolts that are recessed, ensuring more efficient work in cramped spaces.

  2. Grip and Leverage: The angled jaws of these spanners provide an excellent grip on fasteners, minimizing the risk of slippage. Additionally, the offset design enhances leverage, making it easier to apply the necessary torque, even in tight spots.

  3. Versatility: Angled spanners can be used in a wide range of applications due to their ability to access fasteners at different angles and orientations. Whether it’s working on plumbing fixtures, automotive repairs, or assembling furniture, these spanners prove their worth across multiple industries.

Benefits of Angled Spanners in Various Applications

The versatility and design features of spanners with angled jaws make them invaluable in various applications. Here are some key benefits of using these spanners in different settings:

  1. Automotive Repair and Maintenance: Angled spanners are commonly used in automotive repairs due to the complex nature of the engine bay and other hard-to-reach areas. Whether it’s tightening brake caliper bolts, replacing spark plugs, or adjusting accessory belts, these spanners provide easier access for efficient repairs.

  2. Plumbing and Pipefitting: In plumbing and pipefitting, working on nuts and bolts located in confined spaces is a common challenge. Angled spanners come to the rescue by allowing plumbers and pipefitters to reach hidden connections without the need to dismantle the entire system.

  3. Furniture Assembly: When assembling furniture, there are often tight spaces where a straight-jawed spanner may fail to provide sufficient access. Angled spanners help in reaching nuts and bolts in these confined areas, enabling smoother and quicker assembly.

  4. Mechanical Engineering and Machinery Maintenance: In mechanical engineering and machinery maintenance, the need to access fasteners in tight spaces is frequent. The angled jaws of these spanners facilitate the necessary adjustments and repairs, minimizing downtime and enhancing productivity.


Q: Are spanners with angled jaws more expensive than traditional spanners?
A: The price of spanners with angled jaws varies depending on the brand, quality, and availability. While they may be slightly more expensive than traditional spanners, the added functionality and versatility make them a worthwhile investment.

Q: Can angled spanners replace traditional straight-jawed spanners?
A: While angled spanners offer superior access in tight spaces, they cannot completely replace traditional straight-jawed spanners. Each serves its purpose, and it’s best to have both types in your toolbox to ensure versatility.

Q: Are there different sizes available for angled spanners?
A: Yes, angled spanners come in various sizes to accommodate different nut and bolt dimensions. It’s important to choose the right size for the specific task to ensure proper grip and functionality.

Q: Do angled spanners have any limitations?
A: Although angled spanners provide excellent functionality in tight spaces, they may have limitations when it comes to generating high torque. In such cases, it’s advisable to use a straight-jawed spanner or a specialized tool designed for heavy-duty applications.


Spanners with angled jaws are ingenious tools that offer better access to nuts and bolts in tight spaces. Their angled design allows for versatility, enhanced grip, and improved leverage. From automotive repairs to plumbing and furniture assembly, these spanners prove their worth in various applications. By investing in a set of these angled spanners, you can ensure smoother, more efficient work, even in the most confined spaces.

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