If you are a mechanic or you own a car, you know that vehicles require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. From changing the oil to rotating the tires, there are many tasks that you need to perform to ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly. One tool that every car owner should have in their car is a lug wrench. In this article, we will discuss what a lug wrench is, the most common use of the lug wrench, and some lug wrench alternatives to use.
What is a Lug Wrench?
Image by jcomp on Freepik
A lug wrench, also known as a tire iron or wheel wrench, is a tool used to remove and tighten lug nuts on a car's wheels. Lug nuts are the fasteners that hold the wheels on the car's hubs. They are ideally tightened with a torque wrench to a specific amount of pressure, but can be removed and tightened manually using a lug wrench.
Lug Wrenches: Features You Need
1) Portability of the Lug Wrench
Many people need a lug wrench while they are on the road, as the tool is primarily used to loosen and fasten the lug nuts in order to change a flat tire. The best lug wrench for you should be portable in size so that you can easily store it in your vehicle.
2) Lug Wrench Arm Length
Arm length impacts two features: leverage and portability. As the lug wrench is a lever, the longer the arm, the easier it is for you to generate torque to loosen and tighten bolts. On the other hand, longer lug wrenches are not as portable as short ones. If you have enough room to store your wrench, then you will want to choose a lug wrench with longer arms.
3) Wrench Lug Nut Sockets
A 4-way cross lug wrench comes with socket ends, whereas lug wrenches with interchangeable sockets usually come with two reversible sockets that cover four of the most common lug nut sizes. If you have many sockets of various sizes, a great way to store them is with this complete socket set, this portable socket holder can organize them in your garage or avoid sockets scattered around the trunk while on the road.
4) Socket Sizes
If the question “what size of sockets for lug nuts should I use” comes to your mind; the most common socket sizes for lug nuts are 17 mm, 19 mm, 21 mm, and 22 mm, all available at Olsa Tools. The 11/16-inch, 3/4-inch, 13/16-inch, and 7/8-inch SAE socket sizes also are fairly common. As these Metric and SAE sizes are quite close in size, oftentimes you will find “universal” lug wrenches designed to work on both Metric and SAE lug nuts. These universal lug nut wrenches are good in a pinch as they will work on most vehicles, but the best option for your roadside emergency kit will be to buy the socket size appropriate for your vehicle along with an extendible breaker bar that will give you better leverage.
5) Lug Wrench Design
A good feature to consider is whether you want a solid or folding lug wrench. A solid wrench is usually cheaper as it has a simpler design and is also more durable. A disadvantage of the solid wrench is that it will not always fit in the space that you have to store it. A folding model is portable and easy to store but lacks the strength and durability of a solid lug wrench, breaker bar, or torque wrench.
What if you don’t have a lug wrench or need to use a different and more accurate tool for tire changing? Our professional-grade Split Beam Torque Wrench comes in handy. This torque wrench will make the job easier by helping to torque sockets to manufacturer specifications. This tool has awesome capabilities! It meets internationally-recognized ASME B107.300-2010 standards and is also calibrated to DIN ISO 6789 standards, meaning that it will give you the accuracy you need and will be a lifetime companion for your automotive work.
As with any tool, before making a buying decision it is important to consider what tool will best suit your needs. Generally, it is not a good idea to go just for the price and get the most expensive or least expensive models that you find, but instead, consider the above-mentioned factors and we are sure you will find the right lug wrench, breaker bar, or torque wrench for you.