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Why make multipoint spanners?

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1 minute ago, garellikatia said:

Is it just me , but why on earth do they make spanners with 12 points, and not 6.

I think about 90% of bolt heads I have are hexagonal. And having hexagonal shaped spanner heads give the required purchase and prevent rounding.  Thoughts.... 🤔

Access and angles 😀.  

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1 minute ago, twosmoke300 said:

My prized tool possession are a set of snap on 6 point combi spanners - only used when bolts threaten to round but lovely to have in the drawer

Ah nice! Yea I bet they can be a lifesaver at times. Must be worth there weight in gold! Quite literally too being snap-on! Haha

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In a tight space, you only need to take off the spanner and move it a few degrees to get it on again and turn more, but a hex needs turned to the next flat, which can be impossible.. multi hex grip the points rather than the flats so less torque is needed to round off the bolt or nut.open end spanners only grip 2 flats so round off 2 points when they slip

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From the Teng product website..


It's a question we get asked all the time. Which should you use, 6 point sockets or 12 point sockets?

The answer? Well it depends on the job you're looking to do.




6 Point Sockets

  • Ideal for jobs that require a large amount of force.
  • Additional contact surface along the flat edges of the socket make it less likely to slip.
  • Slipping strips bolts and that's definitely something you don't want to do.
  • The thicker walls also add a lot of overall strength.


12 Point Sockets

  • The additional points make these sockets easier to connect with the heads of fasteners.
  • This is ideal if you are trying to work on a fastener that is hard to see or you cannot see at all.
  • 12 point sockets are also great for use in tight spaces as they allow you to connect to a fastener at more angles.



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2 hours ago, bunglebus said:

More to the point would be why 12 sided sockets exist, as you can rotate the ratchet to get it where you want - so why 12 sides?

Its a bit of a combination of things. Where access is good like external fittings on a machine then yes you can move the ratchet to where you want it. But if you are working on machinery internally or in an engine bay for example, you might have very little travel room for the ratchet before hitting an obstacle. You can buy ratchets with a fine tooth action as well (more teeth to engage on in a shorter range of travel) but these are dearer

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