Box wrenches and how to use them

A box wrench  is a tool used for tightening and removing bolts and nuts. It has the shape of a socket wrench with a handle attached, and its usage differs slightly depending on the shape of the handle. Here we introduce the usage of different types of box wrenches. It is sometimes also called a handle wrench. The attached handle allows the user to apply a large amount of force in a short period of time and is easy to handle. There are several types of box wrenches depending on the shape of the handle.

Types and uses of box wrenches 

The suitable situations for using box wrenches vary slightly depending on the shape of the handle, so we will introduce some typical shapes and their uses.


These wrenches have an L-shaped handle and can apply a large amount of force quickly. Because of its shape, it is sometimes called a kissel wrench. The hub nut wrench, an automotive tool, is also a type of L-shaped wrench.


T Type Wrench

This wrench has a socket wrench at the end of the long side of the T shape of the alphabet. These wrenches have a wide range of adaptability for turning quickly or for fine-tuning the amount of force applied. Some wrenches have a flex joint at the end.


X type wrench (cross wrench)

This tool has four different boxes at each end of the X-shaped handle. Because of its shape, it is sometimes called a cross wrench or cross rim wrench. A similar shape, called a Y-shaped Y wrench, is also available.


How to use a box wrench 

A box wrench is basically used for tightening and loosening bolts and nuts in the same way as a regular socket wrench. The box portion of the wrench is fitted firmly and deeply into the bolt or nut. The one-handed type box wrench can be used in either the push or pull direction, but if you want to apply a large amount of torque to a fastening, pulling toward you is more suitable. This is because it is easier to make fine adjustments when applying force in the pulling direction than in the pushing direction, and proper tightening can be obtained.

Precautions for use

Since box wrenches are tools that are used with a great deal of force, it is important to follow proper usage. Precautions for use are as follows.

Apply force evenly on both sides

For box wrenches such as T- or X-type wrenches that are turned with both hands, be careful to apply as much force as possible to the left and right hand equally. If too much force is applied to only one side, the tool may slip off the bolt or nut.

Handle roughly

Do not kick or step on the box wrench with your foot for tightening or loosening, or do not apply blows with a hammer or the like. It is also prohibited to use it as a hammer. Rough use may lead to damage of tools, bolts and nuts, or unexpected accidents due to slippage of tools.

No pipe splicing

Do not use a pipe or other material by splicing it to add length. Failure to do so may result in insufficient tightening or damage to the tool.

Pay attention to the size fit

Use a standard box wrench that properly fits the size of the bolt or nut. If the rattling is too large when the box is fitted, it is not possible to apply force correctly and the tool may slip, which is dangerous.


Box wrenches are excellent tools that can transmit a large amount of force through their handles. As long as precautions and usage instructions are followed, they can be great tools.