Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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Standard versus metric wrenches

Possibly one of the most used tools in any toolbox is the wrench. Used to add torque to undoing or doing up things like nuts and pipes. They come in many shapes and sizes, are very versatile, and are used in many industries throughout the world. The thing is, not everywhere in the world uses the same measuring system. So, how do you know if you need a wrench that uses the standard unit measure or if you need a wrench that is in metric? Well, let’s take a look.

Measurement systems

The standard unit measurement system refers to inches, feet, ounces, pounds, kilograms, and cups. The measurements are often written in fractions such as 5/16 inch. These days the name may be seen as a bit of a misnomer because only 3 countries use the standard unit measuring system: United States, Myanmar, and Liberia. The rest of the world uses the metric system: millimetres, centimetres, kilometres, grams, and kilograms. Instead of being written as fractions, the metric system uses decimal points.

The difference

There a very few standard unit measurements that are the exact as the metric, so it does make a difference to the wrench you use to complete a job. Luckily, you can buy wrenches that will level out your opposing measurement system issues. You can use an adjustable wrench and some spanners, or combination wrenches, which come with a metric end and a standard unit end making the transition simple.

Metric or standard

Chances are if you are in a metric-using country then most of the time you will be using metric wrenches, but if you are working on a product from the US or something that is older than the metric system in your country then you may have standard unit nuts and bolts to deal with. The question is how do you know? A good starting point is knowing where the product you are working on comes from. If you are a mechanic and you are working on an Australian Holden Commodore, then you would need metric tools. However, with a lefthand-drive Chevy truck (being an American vehicle) you would most likely need standard unit wrenches to work on it. The other thing is, if your metric wrenches just aren’t quite fitting the nuts then it’s probably a standard unit nut.

Quality wrenches

Depending on which part of the world you are in which measuring system you are more likely to encounter. However, products can come from anywhere in the world in which case you may find yourself faced with the opposite system. Don’t despair, contact the reputable team at RS Components for quality wrenches and expert advice. With hundreds of quality wrench products in stock, they are bound to have the wrench you need for the job.

Having 2 different measuring systems throughout the world can get a bit confusing, but you just have to remember only 3 countries use the standard unit and finding the right wrench is as easy as contacting RS.

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