Wrench Tips #7 – The Box-End Breaker Bar

Wrench tips - box end breaker bar closeup

Wrench Tips
Tip #7: The Box-End Breaker Bar

This tip is from MotoIQ reader Jeremy Fiel, though I, too have used this simple trick many times. If you're using a combination wrench (box-end on one end, open-end on the other) to break a stubborn bolt loose and you need more leverage, just grab another box-end (usually the next size up) and interlock the bigger wrench's box end over the original's open-ended end. Confused? Look at the picture. 

Interlocked thusly, you can push the upper wrench to the right and it locks onto the lower one and exerts hellacious torque. Before giving the wrench full yank, consider the following: Make sure your lower wrench is really squarely on the bolt, or bolt rounding and knuckle busting is just around the corner. Also, realize the upper wrench is directionally unstable. It can easily rotate off the lower wrench, causing more blood and profanity. If you have room, put a spare hand around the interlocking wrench heads to steady them a bit. Finally, your upper wrench is being used in a way it was most certainly not designed for. Wrenches aren't stiff in this direction, and it will bend a surprising amount. If you have quality forged wrenches, everything will spring back once the bolt breaks loose. If not? More blood.

And no, I have no idea why Jeremy is using all this leverage to tighten the bolt in this picture.

Wrench Tips box-end breaker bar tightening something

 -Dave Coleman


Got any tips of your own? email them to dave@motoiq.com!


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