Activity Industry Sector

Activity Originally Created By: MaryRose Lovgren

Stating the facts

Part of Lesson Plan: Hand tools and hand tool safety (updated) by Curt Erales

Activity Overview / Details

The term "hand tools" refers to such tools as sockets, wrenches, and screwdrivers. Hand tools should be wiped clean of oil and grease following use. All sockets and wrenches have the sizes stamped written on them, so it is important that students and technicians verify the size of the tool before using it.

A common wrench that technicians use is called the combination wrench. Both ends of the combination wrench are the same size. One end is a box wrench and the other is an open end wrench. It is important when using a wrench to always pull on it, do not push. Pushing can be very dangerous because a techincian can fall and hurt himself when using a wrench the wrong way. It is also important not to lengthen a wrench using a bar or pipe because a techncian can get hurt if the pipe slips off the wrench or the nut breaks while using a pipe.

The box end of the wrench is used for loosening or tightening a nut or bolt, while the open end  is used for turning it. The box end of a combination wrench is angled to provide clearance for the hands. The open end wrench is angled about 15 degrees so that it can be flipped over in tight quarters to provide access to the flats on the head of a nut or bolt.

Box wrenches are either 6-point or 12-point. The best choice for a box wrench is a 12-point because it is more versatile fitting on the bolt in more positions. The 6-point socket is another socket of choice because it is less likely to "round off" a fastener head.

A flare-nut wrench, or line wrench, is a special box wrench used for tightening or loosening the fitting on "flared" fuel or brake lines. These hollow fittings are called flare nuts. The flare-nut wrench has an opening on one of its sides that allow it to slip over the fuel line. Flare nuts often become rounded off whenever a common open-end wrench is used instead of a flare-nut wrench. Two wrenches must be used when tightening or loosening a flare fitting so that the fuel line or a part is not damaged.

Another kind of socket are deep sockets. Deep sockets provide clearance when removing a nut from a long stud.

A popular tool is the swivel socket. This tool is also known as a wobble socket. Wobbles that are designed to be used with air-powered impact wrenches are very comon among mechanics because it can assist with making a technician's job much quicker and easier. The hand-out shows the swivel and air-powered impact wrench.

Screwdrivers are available with different styles of heads. The two most common screwdrivers are the standard flat tip blade and the Phillips head.

An impact screwdriver is very effective in removing very tight screws. The tool is held against the screw slot while twisting it in the direction disired. When the tool is struck with a hammer, the springloaded tool breaks the screw loose. It usally comes with a 3/8" socket drive which makes it possible to use the set's screwdriver bits with a 3/8" drive tool.

Sockets are used instead of wrenches because they are faster. A socket can be used with either an air impact wrench or a ratchet. Special, thicker sockets called impact sockets are available for use with air tools. Also, while standard sockets are chrome plated, impact sockets are not. A regular socket used with an air tool can result in a broken socket, which can be very dangerous.

A ratchet has teeth inside its head which has parts that makes up the inside of the ratchet head.

Sockets are available in many sizes and styles. Many safety precautions are necessary when working in every shop and it is the responsibility of the teacher to safely train each student how to provide a safe working environment. The student is actually the one who is responsible for himself and the safety of others.  

Eye protection is necessary when working in the shop because tools can break when they are pressed or pounded on. Rotating tools can throw pieces of metal or grit causing eye injuries. Safety goggles or a face shield must be worn when using shop tools.

For general personal safety, a first aid kit is in every shop. It contains items for treatment of some small cuts and abrasions that often happens occasionally in an automotive shop.

The handout displays severals different types of hand tools. Safety glasses are a must when using hand tool because at any moment when working, a tool can break and small particles or pieces of metal can enter the eye causing permament damage to the eye.

Materials / Resource