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Old 02-24-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
DavidB
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Lightbulb Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

As promised in my previous thread of the same title I have conducted more tests to show the contact areas of various combination wrenches I own.

This test was more controlled than the previous one. In this test the wrench was held in a vise between two pieces of wood and a torque wrench was used to torque a nut in the box end to 30 ft-lbs. The nut was colored using a Sharpie marker to better show the contact areas.

Here is a picture of all the wrenches used in this test.


The wrenches were assigned numbers from top to bottom and are as follows:
1. Snap-On SOEX18 - Date code 1999
2. Wright 1118 - New Kindly donated by TRTOOLSUPPLY to be tested
3. Craftsman Professional 45978 - New
4. Snap On OEX18 No date code. Flank drive. Purchased used.
5. Craftsman Raised Panel 12pt Date Code: -V(inverted V)- 1990s Lightly used
6. Craftsman Raised Panel 12 pt Date Code -VV- From my grandfather.
7. Craftsman Raised Panel 6pt Date Code: -V(inverted V)- 1990s Lightly used
8. Promark Taiwan made wrench received sometime in the 90s. Unused
9. GearWrench Ratcheting Reversible Purchased early 2000s Lightly Used


Here are some pics of the box ends of the wrenches:
1. Snap-On SOEX18

2. Wright 1118

3. Craftsman Professional

4. Snap On OEX18

5. Craftsman Raised Panel 12pt (Newer)

6. Craftsman Raised Panel 12 pt (Older)

7. Craftsman Raised Panel 6pt

8. Promark

9. GearWrench Ratcheting



To try to get more consistent results each wrench was tested with two different nuts. One additional nut was tested on the first two wrenches holding with the torque wrench in the vise to compare the results to nuts tested with the wrench in the vice. No significant differences were noted.

Here is a picture of all the nuts tested:


Below are two pictures of the nuts used in each wrench showing the most complete contact areas.

1. Snap-On SOEX18 - A good contact area on the face near, but not on, the edge. Flank drive doing what it is supposed to!


2. Wright 1118 - A very wide contact pattern on the face. I ran several more tests to make sure this wasn't some fluke. This is called Wright Drive. Looks to work well too.


3. Craftsman Professional - Contact pattern on the face pretty far way from the edge.


4. Snap On OEX18 - Very similar to wrench #1


5. Craftsman Raised Panel 12pt (Newer) - Very similar to wrench #3


6. Craftsman Raised Panel 12 pt (Older) - Contact areas are directly on the edges. This has a higher potential to round a fastener than other wrenches with contact areas on the face.


7. Craftsman Raised Panel 6pt - Contact area is in the same location as the new craftsman 12 pt but wider.


8. Promark - Contact area on the edge. Similar to wrench #6.


9. GearWrench Ratcheting - Contact areas seems to be very close to those seen on the Snap-On wrenches.




I would have liked to have a new Snap-On for the test but can't justify the cost of a new one just for this testing. I'm not a professional mechanic and only work on a couple newer GMs so most of my SAE stuff is very lightly used.

If I happen to get some more wrenches I'll test them and post the results. I PMed Mike Wren and GearWrench here on the board asking if they'd like to send a wrench to be tested. I haven't heard a response from either, but I don't think they have been online here since I sent the messages. So, keep your fingers crossed that they'll respond positively and I'll have some more wrenches to test.

Please post any comments or questions and I'll do my best to answer it. Got a wrench you want tested with the results posted here? Let me know.

Thanks again to TRTOOLSUPPLY for sending me a wrench to test. As an aside: the thick beam and fully radiused edge makes for a comfortable wrench.

Hope you have found this entertaining.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Another great thread! Keep the tests coming

Scott
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

You might get easier to see and better results on your test by using Prussian Blue instead of a sharpie. That's what we use in the machining field to transfer surfaces.

http://www.amazon.com/Prussian-Blue-.../dp/B0009RM8VI
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

My non-pro eye thinks the Wright and the C-man pro did the best, and I'm a Snap-On koolaid drinker. That Wright is quite nice. If only they made a long version...
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

DavidB,


Thanks for conducting the wrench test. I have learned lots from Garage Journal members over the last couple of years about hand tool technology or usage. I appreciate it and keep these hand tool tests coming too!


Dave
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Very informative,I always appreciate your work.
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

nice testing.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

nice post! Thanks for the write up!!!!
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Thats interesting how different they all are.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Thanks for your time in performing this test.

How would you rate the wrenches in terms of its friendliness to the flank area of the nuts? Did the non-flank drive wrenches leave a clear impression on the nut?
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:18 AM   #11
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Lightbulb Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by superautobacs View Post
Thanks for your time in performing this test.

How would you rate the wrenches in terms of its friendliness to the flank area of the nuts? Did the non-flank drive wrenches leave a clear impression on the nut?
All of the wrenches will leave a mark on the fastener given enough force when tightening it. The best way to reduce this is to increase the area that the wrench contacts the fastener. These test show excessive wear on the nuts. These are cheap non graded (so I'm guessing Grade 2) nuts from Lowe's. My Pocket Ref lists the standard dry torques: Grade 1 - 12 ft-lb, Grade 2 - 20 ft-lb, and Grade 5 - 31 ft-lb. Standard dry torques "were calculated to produce a tensile stress in the fastener equal to 70% of the maximum tensile strength or 75% of the proof test." - Pocket Ref by Thomas J. Glover. I managed to break some of the bolts I was using at 30 ft-lb which that backs up what the book says. So, I'm applying 150% of what these nuts were probably designed for.

With that out of the way here are results from another test!

Here are some more nuts tested in three different wrenches. From left to right we have nuts tested in wrench #1, #2 and #8.


You can see the marks here but lets take a closer look...

Here is an extreme close up of a nut tested on wrench #1, the newer Snap-On. The area of contact is clearly seen.


Here is an extreme close up of a nut tested on wrench #2, Wright. The patch is wider but doesn't appear to be as deep. I will note that when I first did this test with the Wright wrench there were a couple scratches on the nut. I assumed this was due to a burr or two since this is a new wrench and light touched up the inside of the box end with a rolled piece of 600 grit sand paper. Problem solved.


Here is an extreme close up of a nut tested on wrench #8, Promark. This has the smallest area of damage since it is directly on the corner. Though if you round the corner that won't look good either.


The extreme close up images and to a small extent the group shot show the marks more clearly than you'd see without a magnifying glass. The extreme close up images also start showing marks on the nuts that were there before I tested them. There were fine scratches, pits, and you can see the less than perfect edges of the nuts. Looking at the nuts with just my eyes the SO shows a clearly defined line, the Wright shows a lightly scuffed area, and the Promark shows rough edges. Due to the fact that I'm not able to torque the nuts perfectly the corners of some of the edges show a larger contact area. On the Promark this area is starting to round the nut.

So, to finally answer your question... I'd say the Wright wrench would be the nicest to the flank area because it has a larger contact area. All things equal the larger the contact area the lower the pressure which would result in less deformation to the face. After that it's probably a toss up among the the wrenches who have copied flank drive since they all have similar contact areas.

I suppose it could be argued that the non-flank drive wrenches do the least damage to the flank area since they don't contact there. On the other hand they have a higher chance of rounding the edge off which would do bad things to the flank area.

In the end though the wrench with Wright Drive, Flank-Drive, or a copy of Flank-Drive stands a much greater chance of getting that rusty nut off than the ones that contact at the edge.

Hopefully, I've provided pictures to where anyone can draw their own conclusion.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

To everyone else: Thanks for reading! I'm glad you find it interesting. I'd like to get some marking blue at some point I'm just not sure where to find it around here. I'm sure a machinist supply house would have some but I haven't drug out the phone book to track one down yet.

If anyone has some tests they'd like to see speak up and I'll see what I can do. I'm not sure what else I'll do though obviously I found something to do as evidenced by the post above this. Maybe I'll run the numbers to show how much additional force is required for a shorter wrench.

David
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Very well done; fascinating results.

Seems to reinforce that there isn't much point to a six-point box wrench with flank-drive-ish 12-points. It's also unsurprising (but nice to have proven) how much better pretty much anything is to the generic Taiwanese wrench.

I was surprised at how well the Craftsman raised-panel and GearWrench did.

Does anybody know the OEM for the Craftsman Professional wrenches? S-K, Danaher?
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:46 AM   #14
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Interesting stuff That Wright is extraordinary, it's hard, just looking at the drive surfaces, to see how that performance is achieved

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcfields View Post
It's also unsurprising (but nice to have proven) how much better pretty much anything is to the generic Taiwanese wrench
Although that wrench looks pretty rough, I suspect the contact areas have nothing to do with its country of origin. #6 and #8 appear to have traditional sections to the contact points, coming to a sharp angle in the 'valley' of the broaching, whereas all the others are curved since they were produced after the loss of the 'flank drive' patents. Hence, as David says, the newish Gearwrench (also Taiwanese or Chinese) performing as well as, possibly slightly better than , the Snap-on.

I'd like to see the same done with a current production Harbor Freight wrench. My guess is that the results would be very close to the Snap-on and GW.

The same test with 6 and 12 point sockets might be illuminating (and perhaps controversial), too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcfields View Post
Does anybody know the OEM for the Craftsman Professional wrenches? S-K, Danaher?
Danaher.

Last edited by Jononon; 02-26-2010 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:52 AM   #15
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcfields View Post
Very well done; fascinating results.

Seems to reinforce that there isn't much point to a six-point box wrench with flank-drive-ish 12-points. It's also unsurprising (but nice to have proven) how much better pretty much anything is to the generic Taiwanese wrench.

I was surprised at how well the Craftsman raised-panel and GearWrench did.

Does anybody know the OEM for the Craftsman Professional wrenches? S-K, Danaher?
Yes, the 6pt vs 12pt thing has really been an eye opener for me as well. I've always tried to use 6 pt wrenches or sockets when I could because I figured the 6pts would have less chance of rounding. I'm now seeing that isn't true.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:01 AM   #16
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jononon View Post
Interesting stuff That Wright is extraordinary, it's hard, just looking at the drive surfaces, to see how that performance is achieved



Although that wrench looks pretty rough, I suspect the contact areas have nothing to do with its country of origin. #6 and #8 appear to have traditional sections to the contact points, coming to a sharp angle in the 'valley' of the broaching, whereas all the others are curved since they were produced after the loss of the 'flank drive' patents. Hence, as David says, the newish Gearwrench (also Taiwanese or Chinese) performing as well as, possibly slightly better than , the Snap-on.

I'd like to see the same done with a current production Harbor Freight wrench. My guess is that the results would be very close to the Snap-on and GW.

The same test with 6 and 12 point sockets might be illuminating (and perhaps controversial), too.

Danaher.
I think the Country of Origin could play a role in material the wrench is made out of and the accuracy to which it is made. If the metal is softer the wrench could deform changing how it contacts the nut. Also, if the inside of the box end is out of round or poorly made it would also negatively impact performance. I think the biggest difference material and accuracy play in a combo wrench are on the open end.

Socket tests would be interesting as well but I only have some Craftsmen ones to test.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Great post & info. I`m glad to see someone with only a few posts contribute great info. the HF wrench test would be interesting
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
I think the Country of Origin could play a role in material the wrench is made out of and the accuracy to which it is made. If the metal is softer the wrench could deform changing how it contacts the nut. Also, if the inside of the box end is out of round or poorly made it would also negatively impact performance.
There are undoubtedly differences in quality between wrenches, I don't think anyone would argue with that, but in the case of this particular test the principal difference appears to be flank drive v. non flank drive, rather than manufacturer or COO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
I think the biggest difference material and accuracy play in a combo wrench are on the open end.
That's been my experience, especially where high stresses are encountered, such as flare nut wrenches.

*puts on flame proof suit* That being said, some of the highest quality wrenches you can buy today are made for Facom in Taiwan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
Socket tests would be interesting as well but I only have some Craftsmen ones to test.
Unfortunately I don't have a wide enough range either, perhaps someone could be persuaded to pick up the reins for that test?
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Good Job, I too enjoyed this display.

I was surprised to see that Wright Drive seems to do the best in these tests, while Flank Drive appears to be a close second.

Adam
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:49 AM   #20
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Default Re: Box End Wrench Contact Points 2 (Pic heavy)

Thankyou for taking the time to conduct the tests, very impressed.
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