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When trawling the Internet for new and different tools to research, many times I come across a tool I can’t figure out what it’s used for, like the tool pictured above — so I figured I’d ask you Toolmonger readers to take a crack at identifying it. I’m sure there’s probably somebody out there that has one in their toolbox.

I do have a partial answer, since I know the manufacturer and have seen their cryptic description of the tool’s function, but they assume that you already know exactly what the tool is. It wasn’t really much help to me, but it might be enough of a clue for somebody else, so for now I’m withholding that information to make it more challenging.

So what is this tool and what is it used for? Let us know what you think in comments.


36 Responses to Reader Question: What Is This Tool Used For?

  1. Chaim says:

    Well, obviously the wrench is for well, wrenching. The middle section looks like it would be used to screw in Hooks and/or eyes.

  2. Will says:

    Can a socket be put on so you could quickly torque down a bolt?

  3. Luke says:

    I think a big clue is the 14mm wrench on one side and 17mm on the other side. I’m guessing this is some kind of bicycle adjustment/repair tool.

  4. dijital101 says:

    Judging by the craftsmanship it is obviously designed to make your knuckles bleed.

  5. Anthony says:

    Maybe you can put a bar in that middle thing to get some more leverage… and then scrape the hell out of your knuckles

  6. Barks says:

    Bicycle wrench with spoke tool.

  7. russ says:

    A 14mm / 17mm wrench is pretty common in my work with German equipment. The attachment looks like something for bathroom fittings -screws probably somewhere around M10 (not certain on the size though). I saw something similar to this a while back in Germany but I don’t need it in my line of work.

  8. Slow Joe Crow says:

    My best guess is that the shiny bit in the middle is the actual tool and is a socket for some sort of special fastener while the open end wrench is just a convenient tool for driving it. I take a similar approach when I use a Philips screwdriver as a tommy bar for the tubular sockets in my motorcycle’s toolkit.

    @Barks, no way is that a spoke wrench, or any kind of bicycle tool. The most common size open end for bikes is 15mm for axle nuts, pedals, and older cotterless cranks.

  9. Cameron says:

    “Bicycle wrench with spoke tool.”
    That’s my guess, too. that thing in the middle looks like a spoke wrench.

  10. rg says:

    Something to do with removing the valve core of a Schraeder valve on a tire. The wrench is for installing the nuts on the valve stem?

  11. FWH says:

    Its a plumbers wrench. The open ends of the wrench are for plumbing valves. Ex shutoff valves. The center tool is for turning off valves such as some outdoor gardening valves.

  12. PK says:

    Stopcock wrench? May have a 3/8″ square drive on the other end also.

  13. Charlie says:

    A spoke wrench must have a slot that goes the entire length–Centered on the spoke. What is on the unshown end? A socket? A hammer face? Is the small hole round? Threaded?

  14. SCWetherbee says:

    Charlie is right, can’t be a spoke wrench. @Russ: Look closer, it’s 17/19 mm to my eyes. I think PK is closest, the open end wrench must be pushed away from the side we see to keep the other end seated, which looks to be turned down to a specific diameter, however wherever I’ve seen stopcocks, there’s not enough room to swing a wrench that way. hmmmmm

  15. SCWetherbee says:

    Oh yea, FWH said plumbers wrench first. sorry

  16. Jim says:

    I do not think the sizes on the wrench have anything to do with the function of the tool. The wrench fits into the slot and can be removed. It could be any wrench or a flat bar for that matter. I would guess the center object is the tool. I would also guess the business end is the end opposite the slot so you can apply downward force and the wrench would not easily come off. It may work on something with a small top, so knuckle busting is not an issue. Maybe a tool to shut off a gas cylinder.

    Just an analytical guess.



  17. metis says:

    i’ve seen a variety of these things for particular jobs. i’ve seen similar for a roller skate key, a theatre lighting wrench, a scaffolding wrench, in a car’s trunk “kit” for a few core repairs…

  18. metis says:

    oh, and the facing side of the middle bit appears to me to be a thumb screw tool. note the notching in it for gripping something to keep it from caming out, and center opening to accept a shaft. i’ll wager the center bit is the “tool” and it’s mfg just buys stock wrenches to press fit in.

  19. Ben Granucci says:

    Its not a theatre lighting wrench. Those pretty much always have a ratchet and/or accommodations for several different size nuts and/or something funky. A good example of the funky would be the famous Altman wrench made by my friends up the road at Altman Stage Lighting:

    Anyways, the sizes are wrong. The 19mm size is close to the 3/4″ that is common, but the other common size is a roughly 1/2″ square head. A good quick-and-easy lighting wrench on the cheap is a standard Craftsman 5/8 x 3/4 ratcheting box end wrench. Of course you still need the ubiquitous adjustable wrench for the F me nut and the assorted other sizes.

  20. frank says:

    is it supposed to be a tap wrench?

  21. roland says:

    maybe you slide it to one end and put a hammer to it..

  22. browndog77 says:

    I think Roland has “nailed” it, along with a couple of others who determined that the wrench is not really part of the tool. A more secure way to miss-use your wrenches!

  23. metis says:

    didn’t mean to imply that it WAS a theatre wrench, but that i’ve seen similar tools for a dedicated purpose. i.e. you’ve got 2 common bolt sizes, 1 uncommon one, and a weird lil one off bit, it’s a perfect tool.

    a friend in college made one such for lighting use, yoke bolt and tilt bolt from two craftsman wrenches, pan bolt next to c-clamp bolt welded on from a socket set, and i’m not sure what the thing to flatten out bent shutters was from, but two replaced broken half wrenches and two replacement sockets from sears tidied up her kit, and she hardly ever used the thing. (intent was to break stuck bolts, not to tighten) (it was stubby to spin c clamps on faster, but ended up too short to loosen stuck stuff.)

  24. Brau says:

    Unfortunately, with only one pictured viewpoint, it’s impossible to see if the other end of the tool has any socket-like shape. As it is, I could see this as a tool to install and remove specific drain cocks; the wrench to tighten it in and the socket fits over the t-shaped stem making it easier to turn.

    … but a tapered end isn’t necessary in that scenario …
    … could be used to turn something that’s countersunk?…
    … or the non-slotted end fits into a bar so two hands can be used to pull on something?

    … hmmmm …

  25. sean says:

    17mm and 19mm are common sizes for certain lock nuts, the device in the center is probably a square drive socket. It’s a single tool solution for some sort of adjustment that has to be made.

    Some people here need glasses (^_^) as 14mm is smaller than 19mm and you can clearly see the 17mm on the far side of the wrench.

    I’ve used the double open end wrench plenty of times without the attachment, I’m pretty sure it’s Stahlwille.

  26. Jerry says:

    Center part is maybe a thread chaser for when you bugger the threads with the wrench?

  27. Dr Bob says:

    Just a silly guess – could the cylindrical thing in the middle be a socket for tightening/loosening wing nuts?

  28. Michael says:

    17mm and 19mm are common motorcycle axle nut sizes. The center part could be to adjust the rear axle so it’s perpendicular to the swing arm.

  29. Hank says:

    It’s a barrel lock to keep my son from walking off with my tools.

  30. ted says:

    looks like the thing is moveable. maybe position it where you need to and then whack it with a hammer to free up a frozen nut/bolt?

  31. ted says:

    hey – i see roland already said that! great minds think alike, eh? either that or two dummies came up with the same wrong answer.

  32. 99octane says:

    Obviously the center piece fits in an electric drill, and it’s used to mix paint… 😛
    I guess the center piece is used to turn something, and the wrench is just added as a handle. Probably it’s a plumber’s tool, used to turn valves when the handle is removed.

  33. salsa says:

    Yep Roland got it– you hit the round part with a hammer to loosen a stuck bolt.

  34. dijital101 says:

    So, are you ever going to post the link to the manufacturer’s website?

  35. @dijital101:

    Patience my friend.

  36. dijital101 says:

    I get the feeling Roland is correct, a strike point for a hammer to break over rusty nuts

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