handyman pipe wrenchThis is a handyman tip that will save your knuckles from looking like hamburger. At some point it will happen that you will put all your might into removing something from the end of a pipe…it could be a cap or a valve. Rather than risk the wrench slipping off of the cap and you skinning your knuckles, use a little physics to save your skin.

\

Use The Right Wrench

\

Using the right wrench for the job helps a lot. If you have a nut with machined sides on it, use a wrench, like an open end wrench, that doesn’t adjust. Adjustable wrenches, like crescent wrenches have too much play in them and this will wear down the corners on the nut and will slip, leaving you with skinned knuckles. A large wrench made for this particular use goes a long way in getting the job done.

\

Use Opposing Force

\

Instead of using a wrench and throwing all your strength into it, try using two wrenches. Let’s take the example of removing a threaded cap off of the end of a pipe. For this I would use two pipe wrenches, as the cap will have a couple of lugs to hold on to. To remove the cap, place one wrench on the pipe itself close to the cap, with the opening facing up. This wrench would be in the 9 o’clock position. The other wrench would be on the cap with the opening facing down in the 10 o’clock position. Positioning the wrenches in this position allows you to hold both wrenches in your hands while you squeeze. Obviously, you want to squeeze more on the wrench on the cap while holding the pipe still. This may sound a bit confusing, but once you position the wrenches it is easy. You just want to get the cap to move and the larger the wrenches, the more force you can leverage on them, all without skinning your knuckles.

\