Adjustable: An open end wrench that has a movable jaw, allowing it to be used with different sizes of fastener heads.
Basin: An essential for plumbing work, the basin wrench has an extra long shaft, rotating head, and t-handle for extra leverage. The head is specially designed for ease of use in tight spaces (like under sinks and behind toilets) for jobs like tightening nuts that hold faucets to sinks and connecting the water supply to faucets.
Box: Have closed ends to accommodate both hex and square nuts. A 12 point box wrench will fit over both a 6 point and a 12 point fastener, making it the most convenient choice if you’re only looking for a single box wrench in your tool box. That said, box wrenches are often sold in sets with 6, 8, 12, or 16 points inside the head. Some box wrenches feature an offset design which gets a better grip on recessed nuts. Good for hard-to-reach spots.
Combination: Has an open head on one end and a closed box head on the other. Can be used in tandem; the closed end can loosen the nut and the open end can quickly finish unscrewing it.
Crowfoot: A wrench with an open head and no handle or shaft. Meant to be paired with a torque handle to act as a kind of ratchet wrench.
Hex/Allen: The hex (or Allen) wrench has a hexagonal head that matches hexagonal socket heads. Preferred for smaller projects like furniture building (hello, IKEA) because they’re easy to use and have a good grip that’s hard to strip.
Open End: The “classic,” with the open jaw on one or both ends. Open end wrenches come in a variety of sizes and depending
Pipe: Another type of plumbing wrench, it is made to work on metal pipes and fastenings.
Ratchet: Fits over the fastener rather than around it, which makes it ideal for tight spots. Gives you the option to continue tightening nuts and bolts without repositioning the wrench.
Short Body: Refers to an open or box wrench with a short shaft.