What to Use if You Don’t Have a Wrench

3 min read

what to use if you don't have a wrench

We have all experienced moments where a table or chair leg is loose and wobbly, there is a leaking pipe or furniture has to be dismantled in preparation for a house move.

We try to use our fingers but only end up with sore fingers, as the old adage goes: you should use the right tool for the job. In these cases the right tool is a spanner (or wrench, for our American readers), but what do you do when you don’t have a spanner?

Don’t worry, we have gathered a list of common household objects you can use instead of a spanner.

What is a Wrench/Spanner Used for?

Spanners come in many types and sizes for a variety of different tasks and are an indispensable part of any toolbox. Used to loosen or tighten nuts, bolts, pipes and pipes fittings they prove their usefulness many times over.

What to Use if You Don’t Have a Wrench

Duck tape

Duct tape is useful in almost any situation but you may be surprised to learn that you can use it to loosen bolts. First tear off a section roughly 12 inches in length, after this tear it down the middle so you are left with two 12 inch strips.

Make a strong tape strip by sticking one strip to the back (the non-sticky side), next wrap part of the strip around the nut leaving a ‘tail’ 6-8 inches long and press firmly to ensure it has adhered to the metal nut. Pull the duct tape tail in the direction required to loosen the nut to easily remove it.

Two coins

Who would think that money can be used as a makeshift tool? Take two large coins (2 pence coins work perfectly for this) and place them on either side of the nut.

Grip the coins between the knuckles of your index and middle fingers for extra grip and twist in the direction needed to loosen the nut.


These wonderful little toolbox accessories aren’t just used to tidy up cables and attach hubcaps, they can also be used in place of a spanner.

Place the zip-tie around the nut as tightly as possible and using the tail of the zip-tie pull in the direction necessary to loosen or tighten the nut.

Another nut and bolt

If you don’t have any of the previously mentioned objects but have plenty of nuts and bolts lying around, you can still create a makeshift spanner with two nuts and two bolts.

First, attach one of the nuts to one of the bolts and place it on top of the nut you wish to loosen or tighten (so that the thread of the bolt is on top of the nut). Adjust until the nut is gripped tightly between the head of the bolt and the nut.

Now take the second nut and attach it so that you can connect the two bolts, make sure that everything is connected tightly and turn your creation in the direction required.

So there we have it, four alternatives you can use to loosen or tighten nuts without a spanner. With this guide, there are no more excuses for why you haven’t done any of the jobs you said couldn’t be done yet because you don’t have the tools!

Of course, it is always better to have a toolbox with the basic tools required for general DIY but with these quick fixes, you won’t be caught in a pinch again.

Image Source: IgorTishenko/depositphotos.com

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9 Responses

  1. en marbella Delineados de ojos says:

    Great web site. A lot of useful information here.
    I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious.

    And of course, thanks in your effort!

  2. Daniel says:

    Hello! Great topic, thanks!

    Unfortunately for me, none of your solutions solved my problem. I needed a pliers to hold a nut in place while I used a wrench to unscrew another nut screwed to the same bolt. But I did not have a pliers. Do you know what I used after one hour trying to find a solution? A nutcracker!! Worked perfectly!

    Great website, thanks!

  3. Katarzyna Antosiewicz says:

    The nutcracker worked perfectly! Thank you!

  4. Cary Trautmann says:

    Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you¡¦ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What an ideal site.

  5. Roy Taylor says:

    Wow this is a great site I have enjoyed reading the articles. What to do when you don’t have a wrench and a hammer love it!!

  6. Manda says:

    Great ideas, thanks. Would be helpful if you made a quick video for each (in my case for the last one as I understood everything else). Cheers for the tips 😉

  7. Wirawan Tanamas says:

    It will be great if your explanations come with the images

  8. anna bryja says:

    I must admit that that was a time of my life I was carrying one in my handbag;)

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