How to Use a Chain Wrench

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Chain wrenches are used to turn or hold smooth cylindrical objects. Chain wrenches are related to strap wrenches but are more heavy duty. The chain is also more likely to cut, scratch or mark the surface you are working with than a strap wrench. Anyone can use this handy tool.

  • Place the end of the tool with the teeth on it up against the object you wish to hold, tighten or loosen.

  • Flip the wrench so that the side the chain is permanently attached to is facing opposite the direction you wish to turn the object. If you wish to loosen something that is normally threaded, turn it counterclockwise. Put the handle so that the chain wraps clockwise around the object, which will allow you to loosen it.

  • Hold the handle of the tool with one hand and use the other to wrap the chain around the object.

  • Attach the whip end of the chain you just wrapped around the object to the tool's main handle. This varies by model but quite often there are small pins that protrude from the side of the chain and must simply be slid into a notch on the wrench handle.

  • Ratchet the handle to move the object the direction you desire.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the wrench doesn't seem to grip the object when you try to turn it, release the chain and flip the wrench over, then repeat the first three steps. The wrench is designed to only work one direction.
  • Wrap a thick towel or rubber hose around the chain section that is touching the object to protect it from damage.
  • The chain will destroy wood finishes and mark plastic or metal objects. If you are working with an object that has a finish you do not want to damage, you should use a strap wrench with a rubber strap instead of a chain wrench.

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