What Is a Butterfly Wrench?

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Over the years, many advances in tools have made mechanical work and maintenance an easier and more streamlined task. Impact wrenches are one such tool, and have become commonplace for working on cars and trucks and even many household projects. Impact wrenches deliver high turning power but isolate the user when they are being used. A butterfly wrench is a certain type of impact wrench that is smaller and more compact than standard impact wrenches.


Impact Wrenches

Impact wrenches are power tools that use sockets placed on the end to loosen or tighten bolts and nuts. Most impact wrenches are air powered, though there are also hydraulic and electrically driven impact wrenches. The tool uses an internal hammer mechanism that delivers a high amount of torque. However, the torque is isolated from the user, making the impact wrench a convenient, easy to use tool for loosening and tightening nuts and bolts. Impact wrenches can use any size of socket by using socket adapters.


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Butterfly Impact Wrenches

A butterfly is a type of impact wrench that operates on the same principal as a standard impact wrench. However, the butterfly impact wrench is lighter and more compact than a standard impact wrench, making it more convenient to use. The butterfly wrench uses a flat paddle on the body that can be tilted in one direction by the user to make the wrench turn in a tightening direction. The paddle is tilted in the opposite direction to turn the mechanism on the wrench in the loosening direction. A butterfly valve inside the wrench makes easily switching from one direction to the other possible.



A butterfly impact wrench is a great tool for working in small spaces where you need more torque than a conventional socket and ratchet or a wrench, such as when working on a lawnmower or similar motorized device. The butterfly wrench makes quick work of nuts and bolts in hard to reach places thanks to its compact size that makes it easy to maneuver. Once the wrench is fastened to an air compressor on one end, the other end uses a socket. The socket is placed over the nut or bolt being removed and the butterfly wrench is activated with the paddle to loosen or tighten the nut or bolt.


Where to Find Butterfly Wrenches

Butterfly wrenches can be found at most large tool stores such as Sears and Harbor Freight and even at larger home improvement stores and some hardware stores. They can also be found online at large tool retailers as well as retailers such as Amazon. Butterfly wrenches range in price from less then $50 for inexpensive ones to several hundred dollars for top of the line brands.



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