Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Alden open-end ratcheting wrenches

I found this cute little ratcheting open-end wrench at a Belleville thrift store.  

The tool has a uniquely shaped head, with a spring-loaded "under-jaw" that acts as a ratchet.  It requires only 30 degrees to ratchet, equivalent to a flipping a 15 degree angled open wrench. The design of the wrench also allows it to fit slight variations in fastener sizes when the fastener head is rusted or deformed. The 17-4PH stainless is not as hard as the metal used in conventional wrenches. This supposedly allows the tool to "bite" the fastener, providing a good grip. The head of the Alden wrench acts like a monkey wrench, that is, as more force is applied, the wrench provides a tighter grip on the fastener.

Originally designed and patented by Ray M. Alden of Raleigh, North Carolina, his company was bought by a company called Chicago Brand out of Medford, Oregon.  The wrenches themselves are made, guess where, in the People's Republic of China.  Sigh.

For an amusing review of the tool (and "toolies" in general), visit Webbikeworld.

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