Flare nuts are often found on fittings and other components with tubing or other lines attached, meaning you cannot access them with a standard box end wrench. I suppose that you could sometimes work on them with the open end of a standard combination wrench, but most often flare nut wrenches are used when you know you’ll need them,
Flare nut wrenches are open end wrenches, but with narrower openings than the standard open ends on a combination wrench, and often have 6pt (non-ratcheting) or 12pt (often ratcheting) profiles with hooked openings instead of the parallel jaws of an open end wrench.
You place a flare nut wrench on top of a fastener, as opposed to sliding onto it from the side, as with a regular open end wrench.
Flare nut wrenches give you better access angles, and some slippage protection, so that the wrench stays more secure around a fastener.
These new Astro Pneumatic Ratchet and Release flare nut wrenches, 7120 for the SAE set, 7120M for metric, are a new hybrid tool that they say gives you the strength of a box end wrench, with the accessibility of a flare nut wrench.
The new wrenches close and then ratchet around flare nuts, releasing then when your work is done.
The smaller sizes have a rocker pawl clutch for releasing the wrench and line, the larger sizes have a more robust design with double pawl mechanism for added strength.
Fine-tooth gearing means a ratcheting angle of 5°.
Each set comes with 5 sizes of wrenches:
- Metric: 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 18mm
- SAE: 3/8″, 7/16″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″
Price: ~$82 each set
I don’t own any flare nut wrenches, or ratcheting flare nut wrenches, although I have used them before. I suppose the benefit of these, compared to the ratcheting flare nut wrenches that have a pivoting jaw that bends open for access and ratcheting, is that you require less space to actually use the wrench.
Why is there a split down the middle of each wrench’s gripped handle?
These look to be a good effort by Astro Pneumatic to create a semi-unique approach to common automotive fastening needs. I say semi-unique, because I have seen enclosing ratcheting wrenches before.
Here are 2 other Astro Pneumatic innovations we previously posted about:
If you encounter flare nut wrenches often, what do you think about these new ratcheting wrenches?