Ring spanner vs. adjustable wrench covered with tape

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boren
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#1: Post by boren »

The last time I serviced my Lelit Bianca I opened the cam holder using an adjustable wrench covered with tape, to prevent leaving marks on the chrome. Is a ring spanner at the right size (22mm?) a safer and easier to use tool? Any way to assess the right torque?

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baldheadracing
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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

See first post of Favourite espresso machine repair tools

The issue with ring spanners is that they are almost all 12-point "flank-drive" now which pretty much guarantees marks on soft metals like brass.

Not sure what you mean about torque - a torque wrench is the tool typically used, although calculating the torque setting is generally beyond the scope of someone who hasn't been trained as a tool&die maker. However, manufacturers generally supply torque specifications and/or have lookup tables so one doesn't have to do complicated math.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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Jeff
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#3: Post by Jeff »

Yep -- Knipex Pliers-Wrenches are not cheap, but I find them worth their price over and over again. The Cobra series of "water pump" pliers has also been valuable on non-espresso projects.

boren (original poster)
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#4: Post by boren (original poster) »

The Knipex pliers-wrench looks easy to use and I like the idea of the jaw protectors. Does the 7" model provide enough leverage for E61 maintenance (mushroom and cam shaft holder)? Its maximum width is 40mm, so should be sufficient in this regard.

I guess torque isn't the correct term. My question is about tightening. How do you know when it's tight enough? I don't want to overdo it and increase the chance of damage or leaving marks.

Pressino
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#5: Post by Pressino »

baldheadracing wrote:See first post of Favourite espresso machine repair tools

The issue with ring spanners is that they are almost all 12-point "flank-drive" now which pretty much guarantees marks on soft metals like brass...
Which is the main reason I prefer combo open/box end wrenches with hexagonal box ends, like this set:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Metric-6-Po ... PLff2RpTvM

The same 6-point preference applies to socket wrenches, especially when used with impact drivers.

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baldheadracing
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#6: Post by baldheadracing »

boren wrote:The Knipex pliers-wrench looks easy to use and I like the idea of the jaw protectors. Does the 7" model provide enough leverage for E61 maintenance (mushroom and cam shaft holder)? Its maximum width is 40mm, so should be sufficient in this regard.

I guess torque isn't the correct term. My question is about tightening. How do you know when it's tight enough? I don't want to overdo it and increase the chance of damage or leaving marks.
I've used the 7" - actually 180mm - but I do have both the 180mm and 250mm. Note that I sometimes don't use the soft jaw inserts so that I can get a narrower grip.

As for tightness, tight enough that there aren't any leaks. It is better to under-tighten and then notice that the you need to tighten things up than to over-tighten.
Pressino wrote:Which is the main reason I prefer combo open/box end wrenches with hexagonal box ends, like this set:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Metric-6-Po ... PLff2RpTvM

The same 6-point preference applies to socket wrenches, especially when used with impact drivers.
The ones that you posted are flank drive as well, and so have the exact same issue :roll:.

Virtually all socket and wrench designs switched to the superior (for regular fasteners) flank drive design once Snap-on's patent(s) ran out, whether six or 12 point. Snap-on still has a trademark on the term "flank drive."

Regardless, there are other socket and box/closed-end wrench designs for soft metals like brass, but Knipex pliers wrenches have other advantages for this particular application - unless there are clearance issues.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

DeuxInfuso
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#7: Post by DeuxInfuso »

baldheaded nails it. Torque gently, it isn't alloy steel. Less is better. If it leaks, tighten a tad, 1/8 turn increments. I have a friend who over tightens stuff, often breaks things. I advise him "hand tight, then 1/8 to 1/4 turn". Actually, 1/8 to 1/2 turn, depending on type of seal.

boren (original poster)
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#8: Post by boren (original poster) »

baldheadracing wrote:I've used the 7" - actually 180mm - but I do have both the 180mm and 250mm. Note that I sometimes don't use the soft jaw inserts so that I can get a narrower grip.
Is the 180mm model large enough for the mushroom nut? If so, I think I'll get it and not the 250mm model.

Pressino
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#9: Post by Pressino »

Re:

The ones that you posted are flank drive as well, and so have the exact same issue :roll:.

You are correct, and I should have looked at the pictures of the wrenches in my link to see their flank drive design. I never particularly liked that Snap-On design "improvement." I understand its rationale and that it's supposed to be better for impact wrench use, especially at higher torque levels, but I much prefer my older Craftsman and S-K socket wrenches, which don't have the rounded out divots at the hex points. Their "full contact" hex wrench design is better for use on softer metals, like old brass plumbing valves that sometimes need an impact wrench to disassemble for replacing washers, which sometimes require some but not excessive levels of torque. I thought the linked wrenches were of that type and didn't realize that other manufacturers have adopted the Snap-On design when the patent expired. Hopefully some are still making the "old style" box end hex wrenches and sockets. I'm glad I still have mine. Is it the case that all new wrenches use this flank drive, or do some still offer good quality wrenches with the old "standard" design? Emphasis is on "good quality," i.e. built as well as my 40+ year old Craftsman & S-K wrenches. :roll:

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Jeff
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#10: Post by Jeff »

Follow-up based on a query in another thread. My Knipex 86-05-180 apparently dates back to when it was a 35 mm (1 3/8") capacity. It measures 35 mm with the handles spread, and about 32 mm with them closed, both at the widest setting of the jaws. I believe the Faema/ECM-style mushrooms are 36 and 22 mm.