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Hagerty Employee

Wrenchin’ Wednesday: how to stop losing your spanners and your mind

This simple tip will help keep your sanity and your fingers. Read the full article at


Excellent advice but scary that it actually has to be taught.

Community Manager

Hey, I will openly admit I never considered this! 

New Driver

What if it's battery powered?

Community Manager

Maybe Velcro on the body of the tool and the spanner? 

Pit Crew

Search Amazon for "rubber cable ties". There are many products you could use to secure a spanner/wrench to the handle of a cordless tool. If you look for Gardner Bender, you'll find a very nice product.
Pit Crew

I'm old enough to remember when the manufacturer would attach them to the tool or cord


I use those elastic cords with the ball on the end (the kind you can get at car shows that are used for securing canvas to the portable awning frames aka "bungee cord tarp tie down"). 


New Driver

Believe it or not, this will also encourage 'some' to unplug the tool before changing a blade, disk, etc...  and... yes, some need to be taught this.



I have a CNC machine with a spindle that requires two wrenches to change an end mill. One wrench has a key attached to it that controls the power to the spindle. The key has to be in and turned for power to flow. The second wrench doesn't have a key. Well, naturally, one day while I was tired and in a hurry, I forget to remove the second wrench from the chuck and fired up the spindle to 14,000 R's. That second wrench became a missile and smacked right into my shop window. That was an expensive and messy experience. It could just as well have become an accessory to my forehead.


There's a lesson to be learned there somewhere...

Intermediate Driver

Maybe many already know this trick, but all those magnetic screwdriver bits seem to slide out at the most inopportune times. (I avoid using this type screwdriver for that very reason, but if needing a specialty torx bit or other, then you're stuck.)

To hold the bits in place better, I simply take a **bleep** off of a plastic grocery bag and shove the butt end of the bit into the piece of plastic as I push it into the screwdriver's opening.  I also use it on 1/4" drive sockets when I don't want to lose a nut or again am using a screwdriver bit in it. 

Great for tight spaces or on a boat when everything heads for the bottom of the bilge once on the loose...   


Electrical tape securely holding tool near plug works great for me and has saved me countless hours of searching for “that tool”. Now I spend countless hours looking for the other tool :). I need a brain implant that rewinds to the last thing I put down, ALWAYS! 


Mr. Thomas certainly impresses me with his safe practices.  I fully agree with his habit of unplugging any power tool when working on it,  but notice that he still has the guard on his angle grinder.  That is something that one almost never sees in real life.  I've always thought that the guards on angle grinders were designed by liability attorneys.  I will admit that there are no guards on any of mine.  But an unguarded angle grinder can be a dangerous tool that requires constant mindfulness from the user.  It's hard to justify removing the guards, except that it's so hard to use the grinder with them in place.


I've gone one step further. I use colored electrical tape on the tool AND the wrench to identify which wrench goes with which tool. Saves time when the twist tie fails or you have multiple wrenches which work with multiple tools.

Intermediate Driver

No 'twist tie', use a 'zip tie', or rather two - one attached tightly to the cord (near the plug), and the other laced thru that 'zip tie' and then to the wrench/spanner that goes with the tool.  


I've been around these tools since 1948, I drill a hole in the end of each, they all hang on two pegs at my work bench, no tape no snagging, I write the brand of each on the handles, I put them back when done, they're always there.

Pit Crew

Thank you - I am a bit ashamed that I never thought of this on my own ... Both safety and convenience ... I used to do it with drill chuck keys, but now most are keyless ...

Pit Crew

This is great safety Idea for all home shop user. Great work.


With respect to unguarded grinders I have a 3" scar across my navel wken it kicked back into my t shirt  which obviously helped to limit the depth of the cut...and surprisingly enough the guard on my Dewalt grinder is really easy to move around when grinding..yes no more unguarded discs for me!


Wow! People are just discovering this trick?  Wish I'd have known, I would have become a writer 40 years ago!  LOL!!

Pit Crew

My dad always made this a habit for decades and raised me to do the same. Great practice!

New Driver

Nothing new here.  My dad did the same thing with electric drill bit keys back in the 50"s.  No electrical zip tie, just electric taped to the cord, and yes, close to the plug.  Here's another you may find helpful.  Many years ago, I spray painted all my metric wrenches and sockets red.  Real easy to see if they're metric or SAE.  When the paint wears off, clean them and spray them again!  🙂

Advanced Driver

So many potentially dangerous tools out there. Table and radial arm saws seem like the worst to me. If you treat them all with the same respect that any seasoned shooter has for firearms then you should be fine.


Great tip !  On my way to the garage right now.

Advanced Driver

Phillip--thank  you for elaborating on this subject.  This may be a common practice by some of us old timers--but there is a continual stream of new Vintage People coming onto the scene.  I talked with two just in the past two days!  They called to get advice on what some of us already may view as common knowledge.  Guess what?  It is not that common! I tell newbies that I am "putting them on the map"!  Guess what--they love it!  jay