Letter Re: Basic Mechanics Skill and Knowing Vehicular Limitations

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Dear JWR,
Instead of a breaker bar, which while good to have is large and hard to store, I’ve found extendable lug nut wrenches to be the ideal compromise.  Easily twice as strong as the much thinner wrenches that come with the vehicle. The only caveat is that I’d recommend a long/deep wall socket that’s the precise size of your lugs to ensure you don’t damage and/or jam or lug nuts inside your socket…

I’ve tried both the Torin (sold at Wal-Mart stores) and the Grizzly (sold by Amazon.com) with satisfactory success.  Both are over 20″ extended, and even slightly longer than my OEM Toyota wrench when compacted.  At $20 per, they’re much more economical than a breaker bar and socket extension (even if you’re going the cheaper Harbor Freight route.)

JWR Replies: Thanks for that tip. But for durability, I prefer American-made tools. Sometimes you have to pay for quality…

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