Pipe Wrenches Safety Made Easy Safety tips when using pipe-wrenches A pipe wrench is an adjustable wrench — the top jaw moves up or down — and has toothed jaws for gripping onto pipe. The jaws on a pipe wrench are designed so that the top jaw (aka the hook jaw) rocks a little bit in the frame of the wrench. • Select the correct jaw size to avoid slippage. • Wear safety glasses or a face shield (with safety glasses or goggles) where there is a likely hazard of flying particles or falling debris. • Position your body in a way that will prevent you from losing balance and hurting yourself if the wrench slips or something (e.g., a bolt) suddenly breaks. • Ensure that the teeth of a pipe wrench are sharp and free of oil and debris and that the pipe or fitting is clean to prevent unexpected slippage and possible injuries. • Pull on a pipe wrench using a slow, steady pull; do not use fast, jerky movements. • Inspect pipe wrenches periodically for worn or unsafe parts and replace them (e.g., check for worn threads on the adjustment ring and movable jaw). • Do not use a pipe wrench as a hammer, or strike a pipe wrench with a hammer. • Do not use a pipe extender for extra leverage. Get a larger pipe wrench.
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