Breaker bars are hand tools used in conjunction with socket wrench-style sockets to loosen fastenings such as nuts & bolts. Breaker bars, however, are used specifically when a fastening is too tight and cannot be undone by a smaller tool, such as a ratchet, wrench, or spanner. They "break" the seal on stubborn and tight fastenings, which can then be fully loosened by using a ratchet, wrench, or spanner. Most breaker bars are made from polished chrome steel, which gives them their strength and their polished finish and also makes them easy to maintain.
Breaker bars are significant for their length, which is much longer than a normal spanner or wrench. By having a longer handle and no ratcheting system, these tools are able to deliver more torque under the same amount of force as one would use on a smaller tool, which aids the removal of seized fasteners. Once the nut or bolt is released, it can continue to be loosened by a socket wrench. Unlike torque wrenches, breaker bars do not require a more professional hand to be used properly - they simply rely on the force the user generates and their longer handles to generate more torque, so they are quite universal tools.
Length is the most important facet of a breaker bar and should be one of the key deciding factors for which breaker bar is right for the job. While it is true that the greater the length, the greater the torque, one must be aware that a breaker bar that is too long will be unusable in many situations. For jobs that are in tight space, a breaker bar that is too long will take up too much space and will be unable to be used.
At RS, we carry a vast selection of breaker bars in various lengths and sizes, from leading international brands like Bahco and RS PRO.
⅜ breaker bars are those with a ⅜ inch drive head and are among the most common sizes for a breaker bar drive head. Because of their medium-sized drive heads, ⅜ breaker bars are typically not too long. They are commonly used in the automotive industry to remove smaller lug nuts or to do engine work.
inch breaker bars are those with a inch drive head and are among the most common sizes for a breaker bar drive head. They are the second largest size behind breaker bars. breaker bars are typically a bit longer than ⅜ breaker bars and can be around 18-24 inches in length or more. They are a great tool to have around the garage at home for home automotive repair work.
Breaker bars improve the usefulness of your socket set by making it possible to use them to loosen seized or highly-tightened nuts and bolts. Simply attach a socket to the beaker bar to begin using it. Some breaker bars will have drive heads that can be adjusted to different angles to allow the user more flexibility when in use.
Breaker bars are used by mechanics, maintenance engineers, and DIY enthusiasts. They are the perfect accessories for removing tight fasteners and as such is most commonly used when removing wheel nuts and other fastenings from vehicles. Wheels are especially exposed to seasonal conditions that cause wheel nuts to seize, so a breaker bar is an ideal tool to aid the removal of these fastenings. but can also be used for a variety of other mechanical applications, such as oil changes.