Aluminum wrenches

I recently saw this tool online and was wondering if anyone knew if aluminum wrenches could be made to withstand normal wear and tear if the material was chosen correctly and the manufacturing process? This wrench is used for RC hobbyists and is machined and anodized but it does not specify what type of aluminum is used. If I wanted to use it in a normal context (such as a bicycle tool) I was thinking that maybe AL7075-T6 would be a good choice and that type III anodizing it would help to increase the hardness, but I am not sure how long it would hold up for? Does anyone know what might be a better choice? Also what manufacturing process would be best if this were to be mass produced; casting, injection molding, etc?


Sure, it’s possible. CNC machined 7000 series would be your best bet, but why? A small hand tool wouldn’t weigh much if it were steel. Plus, Type III anodizing is crazy expensive because it has to be done so precisely.

You are right about the weight. I have been working on something similar but the quotes I have received for aluminum vs stainless steel had the aluminum being a lot less expensive. The anodizing wasn’t type III but I thought that by changing it that it would not increase the cost too much? I will have to look into it. Plus my quote is for having the parts cast.

Interesting question, with many possible answers. First most wrenches/tools I know of are either cast, forged, or machined so your on the right track. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, in your case though I would think that machining would give you the best results. It might be more expensive upfront but for smaller quantities it will give you more consistent results with less finish work. This is all based on the image you included though, your part might be hard to machine, I don’t know.

For wear and tear most AL tools have contact surfaces made out of steel that are mechanically fastened. But depending on your definition of wear and tear this may not be needed, with low torque applications for example. Also you said you quoted a part with aluminum and stainless, why not plain carbon steel? Other than corrosion, steel is normally the perfect choice for tools.

Overall though I would say this is a question for an engineer/material scientist. They would need to know what the wrench is for, what forces are involved, how big it is, etc. and they could easily point you in the right direction.

Thank you Nurb and Dubya. :slight_smile: It sounds like I will have to find an engineer to help me solve this. I am new to design so I am not sure what the material selection should be. The wear for my tool could possibly be related to someone using the tool consistently on a bicycle wheel. Would AL hold up to to use on steel nuts and bolts?.. Also the decision for stainless steel was recommended by the factory. I’m not sure what the cost for carbon steel would be, but right now the quote for AL is about $2.00 less per piece! So if I can make that work and have it be used with a moderate amount of torque, without deforming, than it seems that AL would be the obvious choice? And this would make a huge difference if the quantities are in the thousands. I will check with my source though and see if there are other steel options available and maybe that will work out?


You can bet carbon steel would be considerably cheaper than aluminum. You can polish it, plate it, and the next thing you know your tools look like Snap-On.

Awesome, I am so excited to hear that! Now I just have to get some new quotes and hopefully I can start manufacturing soon :smiley:

I know that the OP’s question seems to be answered, but I thought that if anyone was curious on the axial wrench he was referencing, I could give some insight:

As the description says, this wrench is for wheel nuts (they hold the wheels on the axels. Axial makes RC rock crawlers, which move very slowly and don’t require super snug wheel nuts. Last, most wheel nuts for these trucks are aluminum or nylon so wear and tear on the tool is not an much of an issue :smiley:

If you look at more general purpose RC tools, you’ll find the handles are anodized aluminum, but the business end is usually titanium-nitrided chromium steel (replaceable) like this one: 免费视频爱爱太爽了网站,少妇被粗大的猛进出,午夜男女无遮掩免费视频,亚洲AV片手机在线观看

I think Dubya has answered your post well. I agree why not carbon steel heat treated? I would consult an engineer before I send out quotes, there are many types of tool steel.

Conventional wrenches for bikes are about 250mm long, and people really lean on them - thats quite a bit of torque to deal with. Who wants this tool? Lots of bikes use quick releases, not BMX or single speeds though. I’d think the long term durability would be poor - it may be easiest to get a wrench laser cut from 8 or 10mm plate 7075-T6 and test it, see how it works out, but I’d say the one off would be expensive.

As a guide most pedal/wheel wrenches look like

a little hand wrench like you linked to just wont generate the torque required

Lezyne makes light multi tools, if their not using 7075 for they’re little wrenches there may be real durability issues.