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Quality small metric spanners

Best UK source ?

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Tim Stevens27/07/2020 18:21:12
1623 forum posts

I am in need of some decent small metric combination* spanners - 4, 5, 5.5, & 7 mm, with properly fitting dimensions.

* I mean ring one end, slot the other end. Not tools for sidecars.

A UK source would be useful - and I have seen enough cheap sets to know how accurately they need to be (and aren't) to work reliably.


Tim Stevens

David Jupp27/07/2020 18:44:13
840 forum posts
17 photos

I added a couple of Halfords Professional combination spanners to extend down to smaller sizes, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality - not sure how small they go...

JasonB27/07/2020 18:51:09
23088 forum posts
2774 photos
1 articles

The Proxxon ones that Axminster do are quite nicely made and what I use though 5mm is the smallest

Brian Morehen27/07/2020 19:07:32
189 forum posts
11 photos

Have a look on Britool spanners website.

I have Both BA and AF in open end and some ring

Good Luck Bee,M

Chris Evans 627/07/2020 19:22:44
2068 forum posts

Plus 1 for the Britool Expert range.

Ady127/07/2020 19:29:09
5180 forum posts
738 photos

I was going to say sykes pickavant because I got a bullet proof set at halfords decades ago but they seem to be gone now

britool look pretty good

Dave Daniels27/07/2020 20:12:33
83 forum posts

+1 for Proxxon, but .... I have a 'set' of these, issued years ago at work. ( I was actually issued with TWO sets but I didn't feel it was my place as a lowly Fault Ferret to embarrass them by pointing out the deficiencies in their arithmetic skills ). smiley


Rather heavy on the beer fund though ..


EDIT  don't know what went wrong with the link... Search ebay UK for STAHLWILLE 16




Edited By Dave Daniels on 27/07/2020 20:13:33

Edited By Dave Daniels on 27/07/2020 20:18:06

Edited By Dave Daniels on 27/07/2020 20:18:42

Stuart Bridger27/07/2020 20:34:53
540 forum posts
29 photos

The Pro range from RS Components are good at a sensible price

Henry Brown27/07/2020 21:39:31
559 forum posts
119 photos

Halfords Professional usually, I do but the odd quality spanner from ebay though when they pop up...

Zan27/07/2020 23:56:00
313 forum posts
20 photos

These are nice, ring is not same size as open end

78090 Expo Professional 8pc Super Thin CombinationSpanner Set

Howard Lewis28/07/2020 21:47:54
6317 forum posts
15 photos

Any of the marques used by professionals should suffice, such as Britool, Snap On., or Facom

Sit down before looking at the prices. They are guaranteed for ever, but that costs!

My father bought a 7/16 hexagon drive Britool socket set in the early 1930s, when he set up his garage business, I inherited them and only needed to replace one socket post 1966! They now reside in The Old Workshop in The WaterWorks Museum.

I still use Elora and Gedore spanners and sockets dating from 1966! They saw virtually industrial use, since my employers issued them to all the shopfloor fitters, and provided them for me as Technical Assistant.


Robert Atkinson 228/07/2020 22:39:09
1251 forum posts
20 photos

Hard to find decent ones with slim heads. Nicest I've seen is Snapon OXIM707SBK set of seven 4 to 9 mm inc 5.5
Problem is price £156!
Slightly cheaper is Facom 39.JE10T at £120
Elora 04212 at £50 but has quite "fat" heads
Best "cheap" set I've found is a Sears brand Craftsman 42339 "10 pc. Midget Combination Wrench Set Metric" which is less than $25 in the USA but can also be found online. Quality seems a bit variable looked at a set last year and some looked more stamped than forged. Might just been a bad batch.

Roert G8RPI.

Michael Briggs28/07/2020 22:49:15
220 forum posts
12 photos

Britool aren’t as good as they used to be. I rate Stahlwille, Elora and Gedore but I haven’t bought any for some time so I don’t know how good they are today.


Steve Neighbour28/07/2020 23:11:35
120 forum posts
1 photos

Real good quality tools, try Wera or Wurth (both German made)

Another that comes to mind would be Teng - also recommended

all pop up via Google search - as usual I have absolutely no affiliation to any, just know they are all very good quality - but beware, they are not cheap

Martin Payne29/07/2020 09:27:09
8 forum posts

Pro's Kit HW-609B... about a tenner from CPC/Farnell.

john fletcher 129/07/2020 10:33:21
805 forum posts

Stahlwille, slender and very good fit, the old Britool or Bedford were nearly the same. But Stahlwille had the edge. Bought mine in 1950's and still going strong. John

Michael Gilligan29/07/2020 10:34:05
20289 forum posts
1064 photos
Posted by Martin Payne on 29/07/2020 09:27:09:

Pro's Kit HW-609B... about a tenner from CPC/Farnell.


That looks promising Martin yes

I have a Pro’s Kit ratchet wrench [square and hex drives] which has behaved faultlessly for several years


Roy Vaughn29/07/2020 11:57:38
60 forum posts
4 photos

Squires have a selection to choose from at reasonable cost:


Nicholas Farr29/07/2020 15:31:01
3425 forum posts
1592 photos

Hi, looking at Roy's link, I see a set of obstruction spanners, which I have, but not from Squires, I bought them locally nearly 40 years ago and although they are not used every day so to speak, they have been extremely useful many times. I do have a pair of each of 6, 7, 8. 9. and one 10mm original Britool combination spanners, which I've had probably more than 40 years and they are still in very good condition, and yes all the old Britool spanners are very nice to handle, especially the ring spanners, the Facom ones no where near as nice IMO.

Regards Nick.

SillyOldDuffer30/07/2020 10:16:12
8912 forum posts
2000 photos

Apologies in advance, I know it's my Hobby Horse, but can I suggest again that engineers shouldn't use words like 'accurate', 'decent', 'nice' or 'quality' because they are meaningless in the absence of a specification.

Factors that help choose a spanner set include:

  • Cost (Very cheap and unnecessarily expensive tools both waste money.)
  • Fit (Only likely to be a problem with very cheap spanners.)
  • Strength. (Drop Forged should be strong enough to shear ordinary bolts and special steels are probably unnecessary for small spanners.)
  • Need for Slim-line or Obstruction features, rings, etc. (This is why I buy them.)
  • Comfort. (Only important when spanner are much used, and is individual. You might prefer Facom to Snap-On or vice versa. )
  • Required life (40 years full-time abuse in a garage or occasional use by a gentleman hobbyist.)
  • Pride of Ownership or Bragging rights important?

What do you get from an expensive spanner? They stand up better to hard work, feel good in the hand, and being slimmer may be easier to get into tight spaces than equally strong but clunky inexpensive tools. Otherwise they're not magic and don't tighten and undo ordinary nuts and bolts any better than ordinary spanners. (Jammed and awkward to get at nuts and bolts are a different story.)

Buying tools, I always ask "what's this for?". Sometimes the answer has me spending more money, more often I spend less, releasing cash for other pleasures. Although my tools are mostly unloved, it's a hobby I happily indulge, and I understand why chaps desire 'good' equipment. Be honest though - is it a tool or a toy?



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