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What's up with 18mm?

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  • What's up with 18mm?

    I own a single 18mm box end wrench, only because it came on the other end of the 19mm I wanted.

    I've never used it in 35 years.

    While looking for a stubby set to use on my lathe, I notice most sets come with an 18mm, some of them leave out the extremely useful 13mm and 19mm.

    Is there something(else) I don't know?
    Mike

    My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

  • #2
    Idunno, but it bugs me bigtime that they always come in sizes like 10/11, 12/13, 17/18 and so on. Wouldn't it be easier for us all if they came in 10/13, 17/19 ?
    .

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    • #3
      18mm is a very common size in the automotive industry. 13mm and 19mm will cross over to 1/2" and 3/4" so that might be why some sets leave those out.
      Mark Hockett

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      • #4
        While we're on the subject of odd wrench sizes. How often do ya use the 17/32 or 19/32 or 25/32 end wrenches that come in the Craftsman sets? I have had Mine for thirty years or longer and can't recall ever reaching for one of them.

        Steve

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        • #5
          I use 18mm alot
          The first few times I came across it I did not have the wrench
          Off to Canadian Tyre, etc and no one had it.
          Had to get it through Snap-on
          It was $$.
          please visit my webpage:
          http://motorworks88.webs.com/

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          • #6
            In Sweden most of the smaller sets lack the 18 mm. On the other hand, Sweden is _very_ metric, so I wouldn't consider it really strange since the standard fasterners in that size are rare. You would have to look really hard to find an 18 mm nut in any hardware store. Of the small sizes I'd consider 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 24 to be "standard".

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            • #7
              Originally posted by doctor demo
              While we're on the subject of odd wrench sizes. How often do ya use the 17/32 or 19/32 or 25/32 end wrenches that come in the Craftsman sets? I have had Mine for thirty years or longer and can't recall ever reaching for one of them.

              Steve
              There was one fastener on a 70's Mopar vehicle that required a 19/32" wrench.

              Old Delta Machinery uses n/32" nuts quite often.

              n/32" was part the the whole National Heavy series of fasteners way back when.

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              • #8
                In NZ you can get normal M12 hex bolts with 18mm or 19mm heads, just as M10 can be had with 16mm or 17mm head.

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                • #9
                  I have never quite understood why 18 mm. became so popular in automotive fasteners, but it did in the 80's. My 88 chevy truck uses a bunch of them, and so do Jeep Cherokees. Just about every fastener in the steering linkages, etc. is 18. My initial guess is that it is used precisely because there is no common SAE "close-enough" equivalent, so it forces the use of a proper sized wrench.

                  Given how common 18 has become, I continue to be surprised at how few sets come with it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by doctor demo
                    While we're on the subject of odd wrench sizes. How often do ya use the 17/32 or 19/32 or 25/32 end wrenches that come in the Craftsman sets? I have had Mine for thirty years or longer and can't recall ever reaching for one of them.

                    Steve
                    19/32 will sub for 15 mm. in a pinch, and you might be able to put a 17/32 on 14 if 9/16 is too sloppy. I don't recall ever needing a 25/32.

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                    • #11
                      I had to buy an 18 mm to work on an Okuma lathe. Only machine I've ever used it on.

                      Clutch

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                      • #12
                        I've had to buy 18mm wrenches and sockets separately in order to fill out my "sets".
                        I too use 18mm a lot.
                        It really pisses me off when I purchase a "set", and the "set" isn't complete.
                        It's like buying a 1/4"-1" set and having some twit in accounting make the decision for me that I probably won't use the 11/16" much so "we'll just leave that one out"!
                        Same with metric, that's why I want a "set". I'll make the decision as to what I need.
                        Darn marketing dorks don't use wrenches, but then make the decisions as to what those that do are going to use.
                        I hate also to use a wrench from one set because it's close enough to the one missing from another set, because it's close enough...sometimes close enough isn't good enough.
                        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                        Location: British Columbia

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                        • #13
                          Hmm, don't know why that is. When I was a diesel mechanic I bought every open end, combination, offset and box wrench from 1/4" to 2" and still have them. I used all of them one time or another. Don't even ask about the socket wrenches and impacts I have and Ohh, the 600 ft lb torque wrench I don't use anymore thank God.

                          Tool crazy, Uhuh, Uhuh, the white coats are after me
                          Last edited by Carld; 12-12-2009, 05:39 PM.
                          It's only ink and paper

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                          • #14
                            Just wait, many have started using 18 instead of 19 and 12 instead of 13 and son on apparently huge savings in material cost...

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                            • #15
                              I bought my first metric wrenches back in about 1967, when I got a Honda motorcycle. Always wondered why there was a 13mm included....until one day a friend asked me to do something to her VW Beetle. Hmmm... a 12mm was too small, and a 14mm was too big...but the heretofore unused 13mm was just right!

                              About 1992, I bought another Craftsman tool set, and it included an 18mm wrench and socket. Never had a need for them until getting my imported milling machine vise. Wanted one of those 'spider' handles for it, bought one that had a 5/8" hex, bored it out to accept the pressed-in 18mm socket from the set.

                              Have never had a need for 18mm otherwise, even having owned VWs since 1980.

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