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What is a Swivel Head?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 17, 2024
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A swivel head is a device that is attached to different tools to allow them to reach into tight spaces. The swivel head also helps to align a socket wrench when the bolt is off-set or behind a piece of the machinery. Some devices such as a flashlight when equipped with a swivel head becomes more useful in tight areas due to the swivel head allowing the device to be more accurately aimed at the problem spot and giving another perspective to the object in question.

When working on a piece of machinery from underneath, a swivel head often allows the worker to reach nuts and bolts with a ratchet and extension that are located at hard-to-reach angles. By placing a swivel head on the end of the extension and attaching a socket wrench to the swivel, the worker is able to reach bolts that are not able to be reached with a straight-forward approach. By coming in at an angle, the swivel acts like a universal joint and allows the nut to be turned straight out while the ratchet is turned at a steep angle.

When riveting sheet metal, it is possible to encounter areas where the rivet gun cannot be squeezed due to space restrictions. Areas such as inside turns and bends present difficulty in lining up the rivet tool so that it can be manipulated and squeezed properly to set the rivet. Using a swivel head rivet tool, the head can be turned so that it pulls squarely on the rivet while the handles are positioned at an angle where they can be easily squeezed. This allows the riveter to place the rivets at the correct intervals while maintaining proper squeeze, straight lines of rivets and pleasant aesthetics with the finished product.

When cutting sheet metal and aluminum, sharp pieces of metal often curl up around the edge of the shears. These sharp trimmings are dangerous to the person cutting the material as well as obtrusive into the line of sight of the cut. By utilizing a pair of swivel head tin shears, the trimmings can be directed away from the operator's hands. This results in fewer injuries to the operator as well as a more precise cut by leaving the marked cutting lines unobstructed and clearly visible to the operator. Maintaining a swivel head requires little more than blowing any dirt and debris out of the swivel mechanism and placing a few drops of light oil into the swivel mechanism after use.

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