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A breaker bar (also known as a power bar) is a long non-ratcheting bar that is used with socket wrench-style sockets. They are used to break loose very tight fasteners because their additional length allows the same amount of force to generate significantly more torque than a standard length socket wrench.:1,3 Their use prevents damage to the ratcheting mechanism of a socket wrench. Often, after the first half turn, the fastener is loose enough to be turned with a socket wrench.
The long handle on breaker bars compared to shorter wrenches allow a larger torque to be generated with the same amount of force. Also, the absence of a ratcheting mechanism makes a breaker bar considerably stronger than a ratchet. This allows greater torque to be applied to a fastener without the tool failing. A breaker bar can be improvised by inserting a wrench into a length of metal pipe to increase the available torque. A pipe used for this purpose is called a cheater bar or snipe.
- U.S. Patent 4,811,638 (1989) Retrieved 3 May 2010