A podger has a spanner head at one end of the shaft and a tapered spike (called a ‘drift pin’) at the other.
The drift pin is pushed into bolt holes of scaffolding, or other metal workpieces such as event staging, to line them up so a bolt can be passed through the holes without being forced and damaged.
Some drift pins are straight while others have a bend in them (known as ‘cranked’) which can sometimes make them easier to use.
The spanner head is then used to tighten the fastener. The spanner head can be any type of profile but is usually an open-ended, ring, box or ratcheted ring profile. Podger spanner head sizes range between 17mm (to fit an M6 bolt) or 2/3″ all the way up to 50mm (2″).
Some podgers have a hole going through the shaft for attaching a lanyard, so it stays on your person even if you drop it. This makes it safer for other people if you are working at heights as well as meaning you don’t have to climb down the ladder to pick it back up!
The length of podger spanners can range from a small hand tool of 200mm to a much larger tool at 650mm long. The length tends to increase with the size of the spanner head but is also related to the difficulty of the job that needs to be done.