Best Adjustable Wrenches – Buying Guide & Reviews

Wrenches are multi-functional tools, a staple of any good household toolbox. They are perhaps the most common repair and maintenance tool. They come in handy with a broad variety of tasks such as general assembly, pipework, plumbing and many other home improvement tasks, as well as for motor repairs.

If you’re looking for detailed info regarding functionality, quality, and effectiveness of the best adjustable wrenches on the market, you are at the right place. This guide is designed to familiarize you with all the important aspects you should consider before making a purchase. If you don’t wish to spend much time reading about all the features in detail, we have created a table featuring some of the best models available. Take a quick look and you just might find what you’re looking for right away. If you want to know more about the products, by all means, scroll a bit further down.

Best Adjustable Wrench Reviews 2017 – Top 10 Picks

 

Things To Consider When Buying An Adjustable Wrench

best adjustable wrench

Size and Dimensions:

crescent adjustable wrench setThe first thing to evaluate is whether the size and the dimensions of the adjustable wrenches will be suited to the particular nuts and bolts that you are using. Since the jaws are adjustable, most of the time you will have no problem facilitating a broad range of fasteners without any issues.

Knowing the exact dimensions is also helpful if you’re looking for a more portable option compared to a heavy duty wrench. Different sizes have different specifications and uses, therefore it is a good idea to pick a wrench that is suited to the range of fasteners that you are going to be adjusting.

Handle:

craftsman adjustable wrenchThe length of the handle determines the amount of grip. Long handles are well suited to people who have bigger hands for example. The width of the handle, and more essentially the thickness, helps determine whether you will be able to get proper torque and leverage when using it.

This feature is especially important when you’re looking at adjustments with a particularly stubborn nut or bolt.

The coating of the handle also makes a substantial amount of difference in the effect you can get out of the handle, as it affects the slip resistance and the grip of the handle.

Jaws:

adjustable wrench setsThere is a wide variety when it comes to the wrench jaws. Some jaws are not only movable but also reversible, which means they can be turned all the way around, allowing greater space for the fastener. Some adjustable wrenches come with laser marked etchings on either one or on both sides. These markings help in ascertaining the size of the fastener required for a particular opening.

Jaws may come with special features, such as serrations, and knurls attached with tension springs. These features are mostly specific to the types of tasks the adjustable wrench is best suited to. Jaws also sometimes come with extra-wide capacity. This type of jaw can incorporate even larger types of nuts and bolts.

Sets and purposes:

craftsman adjustable wrenchesNot all adjustable wrenches are created equal. Some are more suited to heavy duty usage involving general assembly, automobile repair and maintenance, whereas some are suited more to household and everyday tasks. Every toolbox generally should have 6-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch wrenches. These sizes can adjust to various lengths and sizes of fasteners and sockets.

Smaller wrenches are great for DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists. They are also good for hard-to-reach places where larger wrenches are not adequate. Some wrenches are designed for specific tasks like the pass-through wrench, which is more suited for pipework than other tasks.

Design and construction of the wrench:

locking adjustable wrenchesAdjustable wrenches are commonly made of alloy steel, which is either plated with chromium metal, or some other sort of covering. Some coatings, such as black phosphate or chromium metal, are better than others in terms of durability.

It is essential to look at the coating and polishing of the adjustable wrench, because this will help determine the life span of the wrench.

Some coatings make the wrench insulated. This is especially useful when dealing with car repair and maintaince. Heat treated coatings make the wrench a bad conductor of heat and thus a lot safer than traditional wrenches. So depending on the work you do, it’s good to take this feature into account before buying the wrench.

Extra features:

best crescent wrenchesWrenches in sets might come with extra features, such as sockets and ratchets, as well as extra wrenches. If you’re looking for a well-priced budget buy, then you should keep an eye out for the sets with extra features because they will definitely add more to your toolbox than buying a single wrench.

Lifetime or limited lifetime warranty with a wrench set is an added bonus because adjustable wrenches can loosen up overtime and can lose the sturdiness of the jaw, making adjustments harder. The limited lifetime warranty helps get rid of this issue with ease.

Price value and specifications:

Just like with every other product, some wrenches are towards the cheaper, more affordable end, whereas some wrenches are more towards the high-end and premium side. Wrenches on the high-end side might not necessarily be of better quality and it is important to look up the features of the wrench to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.

Durability and strength are very important features to consider when buying adjustable wrenches. The typical specifications for wrenches are ANSI general specifications.

The adjustable wrench sets provide more value for money in most cases because you get more than one wrench for the price of one. Wrenches are an essential tool and they make a worthwhile investment. If you can get three for the price of one and their quality is up to the standard, you should go for it.


Our Top 5 Picks

Stanley 6-Inch Adjustable Wrench

Stanley 90-947 6-Inch MaxSteel Adjustable Wrench
List Price:$7.89
Price:$7.84
You Save:$0.05
Price Disclaimer

This wrench provides a solid grip and is categorized as one of the smaller wrenches. Its size and dimensions are standard for 6-inch wrenches. It has a laser marked scale on the adjustable jaw on both sides; one side features a metric scale, and the other features SAE markings.

Like most Stanley adjustable wrenches, it meets and exceeds the ANSI standard specifications. The wrench head is movable and has smooth action during adjustments. regions It is widely considered as the best wrench for hard to reach areas or areas with little or no space.

It is lightweight and portable due to its small size. It comes with a rubber handle which makes it easy to grip. Provides excellent lift and support, all the while ensuring the safety of the user. The adjustable jaw opens extra wide, enabling you to adjust fasteners bigger than what you would normally expect a 6-inch wrench would be able to loosen or tighten.

It is also considerably thinner than other wrenches and self-adjusts to the fastener when putting it into place. It comes at a very low price point and thus offers great value for money. Considering its multi-functionality and durability, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the best selling products.

The handle allows even the ungloved hand to perform handyman work efficiently, without any problems. This makes it ideal for homeowners and hobbyists who would use such a wrench to perform household tasks. It has no harsh edges and can match a broad variety of fastener sizes.

The only downside of this product is that sometimes the jaw can come a bit loose, but that can be easily tightened and readjusted. Overall, this wrench is a worthwhile investment, whether if it’s just for small repair and maintenance tasks, or for adjustments required for plumbing.

Crescent AC28VS Adjustable Wrench

This wrench has a unique feature that makes it stand out from among other wrenches. The first tension spring that is attached to the knurl, near the head of the wrench, helps the adjustment made to the jaw to stay in place without loosening up. This is the most common fault when it comes to adjustable wrenches.

The AC28VS is primarily made of an alloy of steel, but it is also coated and polished. This helps keep the wrench rust-free and makes it resistant to wear and tear, a result of repetitive use.

This wrench is multifunctional. It fulfills the ASIN requirements and is made for standard usage. This wrench, manufactured by a well-known brand Crescent, comes with a lifetime warranty. You can remain assured that it will be speedily repaired or replaced in case of any defects or malfunctions.

The sides of the jaw of this wrench are laser-marked with the metric scale. The jaw itself also has the extra-wide capacity so that it can adjust to fasteners, which normally would not be able to fit into a standard 8-inch wrench.

The size and dimensions are mid-range, making this wrench an incredibly versatile one. The knurl for this wrench allows you to put pressure on the fastener instead of the wrench, making it a bit more versatile than other wrenches.

It is a reliable and durable wrench which will last you quite a while, without requiring repurchase. The handle of this wrench is noticeably bigger, which makes it perfect for providing sufficient torque and leverage. The price is also very reasonable and comes as a bonus to the already excellent product features.

Stanley 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench

Stanley 87-369 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench
List Price:$11.99
Price:$7.08
You Save:$4.91
Price Disclaimer

This is another adjustable wrench from a reliable brand, Stanley. The size and dimensions of this wrench are the standard size and weight for an 8-inch wrench, but it is considerably lighter, weighing only 8.8 ounces. The construction of the main body of the wrench is made of a superior quality steel alloy, known as vanadium steel.

This provides the wrench with strength and sustenance so that it can withstand a significant amount of pressure without any issues. This alloy is coated and polished to protect it from corrosion and rust, thus adding to its durability.

Like most Stanley wrenches, it meets or exceeds ANSI specifications; this is because of the great innovation that comes behind engineering this product. The hole at the base of the wrenches allows for easy storage, tethering, and hanging.

The adjustable jaw has the marking on both sides so that you know exactly which size bolt you require for each particular opening. One of the markings is millimeter, and the other side’s marking is in inches. This wrench also comes with limited lifetime warranty, which means that in the case of defects or malfunctions it will be either replaced or repaired.  

This wrench is adjustable, meaning that the jaw has an extra-wide capacity to be able to fit a broad variety of nuts and bolts and be able to hold them in place with little or no movement so that they can be fastened or loosened without any difficulty.

The larger handle it has makes it easier to do day-to tasks without causing much stress on the hand. Stanley products provide high quality at a competitive market price and are usually more affordable than wrenches of similar size and quality, which gives this brand great value for money.

Craftsman Adjustable Wrench Set, 3 Piece

Next up is this nice wrench set from Craftsman; it contains three wrenches of sizes 6, 8, and 10 inches. The set weighs 2 pounds, which makes it a bit heavier compared to standard wrenches of the similar price and value.

This wrench set is uniquely suited to automobile use, more than any other kind of use, but it still is a multi-functional device so you can rely on it for home improvement and household tasks. as well. All three adjustable wrenches in this set come equipped with easy to turn knurls, which enables you to adjust their tightening or loosening abilities accordingly. They serve the purpose very well for tough jobs which require lots of usage of the adjustable wrenches.

They come with a plastic coated handle that provides a firm grip, keeping your ungloved hands safe from injury. They are also quite comfortable to use and provide sufficient amount of torque and leverage required to get the job done effectively. They are not very bulky, making them relatively easier to carry, but still robust enough for heavy duty jobs. The quality expectations that are associated with the Craftsman brand are fulfilled as well. Both of the adjustable wrenches in this set meet ASIN general specifications.

A standard feature, the adjustable jaw of these wrenches enables you to use them for different nuts and bolts sizes. This set is more of a premium range but offers really high value for money.  It is also very sturdy and durable and it is a market leader in its right. When compared to standard sets for the same price, most brands cannot keep up with the superior quality that Craftsman offers.

Crescent Adjustable Wrench Set

This wrench set is a specially engineered set that comes with a combination of ten sockets. It is a standard, heavy-duty 8-inch wrench and weighs about 14.4 ounces. It’s lighter than standard wrenches while still on the sharp end when it comes to quality.

This wrench set is meant mainly for pipework. It has an adjustable wrench which is also reversible, providing further access and flexibility for a broad variety of nuts and bolts. It has serrations on the inside of the jaw of the wrench and a thick tooth shaped design that keeps pipes in place and makes them easier to fasten. It has a unique pass-through system, which makes this wrench able to reach areas where normally ratchets and sockets would not work properly.

It is designed to provide a proper fit, and the sockets which come in the set meet the standard, as well as metric bolts, with no issue. The sides of the jaw have laser-etched markings on the side, to ensure precision. The scale used for this wrench is a millimeter scale.

The set is primarily constructed with alloy steel but has a black phosphate coating to make it more durable. This coating makes the wrench more slip-resistant as well as keeping it safe from rust. This feature is especially useful if you take into account it will be exposed to a lot of moisture in plumbing jobs. This wrench can do the job of many wrenches in one and has multiple functionalities. This one is also considered more of a high-end premium set. The deep tooth design on the inside of the jaw creates a very good grip on the tube.

All things considered, this is a highly valuable wrench set, capable of executing a multitude of tasks.


Now You Can Buy the Best Adjustable Wrenches With Confidence

adjustable wrench

Adjustable wrenches are also commonly called crescent wrenches, because of the well-known Crescent brand, which first innovated this type of wrench in the early 1900s. Crescent or adjustable wrenches are wrenches which have two kinds of jaws, one is the fixed jaw, that stays in place and the other jaw is a movable jaw, which allows fitting for different types of nuts and bolts. A good wrench is a staple tool in almost every toolbox.

We hope that after looking through this detailed buyer’s guide, you will be able to make an informed and correct decision about which adjustable wrench you should get. This guide was formulated after taking into account all the most important features you should consider.

best wrench
Let’s recap the major factors one more time:

Grip – One of the first factors we looked into was the grip. This feature is very important because the primary function of the wrench becomes at stake if the wrench is slippery and cannot perform well with the proper amount of torque applied to it. Always remember that coated handles and handles with a plastic end are more suited for providing leverage to twist and turn the most stubborn of nuts and bolts.

Design – Always check whether the tool is manufactured with a detailed and smooth design. This will ensure not only easy operation but also comfort and safety. The last thing you want to get when using heavy duty wrenches are cuts. This is where slip resistant and coated wrenches are the most significant.

Size – Make sure you keep in mind not only the sizes and specifications of the wrenches but also the purpose they are designed for. Some wrenches are catered to specific functions and don’t perform well when used for other applications, whereas some wrenches are multifunctional and can operate in a plethora of environments.

Laser Etchings – All the wrenches mentioned in this guide come with laser marked etchings on the side of the adjustable jaw and their purpose is apparent; they help you get the size of the nut and bolt as well as the opening right.

Scales – The scales are also important, especially if you’re doing a lot of work which demands precision.

Single/Set – Some sets will cost you a bit more but will provide a far greater value for money than single wrenches. Of course, it all depends on their quality, construction, design and your needs.

Value –  Last but not least, the value for money aspect is often the biggest deciding factor for many buyers.

So there you have it, everything you should know before splashing your valuable cash on a wrench. You’ll find that we’ve covered everything from inexpensive adjustable wrenches and adjustable wrench sets to a few high-end and premium options so you can choose according to your needs.  We guarantee you will not be disappointed with purchasing any of the aforementioned wrenches, as they have been selected because of their superior quality and performance. Happy shopping!