A Brief Look at Adjustable Wrenches

Shea's picture

When you are planning a home improvement project or a major do-it-yourself project, having the right tools on hand before you start will save you a lot of time. It will also make the job go much easier when you do not have to stop what you are doing to go an purchase more tools. There is a staple of the tool kit or home improvement tool shed that is a "must have" for the person who does any types of repairs at home. There are basically three types of adjustable wrenches. In most cases, homes have one of these types of wrenches, however, many people are finding that having one of each of the varieties is a great asset when something breaks in the house.

The adjustable end, or crescent wrench is the most popular wrench made and most homes have one. These wrenches are available in multiple sizes, but most homes have a standard 1 1/2" wrench that works with just about any pipe or faucet that breaks in the home. When a person has a small or large job, they can find a great crescent wrench that will help them complete the job. The identifying factor of this wrench is the angled jaw that has a fifteen degree angle perpendicular from the handle.

Found in many different sizes, this great tool can be used for pipes, bolts, nuts, and craft projects. There is even a variation of the wrench made that acts as a lid opener for individuals who have weak wrists.

When using the wrench, it is possible to lock it in place and use resistance power to release a stuck fixture or close a broken faucet. Once locked, the wrench holds in place with the gripping jaws found in the head of the wrench.

A gas grip or monkey wrench is most often found near large jobs. This wrench has a long handle and serrated jaw grips that will securely affix itself to any type of pipe, box, or other object. This wrench has been built to stay in place when it is being used. The tool is heat forged from steel for stronger power and can have the full weight of a body pushing against it to release an object that is stuck.

The Stillson or pipe wrench is used by individuals who work with smaller pipes such as plumbers. These wrenches are very similar to monkey wrenches but are sleeker and easier to use in tight locations. The tool has a self-tightening property that makes it great for working with small pipes in odd locations. This tool has hard serrated jaws that securely grip a pipe or fitting and is often used in conjunction with a crescent wrench to get the type of resistance necessary to move or release the fitting being worked on.

Choosing the type of adjustable wrenches that will work best for your project will greatly depend on what you will be doing. If you will need a tool that is excellent with resistance and you will be working in a tight area you will want a tool that is capable of providing the kind of service required to make adjustments or alterations easily.

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They come in a variety of sizes, but a 6-inch, 8-inch, or 10-inch would be ideal. These sizes are compatible with most conventional hardware and allow you to reach tight corners and difficult-to-reach areas.


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GregCho2's picture

I found this extremely helpful. I have bought this adjustable wrench recently and can't wait to use it on my next handyman project. I appreciate your help and bringing forth this information. It really helped clear some questions I had when I first bought the wrench. 

Greg, Handyman Arlington Heights