An adjustable wrench is an important part of any handyman’s tool collection. Furthermore having a good adjustable wrench is often the difference between a job being easy and a job being hard. Adjustable wrenches are sometimes called “crescent wrenches”, however crescent wrench is actually just a particular brand of adjustable wrench and is the same type of hand tool.
To make sure you get the best adjustable wrench you should seek one out that is made from high quality, high grade alloy. It should also be comfortable to hold onto and use, as well as being easy to adjust. The adjustable jaws on the adjustable wrench make it easy to grip bolts that aren’t a suitable size for any fixed size wrench you own. Or even if you do have a wrench the right size, often it is faster just to use the adjusting mechanism to fit the bolt, rather than taking the time finding the right fixed size wrench.
Best Adjustable Wrench – Our Top 4 Picks Compared & Rated
Below we will look at some of the best adjustable wrenches on the market. These options below tick all the boxes in what makes an adjustable wrench good. We have put the list together after undertaking extensive research. The purpose of the reviews is to help you get the best value for money.
Channellock 8WCB 8-Inch WideAzz Adjustable Wrench
The Channellock WideAzz is the best adjustable wrench for the money in our opinion, for a variety of reasons. This wrench measures 8 inches in length (or 6 inches depending on which version you opt for), but due to its innovative design you can use it as if it’s a 12 inch model.
The jaws on this wrench are created in an interesting and unique way which allows them to open up to 1.5 inches wide, which is considerably wider than most 8 inch adjustable wrenches on the market. Not only do the jaws open wide, but they are also quite long. This extra length allows for more gripping strength, yet at the same time this wrench is still good in confined spaces where larger wrenches are out of the question.
As we mentioned earlier, a great feature for an adjustable wrench is to have markings indicating the measurements. In this regard this wrench does well. It has marks for both SAE and metric measurements, and the knurl is easy to get to the perfect width and set it there. As far as the construction goes, it will surely last over a long time as its made from chrome-vanadium steel which is resistant to corrosion and oxidation.
As far as cons go, there isn’t much to talk about. But, a review wouldn’t be complete without at least listing some of the less desirable qualities. Some consumers have complained that the hanger hole on this adjustable wrench is too small. Ideally the hanger hole should be a size where it can easily fit onto the hangers in your shop. Some people have also complained that the grip isn’t durable, saying that it is prone to getting scratched in rougher conditions. Some people have solved the problem of the hole being too small by removing the grip entirely which conceals a larger hole beneath it.
IRWIN VISE-GRIP Adjustable Wrench Set
In some cases rather than owning just one adjustable wrench, you will want a set of adjustable wrenches. If this is the case for you then this set from IRWIN is perfect. The set has handle lengths in 6, 8, 10 and 12 inches – enough sizes for small jobs and big. With this set of adjustable wrenches you will have the perfect wrench to fit into confined spaces as well as ones large enough to allow a lot of torque to be applied to bolts etc.
These wrenches from IRWIN are made from chrome-vanadium alloy which is a very durable material and not to prone to rusting or corrosion. These wrenches have a hanging hole which is perfect for storage on a rack. Alternatively they come with a carrying tray so they can be more portable. They feature both SAE and metric sizes marked on the jaws, so you can easily adjust to the perfect width using just your thumb.
These are high quality tools from a brand known to be in the game of making good products. When you compare these wrenches to cheaper alternatives of the same style you will notice there is significantly less wiggle in the jaws once you set them.
As far as complaints go, this set of wrenches doesn’t have many to speak of. One minor problem that some people have complained about is the fact that the storage tray doesn’t stand up to rough treatment. However it serves its intended purpose very well so it is not something worthy of complaining about. If you need something more durable then the solution for you is probably a good tool chest, or if you need something more portable then a tool box.
Another issue that some individuals have pointed out is that the rubber grips are prone to wear and tear over long periods of use. But for light to moderate users this should not be an issue, besides properly looking after your wrenches will mitigate this issue anyway. If the grip eventually does come off, the metal handle underneath is perfectly fine in terms of gripping ability anyway. In fact some wrenches come new with no rubber grip, just a bare metal handle. These wrenches also have a lifetime warranty for peace of mind.
Stanley 90-948 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench
This high-quality adjustable wrench from Stanley is another very good option. It is made from forged steel for durability and longevity. The jaws on this wrench are able to open very wide to accommodate large nut sizes that are too big for many of the alternatives. Stanley often provides a lifetime warranty with their products, and this wrench is indeed covered.
The handle of this wrench is designed with a multi-material grip that prevents slipping. The grip is also made from high quality materials that means it won’t be wearing down or falling apart anytime soon. While we’re talking about the grip, on that note, it is worth mentioning that it is also said to be extremely comfortable.
As far as the negatives of this adjustable wrench go, there really aren’t many. Some people hold the opinion that there is to much wriggle/movement in the jaws. This could result in rounding off nuts and bolts if the wrench isn’t set to the correct width before trying to remove. Obviously you can tighten the jaws once they’re already in place on the bolt but this is an inconvenient extra step.
Crescent AC28VS Adjustable Wrench
In at number four on our list is the Crescent adjustable wrench. This is the option that provides the best value for money in our opinion. Crescent is the most famous company for their “crescent wrenches”, they’re so famous that their brand name is synonymous with the tool we’re talking about.
This adjustable wrench is pretty basic, not meaning it’s bad, but rather that it is simple. It features a one piece body made from stainless steel. Unlike the other wrenches on this list it doesn’t have a rubber grip on the handle, it is just plain old metal. Which by the way is perfectly fine, and surprisingly comfortable to use. The main benefit that comes with a tool being simple like this is that it is extremely durable. Even if you’re rough with this tool it will most likely last your entire lifetime.
As this option is our number one pick when it comes to the cheap end “value for money options”, it is needless to say quite cheap. With any cheaper tools there are usually some drawbacks, so let’s talk about them. As mentioned before there is no rubber grip which for some can be a deal breaker.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Adjustable Wrench
After reading through the reviews of the best adjustable wrench above, hopefully you now know all that you need in order to make a wise purchase. If you’re still unsure about it, and have some questions remaining let’s dive into a FAQ.
Q: What’s the difference between a crescent wrench and an adjustable wrench?
Adjustable wrenches are often referred to as “Crescent Wrenches” but this is kind of incorrect because crescent is just a brand name. Crescent makes both adjustable and non-adjustable wrenches, because they are well known people often get the names confused. Often times when people say Crescent Wrench they are referring to an adjustable wrench.
Q: Is it better to push or pull a wrench
When you’re able to it is better to pull it towards you, as if you slip this way has less chance of injury. However, it’s not always possible so just exercise caution if you are pushing it.
Q: How long will a good adjustable wrench last me?
If you buy from a good brand an adjustable wrench is likely to last you for your lifetime. That is provided that you maintain it well and don’t leave it out in wet conditions where it may become rusty. It’s also a good idea to apply lubricant to it periodically.
After reading through these four reviews of our best adjustable wrench options you should have a fairly good idea of which one best fits your needs. It is difficult to make a buying decision, but remember since you’ve come this far through our guide now you know everything that you need to know. If you’re still unsure about which one you want then we recommend the Channellock, it has all the features you could possibly need. Thanks for reading, and hopefully you’ve learnt a lot of stuff about adjustable wrenches.