In the right place and at the right time, a high-quality wrench really can be a lifesaver. Regardless of whether you’re working as a professional mechanic or simply looking to tackle a few jobs around the home, no toolbox is complete without at least one dependable wrench from a quality manufacturer.
This is the reason why we thought we’d save you the time and trouble of comparing the thousands of options available right now. We’ve put together a useful guide featuring a selection of our own personal favorites, hand-picked from leading manufacturers and fully verified for both quality and value for money.
Read on for our full reviews of each wrench independently, while checking out the table below for a brief overview of what’s on offer.
Klein Tools D509-8
Irwin Tools 2078615
#1 Recommendation: Stanley 90-947 6-Inch MaxSteel Adjustable Wrench
The Stanley 90-947 6-Inch MaxSteel Adjustable Wrench is an awesome little wrench that is light and simple to use for professional and domestic applications alike.
Large and durable enough to tackle even the biggest challenges, this innovative tool has also been designed for those smaller jobs and fixes.
In short, the Stanley 90-947 6-Inch MaxSteel is one of the most flexible and versatile tools of its kind currently available, while at the same time representing incredible value for money when compared to similar products from competing brands.
The design itself is simple but effective in equal measures. Easy to use, exceptionally strong and surprisingly lightweight, the whole thing comes together quite beautifully.
The handle is sufficiently long to provide a strong and comfortable grip, though compact enough to minimize the dimensions of the overall wrench. It has a slip-safe bi-material handle for a comfortable grip, even when working in difficult or damp conditions.
We also noted that the markings to indicate the width of the jaw opening are very precise, while the worm screw used to adjust the jaw is also extremely easy to work with.
The long and short of it is that the Stanley 90-947 6-Inch MaxSteel isn’t the kind of wrench that’s going to give you sore hands – even after heavy use.
This wrench meets ANSI standards and has earned the backing of plenty professionals and DIY types alike. On the whole, it’s unlikely you will come across any everyday job that the Stanley 90-947 6-Inch MaxSteel cannot take easily in its stride – quite the bargain at its current price.
Max Jaw Capacity: 13/14"/26.3mm, Head Width: 11/25"/11.2mm. Measurements (L x W x H): 8.2" x 2.7" x .7"
#2 Recommendation: Klein Tools D509-8 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench
Next in line comes the Klein Tools D509-8 Extra-Wide Jaw 8″ Adjustable Wrench, which given the pedigree of the brand itself, you know from the get-go is going to perform.
Even at first glance, the Klein Tools D509-8 clearly means business in terms of both its appearance and build quality. One of the most interesting things about the Klein Tools D509-8 being that with its compact size of around 8-1/2" in length, it represents a great choice for working in confined spaces and challenging environments. Not to mention, a fantastically-portable wrench that’s also easy to store away.
Rather than focusing on anything fancy, the folks behind the Klein Tools D509-8 simply designed it to get the job done. The jaw opens and closes as smoothly as can be, the laser-etched measuring guide is superbly accurate, and the quality of the materials is right up there with the best of them.
The plastic-dipped handle may not be the single most comfortable to hold on the market, but it nonetheless provides a serious amount of grip in absolutely all conditions.
With regards to size, it is regularly sized wrench being 1-1/2'' (38 mm) jaw has the same limit as a standard 12'' (305 mm) wrench.
What sets the Klein Tools D509-8 wrench apart from many of its rivals is the fact that this will no doubt prove to be the only wrench you will ever need to buy.
Designed and manufactured from the ground up with rugged durability in mind, you can throw literally anything in the world at this thing, and it isn’t going to quit, which is precisely why it has become a group among mechanics and other professionals all over the world.
It may be slightly more expensive than some of its counterparts, but what it delivers in terms of value for money is quite simply unbeatable.
#3 Recommendation: Stanley 87-473 12-Inch Adjustable Wrench
The second most affordable tool on our list, the Stanley 87-473 12-Inch Adjustable Wrench takes things well and truly back to basics. Rather than focusing on any kinds of unnecessary design elements, the Stanley 87-473 is just about as simple and purpose-built as it gets.
It may not be particularly pretty, but carrying the pedigree of one of the world’s most reputable brands, you can rest assured that the Stanley 87-473 cannot and will not let you down.
Produced using manufactured chrome vanadium steel, the build quality of the Stanley 87-473 12-Inch Adjustable Wrench is exceptional. It has a solid, relatively heavy feel in hand, along with a jaw that’s every bit as robust and reliable as you’d expect from a wrench three-times this price.
Admittedly the metallic handle isn’t the most comfortable to hold, and things can get a little bit slippery when wet. Nevertheless, it’s perfectly fine for tackling the vast majority of jobs and provides a solid enough grip to work on challenging projects and fixes.
Its smooth-operating jaw opens up to a maximum of 1-1/2 inches, while the hole at the end of the handle makes for easy hanging, transportation, and storage.
Much the same as the other Stanley wrench models, its body is produced using composite steel for maximum quality and durability that surpasses ANSI standards for torque.
Despite being available for a considerably lower price than most comparable wrenches from competing brands.
#4 Recommendation: Stanley 85-610 10-Inch Long MaxGrip Locking Adjustable Wrench
Approaching things from a slightly different angle, the Stanley 10-Inch MaxGrip Locking Adjustable Wrench effectively combines two tools into one wrench of extraordinary quality. All of which translates to even more outstanding value for money.
As would be expected from a brand with this kind of pedigree, the Stanley Long MaxGrip is manufactured using hybrid steel for guaranteed quality and durability and is constructed to surpass ANSI standards for torque.
And we can safely say that having tested it out for ourselves, the Stanley Long MaxGrip is the kind of affordable tool that is guaranteed to exceed your expectations – big time!
As mentioned, the Stanley 10-Inch MaxGrip Locking Adjustable Wrench is two gadgets in 1: a standard adaptable torque and locking pliers. The 10-crawl locking adaptable wrench performs right up there with the best in the business, making it a great choice for both domestic and professional use alike.
While the overall design of the Stanley Long MaxGrip is relatively simple and less than exciting, it is nonetheless designed primarily to perform.
It has a hand-feel of real quality and robustness, albeit at the expense of a particularly comfortable grip. Nevertheless, you really can’t expect everything for this kind of price.
The Stanley 85-610 10-Inch Long MaxGrip Locking Adjustable Wrench offers clients a true 2-in-1 package, combining a movable wrench with the functions of a pair of locking forceps.
From plumbing to auto repairs to all imaginable jobs around the home, this is one innovative gadget you absolutely need in your toolbox.
#5 Recommendation: Channellock 8WCB WideAzz Adjustable Wrench
As for the Channellock 8WCB WideAzz Adjustable Wrench, there’s no denying that this is probably the most attractive tool in our entire list. But it isn’t just about appearances – the Channellock 8WCB WideAzz has also been designed from the ground up to tackle the kinds of jobs that may be out of reach for other wrenches.
Along with an exceptionally secure and accurate jaw, the whole thing is significantly more slender and narrow than your traditional wrench – hence its value when tackling jobs in tight spaces and cramped conditions.
Don’t let the fact that the Channellock 8WCB WideAzz comes from a Spanish manufacturer you may never have heard of put you off the idea of picking it up.
Just like us ourselves, thousands of professionals and DIY types from all over the world have tried, tested and approved this innovative device as one of the best in the business.
Adjusting the jaw really couldn’t be smoother or easier, it has the build quality to tackle even the most challenging of jobs and the handle is by a wide margin one of the most comfortable and secure we’ve tried out to date.
And if you choose to – not that we can think why you would want to – there’s also the option of removing the grip, if you’d prefer to work without it.
While the Channellock 8WCB WideAzz may not be bursting at the seams with innovative and dynamic features, it has nonetheless impressed sufficiently to earn predominantly five-star ratings from just about every buyer and user across the board.
In fact, there’s every chance that after trying the Channellock 8WCB WideAzz for yourself, you might think twice about the tried and tested brands you currently go for – maybe it’s time to consider the competition?
#6 Recommendation: Irwin Tools 2078615 VISE-GRIP Adjustable Pipe Wrench
Last but not the least, the Irwin 2078615 Vise-Grip Tools Adjustable Pipe Wrench has likewise earned nothing but praise and recommendations across professional and domestic circles alike.
This is one tool that lives up to its name in more ways than one - the grip provided by the jaw is no less than flawless, while the handle itself is one of the most comfortable and secure you will ever have the pleasure of gripping!
Large in size and uncompromising on quality, the Irwin Vise-Grip Tools Adjustable Pipe Wrench also features a special "hammerhead" design that provides a level surface to bash with a hammer where required.
The wrench is manufactured from the highest quality chrome vanadium composite for a beautiful finish and maximum durability, while the blue and yellow grip is as gorgeous to look at as it is comfortable to hold.
Laser-etched measurements by the jaw make for easy and accurate adjustments, while the worm screw remains smooth and comfortable to operate in all conditions.
What’s more, there’s also a quick-release catch that allows the jaws to be pushed back together, rather than having to screw them closed each time.
The Irwin Vise-Grip Tools Adjustable Pipe Wrench is the kind of tool you feel as if you could throw anything at and rely on it to deliver – particularly with the slip-safe ProTouch grip covering the entire shaft, which makes it absolutely fantastic to hold and use for the most demanding jobs.
The only slight downside of the Irwin Vise-Grip Tools Adjustable Pipe Wrench being that it may be somewhat on the large side for those looking to tackle more precise jobs in smaller spaces.
Nevertheless, when it comes to just about any other everyday application whatsoever, the Irwin Vise-Grip Tools Adjustable Pipe Wrench represents the kind of tool you will never regret adding to your collection.
The Ultimate Buying Guide to buy the Best Wrench
A quality wrench represents an indispensable and essential addition to any domestic or professional toolbox. When the time comes, a reliable wrench really can be worth its weight in gold.
That said, and just as is the case with tools across the board, all wrenches are most certainly not designed and manufactured to the same high-quality standards.
What’s more, it’s important to be aware of the various different types of wrenches available to you, in order to ensure you make the right decision.
So to make things a little bit easier next time you head out to buy a wrench, here’s a brief overview of just a few things to take into account:
A box wrench is a type of wrench that has a completely fixed and closed head which cannot be adjusted, designed to fit snugly over the nut with a head containing six or 12 edges on its interior.
Box wrenches provide an extremely secure fit and plenty of torque, though are less versatile than open or adjustable wrenches and therefore need to be chosen carefully.
Open Ended Wrench
Open-ended wrenches are sometimes called "C" spanners and come in various sizes. These are probably the most popular and basic wrenches, designed to connect with nuts or screw heads from the side.
The open jaw (which looks like a letter C) is not as solid as the encased jaw found on a box wrench, though it can be quicker and easier to use in many applications.
An offset wrench is designed in a manner that provides a degree of extra room for the respective user to work, in order to provide easier access to tight and difficult areas.
As the name suggests, an adjustable wrench can be set to a wide variety of sizes and is therefore extremely versatile.
With an adjustable wrench, however, it is particularly important to select a product of quality and the highest possible design and manufacturing standards.
A combination wrench features and open-ended wrench at one end and a box wrench at the other – usually of very similar or identical sizes.
These days, the vast majority of wrenches (not to mention tools in general) feature both imperial and metric measurements for maximum convenience.
As this is not always the case, however, it is worth checking which measurement type is used with the wrenches you are considering, in order to avoid confusion.
Wrenches are available in an extraordinary array of shapes and sizes, in terms of their jaw openings, handle sizes, lengths, widths and so on. Exactly what represents the perfect option for you will be determined by how and where you intend to use it.
In any case, it’s a good idea to carefully consider the intended application of the wrench, before going ahead and choosing the appropriate size and shape.
Material and Durability
What makes the biggest difference of all in terms of quality is the combination of the materials used to manufacture the wrench and its overall manufacturing standards.
Wrenches can be made of anything from solid steel to aluminum to chrome vanadium to iron and many more materials besides. Always remember that just because two or more wrenches look relatively similar doesn’t mean they aren’t fundamentally different in terms of quality.
Always look into materials, manufacturing standards and durability, before making your final decision.