There are professionals that can handle pretty much any kind of repair or job but there are moments when you have to get down and dirty. Actually, there are people that enjoy being the ones that repair things around their house or build things on their own. It gives a sense of accomplishment. However, no work can be done without a few tools and when it comes to tools, there is always something tempting to purchase. One of the most well-known tools and probably the most useful one especially for the ones that do not have a lot is the adjustable wrench. It is that one universal tool that can be a placeholder for an entire set of regular wrenches and if it is made well-enough out of a hard, durable metal, it can last a lifetime.
When scouting for a new adjustable wrench, the same old issue comes to mind: they are adjustable wrenches but they come in different sizes but which size to get? Adjustable wrenches can be of different sizes and in fact, they can even be found assets. They can be purchased as single wrenches or assets of two or more of various sizes. For our list below, we picked several different single wrenches and a few sets just for the sake of diversity and to make it a bit easier to pick a suitable tool.
One important aspect that we kept in mind is selecting durable wrenches that are not made out of a soft metal that chips off or bents a bit if it is pushed too hard. A good adjustable wrench needs to be reliable and last for many years. With all these things said, let’s jump right into our list of the top 10 best adjustable wrenches in 2021.
Best Adjustable Wrenches in 2021
Last update on 2021-09-23 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10. Craftsman Evolv 3 pc. Adjustable Wrench Set
Craftsman Evolv adjustable wrench set offers excellent value for the money. It is an inexpensive 3 piece set that includes 6, 8 and 10-inch size wrenches. Each wrench is made out of a durable alloy. All of them are rust-resistant which ensures they will survive for many years. The threads on the knurls are quite smooth and make it easy to adjust the wrenches. For the grips, the manufacturers used a rubber coating that makes them more comfortable to use and prevents them from slipping from the hand of the user.
- 3 adjustable wrenches in the set
- Rubber handle for better grip
- Rubber handles come off
The rubber handles surely have a clear purpose but they also have one downside. Almost all wrenches that have such a handle actually have the same issue and that is the rubber handle slips off quite easily when pulled. They are usable and they can be inserted back but this is just something to keep in mind when considering this actual adjustable wrench set. See more: Top 10 Best Ingersoll Rand Products in 2021
9. Olympia Tool 01-015 15-Inch Adjustable Wrench
The Olympia Tool 15 inch adjustable wrench is one of the largest models on our list. It is heavy but it allows for more force to be applied with the aid of its long handle. The wrench is made out of a hardened and tempered alloy steel which is also rust resistant and very durable. The opening of the wrench can go up to ¾ inches and it is very easy to adjust. To improve its durability, the manufacturers used a chrome plating while the handle has a texturized surface to improve grip.
- Long handle
- Chromed coating for extra durability
- Made from hardened alloy steel
- Very heavy
A good wrench is supposed to be heavy but this one from Olympia Tools is surprisingly heavy. It can be a bit difficult to handle but since it was made to be used for tough jobs, the weight is something to be expected. What matters the most is how durable the wrench is. See more: Top 10 Best Electric Chainsaws in 2021
8. Stanley 87-473 12-Inch Adjustable Wrench
Stanley 87-473 adjustable wrench is a good pick for the ones that need something more universal. In fact, being a 12-inch wrench makes it usable in a wide range of scenario. It is a great option for the ones that simply do not have a wrench in their toolbox. The wrench is made out of vanadium steel for better strength and exceeds ANSI specifications. It has a rust-resistant coating and a hole in the handle for tethering. Last but not least the wrench has a wide jaw opening and it is very easy to adjust.
- Vanadium steel construction
- Rust resistant coating
- Lifetime warranty
- Coating chips off
The chrome finish which is actually the coating that is supposed to protect the wrench from rust will chip off. It only chips off when the wrench is used. This means that it will still rust in time but it can be cleaned.
7. Channellock 8SWCB Slim Jaw Adjustable Wrench
Channellock 8SWCB is a different kind of wrench. The wrench is a bit slimmer than other wrenches. This reduces the weight significantly. It makes it easier to carry around but it is still thick enough to maintain its durability. The wrench is made out of steel and has a protective chrome coating to prevent it from rusting. As for the jaws, it has a wide opening, easy to adjust but it is also longer which provides better grip. Last but not least, the wrench has a rubber coated grip which prevents it from slipping.
- Rubber coated handle
- Longer jaw for better grip
- Rust resistant coating
- Questionable steel quality
The manufacturers decided to cut some corners to make the wrench more affordable. What they did is to use steel that has not been hardened enough. This means that it is a softer metal that will bend and chip off when abused.
6. Craftsman Evolv 3 Piece Adjustable Wrench Set
Craftsman Evolv adjustable wrench set offers great value for the money. The set is actually made of 3 wrenches of different sizes and all of them have a durable steel construction. To ensure that they are long-lasting, the wrenches have a chrome coating which prevents them from rusting. The wrench sizes are 6, 8 and 10 inches which should cover most situations. Last but not least the handles have a hole for easy storage and are long enough to ensure a stable and safe grip.
- Includes a 6, 8 and 10-inch wrench
- Rust-resistant steel
- Lifetime guarantee
- Difficult to adjust
The main problem with the wrenches is that the threads are a bit crooked. This makes the entire adjustment mechanism quite difficult to adjust. Not only that but it also gets stuck at times. It needs to be twisted in the opposite direction to get it unstuck.
5. Stanley 87-369 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench
Stanley 87-369 adjustable wrench is a reliable tool especially for the ones that need to replace an old one or do not have one yet. It is an 8-inch wrench with a rust-resistant chrome coating and a hardened steel construction. The product is advertised to meet or exceed ANSI specifications and it is quite durable. As with their other wrenches, Stanley offers a lifetime warranty. The handle of the wrench is not covered with rubber but it has a texturized pattern that improves grip.
- Vanadium steel construction
- Lifetime warranty
- Handle can be slippery
Despite having a texturized handle, the edges are smoothened out. This makes the chrome finish quite slippery. It needs to be used with a bit of care as it can lead to injuries if the hand slips off the handle as it might hit other objects around.
4. Stanley 90-948 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench
Stanley 90-948 is a good wrench for the ones that take safety seriously. What makes it different is the rubberized coating on the handle which is meant to improve the grip of the user. The wrench itself is made out of a steel alloy and a chrome finish that is meant to prevent it from developing rust. As for the jaw, the opening is quite wide and very easy to adjust. It does not become loose while using it and does not slip at all.
- Alloy-steel body
- Extra-wide jaw opening
- Plastic covered grip
- Plastic cover on the handle comes off
The fact that the plastic comes from the handle of the wrench is not something rare. A lot of wrenches have this problem yet they are still usable. What is important is to pay a bit of attention and avoid pulling the rubber handle when using the wrench as it will come off eventually.
3. TEKTON 23001 4-Inch Adjustable Wrench
The TEKTON 23001 4-inch adjustable wrench is obviously the smallest model on our list. Most people would prefer something bigger but this 4-inch model will prove to be useful especially when working on small objects. The wrench is made out of a hardened metal alloy but being so small the wrench manages to be extremely durable. Adjusting the jaw opening is quite easy as the thread is smooth while the handle is small but still usable.
- Wide jaw opening
- Carbon steel construction
- Corrosion resistant
- May have manufacturing imperfections
It appears that some wrenches have significant burrs. These small defects might not sound bad on paper but when they are on the handle, it will make it difficult to hold. The burrs can be sanded off but this should not be the case. The manufacturers should make the wrenches with a bit more attention to detail.
2. Channellock 8WCB WideAzz Adjustable Wrench
Channellock 8WCB WideAzz adjustable wrench is one of the more expensive models on our list and for a good reason. The hardened steel alloy used is much more reliable and will not chip off. It has thinner but longer jaws which allow it to access difficult to reach areas while still gripping better. For the grip, the manufacturers used a plastic material which surprisingly does not slide off. Last but not least, the jaws are very easy to adjust and will not become loose while using the wrench.
- Comfortable soft plastic covered handle
- Easy to adjust
- Wide and slim jaw
It is difficult to say how much a reliable adjustable wrench should cost but truth be told, the Channellock 8WCB is surprisingly expensive. Not everyone is willing to spend this much on an adjustable wrench.
1. Stanley 90-947 6-Inch MaxSteel Adjustable Wrench
Stanley 90-947 is one of the most popular adjustable wrenches and for a good reason. It is an inexpensive wrench that proved to be quite durable and reliable. The model is made using vanadium steel and a chromed coating to prevent it from developing rust. For the jaw, a stabilizing tension spring was used which prevents it from becoming loose. As for the handle, a soft rubber coating was used which helps improve grip and prevent it from slipping from the hand of the user.
- Available in multiple sizes
- Tension spring to stabilize the movable jaw
- Plastic handle is easy to take off
The handle surely improves the grip and makes it more comfortable to use. The problem is that it comes off. In a situation in which the user pulls downwards and away from the wrench, the handle will simply slip off the metal. It can be placed back but it is still a bit inconvenient.
Picking The Most Suitable Adjustable Wrench
Adjustable wrenches are all the same but there are differences in terms of properties, size and construction. The price should be an indicator of how well the wrench is built and when we mean build quality we mean metal hardness. A good adjustable wrench needs to be made out of a very hard metal otherwise it will develop dents or it will bend. Here are some other important things to keep in mind:
- Size: Size is the very first selection criteria. As we have seen, the smallest wrench is 4 inches which might be too small but they can also go up to 12 inches. In consequence, the bigger the wrench the heavier it is.
- Type of metal used: The vast majority of wrenches are made out of steel. The hardness of the steel can vary depending on the manufacturing technique.
- Plastic covered handle or not: The wrenches that have a plastic covered handle are made to be more comfortable to use. While that is true, there is one downside. The plastic tends to come off on almost all wrenches but it can be placed back just as easily.