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Stuff We Love: Plumber’s Wrenches

It's fun to see basic tools reinvented. Here are three new school plumber's wrenches that will make your friends ask: "What have you got in your tool bag?"

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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It’s always fascinating when companies re-invent basic tools. Today we have three new school wrenches that would be great additions to any plumber’s toolbag. See Marty Dyck’s review of these tools in this video, then read on for further detail and to find out where to buy them.

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family handyman

Crescent Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

The spring-loaded head design of this new Crescent wrench grips pipes and fasteners with fast ratcheting action. No more adjusting your pipe wrench to get a better grip on things. The quick grip and release function of this wrench allow for easy one-handed use. Other noted features are:

  • A 5/8- to 1-1/2 in. capacity;
  • An angled tooth design for better grabbing power;
  • Ideal for any type of pipe including PVC, as well as nuts, bolts and couplings

The extra slim profile of this wrench makes it much easier to reach those awkward spots. You’ll definitely be reaching for your small old school pipe wrench or channel lock pliers a lot less with this Crescent wrench in your tool bag.

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family handyman

Milwaukee Aluminum Offset Pipe Wrench

Aluminum pipe wrenches have been on the scene for awhile. It’s amazing to pick one up and feel the weight difference compared to a steel pipe wrench. This offset pipe wrench from Milwaukee takes the virtues of an aluminum wrench to a new level. Its jaw opening is parallel to the handle, giving you far more leverage and allowing you to easily crack the hardest connections. Other worthy aspects include:

  •  An ergonomic handle design that helps prevent fatigue and slip;
  •  A two-inch jaw capacity;
  •  Available in 14-in., 18-in. and 24-in. models.

The head of this wrench is narrower than your typical pipe wrench, again making it easy for those tight or odd spaces. Its offset design is also great for overhead pipes. Lightweight and highly torque efficient, this new style of wrench could become the new standard for pipe wrenches.

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Rigid EZ Change Faucet Tool

This light and compact tool handles most wrenching tasks of a faucet install and will even replace your traditional style basin wrench. It works with shut off valves, supply valves, basin nuts and strainer baskets. Other features include:

  • An open slot for placing over supply lines;
  • The six-sided insert that works with the most common size nuts;
  • The cylindrical insert has 5/8-in. deep welled socket for common faucet designs;
  • Reinforced aluminum body with a comfortable grip that works well for hard-to-break fasteners.

If you want to lighten the load of tools for your next faucet installation, this ingenious Rigid faucet tool is the way to go. It seems gimmicky at first. But once you get ahold of its various applications, it’s well worth that 20 dollar bill it’ll cost you.

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About Marty Dyck

Marty is a professional woodworker and owner of Good From Wood, a custom woodworking shop in Stillwater, Minn. Specializing in unique vintage barn doors, custom skateboards and other innovative wood products, Marty hopes to always build the piece that everyone talks about. Click the links below to learn more about Marty.

Bill Bergmann
“Bungalow” Bill Bergmann is an associate editor at Family Handyman. He’s been a licensed contractor/builder for more than 20 years. For him, there’s nothing better than taking out a few walls to make people happier in their homes.

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