7 Best Adjustable Wrenches in 2020

After thoroughly considering the specs and putting in over 14 hours of research and testing, our top pick for the best adjustable wrench is the 8-Inch Channellock adjustable wrench. It features forged vanadium steel construction and a 1.5-inch jaw capacity, along with convenient engraved measurement scales and a four-thread knurl.

To help pick the best adjustable wrench you can buy, we looked for quality materials like carbon steel and hot forged metal, precise tightening or loosening, and a wide jaw opening. We also preferred products that struck a good balance between nut and bolt grip and performance in tight spaces. Read on to see more of the best adjustable wrenches on the market.

Top 7 Best Adjustable Wrench

 #1  Channellock 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Quality vanadium steel construction provides long-lasting durability, and the padded non-slip handle makes it easy to hold. Plus, it’s a time saver thanks to a clear measuring scale that helps to open the jaws just the right amount.

Pros
  • Durable vanadium steel construction
  • Impressive 1.5-inch wide jaw opening
  • Precision jaw opening with engraved metric and US scales
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer as much leverage as some wrenches with longer handles

This Channellock adjustable wrench features a compact size and relatively thin jaws with a good, 1.5-inch jaw capacity, making it easier to work within any confined space such as hvac units, crawl spaces and underhood battery tray areas in cars and trucks. The handle is 8-inches long, which is a little smaller than most adjustable wrenches with its jaw capacity.

A padded ergonomic handle offers a secure grip and helps transmit force comfortably, while a convenient engraved measuring scale helps when adjusting jaws to the exact size of the nut and bolt.

 #2  Tekton 6-Inch Adjustable Wrench

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: A chrome plated finish lends corrosion resistance to this well-designed small wrench. It also features slide jaws with laser-etched markings and a precision machined worm gear for quick, exact fit on the nut and bolt.

Pros
  • Rust-resistant chrome plated carbon steel
  • Easy tightening or loosening with precision machined gear
  • Etched scale for quick fitment of fasteners
Cons
  • Lacks a non-slip grip handle
  • 3/4 inch wide jaw opening not as generous as some other wrenches out there

This heavy-duty 6-inch adjustable wrench is made from drop forged high carbon steel and features a chrome plated coating, giving it excellent mechanical hardness and durability as well as great corrosion resistance. The one-piece handle includes a convenient loop for hanging on a nail or tool peg when not in use.

Its small size compared to some other adjustable wrenches gives this product good flexibility for use in cramped situations where you have limited access to fasteners. A precision-machined gear lets you quickly open the jaws to an exact size. A helpful scale is a laser etched on the head in both inches and mm.

 #3  LoggerHead Tools 8 Inch Bionic Adjustable Wrench

Award: BEST RATCHETING

WHY WE LIKE IT: This unique adjustable wrench features a pliers-like dual handle design and a unique head that grips 6-sided bolts on all six sides for easier tightening or loosening.

Pros
  • Jaw shape avoids stripping fasteners
  • Fits both SAE and metric bolts
  • Comfortable high-grip handle
Cons
  • Larger head makes it less adept at working in a tight space
  • Only fits bolts up to 20mm or 3/4 inch

If unique design and ease of adjustability are primary considerations, then this is a strong candidate for the best adjustable wrench. Made in USA, it has a patented double-handle design that lets it automatically adjust to the size of a fastener and it grips hex-head bolts on all six sides, making for easier tightening or loosening.

It fits 14 different bolt sizes, ranging from 12-20 mm in metric sizes and from 1/2-inch to 3/4 inch in SAE sizes. This makes it useful for common bicycle and skateboard maintenance as well as general home improvement. Compared to traditional adjustable wrenches, it’s not quite as flexible when it comes to bolt size and it’s a little less handy for working on bolts without a lot of free space around them.

 #4  Crescent 10″ Carded Adjustable Wrench

Award: BEST STABILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 10-inch adjustable wrench is great for common home improvement tasks thanks to a larger worm gear with a tension spring that adds extra stability and helps it keep a strong grip on fasteners.

Pros
  • Etched scale for quick adjustment
  • Sturdy forged steel alloy construction
  • Wide loop for easy storage
Cons
  • Lacks a non-slip grip
  • Large head makes it less than ideal for cramped spaces

This 10-inch adjustable wrench is essentially the original worm gear design that’s been in use for over 100 years and has inspired the common Snap-on adjustable wrench and Bahco adjustable wrench lines, along with countless others. It’s well suited to performing a variety of common tasks around the house and like most Crescent hand tools it’s made from forged steel alloy with chrome plating for corrosion resistance.

With a wide 10-inch handle, this wrench gives you plenty of leverage and it has relatively wide adjusting jaws, with a range of up to 1 and 5/16 inch or 34 mm. It doesn’t have a padded or non-slip handle, however.

 #5  Olympia Tools Adjustable Wrench

Award: BEST HEAVY DUTY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 15-inch adjustable wrench is a rugged and durable tool made from drop forged steel and featuring a corrosion-resistant chrome plated finish. As a bonus, the jaw capacity is a wide 1.75 inches.

Pros
  • Wide jaw opening
  • Heavy-duty forged steel construction
  • 15-inch handle offers more leverage than common 12-inch wrenches
Cons
  • Adjusting gear not as precisely machined as on some competitors
  • Lacks a measuring scale
  • Some “play” in the jaws when not fully tightened

This large adjustable wrench has a classic, proven design and offers a lot of leverage for tightening or loosening very tight bolts. The jaws have a wide adjustability as well, with a jaw capacity of 1.75 inches or 45 mm making this Olympia Tools wrench among the wider options of adjustable wrench in this size class.

With drop forged steel construction and a chrome-plated finish, this should be a highly durable heavy-duty wrench. Good for tasks requiring some force, it’s not as well suited to working in tight spaces and may not be the best adjustable wrench for HVAC or small engine repair. It’s great to have on hand for home improvement and plumbing, however.

 #6  Workpro 4-piece Adjustable Wrench Set

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: This set of 4 adjustable wrenches provides added flexibility and good quality for a bargain price. The set comes with 4 different sized wrenches, ranging from 6- 12 inches.

Pros
  • Strong, lightweight I-beam construction
  • Corrosion-resistant chrome plated finish
  • Jaw sizes ranging from 3/4 inch to 1 5/16 inches
Cons
  • No non-slip grip handles
  • Lacks precision measurement scales

This adjustable wrench set comes with 4 wrenches in commonly used sizes of 6, 8, 10 and 12-inches. This makes it a useful and versatile set of hand tools for home improvement. Each piece is made of forged carbon steel with a chrome-plated finish for good corrosion resistance.

While they may not have the innovative design or the extra reach of some more specialized adjustable wrenches, these budget-priced adjustable wrenches are extra versatile since they come in a set. The jaws grip securely and the I-beam style forged steel construction delivers a good strength to weight ratio.

 #7  Proferred Plumbing Adjustable Wrench

Award: BEST WIDE JAW OPENING

WHY WE LIKE IT: This heavy-duty adjustable wrench is great for plumbing and mechanical tasks thanks to its thin yet ultra-wide jaws that give it an edge when working in a confined space. A 2.25 inch jaw capacity is useful for pipe fittings and other large fasteners.

Pros
  • Extra wide 2.25 inch jaw opening
  • Ultra-durable phosphate finish
  • Ergonomic handle with non-slip grip
Cons
  • Not as long a handle as some heavy-duty wrenches
  • No measurement scale

This heavy-duty adjustable wrench comes with an extra wide jaw opening and a super thin, almost flat head that lets it squeeze into tighter spaces than most adjustable wrenches can. The jaws open to 2.25 inches, making it great for plumbing and other home improvement tasks where wide bolt heads are common.

With forged steel construction and a phosphate black finish, it’s highly durable and corrosion-resistant. The handle is ergonomically shaped and covered with a TPR non-slip grip finish, which allows for a secure hold wet or dry.

How We Decided

In order to select the best adjustable wrenches on the market, we looked at durability and strength, favoring hand tools with high grade forged steel construction and long-lasting corrosion-resistant finishes. We also looked for high-quality precision machining and for worm gears that operated with little to no slack, and smooth, easy adjusting jaws.

We also looked for handle quality, favoring wrenches with ergonomic, non-slip handles with rubber or plastic coatings that provided a secure grip in wet or dry conditions. A convenient loop for hanging the wrench on a hook was considered a bonus.

We also looked for features such as a wide jaw opening for more flexibility, since the wider you can open the jaws of an adjustable wrench, the more uses it may have. Another bonus was an easy-to-read engraved measuring scale for quickly setting the right size for your fasteners.

Best Adjustable Wrench Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Jaw Size
    One of the main considerations when looking at an adjustable wrench is whether it will be able to fit the kinds of nut and bolt heads you may need to work on. A box head wrench with the widest jaw capacity is the most flexible, so look for a range of up to 3/4 of an inch or more for common home improvement tasks.
  2. Measurement Scale
    Measurement scales etched or engraved on the head of the wrench let you see at a glance what size the jaws are set to, saving you time “eyeballing” before you open the jaws to fit a particular fastener.
  3. Handle
    If you work on plumbing or in DIY mechanical tasks, a good comfortable handle with a non-slip grip is practically a must. Look for a rubberized and ergonomically shaped grip for secure holding in wet or dry conditions.

Adjustable Wrench FAQs

What is the best adjustable wrench?

Depending on your needs, the best adjustable wrench may be a Channellock adjustable wrench for general purpose home improvement or a more specialized automotive adjustable wrench with ultra-flat jaws for working in tight spaces. Other great hand tools include the Knipex adjustable wrench product lines and the Craftsman Evolv wrenches. In general, the best adjustable wrench is the tool that best fits your particular use. There’s no one size fits all best adjustable wrench.

Is a crescent wrench the same as an adjustable wrench?

Crescent is the first brand to introduce the adjustable wrench in its recognizable form, so much like “kleenex” or “xerox” its name became a stand-in for the generic name of the product.

What can I use instead of an adjustable wrench?

For some tasks, pliers can substitute for an adjustable wrench, though often you run the risk of founding off or stripping bolt heads this way. You can also use a socket wrench if you happen to have the right size handy. A pliers-style Knipex adjustable wrench or a Loggerhead tools ratcheting wrench may be a more general-purpose alternative.

What is the proper position of an adjustable wrench?

An adjustable wrench’s proper position depends on the size of the nut and bolt or other fasteners you’re trying to work on

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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