Best Pipe Wrench

Updated: Nov 13, 2023 10:33 AM
best pipe wrench featured image that shows the top three best tool models

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To determine the best pipe wrench, we looked at the following features — size, handle style, materials, and jaws. Most homeowners should be fine with a pipe wrench that ranges from 14 to 18 inches in length. However, if you’re a professional plumber, you may find that you need a larger pipe wrench to improve the range of projects you can tackle. Likewise, sturdy materials and jaws that indicate their capacity with engraved numbers are value-added features that will improve your functionality. So, to ensure that you use reliable tools as you work, we have prepared for you a list of the best tools.

After considering all of the above, we nominated the Tradespro 14-inch Heavy-Duty Pipe Wrench as our Top Pick. In addition to being very affordable, the 14-inch length makes it perfect for DIYers as the jaws can expand up to three and a half inches and can accommodate pipes that are up to two inches in diameter. Keep reading for more details on our top picks.

Top 7 Best Pipe Wrench Reviews

 #1  Tradespro 830914 14-Inch Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: An affordable 14-inch pipe wrench that’s perfect for most home DIY repair projects with a maximum jaw opening of three and a half inches and the ability to accommodate pipes up to two inches in diameter.

  • Best Budget
  • 3.5in maximum jaw opening
  • Accommodates 2in pipe diameters
  • Inconsistent grip from teeth

When you’re working on small plumbing projects around the home, you don’t need the largest pipe wrench you can find. We’re nominating the Tradespro 14-inch Heavy-Duty Pipe Wrench as our Top Pick and Best Budget recommendation because it features a commendable jaw opening and the ability to accommodate pipes that are up to two inches in diameter — which should be more than enough for the average homeowner. It has a jaw capacity of 1/2 in. to 2 in.

This sturdy pipe wrench also features engraved numbers so as you open or close the jaw, you can confirm which pipe sizes will be compatible with your adjustments. We also like that this wrench is bright yellow so you can easily locate it in your toolbox, or cabinet where you keep your home repair supplies. Remember that all wrenches are not for the same job. You can’t use the best socket wrench for pipe wrench jobs.

 #2  RIDGID 31100 Model 818 18-in Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: A lightweight, easy to maintain pipe wrench made from sturdy aluminum that makes using it for extended periods easier to do without causing premature hand and arm fatigue.

  • 40% lighter construction than standard pipe wrenches
  • Accommodates 1 – 2in pipe diameters
  • Easy maintenance
  • Pricy

Fatigue is a major issue when it comes to working with hand tools. This Ridgid 18-in Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench is the perfect solution if traditional heavier pipe wrenches are a problem for you. We’ve nominated this aluminum pipe wrench as our Honorable Mention because of its lightwffeight construction that makes it weigh 40% less than traditional heavy-duty pipe wrenches of the same size.  This is an adjustable wrench that has superior griping because of its full floating forged hook jaw, which makes working with your hands easier. Plus, this wrench has a non stick adjustment nut and self-cleaning threads and an easily replaceable heel jaw, hook jaw, and spring assembly.

You’ll like that this wrench can accommodate pipe diameters from one to two inches and can support pipe capacities of up to two and a half inches. We also like the non-stick adjustment nut and the self-cleaning threads which makes maintenance a breeze between projects. Ridgid makes many different types of home improvement tools, including some of the best pipe wrenches on the market today like the 14-inch Aluminum Pipe Wrench. This adjustable wrench is shorter than the 18-inch listed above, but it’s even more manageable as a handheld tool and still maintains that sturdy professional quality. This is a tool that is used as often as the best corded drill in homes.

 #3  Ridgid 31000 6″ Pipe Wrench

Award: Best for Small Spaces

WHY WE LIKE IT: A petite pipe wrench that’s ideal for tiny plumbing projects where a standard 14 to 18-inch pipe wrench would be too bulky to be effective.

  • Supports ⅛ – ½ inch pipe diameters
  • Ductile iron housing
  • Made in USA
  • Small size

This is the perfect pipe wrench if you know for a fact that you’re working with very small pipes. The Ridgid six-inch pipe wrench is truly petite, meaning that it can only work with pipes that range between ⅛ to a ½ inch in diameter. However, just because this pipe wrench is small doesn’t mean that Ridgid skimped on the construction.

Just like larger models, this pipe wrench features a ductile iron housing and an I-beam handle to give you a sturdy grip and a strong tool that you’ve come to expect from this brand. As is also customary with this product category, you’ll find that the threads are self-cleaning. The hook jaw’s good grip and quick adjustments are credited to its full floating forged design that makes work much easier as you work with your hands. The hook jaw can be replaced if need be, and the maximum pipe capacity for the jaw is ¾ of an inch. This pipe is to plumbing what the best disc sander is to carpenters. If you are undertaking an automotive task where you need to cut metal, you need the best plasma cutter.

 #4  Crescent 9″ Automotive Wrench

Award: Best Automotive Wrench

WHY WE LIKE IT: A sturdy pipe wrench made from alloy steel that’s designed to work in tight spaces like under the hood of the car with a jaw that can grasp up to 2 ¾ inches.

  • Best for use in tight spaces
  • 2 ¾” jaw grasp
  • Alloy steel construction
  • Inconsistent adjustment mechanism

If you’re working on a car, you need a pipe wrench that won’t impede your workflow. This Crescent 9” Automotive Wrench is designed with a mechanic’s needs in mind. You’ll like that the jaw can expand to 2 ¾ inches to accommodate a wide range of fasteners. And thanks to the slim profile on the head, you’ll easily be able to maneuver through your project with no issues.

We also liked that this pipe wrench is made from steel alloy for a rugged product that can stand up to routine use with no issues. You’ll also like the I-beam handle and the fact that the steel is able to naturally absorb shock and minimize hand fatigue. A good wrench helps to make sure that the best hacksaw isn’t needed to remove pipes.

 #5  MAXPOWER 2-Piece Heavy Duty Wide Open Adjustable Wrench Set

Award: Best Multipurpose

WHY WE LIKE IT: A two-piece wrench set that gives you the freedom to tackle more jobs and features a tapered end that can be used to stabilize work materials and align bolts.

  • 12” & 16” wrench set combo
  • Handle doubles as bolt aligner
  • Engraved measurements on jaw
  • Uncomfortable handle

If you’re looking to get the biggest bang for your buck, a multi-piece set is always a great way to go. We selected the MAXPOWER 2-Piece Heavy Duty Wide Open Adjustable Wrench Set because it features two wrenches — one that is 12 inches long and one that is 16 inches in length. Both wrenches feature engraved measurements on the jaw so you can be assured of diameter compatibility.

But what sets these wrenches apart from the other options in our roundup is the fact that these are multifunctional tools. In addition to serving as pipe wrenches, both tools feature a flat head that can be used as a hammer. And as if that’s not enough, they both feature tapered handles that can be inserted into die-cut holes on your project to keep the individual components aligned as you fasten nuts and bolts. Speaking of hammers, the best sledgehammer is a powerful tool for any homeowners tool box. Also, depending on the type of project you have, you may need to use the best magnifying glass.

 #6  Wideskall 3 Pieces Heavy Duty Heat Treated Soft Grip Pipe Wrench Set

Award: Best Quality

WHY WE LIKE IT: A progressive three-piece set of pipe wrenches that features a comfort grip handle and cast iron construction to help you quickly power through repairs around the home.

  • 3 piece pipe wrench set
  • Soft grip handles
  • Cast iron construction
  • Inconsistent teeth grip

Everyone’s looking for a deal, which is why we included the Wideskall 3-Piece Heavy-Duty Heat Treated Soft Grip Pipe Wrench Set in our recommendations. We’ve nominated this option as our Best Quality because we believe it offers the best financial value whether you’re a budget shopper or not. You’ll get three pipe wrenches that range in length from 10, 12, and 14 inches.

These pipe wrenches are made from cast iron with an I-beam handle. But what makes them stand out is that these wrenches are the only options in our recommendations that feature a comfort grip handle for improved control and reduced hand fatigue. The steel jaws on all three wrenches are adjustable, with the 10-inch opening to 1 ⅛ of an inch, the 12-inch opening to 1 ¾ inch, and the 14-inch opening to two inches. If you want to further add to your wrench collection, take a look at the best torque wrench too.

 #7  RIDGID 31035 Model 36 Heavy-Duty Straight Pipe Wrench, 36-inch Plumbing Wrench

Award: Best Professional Pipe

WHY WE LIKE IT: A serious heavy-duty 36-inch wrench from a trusted brand that’s specifically designed for professional-level projects that require a larger jaw opening.

  • Accommodates 2”’ – 3.5” pipe diameters
  • Sturdy cast iron construction
  • 5” pipe capacity
  • Expensive

If you’re a professional plumber, there’s a good chance that you’ll come across larger pipes throughout a workday. The Ridgid 36-Inch Heavy-Duty Straight Pipe Wrench is ideal for more serious jobs that are going to need a professional-quality tool. The 36-inch pipe wrench is made from cast iron and features an I-beam handle to improve durability and give you more leverage.

As is common with Ridgid pipe wrenches, this features self-cleaning threads and a non-stick adjustment nut. The pipe wrench can be used on pipes with diameters ranging from two to three and a half inches and has a pipe capacity of up to five inches.

How We Decided

Whether you’re a professional plumber or a DIY home repair enthusiast, you’re going to need a pipe wrench if you want to tackle a plumbing project. To help narrow down the selection process, we focused on the following features — size, handle style, materials, and jaws.

Pipe wrenches come in a range of sizes. However, most DIY enthusiasts should be fine with models that range from 14 to 18 inches. You’ll note that in our roundup, the majority of the pipe wrenches (except for #7) are in this range. We’ve also included two options — #5 and #6 our Best Quality recommendation — that features multiple wrench sizes to give you more versatility in the projects you can complete.

In addition to size, you need to consider the jaws on your pipe wrench and the types of pipes they can accommodate. Where available, we’ve clearly outlined the supported pipe diameters and total pipe capacity for each pipe wrench we recommended. To that end, some pipe wrenches come with engraved numbers to help clearly outline what size pipe can fit in the jaws with each adjustment that you make.

Materials are also important as quality construction will save you the trouble of constantly having to replace your pipe wrench. You’ll find that most of the pipe wrenches in our recommendations feature a cast iron construction. However, our Best Quality recommendation (#6) is the only option that offers a comfortable grip. This is important if you find that using hand tools tends to leave you with hand fatigue.

And in terms of handles, our #5 recommendation is the only model available on our list with a tapered handle. While this isn’t common, it may come in handy as that option is designed to be a multifunctional tool with the ability to double as a hammer and stabilizer.

Pipe Wrench Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Wrench Style
    Many people aren’t aware that there are multiple types of pipe wrenches. Typically, you’ll need to choose between a straight pipe wrench, an end pipe wrench, an offset pipe wrench, compound leverage wrench, chain pipe wrench, and a strap wrench. The wrench you choose is going to depend on your project. However, straight pipe wrenches are the most common option and allow you to easily tighten or loosen threaded pipes.
  2. Size
    Pipe wrenches come in a range of sizes. Most homeowners won’t need a large industrial-sized pipe wrench. If you’re attempting a home plumbing project, focus on pipe wrenches that are between 14 to 18 inches.
  3. Handle
    Sometimes you need to use serious force to effectively tighten or loosen threads on a pipe when using a pipe wrench. Look for wrenches that feature handle covers or an anti-slip comfort rubber grip to make holding and using your pipe wrench easier for extended periods.
  4. Jaws
    The jaws are one of the most important components of a pipe wrench. You’ll need to consider the capacity — which is the maximum width you can open the jaws to accommodate. For home plumbers, look for a jaw capacity of up to six inches. Also, consider wrenches that feature an engraved number. This is important because it will indicate which pipe diameters it can accommodate as you open or close the jaw.
  5. Materials
    Pipe wrenches come in a range of compositions. However, if you’re shopping for a pipe wrench that you don’t need to replace every few months, you’ll want to invest in quality materials. Look for models that are constructed from materials such as cast steel, carbon steel or forged steel. Stainless steel is also a great option as these models are designed with longevity in mind. Also picking quality materials will ensure that the teeth on your pipe wrench’s jaws won’t show premature wear.
  6. Protective Coating
    While it’s always good to start with quality materials, a protective coating can also help to lengthen the lifespan of your pipe wrench. Protective coatings like black oxide or even sandblast coatings can help reduce the chances of rusting and will help your wrench withstand wear and tear.
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