The wrench is a tool that cannot be missing in the home, especially for those who are used to taking care of small household maintenance jobs on their own.
Finding the right one, however, is not so simple, but with the help offered by our buying guide you can easily navigate the forest of products currently on the market, especially in the cheaper range.
If you have little time to deepen the subject, however, you can choose your wrench among the eight that we have examined in more detail for this purpose, and which are the most requested on the market.
The products most appreciated by consumers, which rank at the top of our ranking, are the Mannesmann M19652 key set, characterized by an excellent quality-price ratio, and the Stanley 0-90-949 , whose quality is also appreciated by professionals.
8 Best Wrenches for Hydraulic Hoses [2022 Updated ]
Below you will find the eight wrenches that currently enjoy the most popularity on the market. Most of the models are all intended for home use, of course, as professional tools occupy a smaller segment.
1. Williams WS-483 3-Piece Adjustable Face Spanner Wrench Set
According to the common opinions of buyers and market analysts, one of the best wrenches of 2021 is the one produced by Mannesmann, especially as regards the value for money.
Instead of a single tool, in fact, the Mannesmann M19652 item is a set consisting of twelve wrenches of different sizes, from 6 to 22 millimeters; consequently, even if in our list you will find items with a lower price, in comparison to the other products examined the unit cost per single piece owned by the Mannesmann set is the cheapest ever.
- Country of Origin:China
- Package length:13.0"
- Package width:4.0"
- Package height:3.0"
The wrenches are combined, that is, they have one mouth end and the other cross, so they are extremely versatile as they can tighten and loosen bolts with different types of heads. They are TÜV / GS certified and covered by a 10 year guarantee; the only limitation is linked to their nature as an economic product, and therefore they are only suitable for domestic and hobby use.
Certified German quality: The Mannesmann set is covered by a 10-year warranty and is made of high-quality chrome-vanadium steel, with TÜV and GS certifications.
Versatility of use: The keys are of the combined type, i.e. they have a classic fixed mouth end, for hex head bolts, and the opposite ring end, for square or cross head bolts.
Assortment: The set includes twelve wrenches in the following sizes: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 22 millimeters.
Non-professional: Since this is an inexpensive set, it is not suitable for professional use. Despite this, it is one of the best-selling hobby products.
2. Combination Angle Wrench Set
The best wrench for professional use, however, remains the classic model with adjustable jaw produced by the American firm Stanley.
The article 0-90-949, in fact, ranks second among the different models sold online, and first as regards specifically products for professionals. It is an adjustable wrench, made entirely of steel with a black phosphated finish, and with the handle covered by a special grip made of two materials, one rigid and one soft, in order to improve comfort and make the grip more firm. time itself.
- 14pc Combination Angle Wrench Set SAE
- Drop forged and heat treated to ANSI specifications
- Chrome Vanadium Steel with Mirror Polished Finish
- Precision machined 15 degree and 60 degree angled open end for better leverage
- Size: 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 9/16", 5/8", 11/16", 3/4", 13/16", 7/8", 15/16", 1", 1-1/16", 1-1/8", 1-1/4"
The jaw can be opened by means of the appropriate roller and the size is 250 mm, but there are three further versions available in sizes of 150, 200 and 300 mm; moreover, the adjustment can be carried out precisely thanks to the graduated scale and the reference notch engraved respectively on the key and the jaw.
Professional: The Stanley wrench is a professional product in all respects, made with care and with high quality materials, it is also available in different sizes depending on the needs.
Comfortable to use: The coated grip not only improves ergonomics and comfort of use, but also allows you to better apply the force of the grip to make it more secure.
Precise adjustment: The presence of the graduated scale and the notch allows for extremely precise opening adjustments.
No defects: The quality, features and performance offered are all at the top; the Stanley wrench is not affected by any defects or limitations.
3. TEKTON Angle Head Open End Wrench Set
If you are wondering where to buy a wrench designed specifically for plumbing work, then you would do well to take a look at the Draper 29907, a classic parrot-shaped model with an adjustable opening up to 60mm.
The product is made of chromed steel, in order to offer a greater degree of resistance to corrosion, and is characterized by a wide jaw in order to facilitate use on the pipes usually used under sinks and sinks. The price is definitely advantageous since it is in any case a specific type, such as the parrot key for example.
- Includes 11-pc. angle head wrenches: 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, 1 in.;...
- UNMATCHED ACCESS: Tekton’s 30/60 angle head wrenches save you precious time because you can continue...
- OPTIMIZED BEAM POSITION: The wrench beam is shifted out of your way to allow the greatest range of...
- LEAN OUTSIDE JAW: We put steel exactly where needed to withstand the forces generated throughout the jaw,...
- STRONG INSIDE JAW: By drawing the largest possible inside corner radius, we reduced the effects of...
Furthermore, one of the much appreciated features of Draper, together with the small dimensions that allow you to work easily in small spaces, is the flat shape of the jaw, which is now increasingly difficult to find. The only flaw, however, is the non-chromed adjustment roller, which tends to rust quickly.
Economic: Parrot wrenches are usually much more expensive; the merit of Draper, on the other hand, is that of having a decidedly affordable price.
Flat jaw: The other peculiarity of the Draper is represented by its flat jaw, the wrenches of this type, in fact, are produced more and more rarely and are difficult to find.
Compact: The small size makes it ideal for working in confined spaces, especially under built-in sinks and behind sinks.
Adjustment roller: The Draper is all chrome, except for the adjustment roller; the latter requires great care to prevent it from rusting quickly.
4. V8 Tools (V8T9212) 12 Piece Jumbo SAE Service Wrench Set
The one produced for the Elezenioc brand is a wrench intended for specific use for plumbers. It is in fact a model with a wide mouth, so as to be able to tighten pipes and bolts whose diameter is between 6 and 68 millimeters, and with a reduced length handle, in order to increase handling in small spaces, such as the compartment underneath. the sink or the openings behind sinks and sanitary ware.
Furthermore, the opening of the jaws operated by the roller increases the functionality of the tool, allowing it to be used easily with one hand. The key is made of aluminum alloy, so as to be light and at the same time resistant, especially to corrosion since by virtue of its intended use it is more exposed to contact with water. The only flaw is that it is an economical tool, so it is not suitable for intensive or professional use.
For plumbing: The compact size and wide opening of the jaws make it particularly suitable for plumbing work, especially in confined spaces.
Lightweight: Being made of aluminum alloy, it is particularly light and offers the additional advantage of being resistant to rust and wear over time.
Economical: The price is easily accessible for even the most discerning savers, so it’s worth adding to your home toolbox.
Non-professional: Being a low-cost tool, of course, it is not suitable for professional use but only for occasional home repairs.
5.NEIKO 03129A Jumbo Combination Wrench
The one produced by the Workpro company is an interesting tool in many respects, starting with the price well proportioned to the quality and characteristics of the product.
It is a wrench that has many points in common with the Stanley previously examined, in fact it is adjustable with the roller system and allows you to accurately calibrate the opening of the jaw thanks to the graduated scale and the notch. Like the Stanley, moreover, it is made of chrome-vanadium steel and has a plastic-coated handle, which makes the grip firmer and increases the comfort of use.
- COMBINATION WRENCH SET: This jumbo wrench set includes 10 combination open-end and 12-point wrenches to...
- STEEL WRENCH: This large wrench set is made of extremely strong drop-forged and heat-treated steel. The...
- COMBINATION WRENCHES: Each open-ended grip can hold tightly onto fasteners. The 12-point end can reach...
- POUCH INCLUDED: Each wrench set is stored in a flexible canvas carrying pouch that rolls up neatly for...
- 10 SIZES INCLUDED: Includes 1 wrench in each of the following sizes: 1 5/16", 1 3/8", 1 7/16", 1 1/2", 1...
The peculiarity of the Workpro, however, lies in its double functionality; the jaw, in fact, is reversible and has a flat vertical side and a notched inclined one, so it can be used both on bolts and on water pipes. The maximum aperture also varies according to the mode of use, and can be 38 or 42 millimeters.
Multifunction: The reversible jaw allows a double use of the wrench, which can therefore be used both to loosen and tighten bolts and to work on water pipes.
Good quality: The Workpro is made entirely of chrome-vanadium steel, so it is durable and very sturdy; the coated handle also ensures a high wearing comfort and a firmer grip.
Precise: Thanks to the graduated scale and the reference notch on the jaw, the opening can be adjusted extremely precisely.
Hobby: Despite the excellent characteristics, the Workpro wrench is a hobby category product not recommended for intensive professional use.
6. ARUCMIN Flare Nut Wrench Set
The Silverline WR20 is one of the most popular wrenches among those available in the range of products at low prices; it is a basic model, in fact, characterized by a decidedly negligible cost.
- 【HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL】: ARUCMIN flare nut wrench is made of heat-treated chrome vanadium steel,...
- 【MIRROR POLISH】: Mirror chrome plated surface anti-rust and anti-corrosion. Extend service life.
- 【UNIQUE DESIGN】: The 15° offset design at the ends more convenient to use, in line with ergonomics....
- 【Organizer Box】: The wrench set is equipped with a tool box for easy organization and storage，and...
- 【12-PIECE SAE & METRIC】: SAE: 1/4 x 5/16, 3/8 x 7/16, 1/2 x 9/16, 5/8 x 11/16, 3/4 x 7/8 inch....
Obviously it is not a professional product, but Silverline is one of the most popular English brands in the field of tooling, so the WR20 is reliable and decidedly robust, excellent for those looking for a tool to be used in the home and hobby. It is made of chromed steel and the opening is adjustable up to a maximum of 26 millimeters, which makes it quite versatile as it allows you to work with bolts and nuts of various sizes.
Since it is an economic wrench, however, it is a somewhat spartan and minimal model; in fact it does not have a graduated scale, so it does not allow precise adjustments, moreover the handle has no coating, so it becomes uncomfortable when you have to use a lot of force.
Price: The negligible cost of this wrench is one of its strengths, together with the fame that the English brand Silverline has managed to consolidate over the years thanks to its reliability.
Versatility: The jaw opening, although not precisely adjustable, allows you to work with a wide range of bolts and nuts of different sizes.
Adjustment roller : The roller is usually a delicate point and particularly prone to oxidize quickly or to be not very smooth, especially in economic keys; that of the Silverline instead is smooth.
Spartan and essential: The graduated scale for precision adjustments is missing and overall it is very spartan, therefore suitable only for domestic use and for the less demanding.
7. Grip 21 pc Jumbo Service Wrench Set MM
The adjustable wrench M19873, produced by the German company Mannesmann, is a 12-inch model, i.e. 300 millimeters long.
It is made of hardened chrome-vanadium steel with a chrome finish and is covered by a 10-year warranty, like the other hand tools produced by this company.
- Drop forged, heat treated steel with mirror polished, triple chrome finish.
- Sizes: 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 40, 42, 46, 48, 50mm.
It is equipped with a precision roller adjustment system, thanks to the graduated scale engraved at the base of the jaw, and has a maximum opening of 35 millimeters. It is also convenient to use, as the handle is coated with non-slip PVC and is perforated at the end, so that it can also be stored hanging from a tool panel.
Despite the good quality of the alloy used to make it, however, the Mannesmann M19873 still remains an economical tool, and if subjected to excessive efforts it tends to deteriorate quickly. Therefore it is only recommended for non-intensive use in the home and hobby.
Value for money: The cost is affordable and perfectly proportionate to the overall quality of the tool, both in terms of materials and finishes; it is ideal for home use.
Convenient to use: Unlike cheaper and spartan wrenches, this one has a non-slip PVC coated handle, so it offers a good level of comfort and a secure grip.
Precise adjustment: Since it is a cheap wrench, the adjustment roller has a minimum of play, in any case the graduated scale allows you to adjust the opening quite precisely.
Non-professional: It is not suitable for professional use, especially in mechanical workshops; it is reliable for home and hobby use only.
8. Amerbm Adjustable Gland Nut Wrench
The last product on our list is also a model intended primarily for home use and has many points in common with the Mannesmann key discussed earlier. This too, in fact, is made of chrome-vanadium steel, is equipped with a graduated scale for the precision adjustment of the opening of the jaws and has a handle covered in bi-material, to increase grip and comfort of use. .
But the Feimuosi wrench, in addition, is equipped with two hexagonal holes in the neck, 9 and 10 mm respectively, and a 19 mm plum mouth graft at the end of the handle.
- 7463 Function : Fits hydraulic cylinders on agricultural loaders, compact tractor loaders, skid steer...
- 1266 Function : Fits hydraulic cylinders on most farm and construction equipment; Offers customized fit...
- Easy to Use : Made an adjustment to the Gland Nut Wrench to fit the pinholes and then simply use with...
- Strong and Sturdy : Made of #45 carbon steel. Black surface treatment to maximize service life. In...
- Amerbm's Guarantee : Amerbm 1266 & 7463 Adjustable Gland Nut Wrench will help you a lot when you need to...
Despite these characteristics, however, the finishes and assembly are decidedly coarse; moreover, the irregular fusion of the tool also makes the multifunctionality promised by the additional clamping holes useless. Overall, therefore, it is a decent key in terms of solidity, but far from offering the yield it promises, even if only for home use.
Comfort of use: The handle covered in bi-material is one of its main advantages, as it guarantees a good degree of comfort as regards the grip and application of force.
Sizes: The Feimuosi wrench is available in different sizes according to needs; in this case the sizes are four, respectively 6, 8, 10 and 12 inches in length.
Versatile: The structure is made to have additional holes for tightening different types of nuts and bolts. This key potentially also offers a fair degree of versatility.
Coarse finishes and assembly: Unfortunately, the additional clamping features are not always usable, due to the fairly coarse assembly and finishes.
How to choose the best wrenches
To understand how to choose a good wrench you must first of all know the characteristics that differentiate the different models in use and the average price of the tool based on its quality, so let’s try to clarify the subject.
Materials of manufacture and prices
The wrench, together with the hammer and the pliers, is one of the fundamental manual tools for maintenance and repairs, in fact it is an integral part of most of the toolboxes that are on the market.
It is usually made of chrome vanadium steel, in order to offer maximum strength and wear resistance, but the level of finishes and the overall quality of the tool can vary substantially depending on the price. The latter ranges from a minimum of 5 or 6 euros for the cheapest models up to 50 euros and more, depending on the specific type and, of course, the quality of the materials and finishes.
It is needless to underline, in fact, that low-cost wrenches are characterized by an equally low quality; they are essential, roughly finished, do not have the anti-slip coating on the handle that makes the grip firmer and improves comfort of use, and are usually much more prone to rusting, especially in the areas where the adjustment mechanisms are located .
If you have professional needs, therefore, it is good to absolutely avoid buying a low cost product just to save money; the same is true for those who have hobby-type needs of use, even if in a less rigid way.
For home and occasional use, on the other hand, you can also choose a low-cost product, being careful to choose one that offers a minimum of reliability more than the average.
The different types of adjustable keys
Furthermore, before deciding which wrench to buy, it is good to make an excursus on the different types available on the market and on their intended use, in order to choose the one that best suits your needs.
The wrenches can be divided into two broad categories, the fixed ones and the adjustable ones: so let’s begin to examine the different models that fall into the second starting from one of the most common: the so-called roller wrench.
This particular model has the front end similar to that possessed by a hexagonal key, with the difference, however, that one of the jaws is mobile and allows you to adjust the opening of the jaw by means of a helical roller.
The best models are those that have a graduated scale on the jaw and a notch on the movable jaw, as they allow you to adjust the opening more precisely than keys that do not have them. This type is mainly used to loosen and tighten bolts, and being able to adjust the opening allows you to act on a wide range of head bolts of different sizes.
The parrot wrench, on the other hand, is mainly used for plumbing work, as it is structured in such a way as to be able to adapt to pipes of different diameters. Also in the field of hydraulics, flat head wrenches are in great demand; the latter, in fact, are increasingly difficult to find now and, unlike the parrot ones, they offer the advantage of being able to work easily even in the tightest spaces.
The hex keys and the combination
Fixed wrenches are usually sold in sets consisting of a number of pieces that can vary from a minimum of 8 or 12 units up to 100 and more, depending on the case, but can also be purchased individually.
This category mainly includes hexagonal, ratchet and socket wrenches, but you can also find combined wrenches, that is, those that have a double hexagonal / hexagonal or hexagonal / ratchet end. Their application is more specific and they are usually used mainly in general mechanical workshops, where they are used for disassembly and assembly, as well as in specific ones for the repair of cars and motorcycles.
The socket wrench, on the other hand, is a variant of the ratchet one; it is usually sold in a kit that includes the key itself and its interchangeable bushes, which are metal cylinders of different diameters made to fit the bolt heads. Also in this case it is a tool used above all in mechanical workshops.
Furthermore, as regards this particular type of keys, prices are slightly higher and range from 10-12 euros for low-cost sets up to 200 euros and more for those intended for professional use.
Who invented the wrench?
The first wrench was developed and patented in America by Solymon Merryck, in 1835, of whom very little is actually known, except that he was a boxer and who was the first American boxing champion of black ethnicity. Merryck became an inventor after retiring from the ring and, in addition to the wrench, he is also credited with inventing the ratchet.
According to some, however, and precisely due to the scarcity of biographical information on the life of Solymon Merryck, the real origin of the key is not certain. Some attribute the authorship of this invention to the English Edwin Beard Budding, who would have developed it in 1842.
Whatever the truth, when the first wrenches began to circulate, people were greatly amazed by the invention; consequently other inventors developed further variations of the key.
In 1858, for example, the Monkey key was developed whose name, by assonance, is due precisely to that of its inventor: Charles Moncky. In 1870, however, the American inventor Daniel Chapman Stillson patented another variant of the wrench: the adjustable tube wrench as we still know it today.
From these first examples, then, all the subsequent variants used today have been derived, which have been developed according to the type of processing required.
Why is it called a wrench?
The only country in the world where this particular tool is called a “wrench”, in reality, is Italy; in England, in fact, it is known as a spanner, while in the USA it is known as a wrench.
The specific reason why in Italy it is called proper wrench is still a matter of discussion; one of the theories, the same that indicates Edwin Beard Budding as the first inventor of this tool, attributes its definition to the fact that he was indeed English.
Another theory, on the other hand, reports that in Italy a very similar tool was already in use but of Swedish origin, and that at some point the use of an English variant of the same was widespread, which later became commonly known as a key. “English”, in fact, just to underline the difference from the original Swedish on which it was based; even in this case, however, we enter unstable terrain made up mostly of “legends”.
In truth it is not possible to ascertain with certainty the precise moment and why this tool, in Italy, was defined as such, the only certain thing is that custom has transformed what originally wanted to be a simple attribute, into a true definition. and proper.
How to use a wrench
Where to buy a wrench
The purchase of a wrench, as well as that of any other hand tool intended for DIY or professional use, should normally be done in person. The most important thing in this case, in fact, is the possibility of being able to closely examine the tool and “touch it with your hand” to test the characteristics and quality of the materials with which it is manufactured.
Like most tools and hand tools, wrenches can also be easily found in hardware stores or in large chains specializing in the sale of DIY items.
The Web option
In any case, it is also possible to buy online, of course, both from the sites of authorized resellers and on e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon for example; in this case, however, since you do not have the opportunity to personally verify the quality of the product, it is advisable to pay due attention to product reviews and avoid, as far as possible, buying those with too low cost.
On the other hand, the possibility of choice is far greater than buying in the store, and therefore it becomes easier to find models that are usually scarce, such as the flat head wrench.
Remove the rust
If you have a wrench (but actually any other tool) that has been attacked by rust, there is a natural method to eliminate it in a simple way, which is by creating a sort of paste with salt and lemon. As? Just put some fine salt and lemon juice in a bowl (with the ratio of three to one) and then spread this mixture on the rusty surface of the instrument. Wait about half an hour and then remove the paste with a damp sponge. The rust will also come off with it.