Wrench Set Reviews
Our Top Pick is the Craftsman Wrench Set
Craftsman is a well known and well respected name in tools of all kinds. This Craftsman 20-pc wrench set combines both metric and inch choices that are constructed from a high quality alloyed steel.
They are designed to last a lifetime which is why Craftsman offers their Forever Guarantee. On one end of each wrench, there is a reinforced open end that will hold onto whatever you are working on tightly and powers through to loosen or tighten even rusted bolts.
The other end is box ended ratchet that lets you work quickly and efficiently with no lifting of the ratchet necessary between turns. It doesn’t matter what you’re working on, this heavy duty set of wrenches will help you get the job done. They provide the user with the grip needed while cutting down on excess unneeded tools in your toolbox.
The 12 degree box end is offset which allows plenty of room for your knuckles so they are not getting knocked and bumped while you are working. The fine tooth ratcheting action only needs a 5 degree arc, which means more results from less work. Even if you have to reach far into an appliance to work, the fastener will stay connected until you are done turning the ratchet and pull it off yourself.
There are 10 different inch sizes included in this set. These sizes are:
¼”, 5/16”, 11/32”, 3/8”, 7/16”, ½”, 9/16”, 5/8”, 11/16”, and ¾”.
There are also 10 metric sizes that are included in this set as well. These are:
6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm and 18mm.
This impressive and sturdy set of craftsman wrenches is back by Craftsman famous and well loved Forever Guarantee.
Who Should Buy This
Wrench sets are crucial tools for any workshop, automotive garage, Construction Company, contractor, handyman, HVAC repair, plumbers, DIY-ers, home owners, and many other types of businesses. Wrenches are probably one of the most used tools ever made.
They are used for a variety of applications including automotive repair, plumbing repair, HVAC repair, building, remodeling jobs, to name just a few. It’s almost impossible to name every type of application and business or person that uses wrenches. Even a housewife has, more than likely had to use a wrench for something around the home, office, or car.
What Makes a Good Wrench Set?
There are a variety of styles of wrench sets. What you intend to use them for will determine which type or style is the best fit for your needs. Some wrench sets are designed to be better with standard fasteners and some are better for the metric units. Depending on the brand and style, you may find wrench sets that are color coded for easy identification between metric and inches.
Due to the popularity of wrenches, you will find them as staples in every toolbox. If you don’t have a wrench set you will definitely feel the lack of one when you go to do many different types of repairs. A wrench set can be used for many different projects and tasks at home and on the job site or place of business.
By choosing a good quality set of wrenches, you will always have one that is the right size for any job. When you are looking at different wrench sets, you want to consider things like:
- The type of wrench you need
- The size and shape of wrench you will need
- The type of measurement you will need; metric or standard
- Do you want a ratcheting feature?
- Is the set durable?
- Is the set strong enough for even super tough jobs?
Types of Wrenches
There are many different types of wrenches on the market. We have outlined the different types below.
- Open Ended/Crescent Wrench – Another name for this type of wrench is a C spanner. They come in a variety of sizes and the best sets have a large variety of sizes available. The crescent wrench is the most common wrench and the one that is almost always found in every toolbox. They are designed to be used on nuts or bolt heads and you slide them on from the side. The “C” opening is not the strongest opening but it tends to be much faster to use. Crescent wrenches are made from cast iron, alloy steel or wrought iron. Some styles have wrenches at both ends and are called double-ended wrenches. Double ended wrenches have a different size wrench at each end that is consecutive in size.
- Box Wrench – Another name for a box wrench is a ring spanner. Box wrenches are almost always made of steel. The head of a box wrench is enclosed which makes it a little more difficult to use than an open ended wrench. They are much stronger though. You must fit the wrench onto the nut from the top so it is important to make sure that you fit it properly.
- Combination Wrench – This type of wrench is very popular and is the type of our top pick in this review. These wrenches have an open end on one end and a box end on the other. Both ends are the same size. They are good for loosening super tight nuts with the box end and then flipping it over and finishing the job with the other end.
- Adjustable Wrench – An adjustable wrench has an open end and one of the jaws can be moved. These wrenches are designed to work with many different sizes of nuts and bolts. Adjustable wrenches are not as strong as solid spanners. If you are not careful it’s possible to strain the jaws of the wrench or damage it completely.
- Offset Wrench – An offset wrench looks like a wrench that has bent ends. The purpose of the bent ends is to allow room for your knuckles while you’re working. This type of wrench also is a good choice for reaching hard to reach areas where bolts or nuts are.
- Pipe Wrench – These are very similar to adjustable wrenches. The design of a pipe wrench is to grip onto and turn damaged nuts and pipe work. Pipe wrenches have serrated jaws that give the user exceptional grip on smooth surfaces. Do NOT use a pipe wrench on undamaged nuts because the pipe wrench will damage it. Always apply pressure in the direction that the wrenches jaws open.
- Stubby Wrench – This wrench is perfect for working in very confined small spaces. It is much shorter than traditional wrenches so they fit into those small spaces.
- Torque Wrench – Torque wrenches apply certain amount of force to nuts and bolts. These wrenches are mostly sockets that have special parts and a measuring gauge that shows the amount of force that is being applied. The gauges can be either manual or electric.
To choose the right wrench, you need to have an understanding of the different wrenches, their capabilities and what the different kinds are best suited for. Once you have that understanding, narrowing down your choices becomes much easier.
If you are looking for strength, durability and longevity, you will want to get fixed wrench sets like the top choice here as well as our step up option which is even better for professional use. If you don’t plan on using the wrenches that much, you could easily get away with five to eight pieces. If you are a professional or someone who will be using the wrenches a lot, you will be much better equipped with a larger set. Either of the sets featured here have plenty of wrenches to choose from.
When it comes to durability, look for sets that are made of vanadium or chromium vanadium, as these are considered good quality. Cast iron and wrought iron are also extremely tough and durable and make up a good quality wrench set.
How We Tested
We reviewed the top 25 wrench sets currently available on the market and from those we narrowed the search and eliminated those that didn’t make the grade. We looked at quality, durability, brand reputation, warranties offered and other features to narrow the list. After doing this, we looked at tool magazines, forums, and talked to industry experts that use wrench sets on a regular basis.
Lastly but also just as important in the process, we looked at Amazon for customer reviews and comments from those who actually purchased and are using the different wrench sets. All of this research led to the top choice we have reviewed here as well as the upgraded choice.
|Wrench Sizing||Metric and Standard|
|Number of Wrenches||20 – 10 metric, 10 standard|
|# of points||12|
|Length||Standard size length|
Who Else Likes It?
Sears.com writes “No matter whether you’re working on the job, under the hood or even under the kitchen sink, the Craftsman 20-pc combination wrench set delivers the grip you need to finish the job while cutting down on the dead weight in your kit. Designed to grab on right, the tool features ratcheting box end that allows you to speed through jobs quickly with no need to lift.”
Craftsman.com writes “The reinforced open end holds on tight and powers through with the muscle needed to break loose even rusted bolts. A solid set, built to deliver grip, continuous contact and solid performance, add this set to your kit and get the job done with Craftsman.”
Amazon gives the Craftsman 20-pc combination wrench set 4.6 out of 5 from 22 reviews. One customer reports “These wrenches are a must for anyone that calls themselves a mechanic. The wrenches are up to Craftsman standards. The ratchets are tight and feel great.”
The Step Up
If you’re looking for a step up when it comes to your wrench set, you will want to take a look at the GearWrench 9312 13 pc SAE Master Ratcheting Wrench Set.
With this exceptional set you have the control of a wrench with the speed of a ratchet. There are 5 degrees of movement available to turn fasteners, which is better than the standard 30 degrees that traditional combination wrenches offer.
On one end of these wrenches is a small box head that allows the users to reach difficult to get into spots and the open end allows the easy removal of nuts and bolts without having to remove the wrench from the nut or bolt.
Jobs go much faster and easier with the GearWrench Wrench Set. It comes with a wrench locker that holds all of your wrenches, so transporting them is super easy and convenient. Each wrench has a polished chrome finish. In this 13 pc set, the following sizes are included:
1-1/4”, 5/16”. 3/8”. 7/16”, ½”, 9/16”, 5/8”, 11/16”, ¾”, 13/16”, 7/8”, and 15/16”. They offer users a lifetime warranty that assures users they are free of defects in the materials and workmanship. These wrenches are super durable, long lasting and provide tons of strength for the user. They are perfect for professionals who use wrenches a lot.
Top Wrench Set Comparison
|Position||Visual||Tool||Pieces||Weight (Pounds)||Warranty (Years)
|9||Craftsman Standard||8||2.80||Limited Lifetime
Care Use & Maintenance
Taking care of your tools is an important step in maintaining them and keeping them in great working condition. Even hand tools like wrench sets need to be taken care of. Safety is also an important part of using tools and there are many safety tips regarding the use of wrenches that are important to follow. We have put together a useful list of safety and maintenance tips below that will make using and owning wrench sets much easier and safer too.
- Inspect wrenches before using to make sure they are not damaged or defective
- Never use a worn or cracked wrench
- Inspect the jaws of any pipe wrench you use. Make sure that they’re still sharp or you can slip while using them and get injured.
- Don’t try to straighten a bent wrench; that just weakens it further
- Always use wrenches that pull in a clean manner
- Use the right size wrench for the job you are doing
- Don’t substitute slip point pliers in place of a wrench
- Don’t use a hammer with a wrench unless that is what it is designed for
- Torque wrenches should only be used for tightening things
- Never use an extension on a pipe wrench to increase leverage
- Never cock an open-ended wrench
- Don’t over or under torque. Torque wrenches permit torquing to the exact amount of force required. Using more or less will have a negative effect.
- Avoid exposing wrenches to excessive heat; it can change the hardness and structure. This can ruin the tool.
- Never grind a wrench
- Clean your wrenches by wiping with a dry, soft cloth
- Don’t get wrenches wet, or if they get wet, dry as soon as possible to avoid rusting
- Keep away from excessive heat; store in a tool box or case in a dry, cool place
Wrapping It Up
All workshops and garages should have a good wrench set. They are so versatile and handy when it comes to repairs and building things. Having a good quality wrench set will ensure that you always have the right tool for the different jobs and tasks you have to do. If you will be using your wrench set on a regular basis, you should invest in the highest quality wrench set you can, such as our step up Gearwrench set.
The higher quality sets usually have a larger number of pieces and that means even more readiness to tackle different jobs. Make sure to take into consideration all the factors we have outlined in this review when you look for the perfect wrench set for your workshop or garage.