6 Types of Pipe Wrenches Explained

Pipe wrenches come in 6 different types, each of which is available in many different sizes. These wrenches are sturdy and are usually made of aluminum or steel. You can easily find them at hardware stores. Pipe wrenches were first designed in 1869 by Daniel Stillson. He gave his wrench to plumbing companies. Since its invention the pipe wrench has become extremely popular and is used in almost all types of home repair and is a staple of the plumber’s toolbox.

End Pipe Wrench

This wrench is specifically for the end pipes. As the name states it is for the end bits that are very close to the wall or in very tight spaces. This wrench will have teeth in the jaws which grip into the pipe so it is easier to move it. This wrench will not slip and makes loosening or tightening end pipes very easy. This is perfect for anything which is in restricted space.

Offset Wrench

This type of pipe wrench was designed for pipes that are in tight places or at awkward angles. This wrench normally has a box end which is a closed end wrench. It will slip vertically over a bolt head. It access the bolt from a vertical direction as you may not be able to get the wrench around the bolt from the sides. You can find two different versions of this a standard offset pipe wrench or a heavy duty version. In general this wrench will cost you about $50.

Compound Leverage Wrench

The compound leverage pipe wrench is mainly used for seized joints as you get additional leverage when you use it. It is mainly for joints that might be frozen due to build-up, age, damage or may be locked up. The design is quite ingenious as you will apply force to loosen the bolt but due to the design of the wrench it transforms the power you provide and amplifies it for additional oomph.

Strap Wrench

A strap wrench does not have a traditional wrench head but has a normal rigid handle with a strap that you can attach to the pipe. This is traditionally used for oddly shaped pipes. This wrench works by friction between the strap and the pipe and is quite different from the more traditional pipe wrenches. It is self-tightening and the strap can be made of rubber, chain, leather or even a metal strap.

Straight Pipe Wrench

The straight pipe wrench is used for many things and is a more traditional form of a wrench. It is usually made of iron and has jaw hooks that normally have self-cleaning threads. You can find heavy-duty versions, which are used for very large pipes though most can be found for sizes between ¾ and 8 inches. The opening of the wrench head is parallel to the handle. The straight pipe wrench is most commonly used in day to day issues and of all the pipe wrenches that are available will be what most people have in their tool box.