10 Best Pipe Wrenches 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Pipe wrenches are obviously used primarily for one thing – pipes. They’re very common in plumbers’ toolboxes, but many homeowners have them as well. If you want to do anything with a pipe, then one of these wrenches is absolutely necessary.
However, while all of these wrenches are designed for the exact same purpose, they can vary in quality and size. Homeowners can likely get away with a decent pipe wrench, while professionals should aim to purchase the best-of-the-best. With all the different features pipe wrenches come with, though, it can be difficult to find the best pipe wrench for you.
In this article, we’ll review some of the best pipe wrenches on the market to give you a good idea of what’s out there. Then, we’ll take a look at some of the more important factors to keep in mind when choosing the best pipe wrench for you specifically.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||RIDGID 31100 Straight Pipe Wrench||
|Best Value||Tradespro 830914 Pipe Wrench||
|Premium Choice||IRWIN Tools 274108 VISE-GRIP Pipe Wrench||
|Goplus 31068 Pipe Wrench||
|MAXPOWER Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench||
The 10 Best Pipe Wrenches – Reviews 2020
1. RIDGID 31100 Straight Pipe Wrench – Best Overall
The RIDGID 31100 Straight Pipe Wrench is the best straight pipe wrench currently available on the market. It is extremely lightweight, which prevents you from getting fatigued. Its light weight is mostly due to its aluminum construction. This aluminum is quite durable and makes the wrench easier to use than other options. The I-beam handle is fully floating, helping you quickly adjust the wrench and get a strong grip. We liked that the adjustment-nut is non-stick. This feature helps adjustments go relatively quickly and prevents the nut from gumming up. The threats are also self-cleaning to prevent them from becoming hard to work with overtime.
Most of this wrench’s parts are easy to replace if need be. For example, you can replace the hook jaw, heel jaw, and spring assembly. This feature elongates the lifespan of the pipe wrench, which is always a nice benefit. In total, this pipe is 18-inches long and has a pipe capacity of 1 to 2.5 inches. Because of this, it is obvious that this pipe wrench is best suited to smaller pipes, making it perfect for residential plumbers and homeowners.
The only downside is that this wrench is really only designed for light work. It isn’t best for heavy jobs.
2. Tradespro 830914 Pipe Wrench – Best Value
The Tradespro 830914 Pipe Wrench is much cheaper than other pipe wrenches on the market. Despite the much lower price, this wrench is actually quite high-quality. It is made with drop forged steel and is heat-treated to ensure that it remains durable for years to come. The teeth are machined to fit together perfectly, which improves grip. The I-beam handle is versatile and quite versatile. The adjusting nut is easy to use quickly. This pipe wrench has a pipe capacity of ½ to 2 inches. We particularly liked that it is made with heavy-duty drop forged steel.
Its bright yellow color also means that this tool won’t get lost as easily as other tools. It’s a small feature, but one that we appreciated.
Because of its design, this pipe wrench is a bit lighter than other options. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but this is not a heavy-duty option in the least. All in all, however, we think it’s one of the best pipe wrenches for the money available today.
3. IRWIN Tools VISE-GRIP Pipe Wrench – Premium Choice
For professionals, the IRWIN Tools 274108 VISE-GRIP Pipe Wrench is our favorite premium pipe wrench. It is made with heavy-duty cast iron and is heat-treated to avoid distortion and breaking. The teeth are very durable because of the heat treatment. These teeth provide a lot of grip. The adjustment-nut is extremely easy to adjust quickly as well. It is even heat-treated for extra durability. The I-beam handle is wider than most other designs. However, this is done to provide even weight distribution and decrease fatigue.
You’ll particularly like that this pipe wrench comes with a “hammer head” design, which provides a flat surface for hammering. This wrench has a 6-inch capacity as well, making it one of the larger wrenches on this list. However, it seems that you can push this wrench to about 7 inches in actuality. If you’re a professional, this feature makes this wrench perfect for most work.
With all of these positive features, this wrench is extremely expensive. You’ll be paying way more for this wrench than the others on this list. However, if you plan on using it a lot, this extra money may be worth it.
4. Goplus 31068 Pipe Wrench
Though we rated the Goplus 31068 Pipe Wrench number four on our list, it is not low-quality in the least. It just wasn’t our favorite. It is made with solid steel. The handle is made with malleable iron, which makes it extremely comfortable while remaining durable. The drop-forged jaw is quite durable, resisting breaking and distortion. The teeth are sharp and non-breaking. They have high hardness and are extremely wear-resistant. Because of how this wrench is crafted, it is anti-rust and anti-corrosion. The spring-loaded design also improves the working efficiency of this wrench.
We loved that the handle is wrapped in plastic. This makes it much more comfortable than other options. It is also slip-resistant – a nice addition to any wrench. It is perfectly suitable for working in tighter quarters and hard-to-reach spaces.
The main problem with this wrench is that it is much smaller than other options. If you need to grasp larger pipes, this wrench just isn’t going to cut it. It is best for smaller projects and your average homeowner.
5. MAXPOWER Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench
The grey MAXPOWER Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench is made of aluminum. It is very lightweight, though it doesn’t necessarily lose its durability because of this. It is very easy to use and does not cause fatigue like other, heavier options. The I-beam handle is designed for tight places and is suitable for most pipes. It has a scaled hook jaw for extra grip and fast adjustments. We did like the adjustment nut as well, which is self-cleaning and non-stick. It works fast and is easy to use. With a 2-inch opening capacity, this wrench is quite a bit smaller than other options. However, it may be plenty for most homeowners. At 14-inches, this wrench is about average size.
We didn’t like that the spring tends to come out of its appropriate place. This is not absolutely a horrible thing, but it is very annoying and cuts back on your efficiency. The grip also isn’t terribly great. It tends to slip on pipes. Overall, the quality is just lower than other options on our list. For this reason, we rated it as a decent pipe wrench at number five on our list.
6. RIDGID 31010 Straight Pipe Wrench
Thanks to its sturdy iron casing, this pipe wrench is pretty durable. It is also a bit heavier than some other options because it is not made out of aluminum. However, this makes it more suitable for larger jobs. It is a give-and-take and depends mostly on what projects you’re going to be using the pipe wrench for. The forged hook jaw provides plenty of grip and adjusts quickly. You’ll also like that it has a replaceable hook jaw, heel jaw, and spring assembly.
This 10-inch pipe wrench is quite small – much smaller than most of the other options on our list. It is best for pipes between ¼ and 1 inch thick. It is very small indeed. This makes it only suitable for those who work on very small pipes, which really isn’t most people. Because of this, we had to drop it down to the number six spot. It isn’t a terrible wrench; it just really isn’t useful in most situations.
7. Wideskall Soft Grip Pipe Wrench Set
The Wideskall 000-5739 Soft Grip Pipe Wrench Set comes with three different wrenches. This set is very inexpensive. It has a cast iron housing, which does make it quite durable. The hardened steel jaws have deeply grooved teeth. The handles are supposed to be soft and comfortable on the hand. However, it is not as comfortable as other options.
This wrench is only usable for certain projects because all the wrenches are pretty small. The largest one is only suitable for pipes under 2 inches in diameter. This should fit most households’ pipes. However, it is not suitable for professionals who may come up against larger pipes.
Whenever you pay such a small amount for a set of wrenches, you need to be suspicious. The reason these wrenches are so cheap is because they’re decently low quality. They really don’t work well at all. Their bite is poor and has a hard time gripping onto anything. They are very lightweight as well, which means they are not suitable for harder projects. In this case, you’re really getting what you pay for.
8. Performance Tool Pipe Wrench
The Performance Tool W1133-8B Pipe Wrench is very tiny. The length of the wrench is only 8 inches, and its pipe capacity is only 1 inch. It has a protective enamel paint coating, which protects it from rust and corrosion. The finish is heavy-duty and seems to stay on quite well. It is made with deep-forged steel, so the coating is essential to prevent rust.
As you might have noticed, this wrench is very small. It does not have a large capacity in length, which means that it can only be used for very specific jobs. Most people are not going to be able to use this wrench as a stand-alone. It may be suitable when used alongside other wrenches, or if you’re a professional who is looking for a tiny wrench in particular. However, it is not a good option for most users.
This tool also isn’t as sturdy as we would have liked. In fact, it is surprisingly cheaply made despite being made out of steel.
9. Bahco 142 Universal Pipe Wrench
Though it is a bit more expensive than other options we’ve reviewed, the Bahco 142 Universal Pipe Wrench is not very high-quality. The handle looks like it is cushioned or dipped in plastic. However, it is fake. It is orange paint – not an orange, cushioned handle. It does not have a warranty, or at least not one that is readily usable. Getting the warranty is difficult and takes a lot of effort. The tool might as well not have one.
Furthermore, it tends to break. It is clearly not as durable as other options on the list. This, combined with the poor warranty, makes this tool very low-quality. It is not our favorite in the least. The warranty and durability problem are the main reasons we rated it so much lower than the other wrenches on this list.
On the other hand, we did like that this wrench has a decent amount of grip and large diameter jaws. We really liked this feature, but the fact that the wrench is so breakable makes it unusable.
10. KNIPEX Tools Swedish Pattern Pipe Wrench
The KNIPEX Tools 8310010 Swedish Pattern Pipe Wrench is decently more expensive than other pipe wrenches. It is very small – too small to do much of anything. The company does not provide much information about their tool either, which is one of the problems. It is difficult to figure out exactly what you’re getting.
This pipe wrench also has a strange design. It is not a standard pipe wrench. It is more like a pair of pliers. If this is what you need, then this might be the correct tool for you. However, if you want a pipe wrench, then this is probably not what you want. It is only usable for certain situations and does not have as much versatility as other pipe wrenches out there.
Now we’ll take a look at some of the most important features to consider when purchasing a pipe wrench. There is no one-size-fits-all best pipe wrench out there. Instead, the one we recommend depends on your situation and personal preferences. Homeowners are going to need a different wrench than professionals.
Consider the following features when searching for the perfect pipe wrench:
While all pipe wrenches are similar, there are slightly different styles you need to consider when making your purchase. For instance, there are straight pipe wrenches, end pipe wrenches, compound leverage wrenches, chain pipe wrenches, and a strap wrench. All of these options are useful for different projects. If you’re a professional, you probably want to have all of these at your disposal, especially if you work on a variety of projects regularly.
For everyone else, you could likely get away with just a straight pipe variety. This is the most common option on the market and most of those in our reviews are straight pipe wrenches. These are designed to let you easily tighten and loosen threaded pipes, which is the primary purpose of these wrenches.
If you’re the average homeowner, you probably aren’t going to use one of these wrenches all that often. Because of this, you could safely choose one with a bit low-quality handle. You don’t have to worry about fatigue or comfort so much because you aren’t going to be actively using these pipes every day. Still, comfort can be an important consideration for those rare times you do pull this wrench out, so don’t buy the worst one on the market either.
However, professionals likely need to invest in the most comfortable pipe wrench they can find. These wrenches are commonly used by plumbers, so if this describes your profession, you may end up using this wrench daily at the very least. Obviously, daily usage like this requires a comfortable handle.
Generally, you want to look for wrenches that have handle covers or some sort of grip. These are going to be much easier on your hands than traditional handles, which can cause discomfort quickly.
Pipe wrenches come in various sizes. Homeowners won’t need a large, industrial-size wrench. If you ever get this wrench out, you’re probably only going to be using it on very minor projects and small pipes. You do not need a wrench that can handle very large pipes, because there probably aren’t any in your home.
However, professionals may need a larger pipe wrench, especially if you work in the industrial niche. Of course, not all professional plumbers work on large pipes, but it is usually better to be safe rather than sorry in this regard. It never hurts to have a pipe wrench that can handle larger pipes in your toolbox. Most professionals will want a variety of differently sized pipe wrenches.
As with most tools, the large majority of pipe wrenches have some sort of coating. This prevents rust primarily, which is the number one destroyer of tools. Because pipe wrenches are used on pipes, they are more likely to get wet than your average tool. For this reason, the coating is particularly important to consider.
Most are covered with something like black oxide or even sandblast. Both of these coatings are high-quality. It isn’t so important what the coating is. Instead, it is more important for the coating to be durable and stay on for the tool’s lifespan. If the coating comes off, the odds of the tool rusting increase.
The jaws are one of the most important parts of these pipe wrenches. They are the part that actually grasps the pipe, so they need to be durable and adjustable.
Most homeowners can usually get away with a jaw capacity of around 6 inches. This is decently large and suitable for most pipes, without being so large that the cost of the wrench is going to shoot up. Professionals will likely need at least one wrench that can go bigger than this just in case. If you work on pipes a lot, you might want to consider choosing a few different wrenches with a variety of different capacities. This will allow you to tackle any pipe you come across.
Here are some other wrenches we’ve written about:
For most readers, we prefer the RIDGID 31100 Straight Pipe Wrench. It is of higher quality than most options, without being incredibly expensive. They have a decent handle and a high pipe capacity.
On the other hand, for those who need to save on money, the Tradespro 830914 Pipe Wrench is a better option. It is made out of deep forged steel and is painted bright yellow, which prevents them from being lost.
We hope that this article helped you figure out what you need in a pipe wrench. Our buyer’s guide should provide you with a good idea of what features you need, while our reviews help you aim for the perfect model.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Pipe Wrenches – Reviews 2020
- 1. RIDGID 31100 Straight Pipe Wrench – Best Overall
- 2. Tradespro 830914 Pipe Wrench – Best Value
- 3. IRWIN Tools VISE-GRIP Pipe Wrench – Premium Choice
- 4. Goplus 31068 Pipe Wrench
- 5. MAXPOWER Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench
- 6. RIDGID 31010 Straight Pipe Wrench
- 7. Wideskall Soft Grip Pipe Wrench Set
- 8. Performance Tool Pipe Wrench
- 9. Bahco 142 Universal Pipe Wrench
- 10. KNIPEX Tools Swedish Pattern Pipe Wrench
- Buyer’s Guide