If you work on cars, you are familiar with strap wrenches from oil filter changes. Loop this gripping length of rubber and twist it without damaging the filter you’re removing. There are other applications for which that toothless gripping power is handy, so a strap wrench is a helpful part of your tool inventory.
To help you figure out which strap wrench is right for you, we looked at some of the models on the market and wrote reviews of them. They range in price from really low to pretty expensive, so we don’t necessarily think these reviews tell you which one to buy. If you want to look for tips on buying one, that’s great, too.
|RIDGID Model 5 Heavy-Duty Nylon Strap Wrench|
|OTC 7206 Multi-Purpose Strap Wrench||1 lb||4.5/5|
|Craftsman 2-Piece Rubber Strap Wrench Set|
(Best for the Money)
|Titan Tools 12" Plumbing Strap Wrench||1 lb||4.1/5|
|HORUSDY 2-Piece Adjustable Strap Wrench||1 lb||3.8/5|
When it comes to strap wrenches, there is no equal to the RIDGID Model 5. Loop the strap around any filter or delicate pipe and push this thing’s long handle, and it’ll turn. It works on everything, though you’ll want to exercise care around things with thin walls to avoid damaging the sides. It’s the most powerful strap wrench on the market and one of the biggest, too.
Its primary drawback is that it’s also by far the most expensive strap wrench we looked at. It’s more than twice as expensive as any of the other wrenches we reviewed. If you need this kind of power, you need it, but it’s going to cost you plenty.
The OTC 7206 costs much less than the RIDGID and still outperforms for what it costs. It won’t turn absolutely everything like the RIDGID, but it’s good enough for just about every job around the house.
It’s also smaller and lighter weight. If you’re working upside down, that can be a quite a boon.
While it’s a good value compared to the RIDGID, it’s still pricey compared to other strap wrenches. If you’re looking for a strap wrench to change the oil filter on your car and maybe use on certain pipes, you can get that without paying what the OTC costs. The handle is also a little short. It’ll work on most difficult jobs, but the short handle means that the work will be a little more awkward and difficult.
If you need a strap wrench to toss into your toolbox for occasional use, this is a great option. It’s affordable enough to be attractive to the Weekend Warrior and delivers great results on most household jobs. If you’ve got arthritis and are having trouble opening jars, this is the strap wrench for you. As long as you didn’t torque into place, it’s also suitable for most basic auto filters. That means it will do about 80 percent of what an average homeowner will need it to do.
Just don’t expect more out of it. It’s built to be a great basic strap wrench and do great basic strap wrench work. If you need to turn something that is held fast or is big, this will slide long before what you need to be turned will turn.
It’s a budget tool. If you’re looking for something that makes the most of your dollars, this is a great candidate. If you need something that’s going to grip and turn, prepare to spend more dough.
If what you need to turn has a surface that is conducive to maintaining a hold, the Titan Tools 12” Plumbing Strap Wrench does an okay job. It’s an inexpensive alternative that’s also pretty good in confined spaces.
But that’s as far as the positives take it. If you’re trying to remove an oil filter with smooth surfaces, this might not be able to do that. Since auto filters are probably the biggest reason people buy strap wrenches, that’s a pretty big drawback. It’s also cheaply made, so beware trying to put too much stress on it.
We recommend the HORUSDY 2-Piece as a great kitchen tool. In terms of kitchen implements, it’s not terribly expensive, and it does a great job loosening stuck jar lids. Got a problem jar of canned tomatoes? Whip this out and spare yourself a lot of aggravation and foul language.
Anything else, though, and you’ll need a new wrench or set of wrenches. The handles aren’t quite flimsy, but they’re also not solidly constructed. Start working around plumbing, pools or autos, and this tool is likely to crack or the rubber is likely to snap. It earned our lowest rank of these five the old-fashioned way, by not being a very good tool.
Other types of wrenches:
You won’t use a strap wrench every day, but when you need one, you’ll miss it because nothing else does what it can do. Although this wrench appears to be just a length of rubber and a handle, the rubber has special construction to help it maintain its grip, so it’s actually a specialized tool.
To help you decide figure out which wrench is for you, we reviewed of some of the strap wrenches you’ll find either online or in your local auto parts or hardware store. There are dozens of different ones, so you can use our reviews as a guide in knowing what to look for.
We wish you the best of luck in finding the strap wrench to suit your needs and good fortune in using it in your workshop.