Pipe Wrench Buying Guide

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Pipe wrench- Get to know it

Pipe wrench is particularly a plumbing tool that is specifically used to facilitate an easy grip for making fittings between pipes.  The wrench is designed in such a way that the adjustable jaw effortlessly locks in the frame. Once the hold is firm in the area where the adjustment has to be made it becomes easy for applying forward pressure on the handle that pulls the jaws intact together.

How does it look like?

The pipe wrench is made of two jaws which are the upper hook and the lower heel jaw which are both attached to the handle. The jaws have a rough coating for the hold to be tough while moving the wrench. The lower jaw can be turned up and down to fit any size of the object that is held by the wrench. Pipe wrenches are made of steel and aluminum. Steel is used to withstand the pressure of heavy duty applications. Aluminum is light, corrosion resistant and more suitable for routine handling.

Pipe wrenches come of different sizes and are made of varied materials to enhance the usability of the tool. It is important to choose the right wrench before actually getting to work on the pipes. There are different types of pipe wrenches and each have been designed keeping in mind their unique purposes.

Journey so far and beyond

It is always rave and twitchy for a tool freak to see tools getting upgraded and more improved every year. A die hard tool fan would vouch for this because it is a mixed up feeling to see old tools getting replaced by entirely new versions every year. However the pipe wrench has been one of the few tools to have maintained the same design for almost a century.

And what makes this gloriously humble tool still going

The ability of the hook jaw which is used by the thumbwheel to adjust to the size of any pipe that you is being worked upon. Mostly the hook jaw is made of forged alloy and the shank is quenched and tempered to make it unassumingly tough. The jaw teeth are induction hardened to resist the wearing down process.

Different types of pipe wrenches

It is best to get trained and educated to know the different types of pipe wrenches before you actually get to work. If not you may buy a wrong pipe wrench and using it may probably damage the object. Also it could take more time to complete the task. While using the wrench it is safe to leave half inch space between the back of the upper jaw and the object surface to avoid any possible damage to the wrench as well as the object.

Each pipe wrench addresses a special need. Let us take a short tour through it.

Straight pipe wrench

They are used to adjust such pipes that range from diameters of three quarters of an inch to 8 inches. However large straight pipe wrenches come handy for long duty purposes. Such large wrenches are usually 9 to 60 inches in size. They are made of heavy steel or aluminum.

Offset wrenches

Offset wrenches are used in areas where work spaces are mostly limited.  This means that there is little room left to get a complete grip on the object without damaging it.  Offset wrenches have narrower jaw heads. These wrenches are used in situations where the pipe is parallel to another object or the object is at an awkward angle.

End pipe wrenches

The jaws of these wrenches are set at a minor angle deviation to the wrench. The jaws have teeth for an extraordinary grip. These wrenches are used on pipes that are closer to the wall.

Compound leverage wrenches

These wrenches provide extra leverage as the name suggest for working on joints. Such joints can be caused due to corrosion or damage. The force applied is magnified to loosen the joints.

Strap pipe wrench

Strap pipe wrenches are used on plastic, plated and odd sized pipes. They just have a strap attached and do not have the customary wrench heads. The strap is made of rubber so can tighten up easily.

Chain pipe wrench

Chain pipe wrenches are used on enormously tight pipes situated in very confined spaces. They are similar to strap wrenches but have a chain instead of a strap.  They are meant for heavy duty purposes.