Updated February 21, 2021 by Chris Gillespie

The 10 Best Pipe Wrenches

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in October of 2017. The next time you wake up to use the bathroom, spare a moment to acknowledge the extraordinary convenience of modern indoor plumbing before you drift back to sleep. It is all made possible by the humble pipe wrench, and our selection of these tools includes an array of sizes and designs. Some are basic models best used for home projects, while others are suitable for professional plumbers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Ridgid Aluminum

2. Ridgid 31120

3. Milwaukee Adaptable

Editor's Notes

February 19, 2021:

Pipe wrenches come in a variety of styles and sizes and are designed to turn threaded pipes or assemble and disassemble fittings. They usually have a square jaw with hardened serrated teeth that give purchase on softer metal when pressure is applied. Most wrenches are either made from aluminum or iron, with the former sacrificing a little in strength for weight, and choosing a suitable tool will depend on the diameter of the pipe and the amount of room available to swing the handle.

In this update, we removed the Drixet Industrial and replaced it with the much more useful Milwaukee Adaptable, which comes with two removable handles, allowing it to be used as a bare tool of 10 inches in length for tight spaces, or to be extended to either an 18-inch or a 21-inch tool when space allows. It also has a high-quality adjustment ring assembly that should provide years of service without failing. The Ridgid 31120 has a unique design, with the head being set parallel to the shaft, allowing it to reach areas where a traditional head may not. The Ridgid RapidGrip is also notable for its head design, as it has no adjustment assembly, rather it utilizes a spring-loaded hook jaw that can clamp on to pipes with a maximum diameter of two-and-a-half inches. Finally, the Bahco Universal has a narrow, offset head and plier-like grips that have an integrated adjustment knob. They are available in a range of sizes, from the compact 8-1/2-inch set to a heavy-duty option at 41-3/4 inches.

March 30, 2019:

Removed the GreatNeck APW24 due to durability concerns; reports indicate that it may warp or even break when faced with a heavy workload. On a similar note, the Olympia Tool appeared to be a potential safety hazard, as its jaw had cracking issues after light use. We eliminated it from the list as well.

Added the Ridgid 31120 in part to include an offset style wrench on the list, which may be better suited for certain projects than standard models based on the location and configuration of the pipes being worked on. For example, it would be particularly useful for a plumber doing overhead work in a basement on pipes snaking through the bays underneath the floor above. Also included the Goplus Set in the list — while users report that they’re probably not professional quality, they also suggest they’re durable and functional enough to keep around the house in case you need to tinker on the sink, shower, or one of your kitchen appliances at some point.

Special Honors

S6A Comp When trying to free locked couplings or corroded joints, a compound leverage wrench multiplies the applied force by combining a chain wrench and a jawed wrench. This model has a 12-inch handle and a maximum pipe capacity of six inches. allanjcoleman.com

Snap-on is a US-based company that was founded in 1920, and is synonymous with high-quality tools. Their selection of pipe wrenches are backed by their unique lifetime replacement warranty, and are available in a range of sizes from 6 to 36 inches in length. snapon.com

4. Tradespro 830914

5. Ridgid RapidGrip

6. Bahco Universal

7. Ridgid Straight 10

8. Grizzly Steelex

9. Irwin Vise-Grip

10. Goplus Set


Chris Gillespie
Last updated on February 21, 2021 by Chris Gillespie

Starting his career in the building industry, Chris built and managed a plumbing and heating company in northern England. After 13 years, seeking a more fulfilling lifestyle, he moved to southeast Asia, eventually settling in Vietnam, where he teaches writing and comprehension at a number of international universities. Drawing on his previous experience, and his passion for kitesurfing and windsurfing, Chris is knowledgeable in all things water related both recreationally and within the construction industry.


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