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My bestest wrenches

Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
These are some wrenches I've collected over the years that have come in very handy when your basic Stillson wrench doesn't quite do the trick.

The first two are called "Rapid Grip" wrenches, from Ridge Tools. They are very handy for grabbing pipes you can barely reach with one hand. Once you latch on, you can use it like a ratchet. The drawback is that it's a little more prone to crushing pipes than a Stillson wrench.

The next wrench is a Ford wrench. These originally came with the roll-up tool kits that came with Ford Model Ts and Model As. This one is from a Model A because it has a square key at the end of the handle for the oil drain plug. Ford doesn't sell these anymore, but they turn up at flea markets now and then, and similar wrenches are still in production. I use this for unions, radiator valves and similar fittings where I need a large jaw capacity in a tight space. The jaws open wider than my biggest crescent wrench, yet the short handle and compact head allow me to use it where a big crescent wrench won't fit.

The next two are just small Stillson wrenches. Small, but mighty, they get the job done in tight spaces.

The last one is an offset Stillson wrench. Ever had one of those situations where you couldn't get a good grip on something and still move the handle? That's where you need one of these.

What are some of your special friends?
Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
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Comments

  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 12,348Member
    A few favorites, all time is the aluminum offset wrench. The pliers are plenty for gas pipe work up to 1", prevents over-tightening.

    Never got the hang of the quick grip style.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,652Member
    Hi, If I had to have just one favorite, it would be the Hoe wrench from 1922.

    Yours, Larry
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    Oh, come on, Larry. That's not a real wrench. You just made that up. :D

    Seriously though, it looks like it does basically the same thing as the Rapid Grip.

    Wow. That is definitely an unusual wrench. Thanks for sharing!
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,680Member
    Nice collection.
    steve
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,306Member
    I have see or owned all of those except for @Larry Weingarten Hoe wrench.

    My favorite is a 14" Rigid offset like the one @Hap_Hazzard shows.

    @hot_rod offset is a good choice when the pipe is close to a wall and can be used on most anything

    The one not shown (I have a 2 1/2" one) is a Ridgid chain wrench.

    I replace a 3" threaded pipe so close to the wall and the floor that no pipe wrench would work.

    But I was able to get the chain from the chain wrench around it
  • GordoGordo Posts: 712Member
    I am partial to the S-2 Ridgid compound wrench.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,306Member
    @Gordo

    That valve just didn't want to give up!!!!
  • DZoroDZoro Posts: 998Member
    Channellock nut buster, perfect for 1/2" & 3/4" gas pipe and such.
    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=channel+lock+nut+buster&id=0D1D357C16C52150BB79265FE8B134ABF9428149&FORM=IQFRBA
    13" one is always in the bag, larger for the special occasions.
    D
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member

    The one not shown (I have a 2 1/2" one) is a Ridgid chain wrench.

    I have one of those too. Don't know why I forgot to mention it. Aren't they great?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • GordoGordo Posts: 712Member
    edited January 9
    Then there is always the Swedish Thumb-Detecting Nut ***ker
    Adjustable Wrench. :s
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • SailahSailah Posts: 822Member
    While not really a wrench, 2 pliers I have found to work exceptional are Knipex Cobras and Adjustable Pliers Wrench, both 10" flavors.
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • ZmanZman Posts: 5,459Member
    Nice collection! I have had a really small rapid grip for years. I never knew what it was called but have found it very useful. I may have to get the 14" aluminum version. That Ford wrench looks great for those times when nothing else works.
    I agree with @Sailah about the cobras. They are a great utility plier that won't mar up bolts and nuts.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    edited January 9
    What do those cobra pliers look like? I have a couple different kinds of curved jaw pliers. Are the cobra pliers similar to these?

    The two on the left are made by Channellock. The ones on the right are from Crescent Tools.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    That's awesome. I like the monkey wrench too.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 8,043Member
    edited January 11
    But the Knipex is the most useful for undoing the nuts of the gaugeglass for cleaning the tube, which has become a more frequent chore-2 weeks, in spite of Steam-Master tablets.—NBC
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,438Member
    Nicholas, I got my first Knipex maybe 25 years ago (even before they became cool). There was a display at a wholesalers counter in Omaha with a stationary pipe mounted you could grip with these pliers.
    I was sold, 2 old (older than you or I) plumbers there laughed at me saying I could have gotten a real pipe wrench for the $25 or so dollars spent.
    Well I still do have real pipe wrenches, but those pliers are my first go for small piping. Great teeth, slim jaws and light weight to carry in a pocket.
    I have the standard Channel Lock pliers but they seem like clubs by comparison with the straight jaws.

    I do like your roller wrench, never have seen one before.
    Just like that Ford wrench, a unique item.

    As for your sight glass have you seen Gordo's sight glass blow down valve set up? A real time saver in your case.
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    Ford wrenches are very popular with aircraft mechanics. I got mine at a garage sale for about $10.

    I usually just use a crescent wrench on my glass gauge. I wouldn't want to use anything with teeth on those brass nuts.

    I googled "craftsman roller wrench" and found a few examples online. About half of them had a slight bend in the handle, just before the adjusting mechanism. Dollars to donuts somebody used a cheater pipe on them.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • retiredguyretiredguy Posts: 142Member
    Where can I buy a couple of @Gordo's cheaters? I looked for them in every catalog and even in the Ridgid catalog but nobody sells them.
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member

    Where can I buy a couple of @Gordo's cheaters? I looked for them in every catalog and even in the Ridgid catalog but nobody sells them.

    Just google "s-2 ridgid compound wrench." I was able to find several places that say they sell them, but I don't know if they actually have them in stock, and I don't think you're going to like the prices.

    I had to look it up because I couldn't see it clearly enough in the video to understand how it works, but it's a fascinating little tool. It's like a combination chain wrench and Stillson wrench. The number 2 indicates the size, so there's an S-2, S-4, S-6 and an S-8, maybe more, but I don't think any of us could afford to buy the whole set. :)
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,652Member
    edited January 11
    Hi, If you search “ridgid compound wrench “ on eBay, you’ll see some fun stuff. In the meantime, here’s a another fun wrench. ;)

    Yours, Larry
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    You have some cool stuff there, Larry.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,652Member
    edited January 11
    Well, we all know tools are fun! I’m particular interested in automatic pipe wrenches. I’ve found that looking through books on tools is a good way to learn what to look for. Here are a couple of good books. Addall.com is the place for books. B)

    Yours, Larry
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,306Member
    @retiredguy
    a couple of pieces of electrical emt ......thinwall conduit.

    It's light weight (a lot lighter than schedule 40) and hard to bend. I use 1 1/2". You egg shape the end slightly with a hammer to fit a 24" Ridgid pipe wrench and it will fit smaller wrenches ok
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Posts: 964Member

    @retiredguy
    a couple of pieces of electrical emt ......thinwall conduit.

    It's light weight (a lot lighter than schedule 40) and hard to bend. I use 1 1/2". You egg shape the end slightly with a hammer to fit a 24" Ridgid pipe wrench and it will fit smaller wrenches ok

    I have a 10" ridgid with a piece of copper pipe hammered over the handle that extends it about another 8" or so. Half of the handle finally broke after 20 years of use, and I haven't got around to fixing it, but I still use that wrench every day. It is small enough to get into tight areas, and light enough to be able to use. I put that one together in 1988, and have put in a lot of pipe with it over the years.
    Rick
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    I'm considering adding this to my collection, but something tells me it won't be quite as useful as it's cracked up to be.

    Any thoughts?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Posts: 964Member
    Looks like it could be an interesting wrench in that it has a handle that you can change the position on. I wonder how tough it is though?
    Rick
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    Yeah, I wonder about that too, but it says there's a lifetime guarantee, but getting a replacement might be problematic.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,857Member
    I think the one of mine which is oddest is a really nice rail joint track wrench... don't have a picture of it, but it's basically a 2 inch hex box wrench on one end, with a six foot pry bar on it... Don't know why I have it.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    Does it look someting like this?

    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,857Member
    Very much
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,652Member
    Hi @Hap_Hazzard , About the wrench you show a few posts up, if you look at the second wrench @hot_rod showed, it's actually a self adjusting, ratcheting wrench. Here's one on Ebay! B)https://www.ebay.com/itm/Toyang-Power-Jaws-12-Inch-Ratcheting-Adjustable-Angle-Pipe-Wrench/153729147695?hash=item23caf8a32f:g:dPQAAOSw0Axd0gUa

    Yours, Larry
  • BobCBobC Posts: 5,056Member
    A few years back I decided to replace the anode rod in my gas hot water heater and I knew it wasn't going to be easy because they tighten them with a vengeance at the factory. I had a friend holding the tank and used a 24" breaker bar with a 2-1/8" impact six point socket on it. On top of that I added a 3 foot steel vacuum cleaner extension and that got me nowhere.

    I added a second 3 ft extension to the first and after some sweat got it to move, I also moved my 220 pound friend and that full 40 gallon tank. I put some teflon pipe joint compound on the new rod and put the tank back in the right position before pouring the drinks.

    It would have been easier if I had an impact wrench but I was not going to buy one just for something that has to be done every 4-5 years. I was surprised how rigid those vacuum cleaner extension wands are. It's also really easy to snap them together for more leverage.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member

    Does it look someting like this?

    Very much

    I've seen these described as "spud wrenches" for some reason. It's nothing like what we would call a spud wrench. The name you used describes exactly what it's for.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,652Member
    edited January 12
    Hi @BobC and @Hap_Hazzard , Since you mentioned anode fun, here is a torque multiplier. It has a 1/2" input, 3/4" output, planetary gearing inside and is good for 600 foot pounds. I used to crack ribs before finding this tool.

    Yours, Larry
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,930Member
    You have the best toys! :D
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 1,034Member
    @Gordo. That vid. you posted above. Thanks for sharing.
    I haven't used a compound wrench in years. And when I did, it was for large diameter pipe. Three and four inch. And, I was much younger.
    I have pipe wrenches from six inches to the big four footer and all the sizes in between.
    That got me thinking. It's time to get a compound wrench.
    I no longer want to use the big wrenches. Let the young guys do that. But the compound wrench will do me and my work some good.
    Thanks for the reminder.
  • B_SloaneB_Sloane Posts: 36Member

    other than my 3' and 4' compound wrenches
    this is all i need
  • B_SloaneB_Sloane Posts: 36Member
    forgot !!
    my other favorite wrenches are a grinder, and a cape chisel :)
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