The 9 Best Wrench Sets of 2022 to Tackle Any Project

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Many household tasks, automotive repairs, and DIY projects require at least one wrench, but not every nut, bolt, and fitting has the same size, so investing in a top-quality wrench set is a must. 

We spent hours researching the top wrench sets available online, making sure to include a wide range of wrench types and brands. For each set, we assessed size range, durability, and value. Our favorite, the TEKTON 30-Piece Combination Wrench Set, includes just about any metric or standard-size wrench you might need, all made of strong chrome-vanadium steel.

Here are the wrench sets for every type of project. 


Final Verdict

If you want a comprehensive set of wrenches with sturdy construction that will stand up to years of use, then our top choice, the TEKTON 30-Piece Combination Wrench Set, which includes both SAE and metric wrenches in all of the most common sizes, will serve you well. But if you need adjustable wrenches for various projects around your home, then the Crescent 3-Piece Cushion-Grip Adjustable Wrench Set is our recommendation.

Type of Wrenches

There are many different types of wrenches, some with specific uses and some more general-purpose. Many types of wrenches are dual-use, with two different types of ends, as well. The following are some common types of wrenches often used by DIYers or those who like to carry out various repairs around their home or on their cars.

  • Open-end wrenches have a somewhat U-shaped end that fits around two opposite sides of a nut. Often, the end is slightly offset to make it easier to use the wrench without your fingers getting in the way. Open wrenches come in many different sizes and are one of the most common types of this tool.
  • Box-end wrenches are sometimes called ring spanners. These tools have a closed or “boxed” end that slips over the nut being tightened or loosened. The inside of the box has points that help grip the nut. Some box-end wrenches have only six points, but higher-quality tools have up to 12 points, making it easier to turn the wrench in a confined space.
  • Combination wrenches typically have one box end and one open end.
  • Ratcheting box wrenches have a ratchet system within the boxed end that lets you turn the nut without having to lift and reposition the wrench. Many of these wrenches combine one ratcheting end with one open end.
  • Adjustable wrenches, sometimes called crescent wrenches, have one fixed jaw and one adjustable jaw that slides open/closed by turning a knurled screw. These are one of the most common types of wrenches for around-the-house use.
  • Flare-nut wrenches have ends that are less open than an open-end wrench but not entirely enclosed like a box-end wrench. These are often used for automotive repairs and some plumbing work.
  • Pipe wrenches are very heavy adjustable wrenches mostly used in plumbing.
  • Hex keys, also called Allen wrenches, are solid, L-shaped metal wrenches with a hexagonal shape. Rather than fitting around a nut, as most wrenches do, a hex key is designed to fit inside a hex nut, so the hex key must be the same size as the nut it’s loosening or tightening. These wrenches are commonly used for bicycle repair as well as furniture assembly and installation of various household items.
  • Torque wrenches are specialty tools that allow the user to turn a fastener to an exact level of tightness. They are mostly used for automotive or large equipment repair.
  • Socket wrenches are commonly used in the automotive industry. These wrenches have an open cylinder that fits over the nut being turned. Often, these tools are sold as a set of sockets in a range of sizes, along with a single handle, called a ratchet, that can be used with all of them.
  • Impact wrenches are power tools with tremendous torque. They are commonly used in the automotive industry or when working on large equipment.
  • Stubby or short wrenches are basically combination wrenches that are shorter than the typical combination wrench. They are designed for use in tight spaces, such as when working on a car engine.

Number of Pieces

One of the main reasons to invest in a wrench set is that the set comes with more than one wrench, giving you a variety of sizes or types for different projects. The number of tools or accessories that are included in the wrench set is referred to as the number of pieces by the manufacturers. Small wrench sets can have as few as two tools included in the bundle, while large wrench sets can quickly exceed 100 pieces, though some pieces may be simple accessories and not full wrenches.

When looking for a wrench set, take some time to inspect the product details, where the manufacturer typically notes the number of pieces in the set, as well as lists the exact tools or accessories that are included. Keep in mind that the more pieces in a set, the more expensive the set will be. Also, watch out for wrench sets that include the case as one of the pieces.

Size

Size is a necessary consideration for just about any tool because you need to be certain that the tool can be used on the target fitting. A wrench can be measured in both length and fitting size. The length is important because, in some compact areas, a long wrench will be unusable, while in other situations, a long wrench may be the only method for reaching the nut, bolt, or fitting.

The fitting size of each wrench is measured in inches (in) or millimeters (mm). If the wrench is measured in inches, then it follows the SAE standard method of measurement, while millimeters are used for wrench sizes in the metric system. Many fitting sizes differ enough between the two measurement systems that an SAE wrench cannot be used on a metric fitting, and a metric wrench cannot be used on an SAE fitting.

To make sure that you have the correct wrench for the job, it’s recommended to invest in a wrench set that offers both SAE and metric wrenches.

FAQ

  • Combination wrenches are one of the most common types of wrenches. They feature an open jaw at one end that can fit around a nut or bolt, and they have a box end at the other side of the wrench that slips over the top of a fitting. Combination wrenches come in a wide range of sizes, both metric and standard, so you can match the wrench to the fastener.

  • A wrench doesn’t pose the safety hazards of a power saw or other power tool, but you can still hurt yourself if you aren’t mindful of basic safety guidelines.

    • Don’t strike a wrench with a hammer or other object to gain force.
    • Don’t push on the wrench, which can lead you to slip. Instead, you should pull the wrench towards you.
    • Never use a wrench on moving machinery.
    • Be sure an adjustable wrench is in full contact with the nut before turning it.
    • Stand with your legs slightly spread for better balance should the wrench slip. This can help you avoid a fall.
    • Match the size of the wrench to the size of the fastener. A wrench that’s too big is likelier to slip.
    • Pull smoothly on the wrench. Avoid jerky motions, which can cause the wrench to slip.
    • Don’t add a pipe or other “sleeve” to a wrench’s handle to increase leverage.
    • Never use a wrench that’s broken, bent, or worn.

  • There are many types of wrenches, but some are more specialized and not often used by the average DIYer or home handyperson. As a general rule, every toolbox benefits from a set of adjustable wrenches and a set of combination wrenches.

    If you enjoy doing your own car repairs, you’ll also want a set of ratcheting wrenches, as well as a set of sockets and a ratchet.

    Avid bicyclists, especially those that go off-road or mountain biking, should carry a set of hex keys that can be used for emergency repairs when on the road.

  • While both types of wrench have adjustable jaws, they are not interchangeable tools. Adjustable wrenches are designed for turning nuts and bolts. The inner surface of an adjustable wrench’s jaws is flat, with a slight texture to provide a more secure grip.

    A pipe wrench, by contrast, has “teeth” on the inner surface of the jaws, allowing the tool to grip curved pipes firmly. Pipe wrenches are often heavier, larger tools than adjustable wrenches. As their name suggests, pipe wrenches are not designed to turn nuts and bolts but rather to tighten or loosen pipe fittings while working on plumbing.

    Never use a pipe wrench to turn nuts and bolts, as it is likely to slip.

Michelle Ullman is the home improvement/tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs around the house and yard.

For this roundup, she considered dozens of wrench sets, evaluating each for use, design, versatility, and overall value. She also considered feedback from customers, both positive and negative.

Additional research for this article is provided by Timothy Dale, a seasoned home improvement expert who specializes in a number of topics, including plumbing, construction, and product recommendations.

Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.

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