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The Best Chain Wrenches

Dmitry Markov152/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated April 2022

When your pliers fail to budge apart, it's time to turn to your trusty chain wrench. These versatile tools are great for working on timing belts and removing filters from heavy equipment. Here are some chain wrenches we recommend.

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  Top Choice Best Value Best for Bikes Dependable Option Also Consider
CW24 Chain Wrench
12-Inch Ratcheting Chain Wrench
Bike Chain Tools Kit
24-Inch Chain Wrench
CW15 Chain Wrench
Our SummaryA tough, versatile, and easy to clean chain wrench designed to fit in those hard-to-reach places.This budget-friendly chain wrench sports a surprisingly sturdy design that is perfect for removing stubborn oil filters.A chain wrench specifically designed to use for bike repairs.This rugged chain wrench stands out for its lightweight design and compact head.This rugged chain wrench scores top marks for its lightweight yet durable build quality.
ProsGreat for fitting pipes, versatile option, fits into tight spaces, chrome-plated to resist rust.Strong and flexible chain, great price, perfect for removing oil filters, surprisingly sturdy design.Durable option, comfortable grip, budget-friendly product, saves money on routine tune-ups.Lightweight and durable, provides excellent leverage, compact head, holds up well to daily use.Lightweight design, compact head fits in tight spots, durable build quality, flexible chain.
ConsExpensive.Not ideal for heavy-duty jobs.Limited compatibility.Exceeds the needs of some.Limited chain length.
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The Best Chain Wrenches

a hand uses a chain wrench.
Dmitry Markov152/Shutterstock.com

Chain wrenches are a tool used to stabilize or turn circular and oddly-shaped objects, like pipes or car parts. They are durable and easy-to-utilize tools used chiefly for tightening, loosening, or holding objects in place during a project.

Buying Guide for Chain Wrenches

A dirty chain wrench on a yellow floor.
7th Son Studio/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a chain wrench?

There are several reasons why people invest in chain wrenches. The first reason is that chain wrenches are great for working in tight spots, especially when dealing with irregularly-shaped objects. Thus, they are perfect for automotive work, such as when you are working on your timing belt. Chain wrenches are also perfect for heavy-duty jobs that require a lot of force and leverage. This is why people who regularly remove filters from construction equipment count on their chain wrench as one of their most often-used tools.

What should you look for in a chain wrench?

  • Length: Chain length is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing a chain wrench. They come in many different lengths, so be sure that you find one long or short enough for your specific application. You’ll also want to make sure the wrench itself is small or large enough to fit your workspace.
  • Design: While chain wrenches tend to be versatile tools, some are designed with specific tasks in mind. For instance, you would not want to use a chain wrench designed for a bicycle to remove a filter from your heavy-duty construction equipment. Thus, be sure the chain wrench you invest in is rugged enough for the jobs it will be used for.
  • Durability: Many people who buy a chain wrench will only use their new tool infrequently, so it might sit in storage for years before its next use. However, those who plan to use a chain wrench for work will want to invest in a durable tool that is rugged enough for everyday use. Durable, well-constructed tools will usually come with a more expensive price tag but are much less likely to fail with frequent use.

Should you consider a chain wrench’s weight?

Whether you’re using a pipe wrench or a cordless drill, a tool’s weight is always worth considering before making your investment. Luckily, chain wrenches tend to be lighter and easier to handle than most traditional pipe wrenches. However, a lightweight design can be a disadvantage for some heavy-duty applications, since you will need to provide most of the power to tighten or loosen the object you are working on.

Our Picks for the Best Chain Wrenches

Top Choice

Crescent CW24 Chain Wrench

A tough, versatile, and easy to clean chain wrench designed to fit in those hard-to-reach places.

Pros: Featuring a design that is especially useful for fitting pipes up to 4 inches in diameter, the Crescent CW24 Chain Wrench is a versatile option that’s suitable for a wide range of tasks. It sports concave-cut teeth for a secure hold and resists rust and corrosion well, thanks to its chrome-plated finish. This chain wrench will also allow you to tight spots that most pipe wrenches won’t be suitable for, solidifying it as our top pick in design and performance.

Cons: This chain wrench is probably not a great choice for those trying to get the best bang for their buck, even when compared to other 24-inch chain wrenches. That being said, it will outperform most budget wrenches in terms of heavy-duty applications, so the price tag is somewhat warranted.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a dependable chain wrench that can take some abuse and will fit into the tightest of spots with ease, this one is worth considering. That being said, those who are looking for a bargain and don’t plan on undertaking any heavy-duty jobs can save some cash by going with a budget-friendly model.


Best Value

Taxutor 12-Inch Ratcheting Chain Wrench

This budget-friendly chain wrench sports a surprisingly sturdy design that is perfect for removing stubborn oil filters.

Pros: Featuring a strong, flexible chain and an alluring price tag, the Taxutor 12-Inch Ratcheting Chain Wrench is a great tool for those on a tight budget. Despite its low asking price, this chain wrench is surprisingly sturdy and can remove all but the most stubborn of oil filters with ease. It also comes in three sizes, making it a versatile choice for those who set their expectations appropriately.

Cons: Unsurprisingly, this is not the most durable chain wrench you will encounter, so those seeking a tool for heavy-duty applications will likely need to up their investment to meet their needs. However, this can be said for nearly any chain wrench at this product’s price point.

Bottom Line: While this chain wrench isn’t the best of the best, it’s a reliable option for most light-duty applications, especially when compared to other products at its price range.


Best for Bikes

Oumers Bike Chain Tools Kit

A chain wrench specifically designed to use for bike repairs.

Pros: Looking for a chain wrench that was designed with bike repair specifically in mind? If so, the Oumers Bike Chain Tools Kit is a great choice. This kit comes with a heat-treated chain wrench with a coated handle for added comfort during use. It also resists taking visible damage after repeated use, which is impressive given this kit’s budget price point. You’ll also receive a rotor lockring removal tool, making this product a great investment for those who routinely work on their bike.

Cons: Quite a few reviewers noted that the rotor lockring removal tool that comes with this kit is oddly-sized, so be sure to check your bike’s compatibility before purchasing this product if that is a deal-breaker for you.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking to save a ton of money on routine bike tune-ups, this is a great tool to have on hand. While the chain wrench probably isn’t bike shop quality, it outperforms similar products in terms of ruggedness and ease of use. Just keep a wrench or ratchet on hand to be sure you can efficiently complete the job.


Dependable Option

Mophorn 24-Inch Chain Wrench

This rugged chain wrench stands out for its lightweight design and compact head.

Pros: Featuring a rugged design that is excellent for providing optimal leverage while remaining easy to handle, the Mophorn 24-Inch Chain Wrench is a tool that can be relied upon on a daily basis. It stands out for its lightweight design and long handle and can go where other chain wrenches can’t, thanks to a compact head. If you need a chain wrench that can handle heavy-duty applications that require extreme leverage, this is the tool for you.

Cons: While this is a great tool, its design is suited for heavy-duty applications that require extra leverage. That being the case, those seeking a basic chain wrench for fitting pipes or working on easy-to-access car parts can save some money by choosing a less rugged model that favors a more compact design.

Bottom Line: While not everyone will benefit from owning a chain wrench like this, those who regularly undertake heavy-duty jobs that require as much leverage as possible will find this chain wrench up to the task. While it’s not the most affordable 24-inch chain wrench out there, it’s incredibly reliable compared to similar tools at its price point.


Also Consider

Crescent CW15 Chain Wrench

This rugged chain wrench scores top marks for its lightweight yet durable build quality.

Pros: The Crescent CW15 Chain Wrench is a great buy for those seeking a lightweight and manageable chain wrench. Its rugged, flexible chain is ideal for odd-shaped fittings up to 5 inches in diameter, and its overall design impresses enough to make it a solid option for frequent use. Also, this chain wrench’s low-profile head makes it easy to work in confined spots, solidifying it as a tool to consider.

Cons: As noted above, this tool’s chain can only handle secure objects that are up to 5 inches in diameter. This will not be ideal for every application, so if you need to loosen an extremely large filter, be sure to take some measurements before investing in this product.

Bottom Line: Crescent is a brand that is well-known for reliable tools that won’t break the bank, and the CW15 Chain Wrench certainly doesn’t disappoint. While this chain wrench’s chain isn’t long enough for every job you can throw at it, this tool is still an excellent choice for those who put durability and ease of handling above all else.

Final Thoughts

Chain wrenches might not be the most versatile tool in your toolbox, but very few other tools are capable of providing the leverage or torque that chain wrenches can when working in tight spaces. Be sure to closely consider your needs and potential applications when looking for a chain wrench to end up with an ideal tool for the job.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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