If you’re looking to do your own DIY plumbing jobs, you’ll need a reliable pipe wrench and faucet wrench to get the job done right. Pipe wrenches are easy to spot thanks to their adjustable serrated jaws and I-beam handle. Thanks to their unique design, pipe wrenches can handle a good deal of torque while tightening or loosening pipes, but their teeth only bite into the pipe when turning the wrench in the intended direction. Here are our picks for the best pipe wrenches.
Why buy a pipe wrench?
When it comes to tightening or loosening pipe joints, nothing beats a pipe wrench. While you probably won’t use a pipe wrench every day for DIY projects, a high-quality pipe wrench is an incredibly handy tool to have in your toolbox when you have a hard-to-budge pipe joint to attend to. These days, you can find affordable pipe wrenches on the market that are ideal for occasional household use or heavy-duty models that are perfect for plumbers and other tradespeople.
What should you look for in a pipe wrench?
- Size: Using the wrong size pipe wrench for a job can result in injury or a damaged tool. Be sure to take close note of pipe sizes that a wrench will work with before you buy. Also, consider the length of a wrench’s handle. A longer handle can provide extra leverage in some cases but could also be inconvenient depending on the application.
- Material: Generally, you will want a pipe wrench made from steel, iron, or aluminum. It’s also important that the pipe wrench’s teeth are heat-treated to limit corrosion while biting into a pipe. Aluminum pipe wrenches are generally lighter than steel and iron wrenches, making them a good choice for around-the-house DIYing.
- Durability: Realistically, no pipe wrench on the market can withstand the abuse that some people subject them to in order to maximize torque. However, an especially durable pipe wrench will be able to withstand normal everyday use for much longer than a subpar pipe wrench made from less rugged materials. That being said, durability usually comes at a price, so expect to pay considerably more for pipe wrenches designed to last for decades as opposed to a couple of years.
Are there different types of pipe wrenches?
There are a number of different pipe wrenches available on the market today. Straight pipe wrenches are the most versatile option and are suitable for a wide range of DIY plumbing jobs. However, chain pipe wrenches and compound leverage wrenches might be better options for pipes that are seemingly stuck due to corrosion and can’t be budged by a standard pipe wrench. For working in tight spaces near walls, you might also consider investing in an end pipe wrench.
Ridgid 47057 Model 812 Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench
This lightweight aluminum pipe wrench is just about as durable as they come.
Pros: Featuring a lightweight design that’s still just about as durable as any pipe wrench you can put it up against, the Ridgid 47057 Model 812 Pipe Wrench features innovative hook and heel jaws to make it incredibly handy for loosening plastic-coated pipes. It’s perfect for pipes that are between 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, making it extremely handy for household DIY applications. If you’re seeking a pipe wrench with premium grip and next-level build quality, it doesn’t get better than this.
Cons: If you’re looking for a pipe wrench to complete a single job, investing in the very best is probably not a very cost-effective solution for most DIYers. That being said, those who plan to get plenty of use out of their new tool will find that they are paying for a pipe wrench that’s well worth the money.
Bottom Line: When many people think of pipe wrenches, they think of Ridgid pipe wrenches, and this product shows why that is. While this is far from the most budget-friendly pipe wrench on the market, it’s one of the very best lightweight aluminum pipe wrenches money can buy. If you’re seeking something that’s easier to use without sacrificing much durability, give this product a try.
DuraTech Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench
This budget-friendly pipe wrench comes in a variety of sizes and is surprisingly durable for the price.
Pros: Sporting an enticing price tag and surprising durability given its low cost, the DuraTech Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench comes in various sizes to meet the demands of a wide assortment of DIY applications. This pipe wrench includes a convenient hanging hole for simplified storage and a wide I-beam handle for optimized ease of use. DuraTech’s offerings are an ideal choice for those who use a pipe wrench on occasion.
Cons: While this pipe wrench offers excellent value for its price, it probably shouldn’t be your go-to pipe wrench if you’ll be attacking heavy-duty jobs or using it on a daily basis. Like most budget-priced tools, it’s not designed to be used in the hands of a tradesman, so those who use a pipe wrench at the “office” are better off investing in one of our premium picks.
Bottom Line: While this isn’t the most rugged pipe wrench on the market, it’s suitable for making quick work of the occasional DIY job.
Tradespro 830914 14-Inch Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench
This durable pipe wrench is available in large sizes and is designed to withstand plenty of abuse.
Pros: Featuring a heat-treated drop-forge steel design, the Tradespro 830914 Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench is incredibly durable, making it a great option for those seeking a pipe wrench they can use and abuse without taking a toll on their wallet. Compared to similar pipe wrenches, Tradespro’s wrenches have a little extra heft and come in extra-large sizes for those seeking to maximize leverage. This one seems to be able to withstand more abuse than similar options at its price point.
Cons: While this pipe wrench’s construction is great for its cost, some reviewers have noted that corners might have been cut in terms of its paint coating. While this isn’t a big deal in terms of aesthetics, it makes this wrench more prone to rusting than other pipe wrenches on the market.
Bottom Line: If aluminum pipe wrenches aren’t quite your style, this one has the heft and durability to ensure it’s a hit for those seeking something dependable and solid. Its precision-machined teeth have some bite, even in slippery conditions.
Goplus 4pcs Pipe Wrench Set
This pipe wrench set stands out for its easy-to-grip handles and nice variety of size offerings.
Pros: The Goplus Pipe Wrench Set is an affordable option for those who work on a wide variety of pipe sizes. While this set will be a little overkill for some homeowners, it’ll give you the versatility to tackle a wide range of jobs. Featuring cushioned handles and good corrosion resistance for the price, this set also possesses impressive bite thanks to its sharp, precision machined teeth. If you’re looking for sturdy pipe wrenches that are a bit on the hefty side, this set probably won’t disappoint.
Cons: Unless you’re a serious DIYer, you probably won’t need a set of four pipe wrenches. Generally speaking, it’s better to invest in one high-quality tool versus a set, especially if you’ll never have a need for some of them. That being said, those who need a versatile set will likely not be disappointed with what these pipe wrenches bring to the table.
Bottom Line: If you live in an old house with high routine maintenance demands, this set of pipe wrenches provides you with the best bang for your buck. You could easily spend this much money (or even more) on a single pipe wrench, so receiving four high-quality pipe wrenches for the price of one is nothing to scoff at.
Ridgid 31010 Model 10 Heavy-Duty Plumbing 10-Inch Pipe Wrench
This heavy-duty pipe wrench stands out for its self-cleaning threads and impressive gripping power.
Pros: If you’re seeking a heavy-duty pipe wrench that’s built for rugged applications, this pipe wrench from Ridgid is well worth a look. This tool stands out for its unbeatable bite and replaceable jaw, but realistically, it’s durable enough that only tradespeople who use it daily will likely need to seek out a replacement. It’s also easy to adjust thanks to its smooth, non-stick adjustment nut that easily works through a bit of grime. If you frequently use a pipe wrench and need a high-performance model built to last, this is the tool for you.
Cons: Like other popular Ridgid pipe wrenches, this one is pretty expensive and might not be an ideal choice for DIYers looking for a tool for a one-and-done job. However, those who value a tool’s quality over its price tag are bound to be impressed by this pipe wrench’s build.
Bottom Line: This pipe wrench’s sharp teeth stay dependable, even when used day-to-day for heavy-duty jobs. While this won’t be one of the most budget-friendly tools in your toolbox, it might be the most dependable, making it well worth the investment.
You might not use a pipe wrench every day or even every month, but you’ll be happy you bought a good one when it’s time to remove an impossible pipe joint.