In this guide we’ll look at the best adjustable spanners.
We’ve compared construction material, jaws, adjusting nut and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Adjustable Spanner?
More Detailed Adjustable Spanner Reviews
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Bahco 8073 Black Adjustable Wrench Review
The Bahco 8073 12″ Black Adjustable Wrench is one of the best adjustable wrenches around. It is made from high performance alloy steel, has a scale on the jaw for accurate pre-adjusting and holds tightly with no slippage. It comes in 6″, 8″, 10″, 15″ and 18″ sizes too.
This 12-inch adjustable wrench is made from alloy steel that has been hardened and has a phosphate finish to prevent corrosion and rusting. The spanner has a maximum 34 mm jaw opening. The wrench features heat treated Swedish ‘ V’ steel jaws for superior control and longer life.
This adjustable wrench feels comfortable in the hand with a good weight. Once tightened on a nut it holds well with no slippage. The spanner is easy to adjust, and the adjusting mechanism is smooth.
This is a versatile wrench to have in your toolbox for a range of tasks and it does the job very well.
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Draper 88598 3-Piece Soft-Grip Adjustable Wrench Set Review
The Draper 88598 3-Piece Soft-Grip Adjustable Wrench Set is one of the best adjustable spanner sets on the market – the three pieces are made from hardened and tempered carbon steel and have soft grip handles.
This set includes a 150 mm, a 200 mm and a 250 mm adjustable spanner. There is a metric scale on the head for pre-adjustment. The scale reads 0-20 mm for the smallest spanner, 0-25 mm for the middle spanner and 0–30 mm for the largest. The spanners are made from carbon steel and have a micro nickel finish to resist corrosion.
These spanners are of a good size and weight and feel comfortable in the hand due to the soft grip handle. This is especially appreciated when working in cold conditions as you don’t have to touch the cold metal. The adjusting mechanism is nice and smooth. Once set, there is little wiggle and the spanner holds nice and tight with no slippage.
This adjustable spanner set is ideal for home use as it contains three spanners of good quality at a reasonable price.
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Multi-Function Magic Wrench Universal Adjustable Review
The Multi-Function Magic Wrench is one of the best adjustable ratchet spanners around as it is double ended, made from high carbon steel and has three-point grip jaws.
This adjustable ratchet spanner has an internal spring plate to create a ratchet effect that makes it very quick and easy to work with. It’s brilliant for tightening and undoing bolts. The ratchet wrench has a 3 point grip and layers of teeth which means it holds the material tightly with no slippage.
The body of this wrench is made from high carbon steel with a chrome finish and this makes it durable and strong and helps it resist corrosion. This is quite a large spanner with an overall length of 29.5 cm. The jaw opening range is 9-24 mm at one end and 24-45 mm at the other.
This ratcheting spanner will likely become a favourite item in your toolbox because of its ease of use and versatility.
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OX PRO Series Adjustable Wrench, Extra Wide Jaw Review
The OX PRO Series Adjustable Wrench is the one of the best wide jaw adjustable spanners on the market. It opens to 60 mm, is precision hardened and has a comfortable anti-slip handle.
This wide jawed wrench is a great tool that will be super useful for pipework of any kind. It has a slim head with pointed tips to make it easier to access confined spaces. The jaws grip well, and the adjusting mechanism is very smooth and easy to use. The wide jaw adjustable spanner feels weighty in the hand, in a good way, and thanks to the DuraGrip handle it is very comfortable to use.
If you need a really wide jaw adjustable spanner than this sturdy yet slim wrench from OX will be just the ticket.
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Workpro Wide Mouth Adjustable Wrench and Pipe Wrench Review
The Workpro Wide Mouth Adjustable Wrench is made from chrome vanadium, has an ergonomic non-slip handle and opens to 42 mm.
This adjustable spanner has hardened and milled jaws that help it do a great job on holding onto bolts with no slippage. It also has a reversible jaw which means it also works as pipe pliers. The mechanism is very smooth and easy to adjust. The adjustable wrench is reasonably light and the non-slip handle is comfortable to hold and nice and grippy. The spanner wrench offers a low cost option and provides a good quality and versatile tool for household use. It particularly useful as a plumbers wrench as the jaws open wide enough for jobs such as loosening and tightening the nut on a basin waste.
This a handy, well made and relatively cheap adjustable wrench that is perfect for household maintenance.
Adjustable Spanner Buyer’s Guide
Adjustable spanners, aka shifting spanners, crescent wrenches, adjustable wrenches or just wrenches, are usually made of steel. This may be high carbon, chrome vanadium or other steel alloys. These produce a tool that is very strong but not too heavy. The best adjustable spanners will also have a coating, such as phosphate or nickel, which helps them resist corrosion and makes them easy to maintain.
The jaws of adjustable spanners may be hardened to make them stand up to high torque loads. They are also usually tapered to allow easier access in tight spaces. The head of the shifting spanner may have an engraved measurement scale which makes it easy to pre-adjust the spanner to the correct size.
Adjustable spanners come in a range of sizes. Some have more adjustability in the jaws than others so do check that the spanner you choose goes wide enough for the task you have in mind. Extra wide jaws like the ones in the OX PRO adjustable wrench are particularly useful for plumbing work.
Standard adjustable spanners or shifting spanners have an adjusting nut that allows you to easily open and close the jaws until you have achieved the perfect fit. A good quality adjustable wrench like the Workpro Wide Mouth Adjustable Wrench will have a smooth adjustment mechanism.
Ratcheting adjustable spanners
Ratcheting adjustable spanners like the Multi-Function Magic Wrench are available and these automatically clamp and release to allow you to undo or tighten bolts quickly and easily. These are a great tool if you have a lot of repetitive tasks to complete.
Adjustable spanners have sturdy handles so you can get a bit of leverage when using them. Some adjustable wrenches have a slimmer profile like the Draper 88598, and these are handy when using them in confined spaces such as under the sink. Many adjustable spanners have soft grip handles. These are good because they are nice and grippy and comfortable to hold. However, a metal handled spanner will last pretty much forever and you can always wear gloves!
An adjustable spanner is used on all types of nuts and bolts as well as pipework. An adjustable spanner allows you to use one spanner for many tasks rather than needing a complete set of different sized spanners or sockets.
How do I use an adjustable spanner?
An adjustable spanner is used to loosen and tighten nuts, bolts and other fittings.
Your adjustable spanner has a wheel mechanism that loosens and tightens the jaws. Adjust the jaws to the approximate size of the fixing you want to loosen or tighten but slightly wider so you can slide the jaws of the spanner over the fixing.
Place the jaws around the nut or bolt and tighten until you achieve a nice grip. Turn the adjustable spanner to tighten or loosen the bolt.
An adjustable spanner is a convenient tool when you don’t want to get the entire spanner or socket set out. In addition, adjustable spanners are available in large sizes that are perfect for many household jobs such as plumbing. Finally, they are handy if you want to create a small tool kit on a budget that still allows you to accomplish a range of tasks.