In this guide we’ll look at the best pipe wrenches.
We’ve compared construction material, handle length, jaw capacity and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Pipe Wrench?
More Detailed Pipe Wrench Reviews
Ridgid 31100 18-inch Straight Pipe Wrench Review
Ridgid are an iconic tool brand, and their famous red pipe wrenches are still made in the USA. Their Model 818 straight pipe wrench might not be red, but it’s still the best wrench for pipe fitting that we’ve ever handled.
Made from quality cast aluminium, you won’t believe how light and easy to handle this Ridgid pipe wrench is compared to its size. The replaceable hook and heel jaws are precision machined, and the adjuster is well knurled and easy to operate.
Combined with the lifetime warranty, this will probably be the last plumbers wrench you’ll ever need to buy.
Milwaukee 48227314 Cheater Adaptable Pipe Wrench Review
Milwaukee make trusted hand and power tools, and their Cheater Pipe Wrench shows the flexibility of their design. It’s actually three of the best pipe wrenches in one tool: without the cheater bar it’s a hand wrench for tight spaces, add either length of threaded handle and it becomes a force to be reckoned with.
We really liked the adaptable nature of this steel beast of a plumbers wrench, and the detail that Milwaukee put into the design. The overbite built into the hook jaw makes the most of the leverage and gives you that bit of extra control needed when working with stubborn pipes.
Hautmec Lightweight Cast Aluminium Pipe Wrench Review
Hautmec have made another excellent lightweight pipe wrench on this list, with a rigid “I-beam” constructed handle and hardened steel teeth for maximum grip.
Weighing less than a kilogram, the power to weight ratio of this wrench tool makes this the best wrench for metal pipe when working above your head. We really like how easy this Stilson wrench is to handle when tightening and loosening pipes, and it feels like a really quality piece of kit for the price.
Bahco 361-14 14-inch Stilson Pipe Wrench Review
Bahco are a Swedish manufacturer of premium hand tools, so we weren’t disappointed with their classic Stilson wrench in iconic Bahco orange. A simple design that should stand the test of time, this 35 cm long Bahco steel wrench has induction hardened jaws and a corrosion-proof coating.
The angle of the teeth in the jaw and the spring mechanism work together like a ratchet system for ease of use. It’s one of the smaller set of pipe grips on our list, but it packs a punch when you need to work on stubborn fittings.
The best wrench for pipe work needs to be portable as well as powerful, so this feels like a good mixture of the two, and from a brand you can trust.
Footprint 698W 9 Inch Pipe Wrench Review
Footprint are a British tool company based in Sheffield with a history dating back to the 1760’s. With a pedigree like that you can be confident that they know exactly what they’re doing, and the Footprint 698w pipe wrench we tested is proof of that.
The high-quality steel construction and simple action make this the best wrench for copper pipe because you have so much control over the tension at all times. And as the smallest pipe wrench on this list, it can get into some really tight places.
Our favourite feature has to be the handy screwdriver type wedge end on the handle though it comes in handy more often than you’d think, and is the mark of a true workman’s wrench spanner.
Rolson 18584 Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench Review
Rolson are a well-known brand when it comes to budget-friendly tools, and the 18589 Rolson pipe wrench we looked at packs a lot of punch for the money. Coming in as the largest adjustable pipe wrench on this list, it’s certainly capable of tackling tough fixings and is the best wrench for metal pipe that won’t budge otherwise.
We really like the rubberised finish on the handle. It makes the pipe spanner comfortably non-slip and should even stop it from giving you cold hands in the winter months. It’s a truly capable wrench tool, perfect for larger pipe fittings and heavy-duty plumbing work.
Pipe Wrench Buyer’s Guide
Pipe wrenches have been around in different forms for hundreds of years. Usually made of steel or aluminium, they use a mechanical advantage and hard teeth to bite into stubborn fixings and turn them, no matter how stuck they might be. Also known as plumbers wrenches, pipe grips, monkey wrenches, pipe spanners, Stilson wrenches or simply Stilsons, this is an essential tool for anyone tackling any type of threaded pipe.
The best pipe wrench needs to be able to grip onto pipes securely, so they have forged or milled jaws that actually cut into the softer pipe material to ensure a proper grip. The jaws have serrated teeth that are usually angled backwards to prevent any slippage.
As with any heavy-duty tool, the majority of the force comes from leverage. This means that the longer the handle, the more torque can be applied.
After looking at six of the best pipe wrenches on the UK market, we chose the Ridgid 31100. This surprisingly light tool offers superior leverage. You can also replace the jaws and the lifetime warranty completes the package.