Wrenches can perform the same way as sockets and ratchets; you use it to tighten and loosen fasteners. However, a wrench is a better option for stuck fasteners as you can use it to apply more torque without damaging the mechanism. The problem is actually never about the necessity of buying a wrench set but about which is the best wrench set to buy.
I had a solid wrench set which I’ve used for more than ten years. However, the wrenches were already worn out, and I thought it’s time that I should buy a new one.
As I was looking around for a wrench set to buy, I came across a notable problem - there were too many manufacturers claiming to have made the best professional wrench set. Because I couldn’t take any of the manufacturer’s word for it, I decided to do my own research.
Choosing The Right Wrench
You should always make sure that the tool you are buying is suitable for the work you’re doing. You can’t simply assume that the best adjustable wrench set for a homeowner is the best quality wrench set for a car mechanic. There are several factors that you need to consider before you make your decision.
Shape and Size
Adjustable wrenches, open-end wrenches, allen wrenches, and torque wrenches - all of these are different types of wrenches. The shape and size of a wrench vary depending on its use.
An adjustable wrench can be adjusted, so you can work on an assortment of nuts and bolts.
An open-end wrench can work on opposite faces of nuts and bolts.
An allen wrench can match hexagonal-shaped ends of bolts and screws.
Meanwhile, a torque wrench is used to apply a torque to a nut or bolt.
Each type of wrenches also comes in different sizes. It’s best that you buy them in a set, so you can work on any kinds of projects.
Metric Or Standard
The head of the wrench can either be classified as metric size or standard size. It is metric if it measures bolts in millimeters while standard wrenches use inches in measurement. Buy one you’re most comfortable using.
If you want to save money, you should look for a wrench that does not get broken easily.
Wrenches made from chrome vanadium steel (CrV) are popular as they are highly durable. They are also corrosion-resistant, so they can last for years.
The alloy "chrome" will improve steel hardness significantly.
The alloy "vanadium" will increase the steel toughness. So it will affect high temperature and deformation resistance.
Wrenches made from wrought iron or cast iron are another good choice.
Ease Of Use
A good lightweight wrench should slide around the head of the nut easily and grip it sufficiently.
Take a look at the length of the handle. Short handles can reduce the amount of force you need to turn the wrench. Meanwhile, long handles can increase the turning force.
Best Wrench Sets - Our Picks
High-quality tools are an investment. Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the points you must consider before buying a wrench, you need to search for the best type of wrench set that can serve the specific purpose you’re buying it for.
After careful consideration of the size, shape, durability, and ease of use of various wrenches, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most practical choice is the Gearwrench 20-Piece Ratcheting Wrench Set # 35720.
You will not regret adding this tool to your toolbox. I don’t think I’ve ever used a more durable wrench than those from GearWrench. This set, in particular, gives better grip so you can control it easily. Because it features the Surface Drive technology, it virtually eliminates fastener rounding.
Perhaps, the only other wrench set that can beat it in terms of quality is the GearWrench 9602 16-Piece Reversible Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set. However, I also have to consider the price. Though GearWrench 9602 is of the highest quality, many professionals and amateurs can’t afford to buy it.
The Crescent CCWS2 SAE Combination Wrench Set - 10 Piece and Sunex 9930 SAE Stubby Combination Wrench Set - 11 Piece are also good tool sets. However, they are lacking in terms of strength, control, and meeting torque specifications.
With so many wrench sets in the market, it’s easy to get confused on which one to buy. If you want to purchase the most dependable set of wrenches, you should take time to evaluate the quality of the tools before you invest in them. This said, I hope that the guide above has helped you in some way.