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Browsing the tool section of Lowe’s today, I noticed yet another ratcheting adjustable wrench. We’ve previously covered these type of wrenches here, here, and here, but this wrench from Stanley-Bostitch uses a completely different ratcheting mechanism than the other wrenches we’ve covered.

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This is by no means a review, but I do have some initial thoughts about the wrench after playing with it in the store. I tried the ratcheting action on the plastic nut Lowe’s had on the display, and to ratchet around a fastener, the adjustable jaw has a spring-loaded face that moves upward, allowing the fastener to slip in the jaws when you turn it one direction. It also stays in position when you turn the wrench in the other direction.

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The ratcheting mechanism is tight, not loose and sloppy, which gave me a positive impression of the build quality and design. The handle feels rough — not unfinished, but gritty — to give you a better grip, and the thick handle makes it heavier than you’d expect an adjustable wrench this size to be. If you had no use for it as a wrench, you could always repurpose it as a bludgeoning tool.

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Stanley, I’ll call them Stanley because we all know which side of Stanley-Bostitch this wrench came from, makes the wrench from drop-forged chrome-vanadium steel and gives it, at least part of it anyway, a polished chrome finish.  For some strange purpose I haven’t been able to fathom, they cut notches into the handle. They also laser etch both SAE and Metric scales on the jaws, so you know which size wrench to grab next time, or possibly so you can use it as a crude caliper.

Stanley manufactures this wrench in 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ sizes. You can pick up the 10″ version at Lowe’s for $15.

Ratcheting Adjustable Wrench [Stanley Bostitch]
Ratcheting Adjustable Wrench [Lowe's]

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19 Responses to Yet Another Ratcheting Adjustable Wrench

  1. Dave G. says:

    Sounds like the perfect price range for a Secret Santa gift, with enough scrilla left over for some chocolate.

  2. Gil says:

    I played with it in the store too. Seemed to have a smooth action. But I’d like to drop it a few times from the top of the 10-foot ladder onto concrete and see if it still has the nice action.

  3. Brau says:

    Putting a caliper scale on an adjustable! Now that’s a lot better than carrying around a specific little caliper tool.

  4. Bugler says:

    Lowes has the 10″ free with purchase of a Bostich hammer, level, chalk line, tape measure 2-pack, or utility knife. Valid 12/19-12/31. The hammer looks decent to me.

  5. Jerry says:

    Other than the caliper markings, the first thing I really noticed and looked at were the notches Benjamin mentioned in the handle, 3 on one edge and one on the opposite. Also, the hole in the handle seems a rather odd shape. I really want to believe the notches and the shape of the hole add some functionality to the tool.
    Well, off to Lowes to look.

  6. Pao says:

    Lowes has a special paid 10$ for two bladed utility knife and got a 10″ wrench for free!!!!!started today

  7. Nate says:

    I bought this wrench a few weeks ago on an impulse. It is just about totally useless.

    In order to allow the spring-loaded jaw to slip and ratchet to the next flat, you have to leave the jaws loose enough to round off any bolt head that’s moderately stuck. Also; because of the weird jaw design, when putting the wrench on a bolt head, there is basically no contact on one of the flats, rather all the contact is put on the corner of the bolt head-a perfect place to facilitate rounding off of the bolt head.

    Again, I feel like an idiot for wasting $15 on this pile of crap.

    One positive, I do like the heft of the wrench in my hand. That is all.

  8. Dustin says:

    Since the jaws aren’t both flat, maybe the notches are for using the wrench to draw circles. Someone should use it to draw a few and see if they’re fairly standard sizes.

    My first thought was for using the notches to grab the bottom edge of a pipe being used over the handle to get some extra leverage, but then, that just seems kind of dumb and counter to what the manufacturer would want to encourage.

    Or they may just be there to make it look all futuristic, which wouldn’t surprise me.

  9. @Nate:

    Good point about the jaws, I didn’t really notice that in the store, but then again they probably sized the bolt head in the display to make the tool look it’s best.

    I guess it’s an interesting idea and a well built tool, but it’s just not very practical.

  10. fred says:

    This sort of feedback is just why I read this blog. Our guys like Knipex adjustable plier-wrenches – and I would not likely be buying any adjustable wrenches – (although I see some other companies plumbers using the Ridgid and Channellock wide mouths). Nonetheless, some of the critical observations that get posted here, from hands-on trials of new tools, are insightful. Keep up the good work – and I hope that Stanley and others are paying attention. We need innovation – not just gimmicks and rebranding – where a time honored name like Bostitch – synonomous with good pneumatic tools gets diluted and cheapened.

  11. John says:

    I wonder how this new design works, for the price I guess it would be worth giving a shot.

  12. Brian says:

    The Knipex plier-wrench is a beautiful tool. Less likely in my experience to round off a bolt that a cresent type adjustable wrench, but more difficult to use with one hand. Knipex tools are also well made- no slop at all in the jaws.

  13. Brad Justinen says:

    This wrench is being given away at Lowes with purchase of select Stanley Bostitch tools. I picked up a nice new Stanley Bostitch 16″ tape for $20 and got the wrench to boot. Yes its a gimmick but I’m sure I’ll find a use for it.

  14. Pablocito says:

    My guess is that the handle notches serve two functions: indexing and slip reduction. The odd shape of the hang hole is what I can’t understand.

  15. franklinbluth says:

    My father gave me one of these for Christmas along with the dual-blade utility knife. I was pretty impressed with the wrench, but haven’t had a chance to use it yet. I don’t really understand the point of the dual-blade utility knife, but my father loves these gimmicky tools.

  16. Dave Ruperd says:

    The notches are there for grip, but also to know if its the right direction. Notches on left is loose,right is tight. Just incase its hard to see, you can easily feel. Also it is in the design to put it a little “loose” but once torques put to it, it binds the nut well. Of course its not a everyday mechanics tool but its pretty handy. I use it most often on square pipe plugs.

  17. efhask says:

    I bought one the other day. What a piece of JUNK!!! In the store packaging (which is almost impossible to remove once home!), there is a fake plastic “bolt” and the words “Try me”. You try it and it makes a loud “ratcheting” noise, just like you would expect! “Cool”, you say to yourself, and you buy it. But the noise comes from a clicker in the fake bolt/packaging itself, not the wrench!!! This IS NOT A RATCHET WRENCH!!!This blatent false advertising hits home when you try it on a real bolt. Like the guy above says, it just flops around and is totally 100% USELESS! There is no ratchet mechanism at all! If I didn’t live 200 miles from Lowes where I bought it I would have already returned it. DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS CRAP!!!!

  18. Gary Indiana says:

    @efhask
    They had to provide good friction for the yellow plastic bolt to be able to demonstrate how the tool works. But they could have done it without the “clicker” thingy – which most people associate with ratcheting noise. The ratcheting action of this tool comes from the moving part in one jaw that jumps every 1/6th turn of the wrench.

    I found this tool fascinating. Bought it at Lowes. Haven’t used it yet. It looks pretty solid but I don’t think 100-years solid. The weird notches on the handle are good to give a sense of direction: which way to turn. The Gearwrench type serration on one side would be better but I guess that might be still under GW’s patent.

    The shape of the hole in the handle makes no particular sense.

  19. mr. monem says:

    I am the inventor of the wrench that bostich has stolen and is claiming is theirs.They must have seen the pictures while pat pending and started production on it.There are a lot of things they left out on their own version.If they would have made it correctly there would not have been all these nagative comments about the wrench.There are two pieces missing one would allow the wrench to tighten and grab even stripped bolts.The tighter you pull the better the grip Its even made to grab pipes the one they made is just a bad copy.All they did was ruin my wrench.

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