Here’s a great idea we came across when doing some plumbing work this weekend and thought we’d share: cast aluminum pipe wrenches. They’re 40% lighter than the cast iron wrenches you’ve used forever, which is great when you’re weilding one above your head.
The one we saw was the Vise-Grip (read: Irwin) model, which comes in 10″ to 48″ sizes and starts around $30. However, numerous companies make them. That’s about twice as expensive as an old iron model, but then again we’re only talking about $15 or so (in common sizes). It’s worth a look.