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Sometimes the strap wrench seems like that third fork at a formal dinner setting — you know it needs to be there, but you’re not sure why.  Strap wrenches are pretty darn useful around the shop (and house); We actually feel a bit remiss having not mentioned one earlier.  Heck, almost everyone we know who actually owns a strap wrench can regale you with at least one story of how they were completely and utterly boned before this little wrench saved the project from a trip to the sledge hammer derby. 

Here’s how it works: Take a tough piece of thick, flat rubber and wrap it around an object. Use the handle as an anchor on one end and loop it back through to form an adjustable circle, and you have an adjustable gripping machine.  Once looped and tightened around the object in question, you can just grip tightly and turn.  If there’s good purchase, it’ll turn.  Not bad for a rubber and plastic tool that cost less than a double cheeseburger.

There are any number of ways that a strap wrench can assist your next household project, but we’ve found that these tools make great additions when working with plumbing of all sorts.  They come in many different sizes ranging from 4″ to 12″ and can be found almost anywhere hand tools are sold.  They may look a bit gimmicky, but they can really save your rear.

Pricing starts at around $4 and goes up to $25 depending on size.

Street Pricing [Froogle]


5 Responses to Finds: Strap Wrench

  1. kai says:

    Plus, you can use them in the kitchen so the other half can easily open stuck jar lids and the like without having to get you out of the shed =)

  2. Myself says:

    Mousepads work really well for that, too.

  3. Nick Carter says:

    I’m a big fan of the vise-grip chain wrench. I’ve used it to loosen jars that even a strap wrench won’t touch. The downside is the chain will mar things (I’ve places shims between the chain and objects before) Two vise grip chain wrenches will usually get anything unscrewed from anything else, if you have space to swing them.

  4. Fletcher says:

    I’ve used these on cosmetically-sensitive plumbing components, plus used the strap as padding for larger channel lock pliers (to get better grip but not gouge the part with the channel lock teeth.)

  5. Ivan says:

    I bought one of these a year ago for changing oil filters. Well that was the worst tool I could have found. The strap just stretches without ever loosening up the filter. I have tried to use it around the house for some plumbing task without success.
    Reading the comments above I might just donate it to the kitchen for opening jars!

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