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Add ing “ratcheting action” to tools is all the rage now — sorta like the “kung-fu grip” of the 70’s — and one of Craftsman’s newer offerings is the reflex adjustable wrench. It’s an adjustable wrench that can ratchet a bolt home in tight spaces. 

The ratchet action takes place at the handle joint to the wrench head.  You can readjust the tightness of the jaws on the nut by ratcheting the handle.  It’s a cool idea, but (as always) there are a few catches:  It does have a pretty small opening size when compared to other adjustable wrenches of the same size — the picture above shows it about as wide as it gets.

Also, because of the ratcheting action you can only use the wrench in one direction.  Otherwise, the ratchet action would make the jaws wider when cranking.  That might prove a little tricky if you’re using it all the time.

The idea looks and sounds good, but the larger space required to fit the tool on the nut or blot may also be an issue in close quarters. 

If anyone out there has some experience with this one drop us a line and let us know how it went.

Street pricing starts at $24.

Craftsman Reflex Adjustable Wrench [Sears]
Street Pricing [Froogle]

 

7 Responses to Finds: Craftsman Reflex Adjustable Wrench

  1. Andy says:

    Haven’t used this, but have used a Pop Pro Wrench (not sure if you can even still find them, I had trouble when I looked online a while back), which is a ratcheting crescent without the thumbscrew–you just press on the side of the jaws to pivot them open.

    I don’t know if this Craftsman works the same way, but with the Pop Pro, to get it to ratchet in the opposite direction, you just had to flip the wrench over. It would slip open (and thus ratchet) in one direction, and bite down in the other. So with one side of the wrench facing upwards/outwards, it would bite down clockwise, and slip counterclockwise. If you flipped it over so the other face was upwards/outwards, it would bite down counterclockwise, and slip clockwise.

    Seems to me that this Craftsman ought to work the same, unless there’s something I’m missing.

    –Andy

  2. Andy says:

    I should add that the one trick with the Pop Pro is that while it works great on bolts going into a surface, it slips really easily off of free-standing bolts (again, being a sound guy, I run into this issue adjusting the bolt on a standard lighting/rigging C-clamp when I’m hanging speakers off a pipe).

    –A

  3. eschoendorff says:

    Why, why, Oh why do they make wrenches out of that laminated steel???????

    I think I’ll stick with my trust locking Armstrong.

  4. Jeff T says:

    I was talking to the guy that worked at Sears hardware near me in the store about them about 2 weeks ago. He said he bought himself one and said he is actually bringing it back. He said the laminated steel had too much play between the laminations when he really got to wrenching hard on them…

  5. Old Donn says:

    Yet another gimmick tool. Aside from being laminated, these things are alot bigger than standard issue knuckle busters, so access will be an issue. Unless the fastener is completely in the open on a flat surface, this tool won’t get to it. Got a set of these as a gift a few years back and have never used either one. Another resident of the “tools I never use” drawer of the tool chest.

  6. Paul says:

    “I give the ReFlex Wrench a high rating. Over the years I have used adjustable wrenches and it takes forever to get the fastener off.
    I think everyone can relate to the old style wrenches and how you would turn it and then have to readjust it or the jaws would get stuck on the nut.

    With the ReFlex the job goes qickly as you don’t have to reposition it after every turn. It is very easy to use and is very well made.
    Even if the nut is loose you can make it ratchet by flexing the handle to force the jaws to open and go up over the high points on the fastener.

    Overall I give this tool a thumbs up.

    I wish they had come up with this tool sooner !”

  7. tj says:

    I actually bought a set of these last year on sale. I have not used them once. I find that many times they are too thick to be used in constrained spaces where having a non-removable wrench would be handy. Its a shame that they havent worked when Ive tried to use them…

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