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Hokiexterra writes: “Don’t have room to carry a full 4-way tire iron in your vehicle, but think the factory supplied one just doesn’t do the job?   Drop this in your emergency kit and you’ll be set to “push me”/”pull you.”   Need more leverage?  Grab your hitch ball mount or other cheater and make quick work of breaking your lugs loose!”

This is a great find.  I carry a full-sized lug wrench in my Jeep, but I can’t fit one in most of my other vehicles — and the factory units suck, especially if you’ve got to deal with wheels on something other than the vehicle itself, like a trailer.

The submitted link is to one sold by Brandsport for $22, but (as the reader suggests) you can find them via Froogle from a variety of companies for as little as $6.

Folding Lug Wrench [Brandsport Automotive]
Street Pricing [Froogle]

 

6 Responses to Reader Find: A Folding Lug Wrench

  1. mike says:

    harbor freight has them, too.

    if you purchase either this one or the cheapie non-folding 4-way there, do yourself and favor and dremel down the razor-sharp connection where the cold welded joint is at the “X” — while taking a tire off (with the non-folding one) i sliced my finger in a perfect arc, and quite deep.

    since then i usually rely on a breaker bar for lug nut duty – break the nut loose with the wrench at a 90 to the wheel, then straighten it out perpendicularly and spin it with your fingers. no spinning inertia of the 4-way, but no horrible wounds, either.

  2. sceneshopninja says:

    I wouldn’t recommend this tool at all. The joints where the folding sides meet the main shaft are quite weak. I managed to bend both sides of mine on their first use and now they don’t fold properly and the sleeves don’t slide down to lock them in place, rendering the tool unsafe and pretty much useless.

  3. eschoendorff says:

    I have to agree with sceneshopninja. Why not just buy a breaker bar with an impact socket and leave it in your car?

  4. Because that’s only one size of socket, and sometimes you want to help someone else change a tire regardless of what kind of car they drive. Of course, carrying a whole set of sockets isn’t out of the question.

    The trouble with breaker bars is that they apply sideways torque to the stud too, in addition to just rotation. I’ve always preferred the four-ways because I can pull on one side while I push on the other, canceling out everything but the rotation. I’m not sure whether this actually decreases the likelihood of snapping a stud while trying to break it loose, but the only time I’ve done so, I was using the OEM one-sided wrench instead of a four-way.

    For that matter, how are those electric impact wrenches? Aside from bulky and expensive, I mean. Do they generate enough torque to free lugnuts that’ve been sitting for a few months since the gorilla at the tire shop overtightened them?

  5. chris says:

    These things are junk. The sleeves are guaranteed to slide back on the shafts and if your giving it enough force you will be injured.

  6. Harry says:

    ok, to enable you to help a stranded motorist (and not embarass yourself when your folding lug wrench breaks), add a 5 inch extension and two flip sockets with the most common sizes to your breaker bar. If you don’t like a breaker bar, (what’s not to like about a breaker bar?) substitute one of those longer sliding tee bars and perhaps a longer extension.
    I can’t justify carrying a cordless impact for emergency service in my car. However, I have a Snap on CT3850 1/2 drive cordless impact at work that I routinely take with me on service calls for our Police fleet. I haven’t found a lugnut yet that it won’t take off and the battery charge lasts a long time even if not used. They’re not cheap and their new model is supposed to be stronger. If you’re paying a gorilla to service your vehicle who is not using a torque stick on his or her impact when reinstalling your wheels, buy some brake rotors while you’re at it.

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