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In Use

Our favorite way by far to operate the Quick Adjust was to hold the button down and flick the jaw to the end of its run.  Sure, it might cause undue wear, but hey — we figure that if that breaks because we flicked it a lot, it doesn’t belong out in the shop twisting on fasteners in the first place.  It held fine, of course.

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So with wrench in hand we set out after the first fastener in our test.  We flicked open the wrench, pushed it closed, and removed the fastener with no issue whatsoever.  The wrench stayed locked into place, so it was easy to reach over and remove another identically-sized fastener with no adjustments.

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Then we tried fasteners smaller than 1/2″ and ran into a bit of difficultly.  The smaller the fastener, the more difficult it was to get the wrench to snap into the correct size.  Remember: the ratcheting mechanism’s teeth prevent the wrench from stopping on any measurement not in the 1/16” increments scale.  

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So with smaller fasteners, we found that we couldn’t easily align the wrench accurately enough to perfectly set the size.  Instead, we had to take the wrench off and adjust it by using the arrow marker and the scale on the bottom jaw.  This is frustrating for a wrench that’s advertised to “speed things up.”

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We tried the Quick Adjust on a number of large to medium sized SAE fasteners around the shop, and as long as you take into account the whole size and standard issue, the Quick Adjust functions fine.  The head’s a bit large, which requires additional space when compared to a standard box or open-end wrench, but that’s to be expected.

Conclusions

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As we said earlier the Irwin’s Quick Adjust wrench isn’t your everyday adjustable.  While a standard adjustable can adjust infinitely, this one only snaps into certain sizes.  Think of it as a wrench set in a single tool as opposed to an adjustable.

The mechanism is easy to use and has a very solid feel, but you wind up trading fine adjustment for the precision measurement.  And while we did have trouble with small-sized fasteners — below 3/8” — it was quite effective on 1/2″ and larger nuts and bolts..

So if you’ve got an unusual situation — like, say, you’re a rigger that needs to carry a wrench set with you while hanging lights — this might work quite well for you.  But don’t throw your trusty adjustable out of the tool box just yet.

Street pricing starts around $18.

The Quick Adjust Wrench [Irwin]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

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8 Responses to Hands-On: Irwin’s Quick Adjust Wrench

  1. Fstedie says:

    How does this one differ from the new adjustables from Crescent? The snapping action?

  2. Old Donn says:

    First off, Irwin makes good stuff. That said, why would anyone buy one of these gimmick tools? I don’t care who makes it, knucklebusters are pretty much useless. Better than nothing but just barely. And if you do buy one, why would it be one that’s strictly metric or fractional? Defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

  3. Brau says:

    The whole point of an adjustable wrench is to quickly adapt to any size, be it SAE or Metric, when there’s a limit on the amount of tools you can carry. I can’t see any use for this tool as I’d need two just to cover the standard sizes *without* the ability to adapt to mishapen nuts or bolts.

  4. Kurt says:

    At $18 it isn’t too expensive. I wonder if Irwin will make a Metric one so a pair would cover you. More disappointing than SAE only is the problems with small bolts. The trade-off for SAE-only should be that it does all SAE well.

  5. eschoendorff says:

    What Fstedie said. I have a couple high quality adjustables that work well already… don’t need another gimmick wrench.

  6. gem says:

    When will this wrench be available?
    I checked lowe’s, HD, and others and none have them.
    I even sent a E to Irwin asking when it will be available and all that clown wrote me was maybe special order.

  7. Simon Huang says:

    This kind of wrench doesn’t provide Fine-Tune function, so When the bolt is out of its non-standard size, it cannot gasp firmly and may result safety problem.

    InnoMax Quick Adjusting Wrench has fine-tuning function, having same look to conventional adjustable wrench, more reliable and solid, and meeting common concept of consumption of an adjustable wrench.

    Ref. demo video link: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTIxODc3MTEy.html

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