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World's Best Oil Filter Wrench

It’s easy to say that you make the world’s best universal oil filter wrench, but it’s pretty hard to prove — especially when the wrench looks like it has about as much chance at gripping your oil filter as a the crane in a claw game has of grabbing a stuffed animal.

But hey, it takes all kinds, right? It looks to me like tightening the nut on top turns gears inside to tighten the claws’ grip. I can see how it’d hold on to the filter, but would it grip the filter well enough to allow you to turn it — especially if some fool at the cheapie lube shop was showing off his muscles when he installed the last filter?

Has anybody tried this wrench? I found one online for $6, and I’m tempted to purchase one just to see how well it works. If it doesn’t, I’d still have a cool-looking conversation-starter tool.

Universal Oil Filter Wrench [Manufacturer]
Universal Oil Filter Wrench [Factory Power Tools]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]

 

21 Responses to Hot or Not? Claw Game Oil Filter Wrench

  1. Conversation starter?! Damn…

    “So you don’t wanna talk, huh? Let me get my claw”

  2. Ray says:

    I tried something similar to that claw a while back (however it only had 2 arms). It did not work very well. However maybe the extra arm does the trick.

    Right now I’m a fan of the oil filer pliers. It works on my vehicles and seems to get into tight spots pretty well.

    As a bonus it has yet to slip off and crack my knuckle into the engine block. Which puts it a notch above the other filter wrenches I’ve tried.

    http://www.google.com/products?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=oil+filter+pliers&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wf&oi=property_suggestions&resnum=0&ct=property-revision&cd=1

  3. Yelkeew says:

    This thing would have saved my butt several months ago. I had a stuck oil filter on my new truck during the first oil change. I tried a couple of different types of filter wrenches (not this one) and only managed to deform the filter in the process. I didn’t have sufficient clearance to manhandle it loose (read: drive a screwdriver through the filter for leverage). I ended up removing the fitting connecting the the oil filter to the engine block and then wrestling the oil filter loose from the fitting.

    I talked to my dad (auto mechanic with 30+ yrs of experience) afterward and he recommended this wrench. I picked one up from the local Sears and have used it in the few oil changes I’ve completed on the truck after the first.

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02820523000P?filter=Automotive+Specialty+Tool+Type%7CEngine+tool&vName=Automotive&cName=Tools+%26+Equipment&sName=Automotive+Specialty+Tools

    The beauty of the “claw” is that you can put an extension on it to get the ratchet far enough away from obstructions to get a “good crank on it”. The “claw” I bought fits a standard 3/8″ ratchet, but the one in the picture looks like it has a different “head”. Using a ratchet, about 1/2 a turn is enough to loosen the filter so that I can take it off by hand.

  4. Yelkeew, Thanks for the Sears link.

    You know some companies are stuck in the 90’s, search engine? What’s that?

    I searched high and low for “Universal Oil Filter Wrench” with several search engines and Sears didn’t show up. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me with Sears.

    If you can’t google it — it doesn’t exist. It’s not that hard to make sure all of your website gets indexed by search engines, I just did it in 5 minutes for a website I manage yesterday.

  5. KaiserM715 says:

    Here is what I have been using for about 10 years:
    http://www.tooltopia.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=5626
    In addition to fitting any size filter, it can also be used to tighten filters with out denting the can (a must for hydraulic system filters). If space or orientation will not allow its use, I use the plier style oil filter remover (if it is a “plier style” then it wouldn’t be wrench, would it?)

  6. Jaxx says:

    To be honest I have only ever needed to screwdriver a oil filter off the first time i have changed the oil on a new to me car.

    Afterwards I just do it up to the correct tightness, then Ive always manged to get it off with some grippy gloves and a bit of heave ho.

    One of these would be handy but its always a tool you need right at that moment and then forget to buy afterwards because guess what you don’t need nor want it right then and there.

    unlike that shiny new racheting allen key set ……..

  7. TimG says:

    I have one of these, love it!! Works great for small and large filters. It really clamps onto the filter and it comes off in no time. Reccomend it to anybody, great tool!

  8. John says:

    These can be a lifesaver, especially if your bread and butter is changing oil on other peoples’ cars. If you’re only working on your own car, see if you have clearance for the band type. (I’ve only used the ones with a metal band.)

    As Kaiser points out, the band type isn’t as likely to dent the filter, which doesn’t sound like much if you’re tossing the old filter anyway, BUT — once a filter cannister gets dented, it loses a lot of its strength and becomes easy to crumple. If the claw doesn’t get the filter loose before it crushes, you’re pretty much hosed. Ditto the screwdriver method. Tried it once and ended up peeling the cannister off the base, which was still stuck in place.

  9. Thomas Emberson says:

    I have one, if you do your own oil changes, $6 is too cheep not to get one. Especially if a ham fisted idiot is let loose on you car/bike, for some reason, in the course of having other service performed on my truck or bike I’ve had about 4 oil changes done by techs over the last two years, 3/4 of the filters needed about 40 lb-ft to get them off.

    It just makes it too easy to spin the filter no matter how tight.

    cheers,
    Tom

  10. Pencilneck says:

    Very warm, almost hot. I have a generic version, basically the same thing except there is a 3/8″ drive opening in the middle on mine.

    I work at a VW dealer and use an oil filter socket most of the time that fits 80% of the cars I deal with. Passats use a larger filter but I have a nice pair of oil filter pliers, sort of like this:

    http://www.stridetool.com/tools/autospecialty/oilpliers_01.html
    [for photo ref only, I don’t own any Stride Tools so I don’t know if they are any good]

    But to that end, I do use the 3 finger tiger claw tool every when Jiffy Boob puts on an oil filter with an impact gun and my socket doesn’t fit. The one downside to the 3 finger tool is the fingers are short. Some oil filters have a “crown” on the, in that the end of the filter curved out. This means there is less of the 3 fingers grabbing the filter. Add 1″ or 2″ to the fingers I think would be a great improvement.

  11. Hot, definitely. I have the same model as Pencilneck, with the 3/8″ drive. The trick to make it grip on the first try is to stretch a rubber band around the jaws, so there’s a little “preload” as you start turning, to encourage them to grip the filter. Once it bites, you’re as good as done.

    I’ve never needed it on my own car, but a couple of my apartment-dwelling friends sometimes come use the garage and end up in all sorts of situations.

  12. Harry says:

    I’m not sure who you’re starting conversations with if a 3 legged oil filter wrench is the ice breaker. However, this design is handy and keeps you from having to get a set of end cap wrenches if you work on a few models of cars. I prefer the Lisle model. Instead of three legs, it has two c shaped arms that grip the sides of the filter. I reach for it first if there’s no room for filter pliers.
    I’m not sure if they’re still made today but, several years ago there was a tool made called the fang. This tool was for when someone was towed into your shop who had tried to do their own oil change and had managed to remove all of the oil filter (can, filter media) except for the stuck to the engine base despite hours of beating and trying. The tool was shaped like the open jaw of a snake and fit nicely into the oil filter base recesses. You then attached a breaker bar and loosened the base within a few seconds. The look on the customer’s face was indeed, priceless when they saw the ease of removal.

  13. Keith says:

    Like Harry, I prefer the Lisle wrenches:

    63250 Wide Range Filter Wrench
    http://www.lislecorp.com/tool_detail.cfm?detail=1214

    and/or

    63600 Import Car Filter Wrench
    http://www.lislecorp.com/tool_detail.cfm?detail=1224

    I’ve had the import size wrench for over a decade (bought it at a now long defunct Western Auto), and it’s never failed me.

    You can find these at better auto parts stores. or, order through Amazon.com.

    I used to use metal ‘strap’ wrenches, and I’ve tried the pliers, but on today’s
    front wheel drive, transverse mounted power plants, I find there just isn’t much room for anything but a wrench that grips the end of the filter, and I’ve not had good experience with those !@#$ plastic cap wrenches.

  14. KenManiac says:

    months late here

    i have the same ones, it comes with (and picture shows) 1/2 to 3/8 adaptor. works well, but the first and usually only tool i use is the bigass (can i say that here?) channel locks.

    cap wrenches have let me down too many times. the specialty oil filter pliers can’t grab from the end like the channel locks can. try them, they’re great!

  15. Joe says:

    I’m looking for one right now. Had a Magnum aluminum that fit everything. Now it’s broke after 15 years. Oil filters now come in two sizes for my Mercedes. Bummer. I looked at some like above. Be cautious. Some only tighten in the clockwise direction. Useless if trying to remove your oil filter. Would like to find another Magnum, haven’t seen one in years. The ones at auto zone requires me to buy two different ones, to cover the two diameter sizes the mercedes filter comes in. I buy what’s on sale, that’s why I get two sizes. First time it happened is why I switched to magnum.

  16. Fungo says:

    Craftsman has one, item 28-20523: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02820523000P. It fits 2-1/2″ to 4-3/4″ diameter filters according to the package.

    Made by Lisle.

  17. Fungo says:

    Sorry, made by Stride (Milbar).

  18. kyle says:

    I like a wrench that I got at advanced auto parts two years ago it it a metal bar about 3/4″ square and 6″ lon with a loop of nylon strap on it it works great on tight space especially the chevy trail blazer 2005 6 cylinder 4×4 the oil filter is mounted be hind the sway bar and you change it though an acess panel so it comes in really handy for tight filters

  19. Bob says:

    I have several types of oil wrenches, even a couple of channel locking wrench.. but never tried this one..I do oil/oil filter changes for everyone in my family..not for free ….being retired , I try to save them a few bucks, use good oil filters, good oil, oil additivies and dont’ strip the oil plug like they do at most shops…if I have clearance , to remove a stuck filter, I use a pair of large channellocks (plumbers)..the handles are long and I get a good crip with the big teeth and never had one I couldn’t take off.
    Not coating the gasket with oil will freeze the filter to the engine..also I’ve had where a filter had two gaskets stuck to it..the cheaper the filter they tend to crush even with a little force…

  20. Bruce says:

    I work on cars, and this is by far the best oil filter wrench anywhere.
    My son lost my first one, so i quickly bought another, and now I need another.
    Bruce

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