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It’d been a long time since I got really pumped about an innovation in ratcheting wrenches – then I saw these Ultrastar slip-jaw ratcheting wrenches on the Garrett Wade site. Schwing! You hold it in your hand like a normal open-end wrench. But since you never have to take it off the fastener, you don’t lose your rhythm — and you just keep rocking it back and forth, back and forth, til you’re done.

In the time it took to write this, both the metric and the standard sets went from “available” to “backordered” on the site. D’oh! I’m not surprised at the “backordered” status – wrenches like this don’t stay in a warehouse for long. O, why didn’t I place my order before I started fantasizing about the wrenches?!

Maybe I’m building these things up too much. For all I know, the design is crap, and I should just stick with my trusty old hand wrenches that have served me through thick and thin. If you have any experience with these slip-jaw ratcheting wrenches, please comment about it. Until they become “available” again, I won’t be able to think about anything else. Street pricing is about $40.

Slip-Jaw Open-End Wrenches [Garrett Wade]
Street Pricing
[Google Products]


9 Responses to Slip-Jaw Open-End Wrenches

  1. Lorenzo says:

    I have a set of the other open types… useless. So call me a Doubting Thomas until I get my hands on these actual pieces and try them for myself. But unless the local tool outlet gets ’em, I guess I’ll be in doubt.

  2. Otis says:

    These stink – they fail under load

  3. Aaron Baca says:

    You should’ve done a Hot or Not on these. They’re crap. They defeat the basic design of the open-end wrench. That slight angle they build into the end is there for a reason, so you can get small increments of rotation in tight spaces by flipping the wrench between turns. Since these wrenches are directional, flipping them is not going to do you any good. You’re better off with a nice set of ratcheting box-end wrenches.

  4. In my opinion, you’re not really better off with ratcheting box end wrenches though. I thought I had to have a set, but I rarely use them because not only do they require more clearance around the fastener (at least my set does), but they are only useful if you can get it around the nut. I was excited to use them for a while after I bought them, but it seemed every time I grabbed them I ended up having to run back to my toolbox to grab something else to use. Now most of the time I find myself back to using deep sockets or plain old ordinary wrenches and passing over the ratcheting box end wrenches thinking what a waste of money.

  5. Old Donn says:

    Nothing new here. Craftsman used to make these, (Quick Wrench), SK still does. Like ratcheting boxes, neither is intended to break loose super tight or rusted fasteners, (C’mon guys, that’s a job for standard issue box wrenches & 6pt sockets.). I didn’t like these because the extended swing prevented their use in tight spaces. Ratcheting boxes are much handier, and while I agree with Ben J. regarding occasional clearance issues, they’re still the stuff.

  6. John says:

    Schwing my ass.

    Ever hear of GearWrench and other brands of fine-tooth ratcheting wrenches, or old-fashioned coarse tooth laminated ones? Ever hear of socket wrench sets? The point of these would be what?

    By the way, just about everything Garrett Wade sells can be had more cheaply elsewhere, and often dramatically so. Overpriced and overhyped tools.

    These wrenches are made by Alden, but a different company than the Alden that makes various screw extractor sets, including the Deck Out set at Sears. The wrench company web site is http://www.aldenwrench.net. The site includes a demo video.

  7. Jack says:

    Don’t expect these to do the job of a real wrench!! They work great for their application. I use them after I’ve broken the nut loose and they work great for line wrenches. Try using them on a brake line fitting or any other line wrench app. They work great!

  8. Tim says:

    I recently got my set of these wrenches stolen and now I realize how much I needed them. I’m an electrican by trade and there or many times I need something that will let me get into tight spaces. I also have a set of the GearWrench ratchets (a set of these got stolen too) that make my job a whole lot easier and I love them. Guys at work have seen them and now there buying them too (the GearWrench). But if they thought about how many times they have come and borrowed my slip jaw wrenches to get them out of a jam they might reconsider. Anybody with any common sense can see that they are not designed to break rusted bolts loose. It’s kind of like why do you have a 1/2″ and a 3/8″ drive socket set with the same size sockets? Different aplacations require different tools.

  9. ken says:

    ive been a mech on diesel and gas for over 30 years and you all know a rachet wrench and and a slip wrench is good for speed after you get the nut loose then use a good wrench to tighten it down it pisses the snap on man off when you keep breaking his wrenches you will break the these special wrenches in half every time also try using liqiud wrench or you will also hurt your hands when you tear these wrenches a part coming from experence is the best relible teacher while my hands heal up as a past entry level mech ken

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