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Alligator or “Goat” wrenches have been around for a while. The name “alligator” alludes to the shape of the jaws which look like alligator jaws, but I’m not sure how the name “goat” became attached to these type of wrenches. Two different companies market what appears to be the identical wrench under the two traditional names of Goat Wrench and Alligator Wrench.

Along with the traditional use of turning iron and steel pipes, the wrench has been re-purposed for turning hex and square nuts from 9/16″ to 1-1/8″.  It’s designed so you can use ratcheting action to turn nuts without repositioning the jaws. The 12″ long wrench also has 3/8″ through 5/8″ thread restorers — we assume the middle one is 1/2″ —  and the funny-looking jaw can also be used as a hammer.

Made from forged steel and chrome plated, the wrench weighs 1 lb. 7 oz.  You can purchase an Alligator wrench for about $73 shipped from Craftwork Tools.

Goat Wrench [Corporate Site]
Alligator Wrench [GMP]
Alligator Wrench [Craftwork Tools]

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13 Responses to Your Alligator Wrench Ate My Goat Wrench

  1. Ed says:

    I’m guessing the goat name came from its slight resemblance to the hoof of a goat.

  2. kdp says:

    Looks like a nice tool to have that would fit a few niche applications, but at $73 I’ll probably never find out.

    Goats have teeth only in their jaw. They don’t have upper teeth. That could have something to do with the name.

  3. David Bryan says:

    I don’t get that part about re-purposing. Alligator wrenches were always for, to quote one patent from 1920, “operating on different sizes of pipes, nuts, bolts, etc.” I’d say the more traditional use was for nuts and bolts, which an alligator wrench turns much more effectively than pipes, especially considering the size of most “pocket” alligator wrenches. In front of me right now I’ve got one of those old Elgin adjustable alligators, about 7 inches long, which I’d hate to know I had to use on a pipe but which still works fairly well turning nuts.

  4. David Bryan says:

    Here’s another one, from Smith and Frenk’s adjustable alligator wrench patent 809,755 from 1906: “Wrenches of this sort are commonly used as a pocket-tool for linemen and mechanics in tightening and loosening nuts of various sizes, especially in altering and repairing machinery.”

  5. rjerryc says:

    Interesting with some possibilities, but $73? Looks like a tool that should be in the $10 range – – maximum!

  6. rjerryc says:

    Decided to check the net – here’s a very sweet one – double ended and vintage (I love vintage) on E-Bay for a start bid of $9.99
    Item # 230371153215

  7. Fritz Gorbach says:

    Now I know where the ‘alligator’ pliers came from. Man do I love those. Anyhow, looks like a neat tool, but I can’t think of a use where something I already have, and probably didn’t cost $73, wouldn’t work. Then again, Ridgid wrenches and knipex pliers aren’t all that inexpensive, either.

  8. apotheosis says:

    A goat’ll eat anything, is why.

  9. cheerIO says:

    I think that these would be great to hold a rotted/rounded off nut so that you could turn the bolt on the other end to remove it. But the price seems about 5 times too high. 🙁

  10. Coach James says:

    Tractor Supply has an adjustable wrench version of these. Two in a set with 12 pt holes in the handles etc for less than $20.

  11. Schmerpy McSchmerp-pants says:

    Or….You can buy an antique Alligator wrench from a flea market for 5 bucks like I did over the weekend lol

  12. Shawn Patterson says:

    G.O.A.T. – greatest of all tools…

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