4 Best Plumbing Wrenches for Tight Spots

  • By Devon Plattson
  • Last Update: May 25, 2020

To make your life a little easier we’re going to go over the different types of plumbing wrenches you may need for those tight spaces under the sink. Surprisingly there are quite a few different setups you may run into. Don’t worry it will all make sense by the end of this article. We’re also going to review what we believe are the best wrenches for the job for you as well.

View the Best Plumbing wrenches for tight spots below

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1.

Superior Tool 03840 Adjustable Combination Wrench

Superior Tool 03840 Adjustable Combination Wrench

  • Great for sink and toilet work
  • Adjustable 1-3 inches
  • Handle feels good

Our Top Pick

2.

RIDGID 31305 Model E-110 Hex Wrench, 9-1/2-inch Offset Hex Wrench

RIDGID 31305 Model E-110 Hex Wrench, 9-1/2-inch Offset Hex Wrench

  • Smooth jaws safe for finished fittings
  • Highest quality build
  • Offers a lifetime warranty

3.

Ridgid 89435 2-Inch Heavy-Duty Offset Pipe Wrench

Ridgid 89435 2-Inch Heavy-Duty Offset Pipe Wrench

  • Offset jaw for use in tight spaces
  • 14 inch handle for leverage
  • Offers a lifetime warranty

4.

Performance Tool W1133-14B 14-Inch Pipe Wrench

Performance Tool W1133-14B 14-Inch Pipe Wrench

  • Steel tooth jaw for added grip
  • Heavy duty steel construction
  • Works on pipes up to 6" in diameter
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    1. Ridgid 89435 2-Inch Heavy-Duty Offset Pipe Wrench

    Sometimes you have to be prepared to pay a little extra for a quality tool. The Rigid 89435 Pipe Wrench may be a little more expensive than some of the other products we’ve reviewed on this page, but it’s also an excellent quality wrench.

    Typically you can expect to spend in the neighborhood of $50 on this item. It has an offset jaw that enables you to work in extremely tight spaces and its 14-inch handle will enable you to get the leverage you need to handle any stubborn pipe. It also has a 2-inch capacity. The manufacturer of this wrench is so confident in its quality that they offer a lifetime warranty on their product. At just 3.5 ounces it’s surprisingly light as well.

    Superior Tool 03840 Adjustable Combination Wrench

    • Weight
    • 2.25 pounds
    • Dimensions
    • 14 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
    • Construction
    • Iron/Steel

    Why We Like It

    • Offset jaw for use in tight spaces
    • 14-inch handle for leverage
    • Offers a lifetime warranty

    What Could Be Better

    • Only a 2-inch capacity
    Our Verdict

    The Rigid 89435 Offset Pipe Wrench is easily the best quality wrench we’ve reviewed so it’s not surprising that the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty on their product. The price tag is a little steep, but I guess you do get what you pay for. The only thing we didn’t like was its somewhat limited 2-inch capacity

    2. Superior Tool 03840 Adjustable Combination Wrench

    The Superior Tool 03840 Adjustable Combination Wrench is a good all-purpose tool for the DIY plumber in the home. It will fit spud nuts, slip nuts, lock nuts, and basket strainer nuts. It’s great for work under the sinks in your home and for working on the plumbing behind your toilet as well.

    It’s only adjustable between 1 and 3 inches though, so it won’t be of much use in heavy-duty industrial applications. This wrench is zinc plated which makes it quite durable and it has a nice cushioned handle so that it doesn’t hurt your hand while you work. This is a fairly heavy tool at just over a pound so it will get a little heavy in the hand if you’re facing a long job.

    RIDGID 31305 Model E-110 Hex Wrench, 9-1/2-inch Offset Hex Wrench

    • Construction
    • Malleable iron, zinc plated
    • Dimensions
    • 10.7 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches
    • Weight
    • 1 pound

    Why We Like It

    • Works on numerous different nuts
    • Great for working under the sink or on toilets
    • Zinc plated with a cushioned handle

    What Could Be Better

    • Only works on pipes between 1 and 3 inches
    • A little bit on the flimsy side.
    Our Verdict

    If you’re looking for a versatile wrench that will work in many different situations this Superior Tool adjustable is a great choice. It works on many different nut types and it has a nice cushioned handle for comfort. It would be nice if it was a little lighter though.

    This is one of those tools you may only use 1-2 times in your lifetime if you aren’t a plumber. So for homeowners, this is a good, affordable option to get you through your current dilemma. This may not be recommended for professionals as there are some concerns over build quality.u00a0

    3. RIDGID 31305 Model E-110 Hex Wrench, 9-1/2-inch Offset Hex Wrench

    Unfortunately, when they install plumbing in homes they don’t always give a lot of thought to the people that may have to work on repairs in the future. The RIDGID 31305 Model E-110 Hex Wrench is the ideal solution to help you overcome having to work in tight spaces with little space between the pipes and the walls.

    This wrench has an extra-wide opening made and features a heavy-duty construction designed to give you a lot of leverage. It’s great for use in just about every situation such as sinks, tubs, and toilets. This offset wrench is designed for use on 1-1/8-inch (29 mm) to 2-5/8-inch (67 mm) pipe capacity.u00a0

    The smooth jaws will also help “sliding” into those tight areas just a little bit easier.u00a0

    RIDGID offers a lifetime warranty against defects for the life of the tool. This should tell you that you are getting a quality tool.

    Ridgid 89435 2-Inch Heavy-Duty Offset Pipe Wrench

    • Construction
    • Metal
    • Dimensions
    • 11.2 x 4 x 4.5 inches
    • Weight
    • 1.5 pounds

    Why We Like It

    • Offset handle enables you to work in tight spaces
    • Excellent build quality
    • Works on sinks, tubs, and toilets
    • Smooth jaws that won't mark up your fittings

    What Could Be Better

    • May be uncomfortable to use for novice users
    Our Verdict

    This is a professional quality tool that can serve you in many ways other than just squeezing into a tight space. Don’t be afraid to use this on finished fittings as the smooth jaws on this wrench won’t mark them up!

    4. PERFORMANCE TOOL W1133-14B 14-INCH PIPE WRENCH

    Sometimes there’s no substitute for a good old fashioned pipe wrench. These heavy-duty wrenches can be used in a lot of different situations and a great choice is the Performance Tool W1133-14B. This wrench has a 14-inch handle and a jaw that’s good for pipes up to 6 inches in diameter.

    The jaws have steel teeth that enable you to grip and turn a pipe with relative ease. They’re also made from steel rather than aluminum for added strength. On the downside, the relatively heavyweight of 1.1 pounds does make this wrench a little difficult to work with. It also does have some mixed reviews with some customers complaining about the overall quality of the finish.

    Performance Tool W1133-14B 14-Inch Pipe Wrench

    • Construction
    • Drop Forged Steel
    • Dimensions
    • 12.1 x 3.2 x 1.1 inches
    • Weight
    • 1.1 pounds

    Why We Like It

    • Heavy-duty wrench with 14 inch handle
    • Works on pipes up to 6 inches in diameter
    • Steel toothed jaw for extra grip
    • Made from steel

    What Could Be Better

    • A little on the heavy side
    • Questionable quality finish
    Our Verdict

    While the Performance Tool W1133-14B Pipe Wrench does have a few detractors, overall it’s a pretty popular choice. With a 14 inch handle, it’s the ideal size for most home plumbing needs and it’s heavy-duty enough to get the job done. Once again, this one is a little on the heavy side, but at under $15 is an affordable option for those DIY jobs in the home.

    Buyers Guide

    Don’t Confuse a Pipe Wrench and a Monkey Wrench

    A common mistake that many people make is to confuse a monkey wrench with a pipe wrench used for plumbing jobs. It’s an easy mistake to make as they do look quite similar, but there is a distinct difference between the two.

    The jaws of a monkey wrench are flat and smooth and rely on a tight fit and lots of room for leverage. A pipe wrench used in plumbing has a serrated jaw edge that digs into the bolt it’s trying to turn. This gives you the extra leverage you need in a tight space where that extra elbow room simply isn’t available.

    A Straight Wrench

    The most common type of plumbing wrench that most of us are familiar with is a straight wrench. They are typically ideal for pipes between 1 inch and 8 inches in diameter and are the best option if you have a little bit of elbow room under your sink.

    They do come with a few different handle sizes depending on what you need for the job and if you’re working in an industrial setting you can find straight wrenches that can loosen pipes that are bigger than 8 inches in diameter. It’s a good idea to have a couple of different sized straight wrenches on hand for different job requirements.

    The Value of an Offset Wrench

    Sometimes you’ll need to crawl into some pretty tight spaces where elbow room is virtually none existent. In this type of scenario, a straight wrench won’t be of much use to you. Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of an offset wrench. These innovative tools help you to grip a pipe tightly using a jaw that’s offset from the handle and can loosen pipes in some pretty awkward situations.

    Just like straight wrenches, you’ll find them in different sizes depending on the nature of your job. They may look a little funny, but they’re highly effective in the right situation.

    A Wrench in the End

    An end pipe wrench is another unique tool meant to be used in difficult situations when space is at a premium. If you take a look at one of these wrenches the first thing you’ll notice is that the jaws are at a bit of an angle from the wrenches handle. This gives you a bit of extra momentum when you’re working with plumbing that doesn’t leave you a lot of room to work with.

    You probably won’t be able to apply a lot of force when using one of these wrenches because of the nature of the job and that’s why they also have a ridged tooth jaw that grips on tightly.

    A Little Extra Leverage

    A compound leverage wrench may look a little strange, but it can be a great friend if you’re dealing with a stubborn pipe that just doesn’t want to cooperate.

    It has a handle that will remind you a bit of a ratchet set and you sort of torque the wrench to turn that pesky pipe that doesn’t want to budge. I could have used one of these all those years back when I was trying to fish that plastic toy out of the drain in the middle of the night. It does make the job easier when you have the right tool for the job.

    Straps and Chains

    Strap and chain wrenches are variations of the same concept and are effective for use on pipes that don’t provide a lot of purchase. The strap wrench is ideal for small plastic piping and the chain wrench is better for the heavier work.

    Aluminum or Steel?

    Plumbing wrenches are normally made either from aluminum or steel. For most work around the home, aluminum wrenches are fine, but the steel wrenches are stronger making them better for industrial work.

    Which Tool is the best Choice for You?

    Unfortunately we have no real answer. These tools are all good for specific scenarios and jobs. No one tool will solve your every need.u00a0If we had to pick one for your right now, A pipe wrench has the most use cases around the home. Everyone should have one! You can grab the RIDGID Pipe wrench we displayed earlier here, or at your local Home Depot.u00a0

    Devon Plattson
    Devon Plattson
    DIY plumbing enthusiast. Blogging about various plumbing tips and tools.
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    1 thought on “4 Best Plumbing Wrenches for Tight Spaces”

    1. 4 Best Plumbing Wrenches for Tight Spaces 1

      Hard to swallow spending a lot of money on a tool that only does one task. However it’s still cheaper than calling the plumber and makes the job more simple to complete.

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    Last update on 2020-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API