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Best Pipe Wrench for Your Next Plumbing Task

  1. Irwin Cast Iron Pipe Wrench
  2. Ridgid Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench
  3. JH Williams Pipe Wrench
  4. Armstrong 54-813 13mm 12 Point Full Polish Reversible Combination Ratcheting Pipe Wrench
  5. Matco Tools PWR12 12 IN HD Pipe Wrench
  6. Buyer's Guide

A pipe wrench is, odds are, what comes to mind when you hear the word wrench. It’s a metal hand tool with an adjustable jaw at one end. It’s designed to tighten or loosen in order to work on generally soft iron pipes, or fittings with rounded surfaces. In addition, the wrench also features angled teeth on the jaw that help to grip whatever you’re working on in place.

While there are several different varieties of pipe wrenches (offset pipe wrench, end pipe wrench, compound leverage pipe wrench, etc.), I will be focusing on the most common type of pipe wrench that will generally work on any job you come across: the straight pipe wrench.

Due to the fact that pipe wrenches are used mostly by professionals (plumbers, etc.), whatever tool they decide on needs to be long lasting. For this reason, every tool I have included in this list is made from either cast iron or aluminum. This will make sure each wrench is strong enough to work on any job (and very light, in the case of aluminum wrenches).Since ease of adjustment is very attractive when it comes to pipe wrenches, each of the tools on this list also has an easily spinning, adjustable nut. This is so that each wrench can be adjusted on the fly, even with one hand.Furthermore, for the sake of consistency, all of the pipe wrenches I have included on this list are either 12 inches or 14 inches long. This is just to standardize the list a bit. If you wish for smaller or longer pipe wrenches (depending on your job), they are available from each manufacture I have included.

Finally, each of the wrenches I have decided to place on the list of the best pipe wrenches in 2022 come with a warranty. This is to ensure that your purchase is easier because it guarantees you don’t have to worry should your tool have to be replaced.

Detailing the Best Pipe Wrenches of 2022

Irwin Cast Iron Pipe Wrench - Best Pipe Wrench Overall

The Irwin Tools 274102 Vise Grip 2-Inch Jaw Capacity 14-Inch Cast Iron Pipe Wrench is the best pipe wrench because for one, it has a hammerhead design that provides a flat surface on the tool to hammer. This is just plain useful because it makes the tool a multi-tasker. I also love the fact that the handle for this wrench is designed like a wide I-beam. This distributes the weight of the tool more evenly, which makes it a lot easier to use (by cutting back on hand fatigue). If you plan on using your pipe wrench every day, this is a great choice. Finally, this tool is on this list because the teeth in the jaw are hardened. That gives the wrench much more grip than normal, which increases the usefulness of the tool.

Ridgid Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench - Runner Up

When it comes to industrial pipe wrenches, Ridgid is the brand most people use in my experience because they make really great, quality tools. The Ridgid 47057 12" Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench - Model 812 is on this list for that reason. This particular wrench is also 40 percent lighter than its cast iron counterparts. This makes it a great tool to use all day long because your arm won’t get as tired from repeated use. Another great thing about this wrench is that it’s available with interchangeable hook and heel jaws in case you ever come across plastic coated pipes. Again, that makes this tool more valuable because it increases the amount of jobs you can work on without having to switch tools.

JH Williams Pipe Wrench - Honorable Mention

The 13504 Aluminum Pipe Wrench, 12-Inch by JH Williams (a Snap-on Industrial brand) is a great wrench because it has a scale on the wrench itself that helps the user to figure out pipe diameter. This is useful because it decreases the amount of tools you need for a job. Like the Ridgid wrench above, this wrench is 40 percent lighter than other comparable cast iron wrenches as well. I also loved the fact that this wrench has a jaw capacity (the amount of pipe it can work with) of 2 1/8 inches. This is a bit more than other 12 inch long pipe wrenches, which gives the user more room to work with.

Armstrong 54-813 13mm 12 Point Full Polish Reversible Combination Ratcheting Pipe Wrench - Consider

The Armstrong Industrial Hand Tool WR Pipe 12 HD is a great pipe wrench for you to consider buying because the handle is made from pearlitic malleable alloy. This increases the ductility of the tool, which basically means how much the tool can flex without breaking. That makes this tool a lot stronger and long lasting than it would be otherwise. I also like the face that the insert jaw on this wrench is replaceable, as they are the most common part of the wrench I have seen break. Finally, the best part of this tool is that the housing and handle are finished in bright red baked-on enamel. This eliminates the possibility that the tool will rust, which increases how long it will last.

Matco Tools PWR12 12 IN HD Pipe Wrench

Matco Tools PWR12 12 IN HD Pipe Wrench - Best Pipe Wrench

The Matco Tools PWR12 12 IN HD Pipe Wrench is the final tool I have included on this list because like the Irwin pipe wrench, this tool features an I-beam handle. I mentioned above that this better distributes the weight, thereby decreasing hand fatigue. This tool also has a full floating jaw with spring suspension. This makes the tool grip pipes quicker and release quicker, which makes using the wrench easier. Finally, the adjustment nut is non-stick and automatically cleans grime from the hook jaw (the jaw that adjusts up and down) shank. That’s a very useful feature that saves time because it eliminates the need for you to do it.

Buyer's Guide

Buying the Best Pipe Wrench: Features & Factors to Consider

Have you realized the importance of adding a pipe wrench to your toolkit the hard way? Most homeowners look for the best pipe wrench after paying for an expensive wall replacement because they couldn’t fix a leaking faucet in time. Owning a pipe wrench is much more efficient and budget-friendly than ringing the plumber whenever you spot a leak.

However, if you’ve never shopped for tools before, this might prove a little tricky. Our buying guide will help you understand your needs and explore a wealth of specifications to find the best pipe wrench for your home toolkit.

Types of Pipe Wrenches

There are different kinds of pipe wrenches in the market, and buying the right type is crucial to avoid doing more harm than good. You see, you don’t want to damage the pipe and joints and even your limbs, by using the wrong wrench for the job.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of plumber wrenches to help you find the right fit.

1. Offset Wrench

An offset wrench is a commonly used household tool that comes in handy when working with odd angles and parallel-running pipes. The narrow jaws of the offset wrench make it easier when there’s very little space for movement.

Suppose you need a wrench with sharp teeth to fit into a narrow space. In that case, we recommend buying the Swedish pipe wrench – a terrific upgrade on the offset spanner that comes with sharp teeth on its tampered jaws.

2. Straight Wrench

The most popular, and undoubtedly the best pipe wrench used in households, the straight wrench comes in a variety of sizes. It is immensely useful at adjusting pipes ranging from as low as half an inch to as high as 60 inches. We advise measuring the size of your pipes before exploring products.

3. Compound Leverage Wrench

Much like the name implies, the compound wrench packs up more leverage while working with overly tight and tough joints that are hard to disassemble. The compound leverage wrench will reduce your elbow grease, especially while working in chilly weather. It’s highly recommended for joints that are corroded, damaged, or old. It multiplies the force you exert, thereby loosening the joint without damaging the structure.

4. Chain Pipe Wrench

A modern upgrade to traditional wrenches, the chain pipe plumbing tool features a chain strap instead of a head. It is highly useful at working with oddly-shaped joints and tubes and smooth surfaces that need a delicate touch.

5. Strap Pipe Wrench

A slightly different version of the chain pipe design, the strap pipe version is designed with metal, rubber, and even leather straps. It is also useful at working with weirdly shaped pipes and tubes, and you simply have to attach it to the surface. The strap will tighten itself, creating friction that loosens up the pipe or joints.

6. End Pipe Wrench

The end pipe wrench is designed with jaws placed at somewhat deviated angles as compared to traditional wrenches. This jaw design makes this the perfect tool for working with pipes and joints close to the wall with limited space for movement. Typically, the bottom end of the pipe is situated in a tight corner or extremely near the walls. This tool certainly lives up to its name, and the end pipe wrench offers a much firmer grip than regular wrenches.

Sizing & Specifications

Pipe wrenches are available in a broad array of sizes, and it’s wise to measure the dimensions of your pipes before making the purchase. You may need to invest in multiple pipe wrenches to ensure you have the right tool to work with all the sets of pipes and joints on your property. Typically, sizes ranging between 14-18 inches are ideal for performing odd jobs around the house.

However, sizing isn’t the only feature you need to consider. Keep reading to explore other elements that have a powerful impact on ease of use.


Suppose you’re working with limited space between the wall and the pipe at an extremely odd angle. In that case, a narrow-head wrench with a firmly gripping jaw will make the job incredibly easier. A strap pipe wrench would be even more efficient, as you can wrap it around the surface. In contrast, a wide-head wrench won’t fit into the tiny space.

You see, there’s much to consider here, as to find the right head, you must closely examine your plumbing system. Or you can invest in all the common types for a well-stocked arsenal.


The jaw and teeth of the wrench determine the firmness of its grip. The best pipe wrench for home use comes with a jaw capacity ranging from 1 to 6 inches. However, adjusting the jaw and finding the right fit can prove a horrible nightmare, especially for beginners.

We advise investing in a pipe wrench featuring spring-loaded jaws to make jaw adjustment straightforward and quick. Suppose you constantly need to fix the same tube or joint repeatedly. In that case, it’s wise to buy a wrench with a jaw that can be locked into place to support repetitive use without requiring an adjustment.


You may want to start your DIY journey with a more straightforward tool that is easier for a novice. If you’re going for a regular pipe wrench, be sure to get one with engraved numbers running across the jaw opening. How else will you figure out how much jaw opening is required to find the perfect fit? Be sure to prioritize features that enhance accessibility and utility.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) Which material is best for pipe wrenches for home use?

The best pipe wrenches are constructed with forged steel, carbon steel, and cast steel. These materials do not break, and they last a lifetime. A stainless steel wrench is also highly efficient and offers terrific durability.

2) Will a cheap pipe wrench get the job done?

You may be tempted to invest in a cheap product, but we firmly advise against low-cost construction. Most cheaper wrenches are constructed with ductile iron, which tends to bend after a while and requires replacement.

3) What’s the most important feature to look at in a pipe wrench?

The jaw capacity and adjustment are essential features to consider. It’s crucial to invest in a wrench featuring black oxide or sandblast protective coating to prevent damages and rust.

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