The Monkey Wrench, an earlier type of adjustable wrench, is an exceptional tool for projects that needs loosening or tightening of pipes, nuts, and bolts, and are still manufactured today, however, the shifting adjustable wrench (adjustable spanner) overtook them because these are lighter, allowing them to fit into tight spaces.
In this in-depth comparative guide, we will discuss the monkey wrench and adjustable wrench, their similarities, and their differences, and which tool fits the projects you need to do!
What is a Monkey Wrench?
The monkey wrench is a well-known handy tool designed to tighten or loosen pipes, sockets, nuts, and bolts while maintaining great leverage and powerful torque.
The monkey wrench upon proper inspection would look like an F-shaped wrench, with a gear mechanism that tightens or loosens the fastener with a nut at the same time it has an adjustable jaw that has a flat surface.
As stated, it is a type of adjustable wrench that was made in the 19th-century as a refinement of the older 18th-century coach wrench and is still highly sought after today and is still manufactured by some brands.
Plumbers consider the monkey wrench and pipe wrench their favorite wrenches when it comes to fitting threaded pipes, big or small.
Automotive Restoration professionals also prefer a monkey wrench when it comes to working with 19th-century cars because of the amazing grip a monkey wrench can offer when it comes to old nuts and bolts.
What is an Adjustable Wrench?
The adjustable wrench is a type of open-end wrench that has a very handy movable jaw (adjustable jaw) and is often used to tighten or loosen fastener heads like sockets, nuts, and bolts for a wide variety of projects and applications.
Because of its wide popularity, the adjustable wrench has many names synonymous with it such as adjustable spanner, crescent wrench, Bahco, Skiftnyckel, adjustable key, shifting key, and shifters and these help easily identify the tool.
When it comes to the adjustable wrench types, there are many variations for the reliable adjustable wrench, like the taper locking wrench/spanner, the screw adjusted wrench/spanner, and even the monkey wrench is a kind of adjustable wrench.
When it comes to properly understanding how to use the adjustable wrench, it has a serrated nut that helps adjust the mechanism with the use of the thumb, or in bigger instances needs the help of multiple fingers, and this locks the grip of the wrench into place with the material.
The design of this tool is swift and succinct, making it very easy to use with a direct approach while maintaining the durability of the tool and not breaking the material.
Similarities between the Monkey Wrench and Adjustable Wrench
Even though the monkey wrench and adjustable wrench are majorly different in terms of application, they both have some similarities.
Both can be used to tighten or loosen fasteners with the help of gear mechanisms and an adjustable jaw because both have an open-end adjustable jaw that can provide torque with well enough leverage.
The user can adjust both wrenches with a single hand or a pair of hands depending on the severity of the material used.
Both types can be used in tight spaces and both are used in various industries that need work on pipes, screws, nuts, and bolts.
Both wrenches also have similar size charts from 6-in to 40-in making them work on the same sizes of pipes, sockets, nuts, and bolts.
Differences between Monkey Wrench and Adjustable Wrench
There are also differences found between the monkey wrench and adjustable wrench like their availability, application, and weight.
The adjustable wrench is commonly available for purchase in hardware stores and online stores like Amazon or Harbor Freight because they have become the widely used type of wrench, while the monkey wrench is rare to find and is sometimes considered an antique tool nowadays.
The monkey wrench is more preferred by plumbers rather than the adjustable wrench because of its weight and provided torque, while the adjustable wrench is more preferred in other trades like automotive and repair and DIY because of its versatility and easy availability.
Lastly, the weight of the monkey wrench is lighter and easier to carry while the adjustable wrench is more in a standard weight range for working on older cars and industrial equipment.
Where the Adjustable Wrench is lighter and easier to carry, and versatile, the monkey wrench is more powerful in a standard weight range for working on older cars and industrial equipment.
Which Wrench should I choose?
Between choosing the monkey wrench and adjustable wrench highly depends on where you will use them.
If you are working mostly on pipes, then the power and precision a monkey wrench can offer are undoubtedly some of the best.
If you’re working with cars, machines, or DIY projects, then the adjustable wrench is the better wrench for you because of the versatility it can offer.
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Weldon is a Single Dad who loves teaching others about the workaround in the house. He loves to write about DIY and Home Improvement Hacks and just recently had his first child. You’ll have some fun read with his write-ups and more of his works in his own home!