The pipe wrench and adjustable wrench are both handy wrenches that can work on fitting, loosening, and tightening pipes, nuts, screws, and bolts, and although they serve different purposes they can easily be used interchangeably in anyplace, industry, and project if the situation calls for it.
What is a Pipe Wrench used for?
The Pipe Wrench, also known as a Pipe Spanner or Plumber Wrench or a Stillson Wrench, is mostly used in tightening and loosening pipe fittings, like a threaded pipe, while giving the best leverage and torque possible.
The Pipe Wrench’s jaw can also be a great fastener with immense grip it comes to working with a bolt, a socket, and a nut (hex nut).
Learning the proper way to use a pipe wrench is quite simple, as you attach the jaw to the pipe, and with the gear mechanism on the side that you can twist with your thumb or fingers, or in bigger pipe wrenches, with your hand, you then lock it to place and start tightening or loosening by pulling or pushing the pipe wrench in the proper direction.
When it comes to durability, like its predecessor the Monkey Wrench, the Pipe Wrench is featured to be durable, most often made with cast iron or hard alloy, that can last a long time without chipping and wear and tear.
When it comes more to the Pipe Wrenches grip, it has an adjustable jaw with a bottom heel jaw (teethed jaw) with a mechanism for it to work as a fastener and this ensures that the pipe wrench can grip through all kinds of pipes.
They are often used in Plumbing whether in residential areas or in an industrial setting, yet they can also be used in many other pipework-related industries like machinery or automotive.
Size wise, the pipe wrench is commonly at around 10-in to 48-in, as these comes with the standard pipe sizes and are the most common sizes around.
What is an Adjustable Wrench used for?
The adjustable wrench, also known as a crescent wrench, adjustable crescent wrench, knucklebuster, or adjustable spanner, is an open ended wrench with an adjustable jaw that makes it possible to act as a reliable fastener and is mostly used for tightening or loosening a nut, bolt, and socket of varying sizes.
Coming to learn how to use an adjustable wrench is fairly simple, as the gear mechanism allows the adjustable jaw to move backward and forwards by using the user’s thumb, and this helps to get the proper fit of the nut, bolt, and socket before tightening or loosening them.
The adjustable wrench is one of the most flexible wrenches and can be used in any industry that deals with nuts, bolts, and sockets, and have its own specialty wrench lineups such as the spud wrench, which is an adjustable wrench with a tapered spike on the end best for lining up bolt holes in automotive iron and automotive work.
You are bound to find many types of adjustable wrenches in the market, such as a combination wrench with an adjustable wrench end an a box wrench (box ended wrench) on the other end, making it a versatile combination.
When it comes to choosing the size of an adjustable wrench, the most common are adjustable wrench sets are in 4-in to 12-in.
Similarities between the Pipe Wrench and Adjustable Wrench
Both the Pipe Wrench and the Adjustable Wrench can be used interchangeably to tighten and loosen fittings, depending on the situation, from plumbing to machinery to automotive to simple DIY work.
They can both be used for attaching and holding down nuts, bolts, or sockets, and both follow either Metric or SAE Wrench sizes to cater to the fasteners they work with.
They can also be easily found in your local hardware store, and in online retailers like Amazon, Harbor Freight, or Lowes.
Pipe Wrench and Adjustable Wrench Combination
A great combination wrench for both features would be the pliers wrench, which has a plier handle but has an adjustable pipe wrench head that gives flexibility and hand power leverage and torque, making it well suited for tight spaces and thinner pipe fittings.
Differences between the Pipe Wrench and Adjustable Wrench
The Pipe Wrench is mostly made of cast iron or hard alloy, while the adjustable wrench is mainly made of metal yet it can also be found with a plastic body casing.
When it comes to the grip, the pipe wrench has a teethed jaw design that helps to grip rounded objects, while the adjustable wrench has a flat jaw design best for flat surfaced nuts, bolts, and screws.
Another difference is their size, as the adjustable wrench can easily be fit into your regular toolbox, the pipe wrench is way bigger and would need its own storage.
When it comes to torque, the pipe wrench outmatches the adjustable wrench by leaps and bounds because of its heavy frame and maximized leverage with its tightening or loosening motion, while the adjustable wrench is more flexible and can outperform the pipe wrench when it comes to versatility.
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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!