What is a Pipe Wrench?

| | , ,

A Pipe Wrench is a kind of adjustable wrench that is mostly used on pipes like the threaded pipe, usually made out of galvanized steel, copper, cast iron, black iron, or similar metal pipes, and it has two serrated jaws that give a very strong grip when tightened making it best for pipes.

The gripping serrated jaws of the pipe wrench, are both found in its bottom fixed jaw, also known as the heel jaw, and the top adjustable jaw, also known as the hook jaw, and this is the one that tightens or loosens the jaws via a screw mechanism.

The feature use of the pipe wrench is that it turns in one direction while the teeth grip the pipe giving strong leverage and a better torque because of the anchor-like usage.

There are other useful types of pipe wrenches that have different parts that are operated differently yet provide the same grip or even better with a specialized approach to fitting pipes and other fasteners like nuts and bolts.

An instance of a type of pipe wrench would be the monkey wrench, as another kind of crescent wrench (adjustable wrench), that was considered as the first type of pipe wrench, and is still highly sought after today because of its versatility.

When it comes to specialization, there are other types of pipe wrench that can work on the specific material applications like ‘oil filter wrench’ and the ‘basin wrench’, both used in different applications yet are special because of their use.

Parts of a Pipe Wrench

Parts of a Pipe Wrench
What is a Pipe Wrench?

Hook Jaw

The upper jaw is the most challenging part to use and replace for it is made of durable metal and it has a serrated teeth surface and is the one connected to the Spring Assembly and mechanism.


The nut is what secures the body and hook jaw together, and is whats adjusted to tighten or loosen the grip of the pipe wrench


The pipe wrench’s body is the whole handle up to its frame and is connected to the Heel Jaw via the Pin, and the gear mechanism via the nut.


The pin secures the heel jaw to the body by acting as a fastener to keep the heel jaw in place.

Heel Jaw

The heel jaw is one of the jaws of the Pipe Wrench that acts as the lower grip and is connected to the Body by being secured with the pin and can be replaced as well.

Spring Assembly

The Spring Assembly keeps the Heel Jaw balanced while being connected to the pin.

Pipe Wrench Use

Learning the steps on ‘how to use a pipe wrench’ is easy because of the direct and uncomplicated design of it that mostly relies on the hook jaw and nut.

The basics would be to center the pipe wrench with the pipe and then tighten the wrench with the nut and mechanism and then freely proceed on tightening or loosening the pipe

What Pipe Wrench Should I Buy?

If you’re in the market to buy a new pipe wrench, the highest rated pipe wrench is currently the Ridgid Model 814 Pipe Wrench and among others, you will easily find reliable Pipe Wrenches from the Ridgid brand as they are considered as the best wrench brand in the world.

If you’re looking for other options with buying your pipe wrench then you can refer to our Best Pipe Wrench Buyers Guide, where we discuss the best pipe wrenches for multiple scenarios with your budget in mind.

What Makes a Good Pipe Wrench?

  • Durable and Long Lasting
  • Smooth Nut Adjustment
  • Tight Grip with Serrated Jaws

Love our Guides & Reviews?
Share it with your friends!


How to Use an Adjustable Wrench

Types of Pipe Wrenches


Leave a Comment