Friday, October 1, 2010

With A Longer Handle, The Stanley 8" Adjustable Wrench May Be The Perfect Fit!

The Good: Well-made, Durable, Easy to clean, Does not wear out easily.
The Bad: None I can find!
The Basics: A perfect steel wrench, the Stanley 8" Adjustable Wrench has not wavered, bent or loosened for me with over a decade of use around the house!

For me, it is amazing what a difference two inches can make. While there may be many delightful ways that sentence may be misconstrued for those with dirty minds, the truth is that I'm talking about tools here! Some time back, I was going through my toolbox and I reviewed the Stanley 6" Adjustable Wrench. That tool is one I tend to use when I am in tight spots. However, where that one is robbed of perfection by its lack of leverage, the 8" model is as perfect an adjustable wrench as I have ever found.

It is worth noting up front that truly all that separates these two wrenches is the length of the handle shaft. The head size on the 8" is the same size, which means that it offers no additional gripping options (i.e. the jaws do not open wider) and all it truly offers is greater leverage. Otherwise, it is identical and the 8" adjustable wrench is a predictably high-quality adjustable wrench that continues to grip without slipping after years of use.

The 8” Adjustable Wrench gets its name because the handle is eight inches long from the back to the top of the adjustable head. The jaws open on the wrench to a maximum span of 1 ½” and the slot is designed to grasp eight, six or four sided nuts, depending on how one uses it. Adjustable wrenches like this one work ideally in settings where one has various size nuts or bolts they are torquing, but the desire or inability to swap out specific tools – i.e. each exact wrench for each size and type of nut or bolt – for the task. Adjustable wrenches are less-specific, but more convenient, making for a versatile tool which is not usually the ideal for professionals or perfectionists. In the case of Stanley wrenches, the trepidations one might have over the weak element of the adjustable wrench may be laid to rest: the 8" is everything one might hope for from an adjustable wrench, including that it has enough leverage to make it easy to use on tough nuts or bolts!

To use, simply open the jaws of the wrench up using the embedded screw dial near the head. This is easy enough to do with one’s thumb and the jaws on my Stanley 8” Adjustable Wrench have held up just fine for over ten years. I have never had any problems with the teeth or the dial having burrs; this is a quality manufactured tool. Once the jaws are open enough to admit the nut or bolt, dial the screw dial back so the jaws close around the metal of the nut or bolt. Then, twist the lever or use the lever to hold it stationary while whatever needs twisting is twisted. It is that easy.

This is a very simple tool to use properly and it works on leverage, the idea that a job like twisting a nut becomes easier when one is father away from where the force is being applied. For that, the 8” adjustable wrench is perfect. Because the handle is so long, the tool gets a decent amount of leverage and that makes it very easy to manipulate nuts and bolts as it is supposed to. Tools that rely on leverage occasionally bend or break from the force, but I have not had that problem with the Stanley 8” Adjustable Wrench. In fact, the solid steel construction of this wrench has never wavered, bent or dented and unlike some adjustable wrenches I have used. This durable tool has not loosened causing slippage, even after a decade of use. The fact that this has moving parts which have remained tight after ten years of home projects makes this a quality tool that is easy to recommend.

The 8” Adjustable Wrench by Stanley has a grip is solid stainless steel. That makes it potentially painful (or at least cold!) to use in winter or cold environments. Because I always recommend wearing work gloves, that is a minor problem and comfort issues from extended use have not come up for me, as I always wear work gloves while using this.

The Stanley 8” Adjustable Wrench is a perfect adjustable wrench and one that should be a part of any do-it-yourselfer's or professional's toolbox.

For other tools and gadgets, please check out my reviews of:
Xacto X73610 Needle File Kit
Stanley 66-183 Screwdriver
Soundbest International 8" Round File


For other tool reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2010 W.L . Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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