The Best Crescent Wrenches for Home Improvement and DIY Projects

25 Nov.,2022


non sparking crescent wrench

Along with a hammer, tape measure and screwdriver, a crescent wrench is an essential part of any well-rounded toolkit. These handy tools have two jaws—one stationary and one that can be moved back and forth—allowing you to adjust the size of the wrench's opening to fit a wide range of fasteners. This means that a single crescent wrench can essentially do the job of an entire set of fixed wrenches. Crescent wrenches almost always have size markings on the jaw itself, making it easy to set the correct size before you get to work.

We’ve personally used our crescent wrench as a caliper as well, using the size markings to accurately measure a fastener that needs to be replaced, or the diameter of tubing, without having to dig for a tape measure.

The Best Crescent Wrenches

What to Consider

The first thing to consider when choosing a crescent wrench is the size of fasteners you’re going to be using it on. All crescent wrenches will clearly state the maximum size their jaws can open, sometimes called the wrench’s “capacity,” so it’s fairly simple to figure out if your fasteners will fit or not. If you’re not sure what you’ll be using your wrench on, err on the larger side. A bulkier wrench that can still fit your bolts is definitely preferable over one that won’t fit them at all. If you really want to maximize the range of fasteners you can work with, consider choosing a set of crescent wrenches.

You should also think about how much torque you’re going to need. Generally speaking, the longer the wrench, the more torque you’re going to be able to apply. If you know you’ll be tackling stubborn fasteners, and you don’t mind the extra length, go with a longer option. On the other hand, if you’re going to be working with smaller components, like during bicycle maintenance, you can get away with a shorter wrench that’s going to be more convenient to use.

It’s worth noting that crescent wrenches are sometimes called “adjustable wrenches,” although not all adjustable wrenches are crescent wrenches (monkey wrenches and slip joint wrenches would also be considered “adjustable” wrenches, too). To make things even more confusing, “Crescent” is also a brand name of crescent wrenches.

How We Selected

We’ve used a variety of crescent wrenches over the years for plumbing tasks around the apartment, assembling furniture, roadside vehicle repair, and much more. We used this experience to help assemble our list of options, keeping in mind what would be most useful to the average individual, as well as providing options that run the gamut in terms of size and price. Our experience working in commercial factory settings also gave us an appreciation for “spud wrenches” (crescent wrenches with a tapered end for prying), so we made sure to include at least one of those, as well.

Whether you’re a beginner DIY-er looking for a tool to have on hand for occasional maintenance tasks, or a seasoned pro with a specific job in mind, you're sure to find an option that suits your needs below.

For more great additions to your tool set, check out our picks for the best cordless drills, needle-nose pliers, and electric screwdrivers.