The beauty of an adjustable wrench

Why lug around a bunch of wrenches when one will do? The convenience of the adjustable wrench has been with us for more than 100 years. Modern versions of the wrench will put the pitch to a bolt in a pinch.

1. Since its invention in 1907, the Crescent adjustable wrench has been just about everywhere: over the Atlantic with Charles Lindbergh and into space with NASA. This incarnation of that wrench, the 10″ RapidSlide adjustable wrench, features a slider instead of a knurled screw so you can set the width quickly.

2. The 8″ Mastercraft Maximum adjustable wrench is made of chrome-nickel high-carbon steel to resist rust. This tool comes in a set with 6″ and 10″ versions of the wrench. They all have an ergonomically designed handle so you can have a good grip as you twist.
$45 (for the set),

3. Black & Decker’s 8″ Auto Wrench opens and closes at the touch of a button. It’s perfect for working in tight spaces. The battery-powered slider is strong enough to grip a nut, but not so strong that it will hurt if you happen to close the jaws on your snout.

4. Instead of a knurled screw, Irwin’s 8″ Vise-Grip quick-adjusting wrench has a thumb catch, which locks into place at every 1/16″. This system ensures a strong and precise grip on a nut. Irwin also makes a metric version.

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