LAST UPDATED: June 12, 2019
Best Oil Filter Wrenches: Top Tools To Make The Job A Breeze
These top oil filter wrenches will streamline the oil change process
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON June 12, 2019
Oil filters clean out the impurities in engine oil such as dirt and debris. It's necessary to change the filter on a regular basis, and the best oil filter wrench can help you do the task more efficiently, particularly if you encounter a filter that’s jammed. Check out our guide to find the best oil filter wrench on the market.
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Benefits of Oil Filter Wrenches
- Avoid the mechanic. If you are technically inclined, it's much more convenient to change your oil at home than by setting up an appointment and visiting your local garage. With the right tools, including a professional oil filter wrench, you can do the job yourself.
- Avoid frustration. One of the worst things that can happen when you're changing the oil is discovering that the oil filter is stuck, and you don't have the right tool to remove it. The best oil filter removal tool will help you extract any type of filter by giving you a strong grip.
- Save money. Once you purchase an oil filter removal kit, you'll have it in your toolbox for years. The only expense you will have is the oil filter and oil itself. You will no longer have to pay a professional for their time.
- Prevent damage. Don't be that person who uses whatever tool is handy to change an oil filter. The right oil filter removal wrench will help with particularly greasy and jammed filters. If you don't use the proper tool, you risk damaging your vehicle.
Types of Oil Filter Wrenches
These wrenches have adjustable gears. They feature two clamping legs, twin jaw plates, and three geared metal prongs. You can use a spider wrench with a 3/8-inch ratchet driver to remove the oil filter. There are two types of spider wrenches, claw, and jaw, and they grab the filter slightly differently. Spider wrenches are useful for filters tucked away in confined areas.
Socket wrenches have metal or plastic socket-shaped cups and attach to the bottom of an oil filter casing. They typically have a 3/8-inch ratchet handle, but they come in several sizes. They're useful if you have little clearance around the oil filter or have a recessed oil filter. Some models of vehicles require socket wrenches.
If you have an SUV, pickup truck, or other big vehicles, a strap wrench is useful because the oil filters tend to be larger (up to 6 inches in diameter). You’ll need a 1/2-inch square drive tool to turn the bar that tightens the strap that firmly holds the filter. A strap wrench is great at removing jammed oil filters on larger engines.
Chain Loop and Metal Band Wrenches
These tools look more like nooses than traditional wrenches. They have a handle for turning and either a chain or metal strap that loops around the cap. Their unique design makes them very useful for oil filters, but they're not intended for other projects, which makes them less practical than claw and socket-style wrenches. Metal band wrenches with hinges on the handle are great for older vehicles because they help you get to hard-to-reach areas. Chain loop wrenches work well with very greasy and slippery oil filters.
The best oil filter pliers have extended dual handles, are made of durable steel and have plastisol-coated handles to enable a strong grip. They have adjustable jaws and can be very powerful when it comes to removing tricky filters. A 3-5/8-inch-size tool can remove filters of various sizes from 2-15/16 to 3-5/8 inches. There are also larger filter pliers for bigger oil filters.
Craftsman was founded in 1927 and produces professional-grade tools for carpentry, automotive, electrical, and plumbing. The brand was owned by Sears but is now controlled by Stanley Black & Decker. One top product is the Craftsman 2-Piece, 16-Inch Rubber Strap Wrench Set.
Blacksmith George B. DeArment, from Evansburg, Pa., began hand-forging farrier's tools in 1886 and created the Champion Bolt & Clipper Company. It was renamed Channellock in 1963, 30 years after it created its popular multi-position, tongue and groove, slip-joint style pliers of the same name. One top product is the CHANNELLOCK 9" Oil Filter & PVC Plier.
Lisle was founded in 1903 in Clarinda, Iowa, and initially produced horse-powered water well drilling machines. The company started making automotive products in the 1920s. Today, it's known for its specialty automotive tools, mechanic's creepers, and lubrication & tire products. One popular item is the Lisle 63600 Oil Filter Tool.
Oil Filter Wrench Pricing
- Under $10: You can find a basic but decent oil filter wrench in this price range. They typically don't have many features but can work very well to get the job done.
- $10 and up: Higher-priced oil filter wrenches are usually named brands and have added features and superior grip. They typically cost less than $20, and they're worth investing in because they'll last a long time.
Oil Filter Size
You may require an oil filter wrench for small filters or one for larger filters. After you determine what type of filter you have, then you can determine the proper wrench for the job. One way to find out the size of your filter is by checking the owner's manual. You should also check where the filter is located and whether it's in a cramped space.
The best oil filter wrench should have teeth with a solid grip. With a stronghold, it shouldn't be too hard for you to remove the oil filter cap. Conversely, if the grip is slippery, it will take a lot more effort to complete the task, and it will make your job much more frustrating.
- Quality: Choose a wrench that's made of high-quality materials. One of the worst things that can happen is breaking a wrench while changing the oil filter. If a wrench fails with very little pressure, it's probably made of low-quality components. The best oil filter wrench should be able to withstand your arm strength and also be able to loosen a tight oil filter.
- Ease of Use: Changing an oil filter is not difficult if you have an oil filter wrench that is easy to use. The best oil filter remover will not slip and will have a solid grip. It should have the ability to remove extremely tight oil filters with little effort. Complicated oil filter wrenches will make the job tougher.
- Fit and Adjustability: Oil filters have various diameters. Many brands of oil filter wrenches can be used on nearly all oil filters regardless of size. The best universal oil filter wrench will work on filters whether they’re big or small. This is particularly useful if you have several vehicles with filters of various dimensions.
- Wrench Size: Some wrenches are larger than others. The bigger ones have longer handles and grips and can help you get to areas in which the oil filter is hard to reach. Some may be too big to function properly if the filter is in a really tight spot.
- Corrosion-Resistant Finish: It's common for metal tools to corrode or rust over time, especially if they're stored in areas that are prone to getting damp, such as a carport. A wrench with an anodized finish or coating will be less likely to rust. A rusty tool is harder to use and may not function properly.
Best Oil Filter Wrench Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This high-quality, versatile oil filter wrench is made of hardened stainless steel for durability and a long service life. The black oxide coating on the handle helps prevent corrosion and rust, and the soft vinyl grip gives you a comfortable, safe, but sure grip.
The adjustable jaw has three positions, which allows the wrench to open from 2.3 to 4.5 inches (60 to 115 mm). Use it to remove filters on small and large cars, trucks, and farm implements. Use the additional steel filter remover included with your ⅜- or ½-inch socket wrench to remove filters in hard-to-reach areas.
On the downside, this oil filter remover may lose its grip. Some users find it’s not constructed very well.
These pliers fit oil filters up to 4-1/2 inches in diameter. The three-position slip joint design quickly adjusts to size, and the right-angle teeth grip while turning in either direction. The tool’s long handles help you to reach into tight spaces, and the soft, comfortable grips control slipping.
The tool has a long reach and a lot of traction. It sinks in nicely and twists without slippage. There's no need to squeeze super tight on the pliers because the teeth don't shift when they are correctly positioned on the filter. They are sturdy, powerful, and work well when used on an angle. In addition, the metal feels solid, and the pliers are more than big enough to remove common-sized oil filters because they adjust rather easily.
The biggest complaint is that the pliers can distort or puncture the filter. Because it can be hard to turn the pliers without crimping the filter, the oil may leak, and you may need to remove the filter in pieces. It may also be challenging to get these pliers to work if the filter is recessed.
This tool is made in the United States and works on most common-sized vehicle and small-engine filters, such as motorcycles. It fits PVC, conduit, and fittings. The PermaLock fastener eliminates nut and bolt failure, and the handle is designed for comfort.
These pliers work well on older cars, are well made, and have a nice finish and good grip. The teeth grab and do not slip. They bite in the direction you are turning them, and you don't have to crush the filter to get the pliers to turn. They do the work of cheaper, bigger pliers with less effort. They also work well in tight spaces due to their small, slim, and low profile.
The biggest complaint is that the handle is too small, thin, and short, which can hinder gripping ability. Another issue is that this tool won't work well on some newer cars, especially European models, due to its size. The pliers may also not be suitable for filters located in hard-to-reach spots.
This is a 64mm oil filter wrench suitable for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles that have 2.5- to 5.7-liter engines and use Toyota's cartridge-style oil filter system. It's a quality item that offers a tight fit and impressive durability, which makes it ideal for both professionals and DIYers.
The wrench is made from high-quality aluminum and features a black anodized finish for protection against corrosion. It's a sturdy item you can use for a long time to achieve excellent results. Furthermore, it's easy to use and clean up after the oil change.
The tool engages the ring on the top of the oil filter and the tabs below. Therefore, it comes in contact with the larger area on the filter housing and proves to be safer for the cap. Overall, the item is well-designed and quite handy.
The wrench is quite pricey, though. If you're searching for an inexpensive option, you might want to check out some other models on our list. Also, the wrench might get stuck on the oil filter sometimes. In these situations, you'll need to put in some extra effort to safely remove the oil filter cap.
If you're looking for a reliable tool to help you remove an oil filter, ABN might have just what you need. The company offers a versatile oil filter wrench that you get to use on Toyota and Lexus vehicles with 6 to 8 cylinders.
The wrench is made from forged alloy and designed for maximum torque. It's highly resistant to pressure and fits tightly for easy oil filter cap removal. Thanks to the multiple contact points, the wrench removes even the tightest caps and is super safe. Because it's made from alloy, the item won't crack, flex, or damage the cap in any other way.
However, this ABN oil filter wrench does fit super tight on the filter. You might have issues with removing it from some oil filter caps. Also, make sure to handle it carefully during removal because some buyers complained about the wrench breaking during the process.
Those who are looking for quality pliers to help them remove oil filters might find this model ideal for their needs. The Workpro pliers are well-made, reliable, and easy to use. They are ideal for DIY purposes and prove to be rather efficient.
The pliers are made from high carbon steel, which ensures more security and durability during every use. The permalock fastener is there to reduce the chances of bolt failure, and the handles are ergonomically designed for more comfort. They are soft and allow for extra reach in tight areas. What's even more important, the pliers are suitable for filters that are two to four inches wide in diameter. They can be used on a wide range of cars, especially ones with small engines.
You might have issues with this tool in tight spaces, though. It's difficult to handle the pliers at certain angles, and they might dig into the side of the filter. Also, some buyers complained about receiving pliers with scratched handles.
If you're looking for an inexpensive tool for oil filter removal, this might be an excellent choice for you. Lisle offers a simple yet quality 16-flute and cap wrench set that works like a charm. With it, you'll be able to change the oil in a breeze.
The wrench is made of quality materials and fits perfectly over all kinds of oil filter caps. Thanks to the snug fit, you'll be able to remove even those caps that stubbornly stay on, no matter what you do. The wrench is also quite durable and able to withstand a lot of pressure. You'll definitely use it for a long time.
The main drawback of this product might be its tendency to slip over the cap. It's not a big issue but does require you to use the wrench carefully. Also, the item might get loose over some filter caps, depending on the vehicle model.
Steelman offers a low-profile socket designed to fit all kinds of oil filter caps, even those located in super tight areas. It's 1.5 inches tall and suitable for different oil filters, starting with those found on Ford, BMW, and Audi. You'll find it quite useful for changing the oil in your home or workshop.
The socket fits 3/8 inch-sized ratchets and wrenches. It's easy to use and ideal for DIY applications. It fits snugly over the oil filter cap, without scratching, flexing, or damaging it in any way. Also, the socket is made of heavy-duty chrome vanadium steel and features black phosphate coating. That means it's built to last, and you'll be able to use it for quite some time.
However, be careful when using this tool as it tends to slip off easily. You might cut yourself on sharp vehicle edges if the socket slides unexpectedly. Also, it seems that the socket is not protected against rust. You might want to use it indoors and store it in a dry and dark space.
A swivel wrench is one of those tools that allow you to remove the oil filter without spending a lot of time and money. Instead of working in your garage for hours or going to the mechanic, you can change the oil on your own. With the help of the Lisle swivel wrench, you'll be able to do it in a breeze.
The tool is made of stainless steel and proves to be of excellent quality. It features a superior coating for a secure grip and more durability. Overall, the tool is highly efficient and easy to use. It has a narrow band for reaching tight spaces and a handle that swivels for 180 degrees. Therefore, you get to adjust it to your needs and perform your job effortlessly.
The main issue with this wrench is the unique design. It takes quite some time to get used to the tool. At first, you might struggle a little with turning the wrench in the right direction. Also, the handles on this particular model are a tad bulky and might make the process even harder.
Last but not least, we have another quality oil filter wrench from Motivx Tools. It's a versatile tool you can use on cartridge and spin-off style filters that have 14 flutes and measure 74mm in diameter. Basically, the tool is ideal for Audi, Ford, Mercury, Mazda, and other similar vehicle types.
The wrench is made from high-quality aluminum that won't crack under pressure or flex and damage the filter caps. It's easy to use and completely safe for your vehicle. Also, the quality materials and the matte chrome finish make this tool highly reliable and durable. Due to the rust-resistant exterior, the wrench will last for quite a while.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this product, though. First of all, the wrench might come loose on some oil filter caps. That might require you to carefully handle the tool when removing the top of the filter. Secondly, the finish is not the best quality and might peel off rather quickly.
- Only use a filter wrench to loosen an oil filter cap, not to tighten it. To avoid permanently damaging the casing, tighten the cap by hand instead of with a wrench.
- Changing an oil filter can be messy, and it's possible to accidentally puncture the oil filter case in the process. Avoid staining your garage floor by putting cardboard on the ground to soak up any drips.
- Some vehicles, such as newer BMWs and MINI Coopers, require special tools because the oil filter is enclosed. However, most vehicles have regular screws and can be changed with a universal wrench.
- In addition to an oil filter wrench, you will probably need a traditional wrench or other tools to remove the oil filter. Make sure you have all the necessary devices before starting the task.
Q: Do I need an oil filter wrench?
A: When you drive your vehicle, the filter cap naturally tightens because it’s exposed to hot and cold temperatures. Filters also get dirty and greasy, making them challenging to remove. It's possible to do the job with your hands, but it's much easier to change an oil filter using a wrench.
Q: What’s the best type of oil filter wrench?
A: It depends on the size of the filter, how tight the filter is, and how much space is in the area surrounding the filter. The best oil filter wrench for tight spaces is a socket or spider wrench. If space is not a problem, a band or pliers wrench will work just fine. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the right tool.
Q: How do I use an oil filter wrench?
A: The method varies depending on the type of wrench you use. First, make sure to work on a vehicle after it's been sitting for about an hour and use a drain pan to catch drips. If you're using a socket wrench, attach it to the bottom of the casing and use a 3/8-inch ratchet to help loosen the casing. Then remove the filter by hand. The process is different for other types of wrenches.
Our pick for the best oil filter wrench overall is the Swpeet 2-Piece Large Adjustable Oil Filter Pliers. It has a three-position jaw, comes with an additional remover for hard-to-reach filters, and it is built strong from hardened stainless steel.
For a less expensive option, consider the TEKTON 12-Inch Oil Filter Pliers.