LAST UPDATED: November 27, 2019
Best Strap Wrenches: Get the Leverage You Need
Add a strap wrench to your toolbox if you need a multi-purpose tool
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON November 27, 2019
A strap wrench is a tool that can do it all. This unsung hero can help you with oil filters, glue joints, showerheads, faucets, sinks, PVC junctions, taps, stubborn jar lids, and so much more. The handle comes with a long strap, and you wrap the strap around the object and then use leverage to loosen it. Here are the top three strap wrenches for you to consider.
This heavy-duty strap wrench can adjust to work with a 3- to 8-inch pipe. The entire length of the strap is 31 inches, and the handle is seven inches long. The strap is specially designed to grip plastic.
- This strap wrench excels in tight places and can give you the maximum amount of leverage
- Has an innovative locking design to ensure a secure grip
- Enables you to make rapid size adjustments
- This strap doesn’t perform well on smaller pipes
- The strap will slip when you put leverage on it
- Others have found that it doesn’t work well in tight places
An adjustable strap wrench designed for plumbing and auto repairs. It’s a strong oil filter wrench with an easy-to-grip handle and a sturdy strap.
- It is developed out of tough stainless steel with a dependable rubber strap
- Features an ergonomic handle that is extra grippy
- Available in larger sizes
- Smaller strap’s band isn’t that wide
- Instructions can be confusing
This strap wrench is ideal for polished pipes. It has a woven nylon strap that’s coated in polyurethane that makes the strap more durable. It has an 18-inch handle and a 29.25-inch strap.
- All RIDGID products come with a lifetime warranty against defects against workmanship or material
- Extra-long handle gives you more leverage
- Effective on pipes that are up to five inches in diameter
- Some find that the strap doesn’t grip as well as rubber strap wrenches
- This strap can also slip easily when under high pressure
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Benefits of Strap Wrenches
- Adjustable. Strap wrenches are versatile tools because they feature adjustable mouths. This allows you to work with objects across a range of sizes without needing to use a separate tool for each step of your project.
- Versatility. Most people love strap wrenches because they’re tools that can be used on a range of projects. Whether you’re repairing your car or fixing a leaky faucet, a strap wrench can be an invaluable tool.
- Protect surfaces. One of the biggest benefits of using a strap wrench is that it’s toothless. This means that you don’t have to worry about the tool leaving marks on whatever item you’re fixing.
Types of Strap Wrenches
A rubber strap wrench is ideal if you want to ensure that you have a secure grip on whatever object you’re attempting to loosen or tighten. Of the two types of materials commonly found on strap wrenches, rubber is the stronger option and will work well with items that have a rough surface.
Nylon is the other material that’s commonly used in strap wrenches. While it’s also a strong material and offers a secure grip, nylon is usually recommended when you’re working on projects where you don’t want to risk damaging surfaces. Nylon is softer than rubber and is specifically known for its non-scratching and anti-marring properties.
Ridgid is a popular tool brand that was founded in 1923. The U.S.-based tool company makes a wide range of essential professional tools that are commonly used across a range of industries. In addition to the strap wrench in our buying guide, Ridgid is also known for making items like wet/dry vacuums and bolt cutters.
TuffMan is another popular tool brand that is specifically known for creating quality tools and tool sets at affordable prices. While we’ve highlighted its strap wrench as our Best Value selection, they have many other great tool options like this pin punch set.
Strap Wrenches Pricing
- Up to $20: Budget-conscious shoppers can find a quality strap wrench in this price range that averages 500 millimeters in length. Most models are made of rubber. You can also find two-pack sets with 500- and 600-millimeter strap wrenches.
- $21 to $50: This median price range is what you will most likely find when you shop at your local home improvement store or online. In this range, rubber is still the more popular option, but you will start to find nylon strap wrenches at the higher end of the spectrum.
- $50 and up: While it’s not necessary to spend this much to find a quality strap wrench, they do exist at this higher price point. Here, nylon strap wrenches tend to be more popular. However, you may find that the handles are less comfortable.
The necessary length depends on the type of work that you need to complete. Longer strap wrenches are ideal for working with large objects, whereas a shorter strap wrench is a better choice if you need to work with small parts like nuts and bolts.
Since you need the handle to properly operate a strap wrench, it’s important to find one that’s well-constructed and won’t contribute to hand fatigue due to extended use. A good handle is long enough to give you leverage without being too heavy, but will also feature cushioning to prevent hand cramps.
- Project Workspace. Think about your workspace when you shop for a strap wrench. A long-handle strap wrench wouldn’t make sense if you’re working in a tight space. Likewise, a short-handle strap wrench wouldn’t be ideal if you’re working with tightly held objects where you need more torque.
- Maintenance. To keep your strap wrench in good working order, clean it after every project. A dirty strap wrench can lead to debris being passed into new work projects. To avoid product buildup, look for models that are easy to clean either by wiping down or with rust-resistant surfaces.
Best Strap Wrenches Reviews & Recommendations 2020
We selected the Ridgid Straplock Pipe Handle as our Best Overall strap wrench because it’s a heavy-duty option that can be adjusted for use on pipes ranging from 3-8 inches. With a total strap length of 31 inches, and a 7-inch handle that features a plastic grip, you’ll have significant torque for tightening or loosening pipes.
This pipe wrench is ideal for plumbers to use in tight spaces such as under sinks because of the compact size and medium-length handle. Plus, the innovative locking design guarantees that you’ll have a secure grip and that you can quickly make adjustments to accommodate a range of sizes.
A common issue we found with this strap wrench is that it’s not ideal for use on smaller pipes. At times, the strap can slip when you’re attempting to use it for leverage to either tighten or loosen items. And in some cases, it’s not ideal for use in small spaces.
You may be thinking that this Lisle Standard Oil Filter Swivel is an oil filter wrench, but it isn’t all that different from a strap wrench. Its design is excellent for loosening and tightening flywheels, faucets, and any other rod-like object. The tool is developed out of tough stainless steel that has been bonded together for increased strength. The handle is perhaps one of its greatest features. Its ergonomic design makes it much easier and more comfortable to grip. It’s affordably-priced for as strong a tool as it is as well, and it works great on tougher jobs. Changing oil filters has never been easier. It also comes in three sizes to tackle different projects.
The smaller strap wrench doesn’t have a wide band, which can make removing oil filters a bit more difficult. The instructions are less than helpful and understanding how to activate the swivel can be confusing.
Our Honorable Mention is the Ridgid Model 5 Strap Wrench. This strap wrench is perfect for use with polished pipes. The woven nylon strap features a polyurethane coating that improves the strap’s durability. Plus, you’ll like the 18-inch handle that offers enhanced torque and the 29.25-inch strap to accommodate larger projects.
One of the biggest benefits of buying a RIDGID tool is that all of its products feature a lifetime warranty that protects against defects in the workmanship or material. This strap wrench is most effective on pipes with a diameter as wide as five inches.
A common issue we found with this nylon strap wrench is that the strap isn’t as effective in gripping items as compared to rubber strap wrenches. But more importantly, the strap can also slip off as you’re trying to tighten or loosen items.
The Titan Strap Wrench works great in tight and difficult-to-reach areas. Its short 12-inch handle makes it easier to crank when working in confined spaces such as a vehicle’s engine or small bathroom. If you need something a bit bigger, you could upgrade to the 18-inch handle for larger, tougher projects. The tool itself is made out of a sturdy polypropylene aluminum mixture. This makes it much more stable under intense pressure or when fighting against something that won’t budge. Best of all, the tool comes with details on how to properly route a strap, which makes a huge difference when you’re preparing to start a job. It’s great for flywheels, sinks, and filters.
However, the strap may not last all that long if you use it to loosen multiple tight objects in a row. There have been complaints it snapped under pressure after several uses. It also may not grip well on slicker metals or surfaces.
The Horusdy Adjustable Strap Wrench is a multi-use tool that can be used on several projects around the house. It doubles as a grip wrench, filter wrench, oil wrench, and is built for plumbers. You also get two strap wrenches for the price of a single tool and that’s quite a good deal. The bright orange color stands out in any toolbox or chest and is easily recognizable as a strap wrench. The strap is constructed out of a high-quality rubber that bends and flexes as well as protects against scratching or scuffing the object you’re working on. The straps measure 6 inches and 8 inches and can be used in tighter spaces.
Unfortunately, the strap does have issues gripping onto slick surfaces like faucets or metal poles. The rubber is great but just doesn’t seem to hold all that well.
Aside from the fact that the Reed Tool Strap Wrench looks like a hot dog, it’s a versatile and capable tool for any toolbox. Measuring in at 5 inches long—with two other larger sizes available—the wrench includes strong nylon and polyurethane coated strap for tighter grips and better traction and control. It’s also rather light and weighs in at just 771 grams (1.7 pounds). It also includes a tough metal head, has an ergonomic grip, and can hold several different-sized straps for extra convenience. It provides a great amount of torque and power and doesn’t take all that pressure from you.
The one thing that doesn’t feel quite right is its price. It is much higher than a few of our other choices, but that’s due to its design. Larger sizes also jump up in price quite a bit.
The Alltrade 2 Piece Wrench Set is another great budget-friendly option for tough-to-reach places in the house. The wrench is ultra-versatile and can be used for way more than loosening sinks and rods. Many have even used it to open food jars and bottles. Plus, it has a built-in bottle opener making it even more functional. It’s also rather durable but won’t leave scratch marks or scrapes on anything important. This is a tool designed to help out in everyday situations and for anyone with weaker grip strength or arthritis. Plus, you can keep one in the kitchen and the other in the garage or in the vehicle for easy access.
You should be careful when using them for larger and tighter objects. They could get the job done but they are a light to medium strap wrench built for less demanding projects. There have also been complaints the rubber can fray or wear after several uses.
The Klein Tools Strap Wrench is durable, robust, and designed out of long-lasting metal. This mechanical strap wrench measures 6 inches—with larger sizes available—and is built out of polished material for a rust-free design. Its compact size makes it perfect for working in tighter spaces where you don’t have much elbow room. One of its best features is its cam-action design that gives you a greater range of torque and power. The strap is developed out of a urethane material that makes it lightweight and reliable. The fabric also won’t leave behind any residue or scratch marks. The tool is also reasonably priced.
However, with the price being low for the shortest option, the larger models are more expensive. You may also find that the rubber strap can be too slick in some instances like textured plastic. It may also be slightly smaller than shown in the picture.
- Choose a strap wrench with a strap that is made out of the right material, is long enough, and isn’t too wide. This will enable you to wrap it around your filter or pipe and still have enough clearance.
- The longer the handle, the more leverage you’ll have when using the wrench. If you plan to loosen a larger pipe or filter, then you need a longer handle to compensate.
- Be mindful of the material that the handle is made out of. You want a material that will give you a solid grip and is strong enough to withstand the torque of you pulling on it.
Q: How do you use a strap wrench?
Take the strap and wrap it around the item you want to loosen. Thread the excess strap through the wrench. Pull the handle the direction you want to turn your filter or pipe. The portion of the handle with the teeth should lean into the strap to dig in and give you leverage.
Q: What sizes do strap wrenches come in?
You can find strap wrenches as small as six inches. Then you can find standard sizes of 12 and 18 inches. There are larger straps that are meant for heavy-duty applications. For the strongest opening/loosening power, you should match your strap wrench size to the size of the item you’re working on.
Q: What can I use a strap wrench on?
A strap wrench is most commonly used in plumbing and automotive applications. But you can use them on anything that you need to loosen. You could use your strap wrench on a jar with a lid that is too tight.