Are you looking for a versatile and cost-effective tool for your trade business? Adjustable wrenches are an ideal choice. This article will discuss the different kinds of adjustable wrenches and their applications so you can make an informed investment.

What is an adjustable wrench?

An adjustable wrench or spanner is a tool with a movable jaw that can adjust to different fastener sizes. Most adjustable spanners are screw-adjusted, while others use levers.

These handy tools allow you to work on irregularly-shaped objects or spaces that are difficult to reach with other spanner types. They also offer a versatile solution for dealing with bolts and nuts of various sizes.

The most common types of adjustable wrenches are:

  • Crescent wrench
  • Plumbers wrench
  • Pipe wrench
  • Monkey wrench

Each of these wrenches has distinctive features and applications, which we’ll discuss in the section below.

Common applications of adjustable wrenches

Let’s start with crescent wrenches. These tools have a ‘one size fits all design’, allowing users to work with almost any kind of nut or bolt. One side of the wrench’s jaw is stationary, while the other is dial-adjustable.

Crescent wrenches have diverse applications, from basic household repairs to automotive work. They come in a wide range of sizes and offer good grip and leverage.

The plumber’s wrench or adjustable slip-nut wrench is a great choice if you’re looking for a tool with great adjustability and locking capabilities. These wrenches are common in—you guessed it—the plumbing industry!

A pipe wrench is an adjustable wrench designed for turning pipe fittings and threaded pipe during assembly and disassembly. We recommend avoiding using them with hex nuts or other fittings unless you need to remove a stripped hex nut.

The monkey wrench is an older variety, similar to a pipe wrench. You’ll rarely see them in modern industrial applications, although they’re still a common choice for some heavier tasks.

Choosing the right adjustable wrench for your business needs

To choose the right adjustable wrench for your next job, first consider the size. Most wrenches have an overall length of 25mm to 150mm and a maximum jaw capacity of 4mm to 300mm.

If you’re working with pipes, a pipe wrench or plumber’s wrench is a smart choice. If you’re adjusting bolts and nuts, crescent wrenches are a great choice for almost all industries and applications.

It’s also a good idea to weigh the quality of a wrench against its price. You’ll want to select the highest-quality option you can find within your budget. Spanner prices typically range from $20 for a basic hand tool to $350 for an extra-large, heavy-duty pipe wrench. 

If you have an automotive business, monkey wrenches are a safe choice. 


Adjustable wrenches come in wide varieties and provide versatility when working complex jobs. Choosing the right type of adjustable wrench will depend on your industry, unique business needs, and budget. 

Remember, while adjustable wrenches can suit a variety of fastener sizes and shapes, they still have limits. It’s important to select a tool with the appropriate maximum jaw capacity for your next project.