Skil started airing commercials for their Secure Grip wrenches. I also came across an Iron Bridge sales site that is offering a holiday promo bundle where you get some free tools with your first 3 Skil Secure Grip wrench set purchases.
Here’s the ad:
And here’s my Skil Secure Grip Wrench preview post that went up after I spotted these wrenches at the local Home Depot a couple of months ago.
If you’re thinking that this was going to be a “I changed my mind” recommendations post, you’re wrong. I still have few good things to say about these wrenches. The advertisements I’ve seen contain some very big claims that I don’t quite believe.
To start, are these even wrenches at all? Skil Secure Grip wrenches are emphasized for their usefulness on rounded, rusted, and painted-over fasteners. They show how simple pliers, sockets, and wrenches won’t work, but Secure Grip wrenches will.
Even the spokesman calls this a last chance wrench.
These are tools that help you to grip it and rip it out fast.
This, and what I noticed when I saw these in store, would make me hesitant to use these on delicate or intact fasteners that aren’t already damaged.
Skil and Iron Bridge advertise the Secure Grip wrenches as being the most innovative hand tool on the market. They also say: whether you’re a DIY’er or a serious tradesman, the Skil Secure Grip wrench is the tool for you.
Unfortunately, I disagree – I don’t think these are innovative must-have for all types of users. They might be innovative, but that doesn’t make them widely practical.
I hate to be so discouraging, but I don’t see the appeal of these tools, and as mentioned in the preview, there are a couple of specific reasons why I wouldn’t use them. When I first saw these wrenches in person, I didn’t quite get their purpose. Now, it has become clear that they’re more designed to be used exactly how you would use locking pliers and other nut-busting tools. In that case, why not just use locking pliers or other tools typically used for fastener removal purposes?
The current holiday promotions emphasize the Skil Secure Grip wrenches’ benefits when used on rounded and other damaged fasteners gives me added pause. But then the commercials and ads also claim that the Skil Secure Grip wrench set can handle 27 fastener sizes and can do more than a whole toolbox full of sockets, wrenches, and pliers.
I doubt that.
Here’s a screenshot from the above-embedded commercial, showing a Skil Secure Grip wrench being used to assembly a children’s swing set:
Do you see what I’m seeing? The fasteners on the right are fully seated within their counterbored holes. The fasteners on the left, which the Secure Grip wrench has installed, are left sticking out proud a little bit. Aren’t they supposed to be fully seated, within the recess? It doesn’t look to me like the wrench head can fit inside the recess to turn the fasteners the rest of the way needed to complete proper assembly. Seems to me like the you would still need a socket or deep offset wrench. So why use the Skil Secure Grip wrench at all?
Also, let’s say the swing set has to come down. It doesn’t look like these Skil Secure Grip wrenches could fit around the counterbored fasteners on the right side.
But, I’m open minded. Just because these don’t have a place in my toolbox, doesn’t mean some people won’t like them. If you’re interested in checking them out yourselves, they’re sold at Home Depot. Try them during your next visit. If, you have similar tool preferences and needs as I do, you’ll probably put them right back down. But if you like then, come back and speak your mind. Maybe there’s something about these wrenches that I’m still missing.
I’m really hoping I’m wrong about these wrenches. What do you think? Am I spot-on, or missing the point?
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Here’s another commercial that’s a little longer than the one above: