I posted about the new Milwaukee ratcheting wrenches the other day, and someone asked for better photos of the Max Bite open end grooves.
Here are a bunch of photos I took at last year’s Milwaukee NPS17 media event. If you want to see something different or better, I do have test samples on-hand.
To start, here’s the 1/2″ wrench, to give you a sense of how big (or small) it is. It’s not a long pattern wrench.
11/32″! But only available in the larger set, at least as of the time of this posting.
Here’s a quick wrench size comparison, to show you how the Milwaukee combination wrenches compare to other brands. Sorry, it was a quick photo taken of all the 9/16″ wrenches I could gather up in 5 minutes. They’re smudgy, and it was taken with my smartphone under garage door opener lighting. Still, it shows what it needs to.
From top to bottom: Husky universal, Craftsman Professional, Proto ratcheting, Facom 440 series (reviewed here), Milwaukee, Gearwrench flex-head ratcheting.
The Max Bite grooves are intended to improve fastener grip and reduce slippage and rounding.
Here’s a closeup of the 3/4″ wrench.
And a different angle, of the 1/2″ wrench.
The box ends are 12pt.
Here’s the side view.
The larger sets come in their own trays. This isn’t one tray, it’s the two of them positioned together.
The smaller sets have “carry along” type racks.
The handles make the wrench racks larger than they really need to be, but make them easier to carry along. And as shown in the photo, it makes them easier to mount to pegboard or other such fixtures.
- 15pc SAE, 48-22-9415, MSRP $130
- 15pc Metric, 48-22-9515, MSRP $130
- 7pc SAE, 48-22-9407, MSRP $70
- 7pc Metric, 48-22-9507, MSRP $70
15pc SAE Set via Zoro
15pc Metric Set via Zoro
7pc SAE Set via Zoro
7pc Metric Set via Zoro
15pc SAE Set via Acme Tools
15pc Metric Set via Acme Tools
7pc SAE Set via Acme Tools
7pc Metric Set via Acme Tools
They look like a nice set. Wish they had larger sizes. One of my old craftsman sets goes from 1/4″ to 1-1/8″ and came with midget wrenches from 5/32″ to 7/16″. I’m sure Milwaukee won’t be filling the void that Sears has left, but they seem to be offering a solid product for most consumers.
Well, what do you know? They are providing an 11/32″ option. Nice. And thank you Stuart for posting the followup photos.
The larger set shown here and larger ratcheting wrench set both have 11/32″ wrenches. The smaller sets don’t, and as far as I am aware, there’s no way to get it through open stock. The wheels seem to be in motion to changing that (eventually?).
Yeah, I am hoping we eventually see these as open stock at Home Depot. It would be nice to be able to grab one up and see how it fits the hand. And since I don’t wrench for a living buying large sets does not always make sense.
Not a chance. If Home Depot has shelf space to spare, they’d be better off expanding or enhancing their Husky tool presentation.
Looks nice but I wouldn’t purchase it over a gear wrench set, craftsman tried the racheting open ended sets and they didn’t take off. And these just don’t catch my eye as something I would need for a open ended wrench set over what I already have, I also would advise a apprentice to get these either the price is high. Maybe black Friday will be kind with them but I found gear wrench offers better sets that don’t need fancy groves for racheting open ended wrench just flip the wrench.
The groves aren’t for “ratcheting,” they place the torsion on the flank of the fastener, rather than the corner. It makes a huge difference, espessially when the corners are already damaged. At less than $10 each, if the ears don’t spread, they would be a great alternative to Mac’s comparable set. I’m looking at these for my apprentice.
these are just infar sourced wrenches you can get them from icon, Carlyle and the like for less money
Hey rosco, how did these work out for your apprentice? They remind me of the Mac open end wrenches. Which the mac ones are better than snap on imo wish I bought them before I bought snap on for sure the just feel right
$260 for the 2 bigger a sets would love to see them go onsale looking for a good set of v-groove wrench to compliment my craftsman ratchet wrenches and replace my v-grove Pittsburg set looked at a John Deere set the other day in store and maaannn did that look like a nice set it’d be nicer if it was v-groove but might have to end up with a SAE set anyway to store in the truck
What’s the country of origin for the Milwaukee wrenches?
Stuart, could you compare the width of the “prongs” on the open end? Like outside widest point to outside widest point? Although not always an indication of quality I have noticed a general correlation between less metal and higher quality(Snapon compared to Husky/no name knock offs for example. This can be a big factor in ease of use as a smaller outside gives better access and swing. Likewise on the box end, although even the cheap ones don’t tend to have as much difference here.
How about Milwaukee vs Gearwrench outside dimensions?
I think this is an interesting thing to compare because no wrench manufactures that I’ve seen actually list it, so it requires in person comparisons. Sometimes even within the same brand they will be different(For Canadians, Mastercraft vs Mastercraft Maximum, the maximum having a lot less metal).
I think this would be a n interesting post. Whether related to these Milwaukee wrenches or not. At some future point, dig out ALL your combination wrenches, and you strike me as someone who owns at least one sample of A LOT of brands. And do a clearance study. What are you giving up in clearance going with ratcheting, which brands are the narrowest for width around the nut and so on. Sure fitment is important, and you might study that, but really, nuts probably are way way lower quality and more variable than the wrenches that tighten them. People do way keep out and obsess about clearances and swing arc, might be nice to see what all your owned and review samples can reveal about brands.
I’d be hesitant to do that. It’s not very difficult to collect data, but what conclusions can be drawn from it?
First, there are ANSI or other standards that might influence wrench design, and I don’t have access to those very pricey documents.
If one wrench is thicker, is it because they need to make up for lost strength due to use of an inferior metal alloy and heat treatment process? Or because it fits the design pattern that they wanted, or because it’s less expensive for some reason?
There are too many variables, too many possibilities.
Until or unless I can sort out a good way to analyze such data, it would be incomplete to just provide some numbers. Maybe I can as as part of a larger analysis, such as discussion of opening widths.
I compared dimensions of two SAE GearWrench ratcheting wrench sets on GJ a while back, one set is recent COO China and one older Taiwan. In general the newer set was smaller but the differences were like 1/16″ or 1/32″ and a few were bigger in some dimensions, made from the same blank as the next larger size. So, really indifferent results.
While that 1/16″ can really matter at times, I think overall wrench quality and engagement (how the open end or 12 points engage the fastener) matter more. Of course if it’s 1/4″ larger than clearance becomes a big, big issue.
They are often a lot more than a 1/16″. While I would also be hesitant to draw firm conclusions that it is related to the quality, it is generally consistent that the cheapest wrenches have a lot more metal around the box and open end. It can often be as much as 1/4″ It’s not about thickness but width(in case the two are confused.
The fact that: Snap-on, Gray, Mastercraft Maximum are narrower while
Husky, Stanley, Crescent, and Mastercraft are generally wider is an interesting fact.
I would be interested in dimensions for one simple reason: The less metal the easier the tool is to get into place, and the wider the rotation per turn in cramped quarters. Something that could be checked without inferring a relationship to the metal quality, is not ever listed by the manufacturers and directly impacts usability.
Something as simple as an accurate line trace of either end of the wrench+ an inch of handle on a grid, with a drop down menu to compare two side by side or the ability to overlap the images would make it very easy for people to compare the shapes. Simple and valuable information, but very hard to collect for the average user. For example some wrenches carry more width down to the tips, others it’s farther back which seems like it would have less problem than it does.
A secondary test could be the fastener engagement, accuracy of sizing of jaws/box end etc, but that is a more complicated test.
A tertiary test could be the amount of force before it slips on a nut or rounds, comfort of handle in use but again this is getting more ambitious and complicated as well as leading into gray areas.
The first test though is concrete, straightforward and valuable information, and I think might be as interesting to many as the oscillating tool test. I am always amazed when I get fed up with trying to get something done with my set of wrenches in the truck and go and grab the good set from the shop how suddenly easy it is to reach them. So for those working in more cramped spaces(engine bays of vehicles, boats, farm equipment etc) this data is very useful when it comes to deciding what to buy, but NOBODY has it published.
i bought both larger set and have been using them for about 2 months so far, they i beam design is by far the most comfortable i have ever used. the teeth on the open end work well but i have had 2 instances where they wanted to round instead of bite havent figured out why, perhaps just too loose of a tolerance on the fastener i was working on or it was a metric instead of SAE (1/2 instead of 13) overall though im happy with them and ive been using them exclusively
I look at the teeth & think there’s no way that’s a good idea. If u can remember which size u were using that mysteriously rounded off those nuts, I bet if you look at them really closely (or take a pic at the same angle Stuart did where the teeth showed up so well & them zoom in) you’ll notice that two or more teeth are dented in right where those two points of the nut started to slip. That of course would open the size up enough to mimic changing from SAE to metric or vise versa. If the nut could press those couple of teeth (maybe one on each side) enough, then the corners of the nut would bottom out where the wrench becomes solid, like in the valleys between the teeth. At that point the wrench would become way stronger – stronger than the nut’s points, and since the size had opened a bit and the wrench had slipped already a few degrees around, the nut would round off just like any other time where the wrench is just a bit too big for the nut. Further, that’s a really nice chrome job! If you look at Stuart’s pic of the teeth closely, you’ll see how the layers of copper and chrome have made the teeth’s points curved/rounded/not sharp. So now you have rounded, not sharp teeth (from the start!) that are plated with stuff softer than most nuts. The nut squished, for lack of a better word, those layers just a hair, then those tiny teeths’ points/edges that are under those layers start to dent or roll over, really, since those edges cannot possibly stand up to you cranking on a stuck, hardened nut, and boom, you’re maybe 1/128th (or worse) off on both sides of the wrench’s opening, meaning you’re 1/64th off in your wrench size. Then like I said when the nut’s points get all the way to the bottom of the valleys the wrench starts rounding off the nut. I was really surprised to see the wrench’s teeth so rounded by the chrome. If, with that layer of chrome the wrench the right size, and the hard steel edges are buried say 0.004″ below, right there as soon as the chrome is scraped away or compressed and chips away or whatever, that leaves a gap a little over 1/128th. Round the sharp edges of the wrench’s teeth just a hair & you have another 1/128th. Again you’re one wrench off b/c that’s a bit over a 1/64th gap. I just can’t accept that those teeth are a good idea. They look cool (at first) but they’d have to be indestructible (and sharp after chroming) for that idea to work. I’m really interested in seeing a picture of the teeth of that wrench taken at the same angle as Stuart’s. Would really tell the tale.
Wright grip and snap on flank drive , both have these types of wrenches , it is the preferred style by most mechanics….along with a smooth finish set to mar exposed chrome bolts……it is the only style to get stubborn bolts ….watch YT
i can see what your saying however ive used it on tons of other fasteners with no issues so im thinking the teeth make it more sensitive to changing from sae to metric and vice versa not necessarily an issue with teeth on wrenches as its been used on other brands for a long time
They look like really nice wrenches but I don’t know if I’d buy a wrench set that I couldn’t buy singles also. I like having one brand for my sets(mostly because of the weird sizing differences between brands), with other brands I can buy larger sized wrenches to go with the basic set. Also, with Milwaukee not really being a hand tool brand (though making steps to enter that market), I wonder how long these will be around or supported.
I LOVE the storage solutions, I wouldn’t even think twice about buying those trays if I saw them for sale.
I feel that Milwaukee is trying to go harder at the hand tool market than Dewalt ever has, but Dewalt is just rebranding hand tools…that’s a lot cheaper than doing the R&D which Milwaukee seems to be doing.
Thank you for the pictures, that was exactly what I wanted to see.
It looks like they went really aggressive for the open end. That is fine with me, even though it may leave cosmetic damage to fasteners, because a set of ratcheting wrenches should be your second set, not your first. If your first set has plain open end jaws, adding this set doesn’t give you a bunch of duplicate open ends, it really gives adds something to your set.
So I think these are really interesting. I might just add a set at some point, but of course I’ll be looking for a good sale price. 🙂
Regarding sale price, that’s why I linked to Zoro. It’s not uncommon for them to offer 20% and even 25% discounts. At the moment, the non-ratcheting wrenches are at list prices. When the next discount like that rolls around, the price will be hard to beat.
Interesting idea for a discussion thread – what makes a quality ______
fill in the blank with combo wrench, socket, screw driver, bit, . . . . .
There are very real standards, made by ASTM and absorbed by ANSI:
But it is very, very rare to see anyone test wrenches (usually to destruction) to find out if they pass. There is, I think, exactly one youtube video that I’ve seen where someone had a calibrated test setup. (Naturally I don’t expect bloggers and average tool journalists to do this; but it would be NICE if someone were to do it, like JonnyGURU does with power supplies.)
How do you like those husky “universal wrenches”. I saw that they were on sale a while back at the Depot but saw that they were universal and set them back down.
They’re pretty nice, despite my usual aversion to universal-style wrenches. They’re test samples from Husky/Home Depot.
I wouldn’t replace any of my personal sets with the Husky, but they’re quite nice. I can’t think of anything better for the money, or even a little more money.
EMILIO E GONZALEZ
I’ve never had a problem using open end wrenches and to me, this is just another gimmick. My Wera wrenches have a replaceable part and that’s as far as I go with gimmicks. I prefer my Sk long pattern 6 points. I’m still willing to try one of these just to see what the fuss is all about. If you use the correct wrench/fastener, you should not be seeing slip anyway.
I bought the 15 piece SAE set from acme tools. They are on back order and haven’t arrived yet. I can wait.
Just bought a metric set I work on dock yard lifting equipment I’m looking forward to seeing how they stand up