CarbonLite Tools came out with these new carbon fiber wrenches a few months ago, and it seems like everyone’s talking about them once again. It’s easy to understand why – carbon fiber is a cool material, making carbon fibers somewhat unique and exotic.
These wrenches are each made with over 25 layers of carbon fiber, with the action areas being made with stainless steel metal inserts.
The manufacturer says their new carbon fiber wrenches are strong enough for normal use. Their lightweight construction makes them well suited for mobile tool kits and use in extreme environmental conditions.
Make sure you wear gloves when using these wrenches, as CarbonLite Tools says there is a small possibility of splinters.
CarbonLite also says that the metal teeth are tapered. This is so that when a bolt head is inserted deeper into the teeth, the tighter the teeth are around the bolt head.
CarbonLite sells their wrenches as part of a 5-piece box end set. Each wrench has a metric side and an inch side. Inch sizes include 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, and 5/8″, and the metric sizes include 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, and 15mm.
All 5 wrenches weigh in at 6.7 oz combined. A complete set will set you back $140.
CarbonLite wrenches are manufactured in the USA.
More Info(via CarbonLite)
To be frank, I see the coolness factor of these wrenches, but don’t really see the practicality. Only 10 inch and metric sizes are available, which is quite limiting, and I have doubts that these wrenches can meet – let alone exceed – industry strength standards.
I also don’t quite see the point of the tapered box ends, or as CarbonLite calls them, “the teeth.” It seems possible that the taper might be necessary to keep the stainless steel box end inserts fixed inside the tools. Having tapered box ends seems like a potentially risky idea to me, but since the box ends aren’t offset by an angle of any kind, there’s no reason other than convenience to have to use one side over the other.
I must give the folks at CarbonLite credit for their creativity, but these wrenches seem to have too many flaws. They’re expensive, they’re fragile, there aren’t many sizes, the 5 wrenches that are included in the set are all half inch and half metric sized, and there’s a risk of carbon fiber splinters if you don’t wear gloves while using the wrenches.
These wrenches would look great on my wall, but I don’t think I would want them in my tool box.