Crescent has come out with a new locking adjustable wrench, model ACL10VS, which they say combines the versatility of an adjustable wrench with the gripping power of locking pliers.
The new Crescent 10″ locking adjustable wrench also boasts a max opening of 1-5/16″, for increased access for a wide variety of fasteners.
The wrench has grooved jaws, for “amplified gripping power,” for applications such as tightening and loosening of rounded fasteners. These jaws, and the locking pliers-type mechanism give it the ability to securely grip fasteners of different sizes and shapes.
A product manager for Crescent Tools said that:
Mechanics and plumbers will appreciate the quick release handle with dual material comfort grip. This innovative wrench is easy to use on even corroded fittings.
If this is the kind of tool you’ve been missing, you can pick it up soon, for around $25, possibly less.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Compare(Cheaper Stanley Model via Amazon)
Stanley offers something similar, for ~$12 via Amazon. The Crescent design has a shaped locking handle, gripped main handle, and grooved wrench jaws. But is it worth twice as much?
Sears also offers a nearly identical locking adjustable wrench, under Craftsman Extreme Grip branding, for around $20. Given Craftsman’s relationship with Apex Tools, it’s safe to assume the tools come from the same Apex Tools factory.
While the idea of a locking adjustable wrench seems awfully gimmicky, I have heard from more than one pro tool user who expressed interest in an adjustable wrench with jaws that can be fixed in place.
I have the STANLEY pair and they work great. I use them a lot more than I thought I would.
I have the Craftsman. Used it once and tossed it in a toolbox never to be used again. It sounded great in theory, but in practice it was just another step in using a crescent wrench, well two. Not only did you have to adjust to the size of the fastener, you also had to lock it turn a little bit unlock it go back lock turn unlock lock turn. It got old and was just used as an overly bulky adjustable wrench. Might be nice for stuck fasteners but I only trust a box end for stuck fasteners. I avoid adjustable wrenches usually.
Who could need this
An adjustable wrench that didn’t become loose upon repeated turns of a single fastener would be very useful. It’s too bad this isn’t it.
I still need to give the Knipex pliers wrench a try. I have a feeling it would make things like these obsolete for me.
One of the best tools you will ever buy.
i have two.
The 7 and the 10″….seriously, no other wrench can compare.
This wrench is probably ok for say a back up wrench, but for rotational purposes it looks slow.
Once you go knipex, it is futile to think there is something better……. do I sound biased?? If not, I really am.
I agree with Steven, I have the 10″. Besides making adjustables obsolete for wrenching purposes, it is great for reforming bent sheet metal.
Now I want other sizes.
I carry a set of 5″ knipex cobras all the time in my back pocket.
Also, 7,10,and 12″ for bigger stuff.
They do make a 5″ plier wrench and would be tempted to add to my toolbox..or back pocket.
Seriously, for anyone in the market, and invested in a trade that deals with repeated threading, dont even try knipex, just buy em.
Back to the vice grip adjustable wrench, its interesting, but rather the offspring of two neanderthals (vice grip/thumb wheel wrench)
This tool wont gain traction in the modern tool market.
I have the 125mm, 180mm and 250mm and will soon get the 150mm. Once you get the hang of the ‘ratcheting’ function, you’ll never use a shifting spanner (adjustable wrench) again.
They are simply fantastic and worth every penny.
I thought stuff like this was a joke until I had to deal with a stuck tie rod on a vehicle. I’m not so sure that either the Crescent, Craftsman, or Stanley version has the holding power, but even the USA-made Vise-Grip locking wrench pliers didn’t hold, so I would have been more than willing to give a locking adjusable wrench a go.
Ended up using regular Vise-Grips (along with a torch) and chewing up the tie rod anyway.
Still interested to find which between the Crescent/Craftsman and Stanley has more ultimate grip. Would be worth it to me just for those occasional jobs, if they actually work.
J H Williams (now part of Snap-On) used to sell a “locking” adjustable wrench in several lengths. I recall model APL10 and APL12. They had a little button/shaft that ran down the center of the adjuster. You pushed it in to “lock” – popped it out to unlock. It was only mildly effective. This lever-design seems like it has better potential but for most plumbing fittings – I like the Knipex plier wrenches way better than an adjustable wrench. Of course regular pipe wrenches and adjustamatic wrenches – with gripping teeth and floating jaws were designed to increase their grip as greater torque is applied. Ridgid also makes a compound leverage design – but having done plumbing for 50 years – I never found a good use for them.
I have used the Stanley version for years and love it for jobs where I have to hold a bolt still while turning a nut or tuning rigging on our boat. Just lock this on and focus on not dropping the other tool in the water, or lock this on in a tight space and turn the easier end. It saves needing two people for a few jobs.
Another good use is freeing up rigging pins. The smooth jaws don’t rough up the pin, but do grip tight enough to turn it prior to pressing it out.
Finally I use it when I don’t want to risk rounding over a difficult nut when starting to turn it. Being able to lock the wrench on tight for the first half turn really does remove much of the risk. Having smooth jaws doesn’t mark up the nut.
I’m not sure having jaws with grooves is a good thing for a wrench.
The Stanley one is great.
I can’t say this about many tool companies now, but I’d be willing to buy anything Crescent puts their name on. They’ve made consistently excellent tools for a long time.
I wish that I could agree – but I’ve seen some of their items at Home Depot that had me wondering what they were thinking or if this tool was just something they slapped their name on for a quick buck. The sell an odd looking adjustable socket wrench (FR28SWMP) and some ratcheting adjustable wrenches like this one that do nothing to hold up their reputation
Another in the line of toy tools for people that don’t use tools much. It will be one of those stocking stuffers that a wife will buy for her tool challenged husband in that respect it is not a bad deal
Koko The Talking Ape
It might be handy if you ever want to lock onto something, and keep it locked. For turning actual nuts, it looks clumsy and slow. You would have to lock and unlock from the nut dozens of times. The Knipex parallel-jaw pliers are a better bet.
I have to ask, because I can’t actually see it happening in either the video or the stills… What… EXACTLY… Is “Locking” on this “Wrench” here? I can’t see the lower jaw move AT ALL, so I can’t tell if that lower jaw actually locks tighter or not. And I’m not sure if what is locking is the adjustable screw.
So… What’s “Locking” about these? The Jaw Position? Or the Jaw Strength?
I have a whole set of adjustable wrenches, and I have several junky cheap adjustable wrenches for various tools that just never included one that they needed… I have never been fond of that loose screw adjuster thingy, so please forgive my skepticism when I see one with a giant “Lock” added to it. If it is truly worth it… I’d like to know what, EXACTLY I’m seeing here.
Is this a Vise-Grip plier with an on-jaw width adjustment? Or is it an adjustable wrench with a Vise-Grip Clamp Jaw? Or is it some sort of hybrid of THOSE where it’s an adjustable wrench with a vise-grip style width-adjustment handle?
Several variations of this, I think are just a gimmick. One or two, I would use. I’d rather know what the hell this is, EXACTLY, before I know which of those options is worthwhile.
It’s basically an adjustable wrench, but with the additional added feature of a locking lower jaw, that works like locking pliers/Vise-Grips.
As far as I can tell, it just works by taking advantage of the fact an adjustable wrench has a lot of slop in the lower, adjustable jaw due to the screw-action nature of the adjuster. The locking lever just works by tightening that slop, pushing the lower jaw upwards, and so locking the jaws on the fastener.
It does seem gimmicky, BUT as I posted above, and some others have too, there do seem to be situations where a locking adjustable wrench is useful.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
I have the stanley and find it a great tool for, as others have said, stiff nuts where a lot of force needs to be applied and an ordinary adjustable will slip because there’s too much play in the mechanism.
Especially good for plumbing and one of those cheap tools that has easily paid its way. Because it has smooth jaws and there’s no risk of slipping it is good for snugging up bright chrome fittings that you don’t want to damage – fold a slip of paper round the nut and clamp up if you need to be extra careful.
The crescent is lousy value engineering. Why pay a premium for a 10 cent overmoulding…
Swedish pattern adjusting pliers. Done. Unreal grip and leverage; physics is awesome. The more you pull, the tighter the jaws grip, somewhat simillar to the knipex parallel jaw pliers.
The above style of locking adjustable plier, while somewhat useful, is hampered by a slow adjustment routine and counters the point of a free wheeling adjusting screw at thumbs length. Good quality adjustable wrenches hold their adjustment while allowing the user to freely loosen/tighten the jaws around the fastener while cycling back to “start” .
I think that T is talking about what I always called “European-style” pipe wrenches made by Bahco :
and probably others
I had to google what T is talking about. Look like an neat type of pliers that I weren’t aware of before. The pliers that he mentioned have a similar teeth structural like the Knipex Cobra albeit with different adjustment style . So they have awesome grip power but they can be marring.
What I love about this site is I am always learning something news. Personally I will add the stanley version to my toolbox now. I have the knipex wrenchs 7, 10 and 12 and i love them. They are excellent for turning fasterner. But I think this kind of wrench is great for breaking something free or holding something stationary.
Looking over an old inventory database – I found that we had bought 2 pairs each of the Sandvik (part of the Bahco Group) #1410 (320mm long) and #1420 (430mm long) ones back in 2001 for about $50 each. Seeing that they were Sandvik (a Swedish company) – that’s consistent with the name “Swedish pattern wrench”
From my later inventories – I see that we did not buy any more of them – so I guess there was no groundswell of enthusiasm among the plumbing crews to purchase more. maybe they were just to foreign and different to what the guys were used to.
From looking at the Knipex website – I see that they offer different styles: some with jaws set at 90 degrees to the handles; ones with jaws set at 45 degrees to the handles (a bit like end pattern pipe wrenches) and ones with what Knipex calls S-pattern jaws.
Non-marring vice grips. How could you not get use out of that? I use mine ALL the time. Comes in really handy when fasting a bolt when you can’t get an arm on both the nut and bolt side.