The Expedition Tools HK1 Hydrokinetic Adjustable Wrench is a rather intriguing tool that has recently caught our attention. Normally we’re quite wary of unconventional tools, especially those claiming to be “all-in-0ne” solutions, but it looks like the Hydrokinetic Wrench deserves a closer look.
The first thing that we noticed is that the HK1 contacts nuts and fasteners on three flats, which should result in a very strong and secure grip. Then, we noticed that there are no discrete fastener-size settings, meaning that the HK1 can adjust quickly for any size fastener.
So how does it work? Simply position the appropriately sized wrench end around a fastener, open the central valve, slide the piston towards the fastener from the opposite slide, close the valve, and you’re ready to go.
Inside the wrench is an incompressible fluid that allows the piston to securely hold nuts and fasteners against the wrench’s flats. If it helps, you can think of the valve as a figurative set screw that locks the wrench’s pistons in place once adjusted against a fastener.
The good: the HK1 is compact, covers a wide range of SAE and metric sizes, and can be used against damaged or partially rounded fasteners.
The bad: we’d love to see HK1s in stores so that people (including ourselves) can check them out before purchasing. That, and we’d love to see this adjustable wrench take market share away from the more gimmicky less-performing tools of its genre.
The HK1 Hydrokinetic Wrench is priced at an even $25, about $5 dollars less than the best-selling (and possibly less capable) Black&Decker ReadyWrench.
HK1 Hydrokinetic Wrench (Amazon)
Edit: The price has dropped down to $21.50.