The folks at Chestnut Tools and Lee Valley came out with a simple, pocketable, and self-adjusting wrench that looks to be great for EDC (everyday carry) in your pocket, bag, or as part of your portable tool kit.
The Pocket Wrench is 5-1/2″ long, and can accommodate fasteners 5/16″ to 3/4″ (8 to 19 mm) wide. There are three jaw opening settings, so that you can work with larger fasteners and still maintain a comfortable and strong grip.
Both jaws are finely grooved and slightly angled to create a strong gripping action, and so you might not want to use this on delicate fasteners. On the other hand, if you’re using a tool like this in a pinch, chances are that you want a strong grip and quick results.
Given how the tool’s fastener grip is dependent on your hand grip, loosening up on the tool after each turn allows for a sort of ratcheting action. This means that you can quickly tighten or loosen a fastener without having to reposition the wrench.
It’s made from heat treated stainless steel, which should give it some corrosion resistance.
What I like is that Lee Valley says it is no substitute for owning a full set of wrenches or sockets. Too often, tools like this are hyped up to be wrench and socket set replacements. The fact that Lee Valley flat out says it’s not meant to replace a full set of wrenches or sockets, and that it is an outstanding tool for field repairs and for keeping in convenient locations greatly increases its appeal in my eyes.
If all that wasn’t very convincing, consider that the Pocket Wrench is priced at just $9.50.
For less than $10, it’s hard to say no to the Pocket Wrench. Needless to say, I already ordered one. I’ll share some feedback once it arrives.
Buy Now(via Lee Valley)
I like that !! Great gift idea also.
I look forward to seeing your review. Love the concept.
Simplicity is the best engineering, neat concept. I just wonder how the grip being forward of the pivot affects how much pressure you can realistically produce by hand.
It looks to me that the harder you push down on the handle, the tighter it would grip the fastener.
I see it as a fairly useless tool. Limited to 5/[email protected] to 3/[email protected]. Why not buy a small shifter and have 0-19mm range?
Typo, meant 11mm
Oops. sorry, my conversion skills are fading. 5/16 is @8mm.
5/16 to 3/4 would cover pretty much cover everything on my bicycle, except maybe the little bitty nut that locks the brake cable in place, and the steering head bearing locknut. It would even cover an awful lot of the sizes for field repairs on an ATV.
Of more importance to me, would be just how tightly it grips the head. If it would be less likely to slip, than say a 6 or 8 inch adjustable open end wrench, for $10, I would be very interested in one.
Looking forward to a review of the one you ordered, Stuart.
I just got this in the mail from LV today, impulse buy when I was ordering a few other things. Already used it to tighten the bolts on the kids rocking dinosaur. Definitely not a replacement for a socket set, but definitely worth adding to the fixit drawer. I’m happily surprised by the fit and finish. There’s very little side to side play in the joint and they’re finished nicely. Smooth, no sharp edges, most definitely more pocket friendly than a crescent wrench.
It does ratchet to some extent, takes very little pressure to keep it tight on the nut and spin to a new set of faces.
I can see it being useful when assembling some things, such as holding the nylock nut while you spin the bolt with a driver. I would have loved one of these when I was working with stage lighting. More than enough torque for any of those fittings, and there’s a hole that would suit a lanyard.
I just checked their website, and the price is $11.50 (USD).
The link I included in the post is to their US store. The link you posted is to their Canadian store.
I’ve been keeping an eye in you’re site for a couple of years now and I tell yiu my wife doesn’t like you sge says that everh tine I see that site ahe finds a new box in the mail
I do network, home automation and some diy geeki stuff and the I can fix it mentality makes me buy tools that sone times just get being used once but I always come to you’re site for honest reviews and suggestions
Great work thanks
I guess this goes to the buy now list.
Intrigued. I’d give that a go.
Along with Jerry, I wonder if this would be a good tool for bike owners. So, like us know what you think, Stuart. If they are good, I’ll get a couple of them for gifts for the bikers in my family next time LV has a free shipping event.
Without having hands on. It looks like a pair of slip joint pliers would work as well or better
Koko the Talking Ape
It seems like the gripping pressure would be a weak point. It has reverse leverage, meaning the pressure applied to the nut is LESS than your grip strength, not more. I don’t see how it is better than a pair of Channel-lock pliers or the ratcheting wrenches appearing in the “Related Posts,” where the pivot is up near the jaws and your hand strength is multiplied. On the other hand, the jaws approach the nut with a lateral, wedging movement, so maybe it grips fine. Oddly, it might grip harder WITHOUT the serrations, so that the lower jaw doesn’t hang up as it is wedging tight against the nut. I also wish the gripping surfaces were convex, so it touched the nut at the flats, not the corners.
guys – it’s not meant to replace real wrenches and sockets for all tasks – it’s not even advertised to replace your vice grips or slip joints or water pump pliers.
it’s a novelty tool with some ability that could be a great get out of a jam tool on a hike, or trail or hell – keep in the kitchen drawer next to your old ratchet bottle opener.
and hey it might just retighten that leaking water pipe one night when you notice a drip while getting that 7th beer. it’ll be worth every penny that night.
Simplicity! I like it. I will be waiting for your review and the next free shipping event. But it’s highly likely that I will pick one up.
Tempting; I think if I was at my home center it might accidentally fall into my shopping bag . At $9.50 I wouldn’t notice . But to set down and order it online and pay for shipping, I will have to pass or would regret that purchase.
I ordered mine on the last day of Lee Valley’s free shipping promo. They have these promo events 4-6 times a year, with $40 minimum.
Love the tool and the price but the shipping almost doubles the price at Lee Valley.
Like some commentators above, I’ll wait for a free shipping event.
Just wanted to point out the gripping action is not supplied by your grip, but rather the upper arm goes in to tension and the lower in compression when torque is applied. This provides the grip on the fastener.
Btw, I’ve got one. It’s come in handy a couple of times, but due to not having a latch to keep it closed or a pocket clip, it hasn’t made my edc yet. It is versatile and small enough that I’m still giving thought to how to work it in. My two cents.
This is actually a copy. Identical to a Billings Pliwrench. Pat. #1,799,
Interesting that in less than a year the price has increased by $2. That’s more than 21%.
I want this
Just ordered these along with NWS needle nose pliers. LOL, this site is addictive!😜