Tribus Tools launched an interesting new product – USA-made ratcheting flare nut wrenches.
The Tribus wrenches were available in six sizes (10, 11 and 12mm and 3/8″, 7/16″ and 1/2″) and featured a new patented design where the ratchet is built into the head.
I have to use the past tense as, just prior to this posting, we learned that Tribus Tools updated their website to say they are closing their doors and won’t be selling these wrenches anymore. They have limited quantities which will be used for warranty purposes on a first-come first-served basis.
The interesting thing about the design is that it allows the ratchet to only require 4-degrees of rotation to engage fasteners.
Pricing and Set Options
- 3pc Metric Set: 10, 11, 12 mm for $139.99
- SAE Set: 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″ for $139.99
- Full Set: 3pc SAE & 3pc Metric Sets for $259.99
The first thing I did when I saw these ratcheting line wrenches was to check the specs for my favorite Wera Joker wrenches. I had never thought much about the return angle and was surprised to see the Jokers have a small” return angle of 30-degrees.
The Tribus wrenches can ratchet with just a 4-degrees rotation, which is certainly a noteworthy improvement.
I’ve been working on the restoration of a 30-year-old truck, and I can definitely see the appeal of these wrenches. I have frequently found myself finding creative ways to get the room to rotate a particularly stubborn nut.
A set of three of these wrenches was priced at $140, which makes this a purchase you would have to think about. Back to the Wera Jokers for a moment, you can get a set of four similar sizes for $160, and a full set of eleven for $190. So, the Tribus are definitely priced at a premium, but they were a unique product, not to mention made in the USA.
So what do you think? A gimmick or an interesting new development?
Stuart’s Note: Tribus Tools cites the rising costs of inflation as the reason for their abrupt closure. It’s a shame, as the wrenches looked to hold a lot of potential. Looking deeper into the company, I found mixed feedback about the tools and brand. If you’ve tried these wrenches during the short time they were available, what have your experiences been like?