It seems that Wera is diving deeper into wrenching territory, with new Joker non-ratcheting combination wrenches (which we’re gathering more information on), and a trio of new Joker “self-setting” adjustable wrenches.
The new Wera Joker adjustable wrenches are said to cover all metric and imperial sizes in the respective field of application, which simply means there are no physical stops to limit adjustability up to the max opening width.
The Joker adjustable wrench is self-sizing, with the proper size set when attached to a hexagonal fastener. An integrated lever mechanism ensures proper clamping pressure to reduce the risk of slippage or damage as the wrench is turned.
Its jaws are parallel, with added corner-width grooves.
Typically, a 6pt hex fastener must be turned at least 60° before the next set of flats can be engaged for work to continue. Thanks to the corner grooves, the pivot angle on these Joker adjustable wrneches is 30°, which should help with difficult access situations such as in tight spaces.
Wera describes the new Joker adjustable wrenches as the universal screwdriving tool.
So basically, these new Wera Joker wrenches are self-adjusting ratcheting adjustable wrenches. The three main selling points are that they feature:
- Self-adjusting jaws
- Secure self-gripping
- Ratcheting action
The 6004-series Wera Joker self-setting wrenches will launch in 3 sizes:
- Small (6.06″ overall length)
- 7/16″ – 1/2″
- Large (8.82″ overall length)
- 5/8″ – 3/4″
- XXL (12.68″)
- 15/16″ – 1-1/4″
For some reason, Wera’s main website and distributors’ pages only show the Small, Large, and XXL sizes. Digging deeper, there will also be XS and medium sizes. These additional sizes will be available Fall 2020.
- XS (4.53″ overall length)
- Medium (7.40″ overall length)
It seems that there will/should also be an XL size to bridge the gap between L and XXL opening width ranges. Although Wera doesn’t list an XL or 10″ Joker 6004-series wrench size right now, I would imagine it’ll have a fastener range of 19-24mm, which will cover 13/16″ and 7/8″ sizes.
Price: $45 for small, $62.50 large, $80 XXL
ETA: mid-April 2020, Fall 2020
Reminder: coupon code TOOLGUYD4LIFE will get you a 10% discount at KC Tool.
I have some mixed feelings about these new Wera tools. On one hand, self-adjustable ratcheting adjustable wrenches are typically cheap gimmicky tools that entice holiday gift shoppers into buying what will inevitably collect dust. On the other hand, Wera makes solid tools and I don’t think they’d put their name on tools they weren’t sure would hold up to users’ high expectations.
$45 and up per wrench, with each wrench only covering a couple of fastener sizes? That’s sure to hurt your wallet.
Wera’s sales flyer says:
Many users wish to have a universal screwdriving tool with the widest possible range of applications. It should be a single tool for multiple metric and imperial dimensions.
It should automatically adjust to the different screw sizes. It should be safe to grab without damaging anything and allow for a high working speed.
They say that the tool fulfills these wishes, but does it?
There are two main benefits that I can see, aside from the self-adjusting and ratcheting aspects. First, Wera emphasizes that the jaws are gentle to fastener heads, which should help prevent damage such as rounding-off. Second, the low 30° back-pivoting angle should come in handy. Who hasn’t gotten stuck with an adjustable wrench, flipping it back and forth trying to achieve a full 60° rotation so that the next set of flats can be engaged?
The ratcheting action seems simple enough. Turn the wrench in the clockwise direction, and it clamps down on the fastener, and then turns the fastener once proper pressure is achieved. Turn the wrench in the counterclockwise direction, and it loosens up allows for a ratcheting-like reset so that you can engage the next set of fastener flats.
It seems like it could work as a replacement for standard adjustable wrenches in many applications, if you’re willing to empty quite a few bills from your wallet.
These new Wera Joker wrenches also seem very application-specialized, given their limited jaw opening width ranges. For instance, a Channellock (Irega-made) wide adjustable wrench has a 0 to 1-1/2″ opening range. Their chrome (wide but not super-wide) 10″ wrench has a jaw capacity of 0 to 1-3/8″.
Wera’s ~9″ wrench covers 16-19mm and ~5/8″ – 3/4″ fastener ranges. With a standard 8″ adjustable wrench, you can cover smaller or larger fastener sizes, at least if there aren’t physical obstacles that prevent the larger head and longer handle from turning smaller nuts or bolts. Thus, it’ll take maybe 3 of these Wera Joker 6004-series ratcheting adjustable wrenches to cover the practical range of what a standard 8″ adjustable wrench can cover.
But, let’s say your installation, assembly, or maintenance tasks predominantly require a single wrench size or two. Will these wrenches come in handy for those types of applications? Then again, if you know what fastener sizes you’re most likely to come across, wouldn’t you then bring dedicated-size combination wrenches?
These new tools look appealing, but when you consider that there are 5 tools to cover the range, plus a presumed 6th XL wrench size to bridge the gap between L and XXL sizes, that’s a lot of tools and a lot of money.
Wera Promo Videos
Here’s a quick demo video:
There’s also a longer video that doesn’t really show much, but it’s a light and funny 4-1/2 minute almost 3 stooges-like story: