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
Buy Now: Small via KC Tool
Buy Now: Large via KC Tool
Buy Now: XXL via KC Tool
Reminder: coupon code TOOLGUYD4LIFE will get you a 10% discount at KC Tool.
Compare: Channellock 8″ Wrench via Amazon
Compare: Channellock Chrome 10″ Wrench
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.
See Also: Buy a 10″ Knipex Pliers Wrench
See Also: Buy a 5″ and 7″ Pliers Wrench Set
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:
Am I missing something? An “adjustable” wrench with a 7/16″-1/2″ range sounds not very adjustable. You can frequently just about do the exact same thing with a 12 mm wrench that just barely handles 12.5 mm (1/2″) and just barely handles 7/16″ (just over 11 mm), too. I don’t see how this qualifies as adjustable.
And also when it comes to open ended wrenches my immediate feeling is wait and see. Gearwrench put out a set of those gimmicky Christmas time wrenches several years ago. To their credit it does indeed work on LOOSE nuts. But as soon as you have to loosen one or tighten one anywhere close to typical torque specs, it loses grip and stops working. And they didn’t try to make it adjustable, nor to put uncomfortably shaped handles on it.
Assuming everything works as advertised backed by a high build quality, I further appreciate the design doesn’t leave you guessing if you’re ratcheting in the correct direction. It’s intrinsic to the design and orientation, so you don’t accidentally fumble around on the nut and then find out you accidentally put it on in the loosening direction rather than tightening, or vice versa.
Mike (the other one)
It’s great that they cover both standard and metric, (don’t have to carry so many adjustable wrenches), but I wish they made a left handed version.
Good in tight places with that big head? Creative ad copy at its best.
Looks like a high-quality tool trying to fulfill a need that really isn’t there…. might work once in a while for a hobbyist, but anyone who does much wrenching might just as well have the correct wrenches for all of their jobs…..
It would work for tightening a bicycle axle, way out in the open, but why bother?
This was already manufactured by Speednut Wrench Corp in Chicago, IL in 1914. Open Ebay, and buy one for $20 instead of overpriced, copycat, Chinese junk. It might not be Chinese junk, just assuming because of the world we live in these days and I didnt feel like doing research on a tool that was already manufactured 100 years ago and company defunct by 1950
I can see them working in some very specific applications. I work with industrial machinery (assembly line robots). When we are setting up long lines in factories, there are often conveyors installed between the main machines. We will need to go up and down the assembly line and level out all the conveyors with the rest of the line.
Four feet per conveyor x 10-20 conveyors. To do this, we often only have access to the nut above the foot in limited space- maybe we have 90-120 degrees of access, and maybe two inches between a nut and the bottom of a conveyor. You must use an open end wrench to do this work, and the “quick” style, like the Facom 467R, are often used to help out, not the best, but it works. Lots and lots of turning to get this type of job done.
This new style from Wera might work better for that application- and replace two or three wrenches we may normally need to carry, and possibly grip better, too.
Think of the leveling feet on a really heavy desk, or a washing machine- you can’t just lift of a large machine and spin the feet down, and these machines need to be LEVEL, so you must do the job properly.
Anyway, I am interested in testing them out, in a professional and industrial setting, just to see how they work.
If the small was 10-14mm it would be perfect as a do all tank bag other side tightening wrench for a japanese motorcycle!
I’m a sucker for Wera. I’ll probably end up buy these eventually (once the Canadian dollar isn’t so poor).
Me to 🙂
But I recently returned an entire set of SAE Wera Joker combination wrench’s because they just “seemed” too odd to my thinking.
Odd is not quantifiable but that’s what I believed to be the case.
These seem even “odder”.
Obviously, I have other USA branded alternative sets that I’ve yet to “destroy“ and likely never actually will.
But, regardless, I’m very glad they and others continue to innovate and you Stuart continue to show their efforts.
Wera has rolled up some other updated Joker wrenches over the past few weeks as well.
Wera 6003 Joker combination wrench
Looks very handy for very specific repetitive tasks. I’m sure the quality is great, but needing 3 wrenches to cover most sizes doesn’t make sense for most of us.
that huge amount of swing in the handle? not to sure of that.
Wera makes some pretty tools. As mentioned, this isn’t a new concept and some of them have been pretty decent. I believe Bessey made a self adjusting wrench. Other names that come to mind include Rapid Grip and Ajax.
I forgot to add two of my favorites Instant Grip and Cochran Speednut. These two in particular were designed approximately 50 years ago or more.
If they solve the rounding off bolt problem, they might take some conventional A wrench market. Might work nice on machinery with multiple size bolt heads & nuts. Perhaps jaws like the vampler pliers, or a vice grip type, would be nice on worn rounded off bolts. That would add more flexibility to the wrenches.
This seems to fall into some odd category between fixed size (in my toolbox) and adjustable (in my travel kit). I don’t see *me* having a use for it.
I’m sure they’ll sell some, just not sure to whom.
I generally like new, innovative, especially cheap tools but…these look pointless to me. Expensive, too few sizes, won’t lighten your tool bag/box. They do look cool though and might make a good weapon in a pinch ?.
A weapon? In case someone’s not adhering to the six foot social distancing policy!
Got these three I like much better and probably paid less than one of these Joker wrenches:
MIT 10″ Adjustable Rapid Wrench https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001NT4ECM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_C46JEbM00P0W5
Stanley 85-610 10-Inch Long MaxGrip Locking Adjustable Wrench https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00009OYGZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_w86JEbSFH2SGW
It’s really hard to judge a tool by looking, you need to have it in your hands.
That’s a good point, in general.
Interesting how the whole head pivots on a pin. There is something in the handle which jams the jaws together – which requires a lot of leverage to make the jaws grip tightly. The bolt range is small, because you have to pivot the handle a big angle to take up jaw slack, then get enough grip force before the nut even begins to move. So the real drawback is that you have to turn the handle a lot more than with a normal wrench. I think Wera needs to send a full set to Stuart for evaluation. Without an independent evaluation, hardly anybody is going to make an expensive leap of faith.
Just to compare prices – one might look at Chads
but I believe KCTool offers 5% off using code TOOLGUYD4LIFE
Mea Culpa – should be 10% off
Chads will give you 10% off $100…it is very easy to spend over $100 there.
The size limitations are a major killer for me. I’ll keep my normal adjustables and pliers wrench.
As an alternative option to something like a pliers wrench, I think they’re pretty interesting. I have a strong dislike of conventional adjustable wrenches (lots of bad experiences with them when they were the only wrench in the needed size) so I’d be game to try these out, but I could buy a lot of fixed size wrenches for what a set of these would run me
Seems like a great tool until you pay attention to the size range each can handle. The smallest only handling 10-13mm seems particularly useless. Might as well stick with the small wrenches I already own.
Back when I was smart enough to do many of my own car repairs (including some that I still think of as borderline major), I ran into quite a few nuts and bolts with heads of 9/16″ and 7/8″ width. Did I land on Boardwalk or Park Place with either of those rolls of the dice?
I always run into 9/16 I don’t understand why they wouldn’t add 14mm to small and 15mm to large.
This is similar to the Allwrencher posted here Aug. 2018.
In Canada for $15 you can get:
Recently I have been doing new plumbing installs and carry a 5/8″ wrench for 3/8″ compression nuts but some of the nuts are just too big (maybe metric). Some toilet flange bolts are 7/16″ some are 1/2″. The small and medium sizes of these would work for these purposes. For the price I will not buy these Jokers.
When we discovered the Knipex Plier Wrenches – 20 years ago in the plumbing business – the word spread rapidly across the workout centers – and lots of adjustable wrenches and Channellocks got set aside. For some tight space work on compression fittings – the guys still seemed to like ratcheting flare nut wrenches – as they offered easy on/off placement and less slippage in blind or hard to see spots. We bought Proto and Williams ones – usually when Zoro was offering one of their 25 or 30% off sales:
Koko the Talking Ape
“XS (4.53″ overall length)
The numbers threw me off until I realized the last pair of fractions is reversed.
As others say, a “range” of 1/8″ (in the Large size) is not very much. Pliers wrenches are bulkier but far more useful.
Sorry – fixed!
I few years ago a splurged on the 10″ Knipex Pliers Wrench. Very quickly after that I had every size, 5″ – 16″. I use them for the same purposes as this Wera design plus, pressing pins, bending metal, etc. The 5″ tool goes with my on every bike ride. The adjustment range on these is so small I could not imagine grabbing on over a comparable pliers wrench for any general use.
That said, I have the entire line of SAE and Metric Joker wrenches, and I find both the “12 pt” open end and the holding function to be useful much more often than I would have guessed. I have my eyes on the 6003 series and will probably buy both full sets when I can find them cheaply. Wera is now making more of the 6002 dual-open-end combos. I wish they made and sold full sets of the holding function and new 15 degree offset versions with open heads on both sizes, since the last thing I need is another fixed or ratcheting box end, and these wrenches are not cheap.
Whenever Wera comes out with something new I give it a look. Often it is not for me, sometimes is fantastically useful for my needs.
High & Mighty
Wera is known for making quality products, but these are rather expensive and severely limited for use due to the size of the head of the wrench. As Stuart well pointed out, you can get a whole lot more out of an acme thread adjustable wrench and you will definitely save hundreds of dollars. Wera has good stuff, but this just isn’t worth the price. Not for what little you get for that much money. These are pretty big wrenches and that will hinder uses due to the obstruction that they present.
If their pivot works as well as a Knipex Plier wrench I’ll buy. The Plier wrench grips super tight, but squeezing the handles together is kind of annoying in tight places. Who am I kidding. It’s Wera, I’ll be buying them…
Maybe I’m crazy, but people seem to be missing the point. The reason you can’t have larger ranges is that there is no adjustment knob on these. You just put it on the bolt as though it were the correct size wrench, and start wrenching. It automatically finds its size. Therefore, the gap between jaws can’t be any larger than the size between points on the head of one of the candidate bolts.
Maybe i’m incorrect, but if I’m not, this is worlds different than a five dollar adjustable wrench.
You are not incorrect.
Stupid and gimmicky, head looks bigger than a standard crescent wrench and a wide mouth Bahco crescent will do more bolts with one Wera wrench.
It’s a copy of the Cochran “Speednut” Wrench. Patented in the 1920’s or 30’s. I have several. Almost an exact copy.
I have the complete PowerTorque set from O’Reilly’s. The only one that’s actually decent is the ratcheting adjustable wrench (GM8656). The other 4 wrenches have very weak ratcheting springs.