How to Use a Pipe Wrench? – The Only Guide You Need

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A pipe wrench is probably the handiest tool that is available out there. But that’s only true if you can use it properly, which is something you have to learn.

Yet, it’s not necessarily that hard to use a pipe wrench if you use the right techniques and methods for it.

But if you don’t know all that yet, don’t sweat over it. Down below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about wrenching a pipe, and that way you won’t have any issue using it for your tasks.

How to Use a Pipe Wrench

How to Properly Use a Pipe Wrench?

First, you need to place your pipe wrench on the pipe properly. Then you need to make sure that you get a half-inch gap between the pipe and the back of the hook jaw, and that’ll help you get more contact points and better grip.

The gap will also eliminate some of the gripping action, and that’ll make everything so much easier. Once positioned correctly, you can simply turn the wrench however you want, and that’ll get you the efficiency that you crave.

Why Do You Need a Pipe Wrench?

Well, you probably know that a pipe wrench is the most basic tool, but do you know it’s one of the most important ones as well?

Yes, a pipe wrench can be a very useful tool for so many things, especially in plumbing. It can save your life when taking off a large drain clean fittings, and that comes in very handy. 

It’s no doubt that there are a lot of advanced tools available out there that are pretty effective and essential for plumbing or all sorts of stuff. But sometimes the most basic tool can be more effective than all the fancy ones, and that’s the case for a pipe wrench.

How Pipe Wrench is Used?

If you take a closer look at a pipe wrench, you’ll see that it has two jaws, and these are the parts that grab the pipe for better grip. However, what makes a pipe wrench different is that the teeth of the wrench only grips the pipe when you turn it in one direction.

That’s how a pipe wrench is used, which is not that complicated at all.

Different Type of Pipe Wrenches

There are a few different types of pipe wrenches that you can find on the market. Choosing the right type of wrench will have a massive impact on the whole thing, and you should definitely consider taking some time for it.

For instance, the straight pipe wrench is one of the most common pipe wrenches out there is the straight pipe wrench. 

The end pipe wrench on the other hand has a slight angle, and that helps to make working close to the wall easier and more efficient.

Read More: How To Open a Kobalt Ratcheting Wrench Set

What Makes a Good Pipe Wrench?

Well, a lot of factors come into play when you go to choose a good pipe wrench for yourself. First of all, you’d have to choose the right amount of length, which is super important. It’s recommended that you go for somewhere between 14 to 18 inches when it comes to the length of a good pipe wrench.

Also, you should always pick a pipe wrench that’s adjustable, and that won’t even cost you a lot. But an adjustable wrench will help you to deal with more tasks without any issue, which is great.

Safety Tips

As you went through our guide on using a pipe wrench properly, it’s time to check out some of the safety tips that’ll help you with that. These are pretty simple on the surface, but you should never ignore that as they might cause injuries.

Don’t forget to wear glasses, goggles, or such safety shields while you are dealing with something that requires using a pipe wrench. Such safety shields will keep your eyes safe from any unwanted accidents.

Make sure that the wrench you are using has the strength to hold the capacity and leverage, and that’ll ensure basic safety.

Never rush when you are using extreme force with your pipe wrench as it can be very risky.

Are facing a problem opening a Kobalt ratcheting wrench set. Here you can find the solution.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to use an adjustable pipe wrench?

First of all, you need to center the jaws of the wrench to the pipe. Make sure that the top part of the pipe wrench is not touching the pipe at all as it’s not the correct positioning  Then start to close the adjustable pipe wrench, and that’ll get you the grip you want.

Now, apply pressure in whichever direction you want, and it’ll work. To take it off, press the hook jaw with your thumb and lift off the pipe wrench.

What Not To Use A Pipe Wrench For?

You should not use your pipe wrench for regular usage on the hex nuts or other fittings that you see out there. You should take note that the pipe wrench is only designed to work with a round metal surface, and you don’t want to use it on anything else.

Why do I need a pipe wrench?

Pipe wrenches are undoubtedly the most vital plumbing tools out there. Whether you are dealing with a  large threaded iron or a galvanized steel pipe, you need a pipe wrench to do most of the job. It also comes in handy in so many other cases as well, and it’s considered as one of the most basic essential tools.


You just went through a lot of information on how to use a pipe wrench properly, and you won’t have any issue using it now. As you saw, it’s not that difficult once you get the basic gist of it, and you should not sweat over it.

Refer back to the article if you are confused about anything, and that’ll help you clear out your confusion better. Remember, it’s one of the handiest tools, and you should definitely spend some time learning how to use it properly.

Avatar for Jack R. Stephen

I am Jack R. Stephen from Dallas, TX, USA and Co-Founder of Handy Tool Tips. I am a tool expert with years of practical experience. Besides my professional work, I love writing to help others with knowing handy tools thoroughly. For recreational & enjoyment purposes, I love going to hike with my best friend, Cameron. He was mentioned in several News Portals for his outstanding skills and professionalism for making great stuff with his tools. If you would like to chat with me please feel free to reach out via facebook or twitter or email.

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