Adam Savage's Favorite Tools: Monkey Wrench!

137K weergaven12

    Praise the trusty monkey wrench! In this week's tool tip, Adam explains how this essential pipe wrench works, why it's so much better than a crescent wrench, and the case for having two of them for plumbing work.
    14-inch pipe wrench:
    18-inch pipe wrench:
    Shot by Adam Savage
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    Gepubliceerd op Maand geleden


    1. derKarl

      the pipe wrenches have their place in almost any plumbing job you can think of... however I like the self locking cobra pliers from Knipex even more... as I am no plumber and I use to work a lot on other areas as well... but if I would be in plumbing only... sure... why not 😜 (and yes I know that those are two different types of tools) 😉

    2. Alex Cartier

      Should do a video on strap-wrenches. Those things are super useful and don't look like wrenches at all

    3. Chasing The Trail

      Knipex pilers wrench have completely replaced my crescent wrench’s but they are pricy

    4. Lucas Smith

      In the UK we call it an Allen Key (wrench) and Adjustable Spanners (crescent wrench). Rarely see a pipe wrench, most plumbers use adjustable grips! :P

    5. Jeremy D

      So a pipe wrench is meant to be used with the wrench touching in 3 places. This is called a 3 corner bite and it keeps you from turning the pipe into an oval

    6. Astrangemed

      Pipe wrench

    7. Lock


    8. DAN O

      you should se the best vice ever built its on youtube somewhere

    9. Darren Young

      Went looking for Foo Fighters puns and found none. Soooo disappointed all I saw were “this isn’t a monkey wrench”. And it’s not. This is.

    10. Kent McKean

      Sorry Adam, but your use of the Pipe Wrench is wrong. When "setting" a pipe wrench you adjust the jaws so there is a small gap between the back of the wrench and the pipe, 1/8" on a 3/4" pipe for example. As you put pressure on the wrench the jaws bite and the gap disappears there by giving you the three points of contact and preventing the pipe being crushed. If the pipe wrench slips, you need a larger gap.

    11. vaderdudenator1

      They are very very underrated. I didn’t gain an appreciation for them until we used one to turn a deep well socket with a broken off square drive jammed in one end while the other was bashed onto a stripped wheel lug.

    12. John Smith

      2:35 swedish nut lathes

    13. Len Miller

      I have three. When my son rounded off his oil drain plug on his car he looked at meas if to say "Now what. Got my trusty pipe wrench and the plug came loose right away..

    14. sixshooter

      76 years old and just found out the difference between a pipe wrench and a monkey wrench. I Googled it. I have seen what we called monkey wrenches with out groves on the jaws but I never thought about it being different. Never to old to learn.

    15. Jim C

      Not a monkey wrench. Use one every day. Ridgid or go home.

    16. Tim Fox

      * Moncky Wrench

    17. Commander in Quif

      Better to have 3 points of contact. Shoud be adjusted so back of jaws touch pipe too. Prevents smashing.

    18. Ian Gallinger

      u gotta check out the self adjusting "claw" type pipe wrench

    19. Bryson Brewer

      Im not gonna be your monkey wrench

    20. Charles Jennings

      Adam needs to do a video on a basin wrench.

    21. Charles Jennings

      Pipe wrenches are like hammers, you always need a second bigger one.

    22. None None

      I'm here to tell you that they work on a lot more than just plumbing

    23. JJMM33

      I’ll never be your monkey wrench...

    24. BrainComm487

      I always knew a cresent wrench as an adjustable spanner, but it might be a UK thing?

    25. Gurke01

      Im getting flashbacks from Monkey Island, and the literal monkey wrench there...

    26. Joe Oliver

      But Adam.... 'Every Tools a Hammer' ........ Right?........ enough said ;)

    27. Buddy Clem

      Who else thought of the Take on Me video from A-Ha, when he raised a "monkey wrench" up high with that crazed look on his face?

    28. Robert Richard

      I was told that when using a pipe wrench you want to make sure you have three points of contact otherwise you could end up squeezing the pipe out of shape, therefore you want to seat the wrench all the way down on the pipe.

    29. Andrew G

      I was taught to only use crescent wrenches in an emergency by an old mechanic when i was very young... I still use them as does adam but I'm glad he mentioned their wonderful corner rounding abilities!

    30. He Ka

      I'd like to see an American using a .... "Swedish pipe wrench" I guess... I don't know what to call them. But what I've heard its just far better than the american version. Not used the USA version myself.

    31. Bill D'Berger

      Who uses sharks and how has it taken 100 years for someone to inform me?

    32. Jacob Wood

      Should get a steelman adjustable spanner (crescent wrench). Much better than the turn wheel type

    33. GaryGrumble

      A pipe wrench is not a Monkey Wrench. A monkey wrench is not even used on pipes; it is more similar to a crescent wrench. Check out the Wikipedia entry for monkey wrench.

    34. Nearly heaven farms

      I keep one of these on my tractor at all times... they are great for adjusting the three point hitch on the back for different implements. Or smacking something into place... also makes a great attitude adjuster.

    35. Oblithian

      Before I begin I just want to point out the pictured wrench is not a monkey wrench but a pipe/plumber's wrench. Sort of the successor to a monkey wrench. But also, just different.

    36. Exophis

      if you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball

    37. Steven Brannen

      Nevermind on the name, you do want to have the pipe all the way in so it is touching 3 parts. That prevents the wrench from putting so much force into the pipe and take it out of round. Plus it also helps to prevent slipping by making sure you size it correctly.

    38. Haydn Jenkins

      Stillson wrench what I was taught it were called

    39. P B

      You didn’t do a three corner bite!

    40. Huw Day

      "It looks primitive because it is!" One of my favourite tools is a plain old stick. Damned useful thing to have, whether you just need a bit of leverage, something thin to poke at something, or just as a prop. Sticks also haven't changed much over the years :D

    41. Chuck Schob

      Try ridgid pipe wrenches you will never go back

    42. Henrik Nielsen

      The common US pipe wrench (Stillson type) is OK, but everyone used to them should give the Swedish pattern plumber wrench a try. It's more ergonomic and easier to use, much less sensitive to being adjusted just right. Incidentally, it is an improvement on the Stillson wrench, by the same Swedish man who also improved the design of the crescent wrench, leading to it being called a "Swedish wrench" in many languages. As a Dane, the Swede=monkey joke adds a further layer of good-natured fun :-)

    43. Greg Sullivan

      I have three pipe wrenches - small medium and large. My shop teacher in high school taught us that a Crescent wrench is to be called an "open end adjustable wrench". He said Crescent is a brand name. Somehow, that stuck in my head and to this day I call it an adjustable wrench. Also, somehow I ended up with a metric adjustable wrench. How can an adjustable wrench be metric or inch?

    44. Jacob Bowman


    45. zarzarbinks1

      Nice vid. 'allen wrenches' are known as 'allen keys' here in the uk :)

    46. Panos Tampouratzis

      In Greece that thing is called a crab because that looks like the pincer of a crab.

    47. WeldinMike27

      In Australia we call crescent wrenches, shifters. Also known as Sex spanners, because they f#$& everything they touch.

    48. Erroneous Joe

      I'm glad to see that plenty of other people have also pointed out that this is not a monkey wrench.

    49. Dan M

      Cresant wrench in the u.k is just called a adjustable spanner.

    50. Bendc1970A1

      Nobody should be without a pipe wrench ( or two according to savage ) but I also find channel locks to also be a must have tool. At least two sizes.

    51. onanidaily

      Despite the title of the video it appears that Adam's favorite tool is a pipe wrench.

    52. Jake Smith

      A wrench is anything that turns littler things, but is a screwdriver

    53. Evan Duty

      A pipe wrench is the best tool for old rustbelt tie-rod ends and drag links.

    54. Fred Schoettle

      My understanding is a monkey wrench is the wrench iron workers used back in the early 1900s. One end was adjustable, the other end pointed like a punch so it could be stuck into bolt holes to aid in alignment. The reason it was called a monkey wrench was because the iron workers who carried it climbed the iron structures like monkeys.

    55. Max Kaboom

      Also a good home defense tool

    56. Brian F.

      Allen key*

    57. Brian F.

      *pipe wrench or plumber’s wrench is the name

    58. thomas h

      Two points, from a plumber. One, I have worn the teeth round on a pipe wrench after enough use. They stop working after that. Two, get an aluminum handle pipe wrench. You'll never want to use an iron one again.

    59. Paul G

      I've never seen a monkey use one. Always called it a Stillson

    60. Enr1997

      This is actually a pipe wrench

    61. Max Maruszewski

      Knipex pliers wrench Adam. It is the monkey wrench of the crescent wrench world!

    62. Richard Johnson

      C'mon Adam, I refuse to believe that you don't know the difference between a monkey and a pipe wrench. You made this video purely just to watch all the plumbers, mechanics, pipe-fitters, and "home depot dads" get all upset that you got them backwards. Because they are different. Even if they both go by the same name where you are from, they are different, and they are used for different things. They are incredibly similar, but not the same. You know that, no way you didn't. You got us Adam! Look at all these comments! You played you're April fools joke a little early, but that was a good one! Guys, he is 100% aware that if you try to use a pipe wrench instead of a monkey wrench, you'll ruin a fitting. I may just be a simpleton, just a heavy diesel mechanic. I'm no genius, but I'm sure this is just one elaborate joke on us... Right Adam?... (P.S. I'll mail you a real monkey wrench if this wasn't just a troll.)

    63. carkotta

      I write up tool catalogs for 20 years and my boss told me years ago that I can’t write ✍️ monkey wrench 🔧 because people complained it’s not politically correct so I have to call them pipe wrenches .

    64. M Ford

      One of the first tools I ever got. It was my grandfathers and I still got it. One tool that can stand the test of time.

    65. R.G. Brown


    66. E L

      Why do I want 2?

    67. Ian Gibson

      In England with call it a Just a bowl spanner

    68. Crazyguy332

      I carry 8 pipe wrenches in my toolbox, 8" to 36", aluminum ones are nicer than cast if you can afford them. All this would make more sense if I was a plumber.

    69. Wayne Werner

      The other thing that a pipe wrench excels at is providing extra holding power against doing something else. For instance, you probably have a faucet that isn't supported. You can use a pipe wrench to grab the end and support it while you're reefing away with another tool. The wrench gives you way more strength than your hand alone

    70. Joe R

      Everyone should have a 10" pipe wrench in their toolbox right between the duct tape & the zip ties.

    71. Joe R

      Pipe wrenches are also great for adjusting tie rods & it works way better than the tools made specifically for that task.

    72. 47kb8

      “Pipe wrench”.

    73. WarpFactor999

      Dem's pipe wrenches son. Plumbers would call them a pair of 24's. Monkey wrenches look more like a crescent wrench without teeth but the jaws are at a right angle to the handle similar to a pipe wrench. Nice try though Adam. Close, but no bananas.

    74. Max Scott

      I've never had a problem with a crescent wrench. You have to wiggle it a little when you screw in down and get it tight, but I guess I shouldn't assume the world is smart enough to figure that out.

    75. oreubens

      Saying it is primitive is so so so far off... A better way to look at it is that is has been so optimized for the job it is intended for that you can not remove anything off or add anything to a pipe wrench without making it a worse tool.

    76. Ashton Gilmore

      Do yourself a favor and dont look up why it is referred to as a 'monkey' wrench.

    77. SketchSlayer

      Who learnt about them from anywhere but the Foo Fighters?

    78. ragiddyman86

      pluming 101 lol I love this.

    79. matt newton

      Hello Adam, it's also great to see your favourite tools video's you have shown some tools that I didn't know existed. The only thing is I think you will deform the pipe with just two points of contact. This old House video showed a tip "" starts around 1:45 for a three corner bite.

    80. EddieG

      Vise grips locked down with channel locks... never had a issue I’ve got out stripped rounded bolts with that method..

    81. TimothyS

      Butler: Stop it, Stop it! You are ruining the lawn! Larry: don't tell me how to run my business. Beat it.

    82. Tom van Breukelen

      Ihave always learned 3 points of contact. That would prevent it from becoming oval

    83. chris tribe

      There are many wrenches alike but this one is mine ... I call her Alice

    84. damp doily

      Never have I seen a more wrenched hive of scum and villainy.

    85. Alex Rybicki

      1 word: Knipex. Cobra XS and their Pliers Wrenches are amazing. Pretty sure that's one on the shelf to the right of the screen haha.

    86. dale leibfried

      Stillson wrench

    87. Nerd Made

      Part of why a pipe wrench has such loose tolerances is so that the jaws close a little when you tighten, and open a little when you loosen. The serrations aren't the only thing that make it bite and release. The harder you pull on a pipe wrench, the harder it grabs the pipe.

    88. Gugl

      No, no, no A plierwrench and a cobra is the way to go.

    89. Mgooy

      I aspire to one day be Adams favourite tool

    90. Sova Mind

      You do realize that it is the 21st century, right? Maybe time to move on from an mid-19th century tools! I do a lot of black pipe and brass fittings for propane flame effects. Both of the wrenches you mentioned are ancient designs and would be the last resort for me to use on piping. They are compromise tools designed to give you speed and reduction in size and weight by having a single tool for all sizes, but there are modern self-adjusting version of both of these tools that are amazingly better tools and can be used one handed, eliminate rounding of nuts, or having the wrench fall off when you remove your hand. I love my Knipex set (00 20 72 V01) which comes with a self-adjusting pipe wrench and parallel jaw self-adjusting fastener wrench. Seriously, check them out and you'll never go back. Here is some cool history on each of the original wrenches you mentioned in your video: The adjustable pipe wrench (no tradesperson would ever call it a monkey wrench) was invented by Daniel Stillson in 1869 (U.S. patent #95,744). Seriously. This is a wrench that has been around 150 years and built EVERYTHING and is probably one of the most well known tools in the world. It's legacy is immense, and it was designed for turning soft malleable round pipe and fittings. These tools were inexpensive and worked even when manufactured with bad tolerances. They were for speed, convenience, and reduced weight and expense (carry/buy less tools). The adjustable spanner (wrench in US/CAN) was invented by Edwin Budding also in the mid-19th century, around 1842 in the UK. It was designed for turning fastener heads of all sizes, rather than having to have a specific spanner for each size. Improvements were made including by the Crescent Wrench Company which got a patent (U.S. patent #1133236) for the familiar form we see today in 1915 in the US. This is where it started to become known as the Crescent wrench, just like we call facial tissue Kleenex. Fun fact, the hole in the end is for "hanging the wrench and in order that said wrench may be ready for instantaneous use without the adjusting of' the jaws" as well as not losing it when working at height or over water.

    91. Espen Sund

      LOL i have always thought this tool was for nuts and bolts😅

    92. Teach a man to fish

      I love your love of tools.

    93. voodoowraith

      Great for pipes, excellent for self defense when you don't have a gun.

    94. Captian Morgan

      1. Aluminum pipe wrenches are a wonderful invention. 2. I can't tell you how many gun barrels I've seen with terrible teeth marks where some bubba tried to use a pipe wrench to remove the barrel and failed.

    95. Kairu Hakubi

      I feel like cartoons normally deliver crescent wrenches because they're easier to draw (certainly Dexter's weapon of choice), most of us know the inimitable monkey wrench from Half-Life! And yeah calling a hexkey a 'wrench' is just gumbles to me. it's a screwdriver.

    96. Rok Adamlje

      Cresent = called french wrench in my area

    97. Jake The Dingus

      here come the plumbers to correct adam about something only plumbers would even notice....

    98. Aaron Purtell

      I like using this type of wrench on bolts that have rounded heads or the heads have broken off effectively leaving a stud. The wrench grabs on well and you can turn them out with a great deal of torque.

    99. Eddie

      Knipex Cobras

    100. Sean Westerman

      All well and good, but has Adam discovered the infinitely adjustable rubber strap wrench?