Monkey Wrench vs Pipe Wrench – Which One to Pick?

Last Updated on January 21, 2022 by TechChecking

Monkey Wrench? Pipe Wrench? What are those? Are they similar or what have their differences? Any specific and clear idea about the monkey wrench vs pipe wrench? Do you really know which one would be good for you to pick? Well, there are a lot of questions wandering in your mind and I hope these all questions will go away once you just take a walk with me. I certainly won’t bother you. Just read, fun, and if you are not liking it, just you are so welcome to turn the page over.

Monkey Wrench vs Pipe Wrench

In this modern age, every house has home improvement tools. Monkey wrenches, pipe wrenches, Allen wrenches and, hundreds of other tools are often found in the garage toolbox. However, that is not our point. We are trying to find some sources and their use it.

Sometimes, many of us don’t even know which one is a monkey wrench and which one is a pipe wrench. Well, beating about the bush, let’s jump what are the differences between Monkey Wrench and Pipe Wrench?


What is a Monkey Wrench?

Monkey wrench (Monkey Wrench vs Pipe Wrench)

A monkey wrench is simply more like a very regular adjustable wrench we usually use every day. This tool serves its purposes by tightening and/ or loosening different types of stubborn pipes, sockets, nuts, bolts, and many more. It has two jaws in which one is permanently attached to the frame of the wrench where the other one is free to move. You can easily handle the wrench without any problem because they are so much handy. You just need a little experience of it how to use it.

However, a monkey wrench looks like an F-shaped wrench that helps easily loose or tighten a nut at the same time. Do you know how it is? Yes, the adjustable jaw has a flat surface you can use.

Basically, plumbers choose the monkey wrench and pipe wrench for their works especially for fitting threaded pipes, big or small.

Anyways, the story of an adjustable wrench, one of the monkey and pipe wrenches, was made in the 19th-century as a refinement of the older 18th-century coach wrench. Believe it or not, they are still highly sought after today and are still manufactured by some brands.

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How to recognize a Monkey Wrench?

For starters, recognizing an adjustable tool especially between monkey tool and pipe tool becomes hard to call. That’s why I am trying to make you understand what makes you clear which tool one is what?

Simply a monkey wrench does not have any teeth on its jaws and it is the best way to recognize this one. This is why its main purpose is to hold strong on the head of a bolt or nut.

To add more, in most of the cases you will find the bolt head is hexagonal (with six flat sides). Do you know why? Because the flat shape of the monkey wrench jaws helps greatly to be flush with the bolt head. One more thing, besides this, you can apply maximum force on it without the fear of slipping.

How to Use a Monkey Wrench?

For experienced DIY managers or plumbers, they don’t require any manual or experience because they are already on it. As we are discussing how to use a monkey wrench, we are almost inexperienced.

However, being practical is a thousand times better than learning things. Once you start doing the work, you yourself will sort out what to do and what not to.

For starters, you need to follow just a few steps.

Step 1: as explained earlier, the monkey wrench is simply used for loosening and tightening bolts. You must focus on which nut or bolt you are intending to work on. Once locked in your target, the monkey wrench is a go-to to your hand, and start turning the screw mechanism. It will give you experience and you will successfully pass the first step.

Step 2: the next step you to follow is applying pressure which is the most important job of the whole process. Once you learn perfectly how to apply pressure and how to retrieve and everything, you are going to be a good one. Well, how to do it, right? Very easy.

Follow the lead. Place the jaws around the nut’s edges, set the turning screw to hold them down the nut head, apply pressure so that the nut jaws of the monkey wrench do not slip off. That’s it. You are a go.

Step 3: well, this is the third and last stage for this monkey wrench using process. If you intend to tighten the nut, you need to turn the wrench in a clockwise direction. Now you move the wrench slowly but smoothly until you hit a specific limit for either fastening or loosening.

Well, you are highly advised to hold the furthest end of the handle for a more straightforward operation in order to get the best solution.

Pros of a Monkey Wrench

  • Very strong for heavy-duty works
  • Good grip
  • Easy and comfortable
  • Jaws offer a tight grip on hex bolts
  • Nonslip teeth
  • Manageable and reliable

Cons of a Monkey Wrench

  • More extensive and heavier especially for the starters
  • Sometimes bit pricey for its quality materials
  • May not be so versatile

Having these pros and cons of the monkey wrench, nobody can deny its necessity and effective reliability. For some specific categories like plumber-related works, the monkey tool wrench is second to none.


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What is a Pipe Wrench?

pipe wrench (Monkey Wrench vs Pipe Wrench)

A pipe wrench is a kind of adjustable wrench like a monkey wrench that is intended to use for different purposes especially on pipes, nuts, and plumber-related works. Due to its heavy-duty work, these pipe wrenches are were originally made of cast steel, but more modern pipe wrenches are mostly made of aluminum. But yes, don’t worry, they still use steel to make the jaws and teeth.

A pipe wrench has a great feature in that it has a set of teeth each. The main purpose is to have these teeth are to hold tightly so that it doesn’t slip off onto the pipes or something else that you are working on. You may know, the jaws it has been able to curve into the softer materials and can hold tight without slipping.

However, a pipe wrench comes in different sizes. One thing is very essential to know the diameter of the pipe you are going to work on before settling on one. It is seen most pipe wrenches range from 10 to 48 which is good for different applications.

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How to recognize a Pipe Wrench?

To recognize a pipe wrench you must check the teeth. If the wrench has a set of teeth, it is different from a monkey wrench. As already mentioned, a pipe wrench tool will have a set of teeth each. The teeth are so strong and are able to hold any heavy pipes, nuts, bolts, or anything related to it without any failure.

Pros of a Pipe Wrench

  • Assemble or disassemble regular hex bolts instantly
  • Can remove or rusty or worn-down bolt
  • Heavy-duty wrench tool
  • Strong and reliable
  • Good grip and non-slip
  • Manageable and comfortable

Cons of a Pipe Wrench

  • A bit heavy and weightier
  • Sometimes pricey for its materials
  • Less niche related

Similarities in Between a Pipe Wrench and a Monkey Wrench

The first similarities between the two wrenches, the pipe wrench, and monkey wrench, are both resemble each other. As a starter, you cannot identify which one is which but yes, you can- later? As they look very alike, it becomes the first and foremost reason why people get confused between the two wrenches. The most important part is they function in the same way.

One remarkable and notable similarity between a pipe and monkey wrench is one jaw is fixed with the handle, while the other can be moved and adjusted.

However, you can interchange the wrenches according to your wish and as you feel comfortable between the two and get the job done. Since both of the adjustable wrenches are made of quality steel or aluminum, they will be quite capable to take a beating.


Differences in Between a Pipe Wrench and a Monkey Wrench

Though aforementioned, nevertheless, the main difference between a pipe and a monkey wrench is the structure of their jaws.

The identical difference is a pipe wrench has toothed jaws, whereas a monkey wrench has flat jaws. However, speaking of jaws of the wrenches, they can be easily removed with a pipe wrench making it easy to replace a worn-down teethed jaw with a new one. It helps you add a new one as well as save money.


Which one should I pick – A pipe wrench or a monkey wrench?

A pipe wrench and a monkey wrench works almost in the same way. They have separate divisions to work on their own features. Every product is produced with its own characteristics. They do have too.

Anyways, a pipe wrench can be worked on relatively softer materials such as plastic, PVC, or soft metal like copper as their teeth help it to sink into the material you are working on and for a good grip.

On the other hand, a monkey wrench can work on harder materials like steel, iron, or something of that sort.

The main efficiency remains in you which actually will play a bigger part. Sometimes you may look, doing a lot of pipework with a monkey wrench will end up taking significantly more time, whereas using a pipe wrench on bolts may end up wearing the teeth or the bolt. You can know more from here.


Final Words

Please don’t worry and get confused about which tool should be perfect for you. Once you are a professional, you yourself will determine which one will go handy and comfortable for you. Your efficiency, experience, and tactics will help you find the best wrench. So, it would be great to focus on your work rather than focusing on monkey wrench vs pipe wrench.

Last update on 2022-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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