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Self-adjusting wrench designs have been done before, some more than 100 years ago - for a much earlier variant check out the Cochran Speednut wrench (pat. May 2nd, 1916, later variants 1926 and 1931). It's obvious that this kind of tool has been the subject of design for some time - there's even some earlier attempts from 1866, 1870 and 1886. The appeal of these sorts of tools is combining the flexibility of an adjustable spanner while increasing the torque that is able to be applied... and reduce the chance of rounding off that nut or bolt.
It is perhaps no surprise that over a hundred years later companies are still producing these sorts of tools. Allwrencher - purveyor of some interesting niche tools - has a product along these lines called the Smart Wrench:
This is made by a Taiwanese company called Son Yuios Industrial, and they sport a lifetime warranty. Inside the box we find four wrenches:
The wrenches offer a range of adjustment from 9mm to 20mm, or 11/32" to 25/32", across four wrenches - the ranges for each individual wrench are:
The ranges are helpfully marked on each one:
The business end of the wrench:
We will do a video of how they work in the next part of the review but in a nutshell they work like a self-tightening shifting spanner - where you start off wide and twist the handle and the jaws close as you do so, with the end result being a firm grip on your fastener without having to manually adjust anything. This tightening mechanism also means that they can work on pipe or other round objects, something you would struggle to do with a regular shifting spanner.
The finish is satin-like and the spanners are hefty in the hand, which gives a premium feel as you might expect. The finish is somewhat pitted:
...but that doesn't affect their functionality at all, and only appears to be present on the head of each tool and not the body. The head is made from Chrome Molybdenum 4140 steel, where the body is made from Chrome Vanadium steel.
So, how do they perform in real-world usage and who are they aimed at? Stay tuned for the next part of the review where we use them in the shop...
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